The 9 Best Computer Monitors to Buy in 2018

Enhance your computer with these top-rated display monitors

Whether you’re using a computer for graphics editing, gaming, streaming media, business applications, or just everyday use, you’ll find no shortage of monitor options to suit any need. Begin researching the different types of monitors on offer and you’ll find there’s a lot more than meets the eye. And there are many things to think about what you're looking for in one such as screen size, resolution, refresh rate, response time, contrast and brightness, to name a few. To help whittle down the endless options, we put together a list of the nine best monitors in 2018 for gamers, graphics pros, those on a limited budget and more.

Best Overall: Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch UHD LED Monitor

The Samsung U28E590D offers supports resolutions up 3840 x 2160 (four times greater than that of full HD) at 60 hertz. There is support for a palette of one billion colors, meaning movies, graphics and games are detailed, natural and realistic. For gamers with an AMD graphics card, AMD Freesync with a 1ms refresh rate is supported.

There’s connectivity for UHD compatible devices (such as future gaming consoles), two HDMI inputs and one DisplayPort. The 60-hertz refresh rate plays 4K content smoothly with no delay. An Eye Saver mode reduces eyestrain by reducing blue light emissions and flickers, allowing you to game, watch movies or view documents comfortably for longer periods.

This monitor includes a base making it suitable for surface use, but it is not VESA compatible, meaning it cannot be wall mounted.

This monitor is priced in the mid-range, but it includes many high-end features found on models that are more expensive. It offers clear, sharp, vivid images, and the picture in picture technology eliminates the need for a second monitor for multitasking.

Best Budget: HP Pavilion 22cwa

If you’re on a budget for a computer monitor, there’s no better choice than the HP Pavilion 22cwa. This 21.5-inch ultra-slim monitor checks off every major need for desktop computer users without breaking the bank. First off, it has great video and picture performance, thanks to its full HD 1080p resolution, LED backlighting and ultra-wide IPS technology. The Pavilion 22cwa also has amazing 8,000,00:1 dynamic contrast that provides rich colors, an anti-glare treatment and a thin bezel that keeps your attention on the display, not the design of the monitor. Connectivity options are basic with VGA and HDMI inputs, but this will satisfy most computer owners. More than 1,700 Amazon reviewers have given this monitor an average 4.5-out-of-5-star rating and has surprised many buyers with how good it looks for the price, so you can’t go wrong with the HP Pavilion 22cwa if you’re unsure what budget monitor to select.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Dell Ultrasharp U2417HJ 23.8" Screen LCD Monitor

Monitors are often looked at as a basic computer accessory because they haven’t done a ton of innovating outside of improving picture quality and pixel density. But the Dell Ultrasharp U2417HJ confounds those expectations by adding a wireless charging unit to it. This makes a ton of sense because many people charge their phones while sitting at a computer. Smartphones with either Qi or PMA wireless charging (most Samsung Android phones, for example) are supported and many more phones are likely to incorporate it in the future.

Outside of the cool wireless charging pad at the base of the monitor, the U2417HJ is a great full HD monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 60 Hz refresh rate, as well as ports for DisplayPort/mini-DisplayPort, DisplayPort-out, HDMI, USB and audio line out. It also pivots, tilts and swivels, so you can find the perfect angle to work on projects, watch movies or anything else.

Check out our other reviews of the best 24-inch LCD monitors available on the market today.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: AOC - 21.5” IPS LED Monitor

AOC is a Taiwanese consumer electronics company that focuses on award-winning monitors. Named as the #1 most reliable monitor brand in a 2017 PC Mag reader’s survey, the company makes high-end gaming and professional monitors. But they also have one of the best entry monitor lines, featuring Full-HD LED monitors.

This 21.5” IPS LED monitor is an excellent budget option for any use. It has an IPS panel with a 178-degree viewing angle for image quality from any viewing position, great for office-spaces or watching movies in the dorm room. It also features connection to VGA and HDMI, letting you plug in a variety of multimedia. Finally, the black and silver design looks modern and comparable to more expensive monitors. It also has an anti-glare coating that resists fingerprints and smudges, keeping the clean look.

Best for Movies: AOC U3277PWQU 32-Inch 4K LED Monitor

If you want to watch movies from your computer, the 32-inch AOC 4K LED monitor strikes a good balance between size and features. The 3840 x 2160 4K Ultra HD screen has four times the resolution of an HD display, delivering richer color accuracy with over 1.07 billion colors in total. This monitor adds 178-degree viewing angles with consistent image quality across the board and two three-watt speakers on each side of the monitor for enhanced audio. Additionally, AOC opted for a TN panel instead of the more traditional IPS panel. This results in a superior contrast ratio—more brilliant colors and deeper blacks—for a vibrant movie-watching experience.

With 31.5 inches of viewable screen, there’s enough space for multiple windows (if you want to multitask while you watch).  And AOC's flicker-free technology reduces the number of flickers that can be seen with each screen refresh on the LED, eliminating long-term discomfort or eye fatigue.

Best for Gaming: ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27” Screen LED-Lit Monitor

From ASUS’ premium “Republic of Gamers” line comes the ROG Swift. While this lightning fast monitor is set to 144 hertz right out of the box, it can actually break the 144-hertz barrier at a refresh rate of 165 hertz for the smoothest gaming graphics you can possibly imagine. It is an IPS display too, allowing the image to look the same from any angle. It has full sRGB gamut for immersive life-like color, a wide viewing angle and support for NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology, designed to minimize tearing and lag when coupled with a compatible NVIDIA GeForce graphics card.

The 27” screen supports a healthy 2560 x 1440 resolution at 144 hertz and has a 16:9 aspect ratio. Refresh time is 4ms.

Connectivity includes one DisplayPort, one HDMI port and three USB 3.0 ports. It includes ULMB motion-blur reduction, GamePlus, a hot key that allow you to switch frame rates on the fly, and a variety of gaming-specific image modes.

It’s worth noting that each monitor in this line is individually tested at the factory to ensure quality workmanship, and that it in fact works. If speed is your thing, this monitor can withstand even the most demanding video games on the market, as long as your computer can keep up with it.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best high-end gaming monitors

Best Ultra Wide Freesync: LG Electronics 34-inch UM67 34UM67

This incredible LG ultra wide monitor offers a whopping 2560 x 1080 resolution with a 21:9 aspect ratio, and an amazing four-screen split feature that allows you to divide the screen into two or four customizable segments. It also has Flicker Safe, designed to reduce eye fatigue by reducing flickering to almost zero. sRGB coverage is over 99 percent, which provides highly accurate color and makes this monitor a great choice for graphic artists and photographers, while also a great choice for serious gaming and outstanding multimedia experiences. It is an IPS display, which means you get clear, sharp images that looks the same at any angle. The black stabilizer feature senses dark images and helps brighten them, ensuring you can see fine detail in even the darkest ones.

Connectivity includes two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort. The refresh rate is 60 hertz and includes Dynamic Action Sync technology to ensure you catch everything in real time.

Freesync support (compatible with select AMD graphics cards only) eliminates tearing and stuttering between the graphic card’s frame rate and the monitor refresh rate, allowing for seamless movement in gaming. There are some preset gamer modes to enhance gaming and two seven-watt built-in stereo speakers that allow for great audio quality during gaming or movies.

This monitor is VESA compatible, meaning it can be wall mounted with the purchase of a mounting bracket, or displayed on a flat surface with the included base.

Check out our guide to the best ultra-wide monitors you can buy today. 

Best Design: BenQ Ultra HD 4K Design Monitor

In order to be a successful designer (or photographer, or video editor), you need your monitor to render color faithfully to natural light. Apple’s monitors have long been the top choice, but the latest Thunderstruck is not coming out until later this year. Until then, the BenQ Ultra HD 4K Design Monitor does everything an artist needs it to do. Using premier color technology, this display delivers vivid and accurate color that will satisfy graphic design pros.

The monitor comes with a commanding 10-bit 100 percent sRGB color palette, accurately recreating over one billion colors with optimal precision and unrivaled contrast. In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology lets you see the color of an image from any angle, extraordinarily helpful for attention to detail. The full gamut of colors comes to you on a 27” or 32” screen in 3840x2160 Ultra HD 4K resolution, an astounding 8,294,400 pixels.

Designers will also appreciate CAD/CAM mode, which delivers unparalleled contrast on 3D lines to help amplify model’s wireframes. The monitor also comes equipped with an animation mode that manipulates brightness and shadow to add depth to your creations and a picture-in-picture mode for video editing projects.

A monitor made for designers should be well-designed. BenQ outfitted the 4K Design Monitor with a responsive and easy-to-rotate swivel so you can see your creation from any angle. The bevel itself is slim and free of any unnecessary lights, allowing two monitors to be seamlessly integrated in dual-screen mode. It is rounded off with anti-glare screen coating and a low blue light to take counteract eye fatigue.

Runner-Up, Best for Gaming: Acer Predator XB271HK 27-Inch

It’s time to buckle up and turbocharge your gaming experience with the Acer Predator and its jaw dropping specs. It features NVIDIA G-Sync technology, which eliminates screen tearing, providing gamers with an epic gaming experience. It also features built-in eye protection to minimize strain and tiredness, critical for those into-the-wee-hours battles.

The native and maximum resolution of this monitor is an impressive 3840 x 2160, rendering ultra HD graphics on a 16:9 ratio. The response rate is a quick 4ms, which keeps the latest PC games flowing smoothly. The IPS panel ensures a crisp, clear picture at any angle.

There’s a built-in stand that allows the monitor to pivot, tilt, swivel and move up or down for a comfortable viewing angle. It is VESA compatible, allowing you to mount it to the wall with the purchase of a mounting bracket.

Connectivity includes one HDMI and one DisplayPort, plus four high-speed USB 3.0 ports for mouse, keyboard, gaming headset and mobile devices.

NVIDIA G-Sync synchronizes the refresh rate of the monitor with your GPU to eliminate screen tearing, display stutters and input lag so scenes appear instantly, objects look sharper, and the game play is smooth. Note: You must have a G-Sync-enabled NVIDIA graphics card to take advantage of NVIDIA G-Sync technology. NVIDIA’s most powerful cards, like the GTX 780 Ti, GTX Titan Black, and GTX 880M are all G-Sync-ready graphics cards, as are the popular GTX 970, GTX 980, GTX 1070 and GTX 1080.

EyeProtect’s Flicker-less ensures your eyes don’t feel the burn of those long gaming sessions, and two built in 2w speakers allow you to enjoy the sounds of crunching glass, whizzing bullets and all those explosions.

Disclosure

At Lifewire, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.