Best Computer Monitor 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Monitors play a big part in any office or home studio setup. You may be a writer or editor who has several pages on screen at once and spends hours staring at them all in one go. A photographer or artist who needs to view detailed imagery and use editing software. Or, a gamer who needs the best screen available to display the latest releases as clearly as possible, the perfect monitor is essential.

Far gone are the days of the huge chunky models which lagged and had an awful pixelated display. It now pays to get one you’re happy with, and that will stay with you for years to come. We have found some of the best monitors out there and paid attention to all of the factors which you need to consider.

The Best Computer Monitors – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
SAMSUNG LC34F791WQUXEN Quad HD 34″ Curved LED Monitor
  • Best For: Everyday
  • Panel Size: 34”
  • Dimensions: 51.6 x 80.8 x 30.9 cm
  • Resolution: Ultra WQHD 3440 x 1440
  • Response Time: 4ms
  • Refresh Rate: 100 Hz
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Dell S2417DG QHD Gaming Monitor
  • Best For: Gaming
  • Panel Size: 23.8
  • Dimensions: 36.39 x 54.04 x 18cm
  • Resolution: QHD 2560 x 1440p
  • Response Time: 1ms
  • Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
Click for Best Price
ASUS PA329Q 32-inch Professional Monitor
  • Best For: Media
  • Panel Size: 32”
  • Dimensions: 73.5 x 61.5 x 24 cm
  • Resolution: 4K UHD 3840 x 2160
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Click for Best Price

Best PC Monitor

SAMSUNG LC34F791WQUXEN Quad HD 34″ Curved LED Monitor

If your needs for a monitor exceed 30” in size, then this is one of the best you can buy no matter your needs for it.

The extra-wide curved design allows you to see more at a glance, which will improve your viewing experience. Yet, it feels perfectly non-obtrusive and is quick to get the hang of. Paired with Picture-by-Picture technology, if you need to multitask, you can do so without having to cram everything into a small area.

Samsung Flicker-Free technology and Eye Saver mode both work together to keep your eye strain at bay when you’re working long hours. The screen is also tiltable and height adjustable so posture can also be taken care of.

Quantum Dot technology lets you game with ease if this is your aim, with an enhanced colour palette and richer contrast. Game Mode optimises the colours further, and a 100Hz refresh rate keeps motion lifelike so that you can react to situations quicker than your rivals.

There are dual 7W speakers built into the display, which is great if you are going to be watching television and films but don’t want to clutter up your desktop and ports. Talking of ports, there is one HDMI and one DisplayPort so that you can connect up your input modes with ease.

The stand isn’t the most substantial for the size of the screen, and the price is maybe higher than you wanted to pay for a 34”. However, the quality of the imagery and generous specifications make it a great all-rounder for anyone who needs to use their monitor for various inputs and tasks.

We like

  • Wide display for multitasking
  • Vivid colour ability
  • Adjustable tilt and height

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

It may be at the higher end of the price scale, but there is a lot of technology and quality packed into the screen to justify it for many out there who find display among the most important factors.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Everyday
  • Panel Size: 34”
  • Dimensions: 51.6 x 80.8 x 30.9 cm
  • Resolution: Ultra WQHD 3440 x 1440
  • Response Time: 4ms
  • Refresh Rate: 100 Hz

+ Downloads

SAMSUNG LC34F791WQUXEN Quad HD 34 Curved LED Monitor User Manual

Download

Acer RT240Y 24 Inch Monitor

A close second in terms of offering the whole package, providing a lot for your money.

This Acer is a fab pick – a 24” screen which is your standard office size, 1920 x 1080p HD resolution, IPS technology for a colourful picture, built-in speakers, and a sleek modern design which will brighten up any desk space.

The design is very modern, with an ultra-thin screen and a T-shaped stand which reduces the clutter on your desk while still giving essential support. The edges are thin, which makes the screen look even bigger, and control buttons are on the bottom of the device to further increase viewing space.

Display has been designed with your eyes in mind, with Acer’s Flicker-less technology and Blue Light Filter allowing you to work for longer without having to give yourself a rest when you need to get the job done. There are also possible tilt angles of -5° to 15° to aid posture.

The internal speakers aren’t the best, but they’re still definitely worth having as they come as an extra and it saves having an even bigger setup. If sound is an important factor, then it would be easy enough to connect some external speakers.

We couldn’t quite believe that it comes in well under £200. For anyone who wants a screen for those everyday tasks, such as work, the odd YouTube video and game, and viewing photos, there are few out there we think offer as much for so little in return.

It misses some of the extra luxuries you may have had your eye on but is a great budget pick.

We like

  • Eye-saving technology
  • Easy to set up out of box
  • Price

We dislike

  • Control buttons can be a bit fiddly to operate due to positioning

Final Verdict

For an everyday, well-priced all-rounder, there aren't many better options out there, plus it is from a brand you can trust.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Everyday
  • Panel Size: 23.8”
  • Dimensions: H40.5 x W54 x D19.6 cm
  • Resolution: HD 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Response Time: 4ms GTG
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz

+ Downloads

Acer RT240Y 24 Inch Monitor User Manual

Download

DELL SE2417HG Full HD 23.6″ LED Monitor

Packed with a surprising amount of features despite both the price and size, this is a fantastic budget model which takes you just the right distance beyond the basics. It is the little cousin of the S2417DG, which we rate highly for dedicated gaming.

A two millisecond response time keeps you working quickly and flawlessly, with no pausing and waiting until it all catches up.

There are two HDMI ports, which is one more than a lot of dedicated gaming monitors offer. A VGA port gives you the choice of connection, whether you’re sticking to a PC and keeping things professional or want to also connect your gaming console.

If you’re after a monitor with standalone speakers, then this is not your ideal option. But if it isn’t a primary concern, there is nothing to stop you connecting an external speaker as and when you need to via the speaker line-out slot, so it doesn’t affect your setup.

It comes in at just over £100, making it a great budget buy for anyone who just needs a day to day screen. The imagery is clear, you can sit at the screen for a prolonged period without feeling eye strain, and the stand is one of the sturdiest of those we tested. Whether we’d say it was a gaming computer per se is a tricky one, but it will handle most basic tasks.

We like

  • Price
  • Clear resolution
  • Plenty of connection possibilities

We dislike

  • VGA input not as clear as HDMI

Final Verdict

A great price for a computer which is capable of gaming plus all of the extra everyday requirements.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Everyday
  • Panel Size: 23.6"
  • Dimensions: 42.2 x 55.5 x 17.9 cm
  • Resolution: Full HD 1920 x 1080p
  • Response Time: 2ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz

+ Downloads

Dell SE2417HG Gaming Monitor User Manual

Download

HP 27f 27 Inch FHD Ultraslim IPS Monitor

Featuring two HDMI connections and one VGA, this is a monitor which is completely flexible in terms of input.

The great design gives it a minimalistic feel when it is set up on a desk or workstation, thanks to the ultra-thin screen and strong yet space-saving stand. Built from metal and with a matte finish, it is modern yet substantial.

Not only is the screen thin, but the micro-edge display also delivers ultra-wide viewing for expansive opportunities. If you love to split-screen and have your Word document open alongside Google, then both applications will sit comfortably side to side without compromising on viewing quality.

Don’t just think this is a computer monitor for the serious side of life. AMD FreeSync will allow you to play games seamlessly, with no lagging or blurs. Videos and TV programmes are also displayed perfectly well, so it is a bit of a multi-tasker and all-rounder.

An anti-glare screen will allow you to work or play away no matter the natural lighting situation. There are no speakers built in, so you will probably want to connect some speakers if you’re going to be using it to play media, but doing this via the dedicated port is hassle-free.

We like

  • Good picture
  • Connectivity port choice
  • Slimline and modern

We dislike

  • No speaker

Final Verdict

The price is good, performance is good and display is good - there is nothing special, but sometimes all you want is a basic model which gets the job done anyway.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Everyday
  • Panel Size: 27”
  • Dimensions: H36.53 x W61.18 x D4cm
  • Resolution: HD 1920 x 1080p
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

Best Professional Monitor

ASUS PA329Q 32-inch Professional Monitor

Some of you out there will rely on the crispest of displays and most vivid of colours for your professional career or as a hobby, if you are a photographer, graphic designer, video editor or use Adobe Photoshop.

This is one of the best monitors out there for visual media. The 4K UHD display is clear and detailed for viewing and editing the tiniest of areas in a photo, and when combined with ASUS ProArt Calibration Technology, everything is displayed uniformly.

A wide-gamut, 100% sRGB and 99.5% Adobe RGB display every colour accurately and just how it looks to the eye, so any touch-ups or alterations can be made for the perfect end result. IPS display technology gives you wide viewing angles, so no matter the tilt of the screen, natural lighting coming in or how you’re looking at it, you’ll still see the colours accurately.

If video is your area of expertise, then when the UHD display combines with the 60Hz refresh rate, your videos are shown both in real-time and with no lagging, so any edits required are clear and not just a mistake.

Connections-wise, there is an SD card slot and three USB’s, as well as HDMI, DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort. It will tilt, swivel and pivot, and there are two in-built 3W speakers. A headphone jack will connect an external speaker if needed.

It falls in the mid-priced range for a monitor of its type – there are some less vivid displays out there for cheaper, and some which are miraculously even clearer for twice the price. The cost of this model is justifiable, and great for anyone who needs to make the most of advanced technology without spending the earth.

Since anyone who is relying on a monitor for their work is right to be unforgiving, manufacturers have a hard task on their hands pleasing everybody. It isn’t a monitor which will likely do this – the lack of personalisation because of the Adobe RGB and sRGB presets may put some off, even though there are fixes to get around them.

But we’d say that for many, it does just the job without a too-hefty price tag. Take your time to calibrate it fully for your particular needs and work out the colour management, and you have a pretty perfect monitor on your hands.

We like

  • Good colour depth
  • Great adjustment opportunities
  • Multiple USB connections

We dislike

  • Presets may need some work to get around if needed

Final Verdict

For those who need fantastic colour development and display, it usually comes at a price. This comes in at a reasonable cost without losing any of that quality.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Media
  • Panel Size: 32”
  • Dimensions: 73.5 x 61.5 x 24 cm
  • Resolution: 4K UHD 3840 x 2160
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz

+ Downloads

ASUS PA329Q 32-inch Professional Monitor User Manual

Download

LENOVO L22e-20 Full HD 21.5″ LED Monitor

Whether you’re after a two monitor set up or just need your laptop screen to be magnified when working from your home office, this particular model is great for those day-to-day business tasks.

The display quality is great for anyone who needs to clearly see work, with a fast response time that helps it react quickly to your typing and the input from the laptop.

A near-edgeless screen lets you see even more, and you can fit more on the page too. If you like to have multiple applications or web pages open side by side, then the wide display combined with the full HD quality will ensure viewing quality is not compromised.

Don’t just think you’re limited to professional work though, as there is no reason why it couldn’t handle gaming and video requests too.

The price is friendly for anyone who is buying the monitor for pure convenience over display and performance quality, although it excels at both for the cost. To say it is our budget pick, you certainly can’t tell by looking at the screen.

Being 21.5”, it is perfect for anyone who is low on space or who likes a multi-monitor setup. It isn’t the prettiest but feels substantial and well-built yet lightweight in case you want to move it around or wall-mount it occasionally.

We like

  • Easy to control with buttons
  • Stand is sturdy

We dislike

  • Screen isn’t tiltable or moveable

Final Verdict

For a budget pick under £100, it is a monitor which does a fine job and makes things easier if you need a clear, quick option

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Professional
  • Panel Size: 15.6”
  • Dimensions: H22.6 x W36 x D0.8 cm
  • Resolution: HD 1920 x 1080
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

Asus ZenScreen Portable Full HD 15.6″ 60Hz Monitor

If your area of work involves a lot of on-the-go working on trains/planes or in cafes/hotels, then being only having one laptop screen to work off could be restricting at times.

It connects to your laptop using a USB-C cable, so involves no complicated setup and wiring. Simply plug in, download the drivers from the Asus website, and you’re ready to go. Just make sure you’re running it on a USB 3.0 slot.

The case which comes with the purchase doubles up as a kickstand, so you don’t have to perilously balance it against water bottles and lunch bags, and it is lightweight so won’t be a pain to transport in your laptop bag.

For a portable device, the imagery is really good. Full HD with LED is even better than the quality which is featured in screens almost twice the size as there are sharper images than standard HD, and it is easy to look at in any light which suits the fact it’ll likely be used in differing environments. ASUS Eye Care will limit eye strain if you are using it for a prolonged period.

If you are using it with a Windows laptop, it will automatically adjust to landscape or portrait mode depending on the input which is handy.

There is no inbuilt speaker, but we figure you’ll likely be using headphones anyway if in public. There is no reason why you can’t set it up at home with a speaker if you just want a small second screen, though.

The price is more than some standard sized screens which offer more technology, but as the portability is the main function then it is worth paying more for the lightweight nature, extra stand/case and clearer imagery than most of its rivals.

We like

  • Display quality
  • Stand case
  • Simple to set up and pack away

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

Portable computer monitors can be very hit and miss but this is one of the best.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Professional
  • Panel Size: 15.6”
  • Dimensions: H22.6 x W36 x D0.8 cm
  • Resolution: HD 1920 x 1080p
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

+ Downloads

Asus ZenScreen Portable Full HD 15.6" 60Hz Monitor User Manual

Download

Best Gaming Monitor

Dell S2417DG QHD Gaming Monitor

Refresh rate and response time are two specifications which every seasoned gamer will find incredibly important when they’re selecting their new PC monitor. It can often be the case that one is great, and the other doesn’t quite match up to the high standards. Thankfully, with this Dell model, both are exceedingly good, and it was one of the few we found where this was the case.

If you’re an action gamer, then the 165Hz refresh rate will definitely guarantee there is no lagging, ghosting, screen tearing or stuttering, which is what you need when suspense is building. The 1ms response time allows the screen to react to your actions in lightning-quick time, so you’re one step ahead of the competition.

The resolution doesn’t just allow super-quick gaming, but all of your Blu-Ray films and HD television will also be displayed clearly and vividly. Or, if you’re going to be working by day and playing by night, then the resolution allows for crisp, readable text no matter how many pages are open on your screen at once. Anti-glare technology also makes a huge difference.

There is one HDMI port and one DisplayPort, so whether you’re a PC gamer or stick to the Xbox and PlayStation, there is an option for your preferred connectivity. Unfortunately, as with most screens, the HDMI port is limited to 60Hz so you may need to make some sacrifices or switch them around when the time comes.

Some gamers may understandably want a bigger screen, but if 24” is perfect for your environment, then you’d be hard pressed to find another monitor which is as good as this for under £500.

We like

  • QHD display
  • Control buttons are easy to access
  • Price

We dislike

  • Only two connection ports - not great for a dedicated gaming monitor

Final Verdict

The screen isn't massive, but the actually quality of the screen is far superior to a lot of others on the market in the same price bracket.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Gaming
  • Panel Size: 23.8
  • Dimensions: 36.39 x 54.04 x 18cm
  • Resolution: QHD 2560 x 1440p
  • Response Time: 1ms
  • Refresh Rate: 165 Hz

+ Downloads

Dell S2417DG QHD Gaming Monitor User Manual

Download

ASUS Republic of Gamers PG348Q Quad HD Curved 34″ LED Monitor

Curved, extra-wide and with a frameless design, this is one of the most immersive and wraparound monitors you can get for your gaming needs.

The resolution quality is extremely vivid for the size, which boosts the detail and definition in whichever style of game you’re turning your hand to. Ultra-Low Blue Light and flicker-free technology will keep you going for longer as they reduce eye strain – great if you like to spend the day getting stuck into your gaming.

Don’t worry about it overheating either, as the ROG PG348Q features a custom smart air vent design twice the size of those found in other monitors to ensure it stays cool during marathon use.

An exclusive Turbokey lets you flick between 60 and 100 Hz refresh rates depending on the level requires for your game or PC, which enhances the performance directly. This can be done halfway through your gaming session to override any lagging straight away – no need to access the graphics control panel either, which takes a lot of the effort out of setting up.

If you think that your favourite games won’t support the ultrawide 21:9 ratio dimensions, then you’ll probably find you’re pleasantly surprised as most will adjust well. You’ll also find that you adjust quickly and will wonder why you ever left it so late to make the switch, and you certainly won’t go back.

There are two inbuilt speakers offering audio power of 4W, which is great if you want to reduce your clutter and extra electronics. It won’t be the most immersive sound, but connecting up extra speakers is easy if need be.

The price is high, and you may be put off by the fact that it seemingly compromises on refresh rate and response time for the picture quality, but they definitely aren’t figures which will be noticeable in the slightest.

If your games require you to get as close to the action as possible, then it is the screen for you, and the cost really is a case of you get what you pay for. There were a few dead pixels a few times when we tested, but not enough to ruin the experience too much. Beware of backlight bleeding, which some users have reported is occasionally present when displaying dark colours.

We like

  • Big screen with good display
  • Sturdy stand
  • Buttons on side are easy to use when playing

We dislike

  • Dead pixels and backlight bleeding

Final Verdict

The resolution is superior, and there are a few consequences to this, but overall it is a great gaming screen which is big enough to show all the action.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Gaming
  • Panel Size: 34
  • Dimensions: 55.8 x 82.9 x 29.7 cm
  • Resolution: UWQHD 3440 x 1440p
  • Response Time: 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 100 Hz

+ Downloads

ASUS ROG SWIFT Curved PG348Q User Manual

Download

Samsung C24F390 24 Inch 60Hz FHD Curved LED Monitor

To find our best overall monitor, we needed to find one which ticked the boxes in all of the ‘essential’ checklists – reasonable price, screen size, resolution and usability had to be there, to make a good across the board option. This is the one we chose.

Firstly, there is a resolution four times Full HD, or 4K as it is otherwise known. For a screen of its size, this means that clarity is incredibly high thanks to the nine million pixels in total. Sixty-four times more colours and a high 370 cd/m² brightness level both make the clarity and vividness incredibly breathtaking.

Game mode automatically adjusts every setting to enhance the display, making darks darker with more contrast and displaying everything how the creators had in mind. AMD FreeSync will adjust the screen refresh output to your content’s input, to reduce lagging and image tearing.

It is easy to see every little detail at the edge of the screen thanks to the curved display – great if you’re using Picture-by-Picture mode which lets you view two different input sources on screen without affecting input resolutions. The curve is relatively subtle, so you can still see everything in a straight-on view too.

There are 2 HDMI ports and one DisplayPort, as well as a headphone port, so if you have a few items in your setup, they should all fit comfortably without affecting performance. This could come in handy as there are no inbuilt speakers, so you may need to connect some depending on your input type.

It is worth bearing in mind that only one of the HDMI ports is UHD, which isn’t really stated anywhere in descriptions. But the 1ms response time and FreeSync will make your experience truly immersive. It isn’t the largest of gaming screens, but great if you’re going to be using it for other processes too or are low on desk space.

We like

  • Display
  • Good colour development
  • Easy setup

We dislike

  • Stand feels a bit weak

Final Verdict

Our best pick, because of how much more it offers the user for the money compared to the competition. Perfect for ordinary use as well as gaming.

+ Specifications

  • Best For: Gaming/Everyday
  • Panel Size: 24”
  • Dimensions: 46.8 x 66 x 18.7 cm
  • Resolution: Ultra HD 4K 3840 x 2160p
  • Response Time: 1ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz

+ Downloads

Samsung C24F390 24 Inch 60Hz FHD Curved LED Monitor User Manual

Download

Help and Resources

Computer Monitor Buying Guide

Panel Size

One of the most important factors when considering the next computer screen you will own is the screen’s size. They generally come between 21 and 34 inches, but you can get some portable options which are around 15” and some mammoth screens reaching up to 50”.

Screen size is measured diagonally across the screen. Your average work office desktop will be around 24” if you need a bit of guidance.

Price

The cost of PC monitors varies widely. You can pick up a standard no-frills 21.5” screen which is suitable for office work for less than £100, but there won’t be any fancy mod cons involved such as extra USB ports.

Resolution

There are various resolutions to look out for, and most are similar to the language you’d be seeing if you were picking a new television. Resolution is displayed in a ‘length x width’ format and informs the user of how many pixels the screen can display.

Full HD or 1920 x 1080p is one of the most common nowadays and is even present in the cheapest models, which makes a big difference from the resolutions of 10+ years ago. It is the least you should look for, and the lowest we feature.

Then there is 4K Ultra HD, 3840 x 2160p, which is ideal for either viewing sharper detailed imagery, editing photos, or viewing several typed pages in a side by side or tiled format.

Response Time

In short, this is how well a screen will display video in real time. Essentially, it is the time it takes for a pixel to change black-to-white or to transition from one shade of grey to another (GTG).

Measured in milliseconds (ms), a screen with a 1ms pixel response would be great for gaming as there would be little lagging, blurring or ghosting. One with 6ms won’t make too much of a difference, but there may be the occasional blurring if things are fast-paced.

It is something you won’t even notice much when using the screen, but if you’re a hardcore immersive gamer, it could be worth considering. Basically put, smaller numbers are better.

Refresh Rate

Another factor which affects lag, the refresh rate is simply the number of times a display will refresh an image shown, per second. The display will refresh even if the frame does not change, such as in a still film scene.

The refresh rate on its own isn’t something to deliberate over for too long but starts to become important depending on the input and use for the monitor.

If you’re a gamer, and a game renders at 80 frames per second, but your screen refreshes at 60 Hz, you’re going to have lagging as it can’t deal with the input at the same rate. If you have 120Hz though, it will be incredibly seamless.

A gamer may want to look for a rate of 100 Hz+, but ordinary users will be fine with 60Hz.

The refresh rate is more important in TV’s than computer screens, so don’t deliberate over which to stick to too much. However, bigger numbers are better.

Positioning

Sit at a desk all day? You’re going to need a screen which can adjust to your most comfortable seating position, and not the other way round. Screens can now tilt, rise and swivel, and some can even be rotated.

FAQs

How Do I Find The Perfect Monitor For Me?

Always determine the primary use first. Gaming, media editing, business/professional or just general every day?

Gamers should look at the refresh rates and response times and try to keep these as high as possible. Media and photo editors should look for colour display and accuracy. Business and professional users may want to look for split-screen ability and anti-glare technology/adjustable positioning, and general users may want a mix of all of these or quite simply want to focus on price, aesthetics or usability.

Curved Or Non-Curved Monitor?

This is completely down to personal preference, as it doesn’t change the viewing capabilities on paper.

The idea of a curved screen is that it allows you to see more when looking directly at the centre of the screen due to mimicking the natural curve of your eyeball, but some will see the difference more than others.

Which Computer Monitor Brands Should I Look Out For?

It is no surprise that the majority of the names are those who also make laptops, desktops, televisions and other electronics.

Samsung, LG, Dell, Sony, Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Philips and AOC are some of the biggest names you’ll see. Then, there are some names which are more dedicated to sub-categories of monitors, such as BENQ, HannsG or Alienware for gaming.

Names aren’t particularly important, as most brands make such a wide range of monitors that most crossover anyway. Specifications are the most important consideration.