The offer of monitors is vast and the purchase of the ideal model requires knowing in detail a good number of features according to the needs of each user, their budget or the use to which they are going to dedicate it, since it has little to do with a screen dedicated to games. to another for image or video editing.
Of course, the industry offers “off-road” models that without so much specialization can be adapted to any computer use. We will review all this in the update of one of our great guides, as a help not to make a mistake when buying the most important peripheral of our PC and understanding it as an investment that we will surely keep for a few years before renewing it.
Monitors: main characteristics to value
A main characteristic to value depending on the main use that we are going to give to the monitor, be it computer tasks, games, image editing, or a mixture of them. LCD and TFT LCD in their different versions, they are the most widely used panel types in monitors. Here, we will find -in order of quality- the most basic and economic TN, MVA, PVA and IPS with its PLS variants. These IPS are surely the most suitable for all-purpose monitors due to their higher image quality, general performance and price.
The dedicated ones for games usually mount TN panels in the most economical models, since this type of panel allows to offer better benefits in aspects such as the higher update frequency or the response time. Improved and somewhat more expensive variants like GOESIn addition to maintaining gaming features, they improve other features for other computing uses.
Another group of panels that are coming to market are those based on OLED and its variants, although its price removes them for the time being from the consumer market. More offer will come in the future from the hand of mini LEDs, an improvement of the current LEDs that promise the quality of images, maximum brightness and blacks of OLED, but at a cheaper price, without problems such as the well-known ‘burned out’ and with easier to use on curved panels.
It is surely one of the first aspects to define before the purchase. Like a television, the size of a monitor is measured as the Diagonal distance from one vertex of the screen to the opposite set in inches. The average size of monitors has increased dramatically in recent years and from 20-21 inches it has gone beyond 24 ″ and more.
There is everything you are looking for to meet your needs, although you have to have the space available on the desk, because there are simply gigantic models that demand enormous tables. In these cases it is necessary to assess the width of the screen in centimeters. Also if you bet on multi-screen systems, less and less used before the increase in size, but still used.
The size of monitors starts at 14-15 inches offered by portable monitors and above ends at 65 inches of the new models of “Big Screen” exclusive to games and that more than monitors seem televisions in front of its gigantic diagonal. A larger size will generally offer us a greater field of view and productivity by having more elements on the screen, as long as it is combined with a higher resolution. It is convenient to find balance in it. A 40-inch monitor with low resolution will be too pixelated, while in a 21-inch model with 4K you will have to leave your eyes.
Resolution and aspect ratio
It is the number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen and we will see it as the maximum resolution or as the native screen resolution. For its differentiation we will mainly review the product of the width by the height in pixels, although we can also find them by the name of the standard (Full HD), the number of horizontal lines (1080p) or the horizontal resolution by the vertical (1920 x 1080 pixels) .
In monitors we should discard everything that comes down from Full HDalthough lower native resolutions can be found on portable monitors. From there, we will find trade names such as 2K, 4K, 5K, 6K and up to 8K that are making their way limitedly and that offer impressive resolutions of up to 7680 × 4800 pixels or WHUXGA.
The resolution is connected with the aspect ratio. This is the ratio between the width and height measurements of a monitor, calculated by dividing both and generally expressed as “X: Y”, although we can also find it by its commercial name, as an example “Ultrawide”. There are plenty of them, each with their own resolutions, although the most frequent on monitors currently are 16: 9, 16:10 or 21: 9.
As we said in the previous section, always look for the balance between resolution, aspect ratio and size And do not forget that the jump between the standards (for example from FHD to 2K) causes a great increase in the number of pixels that the screen can offer and with it demands a higher level of hardware, especially in the graphics card.
Brightness / Contrast / Color / Viewing Angles
The technical characteristics of the screens are other parameters to assess and each one is important depending on the type of use. The brightness level (don’t buy anything below 250 nits); static contrast ratio (850: 1 minimum) or viewing angles (176 degrees or higher) will be important features for an all-purpose monitor, while color representation and support (usually in%) to major palettes Color will be a section that should be valued preferably for image and video editing.
The games section is “free” and you can find monitors (quite unfortunate in brightness, contrast and color), but they are nevertheless excellent for games, as discussed in the panels section. You can review the characteristics in the technical sheet of each monitor.
Refresh Rate / Refresh Rate
Video game execution has become one of the segments that further drives sales on monitors. All manufacturers have specific series and you will see that most of the novelties are dedicated to them. As we said in previous sections, the execution of games on PCs requires performance in specific sections beyond brightness, contrast or color representation.
A key value is the refresh rate, referring to the ability to display images on a screen in one second and that you will see highlighted in hertz (Hz). Although it is a value of the monitor itself and should not be confused with FPS, which is the image rate generated by the computer, they usually coincide as the available “frame rate”.
In general, the greater the number, the better. In this type of gaming monitors you will see from 100 Hz to the new 360 Hz, and its level will depend on other parameters. The higher the resolution, the more difficult it will be to increase the refresh rate. To play you can use any type of monitor, but the exclusive ones for Gaming offer the best experience. In any case, remember, a specific top monitor for eSports with 240 Hz will be penalized in other sections, totally discarded for the slightest edition and inadvisable for general use.
Connected to the previous point, a good number of monitors have some of the available image synchronization technologies. They are dedicated to improving communication between the graphics processor and the monitor, eliminating image cuts or glitches that result in rendering delays, flickers, flares, or other artifacts. For it, sync screen refresh rates and GPUs, ensuring smooth performance, minimizing sequence clipping and input signal delay to improve response speed.
Currently we can find AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync, and in the near future we will see an Intel FreeSync. The AMD solution (as will Intel’s) is based on open standards and is free for manufacturers, so monitors are usually cheaper than those using NVIDIA and that includes a hardware module and a proprietary software. On select models sold starting in 2019, NVIDIA offers a “compatibility” mode with this technology, without the need for a dedicated chip.
Connectivity / Sound / Ergonomics
Today’s monitors offer quite a few input connectors. From the old analog VGA connections that can still be found for compatibility reasons, to the more modern digital ones such as those that use USB Type-C and / or Thunderbolt 3. The most widely used today are HDMI and / or Display Port. (If you have questions you can check our guide to screen interfaces).
Most monitors also offer a USB hub, a hub with multiple ports that we can use to connect peripherals, transfer data, or recharge mobile device batteries.
Monitor models focused on office or entertainment include integrated components such as webcams and microphones for videoconferencing. We will also find audio inputs / outputs and even their own speakers, but as with televisions very few offer quality audio solutions and it is preferable to opt for external components and not those integrated into the monitors, although they can be useful if you are not too Sound picky or you lack space on the desk.
Another important section for those who spend many hours a day in front of the screen is the ergonomics. In monitors we talk about the ability to place the screen in certain positions to adjust to the needs of each user. It is recommended that you have a good base that allows you to adjust the monitor at least in height. Other adjustments are pan, tilt or pivot. If you want to hang the monitor on the wall, either fixed or connected to other supports, you should look for it to be compatible with the VESA standard support.
Working with multiple monitors is a joy in a home or office, be it through a multi-screen system with a desktop computer or simply by connecting the laptop to one or several monitors. This allows us improve viewing capacity and productivity, expand the desktop, be able to work with a greater number of open applications in professional tasks of editing, programming, translation or financial tasks.
Also collaborate live with videoconferencing on the additional screen, run PC video games that extend their visualization on multiple screens and in general, for use by anyone who wants to see additional content while working, whether it is a streaming or Web page, improving productivity and wearing comfort.
The newest and most advanced equipment offers Thunderbolt 3 connections, the perfect port to connect one or several monitors, since in addition to enormous performance, it offers video, audio, data transmission and power in a single cable, as well as compatibility with USB Type ports. -C and also from native DisplayPort 1.2, third generation PCIe, HDMI 2 and USB 3.0 media. There are users who value its use, although these multi-screen modes tend to decrease before the impressive increase in screen size of the monitors themselves. Two 24 ″ or one 50-inch? There is everything.
All manufacturers include technologies that promise different image enhancements. There is a lot of marketing and it is preferable to assess on our own with all the above parameters. As with televisions, the ideal would be to be able to see it live and in a neutral environment, but it is not always possible. At least try to review reliable media reviews before purchase.
Yes, it is worth evaluating if it supports new standards such as HDR, the standard that defines and provides the high dynamic range or the proportion of light to dark areas in an image. Also interesting are those that have protection against blue light to reduce the damage that prolonged exposures have for our eyes.
In gaming monitors, we will also see aesthetic characteristics such as Lighting systems Customizable RGB or predefined game modes that adjust the monitor for use with different genres and other specific functions for shooting titles or esports. Finally, office or mixed-use models usually include multitasking functions that allow the screen to be divided into windows of different sizes and display picture-in-picture (PIP).
The most attractive: curved, 4K / 8K and panoramic
Leaving aside the monitors for games, whose dedicated models are as we have seen exclusively for that task and we would not recommend them as a screen for general use and much less for other uses such as production or editing, there are formats that stand out from the rest and of which we must know some particular aspects, because they may not be suitable for all users.
Most monitors still use flat panels, but one of the emerging technologies in monitors (just like televisions) is curved display. They promise greater immersion, in addition to improving vision on the sides, something necessary in view of the increase in average screen size. Its value can be seen established as the radius of curvature (1500R, 1800R, 1900R. Etc.) and indicates a greater or lesser curve, being practically the only technical parameter other than that of a flat monitor.
It should be noted that in large diagonals the feeling of immersion exists and the curved panel allows you to enjoy a Wider field of view and less distortion at the edges of the screen. It is important to note that, spending the same, we can buy a flat TV with better characteristics than the equivalent curved model. And try to see it live because not all users get used to these “curves”.
4K / 8K
The catalog of models with ultra high definition resolutions continue to grow and you can find 4K models (3840 x 2160 pixels) at impressive 7680 x 4320 8K pixels. In between we can find models with other resolutions such as 5K or 6K, but they are less used. In addition to resolution, the UHD standard requires an increase in the quality of panels, under PLS or Plane to Line Switching technology, that cover at least 100% of the sRGB color range and are Technicolor certified.
On a computer desktop, another issue to solve is that not all applications are optimized to operate at these resolutions. The main operating systems, Windows, OS X and Linux, do offer support although they should also be improved. The multimedia content is coming slowly (Blu-ray 4K or cloud services) and as for games, if you have had the opportunity to play them in 4K you will have verified that it is an amazing experience.
Although there are also models of economic range, this type of monitors require additional investment in hardware. In games, you need high-end equipment (especially a graphics card) to move them at reasonable rates because the 4K frame drop is brutal. And let’s not say anything about the 8K, which requires multi-graphic configurations in SLI or Crossfire, and not from the economic models. It is convenient to find a balance between all this.
Ultra-wide (or ultra-wide-screen) monitors are another of the current bets in the industry to boost sales of these peripherals. The defining characteristic is their aspect ratio, a measure of screen width to height ratio that we saw in the general characteristics. If in the older CRT monitors the most widespread ratio was 4: 3 (4 pixels wide by 3 pixels high), the arrival of the LCD and TFT models offered other formats that until then we only saw on cinematographic screens: 15; 9, 16:10 or 16: 9 which is the most widespread today.
To offer some of the benefits of increasing the amount of information (across the width) of multiscreen systems, the industry began to offer a 21: 9 format, which is the standard used in most movie recordings and their exhibition in movie theaters. The name of UltraWide monitors corresponds to this format with an actual ratio of 2.37: 1. The screen is wide, very wide, compared to 16: 9 and the format has not stopped there and we have already seen extreme models with a ratio of up to 32: 9.
Proponents of these types of formats for the computer desktop (among which I include myself fervently) value the greater horizontal viewing space which allows working with a greater number of open windows, greater immersion in video games and a perfect experience when it comes to watch movies. Not all are advantages. Vertical space is lost, which can affect, for example, web browsing or working with spreadsheets. Although its support has increased and any new game will support it, you can find previous titles that do not support it or do a correct escalation.
Monitor buying guide: models and prices
If you have come this far, you will have verified that choosing the ideal monitor is not easy if you value all its features. Fortunately, the offer is vast and you can find everything you are looking for. And that is why we limit ourselves to the consumer market and leave professionals out, although many of them can serve both worlds.
The general recommendation if the budget is limited is to forget about huge diagonals, great resolutions, curved panels, added features, ultra-panoramic or dedicated to games. It is preferable to buy a standard 23-inch Full HD monitor that includes a quality panel and good levels of brightness, contrast or color, than a 30-inch 4K monitor or a low-quality curved one. A good 2K is always better than a regular 4K. If we have a somewhat larger budget, as we should bear in mind that it is the most important peripheral and that we will renew it in quite a few years, it is advisable to buy something of good quality.
Since our last guide to buying monitors in October, most of the novelties have opted for the games sector as a spearhead to drive sales. Bezels and thickness have been reduced in a general trend of any type of electronic product; FreeSync and G-Sync have been included in more models; the use of USB Type-C and / or Thunderbolt 3 ports has increased; We have seen the launch of the 65-inch Big Format Gaming; the first OLEDs; the first 8K and improvements in image quality, refresh rates up to 360 Hz and response times below 1 millisecond.
As for prices, there is everything, ups and downs. The entry range is very cheap with models below 100 euros, while the premium range rises quite a bit, perhaps too much. In any case, there are good offers for all budgets. We separate them by resolution and add separately those that offer ultra-wide format. GOOD BUY!
Monitors up to FHD
Acer Essential – 19.5 ″ Monitor (LED screen, 1600 x 900 pixels), for 64 euros.
Philips 223V5LHSB2 / 00 – 21.5 ″ monitor (Full HD, HDMI), for 81 euros.
BenQ GW2270H – 21.5 ″ LED Monitor, for 93 euros.
ASUS VP228DE – 21.5 ″ Full HD Monitor (1920 x 1080 pixels, LCD, 5ms, 100000000: 1 contrast, 200 cd / m²), for 95 euros.
AOC 24B1XH – 24 ″ IPS for 99 euros.
HP 240 – 24 ″ Monitor (1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz), for 109 euros.
Samsung S24F350FHU – 24 ″ FHD LED Monitor for 110 euros.
AOC G2460VQ6 – 24 ″ monitor (1920 x 1080 resolution, WLED technology, 1000: 1 contrast, 1 ms, HDMI, VGA, Anti Blue Light, Flicker-free), for 118 euros.
Samsung S24D330H – 24 ″ monitor (1920 x 1080 pixels, LED, Full HD, 1000: 1), for 136 euros.
LG 24MP58VQ-P – 23.8 ″ LED Monitor (1920 x 1080, 5 ms, HDMI, DVI) for 149 euros.
Benq GL2760H – 27 ″ monitor (1920 x 1080p, LED, 250 cd / m2, HDMI): 158 euros.
LG 32MP58HQ-P 31.5 ″ Full HD IPS, for 179 euros.
MSI Optix MAG161V – Portable Monitor 16 ″ FullHD 60Hz, for 199 euros.
ASUS VG248QE – 24 ″ gaming monitor (144 Hz, LED backlit, FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16: 9, 350 cd / m2 brightness, 1 ms GTG response, 2 stereo 2W RMS speakers), for 199 euros.
LG 27MP38VQ-B.AEU, 27 inches FHD, for 199 euros.
Acer ED273widx 27 ″ Full HD VA White color PC screen – Monitor (68.6 cm (27 ″), 250 cd / m², 1920 x 1080 Pixels, 4 ms, LED, Full HD), for 229 euros.
MSI Optix G271 – Gaming 27 ″ FullHD 144Hz, for 249 euros.
BenQ Zowie XL2411 24 ″ LED 144Hz eSports, for 259 euros.
AOC G2590PX / G2 – 24 inches, FHD, specific for electronic sports.
ASUS VG278QR – 27 Inch Gaming Monitor, Full HD, 0.5 ms *, 165 Hz, G-Sync Compatible, Adaptive Sync, DVI, HDMI and Display Port, for 298 euros.
MSI Optix MAG271C – Curved Gaming 27 ″ LED FullHD 144Hz, for 299 euros.
LG 27GK750F-B 27 ″ Full HD TN Matte Black for gaming with 27 inches and 240 Hz refresh rate, for 319 euros.
Gigabyte AORUS CV27F – Gaming Monitor 27 ″, for 358 euros.
ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ, 27-inch VA, curved, with 144 Hz, for 359 euros.
Alienware AW2518HF – 25 inch FHD for gaming, for 359 euros.
Dell UltraSharp U2414H – 23.8 ″ LED Monitor (1920 x 1080p, 250 cd / m2, IPS, 8 ms, HDMI, DisplayPort), for 369 euros.
Alienware AW2518HF – 24.5 ″, 1 ms, 400 nits, for 385 euros.
Gigabyte AORUS KD25F. FHD – 25 inches – 240 Hz, for 475 euros.
HP OMEN X 25 – 25 Inch Gaming Monitor with G-Sync + Height Adjustable (TN, 240 Hz, 1 ms, FHD 1920 x 1080, 400 nits) Black, for 567 euros.
AOC Q3279VWF 31.5 ″ Quad HD for 259 euros.
HP Pavilion 27 – 27-inch Quantum Dot Panel with 2560 x 1440 pixels, USB-C, AMD FreeSync, for 303 euros.
LG 32QK500 – 2K 32-inch with IPS panel, for 320 euros.
HP 27xq – Quad HD. TN, 1 ms, AMD FreeSync, 144 Hz, for 333 euros.
MSI Optix G27CQ4 – Gaming Curved 27 ″ WQHD 165Hz, panel VA, for 349 euros.
Samsung Space Monitor 27 »QHD, 144 Hz, for 351 euros.
AOC AGON – 24 ″ Quad HD Monitor (2560 × 1440 pixels, 144 Hz), for 379 euros.
AOC AGON AG271QX – Gaming monitor (1 ms, 144 Hz, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 27 ″ Quad HD, Free-Sync compatible), for 360 euros.
Philips Brilliance – Monitor (80 cm (31.5 ″), 2K, for 399 euros.
AOC CQ32G1 – 32 inch 2K curved, for 413 euros.
DELL UltraSharp U2719DC 27 ″ Quad HD LED, for 426 euros.
MSI Optix MAG271CQR – Curved 27 ″, VA, 1800R curved screen, 1 ms response, brightness 400 nits, for 464 euros.
Lenovo G32qc– Gaming Curved 31.5 ″, 2K, 144 Hz, FreeSync, for 490 euros.
BenQ EX3203R – 32 ”Curved Monitor (2K QHD, 144 Hz, FreeSync 2, USB –C), for 498 euros.
LG 27GL850-B – Panel NanoIPS (2560 x 1440 pixels, 16: 9, 1 ms GtG, 144Hz, G-Sync) for 498 euros.
Acer Predator XB271HU – Gaming 27 ″, TN, for 499 euros.
LG 27GL83A-B Ultragear WQHD – IPS 27 Inches, 144 Hz, 1 ms GTG, G-Sync, Das Mode, for 508 euros.
AOC AG273QX – 27 ″ UHD 2K, 165 Hz, 4ms, FreeSync 2, € 529.
MSI Optix MAG322CQR – 31.5 ″, 165 Hz AMD FreeSync, for 534 euros.
ASUS MG279Q – 27 ″ gaming monitor (144 Hz, IPS, 2K resolution, 16: 9, 350 cd / m2 brightness, 4 ms GTG, Free Sync, for 537 euros.
HP OMEN X 27 – QHD (AMD FreeSync, DisplayPort, HDMI, Audio Output, 240 Hz, for 594 euros.
Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q 27 ″ 165Hz 2K FreeSync, for 623 euros.
AOC AGON – 27 ″ Quad HD G-Sync Monitor (2560 × 1440 pixels, 165 Hz), for 671 euros.
ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Monitor 27 ″, 165 Hz, G-Sync, 1 ms, for 699 euros.
AOC 27 »Gaming Agon Series AG273QCGAGON – QHD Curved, 165 Hz, 1 ms, for 746 euros.
Samsung U28E590D 28 ″ Monitor (LED, TN, 3840 x 2160 Pixels, Black, Silver, 1000: 1, Mega Contrast): 272 euros.
Philips 276E8VJSB – 27 inches with native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, for 298 euros.
Dell P2415Q 24 ″ Black, Silver 4K Ultra HD – Monitor (LED, IPS, 3840 x 2160 Pixels, Black, Silver, Kensington, 100 – 240 V), 392 euros.
LG 27UD58-B – 27-inch monitor, 4K UHD IPS, for 399 euros.
LG 27UD69-W 27 ″ LED 4K Ultra HD IPS, for 420 euros.
ASUS PB287Q – 28 ″ WLED Monitor (3840 × 2160) with TN technology: 451 euros.
Philips BDM4350UC – 43 ″ UHD 4K (3440 x 2160 Pixels resolution, WLED technology), for 502 euros.
Samsung Space – 32 ″ Monitor (4K, 4 ms, 60 Hz, Flicker-Free, LED, VA, 16: 9, 2500: 1, 250 cd / m²) for 527 euros.
LG 27UD68-W – 27 ″ Monitor (3840 x 2160 Pixels, LED, IPS, 1000: 1), for 547 euros.
Acer UM.PX1EE.001 TN 28 ″ Black, Red – Monitor (LED, TN, 3840 x 2160 Pixels, Black, Red, USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1), 1000: 1: 549 euros.
Philips 436M6VBPAB / 00 – 43-inch 4K HDR with Ambiglow, for 649 euros.
LG 31MU97Z-B, with 31 inches and native resolution 4096 x 2160 pixels, for 799 euros.
ASUS PA328Q – Monitor (81.28 cm (32 ″), 6 ms, 350 cd / m², 6W, Black, Kensington): 899 euros.
Samsung LC49HG90DMU. 49-inch QLED panel with 4K resolution, for 992 euros.
LG 25UM58-P – 25 ″ LED (UltraWide 21: 9) for 179 euros.
LG 29UM69G-B – IPS (2560 x 1080 pixels, 21: 9, 1 ms with MBR, 75Hz, FreeSync, for 244 euros.
LG 34UM69G-B – (34 inches, WFHD IPS, 2560 x 1080 pixels, 5 ms, 21: 9, 250 cd / m2, AMD FreeSync), for 358 euros.
AOC CU34G2 / BK – 34 ″ WQHD Curved (3440 x 1440 Resolution, 1 ms, 100 Hz, VA, FreeSync) for € 529.
Samsung C34H892 – 34 ″ Curved UltraWide, 100 Hz, FreeSync, QLED, VA, 21: 9, 3000: 1, 1800R, 599 euros.
Acer Predator Z35P – Curved 35 inches and resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels, for 699 euros.
LG 34UC99-W – Professional Curved UltraWide WQHD 86.7 cm (34 ″) with IPS Panel (3440 x 1440 pixels (, 699 euros.
Samsung C34F791WQU – 34 ″ LED UltraWide QHD Curved FreeSync, for 749 euros.
Dell UltraSharp U3419W LED 3440 x 1440 Pixels, WQHD, LED, 8 ms, Black, Gray, for 860 euros.
LG 38UC99-W, 38-inch IPS with a resolution of 3840 x 1600 pixels. 879 euros.
Acer Predator Z35. 35-inch gaming, with WQHD resolution (2560 × 1080 pixels), Refreshment Ratio 144Hz, G-Sync, for 890 euros.
ASUS XG49VQ – 49-inch Curved UltraWide Quad HD LED Curved, for 910 euros.
Alienware AW3418DW – WQHD 34-inch curve, for 936 euros.
ASUS ROG PG348Q – 34 ″ Monitor (WLED, IPS, HDMI 3440 x 1440, G-Sync, for 957 euros.
Philips 439P9H / 00 – Curved 43 ″ – 3480 × 1200, 100 Hz, HDR, Built-in webcam, Speakers, HDMI, Displayport, USB, for 954 euros.
ASUS ROG Swift PG349Q – 34.14 ″ FHD Monitor (Not Bright, 21: 9, 3440 x 1440, IPS, 120 Hz, 4 ms), for 1,195 euros.
ASUS ProArt PA34VC – 34.1 ″ UWWHD Monitor (LED, 1900R Curve, HDR-10, 100% sRGB, Hardware Calibration, 0.1 ms) Black, for 1,142 euros.