Getting the best monitor you can afford will make your life so much simpler. After all, the monitor is the window into the computer’s soul. Everything is easier to digest, whether it’s watching a movie, photo editing or reading an ebook. And the better the monitor, the more immersive your experience will be. While there are quite a few displays which are outrageously expensive, you can still grab one of the best monitors for a decent price. Whatever your budget, you can get a great display.
What is the best monitor for you? Maybe it’s one with insanely fast refresh rates, or a massive screen, or even an especially high resolution. Or maybe you’ll want a gaming monitor to pair with the best gaming PCs. If you’re rocking an ultrabook as your main rig, maybe the best USB-C monitors are the way to go. Regardless, there’s something to meet any need.
We’ve compiled a list of our picks for the best monitor, all rigorously evaluated here at TechRadar, for your consideration. Whether you’re a gamer, a video editor, or just looking for a better display, you’ll find the best monitor for you below.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals period coming soon, we are starting to see some brilliant deals on the best monitors money can buy. If you're buying a monitor during Black Friday, make sure you look closely at the specs, so you know what you're getting. Of course, to make things easier, you can pick any of the screens in our best monitors list and know that you're getting a top-notch monitor, and our price comparison tool will ensure you get the best prices as well.
Best monitors 2019 at a glance:
- BenQ PD3200U
- AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
- Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
- Acer Predator X34
- Asus Designo Curve MX38VC
- Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
- BenQ EX3203R
- Alienware 25
- BenQ Zowie XL2540
- MSI Optix MPG341CQR
1. BenQ PD3200U
Top for (some of) the gamers and pros
Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 8.5kg
Now that the best PCs can handle 4K easier than ever before, the best 4K monitors are all over the place. That’s why BenQ released the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, as part of its Designer Monitor range. 3D designers particularly love this display, thanks to the factory-calibrated color accuracy and CAD/CAM mode. Marketed to creatives and professionals, BenQ has designed, seemingly by mistake, a panel that gamers will enjoy as well, making it one of the best monitors all-around – so long as they can find the space for it on their desks.
Read the full review: BenQ PD3200U
2. AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
Ultra-wide on steroids
Screen size: 35-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 2,500:1: | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 26 pounds
Though the AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition is a gaming monitor through and through, it’s one of the best monitors if you’re wanting an ultra-wide display. With its exceptional color support, strong contrast ratio incredibly speedy 120Hz refresh rate, everything you do on your PC will look better and feel faster. It’s on the more expensive side, but this ultra-wide monitor can significantly boost productivity, making it totally worth the hefty price. As long as you have the hardware to drive it, it’s one of the best monitors money can buy.
Read the full review: AOC Agon AG352UCG6 Black Edition
3. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
Expensive, but beautiful
Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 600 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 50,000:1 | Color support: Adobe RGB 99% | Weight: 28 pounds
If you’ve been searching for one of the best monitors, and you’re ready to just give up and buy the most expensive monitor you can find, you’re in luck. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ combines so many high-end features that it almost seems like too much. It doesn’t just feature a 4K UHD display at 144Hz, but it also rocks Nvidia G-Sync and HDR. This is simply the best monitor on the market, but it will also cost an arm and a leg. If you’re playing games, doing photo and video editing work, or even just general desktop work, you can’t go wrong with this monitor, as long as you have the cash to shell out.
Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ
4. Acer Predator X34
A gaming monitor with attitude
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440 x 1440 Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms G2G (grey-to-grey) | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 100 million:1 | Colour support: SRGB 100% | Weight: 9.9kg
When you’re growing tired of the same old 16:9 aspect ratio, nothing hits the spot like a cinematic 21:9 display. It’s not the best for watching Netflix or YouTube, but the Acer Predator X34 is a fantastic example of what an ultra-wide monitor can do. Boasting an eye-catching aluminum bezel and polygonal stand that looks like a bird’s foot, this massive 34-inch monitor is a marvel to behold. More significantly, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, you won’t require V-Sync stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. This is about as immersive as a gaming monitor can get, and one of the best monitors to buy this 2019.
Read the full review: Acer Predator X34
5. Asus Designo Curve MX38VC
Whole wide world
Screen size: 37.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 1,600 | Brightness: 300 cd/m2 | Response time: 5ms G2G (grey-to-grey) | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: 1.07 million colors | Weight: 9.9kg
Ultrawide monitors have been around for a while: they’ve constantly made it on folks’ the best monitors list for a few years now, in fact. These wide monitors are lifesavers when it comes to productivity, and they’re only increasing in popularity. The Asus Designo Curve MX38VC, however, takes it to the next level. Not only does this monitor have a massive 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, but with USB-C compatibility and a Qi wireless charger built into the base, it’s going to be a workplace companion you won’t want to live without. It’s a tad pricey, and doesn’t feature HDR, but that’s a worthy sacrifice, especially for professionals.
Read the full review: Asus Designo Curve MX38VC
6. Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
Back to the future
Screen size: 32-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 6ms | Viewing angle: N/A | Contrast ratio: 1,300:1 | Color support: sRGB 100% | Weight: 8.5kg
We don’t usually run into technology that’s so far ahead of the curve that we’re left dumbfounded, which is why the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K has impressed us even more. Finding one of the best monitors that can reach the raw gorgeousness this one can should be next to impossible. It’s not just the resolution, either. Dell went so far as to ensure that the build quality and color reproduction are the best in the business as well. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is aimed at professionals, obviously, so if that sounds like it’s made for you, it’s probably the best monitor you’ll ever find.
Read the full review: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K
- This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the BenQ PD3200U
7. BenQ EX3203R
Screen size: 31.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 4ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 3,000:1 | Color support: DCI-P3 90% | Weight: 13.4kg
If you’re looking for a first-rate 1440p monitor with HDR for multimedia and gaming, then the BenQ EX3203R might be the display for you. One of the best monitors this 2019, this one’s noteworthy as it offers a ton of high-end features in a product that is very reasonably priced. Sure, 32 inches might sound like a bit much for a monitor, but the 1800R curvature on this BenQ panel means that it’s easy to use, both for productivity, as well as for immersion in your games and media.
Read the full review: BenQ EX203R
- This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer S277HK
8. Alienware 25
A ubiquitous solution to screen tearing
Screen size: 24.5-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: sRGB 119% | Weight: 11.7kg
If you’re on a tight budget, then this might break the bank – like any Alienware product would. Still, Dell’s 25-inch gaming monitor will all but eliminate screen tearing, and whether you’re using an AMD Radeon VII or an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, there’s a configuration for you. With G-Sync or FreeSync taking some of the heavy lifting off the GPU that would otherwise be spent on VSync, the Alienware 25’s 120Hz refresh rate might actually be reasonable. The 1ms response time? Well, that’s just the cherry on top.
Read the full review: Alienware 25
9. BenQ Zowie XL2540
A monitor tailored to the needs of professional gamers
Screen size: 24-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 | Brightness: 400 cd/m2 | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 170/160 | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: NTSC 72% | Weight: 7.5kg
It might seem farfetched, but the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is every bit the gaming monitor that the Asus Predator X34 is. While it may not appear like it from the outside looking in, it does its job incredibly well too, giving up dazzling lighting effects for a ridiculous 240Hz refresh rate and almost-instantaneous 1ms response time. There’s no G-Sync or FreeSync, as this monitor assumes you already have a rig that’s more than capable of eliminating screen tears without any help. Instead, this monitor keeps it simple by providing you with lots of visual presets, an “S Switch” control pod for managing those presets and a pair of adjustable light screens.
Read the full review: BenQ Zowie XL2540
10. MSI Optix MPG341CQR
MSI’s hot new 34-inch gaming monitor
Screen size: 34-inch | Aspect ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440 | Brightness: 400 nits | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Response time: 1ms | Viewing angle: 178/178 | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 | Color support: sRGB 105% | Weight: 21.16 pounds
If you’re searching for a gaming monitor with a super-wide 1440p resolution, incredibly fast response time of 1ms, a viewing angle of 178 degrees and a quick refresh rate, then the MSI Optix MPG341CQR is something you should consider. If not for those, then perhaps for the fact that MSI has decided to go with a VA panel, as opposed to IPS, giving it more contrast and punchier colors. A few bonuses are included, as well: snazzy “Mystic Light” RGD LEDs, USB-C connectivity, an integrated camera and a competitive price.
Read the full review: MSI Optix MPG341CQR
Gabe Carey, Bill Thomas and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
Image Credits: TechRadar