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Tech

Best Computer Monitor

Choosing the right monitor is an extremely important step in any PC setup. Your high-end graphics card and processor won't mean anything if your monitor doesn't have the ability to display accurate color and contrast at the appropriate resolution, and different rigs require different specifications. For example, a gaming rig works best with fast response times and high resolution, but doesn't necessarily require the perfect color accuracy and display tweaking options that a professional photographer or graphic designer's monitor should. To help you navigate these waters of technical specifications and screen types, check out the computer monitor buyer’s guide below for all the information you need before making a purchase.

BenQ GL2760H Monitor

BenQ GL2760H Monitor

This monitor is the largest on our list, featuring a full twenty-seven inch display area with a an outstanding horizontal viewing angle of one hundred seventy degrees so images are full visible from far off center views. It also features full 1920 x 1080 resolution for full HD viewing in addition to an excellent contrast ration of twelve million to one. It also has an outstanding brightness of three hundred cd/m2 and an excellent response time at two milliseconds. This monitor has been designed with Zeroflicker technology to help eliminate image flickering and the only downside to this monitor is its high cost in this category, but you won't find a larger or better built monitor for this price. This monitor comes covered by a three year manufacturer’s warranty.

ASUS VS Series VS247H-P Monitor

ASUS VS Series VS247H-P Monitor

This is an outstanding design offering a great deal of value at a low price. It features a viewing area of twenty-three inches and a full HD display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Along with a wide one-hundred seventy degree viewing angle, you’re getting some top notch image quality that’s second to none. It offers an outstanding contrast ration of fifty million to one as well as featuring a best in class brightness of three hundred candelas per square meter. Combined with all this is a fast response time of only two milliseconds in addition to great hardware connectivity offering D-SUB, DVI-D and HDMI input ports, making it comparable with a very wide range of both older and newer GPU's.

ASUS VS239H-P Full HD Back-lit LED Monitor

This is another outstanding offering from Asus that offers a lot for just a little money. First, it features a very high quality, IPS, twenty-three inch display paired with a slim bezel design. The result is a very pleasing monitor to look that fits right in with high-end hardware. It offers an outstanding contrast ratio of eighty million to one along with an excellent brightness of two-hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and a low response time of just five milliseconds. It also uses a full 1920x1080 HD resolution and a class leading viewing angle of one hundred seventy eight degrees. On top of all this is a three year manufacturer’s warranty to protect your investment.

ViewSonic VA2349S LED-Lit LCD Full HD Monitor

This outstanding budget monitor features a high quality IPS display panel with a viewing area of twenty three inches and a viewing angle of one hundred seventy eight degree at a full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It features a brightness of two hundred fifty candelas per square meters, a great contrast ratio of twenty million to one, and low response time of five milliseconds means this display will yield excellent image quality. A downside to this monitor is it offers just a D-SUB and a DVI input port, so you'll have to look elsewhere if you need a HDMI input port. However, this is a great value for just a little money, so long as you can get along without an HDMI port for your video card.

Acer G247HYL Full HD Widescreen Monitor

This offering from Acer brings an IPS panel, great looks and a twenty-three inch display to our list at a good price, although does cost a little bit more than some monitors on our list. It features a display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels with an outstanding contrast ratio of one hundred million to one. Likewise, this monitor’s response time is excellent, coming in at just four milliseconds. Add in a brightness of two hundred fifty candelas and the result is a great looking monitor which delivers excellent image quality. If you don't mind paying slightly more than other monitors on this list, it’s hard to go wrong with this pick.

LG Electronics MP Series 22MP57HQ 22" Screen LCD Monitor

This outstanding offering from top-tier manufacturer, LG, finds a place on our list for its excellent image quality and great input connectivity. It offers outstanding viewing imagery for a number of reasons. It features a high quality IPS display panel, an excellent contrast ratio of five million to one, and a class leading resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Additionally, it offers outstanding brightness coming in at two hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). It has a great response time of just five milliseconds and features an outstanding viewing angle of on hundred seventy degrees. Finally, this monitor offers great connectivity with a D-Sub and HDMI input ports. All of this comes at a higher cost than some of the displays on my list, but for the money you're getting one great display.

Viewsonic VA2246m 22-inch Full-HD LED Monitor

This award winning twenty-two inch class display comes with outstanding specifications at a great price. It features a display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels which is at the top of class for this size of monitor. It offers an outstanding contrast ration of ten million to one and an excellent brightness of two hundred and fifty candelas per square meter. The viewing angle is excellent at one hundred seventy degrees for off-angle viewing and great response time of five milliseconds for flicker-free imaging. The only downside to this display is it offers excellent input connectivity with a D-Sub port and a DVI port, although it doesn't offer an HDMI port. Still, you're getting a superior monitor even though you're paying a bargain price.

ViewSonic VX2270Smh-LED 22" LED LCD Monitor

This is the second award winning offering from Viewsonic to find a place on our list and for good reason of course. It features a best in class IPS display with a contrast ratio of thirty million to one and excellent brightness coming in at two hundred fifty candelas per square meter. It offers class leading display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and an outstanding viewing angle of one hundred seventy-eight degrees. While the response time is just seven milliseconds, it's a little slower than some of the other picks on our list. Hardware connectivity is outstanding with D-Sub, DVI and HDMI posts. All in all, this a great offering whose only downsides is a price that’s a little higher than some and a little slower response time.

HP Pavilion 22xw 21.5" IPS LED Backlit Monitor

This outstanding offering from Hewlett-Packard find a place on my list for a number of reasons. It features a twenty-two inch IPS display panel and great image quality with top of class specifications. It offers an outstanding contrast ratio of ten million to one, and top of class brightness of two hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). This monitor a response time of seven milliseconds which is excellent as well as offering great connectivity options  with both D-Sub and HDMI ports. Finally it offers class a class leading viewing angle of one hundred and seventy-eight degrees. For a price that wont empty your pockets, this a a great offering if you can be satisfied with a response time that's a little slower than some of our other picks.

Philips Brilliance 22" LED LCD Monitor - 220B4LPCB

This a a fine offering from top tier manufacturer, Phillips. It has a lot going for it with a contrast ratio of twenty million to one. Likewise brightness is outstanding coming in a two hundred and fifty candelas per square meter. Viewing angles are excellent at one hundred and seventy degrees. Response time is very good at seven milliseconds. However, unlike some of the other monitors on my list, this display offers a slightly lower display resolution of 1680x1050 pixels but the tradeoff is you're getting both D-Sub and DVI input posts for excellent hardware compatibility. If you can get by with the lower display resolution this is an excellent display that will give you great imagery.

Viewsonic VX2475Smhl-4K 24" Monitor

This is an exceptional display from Viewsonic that offers a best in class 4K viewing resolution of 3840x2160 pixels. As such it's image quality is second to none in this size class. However, such a high quality display comes at a higher cost than most monitors in this category. In keeping with its class leading specifications it offers a class leading contrast ration of one hundred twenty million to one, and an outstanding brightness of three hundred candelas per square meter (cd/m2) with response times coming in at just three milliseconds. Viewing angles are also great coming in at one hundred seventy-eight degrees. It also has a full suit of input ports, offering HDMI/MHL, HDMI and DisplaPort inputs to accommodate high-end GPU that are needed to drive a panel with such high resolution. If you want the best of the best and don't mind paying the price premium, this display is the one to get.

Philips 242G5DJEB Extreme Performance 24" Professional Gaming Monitor

This is a top of class gaming monitor from highly respected manufacturer, Philips. It features a class leading refresh rate of one hundred forty-four hertz for flicker-free video at the high frame rates offered by top-end graphics cards. However, it must be noted that its high refresh rate is available only through its dual link DVI input ports. It features an outstanding contrast ration of eighty million to one, and a brightness of three hundred fifty to one candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Response times are also at the top of the class at only one millisecond, once again ensuring flicker-free imagery at high frame rates. It offers exceptional connectivity with D-Sub, DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI ports to accommodate virtually any GPU setup. Resolution is excellent at 1920x1080 pixels. All in all, this is an outstanding offering for a twenty-four inch gaming monitor whose only downside it its cost, but as always, high-quality demands higher prices.

ASUS 24" Back lit LED Monitor - VS248H-P

This is a very good looking display at a price that won't break the bank but despite its low price, this monitor doesn't sacrifice on image quality. It uses a top notch IPS display panel offering excellent specifications and a display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels for sharp images. It features an outstanding contrast ratio of eighty million to one, and a brightness of two hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). The monitor also is designed with an ultra-slim bezel frame design making it ideal for two and three monitor setups. It offers a viewing angle of one hundred seventy eight degrees, once again lending itself well to those of you with multi-display setups. Refresh rates are excellent coming in at five milliseconds for flicker free imagery.

Dell 24" Monitor - S2415H

This is a fine offering from Dell that has an extremely slim bezel just a touch over six millimeters wide, making this an outstanding monitor for seamless multi display setups. It offers a class leading viewing angle of one hundred seventy eight degree, for outstanding off center viewing that, once again, lends this display to multi panel configurations. This monitor also features a low six millisecond response time, that's very good but not up to the same standard as some of the other displays on our list. However, it does utilize a very high quality IPS panel with a contrast ratio of eight million to one and a brightness level of two hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) for great looking images. While it's cost and feature list is not quite as good as more expensive displays, this monitor will nonetheless serve up great images.

Samsung 23.6" Screen LED-Lit Monitor - S24E360HL

This is an excellent offering from well respected maker Samsung that offers outstanding specifications at a price that won't empty your wallet. It offers a PLS display panel with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels with a low response time of just four milliseconds for images that are sharp and flicker free. It has a brightness of two hundred fifty candelas per square meter and a viewing angle that's an outstanding one hundred seventy eight degrees. It come with good input connectivity offering both D-Sub and HDMI inputs, so it should be able to accommodate most modern GPU's. This is an inexpensive offering for the value conscious buyer that brings great specs and sharp images to the table.

Dell U3014 UltraSharp 30" PremierColor Monitor

This outstanding offering from Dell features a high quality 2K IPS panel and a stand that tilts and swivels and has accommodations for wall mounts, giving it excellent setup flexibility. It also features class leading input compatibility with HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini-DP and DVI ports as well as a built in media reader. Specifications are outstanding as well with a brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2), a very good contrast ratio of two million to one, and response times are outstanding as well coming in at just six milliseconds. Best of all, all this quality comes at a price that's among the best to make our list given the quality you're getting.

HP Commercial Specialty 30" Z30i IPS Monitor

This is a class leading display from HP that offers an IPS panel with one hundred percent RGB color calibration for stunningly accurate image color and and 2K (2560x1600) image resolution. If you're looking for a monitor for professional use in areas such as graphic design, this display is a excellent choice. A top notch suite of specifications round out this great offering with a quick response time of eight milliseconds which moderately slower than some displays to make my list, but nonetheless still very good. It has top of class brightness of three hundred and fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2), contrast at fifty million to one, and a one hundred seventy-eight degree viewing angle. All-in-all, this is a top notch offering with few downsides.

NEC Monitor EA304WMI-BK-SV 30" Screen LED-Lit Monitor

A great offering from class leader, NEC this fine 2K display with a high performance AH-IPS panel. It features great connectivity with a built-in USB hub and inputs for DVI, HDMI DisplayPort, and D-SUB video card connectors It offers best in class viewing angles of one hundred seventy-eight degrees, a quick response time of only six milliseconds, and it has a brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). However, this comes at a higher price than some of the displays on my list. While it is hard to fault this monitors display characteristics, if you decide on this offering, take note it comes at a premium price.

NEC Monitor PA302W-BK 30" Screen LED-Lit Monitor

This display from NEC is intended for professional use and as such it offers ninety-nine point three percent color color coverage for ultra-accurate images intended for high end graphic designers and other professionals. It suite of specifications spell out how well rounded this display is. It has a class leading viewing angle of one hundred seventy-eight degrees and a quick response time just six milliseconds, placing it among the best in class. Likewise, it has outstanding brightness of three hundred fort candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Offering a built-in USB hub, this quality display will serve any user well who demands the utmost in professional image quality.

Prolite XB3070WQS-B1 30" Heigh Adjustable Monitor

Iiyama is not as well known as many manufactures here in the US, but it nonetheless has been around since the days of CRT's and are known for high quality products and excellent customer support. It feature a high performance 2K (2560x1600) resolution AH-IPS panel, an excellent contrast ratio of five million to one, and a brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). It also has outstanding response times of only five milliseconds. It offers built-in speakers and excellent input connectivity with HDMI, D-Sub, DVI-D and DispyPort ports for high-end GPU support. This offering from Iiyama brings outstanding specifications with it at a price that is very competitive.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K 27" Monitor

This is a class leading offering for Viewsonic that features 4K (4k (3840 x 2160) resolution for the sharpest, most well defined imaging. However, if you plan to buy a 4K monitor for gaming you should make sure your GPU is up to the task of displaying such a high resolution at acceptable frame rates. A full suite of outstanding specifications round out this display. Brightness is three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2), while the contrast ration comes in at an outstanding twenty million to one for excellent color definition with refresh rates are also being very good at five milliseconds. Great images aren't all this display has to offer as hardware compatibility is also outstanding with an HDMIport, DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, and dual MLH ports. It also includes four USB 3.0 posts with USB charging during standby mode. In the end, this monitor top of class hardware if your PC video cards are up to the task of pushing very high resolutions.

BenQ BL2711U 27-Inch IPS 4k Monitor 27" Screen LED-Lit Monitor

This excellent offering from BenQ is designed with CAD/CAM designers in mind, but these same features make this display top notch for any user. It uses a high quality IPS panel that offers true to life one hundred percent RGB color calibration for color-perfect images as well as a response time of only four milliseconds. This monitor uses full 4K (3840x2160) resolution to ensure the sharpest imagery, an outstanding contrast ratio of twenty million to one, and a brightness of three hundred candelas per square meter (cd/m2). It offers great hardware connectivity options with DVI-DL, HDMI, and Displayport input for adaptability with high-end GPU''s in addition to four USB 2.0 ports. features a stand that allows the display to be pivoted ninety degrees for the most flexible panel setups.

ASUS MX27AQ 27" Back-lit LED Monitor

This is an outstanding offering from Asus which finds it's place among the best of the best for a number of reasons. First, it features built in speaks designed with Bang & Olufsen technology for great sound out of the box. Next, it offers 2k (2560x1440) resolution for extremely sharp images with high-end graphic processing units. It also features best in class viewing angles of one hundred seventy-eight degree, lending itself well to mulch-display setups. It also offers an outstanding contrast ratio of one hundred million to one and an equally impressive brightness of three hundred candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Finally, this monitor features low response times of only five milliseconds. Best of all, it's outstanding image quality comes at a great price that wont bleed your bank account dry.

Dell UltraSharp U2715H 27" Screen LED-Lit Monitor

This outstanding offering from Dell uses 2k (2560x1440) resolution to give you outstanding, sharp images with a low response time of only six milliseconds. While it has an excellent contrast ratio of two million to one which falls shy of the capabilities of other picks on our list, the majority of users out there will have no issues with this displays contrast. It also offers top of class brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). For user convenience it features a built-in USB 3.0 hub in addition to a slim bezel frame that works well with mule-monitor setups. Let's not forget it also offers a class leading IPS display panel with outstanding specifications. All-in-all, this display is an outstanding value that has few downsides.

Asus Professional 27" LED LCD Monitor - PB278Q

This is another display from Asus which makes for a great offering at a price that won't empty your wallet. First, it offers great 2k (2560x1440) resolution for ultra sharp, off-center viewing with a one hundred seventy-eight degree viewing angle that will be of great use for those of you working with multi-display setups. Image brightness is also excellent at three hundred candelas per square inch as well as superior ccontrast rated at eighty million to one. Let's not forget about the refresh rates which are also very good at five milliseconds. All the hardware connectivity you need for your devices is here with HDMI, DiSib, Dual link DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs. If your budget can't afford a more expensive 4k display or if your graphics processing unit isn't up to pushing 4k resolutions, it's hard to go wrong with this monitor if you still want a high performance display.

LG Electronics 29" Screen LED-lit Monitor - UM67 29UM67

This 29 inch display from LG features AMD Free-Sync technology for flicker-free images, an ultra wide 21:9 form factor, and 2560x1080) resolution. Additionally, a full set of excellent specifications complete its feature set. First, it has a brightness of three hundred candelas per square meter (cd/m2) in addtion to an outstanding contrast ration of five million to one. Likewise, its response time is just five milliseconds which is outstanding for an IPS panel which typically have response times that are higher than comparable TN panels. Finally it features ninety-nine percent RGB color coverage for extremely accurate color imaging.

Dell U3014 UltraSharp 30" PremierColor Monitor

This outstanding offering from Dell features a high quality 2K IPS panel and a stand that tilts and swivels and has accommodations for wall mounts, giving it excellent setup flexibility. It also features class leading input compatibility with HDMI, DisplayPort, Mini-DP and DVI ports as well as a built in media reader. Specifications are outstanding as well with a brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2), a very good contrast ratio of two million to one, and response times are outstanding as well coming in at just six milliseconds. Best of all, all this quality comes at a price that's among the best to make our list given the quality you're getting.

Acer 27" Widescreen Monitor - XB270HU

This 27 inch display from Acer comes with perks such as G-Sync and built-in USB 3.0 ports. It also brings to the table a four millisecond response time with is best in class for IPS monitors. Likewise, it has a one hundred forty-four hertz refresh rate which places it among the best of the best. It has a brightness of three hundred and fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and a contrast ratio of one thousand to one which might sound low, but is par for the course for displays measured in the protocol used for this panel. An outstanding viewing angle of one hundred and seventy-eight degrees rounds out the top of class specifications this display offers. The price you pay for this excellence is also very good for a 27 inch display.

ASUS 24" Back lit LED Monitor - VS248H-P

This is a very good looking display at a price that won't break the bank but despite its low price, this monitor doesn't sacrifice on image quality. It uses a top notch IPS display panel offering excellent specifications and a display resolution of 1920x1080 pixels for sharp images. It features an outstanding contrast ratio of eighty million to one, and a brightness of two hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2). The monitor also is designed with an ultra-slim bezel frame design making it ideal for two and three monitor setups. It offers a viewing angle of one hundred seventy eight degrees, once again lending itself well to those of you with multi-display setups. Refresh rates are excellent coming in at five milliseconds for flicker free imagery.

ViewSonic 27" LED-Lit Professional Monitor - VP2770

This award winning display from Viewsonic offers a great deal at a price that's very reasonable. This is a 27 inch panel that uses a display resolution of 2560x1440 for full 2K viewing. It features a contrast ratio of twenty million to one which is outstanding while the brightness is also top notch at three hundred candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Response time is rated at twelve milliseconds which is bit high but not unacceptably so. It offers DisplayPort, HDMI, Dual-Link DVI and VGA input ports for excellent hardware comparability. It also has a built-in USB hub with a generous number of ports, offering two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports. In the end, this is a top notch panel and deserves serious consideration from any consumer just so long as you don't mind a slightly higher response rate than the competition.

Asus Professional 27" LED LCD Monitor - PB278Q

This is another display from Asus which makes for a great offering at a price that won't empty your wallet. First, it offers great 2k (2560x1440) resolution for ultra sharp, off-center viewing with a one hundred seventy-eight degree viewing angle that will be of great use for those of you working with multi-display setups. Image brightness is also excellent at three hundred candelas per square inch as well as superior ccontrast rated at eighty million to one. Let's not forget about the refresh rates which are also very good at five milliseconds. All the hardware connectivity you need for your devices is here with HDMI, DiSib, Dual link DVI-D and DisplayPort inputs. If your budget can't afford a more expensive 4k display or if your graphics processing unit isn't up to pushing 4k resolutions, it's hard to go wrong with this monitor if you still want a high performance display.

Apple Thunderbolt 27" Display MC914LL/B

Apples' own Thunderbolt display is a 27 inch panel suited to perfectly complement your MacBook or MacBook Pro. It has a brightness of 375 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and a contrast ration of one thousand to one. However, it's response time is on the high side coming in at 12 milliseconds which isn’t quite as good as other displays on our list. This pick does make up for this minor shortcoming by offering a nice range of built-in features including an HD camera, speakers, and microphone. While priced a bit on the high side for a display of this size, it’s nonetheless an outstanding option.

Dell Ultra HD 27" Screen 5K LED-Lit Monitor - UP2715K

This outstanding 27 inch monitor stands out from the crowd by featuring a 5K display resolution of 5120x2180 pixels in addition to offering great specifications for an IPS display. Its contrast ratio is rated at eight million to one with a low response time of just eight milliseconds while brightness is also excellent, coming in at 350 candelas per square meter (cd/m2). The viewing angle is also top notch at one hundred seventy-eight degrees for off-angle viewing which will allow it to fit into multi-panel setups with ease. This monitor also comes equipped with a built-in USB 3.0 hub with six USB ports.

Dell 27" Screen LED-lit Monitor - U2713HM

This 27 inch display from Dell offers full 2K (2560 x1440) resolution, 99 percent RGB color calibration for the truest to life color fidelity, and excellent contrast rated at two million to one. Its brightness clocks in at three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) while response time is also excellent at eight milliseconds, exceptional for an IPS panel. This monitor offers outstanding hardware connectivity with HDMI, dual link DVI-D, DisplayPort, and D-Sub inputs to accommodate high-end GPU's; let’s also not forget the built-in USB 3.0 hub with five USB ports. In the end, this display is a good value for the money when you take into account it's specifications and features.

NEC MultiSync EA244WMI-BK 24" Screen LED-Lit Monitor

This is a great offering from NEC that features a 24 inch IPS panel with visual specifications which put it among the best of the best in its class. It has excellent contrast rated at twenty-five thousand to one, brightness levels at 350 candelas per square meter (cd/m2), while response times are only six milliseconds which places it in the top tier for IPS panels. The monitors viewing angle is also outstanding at one hundred seventy-eight degrees. In terms of extras built-in features, this pick offers a four port USB hub, speakers, and excellent hardware compatibility with HDMI, DVI, D-Sub and DisplayPort inputs.

ASUS 27" Back-lit LED G-SYNC Gaming Monitor - PG278Q

This outstanding twenty-seven inch display is from Asus' Republic of Gamers line of products. As such, it offers several exceptional features to place it among the best of the best. It features Nvida G-Sync display technology for tear-free motion and supports Nvidia 3D vision for 3D viewing on up to three displays. Alongside these is a full suite of specifications that put this display at the top of its class. It has an outstanding response time of only one millisecond, an adjustable refresh rate of 60, as well as one 120 and 144 hertz. It has great brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and uses full 2K resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. Best of all, it comes at a price that won't empty your pocket book.

BenQ XL2420Z 24" Screen LED-Lit Professional Gaming Monitor

This 24 inch gaming monitor from BenQ offers excellent specifications and a price that’s sure to appeal to shoppers. First, this display is certified for Nvidia 3D vision 1 and 2. It also features Nvidia LightBoost technology which increases the brightness of the display for better 3D imaging. Designed specifically with gamers in mind, this pick incorporates technology for reducing eye strain as well as ensuring blur-free gaming motion.

In terms of essential specs, this monitor starts off with a refresh rate of 144 hertz, and an ultra-low response time of only one millisecond to bring you tear and stutter-free images. It has an excellent brightness of 300 candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and an outstanding contrast ratio of twelve million to one. Viewing angle are also top of class, coming in at 170 degrees in addition to full HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Although this isn't quite as good as the resolution available on 2K displays, it’s still very good for a display of this size. With little in the way of downsides, this is an outstanding offering.

ASUS VG248QE 24" Screen LED-lit Monitor

This is another exceptional offering from Asus, a top tier manufacturer of quality monitors. This award winning design supports the popular 3D technology from Nvidia, 3D Vision, for those of you out there who demand the best in a 3D viewing experience. It also features a contrast ratio of eighty million to one and an outstanding brightness of 350 candelas per square meter (cd/m2).

With an ultra-low response time of one millisecond and a refresh rate of one 140 hertz, you’ve got a powerhouse of a display on your hands. This display also utilizes full HD 1920x1080 resolution which looks amazing on a display of this size. Without a doubt, this display is a great value deserving of its place among the best of the best.

Philips 27" G-Sync Ultimate Performance Gaming Monitor - 272G5DYEB

This is a 27" inch display from Phillips, a well-respected monitor manufacturer. This monitor covers all the bases for outstanding specifications in a 3D gaming display. First of all, it supports Nvidia 3D vision 1 and 2 for immersive 3D viewing as well as Nvidia G-Sync technology for blur-free imagery. It has a refresh rate of 144 hertz and an ultra-low response time of one millisecond. It has a great viewing angle 177 degrees and a brightness of 300 candelas per square meters.
This monitor also uses Nvidia ultra-low motion blur technology (ULMB) to help ensure blur-free viewing. There’s also an additional built-in USB hub to give you a range of hardware connectivity options. The only downside to this display is that it uses a 1920x1080 pixel resolution, which while very good, is not up to the same standard as 2K displays. However, if you’re not interested in buying a full 2K monitor, this is the display you should be taking a good look at.

BenQ XL2411Z 144Hz 1ms 24" Gaming Monitor - NVIDIA 3D Vision Supported

This is a full HD 1920x1080 (1080p), 27 inch display uses Nvidia G-Sync technology for flicker-free viewing. Additionally, it’s certified for Nvidia 3D Vision and 3D LightBoost display technology to enable 3D viewing. It covers all the bases for serious gamers looking for an outstanding 3D monitor with a refresh rate of 144 hertz, a response time of one millisecond, and a viewing angle of 170 degrees. Sharp images and great color are all but guaranteed with a brightness of 350 candelas per square meter (cd/m2).

LG Electronics UM67 34UM67 34" Screen LED-lit Monitor

This exceptional display is an ultra-wide, thirty-four inch panel using full 2K (2560x1080) resolution and a 21:9 display ratio for an immersive gaming experience. It has a full suite of outstanding specifications to complement its ultra-wide format. It features AMD Free-Sync technology for blur-free gaming imagery as well as a response time of only five milliseconds. Likewise, it has an excellent contrast ratio of five million to one and a brightness rating of 300 candelas per square meter (cd/m2). If you’re in the market for an ultra-wide display, this monitor leaves little reason to look elsewhere with great features at a reasonable price.

ASUS 27" Back-lit LED G-SYNC Gaming Monitor - PG278Q

This outstanding twenty-seven inch display is from Asus' Republic of Gamers line of products. As such, it offers several exceptional features to place it among the best of the best. It features Nvida G-Sync display technology for tear-free motion and supports Nvidia 3D vision for 3D viewing on up to three displays. Alongside these is a full suite of specifications that put this display at the top of its class. It has an outstanding response time of only one millisecond, an adjustable refresh rate of 60, as well as one 120 and 144 hertz. It has great brightness of three hundred fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and uses full 2K resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. Best of all, it comes at a price that won't empty your pocket book.

Philips 242G5DJEB Extreme Performance 24" Professional Gaming Monitor

This is a top of class gaming monitor from highly respected manufacturer, Philips. It features a class leading refresh rate of one hundred forty-four hertz for flicker-free video at the high frame rates offered by top-end graphics cards. However, it must be noted that its high refresh rate is available only through its dual link DVI input ports. It features an outstanding contrast ration of eighty million to one, and a brightness of three hundred fifty to one candelas per square meter (cd/m2). Response times are also at the top of the class at only one millisecond, once again ensuring flicker-free imagery at high frame rates. It offers exceptional connectivity with D-Sub, DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI ports to accommodate virtually any GPU setup. Resolution is excellent at 1920x1080 pixels. All in all, this is an outstanding offering for a twenty-four inch gaming monitor whose only downside it its cost, but as always, high-quality demands higher prices.

BenQ 27" Gaming Monitor - XL2730Z

This twenty-seven inch display from BenQ finds it place on my list with great features and outstanding specifications. It uses full 2K resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and it features AMD Free-Sync technology for blur-free gaming. It uses an ultra-fast one hundred forty-four hertz refresh rate and it has a top of class response time of only one millisecond. Contrast is at the top of class at twelve million to one and brightness is also excellent at three hundred fifty candelas per square meter 9cd/m2). These combine with Free-Sync to give you the sharpest, most tear-free gaming possible. Hardware compatibility is likewise top notch with a USB hub offering DVI-DL, D-Sub, HDMI DisplayPort inputs. The sum of these features and specifications is a top of class display.

Acer 27" Widescreen Monitor - XB270HU

This 27 inch display from Acer comes with perks such as G-Sync and built-in USB 3.0 ports. It also brings to the table a four millisecond response time with is best in class for IPS monitors. Likewise, it has a one hundred forty-four hertz refresh rate which places it among the best of the best. It has a brightness of three hundred and fifty candelas per square meter (cd/m2) and a contrast ratio of one thousand to one which might sound low, but is par for the course for displays measured in the protocol used for this panel. An outstanding viewing angle of one hundred and seventy-eight degrees rounds out the top of class specifications this display offers. The price you pay for this excellence is also very good for a 27 inch display.

Buyer's Guide

 

Computer Monitor Buyer’s Guide

Since many of us spend countless hours a week staring at computer monitors, they may seem like pretty simple and straightforward pieces of equipment. Technical specs might not matter for a screen in an office cubicle or retail showroom floor, but if you’re a gamer or graphic designer, then these things make a tremendous difference.

When looking at different computer monitors, be sure to consider the screen type, size, and resolution as all of these factors greatly impact the look of your monitor. Refresh rate and response time are much more specific issues that are important for serious gamers, but probably do not matter quite as much for casual use.

Screen Type

While in the past, CRT monitors were the most common monitor types, now LCD and LED monitors are the most prevalent. LCD or Liquid Crystal Display is a type of flat-screen monitor that requires a secondary light source within the monitor while LED or Light Emitting Diodes produce light as semiconductors.

The best screens on the market use LEDs to backlight an LCD screen, and you are likely to find these in a wide range of prices. Additional features like ultra-high resolutions or curved screens are independent
of the screen type, so look for an LED backlit LCD screen first and foremost.

Screen Size

The actual screen size of a computer monitor indicates the viewing area of the screen on the monitor. This is measured diagonally across the display; for example, a 27-inch screen is 27 inches across diagonally, while a 32-inch screen is 32 inches across diagonally. As the diagonal size increases, so does the width and height of the screen, so even a couple inches in size indicates a much larger monitor.

One thing to keep in mind is the measured size often refers to the total diagonal size, with a smaller size indicated as “viewing area.” Be sure to find the advertised size and the viewing area to know exactly what you will be looking at. When choosing a monitor, you really shouldn’t go any smaller than about 17 inches with 20 to 27 inches being ideal for most users.

Resolution

The resolution of a computer monitor indicates the total number of vertical and horizontal pixels that can be displayed on a screen. Higher resolutions provide much better picture quality. If you’re a graphic designer or digital artist, high resolutions let you see much better versions of your work and are also ideal for PC gaming, but make sure your video card and monitor support the same resolution.

For example, an older 800x600 monitor could display 800 pixels horizontally and 600 pixels vertically. Newer screens on the other hand display thousands of pixels in each direction, with extremely good screens having 4K resolution, or 3840x2160.

If you imagine an image made up of 480,000 pixels (800x600 resolution) and then the same image made of 786,432 pixels (1024x768 resolution), you can quickly realize that the higher resolution image would be crisper and have much more detail and color quality.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate of a computer monitor, which is measured in Hertz, indicates the number of times per second the image on a screen is refreshed or displayed anew. A display with a refresh rate of 60Hz refreshes itself 60 times every second.

For web browsing or typing, the rate is not terribly important. On the other hand, if you are a serious gamer, then you want a display with a high refresh rate, since it will update more frequently and make sure you do not miss a moment of the action. Higher rates can also be advantageous for viewing HD media at high resolutions and with the utmost clarity. 60Hz is pretty standard, but if you want a high-end model for serious gaming, then look for a rate of 144Hz.

Input Types

There are a few different input types or connectors used to send a video signal from your computer to your monitor. In general, the most important thing to know is what type of connection your motherboard or video card has, and purchase a monitor with a matching connector so that your display can connect to your computer tower or case.

Analog Connections
There are two common analog connections to be aware of, which are D-Sub and DVI-I. D-Sub is also known as VGA and has 15 pins in three rows, usually with a blue connector. This has been the most common and popular video input type for decades, but recently the DVI-I has become increasingly common.

DVI-I is usually white in coloration and has either 17 or 24 pins, depending on if it’s a single-link or dual-link connection. Dual-link is required for displays with resolutions above 1920x1200. Because they are both analog connections, you can use a simple adapter to connect a D-Sub cable to a DVI-I port.

Digital Connections
While analog has been more common for the last couple decades, digital connectors for computer monitors are becoming more popular. The two most common digital connections you will see are DisplayPort and HDMI. DisplayPort is used pretty much exclusively for computer monitors and is pretty common on newer motherboards and powerful graphics cards.

HDMI ports are also becoming popular on motherboards and video cards, and are used on modern HDTVs and similar hardware. While there are adapters for digital connections, they are imperfect and sometimes do not convey a signal. HDMI is a great option because of how many other pieces of hardware use HDMI ports, and it is becoming more and more universal.

Response Time

The response time of a display, similar to the refresh rate, is a very technical aspect of picture quality that average computer users probably do not need to worry about but can be very important for serious, competitive gamers.

Response time refers to how long it takes for a pixel on a screen to go from black with no image, to white, and back to black again. The biggest impact that response time has on performance involves reduction in artifacts due to fast action during PC gaming. Look for lower numbers, since response time is measured in milliseconds, and while most displays respond in 5ms, fast gaming monitors can have 1ms response times.

Manufacturer and Warranty

It is very important to choose a manufacturer that is reliable and dependable, as this diminishes the chances of dead pixels and other technical issues. Companies like ASUS, Dell, and Acer are all known for making quality displays. You can also look at monitors made by companies known for producing quality HDTVs like LG and Samsung. The warranties provided by companies are also very important, so look for at least one year of protection, but three-year warranties are preferable.

Additional Features

Depending on what you need for your computer system, there are also some features you might want to look for that are not quite standard. All of these features are completely optional and often increase the price on a display, so consider the benefit of such things before making a purchase.

3D Displays
3D displays let you view media and even play some PC games in 3D. However, you also spend more money for these specialty screens and you’ll need to wear specialized glasses to correctly view the 3D images.

Touch Screen Displays
Touch screens allow you to use your fingers to perform touch-based computing commands or enjoy touch-based computer games. Look for models with smooth swiping and a screen size large enough for comfortable movement.

Built In Speakers
Some monitors have speakers built into them, which can be helpful if you do not have or want separate speakers.

Mounting Hardware
There are monitors that include mounting hardware for placing the display on a wall, which can be ideal for some setups that lack desk space for a monitor.

USB Ports
Some monitors also include USB ports, which adds more device connectivity to your computer system, so keep that in mind if you need more USB connections.

Dewey Dirks
I've been involved with computers for over thirty years. I've always been fascinated most by the hardware, so I became involved in building computers pretty early on. The first machine I built was a 80386 in around 1988 and I've been building them ever pretty much ever since. From 1992 up until 2010 I ran a small company called Redline Systems that built gaming systems. I’ve also been heavily into overclocking since around 1999. I've had a great deal of overclocking experience with both Intel and AMD machines using high end air cooling, DIY water cooling and phase change cooling using a Vapochill LS. I've also been also quite active in the competitive overclocking scene for many years. Although Intel CPU's are generally more powerful, for the last few years I've been clocking primarily AMD hardware as there is a lot of challenge there. I've also been gaming on computersfor many, many years and keep up on that scene too as all that hardware begs for something to do with it.
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