Top 5 Best 4K Computer Monitors


Though 4K still has not blossomed into the new standard of content resolution, 4K equipment is getting cheaper and cheaper as the technology approaches prime time. 4K monitors are seeing the biggest drops, but some of the best 4K cameras are on the heels of this trend as well.

With more PCs out there than ever that can drive 4K rendering, now can be a good time to make the investment. Games and movies have been readily available in 4K for a while, and now you can enjoy both from your computer monitor for around $500.

Keep in mind that you will still need to know what model graphics card you have, and double check that it can run 4K. It is also important to know that many monitors can only offer their full quality output with DisplayPort 1.2 cables. But aside from these two obstacles, there is little reason not to get on board with the future of screen technology.


1. Samsung 28-Inch 4K UHD LED Monitor (U28D590D)

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(Amazon)

Samsung’s U28D590D is a value-conscious 28-Inch UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) monitor that has seen phenomenal price drops in the last year, despite no upgrade having come out. The U28D590D is among the least expensive 4K monitors out now that has a 1ms response time, and as such, is a great option for gamers looking to play in lag-free 4K.

Gamers will also appreciate the excellent 60 Hz refresh rate achieved through its DisplayPort 1.2 connection. Note that you are limited to a 30 Hz refresh rate when using an HDMI input, which makes this panel’s two HDMI inputs less than ideal for content with high motion.

These dual HDMI inputs do support some interesting picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes though, which work well for productivity tasks that don’t need to be in 60 Hz.

The display has a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, which makes for a deep, rich black color. However, though Samsung claims their budget 4K monitor supports 1 billion colors, the older TN panel technology does have some color consistency issues compared to IPS screens. So this screen may not be ideal for color-sensitive work, especially considering it does not come factory calibrated, and this is explained in better detail in the video below.

Looking now at the monitor’s stand, the material is somewhat flimsy, and is majorly lacking in adjustment options. You do get minor angle adjustment, but there is no height control or rotation options. The speaker also lacks VESA mounting capabilities, though this will only be a downside if you are planning to mount the monitor onto a wall or aftermarket stand.

The rear-mounted control joystick is the saving grace of this monitor’s form factor, but all in all, the value in this monitor is definitely not in its physical features. The real value of this monitor lies in its low-latency and high-resolution picture, which comes at a great price.

Price: $429.85 (39 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Samsung U28D590D Monitor here.


Pros:

  • 1ms response time great for gaming
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Convenient onboard controls

Cons:

  • TN panels have trouble with color consistency
  • No screen adjustments or mounting options
  • screen does not come color calibrated

Find more Samsung U28D590D Monitor information and reviews here.



2. Asus PB287Q 28-Inch LED 4K Monitor

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(Amazon)

The PB287Q from Asus is another top pick for a UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) monitor for gaming, and compared against Samsung’s U28D590D, offers much better ergonomics. It has a slim bezel, and its stand also offers full flexibility to pivot, swivel, rotate, and adjust height, plus it’s VESA mount compatible. These are standard features for monitors, but are appreciated nonetheless on this budget-friendly display.

Moving on to the panel, the PB287Q has an absolutely beautiful display. Though its panel is TN and not IPS, and consequently suffers from the same downsides as other TN panels. For example, there is a noticeable color and contrast shift in the far corners of the monitor, but it is only enough of an issue to limit color-sensitive work. Otherwise, the 60 Hz playback available from its DisplayPort 1.2 connection is beautifully flicker-free, and looks so good that you can simply look past any color issues. This monitor also has two HDMI ports to connect, which can again only output 4K at 30 Hz, and one is even MHL compatible for displaying phone content (which obviously won’t be 4K).

The screen also sports a 1ms response time that is ideal for gaming, and its matte finish helps reduce glare in bright environments. One thing to keep in mind about gaming on this monitor is that you have to set it to 60 Hz output, as it is not set to this out of the box. Additionally, inputs are tricky to get to, even with the plastic cover removed, and and button layout on the back is incredibly annoying. These gripes aside, there is much value to be had with the PB287Q.

The monitor even has built-in dual 2-watt stereo speakers, which hardly compare to standalone speakers, but are a nice touch nonetheless. Asus tops it off with an impressive 3-year warranty with 1-year bright dot coverage, an appreciated bonus given this monitor’s slightly higher price tag. And all that can be said about the PB287Q can also be said about Asus’ 31.5-inch 4K UHD PQ321Q, which has not dropped in price quite as much as its 28-inch counterpart, but is still a great buy.

Price: $539.99 (17 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Asus PB287Q 28-Inch LED 4K Monitor here.


Pros:

  • 1ms response time great for gaming
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • 3-year warranty with 1 year of bright dot coverage

Cons:

  • Frustrating button and input layout
  • TN panels have trouble with color consistency
  • Not set to 60 Hz by default

Find more Asus PB287Q 28-Inch LED 4K Monitor information and reviews here.



3. Dell UHD 4K P2715Q 27-Inch LED Monitor

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(Amazon)

Dell’s UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) P2175Q is a 27-inch monitor unique for being one of the only 4K IPS monitors available at under $1,000. That means that on top of its incredible resolution, the P2175Q achieves 99% sRGB color coverage, and comes with a certification assuring it is factory color calibrated for ideal color accuracy right out of the box. Though while IPS screens do show improved color reproduction and viewing angles, Dell’s does suffer in the gaming department with only a 9ms response time. There is a fast response time mode that improves this figure to 6ms, but there is still better choices out there for lag-free gaming.

Dell’s monitor can deliver a 60 Hz refresh rate from either a DisplayPort 1.2 or a Mini DisplayPort, or you can use the MHL compatible HDMI connection for a choppier 30 Hz picture. There is also a DisplayPort 1.2 out for daisy-chaining monitors, but despite the large number of available ports, this monitor is notorious for having occasional trouble connecting to some machines. But you do get a full suite of ergonomic adjustments like height, angle, and swivel adjustments, plus VESA mounting compatibility.

Another thing that is lacking on this monitor is a full suite of manual video settings, which will be sorely missed if you find that the monitor goes to sleep too soon, or needs advanced color-balancing. On the plus side, though, you do have 3 USB ports pair with a USB upstream that allows for charging and data transfer to your PC. At the end of the day, the P2175Q is a beautiful monitor with incredible color and a 4K resolution, but its pitfalls can steer you away entirely depending on your needs, so it is important to compare carefully. It is also worth noting that that there is the much more expensive option of Dell’s 5K monitor, which carries with it the same downsides, but adds even more of that next-gen beauty.

Price: $549.99 (21 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Dell UHD 4K P2715Q 27-Inch LED Monitor here.


Pros:

  • Colorful, vibrant IPS screen achieves 99% sRGB color coverage
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • 3 USB ports adds functionality

Cons:

  • 9ms response time not good for gaming
  • Lacking a full suite of manual settings
  • Occasionally has connection issues

Find more Dell UHD 4K P2715Q 27-Inch LED Monitor information and reviews here.



4. Philips 28-Inch 4K UHD LED Monitor (288P6LJEB)

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(Amazon)

Now that 4K technology has had time to simmer, we are finally seeing some friendly competition from budget manufacturers like Philips, which is a great thing for folks who are waiting to see the price drop on this hot technology. Philips’ 288P6LJEB model is a 28-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) monitor that holds up with the best in terms of specs and functionality, and has seen historically lower prices.

Its panel is TN instead of IPS, which offers great image quality at a low cost, but IPS is better for color reproduction. Regardless, it is certified to arrive out of the box color calibrated, so the colors are fairly true. This screen boasts a 5ms response time that can be boosted to 1ms using SmartResponse overdrive technology, but results with this are mixed, so gaming can be hit or miss with this screen.

The physical form of the monitor is nice as well, with a decent-sized bezel and a classy finish that looks better than it feels. The plastic material can be a little flimsy in places, but the smooth screen angle and height adjustments make it hard to complain. And while the 288p offers a plethora of connections including VGA, DVI-Dual Link, DisplayPort 1.2, and MHL-ready HDMI, don’t forget that DisplayPort is the only one that supports 4K 60 Hz. It also has two USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, which adds charging and data transfer options to your setup.

Plus there is built-in stereo speakers, which sound better than most integrated speakers, but still aren’t as good as dedicated cans. The 60 Hz display looks great, the 1,000:1 contrast is spot on, but the one downside of this picture is the use of MST (Multi-Stream Transport) for the image, which basically turns the panel into two half-sized panels for picture display. This rarely becomes an issue, but it can occasionally cause hardware hiccups, which nobody wants. Thankfully, it is also part of what makes this an incredibly affordable monitor, and beyond that, one that is fantastic picture quality.

Price: $449.99 (44 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Philips 288P6LJEB Monitor here.


Pros:

  • Built-in stereo speakers sound solid
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • 4 USB ports adds functionality

Cons:

  • TN panels have trouble with color consistency
  • 1080p output has discoloration issues
  • MST can cause hardware hiccups

Find more Philips 288P6LJEB Monitor information and reviews here.



5. Monoprice CrystalPro 28-inch LED 4K Monitor

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(Amazon)

This reasonly priced CrystalPro 28-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) monitor comes rather unexpectedly from electronics store Monoprice, and delivers a surprising amount of quality considering its reasonable price tag. This TN monitor handles color surprisingly well, albeit not fully accurate. Color adjustments via the fairly intuitive buttons on the front of the panel are accessible, but don’t offer a lot of advanced customization.

The monitor has a spot-on 1ms response time, which makes it great for gaming, and, of course, a 60 Hz refresh rate. For connections, you have DVI-D, two MHL-compatible HDMI ports, and (finally) two DisplayPorts 1.2 , which makes it the only monitor listed that can support multiple 4K 60 Hz inputs. That means easy picture-by-picture for a virtual dual computer setup, or easy picture-in-picture setups with two media sources playing.

One of the downsides of the monitor’s picture is its glossy finish, which reflects quite a bit in bright rooms. Its stand has full adjustment possibilities, including rotation, swivel, angle, and height adjustments. It does have built-in speakers, but they are fairly low quality and should be replaced with a normal set of speakers. It can usually be purchased from Monoprice direct for $399, as well as Amazon for the same price, but at the time of writing this, they are seldom in stock on either site.

Price: $349.99 (12 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Monoprice CrystalPro 28-inch LED 4K Monitor here.


Pros:

  • Low price tag
  • 60 Hz refresh rate
  • Two DisplayPort 1.2 ports for multiple 60 Hz streams

Cons:

  • Limited availability from manufacturer
  • Glossy monitor finish reflects too much
  • Large external power brick

Find more Monoprice CrystalPro 28-inch LED 4K Monitor information and reviews here.


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