There’s never been a better time to invest in 4K technology. It’s been years since most TV and streaming services began to make the switch to 4K, and the wide adoption of 8K is still a long way away. With the latest generation of graphical features already unveiled, like ray tracing and A.I., you can now get a great 4K monitor for a decent price without having to worry about it getting outpaced in the next few years.
While a 4K monitor is a great investment, we know that what our readers really want is the best 4K monitor. No worries there – our research team has picked out 10 of the best 4K monitors on the market in 2021. We’ve done our best to cover as wide a range of prices as possible.
TD;LR - 10 Best 4k Monitors :
- Acer Predator XB271HK bmiprz 27″ Monitor
- Dell U-Series 38″ Screen LED-Lit Monitor
- LG 27UK650-W 27″ 4K UHD IPS LED Monitor
- Philips 276E8VJSB 27″ Monitor, 4K UHD IPS Monitor
- BenQ EL2870U 28 inch HDR 4K Game Monitor
- ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO 32″ 4K Monitor
- Samsung 28″ UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor
- Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 27″ 4K Monitor
- Acer Nitro XV273K Pbmiipphzx 27″
- Sceptre 30″ Curved Gaming Monitor
1. Acer Predator XB271HK bmiprz 27″ Monitor
A true gaming monitor through and through
Practically every article we write that focuses on the best monitors for gaming involves a discussion of the Acer Predator bmiprz. The Acer Predator offers support for NVIDIA G-Sync technology. All around, the tech in the Acer Predator is very gaming-oriented. The three different preset modes are focused on specific game genres, and while the 4-millisecond response time isn't the best around, it will be more than enough even for more demanding gamers.
In terms of aesthetics, Acer makes it pretty obvious that this is a gaming device through and through. The red and black color scheme plays to the more extravagant sensibilities of gaming accessories, but the slim and attractive build design of the Acer Predator will appeal even to those who don't like gaming. There's some real practical value in the design as well. The ErgoStand allows you to precisely angle this 4K monitor to your preferred office or living room setup.
2. Dell U-Series 38″ Screen LED-Lit Monitor
Enormous, immersive and crazy convenient
If you stand by the notion that bigger is better, then the best 4K monitor for you has got to be the Dell U-Series. The 38-inch screen may be modest for a TV, but it's enormous for a gaming or office monitor. Even better, it makes use of a curved design that means you'll feel more immersed in your favorite narrative games and never get shot down by an opponent in your periphery.
To be honest, this is as much a dedicated work center hub as it is a 4K monitor. Up to six different Bluetooth and RF devices can be connected at the same time, but the best feature this 4K TV offers may be the ability to display and manipulate two separate computers at the same time. Since a single USB cord handles your power and transmission of both video and audio, you can also significantly reduce office clutter.
3. LG 27UK650-W 27″ 4K UHD IPS LED Monitor
A truly excellent price-performance balance
The 27UK650-W isn't a 4K monitor that stands apart from the rest at a first glance, but despite a rather ordinary design, this monitor offers some of the best performance for the price anywhere. It's also a monitor that should appeal to creatives as much as suiting the needs of gamers. HDR10 is supported in addition to the 4K support, and it offers some of the best color reproduction around in terms of both Adobe RGB and sRGB standards.
That doesn't mean that gamers are left in the dark, though. Your 4K performance will be further enhanced by support for AMD FreeSync technology for dramatically reduced screen tearing. The Dark Stabilizer, meanwhile, gives you greater control over your contrast ratio so you can better identify opponents hiding undercover and see greater detail even in dark environments. There's even a dedicated menu for teaching you the ropes.
4. Philips 276E8VJSB 27″ Monitor, 4K UHD IPS Monitor
Exceptional color reproduction with a budget price tag
Do you want the best 4K monitor while on a tight budget? Your best choice could be the Philips 276E8VJSB. This 4K monitor is available for just over $200, and it holds up surprisingly well to scrutiny, especially in terms of color reproduction. If you aren't in need of the latest and best features, this might be among the best 4K monitors for you.
It's not as if there aren't any special features here at all, though. This 4K monitor includes flicker-free technology as well as blue light exposure to prevent you from having to deal with fatigue during longer work or gaming sessions, and there's a DisplayPort 1.2 if you prefer to not use an HDMI cable to connect the video. The color accuracy is also exceptional, as this 4K monitor can reproduce over a billion different color combinations.
5. BenQ EL2870U 28 inch HDR 4K Game Monitor
If you're looking for a monitor that you can use for serious gaming, the BenQ EL2870U has you covered, as it provides workhorse results without having to spend much money at all. With a price tag of less than $300, it's one of the cheaper 4K models around. While not the cheapest monitor around, it's one of the cheapest at this resolution.
This also isn't the most vibrant display around, but it is one of the most effective. The response time is rated at just 1 millisecond, so gamers who need that extra competitive edge can very easily find it here. It also supports AMD FreeSync, so you won't need the latest and most powerful GPU to get good results here. There's a particularly cool feature here in the form of Smart Focus, which can be used to zoom in on content details.
6. ViewSonic VP3268-4K PRO 32″ 4K Monitor
Ideal for digital creatives with a staggeringly large color palette
ViewSonic has produced one of the best 4K monitors for all-around use, but what really makes this 4K monitor offering from ViewSonic so good is its color reproduction. This alone makes this 4K monitor one of the best choices for creatives who need rich and accurate color reproduction. There is a frankly staggering 4.39 trillion color palette on display here, putting it well above most of the competing 4K monitors on the market in terms of vibrancy.
You have a lot of flexibility here for determining how color displays on your monitor, too. Six layers of adjustability allow you to tailor the color reproduction to match your particular needs, and it even provides reports on color calibration so you're sure that the color you're seeing on the screen matches the color you want your clients to see. That's a decision further enhanced by the inclusion of HDR10 technology.
7. Samsung 28″ UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor
Samsung has produced one of the best gaming monitor 4K models here, and they've done so while keeping the price well under $300. This monitor supports AMD FreeSync, and the response time of 1 ms is one of the best on the market today, making this one of the best investments a gamer can make right now. Samsung has packed in a huge variety of ports so that you can connect together any device in your home with ease.
While the color reproduction here isn't as strong as on the ViewSonic 4K monitor featured above, you do get over a billion color choices to pick from. A ton of productivity features are included with this 4K display, too. Picture-in-picture technology gives you the means to juggle multitasking responsibilities, while picture-by-picture can display two full screens at the same time without sacrificing picture quality.
8. Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ 27″ 4K Monitor
ROG stands for "Republic of Gamers", so it should come as no surprise that this is a gaming monitor through and through. In addition to offering a 4K resolution, this monitor promises refresh rates of up to 144 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds, well beyond the average expectations you should have of a 4K monitor.
All the modern gaming features are on offer with this monitor, too. NVIDIA G-Sync technology provides one of the best ways to remedy screen tearing, while the High Dynamic Range support gives you a brighter display with a richer gamut of color vibrancy. The contrast ratio is also some of the best around, and it's enhanced by the inclusion of local dimming technology that can provide you with clear and crisp results on your favorite video games, TV shows, and movies.
9. Acer Nitro XV273K Pbmiipphzx 27″
The Acer Nitro never claimed to be a cheap monitor, but with a current asking price of $700, it's actually one of the best deals available right now. It natively offers a refresh rate of 120 Hertz, although that can be improved to a solid 144 Hertz with overclocking engaged. That little bit of effort will almost certainly be worth it to the more serious gamers reading this right now. The response time of 1 millisecond is pretty impressive in its own right.
Most monitors struggle to find the balance between efficiency and visuals, but that's not an issue the Nitro suffers from. There's sweeping coverage of the most important color gamuts. It's even received VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification - a reflection of its relatively high level of vibrancy and color crispness. With glare reduction, flicker-free technology, and blue light tech, it will feel comfortable even during longer gaming sessions.
10. Sceptre 30″ Curved Gaming Monitor
Fulfilling the demands of the budget-priced market for UHD monitors is this model from Sceptre. This monitor can be picked up for significantly less than $300, but it's very capable for the price. With connections for both a Display Port and HDMI, it can also work with practically any legacy device you want to hook it up to.
Adding a little extra flair to this monitor is the inclusion of customizable RGB lighting accents. There are also two built-in speakers, so you won't necessarily need to invest in external speakers when you want to play a game, watch a movie, or listen to music. There's a decent number of practical applications here, too. Both picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes are fully supported, while the Blue Light Shift mode will ensure that your eyes don't become overly strained during longer sessions in front of the screen.
4K Monitor Buyer’s Guide
Our goal with this guide is to help you determine two key things: what combination of features and specs constitute the best 4K monitors in 2021 and how you can figure out what features and specs are going to matter to you. The latter is going to be personal, but there are a number of objective specs we can use to identify the best 4K monitors on the market in more concrete terms. We’ll get into the more important factors to consider below.
Bigger is often better, until it isn’t. A bigger screen is great for gaming and watching movies, but it has a more practical purpose in terms of productivity as well. The best 4K monitors tend to be larger because they give you more real estate to focus on the details.
Many of the best 4K monitors come with picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture features, which aren’t going to be of much use on a smaller monitor. If you’re looking for 4K monitors with a larger screen size, consider a curved screen. They make for some of the best 4K monitors for gamers because of their level of immersion and respectably wide viewing angles.
A lot of specs can be measured in purely numeric terms. If you understand the basics of aspect ratio and contrast ratio, you can weigh up the true value of a monitor by just glancing at it. Other features are less cut and dry, though. While there are three different types of panels that are used in modern monitors, this isn’t a case where one is clearly the winner over the others.
- TN (or Twisted Neuron) monitors used to be the standard for monitors, but that’s starting to change. This type of monitor typically excels is in its responsiveness. A TN monitor will generally sport a high refresh rate and low input lag, and it will accomplish that while offering prices lower than other panel types. That said, viewing angles are limited with most TN panels, and image reproduction isn’t especially hot. The contrast ratio particularly suffers here, with a ratio of 1000:1 being common.
- An IPS (or In-Plane Switching) monitor is one of the preferred choices for creative professionals. They tend to look great from a wide variety of different angles and promise a serious level of color reproduction. An IPS panel is very likely to brag about its coverage of color gamuts in its writeup. IPS monitors aren’t all that expensive, either. While not as cheap as a TN alternative, they’re affordable choices for photographers and other creative pros.
- VA (or Vertical Alignment) monitors are seriously capable of blocking light, which means you can get a rich and vibrant contrast ratio with them. On average, you can expect a contrast ratio between 2000:1 and 5000:1. In practical terms, that means darker blacks and richer hues across the board. For this reason, a VA panel is often more expensive than its contemporaries. They fall in the middle of the pack in terms of color reproduction, but their high input lag and low response rates make them poor candidates for gaming.
Color accuracy can help create brighter and significantly more vivid results on 4K monitors. While quality color accuracy can result in better and more vivid results when gaming or watching movies, they’re especially valuable on monitors used by creative professionals. If you work in graphic design or video editing, monitors with a higher level of accuracy can be very useful.
There are numerous different formats (known as gamuts) that monitors use to determine the quality of color that monitors are capable of displaying. Most of the important monitors display color reproduction the same way, by plotting them along an x-y axis. Regardless of what format monitors use to measure color reproduction, you’re looking for the highest percentage rating possible here.
If you’re serious about competitive gaming, you’ll want to look for monitors that offer high refresh rates. For just about everyone else, refresh rate isn’t going to be that important. While it may look continuous to the average viewer, everything that’s displayed on your screen is actually redrawn dozens of times over the course of a second. Monitors with a higher refresh rate will provide smoother video even with the higher demands of a gaming graphics card.
Most monitors are going to come with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. That’s more than enough for the average consumer and should be plenty for all but the most competitive of gamers. The best monitors built for gaming typically offer a refresh rate of 144 hertz or more for smooth performance.
Adaptive sync technology is a feature built specifically for the needs of gamers. It’s built as a way to smooth out jagged and stuttering surfaces, and it can be a particularly effective choice if your graphics card can’t quite keep up with the demands of your favorite games. Upgrading your GPU is going to be the most effective way to improve graphical performance, but this technology can give you that little extra push without using too much power.
Both NVIDIA and AMD offer their own variations of this technology, with NVIDIA’s G-Sync and AMD’s FreeSync. In either case, the best choice is going to be the one that matches your graphics card: G-Sync if you have an NVIDIA card or FreeSync if you have a GeForce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are 4K Monitors Worth It?
That depends on your application for them. 4K monitors can offer a great way to improve your gaming experience, and the majority of 4K monitors are actually built with the needs of serious gaming in mind. 4K monitors are also a very sensible investment for creatives who work with photo or video editing software.
What is the Best 4K Monitor for Gaming?
If you can afford it, the ASUS ROG Swift is one of the best options available to you. It promises a refresh rate of 144 Hz, along with a strong contrast ratio, a wide perspective of viewing angles, and an aspect ratio appropriate for everything from gaming to photo editing and design.
If you’re looking for a great monitor that supports 4K, then the guide above should provide you with everything you need to know before you go shopping, and our 10 reviewed products should include something that suits your needs. Whether you’re a gamer or an artist, looking to spend $300 or a grand, we want to help you find the best model for your needs. If you’ve already tried out any of these monitors, we encourage you to share your opinion with us below.If you liked our article on 4k monitors, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.