Best Computer Monitors Windows Central 2021
A monitor is the most crucial accessory for any PC since, without one, you wouldn't be able to see what you're doing. Whether you're looking for a capable gaming display or a monitor that works wonders with 4K content, there are plenty of options available, including the Razer Raptor. We rounded up some of the best computer monitors on the market, separating them into different categories for you to choose one easily.
- Best Overall: Razer Raptor 27
- Runner-up: HP Z27
- Best Gaming: Acer Predator X35
- Best Budget Gaming: ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A
- Best Creative: BenQ PD2720U
- Best Budget Creative: BenQ SW2700PT
- Best Value: LG 24GL600F
- Best Ultrawide: BenQ EX3501R
Best Overall: Razer Raptor 27
The Razer Raptor 27 comes rocking a 2560x1440 resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR 400 certification. You'll get either AMD FreeSync or NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility and a max brightness of around 420 cd/m², making this quite the compelling gaming monitor.
It's not just gaming where this panel truly shines, however. There are plenty of ports, including DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, USB Type-A 3.2 Passthrough, and a single USB Type-C PD (DP1.4 in Alt-mode). It's friendly with DCI-P3, has a non-glare finish on the panel itself, AdobeRGB color accuracy, and the WQHD resolution make this a suitable choice for photo and video editing.
Razer has managed to strike a remarkable balance between gaming, pro graphics, and a stylish design.
Using the Raptor with other Razer Chroma hardware makes for quite the visual experience too.
The design of the Raptor 27 breaks the mold a little, including RGB lighting and fresh-looking cable management. It's an extreme solution, but there are a lot of PC gamers who want nothing but a tight, clean, and minimal design, and the Raptor 27 fills that niche unlike any other display on the market.
It's not a cheap panel, but Razer has managed to strike a remarkable balance between gaming, pro graphics, and a stylish design that has been absent from this category.
- Non-Glare IPS WQHD
- Outstanding color accuracy
- HDR + 144Hz
- Cable management and design
- NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync
- Proprietary cables
Perfect for gaming or graphics work
Razer created the perfect display for both work and play, allowing you to get more done during work hours and enjoy a little downtime, too.
Runner-up: HP Z27
The HP Z27 has been included in numerous round-ups here at Windows Central for a good reason. It's a killer panel with full support for 4K (UHD) resolution and content. Should you enjoy the additional screen real estate or simply need a panel to enjoy 4K content on the PC, this is one worth considering.
What makes it so good is the gorgeous slim build and design, adjustable, sturdy stand, wide viewing angles — thanks to being an IPS panel — and USB-C connectivity alongside DisplayPort and HDMI. For visuals, it makes the content really pop on-screen, comes with the standard 60Hz refresh rate you'd find on many 4K monitors, and an 8ms response time.
There's no synchronization tech, nor is there HDR, but at this price, it's a solid 4K monitor pick.
- Thin bezel
- Sleek design
- USB-C connectivity
- Adjustable stand
- Strong warranty
- No FreeSync or G-Sync
- Relatively costly
- No HDR
Best 4K monitor for most PC owners
Beautiful visuals, USB-C connectivity, and plenty of handy features make this sleek-looking display one of the best 4K options out there.
Best Gaming: Acer Predator X35
The Predator X35 from Acer is the best overall gaming PC monitor in our collection. What makes it great for gaming is the 2560x1440 resolution, 200Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time. It's also curved, which may (or may not) be of value to you, depending on the panel style you prefer.
The high refresh rate and low response time make this a great monitor for gaming since you'll be able to sync up the panel with your NVIDIA GPU to hit up to 200 frames per second (FPS) in games. The 1ms response time allows you to enjoy almost no input lag at all, resulting in a smooth gaming experience.
As for the design, there's the usual gaming looks with black aesthetics. The stand allows for the display to be adjusted, both height and tilt, so you'll be able to find the perfect viewing angle for your setup. The only drawback is the price.
- Unreal picture, especially with HDR enabled
- plenty of options in the OSD
- Quality build and ergonomic stand
- 200Hz refresh rate with G-Sync Ultimate
- Thin bezel and perfect 1800R curve
- Price is very prohibitive
- Fan is loud and sometimes random
- Speakers are average
The Acer Predator X35 is one of the best gaming monitors out there, but it's reserved for a select few who can afford the price.
Best Budget Gaming: ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A
If you're on a tighter budget, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG27AQL1A may be more up your street. This monitor is far more affordable than our top gaming pick but still comes with amazing specifications for PC gaming. Firstly, we've got full support for NVIDIA's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync technologies, allowing for butter-smooth gameplay.
Then there's the 1440p resolution, up to 144Hz refresh rate, and just 1ms for the response time. It's a monster. It's certified for HDR400, but you won't want to purchase this monitor for the HDR since it's a little on the weaker side, as monitors usually are at this price point. You can expect to pay far more for a better HDR certified display.
For connectivity, ASUS added two HDMI 2.0 and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports. The best part about this display is the support for both NVIDIA and AMD synchronization tech, so it really doesn't matter which branded GPU you go for. Just make sure it's at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10, GTX 16, or AMD RTX 20 series card.
- 144Hz refresh rate
- 1ms response time
- 1440p resolution
- G-sync and FreeSync
- HDR isn't great
Best Budget Gaming
More affordable gaming
ASUS packs plenty of cool tech inside the TUF Gaming VG27AQ, all while making it affordable for PC gamers.
Best Creative: BenQ PD2720U
For professionals, the BenQ PD2720U is a no-brainer. The display rocks a 4K resolution, outstanding color accuracy calibrated out-the-box, and a beautiful design to go with all these excellent specifications.
As well as being specially calibrated for sRGB, AdobeRGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts, allowing for a range of uses in design, photography, and development, plenty of color presets make it easy to quickly switch tasks without much hassle. There's even an included control puck to further add convenience and improve overall work efficiency. You won't get amazing sound through the speakers, but that's not what this monitor is for.
It's tough to relay the crisp and vivid picture through photos, but the picture is absolutely stunning, especially when HDR10 is enabled. Overall, it's an excellent display for creatives.
- Outstanding color accuracy
- Three-year warranty
- Beautiful design
- Fully-adjustable stand
- Generous port selection
- Forgettable speakers
Beautiful design for design work
Accurate color reproduction across sRGB, AdobeRGB, and DCI-P3 right out of the box, a ton of ports, and a crisp 4K display make this a great choice.
Best Budget Creative: BenQ SW2700PT
The BenQ SW2700PT is rather special. The company makes some of the best monitors on the market for professionals, and the SW2700PT is more affordable than you may believe at first. The highlight of this panel is the color reproduction and visual clarity — both are ridiculously good.
For raw specs, this monitor comes with 2560x1440 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, a response time of 5ms, and a brightness of around 300 nits. Those aren't the best specifications around, and you'd be able to find brighter and faster displays, but for color accuracy, this is better than most monitors around this price point.
Gamut scoring sees this panel achieve a rate of 99% AdobeRGB, 97% DCI-P3, and 100% sRGB, making it perfect for photographers and creatives who work with software like Adobe Photoshop. What you may not like about this BenQ display is the lack of 4K and the 16:9 aspect ratio, not to mention the rather mediocre 60Hz refresh rate.
- High-quality build with a versatile stand
- Hotkey puck for convenient picture control
- Outstanding color reproduction and HDR10
- 16-bit 3D LUT
- Generous port selection including USB-C
- Not 4K
- A move to 16:10 would-be killer
- 60Hz refresh rate
Best Budget Creative
Great value professional display
When you need a monitor that's a little more special than your usual line-up, this BenQ display is ideal for beginner photographers and creatives.
Best Value: LG 24GL600F
This may technically be a gaming monitor, but we couldn't leave this LG panel out since it offers excellent overall value. For specifications, we're talking a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and support for AMD FreeSync. That not only makes it good for general PC use but also as a solid gaming monitor.
It's also great for console gaming if you happen to have an Xbox located nearby. The only drawbacks to this display are the lack of any adjustment for height or rotation. Because of the panel tech, it doesn't rock the best viewing angles either, and the bezels are a little on the chunky side.
- 144Hz refresh rate
- Easy to use, intuitive controls
- Lots of display inputs
- 1ms response time
- No height or rotation adjust
- Not the greatest viewing angles
- Chunky bezels
Excellent gaming monitor value
With 144Hz, freesync, low input lag, and response time, this is a genuinely brilliant budget PC monitor for gaming and general use.
Best Ultrawide: BenQ EX3501R
OK, so this is the largest display in our collection. The BenQ EX3501R is one display that can replace a dual-panel setup. With a 3440 x 1440 resolution, a 100Hz refresh rate, HDR10 certification, and a max brightness of around 300 cd/m², it's a solid display for not only creatives but general PC owners too.
It comes with plenty of ports, including a single DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, two USB Type-A 3.0, and a single One USB 3.0 Type-C (fast-charging). Because this is BenQ, the monitor boasts excellent color accuracy out of the box. Content looks stunning on-screen.
Some folk may find it a little too big, however, for a desk environment. It's also not 4K, which is a shame, and there's no support for VESA mounting, so be sure to pack away your dedicated monitor arms. Still, it's a superb display for those seeking an ultrawide panel.
- Color accuracy
- HDR10 certified
- 3440 x 1440 resolution
- 100Hz refresh rate
- No VESA mounting
- No 4K
Exceptional display for creatives
When you need additional screen real estate but don't want to use multiple panels, the BenQ EX3501R is a good choice.
The best overall PC monitor is a tough choice to make. You have to decide what you want in a monitor before you go pick a random one off the shelf. Do you need something for gaming, creative work, or just general PC work? Gaming enthusiasts require a low response time and high refresh rate, while creatives will enjoy excellent color accuracy.
There are so many great options out there as our collection here showcases. Still, the top pick we'd recommend you buy goes to the Razer Raptor. Gorgeous looks with exceptional color output are matched by a 2560x1440 resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate, and HDR 400 certification. It's definitely pricey, but overall, it's one of the best monitors out there for most people.
If you're looking to play some games, we'd recommend the excellent Acer Predator X35. This monitor is a monster for gaming, coming with a 1440p resolution, 200Hz refresh rate with G-Sync, and striking design.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
Richard Devine is a Reviews Editor at Windows Central. You'll usually find him deep in hardware, gaming, both or drinking root beer for which he openly has a mild addiction.
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