Razer Raptor 27Source: Daniel Rubino/Widnows Central

Best Computer Monitors Windows Central 2021

A monitor is the most crucial accessory for any PC since you wouldn't be able to see what you're doing without one. 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

Razer Raptor 27Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

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 many PC gamers 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.

Pros:

  • Non-Glare IPS WQHD
  • Outstanding color accuracy
  • HDR + 144Hz
  • Cable management and design
  • NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Proprietary cables

Best Overall

Razer Raptor 27

Razer Raptor 27

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 in your downtime.

Runner-up: HP Z27

HP Z27Source: HP

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.

Pros:

  • Thin bezel
  • Sleek design
  • USB-C connectivity
  • Adjustable stand
  • Strong warranty

Cons:

  • No FreeSync or G-Sync
  • Relatively costly
  • No HDR

Runner-up

HP Z27

HP Z27

Best 4K monitor for most PC owners

Beautiful visuals, USB-C connectivity, and other features make this sleek-looking display one of the best 4K options out there.

Best Value: LG 24GL600F

LG 24GL600FSource: Richard Devine / Windows Central

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 about 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, and the bezels are on the chunky side.

Pros:

  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • FreeSync
  • Easy to use, intuitive controls
  • Lots of display inputs
  • 1ms response time

Cons:

  • No height or rotation adjust
  • Not the greatest viewing angles
  • Chunky bezels

Best Value

LG 24GL600F

LG 24GL600F

Excellent gaming monitor value

With 144Hz, low input lag, and response time, this is a genuinely brilliant budget PC monitor for gaming and general use.

Best Gaming: Acer Predator X35

Acer Predator X35Source: Windows Central

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons

  • Price is very prohibitive
  • Fan is loud and sometimes random
  • Speakers are average

Best Gaming

Acer Predator X35

Acer Predator X35

Butter-smooth gaming

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: LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

LG UltraGear 27GL850-BSource: LG

The LG UltraGear 27GL850-B is one of our favorite gaming monitors, which is largely why it's included in our best PC gaming monitors round-up. It's a 27-inch QHD monitor with everything you need in a capable gaming monitor.

HDR, which is largely reserved for high-end displays, isn't present here, but the monitor has a stellar 144Hz refresh rate and a fantastically low 1ms response time. Paired with the thin bezels and superb color accuracy, these features mean your games will look more immersive.

The benefits extend to gameplay as well, as a higher refresh rate and low response time mean that gameplay will look cleaner, crisper, and smoother. The monitor comes with the ability to adjust the height, swivel, and tilt so that you can find a viewing angle that works for you. There's even G-Sync!

Pros:

  • Thin bezels
  • 1440p gaming
  • G-Sync
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 1ms response time

Cons:

  • No HDR

Best Budget Gaming

LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

LG UltraGear 27GL850-B

More affordable gaming

With a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and 1440p resolution, you're going to love the LG UltraGear 27GL850-B.

Best Creative: BenQ PD2720U

BenQ PD2720USource: Cale Hunt / Windows Central

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 switch tasks without much hassle quickly. There's even an included control puck to add even more 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.

Pros:

  • Outstanding color accuracy
  • Three-year warranty
  • Beautiful design
  • Fully-adjustable stand
  • Generous port selection

Cons

  • Forgettable speakers
  • Expensive

Best Creative

BenQ PD2720U

BenQ PD2720U

Beautiful design for design work

Accurate color reproduction right out of the box, a ton of ports, and a crisp 4K display make this a great choice.

Best Budget Creative: BenQ SW2700PT

BenQ SW2700PTSource: BenQ

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.

This monitor comes with 2560x1440 resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate, a response time of 5ms, and a brightness of around 300 nits for raw specs. 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. You may not like this BenQ display because of the lack of 4K and the 16:9 aspect ratio, not to mention the rather mediocre 60Hz refresh rate.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons

  • Not 4K
  • A move to 16:10 would-be killer
  • 60Hz refresh rate

Best Budget Creative

BenQ SW2700PT

BenQ SW2700PT

Great value professional display

When you need a monitor that's more special than your usual line-up, this BenQ display is ideal for beginner creatives.

Best Ultrawide: BenQ EX3501R

BenQ EX3501RSource: BenQ

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.

Pros:

  • Color accuracy
  • HDR10 certified
  • 3440 x 1440 resolution
  • 100Hz refresh rate

Cons:

  • No VESA mounting
  • No 4K

Best Ultrawide

BenQ EX3501R

BenQ EX3501R

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.

Bottom line

The best overall PC monitor is a tough choice to make. You have to decide what you want in a monitor before picking a random one off the shelf. Do you need something for gaming (we have a few recommendations for best gaming monitors), 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

Author:

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.

Author:

Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, accessory coverage, and 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.

Author:

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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