Razer Raptor 27Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows 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

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: BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200USource: BenQ

The BenQ PD3200U has been included in numerous roundups here at Windows Central for a good reason. It's a killer panel with full support for 4K (UHD). 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 (with an integrated dock) 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. When you need a no-thrills display that will let you get everything done through the workday, this BenQ screen is a great 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

BenQ PD3200U

BenQ PD3200U

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 the LG 24GL600F 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: LG UltraGear 38GN950-B

Lg 38gn950 B RecoSource: LG

If you're on the hunt for a gaming monitor, look no further than the exquisite LG UltraGear 38GN950-B. It's a monstrous monitor, rocking an ultrawide resolution of 3840x1600, which makes it perfect for gaming between 2K and 4K. The refresh rate is 144Hz, which is more than enough for a smooth gaming experience, so too is the 1ms response time.

You'll be able to fully appreciate the color accuracy and immersive performance thanks to the thin bezels and curved IPS panel. There's even HDR to bring games to life a little better with the latest graphics cards. The NVIDIA G-Sync is another great feature to use if you have an NVIDIA GPU, matching the refresh rates of the card and display.

This is one fine gaming monitor, but it comes at a steep price.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Requires more desk space
  • Weaker contrast
  • Pricey

Best gaming

Lg 38gn950 B Reco

LG UltraGear 38GN950-B

Butter-smooth gaming

The LG UltraGear 27GL850-B is one of the best gaming monitors out there, but it's reserved for a select few who can afford the higher 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 roundup. 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 lineup, 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 3440x1440 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
  • 3440x1440 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 LG UltraGear 38GN950-B. This monitor is a monster for gaming, coming with a 3840x1600 resolution, 144Hz 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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