Best overall

BenQ SW2700PT

Should you wish to move up in the ranks of solid professional displays, you really can't go wrong with BenQ's 27-inch SW2700PT (about $600), with 99 percent AdobeRGB color reproduction, plenty of calibration tools, and a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. It even comes with a shading hood to help block out light sources and reduce glare on the screen surface.

Bottom line: The SW2700PT by BenQ is a great option for those wishing to balance functionality and features with price. This particular model is ideal for amateur photographers and designers who are upgrading from older, less capable displays.

One more thing: It packs hardware calibration with Palette Master Element software to make tuning and maintaining color performance super easy.

Why the BenQ SW2700PT is the best PC monitor for design and photography

There might not be an ideal monitor when it comes to design and photography, especially when manufacturers so easily inflate product descriptions to make it seem as though they're offering the one solution to all your creative problems. Likewise, specifications aren't everything, but you need to make sure the monitor is fully equipped to handle what you throw at it.

BenQ takes professional products seriously. Included with the BenQ SW2700PT (about $600) display is a calibration report that serves as a starting point for fine-tuning everything. For good measure, there's a copy of Palette Master Element calibration software included. This monitor is also very accurate when it comes to color reproduction, hitting 99 percent AdobeRGB out of the box.

And as both amateurs and professionals can spend hours gazing at a monitor, this display is rated as zero-flicker and emits low levels of harmful blue light, which should help make for a more pleasant and comfortable viewing experience. For connectivity, we're looking at DVI, USB, HDMI 1.4, and DisplayPort. The stand can also be adjusted to allow the panel to swivel, pivot and perform other moves.

For the price, this 27-inch BenQ display is overkill for the average consumer who snaps shots on their smartphone and uploads to social media, creating backups on their local PC. Those who take their photography a little more seriously with dedicated equipment and software will be able to take advantage of what this monitor offers. It's even a worthy contender for the budding professional in a studio environment.

Best professional

NEC PA322UHD

Among the best of the best, this top-grade 31.5-inch monitor from NEC (about $3,420) is a stunning example of how photographers and creative professionals can work with excellent vivid colors, sharp images, and great calibration. You get 4K resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and 99 percent AdobeRGB color reproduction. A four-year warranty helps the price sit a bit better.

Best budget

Dell UltraSharp U2415

There's nothing wrong with saving a bit of money, especially when Dell's 24-inch UltraSharp U2415 (about $310) is such a special monitor. It has a stunning, accurate display (it hits 98 percent of the sRGB gamut) matched by a pleasant design that will look the part on any professional's desk. It's also fully customizable with VESA mount support so you can mount a few of them on a single bracket and extend the 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. There are a bunch of ports, including two HDMI, one Mini DisplayPort, one DisplayPort (version 1.2), one DisplayPort out (MST), five USB-A 3.0 ports (downstream), and one USB-A 3.0 port (upstream).

Best 32-inch

ASUS PA328Q

Large monitors don't have to cost thousands, as evidenced here with the ASUS PA328Q (about $975). It has a 4K IPS display that hits 99 percent of the sRGB color gamut and is certified to have no flicker, making it easier on the eyes. The slim case sits on a stand that can be adjusted for height, swivel, pivot, and tilt, and it has plenty of ports, including HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0, and five USB-A 3.0 ports (four downstream, one upstream).

Best 4K

ViewSonic VP2785

Those looking for a 4K monitor should certainly consider ViewSonic's 27-inch VP2785 (about $870). It has an IPS display that hits 99 percent of the AdobeRGB color gamut, it has Delta E<2 color accuracy (meaning the human eye can't see the color difference), and it has a well-designed stand that can be adjusted for tilt, swivel, pivot, and height. There are plenty of ports on the back, including two HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort, one Mini DisplayPort, four USB-A (three up and one down), and one USB-C 3.1. Toss in a three-year warranty for a some peace of mind when investing in this impressive monitor.

Conclusion

The SW2700PT by BenQ might not be the absolute best display out there for photographers and similar professions, but it's certainly the best for most people. If it doesn't fit your bill, there are certainly plenty of other monitors available that fall within a similar category.

Best overall

BenQ SW2700PT

An impressive display with a price accessible by more people.

Updated August 20, 2018: We've refreshed this roundup to ensure you're still getting a list of the best monitors when it comes to design and photography.

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