Need a new monitor for your PC? We’ve combed through scores of options to find the best monitors available in 2022. Our picks are the result of hundreds of hours spent testing the latest models from Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, LG, Samsung, and other major brands.
While our favorite monitor overall is an awesome choice for most people, we also have alternative options for budget shoppers, gamers, and those seeking the best HDR performance. After all, not everyone’s monitor needs are identical. (If you’re looking specifically for a 4K monitor or gaming monitor, we have separate roundups highlighting your best options for those particular needs.) You can find out more about how we evaluate monitors and what specs matter most below our list of recommendations.
Updated 03/01/2023 We’ve included a new category in our recommendations: the best portable monitor, thanks to the impressive Viewsonic ColorPro VP16 OLED. Read below for more info as to why we gave this portable monitor top marks.
1. Dell U3223QE – Best monitor overall
- IPS Black panel fulfills its promise
- Accurate color with wide gamut
- High brightness in SDR
- USB-C hub with 90 watts of power
- Edges of display are noticeably bright
- HDR performance disappoints
- Only a 60Hz panel
Dell’s U3223QE is a premium monitor with 4K resolution and gobs of connectivity.
The U3223QE has a cutting-edge IPS Black panel that roughly doubles the contrast when compared to other 32-inch IPS monitors. It provides a richer experience with a better sense of depth that’s especially noticeable when viewing in a dark room. The monitor also excels in color performance, brightness, and sharpness.
Connectivity is a highlight. This monitor offers USB-C with up to 90 watts of Power Delivery for charging a connected laptop or tablet. The USB-C port can drive a hub with a total of five additional USB-A ports, ethernet, and even DisplayPort-out (meaning you can daisy-chain video to a second monitor).
This monitor has a smaller sibling, the Dell U2723QE, which is less expensive. We did not receive it for testing but expect it to perform similarly, as it uses the same IPS Black panel technology.
2. Asus ProArt PA279CV – Best budget 4K monitor
- Accurate image
- High maximum brightness
- Menu settings allow calibration
- Has USB-C with 65 watts Power Delivery
- Competitive price
- Unimpressive design
- Luminance uniformity could be better
- HDR is bright but otherwise falls short
The Asus ProArt PA279CV is a solid choice if you want 4K for under $500.
The Asus ProArt PA279CV is a 4K professional monitor and, as a result, it has excellent color performance and brightness. Photos, video, and games look crisp, lifelike, and vivid on this monitor. The PA279CV has a modest color gamut but, at this price, it’s a sacrifice worth making. It also has a good contrast ratio for the price.
Connectivity includes a USB-C port with up to 65 watts of Power Delivery for charging a connected laptop or tablet. The monitor functions as a hub for several additional USB-A ports. It has adaptive sync for smooth gaming, though its maximum refresh rate is just 75Hz.
Shoppers should keep an eye on the PA279CV’s price. Though often sold just below $500, it has dipped as low as $455, and tends to fluctuate over time. Sales make it even more tempting.
3. Acer K242HYL – Best budget 1080p monitor
- Attractive color accuracy and gamut
- Acceptable sharpness for a 1080p display
- Avoids motion clarity pitfalls
- Menu system is easy to use
- Barebones design
- No height adjustment on stand
- Only one HDMI, no DisplayPort
- Power LED is very bright
Need a monitor that works well at an extremely low price? The Acer K242HYL is our go-to pick.
The Acer K242HYL’s specifications are good for a budget display. It has a 24-inch screen with 1080p resolution and a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. Adaptive sync is supported, so the monitor will function with AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync. Video inputs include HDMI and VGA. Build quality is good thanks to robust plastic panels that feel thick and durable when handled.
This monitor has a bright image with reasonable contrast. Color performance stands out, as the monitor can cover most of the sRGB color gamut and has extremely good color accuracy overall. Photos, videos, and games look close to what their creator intended.
The K242HYL lacks a height-adjustable stand but offers a VESA mount that is compatible with most third-party monitor stands and arms.
That aside, the K242HYL is an outstanding budget monitor suited for everyday use, casual gaming, and amateur content creation. This is all the monitor most people will ever need.
4. Alienware AW3423DWF – Best gaming monitor
- Excellent contrast ratio
- Top-notch color gamut and accuracy
- Great motion clarity
- Respectable HDR performance
- Extremely competitive price
- Stand is a bit too large
- No USB-C
- Maximum HDR brightness is lackluster
Alienware’s AW3423DWF is an outstanding PC gaming monitor.
This monitor has a QD-OLED panel, which is like that used in top-tier OLED televisions. OLED provides a nearly infinite contrast ratio, excellent color performance, and respectable brightness. The result is a punchy, vibrant image with an unparalleled sense of dimensionality. The monitor’s ultrawide aspect ratio only heightens the sense of immersion.
Motion clarity is superb. The monitor has a refresh up to 165Hz and supports both AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and VESA Adaptive Sync. The OLED panel technology it uses has lower pixel response times than competitors, too, so there’s minimal added blur and ghosting in motion. Motion is as crisp as you’ll find below 240Hz.
The Alienware AW3423DWF is an alternative to the AW3423DW, a slightly older and nearly identical monitor. The AW3423DW has a higher fresh rate of 175Hz and supports Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate. It’s also $100 to $200 more expensive. Though we recommend the AW3423DWF for most people, the AW3423DW is better for owners of high-end Nvidia graphics cards.
The AW3423DWF is expensive at $1,099.99, but its performance justifies the price. Competing 34-inch and 38-inch ultrawides without QD-OLED technology are often just as expensive but have less impressive image quality.
5. Asus ProArt Display OLED PA32DC – Best monitor for professionals
- The best SDR image quality yet
- Good HDR performance
- Long list of image quality features
- Exceptionally sturdy
- Numerous inputs, plus USB hub
- HDR brightness could be better
- Glare can be an issue in bright rooms
- Only 60Hz, no adaptive sync
Do you need a monitor with exceptional color accuracy, contrast, and sharpness? The Asus ProArt Display OLED PA32DC delivers. It’s an impressive monitor that, in several respects, is the best we’ve ever reviewed.
The monitor’s key trait is its high-quality OLED display panel. It has excellent contrast, color accuracy, and a wide color gamut, all of which add up to a realistic and dramatic image. The monitor also has 4K resolution and a conventional RGB subpixel layout, which avoids the color fringing issues that are found in QD-OLED monitors like the Alienware AW3423DW.
Image quality is superb out of the box, but experienced owners can go a step further. The PA32DC has numerous image quality options in its on-screen menu system and includes a built-in calibration utility for ultra-accurate results. Professionals can use these options to achieve the exact results their work requires.
It’s a wonderfully robust monitor with chunky bezels, big menu buttons, and a sturdy chassis that includes a built-in handle. Asus supplies both a VESA stand for desktop use and flip-out legs for quick setup at a mobile studio or job site. The monitor has extensive connectivity including five video inputs.
The only downside? It’s expensive with a retail price of $3,000. Even that, however, is not so bad: Similar OLED and Mini-LED monitors, like the Apple Pro Display XDR and LG UltraFine 32EP950, are often even more expensive.
6. Acer Predator CG48 – Best television alternative
- Excellent SDR, strong HDR image
- Great motion clarity
- Superior contrast and wide color gamut
- Multiple PC-friendly connections including USB-C hub
- Useful bundled remote
- Only one HDMI 2.1 input
- Sharpness is just ok
- Stand offers no adjustment, no VESA mount
Want a massive display, but don’t want to deal with the “smart” features and limited PC connectivity of a television? Acer’s Predator CG48 is an excellent choice.
This 48-inch OLED monitor delivers 4K resolution and a refresh rate up to 138Hz. It offers an outstanding picture straight out of the box with spot-on color accuracy, excellent contrast, and a wide color gamut. It also has excellent viewing angles and, of course, a large display area that’s ideal for a large office or small home entertainment center. The monitor’s maximum brightness could be higher, but it still looks good in HDR content, especially when used in a dark room.
Though similar in size to some OLED televisions, the Acer Predator CG48 is not a TV. It doesn’t have a TV tuner and can’t connect to a coaxial antenna or cable connection. PC connectivity is superb, though, with DisplayPort, USB-C, and HDMI 2.1 available, as well as three additional HDMI 2.0 ports.
A remote is included and can be used to navigate the monitor’s on-screen menu. Acer provides a wide range of image quality adjustments that make it easy to customize the image to your liking. The monitor’s out-of-box performance was excellent, too, and worked well with both PC and game console inputs.
The Acer Predator CG48 carries a MSRP of $1,499.99, which is high. It’s often on sale, so it’s wise to shop around. Buying the monitor at a discount can save you hundreds.
7. Asus ProArt PA348CGV – Best ultrawide
- Excellent SDR image quality
- Sturdy, hefty design
- Wide range of customization
- 120Hz refresh rate
- USB-C hub lacks video-out or ethernet
- HDR is merely passable
Asus’ ProArt PA348CGV is an ultrawide that targets professionals but throws in features to please gamers.
Professionals will love the PA348CGV for its excellent color accuracy, wide color gamut, and healthy range of image quality adjustments. The monitor looks outstanding at default settings and can be tuned to fit a variety of color gamuts or meet specific color temperature and gamma targets.
Monitors like this normally leave gamers in the cold, but the PA348CGV is an exception. It has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. Its motion clarity can’t rival the best 144Hz or 165Hz ultrawide gaming monitors, but it’s a huge boost over a 60Hz panel.
The PA348CGV is built like a tank with sturdy plastics and a weighty stand that keeps the ultrawide panel planted. It also has good connectivity with a total of four video inputs, one of which is USB-C. The USB-C port drives a hub with four additional USB-A ports.
And here’s the real surprise: the PA348CGV’s MSRP is just $729. That’s not cheap, but it’s close to the price of alternative professional monitors that completely lack an enhanced refresh rate or adaptive sync. That makes the PA348CGV an easy choice for ultrawide enthusiasts.
8. Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX – Best HDR monitor
- Excellent gaming performance
- 4K resolution
- Dimmable mini-LED backlight
- Ergonomic adjustment options
- High power consumption
- Extremely expensive
Okay, folks. Hold onto your butts, because we’re about to take a trip out to the cutting-edge of PC monitors: the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX.
This monitor has a Mini-LED backlight with 1,152 zones that can adjust brightness independently. As a result, it can ramp up brightness to extremely high levels when required, or turn off zones entirely in dark scenes. This results in an excellent contrast ratio and superb brightness.
These traits make the PG32UQX a standout in HDR games and movies. Bright, high-contrast scenes look amazing. You can almost feel the heat of an explosion and the intense glare of sun reflecting off a window or mirror.
There’s more to the monitor than HDR, however. It scores extremely well in overall contrast, has class-leading color performance, and provides a crisp 4K image. The monitor supports G-Sync Ultimate for smooth gameplay with Nvidia hardware and has a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz.
The only problem? Price. This monitor sells for around $3,000. Shoppers may want to consider the slightly less exorbitant Viewsonic Elite XG321UG as an alternative. It has a similar Mini-LED backlight.
9. AOC PD27 – Best 27-inch curved display
- Excellent gaming performance
- Maximum refresh rate of 240Hz
- Curved monitor with curvature of 1,000R
- Designed by Porsche
- High electricity use
The 27-inch curved AOC PD27 monitor designed by Porsche Design oozes class.
It offers buttery-smooth gameplay and near imperceptible input lag with a resolution of 1440p and a lightning-fast maximum refresh rate of 240Hz. While testing, we could find no onscreen issues with even the most fast-paced, graphics-intensive games. The display also comes with a ton of gaming settings to tweak and dial-in to your heart’s content.
The radius of the curved monitor is 1,000mm, which helps to support an immersive gaming experience. The display also comes with an excellent array of ports including two DisplayPort, two HDMI, and four USB ports.
The only downside to the AOC PD27 is that true to its designer’s name, it comes with a luxury price tag. But you get what you pay for and while it might not be for everyone, for those who can afford it, this is an outstanding monitor.
10. ViewSonic ColorPro VP16 OLED – Best portable monitor
- Versatile, useful stands
- Good connectivity, cables included
- Numerous image quality customization options
- Top-tier image quality even at default settings
- Speakers are included, but weak
- Pricey for a portable monitor
- No HDR
The Viewsonic VP16-OLED is an impressive portable OLED monitor that combines class-leading image quality with a unique and useful stand.
As its name suggests, the VP16-OLED has a 15.6-inch OLED panel with 1080p resolution. It delivers outstanding image quality, scoring top marks in color accuracy, gamut, and contrast. The VP16-OLED’s performance is superior to many full-sized OLED monitors—and completely smashes portable competitors. This makes the VP16-OLED ideal for photographers, videographers, and other content creators.
The monitor has a versatile stand. It can be used as a kickstand, as is true of most portable monitors, or expand to hold the monitor upright. The stand includes two USB-C ports, either of which can be used to provide power and video input to the monitor. It also offers a micro-HDMI port for use with devices that lack USB-C. Viewsonic bundles the monitor with several cable types and a USB-C power brick, so you don’t have to buy additional adapter cables or accessories.
There’s just one problem: It’s expensive. The Viewsonic VP16-OLED retails at $399.99, more than double the price of a basic 1080p portable monitor. That’s tough to justify if you just need a second monitor to display Slack and Twitter, but it’s a worthwhile upgrade if you care about image quality.
What to look for in a monitor
There are literally hundreds—and perhaps thousands—of monitors to choose from. Choosing one from the crowd can be difficult, but knowing the key traits of a monitor will help you make your decision.
Most monitors are available in 4K (3,840×2,160), 1440p (2,560×1,440) and 1080p (1,920×1,080) resolution. A higher resolution provides a sharper, more attractive image and is generally preferable. There’s nothing wrong with 1080p, however. It remains the baseline and is by far the most popular resolution sold today.
Look for a monitor with a connection supported by your computer. HDMI and DisplayPort are the most common. USB-C is rising in popularity because it can charge connected devices, such as a laptop.
Most monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate, but a higher refresh rate (such as 144Hz) will make motion look smooth and crisp. This is most appealing to PC gamers, as improved motion performance is most noticeable when panning the camera in a 3D game.
This technology also improves motion performance. It does so by keeping a monitor’s refresh rate in sync with the video input from your computer. Our guide to FreeSync and G-Sync provides more detail.
Want to know more before you make a decision? Our monitor buying guide explains the nerdy details of monitor specifications.
How we test monitors
Our monitor guides are based on testing by freelance and staff contributors with decades of combined experience.
While we rely on our eyes for an initial impression, we thoroughly test each monitor with a SpyderXElite color calibration tool. This specialized hardware can objectively measure a monitor’s brightness, contrast, color gamut, color accuracy, luminance and color uniformity, gamma, and many other aspects of image quality.
Using this tool helps us detect strengths and weaknesses that don’t stand out at a glance and guarantees that a change in lighting conditions or monitor location won’t skew our impression.
What size of monitor should I buy?
Monitor size depends on personal preference and location.
A 24-inch monitor is fine for a desk that is around 24 inches deep, or less. Its small size will still be sufficient because the monitor is closer to you.
Most people, however, will want to go with a 27-inch monitor. The added size will make the monitor easy to see. This also opens up a wider range of 4K monitor options, as 4K is very rare on a 24-inch monitor.
Larger monitors, such as a 32-inch widescreen or 34-inch ultrawide, are great for deep desks and people who want an immersive experience. Monitors this large can serve as a TV replacement in a small room.
Displays of even larger size, such as 42-inch or 48-inch HDTVs, are best for home theater setups or an unusually large office. You’ll want to sit four to six feet away from a display of this size.
What display input is best? (HDMI vs. DisplayPort vs. USB-C)
USB-C is the best display input for most people. It works by bundling DisplayPort into USB-C, so offers all the same features as DisplayPort. Yet it retains the features of USB-C including optional support for Power Delivery to charge external devices. This is why we recommend a USB-C monitor for most people.
DisplayPort is generally second-best. It supports higher resolutions and refresh rates than HDMI. This input is particularly common on desktop computers.
HDMI comes in third due to lower resolution and refresh rate support. This is improved by HDMI 2.1, but this feature remains hard to find and often adds to a monitor’s price.
All three of the options above handle 1080p at 60Hz, which is the most common resolution and refresh rate available today. It’s also important to buy a monitor that has an input compatible with your PC.
Are all monitors compatible with Windows and MacOS?
Modern monitors are compatible with all recent versions of Windows and MacOS. They’re plug-and-play, which means the monitor should display an image without the need to install driver software or mess with Windows or MacOS settings.