Best computer monitors PC 2022: 4K, gaming and curved displays from Dell, Samsung and LG

Whether you’re working from home or you’re simply seeking to get a little more richness out of video and images, there’s never been a better time to buy a new monitor.

When choosing a monitor, there are a few key specifications you should look at. The most fundamental of which is connectivity. Does the monitor have the right connection ports to connect to your computer, games console, or whatever else you wish to use it with? Common display interfaces include HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort and USB Type-C.

Another important point to address is the monitor’s resolution. The vast majority of monitors being made today have at least a Full HD (1920px x 1080px) resolution, while at the higher end of the market, detail-rich 4K displays are common. Higher resolution models are most relevant to people who intend to use their monitor for gaming or streaming 4K media.

Speaking of gaming, there are a few specs to look out for if you need a monitor that’ll do justice to your favourite games. In particular, look at the refresh rate and response time. The refresh rate is the number of times per minute the image is refreshed, so the higher that figure is, the more dynamic the game can be. 60Hz is standard, but higher-end monitors can go up to 120Hz and 144Hz.

The response time refers to how long it takes for the pixels on the screen to change colour in response to the input. A response time of five milliseconds or less is what you’re looking for. Any higher and you can see “ghosting”, unwanted light trails that follow bright and fast moving objects on screen.

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The best computer monitors for 2022 are:

  • Best for working from home – LG 27QN880: £394.98,
  • Best 4K monitor under £500 – ViewSonic VX2776-4K-MHD: £363.83,
  • Best budget monitor – BenQ GW2480: £149.97,
  • Best gaming monitor – Dell U2719D: £799,
  • Best portable monitor – AOC E2270SWHN: £104.97,
  • Best curved monitor – Samsung LC32R500FHUXEN: £209.99,
  • Best 1080p monitor – Philips e-line 245E1S: £231.06,

LG 27QN880 27in QHD ergo IPS monitor

Best: For working from home

  • Weight: 8.65 kg
  • Video inputs: HDMI, USB 3.0 hub
  • USB ports: 2 x USB 3.0 downstream, 1 USB-C
  • Panel size: 27 inches
  • Size: 27 inches
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9

Elegant, convenient and beautifully sharp, this is our favourite monitor for home working. We found it a joy to set up and use, with the eight default picture modes catering excellently for a range of uses, from gaming to writing this very review.

The ergonomic stand of the 27QN880 is a bit of a marvel. Once safely clamped onto your desk, it enables you to swivel, extend, retract, pivot or tilt the screen, pretty much as you please. This makes it remarkably easy to position the monitor on your desk, where other screens of the same size might take up too much space.

ViewSonic VX2776-4K-MHD 27in IPS monitor

Best: 4K monitor under £500

  • Weight:7 kg
  • Video inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort
  • USB ports:
  • Panel size: 27 inches
  • Size: 27 inches
  • Aspect ratio:16:9

Beautiful, crystal clear viewing is the order of the day with this powerful monitor. It is an aesthete’s dream, combining 4k Ultra HD resolution with a chic silver design that’s distinctly snazzier than the average monitor.

One minor downside is that assembling it can be a little fiddly. The screws used to put the stand together with the screen doesn’t fit into place quite as easily as we’d have liked. However, this minor inconvenience will soon be forgotten, once you’ve hooked up your computer or console and feasted your eyes on the phenomenal screen.

BenQ GW2480 24in 1080p eye care LED IPS Monitor

Best: Budget monitor

  • Weight: 3.84 kg
  • Video inputs: HDMI
  • USB ports:
  • Panel size: 23.6 inches
  • Size: 23.6 inches
  • Aspect ratio:16:9

This is the best affordable monitor we’ve tested, offering excellent performance and quality at a very fair price. The edge-to-edge design of the screen is particularly slick, placing whatever’s on-screen firmly in the spotlight. Its stand feels robust and nicely finished, well beyond our expectations.

A particularly interesting feature of this monitor is its “brightness intelligence technology”, which dims excessively bright areas of the screen whilst boosting the visibility of dark areas. In our testing, this clever tech delivered a wonderfully watchable viewing experience, combining comfort and clarity.

Dell U2719D 27in ultrasharp QHD monitor

Best: Gaming monitor

The Dell ultrasharp QHD monitor is simply glorious to view media with. This should come as little surprise given the monitor’s spec sheet. 1080p resolution, “comfortview” blue light reduction and top-drawer colour calibrations are just a few of the many strings to the U2719D’s bow.

In terms of design, this monitor is eminently practical, from the capability to stow away dangling cables using its cable management system, to the solid, straightforward style of the stand and screen. If we’re going to split hairs, we’d say the headphone jack could do to be slightly easier to locate. It’s quite hard to get to it behind the monitor stand, and you’ll need it to hear the audio from your connected device.

AOC E2270SWHN 21.5in LED FHD monitor

Best: Portable monitor

  • Weight: 2.8 kg
  • Video inputs: HDMI, VGA
  • USB ports: –
  • Panel size: 21.5 inches
  • Size: 21.5 inches
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9

This screen gives you HD resolution in a remarkably affordable package. The monitor’s brushed finish and pleasingly simple design give it an appearance that’s a cut above most of its peers.

At 21.5in,  it is a suitable size to work within a fairly compact space. If you want to use the monitor for gaming or watching films, you may want to find something a little larger.

Interestingly, this monitor can be wall mounted – a capability that opens up the potential to save lots of space on your desk.

Samsung LC32R500FHUXEN 32in curved monitor

Best: Curved monitor

  • Weight: 5.9 kg
  • Video inputs:
  • USB ports:
  • Panel size: 32”
  • Size: 32”
  • Aspect ratio:

Here’s a monitor so immersive, you can pretty well live inside it. The curved, 32in screen looks cinematic, and it does indeed lend itself well to viewing films. But that flamboyant curvature can be beneficial in day-to-day office use, too. A curved screen can help the user take in all the information on a wide screen more easily than they could if the screen were flat – a claim we found to be accurate during our testing.

Curved screen aside, this is a fairly simple and effective HD monitor. One minor downside is that it is not especially connectable, with only HDMI, VGA and headphone inputs/outputs to play with.

Philips e-line 245E1S 24in LED monitor

Best: 1080p monitor

This natty Philips monitor stands out from the crowd, with a smart, angular design and attractive brushed finish.

Of course, what really matters is what’s on screen – and in this monitor’s case, that’s something rather impressive. It uses an ultra-wide colour spectrum to deliver especially vivid images. From screensavers to streaming videos, this can make for excellent viewing.

One group of users to whom this monitor comes especially highly recommended is casual gamers. It represents a great compromise between the needs of home office use – a neat footprint, a restrained design – with impressive specs such as a response time of four milliseconds.

Computer monitor FAQs

What size monitor do I need?

Think carefully about the width of the monitor you require. In our view, the most suitable monitor sizes for home and desktop use are within the range of about 21in to 27in. Much larger than that and you’d need a desk wide enough to get some distance between your eyes and the screen.

Monitors are measured along the diagonal between two opposite corners of the display. A larger screen is generally construed as providing a better video viewing experience, while smaller screens can be more convenient to keep around the home.

What are the three types of monitor?

The two main types of monitor technologies are LED and LCD.

  • LCD (liquid crystal display) – These monitors are generally cheaper as the underlying hardware is more cost effective to manufacture. They use a flat panel array of liquid crystals divided into millions of subpixels, which are illuminated by a fluorescent backlight to produce an image on screen.
  • LED (light emitting diode) – These monitors are very similar, but use light emitting diodes to illuminate the LCD panel. This allows for greater control over contrast and brightness, producing deep blacks and richer colours than is possible with a standard LCD screen.
  • CRT (cathode ray tubes) – Finally, there’s the old school CRT monitor. These are those boxy monitors, and fire a magnetised stream of electrons through a vacuum chamber to burn an image on a thin layer of phosphor painted on the back of a curved piece of glass 60 times per second.

What’s better: IPS or VA?

That depends on how you want to use your monitor.

For watching movies and playing games with lots of dark areas, you’ll want a VA panel as it offers better contrast in low-light situations. If you work in photography or video editing where colour accuracy is important, an IPS panel is better. They have wider viewing angles, meaning colours don’t become distorted as you move your head around.

Manufacturers of both kinds of panel do their best to mitigate the worst characteristics of IPS and VA, so it’s worth considering both kinds.

The verdict: Computer monitors

Thanks to its eye-catching combination of beautiful visuals and extreme flexibility, we’re naming the LG 27QN880 our best buy. Not only will this monitor make whatever you’re viewing or watching look its best, it’ll also help keep your desk tidy by virtue of its clever clamp-based stand.

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