Best UHD / 4K Monitors of February, 2018
How To Choose The Right 4K Monitor?
While relatively still expensive and primarily aimed at professionals and hardcore gamers, 4K monitors are becoming more common and more affordable with some costing less than $400. Thanks to powerful computers, new display ports and cheaper monitors, it makes the upgrade to 4K easier than it’s ever been.
4K (3840×2160) or Ultra HD as it’s commercially known, is the next big jump in screen resolution for TVs, Monitors and probably our phones and tablets too within a few years.
Also known as Ultra High Definition or UHD, 4K delivers four times as much detail as a standard 1080p or a Full HD. So Full HD delivers 2 million pixels while 4K delivers 8 million pixels. Those extra pixels make everything crystal clear and super sharp.
It got the name 4K after the image width, which is 4000 pixels, but it is also referred to as 2160p.
The ultimate goal of companies increasing the resolution of their displays is to provide a higher level of detail. This can be invaluable for photographers, video editors, animators, designers and gamers who seek to get the highest possible picture quality out of their experience.
Basically, the higher the resolution, the better visual experience you’re going to have. All the extra pixels create much sharper images making any kind of content a lot more engaging and fun. You can even stick your eye to the display and you still won’t see the image break up even a little.
Everything To Know About 4K Monitors
Being a bit more knowledgeable about choosing your 4K monitor helps you choose a monitor that you can certainly use and maybe even cut a bit off its price tag.
A lot of cheap 4K monitors have an outdated display connection, poor image quality and low refresh rates because they use cheap panels.
Some are still pretty decent and offer a good 4K experience but they don’t offer the outstanding color accuracy and the good viewing angles of more high-end monitors.
Finding the right 4K monitor that suits a range of different users has been made easy in this article. Here you’ll find a guide to buying the best 4K monitor for yourself.
Connectivity and System Requirements
Enjoying high quality graphic and high resolution was always a demanding task for a PC. Pushing your resolution to 8,294,400 pixels demands a lot of horsepower, especially if you intend to run new games or any graphically demanding applications.
You should have a powerful processor and a dedicated graphic card with the necessary display connections. Have at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU or one just as powerful.
It can be connected through a HDMI 1.4 port that has a 30 Hz output for 4K, which is 30 frames per second. That is too low for gaming and would make your desktop experience a lot less fluid.
But a DisplayPort 1.2 or a HDMI 2.0 port has a 4K output of 60 frames per second which will make your experience much more pleasant. Not to mention that is a lot better for gaming. So it’s always a better choice to go with 60 Hz monitors, forget about the 30 Hz ones.
Make sure that your PC has either a DisplayPort 1.2 or a HDMI 2.0 to ensure you get the most high-quality 4K experience.
IPS or TN panels
Knowing the difference between IPS and TN panels is important to make the right choice between monitors. This isn’t a question of knowing which is better, what you have to know is which one works better for you.
IPS (In Plane Switching)
If you’re looking to do professional creative work where color accuracy is very important, you should choose IPS panels. These panels offer a lot better color reproduction and better viewing angles.
TN (Twisted Nematic)
If you’re a casual user or a hardcore gamer, you’ll want to have a monitor with a TN panel. It is the oldest and most common technology and its biggest advantage is that it has very short response times (1 miliseconds).
Look for 60 Hz
If you increase the resolution of a monitor, it’s going to have an impact on frame rates. Even if you have the right hardware and connectivity, you’ll see a drop in frame rate when using a 4K monitor.
If you’re a gamer, you’ll be quite bothered by the fact that you can only reach a 30 Hz refresh rate, even with the latest graphic cards.
Playing games on a 4K monitor is an outstanding experience because the sheer eye candy it provides, but 30 Hz monitors don’t suit professional gaming. It is expensive to use it and it won’t really boost your performance when it comes to playing FPS games like Battle Field or Counter Strike Global Offensive.
So always look for newer models that have a 60 Hz refresh rate.
Look For Single Stream Transport Technology
Older 4K monitors have a few hardware limitations, so they had the screen split into two parts in order for computers to be able to handle the huge number of pixels. This also came with a number of software issues, because operating systems treated the screen as it were to separate monitors and would only turn on one of them at a time. The Single Stream Transport technology makes sure that things work as simply as we are used to with most monitors.
Use the Right Software
It’s also important to run Windows or Mac with the latest updates to be able to leverage the best scaling software.
This is particularly important when connecting a 4K monitor because it provides a much larger playing field for your desktop, making windows and icons seem a lot smaller. So, to avoid having to glare at your monitor, be sure to use the right settings to have icons and any content on your screen displayed in a way that suits you perfectly.
Have An Eye For Build Quality
It is also important to note the physical design of the monitor. Is the stand firm enough? Does it have adjustable height? Can it be rotated, tilted or does it have swivel? Or does it have a VESA mount?
If you take these things in perspective, you’re all set for buying yourself a great 4K monitor, even if you’re on a budget. Here, we have enlisted our top 10 choices for 4K monitors that you can all check out through their accompanying links.
Dell Ultra HD 4k Monitor P2715Q 27-Inch
The Dell P2715Q is one of the first 4K monitors that fit every criterion.
It works for any kind of use and is great for anything that you would want to use it for, as it boasts a 60Hz refresh rate at full 4K resolution. This is quite amazing as most of the first 4K monitors that hit the market could only work with a 30Hz refresh rate.
At a 60Hz refresh rate, this monitor refreshes the screen fast enough that you won’t see anything choppy on the screen.
The Dell P2715Q works with a Single Stream Transport which reassures that it works well from a software standpoint as well.
This monitor features an IPS (In Plane Switching) panel which is a type of LCD technology. IPS panels currently offer the best color reproductions and the best viewing angles as well, which add up to a better quality experience and less eyestrain.
But having an IPS display means that it has a lower response time. The Dell P2715Q has a 9ms response time which is quite slow, considering that you can buy cheaper monitors with 2ms response times.
It isn’t that great for gamers but it works perfectly for web developers and other types of professionals as every bit of text and graphics on the screen look razor sharp.
The exterior design looks about the same as other Dell monitors. Its simple sleek, covered in black and grey plastic. If you’re only planning to use it as a monitor with ultra-high resolution and not the next piece of decoration in your room, it will be great.
You can easily raise and lower its height, tilt it back and forth, swivel it left and right or rotate it into portrait mode.
On the right side, you have the standard buttons for adjusting monitor settings such as contrast, color balance, rotation and brightness.
On the back you have the power input, a HDMI 1.4 port in, a DisplayPort in, a Mini DisplayPort in, a display port out, a 3.5 mm audio out and three USB 3.0s in that feed the USB 3.0 hub that comes along with it.
Make sure you have a powerful enough graphic card that can handle the high resolution of this monitor.
What makes the Dell P2715Q even more attractive is the price. It costs less than $600 which is an outstanding price. Considering that it features high-end 4K features such as a 60Hz refresh rate, an IPS panel and a Single Stream Transport, it provides great value for the money you pay.
Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch
Samsung manages to keep up with if not surpass its competitors in the development of 4K monitors. It has created the U28E590D model which brings UHD resolution at a stunning price under $400. It runs at 60 Hz and boasts 1ms response times. The Single Stream Transport is also present, but note that you’ll have to have a DisplayPort 1.2 output to use it at 4K 60 Hz with only one cable.
Having a 60 Hz response time and a TN panel makes it an excellent choice for gamers and entry level creative professionals.
The viewing angles of the Samsung U28E590D are quite good from a normal sitting position, but they aren’t nearly as great when the monitor is tilted vertically. This is a major turnoff in professional creative work, where color consistency is incredibly important. But if you view it from a fix viewing position, there should be no problems. From a workflow perspective, the additional amount of pixels makes it an excellent work machine. There is an incredible amount of space you can use to spread a number of additional windows and make work much more transparent.
Physically the monitor is pretty attractive with a thin overall design and the semi matte screen offers vibrant colors with just the right mix of antiglare.
It is held by a metal stand which gives it a much more solid and safe feel, but it does not let you pivot, swivel, rotate it or adjust the height either. This makes the monitor pretty stiff and stationary. On the back you have a joystick for adjusting the monitor settings.
It is a great value monitor but some corners were cut in its design. It’s not perfect but still offers high-quality 4K experience for gaming, professional work and watching movies.
If you’re looking to enjoy 4K features on a budget just go ahead and buy it!
ASUS PB287Q UHD 4K Monitor
This is one of the first reasonably priced models with a 4K display and it is one heck of a monitor! It contains one of the best TN panels and boasts 60 Hz. It’s absolutely perfect for gamers in every aspect and has less than one frame of display lag. Although it won’t suit content creators such as photographers and other creative people who intend to do professional color work.
The exterior design is what you would expect from ASUS. It has robust build quality that doesn’t scratch too easily and you won’t notice any fingerprints on it anytime soon.
The PB287Q has 15 cm of height adjustment; 120 degrees of swivel, a 90 degree pivot and the ability rotate it into portrait mode. But if you want to lose the stand you can do that as well and mount it to the wall or a different stand.
In the right corner, on the monitor’s back there are the monitor’s adjustment buttons that are pretty hard to get to, so tinkering with your monitor’s settings won’t be too comfortable. Otherwise the settings works really well, providing some useful video modes, image settings, along with the usual contrast, color temperature, brightness settings and so forth.
The ASUS PB287Q uses the same TN panel as the above mentioned Samsung model which is great for any casual user and gamers but not good enough for professional work. But it has a lot of improvements that the Samsung model doesn’t so it is in the “best buy” category.
LG 27UD68P Ultra HD Monitor
LG brings affordable IPS 4K in a 27” format with the 27UD68P monitor.
I find it important to note right off the bat, that this Freesync enabled monitor is simply awesome. It works perfectly for gaming and or just about any other type of use. It has a refresh rate of 60 Hz and a 5ms response time which makes the image so flawless and fluid.
The exterior design of the 27UD68P looks so classy and modern. It is very thin and has a very beautiful design on the front but the back is disgustingly glossy. It is a magnet for dust and other messes you might have laying around, but you won’t be looking much at the back of the monitor, will you?
The stand is made out of plastic, so it isn’t too solid and if you want to use rotation or swivel, you can only tilt it forward and back. If you want to have more freedom in moving this monitor around, you can do it by installing your own stands thanks to the VESA mount on the back.
On the back there aren’t many display ports on this monitor, just as many as you would need. It features one display port, two HDMI 2.0 inputs, one DC-IN and a headphone out. You have the navigation joystick under the screen, for adjusting your monitor’s settings.
Both the color and the resolution at this price point makes the LG 27UD68P easily one of the best choices for anyone who wants to jump into enjoying 4K right now.
Philips 288P6LJEB 4K Monitor
The 288P6LJEB model is a 4K monitor with 60 Hz refresh rate and Single Stream Transport technology. It is very similar to the Asus and Samsung models mentioned above in terms of specs and features. Most of these monitors are built on the same panels and they have very similar specifications. Of course you’ll have to have a graphics card that supports 4K, like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 for example.
This is a TN monitor which makes it good for gaming but that also means they don’t have as good viewing angles as monitors with an IPS panel do. Still, it performs well in the TN panel league. They are on par with the Samsung and Asus as we already mentioned.
Externally this PHILIPS monitor looks as good as we have come to expect from 4K monitors, bringing a very high end and professional style. It has a very firm and robust stand that keeps it stable at all times. The height and tilt of the monitor is adjustable but can’t be rotated or swiveled. But if you need to move your monitor more dynamically, you can mount it on your own stand, thanks to the VESA support.
The 288P6LJEB also has very good connectivity options, offering a DisplayPort that can handle 4K at 60Hz, a HDMI port, two 3.5 mm jacks and has older connectivity ports such as VGA and DVI. There is also an USB hub with 4 ports, offering 2 USB 2.0 ports and USB 3.0 ports. One of those is a yellow USB port, which indicates that it will charge your phone much faster.
It also has two monitor speakers on the bottom, which are great for monitor speakers but won’t really match up to an actual pair of speakers.
It is important to mention that this monitor has nearly a 50ms latency which can be ignored in professional work and everyday use. Yet hardcore gamers or anyone who is sensitive to this kind of stuff should be aware of this. Gamers should look at other 4K options, like the ASUS and Samsung monitors.
If you’re the type who is more concerned with things like out of the box color accuracy, the 288P6LJEB is an excellent choice.
BenQ 32-Inch IPS 4K Monitor
BenQ brings a high-end 4K monitor with a 3840 x 2160 resolution and a 60 Hz refresh rate. It is a Full IPS certified monitor. Compared to other monitors with TN panels, it has much better viewing angles. Yet you will notice a bit of grayness if you look at the screen from above. But you’ll rarely view it from a standing position so that shouldn’t be a problem.
The response time of this monitor is about 4 ms, which is decent for multipurpose monitors but it isn’t at all ready for professional gaming and it doesn’t have the Gsync technology of high-end gaming monitors.
But those who intend to use the monitor for multiple purposes and applications as well as casual gaming, these parameters are acceptable. It is excellent for creating high quality content as well as getting true colors out of every image.
The external design of this BenQ monitor is also fitting of a 4K monitor. The screen has a matt anti-glare finish so you can use it in well-lit environments with minimal glare.
The stand offers around 15 cm of height adjustment, 45 degrees swivel and enough tilt adjustments. If you’re looking to hook up your own stand or to the monitor on the wall, you can do it thanks to the VESA mount. What makes the stand even cooler is the control panel that is placed in the middle. It provides you with all the controls necessary for tinkering with your monitor’s settings.
You can switch between different picture profile presets such as the sRGB, CAD/CAM and the Low Blue Light setting. But you can program your own settings as well.
On the right side of the panel, you have the connectivity options, which include two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, a mini DisplayPort and a DVI port. The panel also contains a great multimedia hub on the bottom with three USB 3.0 connections, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a mini USB port for connecting the controls we’ve talked about.
In the right corner of the monitor, there is a MicroSD card slot and two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack.
Overall, this monitor is an ultimate choice for video editing, picture editing or any kind of professional work. It can handle casual gaming but doesn’t work well for professional gaming. It is a future proof monitor that will provide a satisfying image for a long time.
ViewSonic VX2475SMHL 4K Monitor
ViewSonic has dished out its own version of a 4K monitor that offers sharp pictures and great colors and contrast along with the industry leading HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity options. They allow you to enjoy 4K at 60Hz resolution, which is a must have if you want to get the most out of your 4K experience.
It’s one of best inexpensive 4K monitors, yet it does have a fair set of disadvantages. It doesn’t offer any legacy ports or USB ports and does not come with any extra features. You only have the HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2 connections and no DVI, VGA or D-Sub connections. It’s not a problem if you’re only seeking to enjoy 4K on one PC but could be if you want to connect other devices as well.
Other than that, it performs really well in what it has set out to do, providing an absolutely clear image with accurate colors. It delivers a crisp clear 3840 x 2160 resolution image with robust colors. It has a PLS panel which is very similar to IPS panels as it delivers better viewing angles (178 degrees) and color quality than the TN panels. It has an outstanding 2ms response time which makes it good for 4K gaming experiences, a 1:1000 contrast ratio and it can display 24-bit color.
It comes with six preset image modes which include: Web, Text, Movie, Game and Standard.
It’s great to watch movies on its screen. Skin tones looked very natural when we watched Dr. Strange from a Blu-ray disk.
The 24-inch screen has a matte finish and the entire monitor is 1.9 inches thick. It has a glossy exterior which I don’t really prefer because it attracts dust and makes it much more visible. The monitor is held in place firmly with a large square shaped stand but it is very stationary. It can only be tilted 22 degrees back and forth and doesn’t have swivel, height or rotation adjustments. Though, if you do want to enjoy those features, you can do it by mounting the monitor onto your own stand with the VESA mount on the back.
Overall, there are no actual problems with this monitor. It provides a solid performance and would make a great addition for an office environment.
AOC U2879VF UHD Monitor
The AOC U2879VF is a 4K Freesync monitor that brings a sleek and high-end looking design and an outstanding 60 Hz performance and a 1ms response time. It works well for gaming but it doesn’t perform as well in some areas of professional creative work.
The most noteworthy aspect of this monitor is that it offers excellent value at a ridiculously low price.
Color accuracy is good, but far from perfect. You won’t see any tinting or any oversaturated colors, but if you’re editing videos or images where the color accuracy is critical, you’re better off with a high-end IPS panel boasting monitor.
This model however has a TN panel which does an excellent job in displaying anything with a lot of motion, such as action games and all the movies. The 10 bit panel has a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a 16:9 aspect ratio and non-reflective coating. Images in UHD look crisp clear and evenly saturated.
The AOC U2879VF doesn’t break any new ground in terms of design, but it looks pretty solid and professional in all its simplicity. It has a glossy black coating and a silver stand. You’ll find that the monitor stands very firmly, which is good, but it doesn’t have the height, pivot, swivel adjustments we have come to know and love. So it looks elegant and stylish but is nothing to shout about.
On the bottom, you’ll find some mushy settings buttons that aren’t too comfortable to use but get the job done. The settings menu looks really nice and let you tinker with various presets and color settings.
On the back there is a DisplayPort, a HDMI/MHL port, DVI and VGA, so you have all the connectivity options that are necessary except USB ports and speaker jacks.
The AOC U2879VF is very impressive in terms of performance and it’s functional enough as well. Gamers will love the quick response times, but designers who require high color accuracy should look in a different direction. Overall this model is excellent for everyday use, watching movies and hardcore gaming and would be a future proof choice for most people.
Seiki Pro SM28UTR 4K Monitor
The Seiki Pro SM28UTR is an outstanding budget monitor for those who seek to jump right into 4K gaming. It uses TN panel technology, which means that it doesn’t have superior viewing angles, but it works great for hardcore gaming, thanks to the fast response times. It also works at a 60 Hz refresh rate, so it’s set for the quality 4K experience.
On the back there are a great number of connectivity options. It has a HDMI 1.4 and a DisplayPort 1.2, along with a DVI and VGA port. There are 4 USB ports, so you’ll have absolutely no problem with hooking up any of your USB devices.
The Seiki Pro is nothing special in terms of design. It features the usual black casing we’re used to and a sturdy metal stand that can be mounted on the back by tying two screws. The monitor can only be slightly tilted back and forward. It does not have any swivel or rotation options, so it’s pretty stiff, but that won’t be a problem if you’re using monitors the old fashioned way.
I wouldn’t call this a high-end monitor but it’s very decent. There are no problems in terms of picture quality and color accuracy. It is set for some solid 4K gaming right out of the box, but if you seek to do some design work or video editing, you’re probably better off using a monitor with an IPS panel.
Overall, it will provide a preferable service for any casual user out there.
HP Spectre UHD 4K Monitor
The HP Spectre Studio Display is a very high end monitor that makes for an excellent TV replacement as well. It boasts the best pair of monitor speakers on this list, which is great if you want to hook up a console as well. You can view two inputs at once, by placing them side by side or in a picture in picture mode.
You’ll have a great time up scaling to 4K with this baby. As we have already come to expect it works with a 60 Hz refresh rate. It boasts a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 million colors and a 10M:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio. The only thing I didn’t really like about it was the glossy screen as it will reflect any strong light that falls on it. I would call it a mix of glossy and matte display. There is also a 178 degree of viewing angles, which is quite good.
The monitor is snow white with a simplistic design, which looks pretty good in any setup that’s not too colorful. It looks very elegant and would even make a great piece of decoration in any environment. It won’t fit in too well with a multi-monitor setup, but if you’re using it as a single monitor it will also double as a TV, thanks to the convenient remote controller that comes with it. The entire model is very thin, being 1.5 inch at its thickest point, which makes it look very slick.
The stand holds the monitor in two places, which means that it doesn’t have any rotation or swivel options. You can only achieve those with a custom monitor stand, by using the VESA mount on the back. It looks really cool though, because the stand makes the whole setup look like it’s floating in the air.
The HP Spectre also comes with a lot of ports. You have an HDMI 1.4 port, a HDMI 1.2 port and a display port. There are also two USB ports and an audio jack and a headphone jack on the back. On the left side there’s scroll wheel for adjusting the volume. The speakers are pretty loud and have a decent tone for a pair of monitor speakers.
Overall, the HP Spectre 32-inch Studio Display LED-lit Monitor is a solid choice if you want to upscale to a 4K monitor. It provides a crisp clear picture and makes an elegant addition to any room.
Thanks to the new generation of 4K monitors hitting the market, finding one that gives us access to 4K is easy even if you’re on the budget. This is a major step forward, considering that not long ago most 4K monitors could only be used at 30 Hz which kind of defeated the point of having one. Today, we can enjoy all the 4K content we want at 60 Hz, which paves the way for 4K gaming.
No matter what your preference is, you can find a monitor that fits you perfectly. Whether you’re a professional who does color-sensitive creative work or a hardcore gamer who’s performance depends on low response times, you can finally do it on an all so pleasing 4K monitor.
This TOP 10 provides you with all the best 4K monitors on the market that offer great value for your money. You can buy one no matter what budget plan you’re on. You also have all the necessary information to make the right choice so go on and check out all the awesome monitors on offer right now!