Monitors When you spend a lot of time online—whether working, gaming, watching videos, or just surfing the web—it helps to have a monitor to make the experience more comfortable and immersive. Depending on your intended use, you’ll want to assess features like resolution, screen size, speed, and color quality.
Inventory of many monitors is low because so many people are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we still found the best options available for a variety of uses and budgets. While some are dedicated to productivity and others to gaming, quite a few are well suited to both, so they can pull double-duty in your home office.
Monitor Features to Consider
Before you buy a monitor, you should check all of its specifications to ensure it includes the features you want. If you can’t afford a 4K screen, you should aim for a wide 16:9 aspect ratio and Full HD display. Most of the best monitors are LCD with LED backlighting; however, OLED tech is finally coming—along with its self-illuminating pixels (no need for a backlight) and better contrast—to monitors as well. If you need color accuracy for work like photo editing, check for features like High Dynamic Range (HDR), a high contrast ratio, and In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels, which all help improve visuals.
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Dell UltraSharp U2717D 27-Inch LED Monitor
This Dell UltraSharp monitor delivers a great balance of size, price, and performance. Its large 27-inch screen might even rival the monitor in your office, while the sleek stand won’t take over too much desk space. With a 16:9 aspect ratio, 2560 x 1440 resolution, and 60Hz refresh rate, the display offers great performance at a reasonable price for its size and capability. Plus, it’s hard to beat its adjustable stand, thin bezels, variety of ports, and three-year limited warranty.
ViewSonic VX2457-MHD 24-Inch Monitor
This ViewSonic proves that budget options don’t have to sacrifice performance, ports, or design. Though its looks are subtle, it’s actually designed as a gaming monitor, so the display is equipped with features like a full HD 1080p resolution, a blue-light filter, and a two-millisecond response time for fast-paced video—though it compromises on some color accuracy and viewing angles. It’s equipped to support AMD FreeSync and has black stabilization for better visibility of dark scenes. Compatible with PCs and Macs, the ViewSonic has plenty of ports and included cables like HDMI and audio. Though it comes in 22- and 27-inch sizes too, the 24-inch version at around $150 will offer the best bang-for-the-buck for most people.
LG UltraGear 27-Inch IPS LED Monitor
Another gaming monitor with a design that won’t stand out in your home office, the LG UltraGear has serious color accuracy and sharp contrast with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. Its features designed for gameplay—like a fast 144Hz refresh rate and one-millisecond response time—will also allow for smooth transitions between creative work like video editing or just watching movies and gaming. It also has two HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. If you work from home all day and play games at night, LG’s monitor will be easier on the eyes with its anti-glare screen, a wide range of viewing angles, and brightness.