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The best monitors for video editing in 2021

best monitors for video editing 2021
(Image credit: Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash)

The best monitors for video editing should make sure that when you’re creating your masterpieces, you’re seeing things as accurately as possible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just reviewing footage or working on grading or effects, if you’re not seeing it accurately when you’re making it, it’s less likely to look how you want on the screens of the people watching it.

A baseline for the best monitors for video editing is that they should offer great colour reproduction, including DCI-P3 support whenever possible (which is more and more screens these days). Also great accuracy out of the box, and again it’s easy to find screens at delta E < 2 generally, which means any difference is indistinguishable to the human eye. And the backlight needs to be even, so you’re not seeing a contrast difference where there shouldn’t be one.

Brightness is where things can get tricky, because ideally we’d be looking for something with HDR support. If you're recording in HDR and you're using one of the best video editing software or best video editing apps that support it, then it’s obviously preferable to have screens that let you see the difference. But only elite and expensive screens can go as bright as high-end TVs and phone screens, and trying to chase HDR brightness at the expense of an even and accurate backlight won’t do.

In this article, we're prioritising 4K displays so that you can see the detail of Ultra HD video in full quality, but also because it provides a huge amount of space for working – you can get so many tools on-screen at once. 8K screens are around, but they remain very specialist really, and for most people they remain overkill.

We also have monitors at other resolutions – there are good reasons to pick them, including price, and as long as you get the colours and even contrast, not having 1:1 playback of footage may not be such an issue.

To get more from your monitor, you can pair it with our best headphones for video editing, or see what the best MacBook for video editing is. You might also want to see our choice of the best touchscreen monitors and the best portable monitors. Now, let’s dig into which of these premiere monitors deserve your avid attention as you work on your final cut.

The best monitors for video editing available now

Dell Ultrasharp U3219QCB

(Image credit: Dell)

01. Dell Ultrasharp U3219Q

The best monitor for video editing for most people

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1x Displayport
USB: 4x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type C
Reasons to buy
+Excellent color accuracy+Great connectivity overall
Reasons to avoid
-Limited brightness

The Dell Ultrasharp U3219Q is a great balance of creative features and price, making it an ideal choice for most video work. The 32-inch size give you a big canvas for tools and to see your footage clearly, while 4K Ultra HD resolution means there's tons of detail. For colour support, you're looking at 99 per cent sRGB and Rec. 709 coverage, as well as 95 per cent DCI-P3 to make it great for video especially. It's not especially bright, but that's no problem at all, because the uniformity is strong, which  is exactly what we need.

You're not lacking in other features, either. HDR support is here, though it's HDR400, which is a bit too limited to really give you useful HDR playback. There's also USB-C connectivity, and four USB Type-A ports mean that it works well as a hub. You don't get as advanced pro-level colour features as on the likes of the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X (see further down), but the balance of image quality and price here is excellent.

LG 32UK550CB endorsed

(Image credit: LG)

02. LG 32UK550

The best cheap monitor for video editing

Specifications
Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: VA
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI
USB: N/A
Reasons to buy
+4K and DCI-P3 support+Excellent price
Reasons to avoid
-No frills

The LG 32UK550 delivers lots of video-friendly monitor features for the money. It's a 32-inch screen with 4K resolution, and offer 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut support – straight away, we're getting most of what we want for a lot less than some competitors. It uses a VA panel, which helps to keep the price down, and is actually great in terms of contrast, giving it strong black performance, though you lose colour accuracy when viewed at an angle easily when compared with IPS panels. It does suffer a bit more from reflective glare than the pro screens here, but if you can control the light, it won't be a problem.

For this price, you don't get much beyond the screen. No USB hub, or USB-C support. It technically does support HDR10, but the peak brightness of 300 nits can't actually do anything major with that, other than make the most of its 10-bit colour depth. But that's all fine – if you just need a good screen to edit on, and don't need the extras, it fits the bill.

MSI Prestige PS341CB endorsed

(Image credit: MSI)

03. MSI Prestige PS341WU

The best ultrawide monitor for video editing

Specifications
Screen size: 34-inch
Resolution: 5120 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: Nano IPS
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI
USB: 1x, USB Type C, 3x USB 3.2 Type A, 1x USB 3.2 Type B
Reasons to buy
+5K 21:9 panel+Excellent colours and good brightness
Reasons to avoid
-Cheap-feeling build

The MSI Prestige PS341WU comes from a company known for gaming tech, but this one is aimed squarely for creative work. The gorgeous 5K ultrawide display is a huge draw, because it gives you everything you need and then some. The 5120x2160 resolution means you can actually review Ultra HD video natively and still have space left over for tool palettes to make live changes. It also provides 98% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB colour coverage.

The average brightness of 450 nits and peak brightness of 600 nits (making it HDR600 rated) is higher than most of the competition that isn't aiming squarely for HDR use – especially at this price. It's got plenty of useful connections too, including three video plugs, USB-C, and a selection of ultra-fast USB sockets. It doesn't have the pro-feeling build quality of something like the rock-solid Dell creative monitors, but that won't matter when you're deep into your timeline.

Eizo ColorEdge CG319XCB endorsed

04. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

The best monitor for video editing if money is no object

Specifications
Screen size: 31.1-inch
Resolution: 4096 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 2x DisplayPort, 2x HDMI
USB: 3x USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Industry standard presets+Remarkable color accuracy+Automatic AI calibration
Reasons to avoid
-Extremely expensive

The Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is designed for people doing pro work with no scope for errors. This is demonstrated everywhere from its range of broadcast and cinema presets – including Rec. 2020 and DCI-P3 with 98% colour coverage – to its DCI 4K resolution, which is slightly wider than the Ultra HD standard.

That 4096x2160 resolution is ideal if the camera you're using records in this format, since it means you can check the original footage at 1:1 pixels, no matter what format you might switch it to during editing. The display isn't especially bright, but it still supports HLG HDR – you just won't see the full scale of the the video's brightness. 

Perhaps most importantly, it has a self-calibration system built-in, with sensor automatically checking its accuracy periodically, and correcting any issues without any involvement from you. You spend less time checking the screen and more time fine-tuning your footage. See our Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review for more why we rate this monitor so highly.

Philips 436M6VBPABCB endorsed

(Image credit: Philips)

05. Philips 436M6VBPAB

The best monitor for video editing for affordable high-quality HDR

Specifications
Screen size: 43-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: MVA
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 2x HDMI, 1x USB-C
USB: 2x USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+HDR1000 rating+Excellent colour support
Reasons to avoid
-Very large

If you need to be able to see thing in full HDR brightness for a reasonable price, the Philips 436M6VBPAB could be idea. It's technically designed for gaming, but its HDR1000 rating and huge colour gamut (thanks to the use of Quantum Dot technology) perfectly suits our purposes too. So not only can it hit 1,000 cd/m² peak brightness in HDR (720 cd/m² typical, which is also very impressive), but it also offers 98% DCI-P3 colour support, as well as 100% BT. 709, 119% NTSC and 145% sRGB.

The potential downside is that it's really quite large – at 43-inches, we've moved really from 'monitor size' to 'TV size'. To be ergonomic, you'll need to think hard about an ideal desk setup, since it'll need to be set quite far back from you. However, the large size gives plenty of space for the 4K resolution to show off all its detail.

BenQ PD3200U

(Image credit: BenQ)

06. BenQ PD3200U

A great affordable video-editing monitor with a pro focus

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 1x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 1x HDMI
USB: 4x USB 3.0
Reasons to buy
+Large panel+Superb color accuracy
Reasons to avoid
-Basic design

If you want a 4K video-editing monitor with pro-level image quality and features specifically for creative use, but for a more affordable price, the BenQ PD3200U is excellent. The design is more basic than the expensive options here, but that's fine, because your money is going where you need it: on the 32-inch Ultra HD display and its strong image quality. 

The PD3200U includes some specific display profiles that are great for video editing, including dedicated animation and darkroom modes. Its colour accuracy is excellent without calibration, so it can save you time as well as money. 

Dell UP3218K

(Image credit: Dell)

07. Dell Dell UltraSharp 32 PremierColor UP3218K

The best 8K monitor for video editing

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 7680 x 4320
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 2x DisplayPort
USB: 3x USB Type A, 1x USB Type B, 1x USB Type A (power only)
Reasons to buy
+Colossal 8K resolution+Fantastic colour coverage
Reasons to avoid
-So, so expensive-No HDMI 2.1

This is the best monitor for video editing if you're working with 8K or 6K footage and need a way to view it at full 1:1-pixel quality. We're not exactly swimming in 8K display options so far, but the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K makes sure that if you do get one, you're getting an absolutely top-tier screen in so many ways. It's about more than just the resolution – you also get 100% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709, and 98% DCI-P3 colour coverage.

Connectivity is a little weaker – with no HDMI 2.1 port, the only connections for 8K support are the dual DisplayPort connectors, and there's no USB-C at all – but if you're pushing that many pixels, you're probably used to the idea that it's a bit of a hassle. And at 32 inches, it's a perfectly workable size too, despite the ridiculous number of pixels.

BenQ EX3501R

(Image credit: BenQ)

08. BenQ EX3501R

The best curved monitor for video editing

Specifications
Screen size: 35-inch
Resolution: 3440 x 1440
Refresh rate: 100Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort
USB: 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
Reasons to buy
+HDR support+Fast refresh rate+USB-C connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Bland design

The BenQ EX3501R is a great video-editing monitor despite its main job being for gaming. With strong colour reproduction that includes 100% sRGB support, plus support for HDR10 over HDMI too, it does double-duty well. That said, its average brightness of 300 nits, means you won't be dazzled by HDR brightness – still, BenQ describes it as a 'video enjoyment monitor', and it has the chops for that overall. 

Even better – it's an ultrawide curved screen, which means you get extra width for tool windows alongside full-height video playback, and being curved makes it all visible in a way that's easy on the eyes. And at 2.35:1, it's proportioned for cinemascope films, so playing them back fills the display. A USB-C port provides welcome easy connectivity, and though the 100Hz refresh rate won't be important for video editing mostly, it's nice if you want to get some gaming in too.

Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

(Image credit: Asus)

09. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

The best monitor for HDR video editing

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Inputs: 4x HDMI, DisplayPort
USB: 2x Thunderbolt 3/USB Type C, 2x USB Type A
Reasons to buy
+1,000-nit peak HDR brightness +Excellent high-speed connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive stuff

The Asus ProArt PA32UC-K is the best monitor for video editing in HDR because it's uses the latest and greatest Mini-LED technology to achieve it. The direct array backlight features thousands of tiny lights to hit 1,000 nits of peak brightness, meaning this hits full HDR1000 certification. That's elite TV or phone screen kind of range, so when you're working with HDR on here, you can see much closer to what people will see at the higher end of home tech. But compared with the Philips monitor further up, you get even better performance overall, because it can handle dark areas better – emphasising the 'range' part of High Dynamic Range. That Mini-LED backlight means there are 384 dimming zones, so you get much better division of light and dark than anything else here can dream of.

Of course, Asus delivers the goods elsewhere too. 4K resolution is here, as is 95% DCI-P3, 99.5% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB colour coverage. And uniquely for this list, twin Thunderbolt 3 ports makes this a high-speed connection hub, so you can keep your full-quality files connected to it and can dock and undock your laptop quickly for hitting the road.

And if this somehow leaves you cold, there's always the even more pro version: the Asus ProArt PA32UCX-K. This boosts P3 coverage to 99%, and features an incredible 1,152 local dimming zones for the backlight.

Apple Pro Display XDR

(Image credit: Apple)

10. Apple Pro Display XDR

The best 6K monitor, and an HDR wizard

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 6016 x 3384
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Panel technology: IPS
Connections: 1x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB Type-C
Reasons to buy
+1,600-nit peak brightness +Huge 6K resolution+Thunderbolt & USB-C connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive…-…and it doesn't come with a stand

Apple's 6K display is a beast, aiming to be closer to a monitor in the pro film production sense, rather than a monitor in the 'computer screen' sense we've been using it here. It's intended to give you as close to perfect playback as you can get for the money (and, bear in mind, it's a lot of money). You've got a resolution of 6016 x 3384, which is enough for many 6K formats (though not quite the 6K full frame recording of a RED camera). Added to that is an incredible HDR peak brightness of up to 1,600 nits, with a typical brightness of 1,000 nits – and there are 576 individual dimming zones for backlight control, so contrast will be simply colossal.

In terms of colours, there are specific reference modes for DCI P3, sRGB, NTSC, BT.709, and many more. That includes a reference mode for 'Apple display', which will make it match a MacBook Pro for brightness, so you get a consistent look if you have them side by side. There's the option of a nanotexture effect on the screen to reduce reflectivity as low as it goes for monitors like this, too.

It comes with one Thunderbolt 3 port (meaning it can go at the end of a Thunderbolt chain, but can't be a Thunderbolt hub), plus three USB-C ports for connecting accessories. The downside to all this is that it's extremely expensive, and the price our widgets are pulling in here are just for the display… the official stand costs a further £949/$999/AU$1,699. You can also get a VESA mount adapter, if you prefer.

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