Upgrading to one of the best 4K monitors is a smart decision for any creative. These monitors have never been more affordable, and with 4K support being rapidly normalised across different systems and software, Full HD is no longer going to cut it. Whether you work in design, photo, video or whatever else, you’re likely going to be working with content displayed at resolutions of Ultra HD and higher, and that means having a 3,840 x 2,160 display has gone from a luxury to an essential.
The various different monitor resolutions available can be a little confusing to navigate for the first time – check out our guide to screen resolution if you’re coming at this fresh.
Suffice to say, having more pixels at your disposal gives you more options. It means you can watch high-resolution Ultra HD and 4K video at full quality, which is a must if you’re editing or creating it. Though if you’re working exclusively in video, you might want to check out our guide to the best monitors for video editing.
Having 4K resolution is also hugely useful for photo editing, as you can see much more of the image when viewing at 100% than you could on an inferior monitor. For fine-tune edits or photo retouching, this is hugely useful.
If you need even more space to view content, then we also have a guide to ultrawide monitors, which give you the space of dual screens without the clutter. We also have a guide dedicated to the best monitors for MacBook Pro, as well as a rundown of the best touchscreen monitors.
For now, we’re counting off the best 4K monitors for a range of purposes, at a range of price points. If you’re not sure where to start, jump down to our section on what to look for when buying a 4K monitor.
The best 4K monitors available now right now
The Dell UltraSharp U3219Q is the latest in Dell's long line of class-leading displays, and it continues the manufacturer's run of superb monitors. With full sRGB covering, 95% DCI-P3 and exceptional colour uniformity, it's ideal for all types of creative, including those working in photo and video.
It's also reasonably affordable for a screen of this size and quality, which is rather impressive, all things considered. It may lack some features like the colour calibrator of the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X we've included below. But it's also about a quarter of the price, and with a build that's extremely high quality, that's very hard to argue with. A sleek design meets a matt IPS panel finish and 6mm thin bezels, all adding up to a superb monitor at an outstanding price. All things factored in, this is the best 4K monitor you can buy right now.
There's so much to like about this entry-level but large Samsung 4K display. This 28-incher lacks pro features that you get with the displays above and below, but there's still 100 percent support for the sRGB colour space, high brightness level of 300cd/square metre and support for 60Hz 4K.
It's a decent-looking display that also boasts various connectivity options including dual HDMI and Display Port, too. You can even use picture-by-picture if you want to use two inputs alongside each other, such as a TV box or gaming console. The viewing angle is narrower than more expensive monitors, which is worth bearing in mind, but as a does-the-job monitor at a good price, the Samsung U28E590D fully qualifies.
The Eizo ColourEdge CG319X is undoubtedly the connoisseur’s choice in high-quality displays. Eizo displays are a very familiar sight in professional video and photography studios – and this 31-inch 4K monitor, with a 10-bit display and 24-bit colour look-up table, represents a big upgrade over its predecessor. The CG319X also boasts one feature that sets it apart from all competing high-end 4K screens.
Unlike other 4K monitors, the CG318-4K has a 4096 x 2160 resolution. This reflects the different, slightly taller 4K standard used in digital video production, compared with the 3840 x 2160 resolution used in most computer displays. All of this monitor's features come together to produce a jaw-dropping image, making your creative work shine.
The design of the ColourEdge CG319X is arguably a little dull and utilitarian, certainly less sleek than others on this list. This may bother you, and may not, but it's worth noting. There's a built-in calibration tool to constantly keep your colours as accurate as possible, which pops across the screen every time it's powered on, along with a bundled monitor hood. If money is no object, the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X is the best 4K monitor you can buy right now.
See our Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review for more information.
Most displays are 16:9 or 16:10 format, which makes the 3:2 Huawei Mateview immediately attention-getting. This slightly squarer format is good for viewing certain types of content – viewing images and documents in portrait format is easier, and a picture taken on a standard camera can be displayed full bleed. Of course, the flip side is that widescreen video will have big black bars on the top and bottom – so it’s probably not the best choice for movie-watching
The MateView is pretty firmly pitched at working creatives. Its IPS panel is capable of displaying 100% of the sRGB colour gamut, and 98% of the DCI-P3 video colour space. It also has a maximum brightness level of 500 nits, and a 1200:1 contrast ratio. The sleek, slim-bezel design is a nice addition too, and the touch-sensitive smart bar provides an ergonomic way to control the monitor. Available at a tempting price, this is a solid choice of monitor for creatives.
Many 4K monitors can be expensive. However, this LG 27UL850 offers gorgeous 4K resolution, excellent colour accuracy and VESA DisplayHDR 400 support for a mid-range price. It also supports 99 per cent of the sRGB colour space alongside the HDR, making it a brilliant monitor for photographers and video editors.
There's USB-C support to boot, while if you're a gamer you won't be disappointed by the capabilities here, with dedicated modes for that.
There are, of course, cheaper 27-inch monitors around and we've covered many on this page that are more expensive and intended for high-end professional users. But if your budget is more prosumer rather than professional video editor, you'll find this LG has a huge amount to offer.
This Acer Predator X27 27-inch display is great for those working in video, thanks to its HDR1000 certification, which means that its peak brightness for HDR matches or exceeds most TVs that are sold, giving you a great display for creating or checking HDR content. It also has 384 local dimming zones for better control of dark, which again rivals flagship TVs. Acer's built-in control software is also great for quickly customising and adjusting the modes, including colour and contrast specifics.
99 per cent Adobe RGB coverage and over 100 per cent of sRGB make it great for broader creative uses as well, and a high 144HZ refresh rate is great for gaming, or anything else where you want to see smooth and instant response on-screen. Nvidia G-Sync is here as well for gaming – if you want a monitor for work and intense gaming then this is a great choice. If not, it might be more than you need.
Compared with some of the pricey high-end colour accurate screens, the Philips Brilliance 328P (catchy name, we know) is an excellent alternative, as it’s great value for money and can serve up an excellent image. It’s a 31.5-inch IPS panel with measured 99 per cent sRGB and 73 per cent AdobeRGB coverage, a thin-bezel design and a few extras such as a pop-up webcam that works when the built-in USB hub is connected.
It’s not really aimed at graphic designers – the colour presets are given terms like 'office' and 'movie' rather than 'sRGB' and 'DCI-P3' and the fiddly underside buttons make it tricky to flick through on-screen menu options. And although the image quality isn’t as high-end as it gets, with a Delta-E under 2, rather than under 1, and a 270-nit measured brightness, this screen still looks very impressive and won’t disappoint.
BenQ already has a strong portfolio of gaming and general-purpose 4K displays of different sizes, all featuring the company’s trademark 'puck' – a wired remote control that sits in the base and makes it much easier to flip through colour settings and presets, compared to constant fiddling with on-screen controls. The SW271 is a 27-inch IPS 4K display with a 10-bit HDR panel and a 14-bit LUT, aimed squarely at photography and graphic design use.
The headline features for graphics work are 99 per cent AdobeRGB and 100 per cent sRGB coverage and a whole range of colour settings to choose, including a gamma range from 1.6 to 2.6, numerous calibration modes and excellent brightness. It really offers up a sumptuous picture, though the contrast ratio of 1000:1 is a little lower than other monitors.
Thin surrounding bezels, a flexible stand that tilts, rotates and swivels, and a reasonably generous set of display inputs with picture-in-picture modes rounds off this premium offering from BenQ.
Whenever Lenovo launches a Think-branded product, you can expect high quality, which is exactly what you get from its designer-focused ThinkVision display. An excellent design, plenty of ports and great picture quality make the premium Lenovo ThinkVision P32U worth its high asking price.
100% AdobeRGB coverage is enough to compete with top-end screens, and it has Thunderbolt 3, which lets you connect and charge laptops from a single port. This professional-grade 4K monitor isn't cheap, but it certainly is impressive. Though the 60Hz refresh won't be enough for gaming, and anyone who has experienced a 120Hz will probably be reluctant to go back.
The BenQ PD3200U's screen size and resolution make it a great choice for designers and creators. It isn't the cheapest model in our guide (for that, scroll down to the Iiyama at number 07) but it's a more affordable option for pro creatives than the other options so far.
So what's so good about it? Well, the screen is a hefty 32-inches, which makes working with 4K images and videos much more comfortable. 3D designers will be grateful for the inclusion of a CAD/CAM mode, and everyone else will appreciate the factory-calibrated colour accuracy and Rec. 709 adherence.
The Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC is an incredible display – but do you really want a 40-inch panel? Based on VA-IPS panel technology, it offers extremely good contrast, with 300 cd/m2 brightness. Its menu is controlled with a small joystick at the back and it also offers a four-way picture-in-picture (PIP) mode, allowing you to allocate a quarter of the screen to each video input.
On such a large 4K screen, each connected device will have its own 1920 x 1080 screen area – perfect for seeing your designs in Illustrator CC or working on your 3D art on one machine while looking up reference images on another device on the same screen, for example.
Viewsonic has a few colour accurate displays on the market, and the VP2785-4K is the most high-end model in its catalogue, a 27-inch 4K IPS screen, sporting 100 per cent srGB and quoted 99 per cent AdobeRGB coverage. It’s a bit fiddly to put together, requiring a screwdriver to attach the panel to the stand, but the overall design is extremely svelte, with a thin and light build, near edge-to-edge screen, and only a small bezel at the bottom that accommodates touch-sensitive controls.
With a 14-bit LUT, 700:1 contrast ratio and 375-nit brightness, the picture quality of the VP2785-4K won’t disappoint, although it doesn’t quite deliver the same eye-popping colours of the most high-end 4K displays money can buy.
Asus has updated its flagship ProArt 4K display, the ProArt PA32UC-K, with a more premium appearance, 10-bit colour, a whole new set of inputs (including Thunderbolt 3), much higher 1000-nit brightness and even better accuracy, now using a 14-bit look-up table (LUT). Hardware support for colour calibrators is now included out of the box and accuracy can hit 100 per cent sRGB, 99.5 per cent Adobe RGB, 95 per cent DCI-P3 and 85 per cent Rec.20. All very impressive, but it comes at a high price. Also, the 60Hz refresh rate means it's probably not one for intense gaming.
That said, with a feature list and image quality that now puts it up there with the most high-end screens, the PA32UC-4K is more competitively priced than first appears.
The best 4K monitors: What to look for
While 4K monitors are still more expensive than 1080p ones, they have actually come down in price a lot in recent years, so you can now go 4K without spending a fortune. Of course, there are still some expensive 4K screens out there as well, which not only feature high resolutions, but are also professionally calibrated for the best possible colour accuracy.
If you're going to be embarking on any kind of colour work with your new display then you'll be looking for precise colour accuracy. Most entry-level 4K monitors still do a fairly decent job, but designers will want to look for a monitor that offers full coverage of the AdobeRGB or DCI-P3 colour space (you'll want to invest in the best monitor calibrator as well, by the way).
Investing in a colour-accurate display – and it is an investment – will bag you an excellent screen for black levels and brightness that'll be brilliant whether you're working on images or video.
Size is obviously an issue. 27-inches is now very common but the 32-inch size is seen more often than it was a year ago. If you want something more affordable then take a look at the Philips Brilliance 272P7VPTKEB, which offers great value and image quality as well. If you're looking for a display specifically for image editing then check out our roundup of the best monitors for photo editing too.