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The best 4K monitors in 2021: Top Dell, LG and Samsung monitors

The best 4K monitors
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking for the best 4K monitor, you've come to the right place. Prices are tumbling and the displays have more features than ever. 

Full HD displays are no longer worth considering for photo, video or design work because 4K support is normal across operating systems and creative software, and Ultra HD video is available everywhere from Netflix to YouTube. Plus more computers than ever can drive 4K displays, too. 

No longer is it overkill to have a 3,840x2,160 display, whereas even three-four years ago  Full HD was still usual and 4K was the exception. 

Using a 4K display eans you can watch Ultra HD at full quality, but it's also a far better environment for creating video, which is increasingly made and distributed in 4K.

And though it's true that digital cameras shoot in resolutions far higher than 3,840x2,160, having a 4K monitor gives you four times the number of pixels and twice the resolution as 1080p (check out our feature about screen resolution if you want to know more). 

This means that what you see is more detailed on-screen when zoomed out, but if you want to view at 100 percent, you actually get more of the image on the screen at once, making it easier to review and make edits.

The best 4K monitors available now right now

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01. Dell Ultrasharp U3219Q

Pro features for under a grand put this 4K monitor top of our list

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel tech: IPS | Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1x Displayport | USB: 4 x USB 3.0, 1x USB Type C

Thin 6mm bezel
Great colour accuracy...
... but not quite 100% AdobeRGB
Only two display inputs

Dell has a long history of offering high quality displays, and each year its newest models raise the bar for image quality and features. The Dell UltraSharp U3219Q is the latest flagship 4K 32-inch screen – and we love it. It offers full sRGB coverage, with 95 per cent DCI-P3 and great colour uniformity, making it a great choice for pro designers and creatives. 

Best of all, it isn’t quite the wallet buster that some high-end screens are. Although it lacks the built-in colour calibrator you get with some screens – like the eye-wateringly expensive Eizo ColorEdge CG319X below – the U3219Q's overall build is extremely high quality, with a modern design, matt IPS panel finish, 6mm thin bezels and USB-C. If you need pro features, superb colour accuracy and don't have a spare four grand, this is the best 4K monitor you can buy right now.

Samsung U28E590D

(Image credit: Samsung)

02. Samsung U28E590D

The best budget 4K monitor

Screen size: 28-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: LED | Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, | USB: None

Lacks some advanced features

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. 

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03. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

The best 4K monitor you can buy – with a pro price tag to match

Screen size: 31.1-inch | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, | USB: 3 x USB 3.0

Outstanding colour accuracy
Includes hardware calibration tool
Includes monitor hood
Very expensive

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. 

Oh, and 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.

LG 27UL850

(Image credit: LG)

04. LG 27UL850

The best affordable 27-inch 4K monitor

Screen size: 27-inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Response time: 5ms | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 | Color support: 99% sRGB

Borderless design
Able to pivot and tilt
USB-C connectivity
AMD Radeon FreeSync tech
 Poor speaker sound

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. 

Acer Predator X27

(Image credit: Acer)

05. Acer Predator X27

The best 4K monitor for HDR performance

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 1 x HDMI, 1x VGA | HDR rating: HDR1000

Excellent brightness and local dimming
High refresh rate
Good colour coverage

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.

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.

Acer's built-in control software is also great for quickly customising and adjusting the modes, including colour and contrast specifics.

Best 4K monitors: Philips Brilliance 328P

(Image credit: Philips)

06. Philips Brilliance 328P

This 4K monitor has great image quality at a very attractive price point

Screen size: 31.5-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 1 x HDMI, 1x VGA | USB: 3 x USB 3.0

Superb value
Excellent image
Boring design
Fiddly OSD controls

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 SW271 Photographer Monitor

07. BenQ SW271

A fantastic 4K monitor for all kinds of image editing

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 2 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, | USB: 2 x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C

Fantastic image quality
Thin bezels
Might be too small for some
Quite expensive

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 and contrast levels that really offer up a sumptuous picture.

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.

Lenovo ThinkVision P32u

08. Lenovo ThinkVision P32u

Full Adobe RGB coverage makes this Lenovo worth a look

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 | USB: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x Thunderbolt 3

Full AdobeRGB coverage
Thunderbolt 3
Another pricey designer display

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.

BenQ PD3200U

09. BenQ PD3200U

A brilliant 4K monitor for video editing and 3D work

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 1 x HDMI, | USB: 4 x USB 3.0

4K resolution
Large screen
Design may seem dull to some
Some features a bit niche

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. 

Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC

10. Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC

The best big 4K monitor right now

Screen size: 40-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: VA | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x VGA | USB: 4 x USB 3.0

Just huge
Can use Windows desktop at 4K with normal DPI settings
Maybe too big for comfortable use
High power consumption

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.

Like this? Check out the LG 42-incher below.

Viewsonic VP2785-4K

11. Viewsonic VP2785-4K

This 4K monitor has a bright picture and great contrast

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 1 x DisplayPort, 1x Mini-DP, 2 x HDMI | USB: 3 x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C

Excellent picture quality
Lightweight build
Fiddly to put together
Bulky external power brick

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 ProArt PA32UC-K

12. Asus ProArt PA32UC-K

One of the best 4K screens on the market

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: IPS | Inputs: 4 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 | USB: 2 x USB 3.0 Type A, 1x USB 3.0 Type C

Full AdobeRGB coverage 
Loads of display inputs
Thunderbolt 3

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.

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. 

Iiyama B2888UHSU

13. Iiyama B2888UHSU

One of the best cheap 4K monitors you can buy

Screen size: 28-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: TN | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x VGA, 1 x DVI | USB: 4 x USB 3.0

Very affordable 4K display
Picture-in-picture mode
Narrow viewing angles with TN panel
Not all video inputs are capable of 4K at 60Hz

Iiyama's 28-inch B2888UHSU is a lot more reasonably priced than many of the options we've presented in this buying guide. It uses a TN panel with a 1ms response time, and although the viewing angles aren't quite as wide as you'll find with an IPS display, there are plenty of small extras that make the B2888UHSU a really good buy. 

It has plenty of inputs, too, plus a fully adjustable stand, and a picture-in-picture mode, so you can use two devices simultaneously with this monitor.

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.

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