Skip to main content

Best 4K monitors 2021: the top Ultra HD monitors and displays

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Included in this guide:

4K monitor being used for graphics design
Here are the best 4K monitors of 2021. (Image credit: DC Studio / Shutterstock)

The best 4K monitors are fast becoming the new standard. 1080p is hardly obsolete and 1440p seems to still be the sweet spot when it comes to resolution and affordability. However, a 4K monitor is the way to go if you want to get the most out of your computer or new-generation gaming console fitted with the latest graphics cards, such as the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080.

An increasing amount of content – from videos and movies to PC games – is now available in UHD, and to experience them the way they’re meant to be experienced, you need the right equipment, particularly a computer monitor that can keep up. Getting one doesn’t just give you incredibly sharp and detailed picture quality. You’re also getting extra screen real estate for multitasking and creative workflows, as well as future-proofing your gaming PC

Luckily, 4K displays, like their TV counterparts, are becoming more affordable for us mere mortals, so getting one of the best ones shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. We’ve gathered our top picks that include curved monitors and ultrawide ones to help you find the one that makes the most sense to you.

Best 4K monitor Black Friday deals

Best Black Friday 4K Monitor Deals in the US

Dell UltraSharp 43 U4320Q 4K USB-C Monitor | $1,199

Dell UltraSharp 43 U4320Q 4K USB-C Monitor | $1,199 $899.99 at Dell

SAVE $300 Dell has a number of great monitor deals on offer already for Black Friday, including this 43-inch UltraSharp 4K monitor, which is an amazing $300 off right now!

Samsung 43-inch 4K UHD Smart Monitor | $599.99

Samsung 43-inch 4K UHD Smart Monitor | $599.99 $449.99 at Amazon
SAVE $150
You don't often see computer monitors with smart TV features, but this 4K monitor from Samsung has everything you'd want from a TV these days. Plus, because it's a Samsung Monitor it has some amazing Tizen features if you have a Samsung smartphone. 

Samsung UE57 Series 28-Inch 4K UHD | $349.99

Samsung UE57 Series 28-Inch 4K UHD | $349.99 $249.99 from Amazon

This 28-inch monitor from Samsung offers stunning 4K UHD resolution and a billion colors in its display, making it perfect for gaming, media or for upping your home office game - and it's currently $100 off at Amazon!

Best Black Friday 4K Monitor Deals in the UK

Samsung LU28E590DS 4K Ultra HD 28-inch LED Monitor | £299.00

Samsung LU28E590DS 4K Ultra HD 28-inch LED Monitor | £299.00 £189.00 at Currys

SAVE £110 - There's huge savings on this Samsung 28-inch 4K monitor at Currys now. Perfect for work, media or gaming, this monitor also boasts a 60Hz refresh rate to make sure you don't miss a thing.

Best 4K monitors 2021

BenQ SW321C PhotoVue at an angle on a white background

If you’re in the cinematography or photography business, you'll want the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue. (Image credit: BenQ)

Best 4K monitor for photographers

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 250 cd/m2
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 99% AdobeRGB, 95% P3, 100% sRGB
Weight: 25.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Improved brightness and colour uniformity+USB-C connectivity+Hardware calibration with 16-bit LUT precision
Reasons to avoid
-Main connection bay is hard to reach-‘Paper Color Sync’ needs refining to be truly useful

Pro-level displays are no longer the premium priced, inaccessible purchase they started out to be. At least as far as the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is concerned. This 32-inch 4K photo monitor is up a step or two in terms of both performance and usability, featuring an incredibly wide color gamut of 99% of the Adobe RGB color space and 95% of DCI-P3. If you’re in the cinematography or photography sphere, that’s exactly what you need. And, that’s on top of all the other features this monitor boasts. This is among the best 4K monitors for photo editing you’ll find, and the best part is you’re getting it for cheaper than all others.

Read the full review: BenQ SW321C PhotoVue

Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor at an angle on a white background

Considering what you’re getting, you’ll be glad to spend just a little more on the Dell 4K S3221QS. (Image credit: Dell)

Performance and design in an affordable package

Specifications
Screen size: 31.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms (gtg)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color support: 1.07 billion colors
Weight: 16.2 lbs
Reasons to buy
+Classy design+Great looking screen+Unique multitasking features like PiP
Reasons to avoid
-No USB-C-Slow response rate

Dell’s 4K monitor is stunning inside and out. We love it’s woven arctic white design that lends to its unique elegant look, allowing it to stand out against the sea of black and gray monitors out there. Its display is impeccable as well. On top of that 4K resolution is a contrast ratio of 3,000:1, support for 1.07 billion colors, up to 4ms response time, and a 178/178 viewing angle that altogether produce stunning, crisp and vibrant visuals that are just as excellent for gaming as they are for media consumption and productivity. It isn’t the cheapest 4K option out there, but the price of entry isn’t bad either. And, considering what you’re getting, you’ll be glad to spend just a little more.

Read the full review: Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor

Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q from the front on a white background

(Image credit: Asus)

4K meets affordability

Specifications
Screen size: 28-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 350 cd/㎡
Response time: 5ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 90% color gamut, 1073.7M (10bit)
Weight: 7.6 kg
Reasons to buy
+Incredibly affordable+Extremely flexible in viewing positions+Gorgeous, accurate colors
Reasons to avoid
-Some stuttering at higher settings-Not true HDR

With the Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, you’re getting a lot of value for your money – especially considering the small price of entry. One of the most affordable 4K gaming monitors right now, this 28-incher can swivel, pivot and tilt practically however which way you need it (within reason, naturally) to serve your purpose. It also has deliciously thin bezels and a nifty cable management solution, as well as a few display settings to boost your viewing experience. Thanks to its rich vibrant colors, super sharp image quality and a design that is only subtly gaming-centric, this is among the best 4K monitors not only for gamers but for regular users who consume a lot of visual media as well.

Read the full review: Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q

Philips Brilliance 328P from the front on a white background

The Philips Brilliance 328P really is one of the best 4K monitors out there. 

Just brilliant

Specifications
Screen size: 31.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 300 cd/m²
Response time: 4ms
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color support: 1.07 billion
Reasons to buy
+ Big, beautiful screen + Affordable 
Reasons to avoid
- Middling HDR performance 

As both 4K panels and HDR technology become more ubiquitous, we’re starting to see more affordable monitors take on the market, and the Philips Brilliance 328P does just that. This 4K monitor combines a 4K VA panel with decent HDR performance at a price point that won’t force you to break open the piggy bank. Its brightness doesn’t quite reach its lofty HDR 600 rating, but at this price, it’s hard to complain. The Philips Brilliance 328P really is one of the best 4K monitors out there. 

Read the full review: Philips Brilliance 328P 

LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL at an angle on a white background

LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL is the perfect match for your Mac or Ultrabook. (Image credit: LG)

More than fine

Specifications
Screen size: 24 inches
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Brightness: 540 cd/m²
Response time: 14ms
Contrast ratio: 1,200:1
Color support: 1.07 billion
Reasons to buy
+Incredible color accuracy+Bright and vivid+USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 compatibility
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Thick bezels

4K fans will find a lot to love in the LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL, especially if they’re photographers or videographers who need all that prime real estate and high resolution. From its 4K resolution and color accuracy, to its plethora of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports and buttonless design, this 4K display is the perfect match for your Mac or ultrabook. And, despite those bizarrely thick bezels and high price tag, this display might be hard to resist. 

Read the full review: LG Ultrafine 24MD4KL

BenQ PD2700U at an angle on a white background

When you get the BenQ PD2700U, you are getting a lot of pixels. 

No frills, many pixels

Specifications
Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Response time: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,300:1
Color support: 1.07 billion
Reasons to buy
+Color accurate display +Plenty of desktop real estate 
Reasons to avoid
-No USB Type-C 

If you’re on the market for one of the best 4K monitors for everyday computing and productivity, without all the fancy bells and whistles, you’ll want the BenQ PD2700U. This monitor doesn’t feature fancy Quantum Dot tech, or Adaptive Sync, it doesn’t even have USB-C input! But, when you get the BenQ PD2700U, you are getting a lot of pixels, which is all you really need. It’s not the cheapest 4K monitor on this list, but it’s color accurate, has plenty of desktop real estate, and will comfortably fit in any office environment. 

Read the full review: BenQ PD2700U 

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ at an angle on a white background

Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is a 4K gaming monitor with HDR and the kind of color support you see in professional displays.

The Cadillac of gaming monitors

Specifications
Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 1,000 cd/m2 (peak)
Response time: 4 ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1, 5,000:1 (HDR)
Color support: 99% Adobe RGB
Reasons to buy
+Otherworldly picture quality+G-sync
Reasons to avoid
-Ludicrous price

While 4K monitors are becoming more and more common, even without particularly powerful hardware, we still run into the kind of monitor that changes everything. The Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is one of these. Asus has managed to craft a 4K gaming monitor with HDR and the kind of color support you see in professional displays – and render that all at 144Hz with G-Sync no less. There are only a few monitors out there that packs as many features as this Asus screen, and that’s why it’s one of the best 4K monitors. But, keep in mind, you’re going to have to pay for something this advanced – and we mean pay.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ

LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo at an angle on a white background

The LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo comes with a C-Clamp, One Click Mount. (Image credit: LG)

A beautiful display at any angle

Specifications
Screen size: 32-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 4 ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Reasons to buy
+Versatile monitor stand+Beautiful picture quality
Reasons to avoid
-Not bright enough for true HDR

The LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo has done something cool. Instead of going for the same homogeneous mount and stand that all monitors have, it has opted for a C-Clamp, One Click Mount that allows it to extend, retract, go high, go low, tilt and pivot like no other. That’s versatility turned up to 11. It also boasts incredible color accuracy and beautiful picture quality. The best part is that you’re getting all that without burning a massive hole in your pocket. This is, without a doubt, among the best 4K monitors out there.

Read the full review: LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo

AOC U2879VF from the front on a white background

The AOC U2879VF has a 1ms response time and a refresh rate of 144Hz for a low price.

The most affordable 4K monitor for gaming

Specifications
Screen size: 28-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 1 ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 1.07 billion
Reasons to buy
+Very low price for a 28-inch monitor+FreeSync technology
Reasons to avoid
-No VESA mount

4K monitors aren't going to be as cheap as their TV counterparts, but some of them do try. Take a look at this offering from AOC whose 28-inch TN panel boasts some terrific extras that add even more value to its already affordable price. FreeSync technology, excellent color accuracy, and a Picture-in-Picture feature make it a great proposition for mainstream users who like to dabble in different things, from gaming to photo editing. Of course, it also makes for a great business monitor – and you can't beat that price if you have to buy a few for the office.

Read the full review: AOC U2879 VF 

Acer Predator X27 from the front on a white background

If you need the tech, it’s definitely there in the Acer Predator X27. 

4K, HDR and 144Hz? Oh my!

Specifications
Screen size: 27-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 1,000 cd/m2 (peak)
Response time: 4 ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 16.7 million
Reasons to buy
+Great HDR+High refresh rate
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive

If you have an absolute beast of a gaming computer – think two Nvidia RTX 2080 Tis in SLI – and you need a monitor that can keep up, you might want to take a look at the Acer Predator X27. Not only is it a 27-inch 4K monitor with HDR, but it also has a refresh rate of a whopping 144 Hz. If you have the horsepower, you can play games in 4K competitively without losing an edge to the person playing in 1080p. But, as you may expect from a spec sheet like this, it’s very expensive – but if you need the tech, it’s definitely there.

Read the full review: Acer Predator X27

  • Looking for a more great gaming monitor? Check out our top picks
  • Or set up your living room with one of the best 4K TVs on the market
Michelle Rae Uy

Michelle Rae Uy is a Los Angeles-based editor, writer and photographer with a bad case of wanderlust. She is a regular contributor for Thrillist, TravelAge West, HuffPo Travel, Paste Magazine, and Travel Pulse. She has written for publications like Nylon, Fodor's and SmarterTravel, and is also the contributing editor for MiniTime.com.