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Best monitor 2022: the best monitors for every budget

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
One of TechRadar's best monitor picks displaying a photo of a city
(Image credit: Future / BenQ)
Editor's Note: July 2022

We've started the second-half of the year, so you know what that means: all those major product announcements back in January are now hitting the store shelves, whether digitally or at local brick-and-mortar retailers, and many of the best monitors have gotten updates this year. This includes a new entry on our list, the Gigabyte M32UC, an UHD curved gaming monitor that hits a sweet spot between price, performance, and features that make it a standout choice for gamers on a budget.

- John Loeffler, US Computing Editor

The best monitor for you will obviously depend on what you need it to do, whether it's gaming, photo editing, or including important features like picture-in-picture or multiple input sources. Fortunately, there is a monitor for every need on the market, but unfortunately, there are a lot of monitors with opaque names that make it nearly impossible to sift through them all to find the one you want.

The computing team has done a lot of work with monitors over the years and we know that the best monitors are vital to making the best computer setup really shine, whether that's the best gaming PC or the best workstations.

We've broken down how to pick the best monitor to help you find what you're after, and pulled together the very best displays on the market right now to help you make your research and buying decision as easy as possible. We've tested hundreds of monitors, so we know how a monitor can make or break the experience of playing the best PC games at the higheast settings, or even impact your work professionally.

Creative professionals need the highest quality monitor possible for their work, whether they're a photographer or a videographer looking for the best monitors for video editing they can find. Things like color gamut coverage, HDR and contrast ratios, and more are of vital importance, but can be easily overlooked in a monitor product page that assumes from the get-go that you are a PC gamer and doesn't even bother to let you know how bright the display is, or whether it covers 100% of the Adobe color range that is vital for graphic designers to have confidence in the final product.

So whether you're looking for the best gaming monitor for esports, the best 144Hz 4K monitor for super smooth video and gaming, or the best monitor for photo editing, we've got some of the best monitors for each kind of use case to help you get started.

The best monitors 2022 - chosen by our experts

A BenQ PD3200U monitor against a white background

(Image credit: BenQ)
Top for (some of) the gamers and pros

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Weight: 8.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
4K resolution on a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display
+
Great for 3D designers as well as gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Some features a bit niche

Now that the best PCs can handle 4K easier than ever before, the best 4K monitors are all over the place. That’s why BenQ released the PD3200U, a massive 32-inch Ultra HD display, as part of its Designer Monitor range. 3D designers particularly love this display, thanks to the factory-calibrated color accuracy and CAD/CAM mode. Marketed to creatives and professionals, BenQ has designed, seemingly by mistake, a panel that gamers will enjoy as well, making it one of the best monitors all-around – so long as they can find the space for it on their desks.

Read the full BenQ PD3200U review


An LG UltraGear 38GN950 monitor against a white background

(Image credit: LG)
A killer ultra-wide gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 38-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3840 x 1600
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
Color support: DCI-P3 98%
Weight: 20.3 lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Super-responsive and smooth with its 160Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time
+
Many great gaming-centric features makes it worth the price

Reasons to avoid

-
HDR can’t compete with high-end TVs

It’s hard not to be impressed by the LG UltraGear 38GN950. If you’re looking for the ultimate gaming monitor, this is certainly the one to beat, with a 144Hz refresh rate that can be easily overclocked to 160Hz, 1ms response time, spectacular image quality, and many other gaming features like G-Sync, an ultra-wide aspect ratio and DisplayHDR 600. If you’re serious about gaming, then this is the gaming monitor to get – if you can afford it, that is.

Read the full LG UltraGear 38GN950 review


A Gigabyte M32UC gaming monitor against a white background

(Image credit: )
The best curved 4K gaming monitor for most people

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160p
Refresh rate: 144Hz (160Hz OC w/ DisplayPort 1.4)
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
HDR: VESA DisplayHDR400
Color support: 93% DCI-P3, 123% sRGB

Reasons to buy

+
Great image quality and performance
+
Lots of connectivity options
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
Speakers are terrible
-
Base display settings require some tinkering

Multiplatform gamers looking for a high-performance 32-inch gaming monitor for 4K @ 144Hz gaming will find a lot to appreciate here with the M32UC from Gigabyte.

The HDR400 support is alright, but nothing special, but with a respectable amount of ports and other useful features, along with snappy pixel response time and great color gamut coverage, this is a great looking monitor with satifying performance that recommend it on its own.

When you factor in the excellent price for this kind of curved display, you get one of the best gaming monitors by value on the market. Just don't expect much from the built-in speakers here, they barely get the job done.

Read the full Gigabyte M32UC review


The BenQ SW321C PhotoVue photo editing monitor against a white background

(Image credit: BenQ)
Affordable pro-level 4K photo monitor

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 color uniformity
+
USB-C connectivity is a boon to content creators

Reasons to avoid

-
‘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 monitors you’ll find for photo and video editors, and the best part is you’re getting it for cheaper than all others.

Read the full BenQ SW321C PhotoVue review


The Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)
Best curved 4K monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Curve radius: 1800mm
Viewing angle: 178/178
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Response time: up to 4ms
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: 1.07 billion colors

Reasons to buy

+
Picture-in-picture with two PCs is a nice touch
+
Built-in speakers deliver surprisingly decent sound quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Small port selection might limit some users

The Dell S3221QS is a gorgeous monitor inside and out. Its simple yet elegant silver design gives it a unique look that sets it apart from all the gamer-centric or boring black office monitors you're most likely to find. It comes with a stunning 4K VA panel to match, making everything from movies to gaming a pleasure to watch. And, to make it an even better proposition, it’s got some great features as well – namely, decent-sounding speakers and an interesting picture-in-picture functionality that will let you display two different computers in the same display. That’s pretty nifty and a great way to make up for the fact that there’s no USB-C connectivity.

Read the full Dell 4K S3221QS Curved Monitor review


The Acer Predator X34, seen from the side, against a white background

(Image credit: Acer)
A gaming monitor with attitude

Specifications

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3440 x 1440 Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms G2G (grey-to-grey)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 100 million:1
Colour support: SRGB 100%
Weight: 9.9kg

Reasons to buy

+
Aggressive gamer's aesthetic is appealing
+
Perfect color accuracy makes it great for more than just gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited port selection and underpowered speakers

When you’re growing tired of the same old 16:9 aspect ratio, nothing hits the spot like a cinematic 21:9 display. It’s not the best for watching Netflix or YouTube, but the Acer Predator X34 is a fantastic example of what an ultra-wide monitor can do. Boasting an eye-catching aluminum bezel and polygonal stand that looks like a bird’s foot, this massive 34-inch monitor is a marvel to behold. More significantly, armed with Nvidia’s G-Sync tech, you won’t require V-Sync stressing out your graphics card. The Acer Predator X34 does all the heavy lifting for you. This is about as immersive as a gaming monitor can get, and one of the best monitors to buy this 2022.

Read the full Acer Predator X34 review


The Asus Designo Curve MX38VC against a white background

(Image credit: Asus)
Whole wide world

Specifications

Screen size: 37.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,840 x 1,600
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response time: 5ms G2G (grey-to-grey)
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: 1.07 million colors
Weight: 9.9kg

Reasons to buy

+
Huge screen real estate for immersive gaming
+
Qi wireless charging is a nifty addition

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of HDR is disappointing especially for that price

Ultrawide monitors have been around for a while: they’ve constantly made it on folks’ the best monitors list for a few years now, in fact. These wide monitors are lifesavers when it comes to productivity, and they’re only increasing in popularity. The Asus Designo Curve MX38VC, however, takes it to the next level. Not only does this monitor have a massive 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, but with USB-C compatibility and a Qi wireless charger built into the base, it’s going to be a workplace companion you won’t want to live without. It’s a tad pricey, and doesn’t feature HDR, but that’s a worthy sacrifice, especially for professionals.

Read the full Asus Designo Curve MX38VC review 


The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K's against a white background

(Image credit: Dell)
Back to the future

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 7,680 x 4,320
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Response time: 6ms
Viewing angle: N/A
Contrast ratio: 1,300:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Weight: 8.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning 8K resolution future-proofs your rig
+
Nice design that fits right in your office

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited 8K content means you won't take full advantage of that 8K resolution

We don’t usually run into technology that’s so far ahead of the curve that we’re left dumbfounded, which is why the Dell UltraSharp UP3218K has impressed us even more. Finding one of the best monitors that can reach the raw gorgeousness this one can should be next to impossible. It’s not just the resolution, either. Dell went so far as to ensure that the build quality and color reproduction are the best in the business as well. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K is aimed at professionals, obviously, so if that sounds like it’s made for you, it’s probably the best monitor you’ll ever find.

Read the full Dell UltraSharp UP3218K review 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the BenQ PD3200U 

The BenQ EX3203R monitor against a white background

(Image credit: BenQ)
High-res, low-cost

Specifications

Screen size: 31.5-inch
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 cd/m2
Response time: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3,000:1
Color support: DCI-P3 90%
Weight: 13.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced for something with many high-end features 
+
1800R curvature makes gaming immersive

Reasons to avoid

-
Sub-par HDR implementation 

If you’re looking for a first-rate 1440p monitor with HDR for multimedia and gaming, then the BenQ EX3203R might be the display for you. One of the best monitors this 2022, this one’s noteworthy as it offers a ton of high-end features in a product that is very reasonably priced. Sure, 32 inches might sound like a bit much for a monitor, but the 1800R curvature on this BenQ panel means that it’s easy to use, both for productivity, as well as for immersion in your games and media.

Read the full BenQ EX203R review

  • This product is only available in the US at the time of writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Acer S277HK  

The LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo with swinging mount arm against a white background

(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: 4ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Color support: sRGB 100%
Weight: 10.30 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile monitor stand that allows it to go in any direction
+
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 monitors out there.

Read the full LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo review


The MSI Optix MPG341CQR against a white background

(Image credit: MSI)
MSI’s hot new 34-inch gaming monitor

Specifications

Screen size: 34-inch
Aspect ratio: 21:9
Resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Brightness: 400 nits
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Response time: 1ms
Viewing angle: 178/178
Contrast ratio: 3000:1
Color support: sRGB 105%
Weight: 21.16 pounds

Reasons to buy

+
Great gaming performance and punchy image quality
+
Really strong overall feature set

Reasons to avoid

-
This class of monitor is expensive

If you’re searching for a gaming monitor with a super-wide 1440p resolution, incredibly fast response time of 1ms, a viewing angle of 178 degrees and a quick refresh rate, then the MSI Optix MPG341CQR is something you should consider. If not for those, then perhaps for the fact that MSI has decided to go with a VA panel, as opposed to IPS, giving it more contrast and punchier colors. A few bonuses are included, as well: snazzy “Mystic Light” RGD LEDs, USB-C connectivity, an integrated camera and a competitive price.

Read the full MSI Optix MPG341CQR review


How does TechRadar pick the best monitor?

We review monitors based on a number of factors including price, design, and performance. We consider the size of each display, as well as the number and type of ports on each monitor to determine who each display would benefit most. Each monitor is used in a variety of scenarios, so we use it for work, media consumption and gaming to test what it’s best suited to.

Performance is also evaluated by how well the actual screen tech works and its refresh rate. Frames per second are especially important in gaming monitors because you’ll want a high refresh rate during competitive games so you don’t miss a minute of the action.

Your monitor questions, answered

Which monitor brand is most reliable?

There are a lot of PC monitor brands out there making everything from cheap, portable office monitors to high-end gaming PC monitors with ultrawide aspect and 1000R curve rating, 1ms pixel response, and blazing fast refresh rates.

Among the best brands in this regard are Dell, Alienware, BenQ, Acer, LG, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, and Asus, but they are by no means the only ones.

Which monitor quality is best?

Well, this really depends on a couple of factors, but first and foremost is your use case.

If you're just a typical PC gamer looking for the best image quality, getting a 4K monitor with 144Hz refresh is going to make your games look fantastic. If you're an esports competitor (or want to be someday), then the only thing that matters is pixel response and refresh rate. Even a 1080p resolution is acceptable so long as it has at least 1ms pixel response or lower. The refresh on 1080p monitors can go as high as 360Hz or even higher with the very latest monitors coming onto the market.

For most people though, a 1440p monitor is often more than enough, since the jump from 1440p to 4K isn't nearly as impressive as the jump from 1080p to 1440p.

How do I choose a computer monitor?

To answer this, first, you need to ask what you need it to do.

Are you competing in esports? Then you need to go for the lowest pixel response rate you can afford (at least 1ms but even lower if possible), even if it means sacrificing image quality. All that matters is winning, after all, victory doesn't have to be pretty.

Are you a visual content creator, a photographer, or a graphic designer? Then you will definitely need a monitor that has the widest possible color coverage, usually given in percentage of various gamuts. sRGB is the gamut that covers the web, while DCI-P3 is the industry standard for films, and the Adobe gamut covers illustrators and photographers for the most part. Regardless of your use case, you need to get as close to 100% of your particular gamut as possible.

If you're on a high-end gaming desktop with the best graphics card on the market, then a 4K monitor or even an 8K display might be more of what you're looking for. 4K monitors are only just now starting to get higher refresh rates like 120Hz and 144Hz, so these are definitely the 4K panels that you need to keep an eye out for.

What is best screen size for 4K?

Depending on how far away from the screen you are, there will be a point where it just doesn't benefit you to upgrade to a new monitor with a higher resolution.

Typically, 32 inches is considered the best monitor size since this is the size where a person sitting about 3 feet away from a screen will be able to see the difference between 4K and 1440p. The difference isn't going to be huge, but it will be there.

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John Loeffler
John Loeffler

John (He/Him) is the US Computing Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 


Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: The Last Stand: Aftermath, Cartel Tycoon

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