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Large computer monitor reviews

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Last updated: 16 March 2017

More and more of what we do on our computers can benefit from the big-screen treatment, from browsing the internet to home video editing, and plenty of people are even replacing their TV with a large computer monitor. You can learn more about the market with our monitor buying guide, and get insights and advice on particular models from what we found when testing.

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4K UHD (ultra-high definition), which is essentially four times the resolution of high-definition, has been around for a couple of years, but it was hard to find a good- quality model for less than $1000. So we've added three 4K screens that cost between $500 and $600 to our review of 13 mega monitors, to find out if you can get a good-quality 4K unit without burning a hole in your hip pocket. The rest are high-definition models that range from $250 to $600. All monitors we tested are either 27- or 28-inches across.

Our expert testers put every monitor through its paces to find the models that:

  • have the best high-defintiion display
  • have the best 4K display
  • are the best overall performers
  • cost the least to run.

Our interactive comparison tool also helps you find which monitors have all the specs you need, such as HDMI, DVI and VGA inputs, screen type (LED, IPS, TN), inbuilt speakers and adjustable height settings.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Reflects cost as of February 2017

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 259 and 599

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Stated diagonal screen size (in)

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Measured in inches.

Native resolution

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The monitors maximum resolution. Note that 4K falls short of displaying 4000 horizontal pixels. These screens are technically ultra-high definition (UHD), not true 4K. 4K is used interchangeably with UHD as a marketing term.

Test results

Full HD performance score

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A viewing panel scores image quality (30%), reflections from the screen and bezel (25%), Blu-ray movie playback (20%), horizontal and vertical viewing angles (15%) and text quality (10%). All monitors tested simultaneously at 1920 x 1080 resolution.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

4K performance score

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Applicable for monitors that feature a 4K resolution. A viewing panel scores image quality (50%) and movie playback (50%).

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Ease of use score

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We assess port placement (30%), stand features (25%), on-screen menu intuitiveness (20%), menu control placement and physical characteristics (15%), and comprehensiveness of instructions manuals (10%).

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Costs

Running cost per year

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Based on power measurements undertaken when the monitor is on for 5 hours and in standby for 19 hours; we use a cost per kWh of 30 cents.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0

Specifications

Screen finish

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A glossy or matte screen finish will influence picture quality. Gloss screens, for example, typically appear quite vibrant, but it can be very reflective. This makes them difficult to use in bright environments, though some screens have an anti-glare coating to offset this somewhat.

Stated response time (ms)

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The time it takes for a pixel to change from black to white and back to black. Measured in milliseconds. Slow response times can create blurry images or show ghosting, but most consumer monitors respond within 1-5ms.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1 and 14

Stated screen refresh rate (Hz)

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Sometimes called frequency, defines how often the screen image is refreshed (redrawn) each second. Measured in hertz (Hz), a higher refresh rate theoretically results in a smoother picture with less evidence of flickering, ghosting, double images and shadowing. Standard monitors have a minimum refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is suitable for most tasks, aside from fast-paced gaming.

enter value/s in increments of 1 between 60 and 144

Features

Built-in speakers

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Speakers built into the body. Sound quality was not assessed.

VGA

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Video Graphics Array input. Often found on older PCs and gaming devices. Can handle 120Hz refresh rate. Does not carry an audio signal.

DVI

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Digital Visual Interface input. Can transmit 4K.

DisplayPort

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Can carry an audio and video signal.

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Full HD performance score
  • 4K performance score
  • Ease of use score
  • Running cost per year
  • Bezel thickness (mm)
  • Stand functions
  • Weight (kg)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Energy Star rating
  • Native resolution
  • Stated diagonal screen size (in)
  • LCD panel type
  • Screen finish
  • Stated brightness (cdm2)
  • Stated response time (ms)
  • Stated screen refresh rate (Hz)
  • Stated viewing angles (degrees)
  • VESA wall mount
  • Built-in speakers
  • VGA
  • DVI
  • HDMI
  • DisplayPort
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3
  • Audio out
  • AMD FreeSync
  • NVIDIA G-Sync
  • Pixel policy
  • Warranty (years)
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