ProArt Display OLED PA32DCM
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek
Update, 03/08/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and are confident these are still the best computer monitors you can buy.

What to Look For in a Computer Monitor in 2023

There are many things to consider before you buy a monitor. This includes your budget, intended use, available space, and hardware constraints.  Someone playing games competitively will have a very different set of criteria to someone who relies on full Adobe RGB coverage for photo editing, for example.

You now have a lot more options for what you put on your desk than you did even a decade ago. 4K monitors are more popular than ever as people buy new computers capable of driving more than one screen at a time. Opting for a 4K monitor is a great choice as you get a higher pixel density for sharper text and images, plus more screen real estate.

Some options target laptop users, with many monitors now using DisplayPort or Thunderbolt-capable USB-C connectors. These can be used as a single connection point to drive the monitor and power the laptop simultaneously. This cuts down on the number of cables you need to carry or hide behind your desk, though be aware that a monitor’s power output has to match your laptop’s power requirements for this to work.

If you need color accuracy (say for photo or video editing), a calibrator is a must-buy since even a monitor that is accurately calibrated out of the box can change over time. It’s also worth keeping in mind that most monitors come with sub-par speakers, so you should look at a small desktop soundbar, a 2.1 system, or a good pair of headphones.

In determining the best picks, we’ve used our discretion to ensure our recommendations are within a reasonable budget and easy to find. By tailoring our choices to the consumer market and picking only widely available models via vendors like Amazon and Best Buy, the choices below should have broad appeal to office workers, creatives, and casual gamers alike.

Best Monitor Overall: ASUS ProArt PA279CV

ASUS ProArt Display PA279CV on purple background


  • 27-inch 4K IPS display that comes factory calibrated
  • USB-C connectivity with power delivery
  • A good balance of image quality, accuracy, and price
  • Ideal if you don't want to spend money on gaming features you won't use


  • A poor choice for gamers
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • Only 65w power delivery over USB-C

It’s hard to recommend a monitor that works for everyone, but the ASUS ProArt PA279CV is a great place to start if you need something solid for general usage. This monitor manages to balance both features and price in a form factor that will fit on most desks. It’s a 27-inch 4K display with an IPS panel featuring Adaptive Sync VRR, though with a refresh rate of only 60Hz it’s not going to wow the gamers.

But at this price, you might not mind, especially if gaming is low on your list of priorities. The PA279CV has 100% sRGB coverage and comes factory-calibrated out of the box. The wide viewing angles offered by IPS panels make it a great choice around the office,  with ergonomics that make it easy to swivel, pivot, tilt, and make height adjustments on the included stand.

A brightness of around 350 nits in SDR content makes it great for use in well-lit rooms, though don’t expect much from the HDR performance. The monitor features great connectivity including DisplayPort over USB-C, with 65w of power delivery for charging (some) laptops while you work. There’s also a standard DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0b, and a built-in USB 3.1 hub that makes it ideal for docking your laptop with peripherals that live on your desk.

The ProArt branding means that the PA279CV comes with ASUS’ built-in presets aimed at creative professionals, offering a quick palette and preset adjustments for using the on-screen display. It’s an all-rounder that offers great accuracy, plenty of screen real estate, and sharp looks at the cost of gaming-focused features.

Best Monitor Overall


A great monitor in terms of price to features, the PA279CV is a factory-calibrated 27-inch IPS display with a 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. It features USB-C connectivity and power-delivery, plus quick color adjustment for creative work.

Best Budget Monitor: Dell S2721QS

Dell S2721QS in game setup


  • Budget-friendly 27-inch 4K monitor (163 ppi)
  • Great ergonomics: tilt, swivel, pivot, and height-adjustment
  • Nice thin bezels and a choice of colors
  • FreeSync capable


  • Lacks USB-C connectivity for laptop owners
  • Limited to 60Hz makes it a poor choice for gamers
  • Poor peak brightness and HDR performance

The Dell S2721QS is a 27-inch budget monitor with a flat (non-curved) 4K IPS panel. This is the successor to our previous budget pick, the S2321Q. Though it shares the same technical specifications, the S2321QS has an improved stand that supports tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustment (the old version was limited to only tilt).

This Dell S series monitor has the same beautiful thin bezels as its more expensive siblings, with the same 99% sRGB coverage. It lacks a USB-C connector capable of delivering power and basic display connectivity in favor of dual HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2 connector.

RELATED: What Is an In-Plane Switching (IPS) Panel?

Despite being AMD FreeSync capable, this monitor is a poor match for gamers with its 60Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time. The gaming monitor below will be a better pick (for around five times the price) or take your pick from our best gaming monitors roundup. The S2721QS comes into its own in the office with high-quality 4K visuals and a pixel density of 163 ppi.

Dell’s S2721QS is a great choice for those on a budget and now features improved ergonomics, mounting options, and pre-calibrated color accuracy seen on the UltraSharp (or similarly-priced) monitors. Don’t expect the same premium build quality seen on Dell’s higher-end options.

Best Budget Monitor

Dell S2721QS

Now with better ergonomics, the Dell S2721QS is a budget monitor that punches well above its price tag that's most at home in an office.

Best Gaming Monitor: Dell Alienware AW3423DW

Dell Alienware AW3423DW on pink background


  • Stunning QD-OLED panel with great color and brightness
  • Ultrawide aspect ratio and curved design for a more immersive experience
  • Low latency and high refresh rates of up to 175Hz
  • Factory calibrated, great for creatives


  • An expensive bit of kit
  • First of its kind
  • Burn-in should always be a consideration with OLED technology

The world’s first ultrawide gaming-focused QD-OLED monitor, the curved Dell Alienware AW3423DW is the best of the bunch if you have the budget to match. It features a resolution of 3440×1440 with a refresh rate of up to 175Hz for high frame rate gaming and OLED’s innate low latency.

The real star of the show here is the QD-OLED panel, which delivers unbeatable contrast. OLED panels can switch pixels off entirely, allowing for deep blacks without the blooming effect that’s common on backlit LED-LCD models. QD-OLED introduces some notable advancements over older WOLED technology including quantum dots for better color accuracy and higher overall luminance for better peak brightness.

That means the AW3423DW is a great choice for HDR gaming in a dark room, reaching over 1000 nits brightness on a 2% window and hovering around 250 nits in SDR content. A curved display and ultrawide aspect ratio further build immersion, with a G-Sync Ultimate certification and compatibility with FreeSync for both NVIDIA and AMD-powered GPUs. You also get two HDMI ports (great for desktop console gaming) and a separate DisplayPort connector.

If you’re both a creator and a gamer, the AW3423DW won’t let you down, either. The monitor comes factory calibrated and features over 99% DCI-P3 coverage. The ultrawide form factor gives you a nice big desktop to work with, and higher refresh rates mean smoother motion regardless of what you’re doing (even just dragging windows around your desktop).

Best Gaming Monitor

Dell Alienware AW3423DW

A stylish and well-built 34in curved display, that produces incredible colors, deep blacks and bright HDR images.

The Best Gaming Monitors of 2023

LG Ultragear 27GP950-B
Best Gaming Monitor Overall
LG Ultragear 27GP950-B
Acer Nitro XF243Y
Best Budget Gaming Monitor
Acer Nitro XF243Y
LG C2 Series
Best 4K Gaming Monitor
LG C2 Series
Dell Alienware AW3423DW
Best Curved Gaming Monitor
Dell Alienware AW3423DW
Gigabyte M27Q
Best 144Hz Gaming Monitor
Gigabyte M27Q
Samsung Odyssey G7
Best 240Hz Gaming Monitor
Samsung Odyssey G7

Best Ultrawide Monitor: LG 38WN95C-W

LG Ultrawide on grey background


  • 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio with a resolution of 3840x1600
  • Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) connectivity with 94W power delivery
  • 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time
  • FreeSync Premium Pro certfied and G-Sync compatible


  • May be overkill for office use
  • Wider monitors exist at a similar price point, with less bells and whistles
  • Poor contrast ratio compared to similar models

The LG 38WN95C-W is a curved ultrawide monitor with a resolution of 3840×1600, which translates to an aspect ratio of 21:9. Most monitors use a 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen aspect ratio, but an ultrawide is a great option if you want more on-screen at once. An ultrawide of this screen size could replace two monitors (which makes the price a little easier to swallow) and eliminate the bezel that plagues multiple monitor setups.

This particular LG ultrawide is packed with features, including Thunderbolt 3 connectivity via USB-C that can power a laptop with 94W of power delivery. It also hits an impressive refresh rate of 144Hz, making it buttery smooth to use on the desktop and ideal for gaming on the side, assuming your graphics card can handle it.

The 38WN95C-W is Nvidia G-Sync compatible and has FreeSync Premium Pro on board, which means support for variable refresh rates that eliminate screen tearing in fast-paced games. A DisplayHDR 600 certification means that HDR games and movies will look good, and there’s 98% coverage of DCI-P3, 100% coverage of sRGB, and a response time of 1 ms.

In short, this ultrawide monitor is a solid all-rounder. If you want serious horizontal width at the expense of refresh rate (and your wallet), then the Dell U4919DW is an ideal super ultrawide monitor alternative that’s perfect for office use.

Best Ultrawide Monitor

LG 38WN95C-W

Do you want to step into the world of ultrawide monitors? This LG UW model comes with FreeSync and G-Sync compatibilities, making it great for gaming and web browsing alike.

Best 4K Monitor: Gigabyte M32U

GIGABYTE M32U on pink background


  • 32-inch 4K IPS panel with a 144Hz refresh rate
  • Great all-rounder for work and play
  • 2 HDMI 2.1 ports
  • Great ergonomics on the included stand (and VESA wall mount compatible)


  • 32-inch may be too big for some people
  • Lower pixel density compared to smaller 4K models
  • Unimpressive HDR performance

If you’re looking for a 4K monitor that can do a bit of everything, consider the Gigabyte M32U. This IPS monitor features a flat 32-inch IPS panel that can hit refresh rates of 144Hz for a smooth gaming and desktop experience. Higher refresh rates and FreeSync Premium Pro support make it a great choice for those who like to use their computer for work and play.

The monitor is HDR10 capable (with a VESA HDR400 certification) but don’t expect much in terms of peak brightness, topping out at around 400 nits on a 2% window. On the other hand, the relatively bright 350 nits SDR performance should work well even in well-lit rooms (great for daytime office use).

Reviewers claim excellent color accuracy out of the box, though serious users will want to calibrate their monitor regardless. You’ll get around 87% DCI-P3 coverage (and over 100% sRGB) once the monitor is set up. Connectivity-wise there are two HDMI 2.1 ports, great for 120Hz 4K gaming on a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or PC.

The monitor also features good ergonomics, with a fully adjustable stand included in the box (plus compatibility with VESA 100×100 wall mounts). The relatively understated styling and thin bezels mean it should fit in with your existing setup, and there’s no sign of RGB lighting anywhere.

This monitor is the larger version of the Gigabyte M28U, and features a few notable advantages over its smaller sibling. It has half the response time (1 ms instead of 2 ms), the ability to swivel on the included stand, and better brightness. If the 32-inch display isn’t to your tastes, the 28-inch version might be worth a look instead.

Best 4K Monitor

Gigabyte M32U

The Gigabyte M32U is a great all-rounder for work and play. It features a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, 1ms response times, FreeSync Premium Pro, great out-of-the-box accuracy, and impressive ergonomics.

Best Monitor for Mac: Dell U2723QE

Dell U2723QE on blue background


  • Crisp images and text
  • Ergonomic stand and good built quality
  • Built-in KVM Switch and USB Hub


  • Limited to 60Hz refresh rate
  • Daisy-chaining issues on Macs

The Dell U2723QE is an excellent 4K monitor that works well with Macs. It has a 27-inch IPS Black panel, which offers better contrast than traditional IPS panels, great color accuracy, and a wide color gamut. You also get HDR content support, but the monitor only has the base DisplayHDR 400 certification.

The monitor looks nice and has an office-oriented design with an incredibly ergonomic stand. You can tilt, swivel, pivot, and adjust the height.

On the connectivity front, the Dell monitor has an impressive port selection. It packs one DisplayPort 1.4 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, and one USB-C port with DP Alt mode for video input. The Type-C port can also deliver up to 90W of power to a connected laptop, allowing you to power almost any MacBook.

Additionally, the monitor can act as a USB hub and KVM Switch and has five USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, and one RJ45 Ethernet port.

Unfortunately, while the U2723QE has a DisplayPort out for daisy-chaining monitors when connected to a Mac, it just mirrors itself on the second monitor.

All in all, the Dell U2723QE is a solid choice for most Mac users, including content creators. But if you are looking for the absolute best option and have no budget constraints, you should consider the Apple Pro Display XDR.

Best Monitor for Mac

Dell U2723QE

The Dell U2723QE is a no-frills monitor that works great with Macs. It offers excellent connectivity options, great accuracy, and a wide color gamut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nothing stops you from using a TV as a computer monitor if you have an HDMI output (or adapter) to work with. There may be issues in doing this, however, since TVs are designed to be used much further away, and are less geared toward rendering crisp text compared with computer monitors. If you're considering using a TV, make sure you can put enough distance between yourself and the display to avoid eye strain.

A computer monitor is not designed to be used as a standalone device, unlike a TV. A TV has a tuner, a separate operating system, and apps. A monitor is just a display that requires a source device to be of any use. You may be able to use a monitor like a TV by plugging in a streaming device like a Chromecast or Apple TV, or simply using your computer to stream content from services like YouTube or Netflix. You should also be aware that not all monitors include speakers, and even those that do are often poor.

Not all computers will support dual monitors, but many do. You can check whether your laptop or GPU supports two (or more) monitors by consulting the manufacturer's website If you have two outputs on your computer's GPU, you can try connecting each monitor to a separate output. Many laptops will have video output (like an HDMI port) for connecting an external monitor, while others will support additional monitors through a USB hub with a DisplayPort or HDMI output. Read more about connecting multiple monitors to a laptop.

Most computer monitors include speakers, but not all. These are generally low-powered and deliver poor sound quality, so should not be relied upon for serious usage. You're better off connecting a pair of decent desktop speakers or investing in a good pair of headphones instead.

You should clean your monitor carefully using a soft microfiber cloth. Consult manufacturer directions and avoid any harsh cleaning chemicals. If you're struggling with stubborn grime, moisten a cloth with distilled water and use it to spot clean problem areas. For more information, see our full guide to cleaning your TV or monitor.

If your old monitor is in working order, consider selling it on a classified website like Facebook Marketplace to someone who needs it. Alternatively, donate it to a local charity that can put it to good use or sell it at a minimal cost. This helps to keep functioning electronics out of the landfill.

If it's time to recycle your monitor, many local e-waste recycling centers will take your old display free of charge. Many manufacturers offer their own recycling schemes, as do retailers like Best Buy. Even Apple will take non-Apple branded e-waste and recycle it for free. Read more about recycling old computers and e-waste.

The Best Portable Monitors of 2023

Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV
Best Portable Monitor Overall
Asus ProArt Display PA148CTV
Lepow Z1 Gamut
Best Budget Portable Monitor
Lepow Z1 Gamut
ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP 15.6" Portable Monitor Full HD IPS Eye Care with Micro HDMI USB Type-C,Black
Best Portable Monitor for MacBooks
ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP 15.6" Portable Monitor Full HD IPS Eye Care with Micro HDMI USB Type-C,Black
Asus ROG Strix XG17AHPE
Best Portable Gaming Monitor
Asus ROG Strix XG17AHPE
ViewSonic TD1655
Best Portable Touchscreen Monitor
ViewSonic TD1655
Uperfect MDS-156A23
Best 4K Portable Monitor
Uperfect MDS-156A23
Profile Photo for Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He has covered a wide range of topics including Apple, security, productivity tips, gaming and more for publications like How-To Geek, Zapier, and MakeUseOf.
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Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in Android Police, XDA Developers, and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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