There is a wide range of monitors and buying the ideal model requires precise knowledge of a number of functions that meet the needs of each user, their budget or the use for which they will be used, as this has little to do with a screen dedicated to gaming. to another for image or video editing.
Of course, the industry offers "off-road" models that can be adapted to any computer use without so much specialization. We will review all of this in the update of one of our great guides. as an aid in order not to make a mistake when purchasing the most important peripheral device of our PC and to understand it as an investment that we will surely keep for a few years before we renew it.
Monitors: main features to evaluate
A key feature that needs to be evaluated depending on the main use we will give the monitor is whether it is computer tasks, games, image editing or a mixture of these. LCD and TFT LCD In their various versions, they are the most commonly used panel types in monitors. Here we find – in order of quality – the most basic and economical TN, MVA, PVA and IPS with its PLS variants. These IPS are certainly best suited for general-purpose monitors due to their higher image quality, overall performance and price.
The game-dedicated panels usually mount TN panels in the most economical models, as this type of panel offers better advantages in terms of aspects such as the higher update frequency or the response time. Like improved and slightly more expensive variants GOESThey not only keep the game functions, but also improve other functions for other computer purposes.
Another group of panels that come onto the market is based on OLED and its variants, although its price initially removes them from the consumer market. In the future, more offer will come from the hand of mini-LEDs, an improvement of the current LEDs, which promise the picture quality, maximum brightness and black tones of OLED, but at a cheaper price, without problems like the well-known "burned out" and with easier on to use curved panels.
This is certainly one of the first aspects to be defined before buying. As with a television, the size of a monitor is measured as Diagonal distance from one vertex of the screen to the opposite in inches. The average size of monitors has increased dramatically in recent years, going from 20 to 21 inches over 24 inches and more.
There is everything you are looking for to meet your needs, although you need to have desk space because there are simply gigantic models that require enormous tables. In these cases, the width of the screen must be specified in centimeters. Even if you rely on multi-screen systems, they are used less and less before enlargement, but are still used.
The size of the monitors starts at 14-15 inches offered by portable monitors and ends at 65 inches of the new "Big Screen" models, which are exclusively available for games, and more than monitors, TVs seem to be in front of their gigantic diagonal be. A larger size generally gives us a larger field of view and greater productivity because more elements are displayed on the screen when combined with a higher resolution. It is convenient to find a balance in it. A 40-inch, low-resolution monitor is too pixelated, whereas you have to leave your eyes on a 21-inch model with 4K.
Resolution and aspect ratio
This is the number of pixels that can be displayed on the screen and we see it as maximum resolution or as native screen resolution. For distinction, we will mainly check the product of width by height in pixels, although we will also check it by the name of the standard (Full HD), the number of horizontal lines (1080p) or the horizontal resolution by the vertical (1920 x 1080 pixels ) can find. .
In monitors we should Discard everything that comes from Full HDHowever, lower native resolutions are found on portable monitors. From there we find trade names such as 2K, 4K, 5K, 6K and up to 8K, which are only of limited use and offer impressive resolutions of up to 7680 × 4800 pixels or WHUXGA.
The resolution is related to the aspect ratio. This is the ratio between the width and height measurements of a monitor, calculated by dividing both and generally expressed as "X: Y", although we can also find it under its trade name, for example "Ultrawide". There are many of them, each with their own resolution, although the most common on monitors are currently 16: 9, 16:10, or 21: 9.
As we said in the previous section, Always pay attention to the balance between resolution, aspect ratio and size And don't forget that the jump between standards (for example, from FHD to 2K) greatly increases the number of pixels that the screen can offer and therefore requires a higher level of hardware, especially with the graphics card.
Brightness / contrast / color / viewing angle
The technical characteristics of the screens are further parameters to be assessed, and each is important depending on the type of use. The brightness level (don't buy anything under 250 nits); The static contrast ratio (at least 850: 1) or the viewing angle (176 degrees or higher) are important features for a general-purpose monitor, while color representation and support (usually in%) are important for main palettes. Color is an area that is preferred for the image and video editing should be rated.
The game section is "free" and you can find monitors (quite unfortunate in terms of brightness, contrast, and color), but they're still great for games, as described in the "Panels" section. You can check the properties in the technical data sheet for each monitor.
Update rate / update rate
Video game execution has become one of the segments that continues to drive sales on monitors. All manufacturers have specific series and you will see that most of the novelties are dedicated to them. As mentioned in the previous sections, running games on PCs requires performance in certain sections that goes beyond brightness, contrast, or color.
A key value is the refresh rate, which refers to the ability to display images on a screen in one second and which is highlighted in Hertz (Hz). Although it is a value of the monitor itself and should not be confused with FPS, ie the frame rate generated by the computer, they usually match the available "frame rate".
In general, the larger the number, the better. With this type of gaming monitor, you see from 100 Hz to the new 360 Hz, and the level depends on other parameters. The higher the resolution, the more difficult it is to increase the refresh rate. You can use any type of monitor to play, but the exclusive games offer the best experience. In any case, keep in mind that a certain top monitor for eSports with 240 Hz will be penalized in other sections, completely discarded for the lowest output and not recommended for general use.
In conjunction with the previous point, many monitors have some of the image synchronization technologies available. They are used to improve communication between the graphics processor and the monitor and to avoid image cuts or interferences that lead to rendering delays, flickering, flares or other artifacts. Therefore, Sync screen refresh rates and GPUsThis ensures smooth performance, minimizing sequence truncation and delaying the input signal to improve response speed.
We currently find AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync, and in the near future we will see an Intel FreeSync. The AMD solution (like that from Intel) is based on open standards and is free of charge for manufacturers. Therefore, monitors are typically cheaper than those with NVIDIA and include a hardware module and proprietary software. On select models sold from 2019, NVIDIA offers a "compatibility mode" with this technology without the need for a dedicated chip.
Connectivity / sound / ergonomics
Today's monitors offer some Input connections. From the old analog VGA connections, which are still there for reasons of compatibility, to the more modern digital connections such as USB Type C and / or Thunderbolt 3. The most commonly used today are HDMI and / or display connection. (If you have any questions, you can read our screen interface guide.)
Most monitors also offer a USB hub, a multi-port hub that we can use to connect peripherals, transfer data, or charge batteries for mobile devices.
Monitor models designed for office or entertainment include integrated components such as Webcams and microphones for video conferencing. We'll also find audio inputs / outputs and even our own speakers, but as with TVs, very few offer high quality audio solutions and it is preferable to choose external components rather than those built into the monitors, although they can be useful If you're not, it sounds picky or you don't have enough desk space.
Another important section for those who spend many hours a day in front of the screen is the ergonomics. In monitors we are talking about the possibility of placing the screen in certain positions in order to adapt it to the needs of each user. It is recommended that you have a good base with which you can adjust the monitor at least in height. Other settings are panning, tilting or panning. If you want to hang the monitor firmly or on other brackets on the wall, make sure that it is compatible with the standard VESA support.
Working with multiple monitors is a pleasure at home or in the office, be it via a multiscreen system with a desktop computer or simply by connecting the laptop to one or more monitors. That allows us Improve viewing capacity and productivityExtend the desktop and work with a larger number of open applications for professional tasks such as editing, programming, translation or financial tasks.
Also collaborate live with video conferencing on the additional screen, run PC video games that expand their visualization across multiple screens, and generally for anyone who wants to see additional content while working, be it streaming or a website, to improve productivity and comfort.
The latest and most advanced device offers Thunderbolt 3 ports, the perfect connection for one or more monitors, because in addition to its enormous performance, it also offers video, audio, data transmission and power supply in a single cable as well as compatibility with USB ports. -C and also native DisplayPort 1.2, PCIe, HDMI 2 and USB 3.0 media of the third generation. However, there are users who appreciate its use These multi-screen modes tend to decrease before the impressive enlargement of the screen of the monitors themselves. Two 24 "or one 50-inch? There is everything.
All manufacturers offer technologies that promise different image improvements. There is a lot of marketing and it is preferable to evaluate all of the above parameters yourself. As with televisions, it would be ideal to be able to see them live and in a neutral environment, but this is not always possible. At least try to check reliable media reports before buying.
Yes, it is worth checking whether new standards such as HDR, the standard that defines and provides the high dynamic range or the ratio of light to dark areas in an image. Also interesting are those who have protection against blue light to reduce the damage that prolonged exposure does to our eyes.
In gaming monitors we will also see aesthetic features like Lighting systems Customizable RGB or pre-defined game modes that customize the monitor for use with different genres and other specific functions for recording titles or esports. Finally, office or mixed-use models typically include multitasking capabilities that allow the screen to be divided into windows of different sizes and to display picture-in-picture (PIP).
The most attractive: curved, 4K / 8K and panorama
Aside from the monitors for games, whose special models, as we have seen them only for this purpose, are not recommended as a screen for general use and even less for other purposes such as production or editing, there are formats that differ from the others stand out and some of which we need to know about because they may not be suitable for all users.
Most monitors still use flat screens, but one of the new technologies in monitors (just like TVs) is the curved display. They promise better immersion and improved side view, which is necessary given the increase in average screen size. Its value can be set as the radius of curvature (1500R, 1800R, 1900R, etc.) and shows a larger or smaller curve, which is practically the only technical parameter other than that of a flat screen.
It should be noted that in large diagonals there is the feeling of immersion and the curved plate allows you to enjoy one Wider field of view and less distortion around the edges of the screen. It is important to note that we can buy a flat screen TV with better properties than the corresponding curved model for the same price. And try to see it live, as not all users get used to these "curves".
4K / 8K
The catalog of models with ultra-high-resolution resolutions continues to grow and you will find 4K models (3840 x 2160 pixels) impressive 7680 x 4320 8K pixels. In between, we find models with other resolutions such as 5K or 6K, but which are used less. In addition to the resolution, the UHD standard requires an improvement in the quality of panels as part of the PLS or plane-to-line switching technology, which cover at least 100% of the sRGB color range and are Technicolor-certified.
Another problem to be solved on a computer desktop is that not all applications are optimized for operation with these resolutions. The main operating systems Windows, OS X and Linux offer support, but should also be improved. The multimedia content comes slowly (Blu-ray 4K or cloud services). If you had the opportunity to play games in 4K, you confirmed that this is an amazing experience.
Although there are also models with economic reach, this type of monitor requires additional investment in hardware. In games, you need high-end devices (especially a graphics card) to move them at reasonable rates because the 4K frame drop is brutal. And let's not say anything about the 8K that requires multi-graphics configurations in SLI or Crossfire, and not from the economic models. It's easy to find a balance between all of these.
Ultra-wide monitors (or ultra-wide-screen monitors) are another current bet in the industry to increase sales of these peripherals. The defining characteristic is their aspect ratio, a measure of Ratio of screen width to screen height we saw that in the general properties. If the most common ratio for the older CRT monitors was 4: 3 (4 pixels wide and 3 pixels high), the arrival of the LCD and TFT models offered other formats that we had previously only seen on cinema screens: 15; 9, 16:10 or 16: 9, which is the most common today.
In order to offer some of the advantages of increasing the amount of information (across the width) of multiscreen systems, the industry began offering a 21: 9 formatThis is the standard that is used in most film recordings and their exhibition in cinemas. The name of the UltraWide monitors corresponds to this format with an actual ratio of 2.37: 1. The screen is wide, very wide compared to 16: 9 and eThe format has not stopped here and we have already seen extreme models with a ratio of up to 32: 9.
Proponents of these types of formats for the computer desktop (which I am passionately referring to) appreciate the larger horizontal viewing space, which allows working with a larger number of open windows, a better immersion in video games and a perfect experience watching movies. Not all are advantages. Vertical space is lost, which can affect, for example, surfing the Internet or working with spreadsheets. Although support has increased and every new game supports it, you can find previous titles that don't support it or are escalating correctly.
Monitor buying guide: models and prices
When you've got this far, you've checked that choosing the ideal monitor isn't easy if you appreciate all the features. Fortunately, the offer is huge and you will find everything you are looking for. And that's why we limit ourselves to the consumer market and skip professionals, although many of them can serve both worlds.
The general recommendation if the budget is limited is to forget huge diagonals, great resolutions, curved panels, additional functions, ultra-panorama or games. It is preferable to buy a standard 23-inch full HD monitor with a high-quality panel and good levels of brightness, contrast, or color rather than a 30-inch 4K monitor or a low-quality curved monitor. A good 2K is always better than a normal 4K. If we have a slightly larger budget, since we should keep in mind that it is the most important peripheral and we will renew it in a few years, it is advisable to buy something of good quality.
Since our last guide to buying monitors in October, most novelties have opted for them Games sector as a spearhead to increase sales. Apertures and thickness have been reduced in a general trend for each type of electronic product; FreeSync and G-Sync are included in other models. The use of Type C and / or Thunderbolt 3 USB ports has increased. We saw the introduction of the 65-inch big format game. the first OLEDs; the first 8K and improvements in image quality, refresh rates up to 360 Hz and response times under 1 millisecond.
In terms of prices, there is everything, ups and downs. The entry-level offer is very cheap with models under 100 euros, while the premium offer increases significantly, perhaps too strongly. Definitely, There are good deals for all budgets. We separate them by resolution and add those that offer an ultra-wide format separately. GOOD BUY!
Monitors up to FHD
- Acer Essential – 19.5-inch monitor (LED screen, 1600 x 900 pixels) for 64 euros.
- Philips 223V5LHSB2 / 00 – 21.5-inch monitor (Full HD, HDMI) for 81 euros.
- BenQ GW2270H – 21.5-inch LED monitor for 93 euros.
- ASUS VP228DE – 21.5-inch full HD monitor (1920 x 1080 pixels, LCD, 5 ms, 100000000: 1 contrast, 200 cd / m²) for 95 euros.
- AOC 24B1XH – 24 ″ IPS for 99 euros.
- HP 240 – 24 "monitor (1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz) for 109 euros.
- Samsung S24F350FHU – 24 "FHD LED monitor for 110 euros.
- AOC G2460VQ6 – 24-inch monitor (resolution 1920 x 1080, WLED technology, contrast 1000: 1, 1 ms, HDMI, VGA, anti-blue light, flicker-free) for 118 euros.
- Samsung S24D330H – 24-inch monitor (1920 x 1080 pixels, LED, Full HD, 1000: 1) for 136 euros.
- LG 24MP58VQ-P – 23.8-inch LED monitor (1920 x 1080, 5 ms, HDMI, DVI) for 149 euros.
- Benq GL2760H – 27-inch monitor (1920 x 1080p, LED, 250 cd / m2, HDMI): 158 euros.
- LG 32MP58HQ-P 31.5 "Full HD IPS, for 179 euros.
- MSI Optix MAG161V – Portable monitor 16 "FullHD 60Hz, for 199 euros.
- ASUS VG248QE – 24-inch gaming monitor (144 Hz, LED backlight, FHD resolution 1920 x 1080, 16: 9, 350 cd / m2 brightness, 1 ms GTG response, 2 stereo 2W RMS speakers) , for 199 euros.
- LG 27MP38VQ-B.AEU, 27 inch FHD, for 199 euros.
- Acer ED273widx 27 "Full HD VA White PC screen – monitor (68.6 cm (27"), 250 cd / m², 1920 x 1080 pixels, 4 ms, LED, Full HD) for 229 euros.
- MSI Optix G271 – Gaming 27 "FullHD 144Hz, for 249 euros.
- BenQ Zowie XL2411 24 "LED 144Hz eSports, for 259 euros.
- AOC G2590PX / G2 – 24 inch, FHD, especially for electronic sports.
- ASUS VG278QR – 27-inch gaming monitor, Full HD, 0.5 ms *, 165 Hz, G-Sync compatible, Adaptive Sync, DVI, HDMI and display port for 298 euros.
- MSI Optix MAG271C – Curved Gaming 27 "LED FullHD 144Hz, for 299 euros.
- LG 27GK750F-B 27 "Full HD TN matt black for games with 27 inches and 240 Hz refresh rate for 319 euros.
- Gigabyte AORUS CV27F – gaming monitor 27 "for 358 euros.
- ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ, 27-inch VA, curved, at 144 Hz, for 359 euros.
- Alienware AW2518HF – 25 inch FHD for games, for 359 euros.
- Dell UltraSharp U2414H – 23.8-inch LED monitor (1920 x 1080p, 250 cd / m2, IPS, 8 ms, HDMI, DisplayPort) for 369 euros.
- Alienware AW2518HF – 24.5 inches, 1 ms, 400 nits, for 385 euros.
- Gigabyte AORUS KD25F. FHD – 25 inches – 240 Hz, for 475 euros.
- HP OMEN X 25 – 25 inch gaming monitor with G-Sync + height adjustable (TN, 240 Hz, 1 ms, FHD 1920 x 1080, 400 nits) black, for 567 euros.
- AOC Q3279VWF 31.5 ″ Quad HD for 259 euros.
- HP Pavilion 27 – 27-inch Quantum Dot Panel with 2560 x 1440 pixels, USB-C, AMD FreeSync, for 303 euros.
- LG 32QK500 – 2K 32-inch with IPS panel for 320 euros.
- HP 27xq – Quad HD. TN, 1 ms, AMD FreeSync, 144 Hz, for 333 euros.
- MSI Optix G27CQ4 – Gaming Curved 27 "WQHD 165Hz, Panel VA, for 349 euros.
- Samsung Space Monitor 27 »QHD, 144 Hz, for 351 euros.
- AOC AGON – 24-inch Quad HD monitor (2560 × 1440 pixels, 144 Hz) for 379 euros.
- AOC AGON AG271QX – gaming monitor (1 ms, 144 Hz, 2560 x 1440 pixels, 27 inch Quad HD, free sync compatible) for 360 euros.
- Philips Brilliance – monitor (80 cm), 2K, for 399 euros.
- AOC CQ32G1 – 32 inch 2K curved, for 413 euros.
- DELL UltraSharp U2719DC 27 "Quad HD LED, for 426 euros.
- MSI Optix MAG271CQR – curved 27 ", VA, 1800R curved screen, 1 ms response, brightness 400 nits, for 464 euros.
- Lenovo G32qc – Gaming Curved 31.5 inches, 2K, 144 Hz, FreeSync, for 490 euros.
- BenQ EX3203R – 32-inch curve monitor (2K QHD, 144 Hz, FreeSync 2, USB –C) for 498 euros.
- LG 27GL850-B – Panel NanoIPS (2560 x 1440 pixels, 16: 9, 1 ms GtG, 144 Hz, G-Sync) for 498 euros.
- Acer Predator XB271HU – Gaming 27 ″, TN, for 499 euros.
- LG 27GL83A-B Ultragear WQHD – IPS 27 inch, 144 Hz, 1 ms GTG, G-Sync, Das Mode, for 508 euros.
- AOC AG273QX – 27 "UHD 2K, 165 Hz, 4 ms, FreeSync 2, € 529.
- MSI Optix MAG322CQR – 31.5 inches, 165 Hz AMD FreeSync, for 534 euros.
- ASUS MG279Q – 27-inch gaming monitor (144 Hz, IPS, 2K resolution, 16: 9, 350 cd / m2 brightness, 4 ms GTG, Free Sync, for 537 euros.
- HP OMEN X 27 – QHD (AMD FreeSync, DisplayPort, HDMI, audio output, 240 Hz, for 594 euros.
- Gigabyte AORUS FI27Q 27 ″ 165Hz 2K FreeSync for 623 euros.
- AOC AGON – 27-inch Quad HD G sync monitor (2560 × 1440 pixels, 165 Hz) for 671 euros.
- ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – monitor 27 ", 165 Hz, G-Sync, 1 ms, for 699 euros.
- AOC 27 »Gaming Agon series AG273QCGAGON – QHD curved, 165 Hz, 1 ms, for 746 euros.
- Samsung U28E590D 28-inch monitor (LED, TN, 3840 x 2160 pixels, black, silver, 1000: 1, mega contrast): 272 euros.
- Philips 276E8VJSB – 27 inches with a native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels for 298 euros.
- Dell P2415Q 24 "black, silver 4K Ultra HD monitor (LED, IPS, 3840 x 2160 pixels, black, silver, Kensington, 100 – 240 V), 392 euros.
- LG 27UD58-B – 27-inch monitor, 4K UHD IPS, for 399 euros.
- LG 27UD69-W 27 "LED 4K Ultra HD IPS, for 420 euros.
- ASUS PB287Q – 28-inch WLED monitor (3840 × 2160) with TN technology: 451 euros.
- Philips BDM4350UC – 43 ″ UHD 4K (resolution 3440 x 2160 pixels, WLED technology) for 502 euros.
- Samsung Space – 32-inch monitor (4K, 4 ms, 60 Hz, flicker-free, LED, VA, 16: 9, 2500: 1, 250 cd / m²) for 527 euros.
- LG 27UD68-W – 27-inch monitor (3840 x 2160 pixels, LED, IPS, 1000: 1) for 547 euros.
- Acer UM.PX1EE.001 TN 28 ″ black, red – monitor (LED, TN, 3840 x 2160 pixels, black, red, USB 3.0 (3.1 Gen 1), 1000: 1: 549 euros.
- Philips 436M6VBPAB / 00 – 43-inch 4K HDR with Ambiglow for 649 euros.
- LG 31MU97Z-B, with 31 inches and native resolution 4096 x 2160 pixels, for 799 euros.
- ASUS PA328Q – monitor (81.28 cm (32 inches), 6 ms, 350 cd / m², 6 W, black, Kensington): 899 euros.
- Samsung LC49HG90DMU. 49-inch QLED panel with 4K resolution for 992 euros.
- LG 25UM58-P – 25 "LED (UltraWide 21: 9) for 179 euros.
- LG 29UM69G-B – IPS (2560 x 1080 pixels, 21: 9, 1 ms with MBR, 75 Hz, FreeSync, for 244 euros.
- LG 34UM69G-B – (34 inches, WFHD IPS, 2560 x 1080 pixels, 5 ms, 21: 9, 250 cd / m2, AMD FreeSync) for 358 euros.
- AOC CU34G2 / BK – 34 "WQHD curved (3440 x 1440 resolution, 1 ms, 100 Hz, VA, FreeSync) for € 529.
- Samsung C34H892 – 34 "curved UltraWide, 100 Hz, FreeSync, QLED, VA, 21: 9, 3000: 1, 1800R, 599 euros.
- Acer Predator Z35P – 35 inch curved and 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution, for 699 euros.
- LG 34UC99-W – Professionally curved UltraWide WQHD 86.7 cm (34 inches) with IPS panel (3440 x 1440 pixels (699 euros).
- Samsung C34F791WQU – 34 "LED UltraWide QHD Curved FreeSync, for 749 euros.
- Dell UltraSharp U3419W LED 3440 x 1440 pixels, WQHD, LED, 8 ms, black, gray, for 860 euros.
- LG 38UC99-W, 38-inch IPS with a resolution of 3840 x 1600 pixels. 879 euros.
- Acer Predator Z35. 35-inch gaming with WQHD resolution (2560 × 1080 pixels), refresh rate 144 Hz, G-Sync for 890 euros.
- ASUS XG49VQ – 49 inch curved UltraWide Quad HD LED curved, for 910 euros.
- Alienware AW3418DW – WQHD 34-inch curve for 936 euros.
- ASUS ROG PG348Q – 34-inch monitor (WLED, IPS, HDMI 3440 x 1440, G-Sync, for 957 euros.
- Philips 439P9H / 00 – Curved 43 ″ – 3480 × 1200, 100 Hz, HDR, integrated webcam, loudspeaker, HDMI, display port, USB, for 954 euros.
- ASUS ROG Swift PG349Q – 34.14-inch FHD monitor (not bright, 21: 9, 3440 x 1440, IPS, 120 Hz, 4 ms) for 1,195 euros.
- ASUS ProArt PA34VC – 34.1-inch UWWHD monitor (LED, 1900R curve, HDR-10, 100% sRGB, hardware calibration, 0.1 ms) black, for 1,142 euros.