This article was last updated by Luke Larsen, editor of the Digital Trends section, on June 24th, 2020.
If you want to buy an all-round display, we recommend that. It looks fantastic, is available at an affordable price, and has a convenient USB-C port. Our reviewers, who have tested more than 100 displays over the years, find little to complain about.
However, if you have something more specific in mind, e.g. For example, a great 4K display or something more suitable for gaming is covered below.
The best monitors for 2020 at a glance:
The best monitor: Dell P2720DC
Why should you buy this: It is a beautiful screen with thin bezels and an attractive price.
For whom it is: Almost every. It is perfect for at home or in the office.
Why we chose the Dell P2720DC:
There isn't a perfect monitor for everyone, but this Dell monitor offers the best balance between resolution, design, features, and price. First of all, it measures 27 inches diagonally, which is the ideal size for a standard desk. It's also 1440p (QHD), the perfect happy medium between affordable 1080p and super-sharp 4K.
The previous model, the Dell S2719DC, was our top monitor until the debut of the P2720DC. Dell monitors offer solid image quality, but the P2720DC offers other attractive features. This new model features super-thin bezels around the screen that give it a modern look, and even includes USB-C for single-cable connections to your laptop.
There are fancier, feature-rich monitors (see below), but the Dell P2720DC is the option that we would recommend to most people.
The best gaming monitor: Acer Predator XB272
Why should you buy this: If you want fantastic PC games at an affordable price.
For whom it is: Players who are looking for smooth gameplay that fits their powerful PC.
What we thought of the Acer Predator XB272:
You can find more expensive gaming monitors that aim for higher refresh rates and higher resolutions. However, like our Dell range above, the Predator XB272 offers an excellent combination of value, quality and functionality.
Most PC gamers still play at 1080p, so it's not particularly important not to have a higher resolution. Instead, features like G-Sync support and a refresh rate of 240 Hz are far more important to avoid tearing and jerking the screen. That may sound like overkill, but if it is a must if you play a lot of competitive online games.
The best budget monitor: Samsung 27 ″ SF354
Why should you buy that?: It's a great, spacious monitor when you need a big screen at a low price.
For whom it is: Work by homers, families.
Why we chose the Samsung 27 SF354:
Most people looking for a new monitor don't need anything special. No matter how cheap you are, 27 inches and 1080p are a few good standards to keep to. The Samsung SF354 offers both at a fantastic price of $ 170. In addition, it has a slim design with relatively thin bezels around the frame.
The SF354 also uses PLS panel technology, the Samsung version of IPS. In other words, you get decent viewing angles and realistic-looking colors. It's not meant for gaming or content creation, but this basic Samsung monitor is everything the average person needs in a work monitor.
If you're looking for something a little cheaper, check out our list of the best monitors under $ 100.
The best 4K monitor: Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q
Why should you buy that?: It is a beautiful display in a slim frame with an impressively sharp screen.
For whom it is: Media viewers who want 4K, HDR pop and details.
Why we chose the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q:
The Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q has been one of our most popular 4K displays for some time. It's not the largest display on the market, but with a resolution of 27 inches and 4K, it offers an enormous pixel range in a compact frame and ensures an exceptionally sharp image.
Combined with great HDR support and an enormous contrast ratio of 1,300: 1, this monitor looks stunning no matter what you do on it. Dell also offers a model in a 32-inch model, the U3220Q, although it's a few hundred dollars more expensive.
However, it is not designed for games. A high refresh rate is missing, but the 60 Hz is enough for players who play slower games and want the extra detail of 4K. You also don't need the most powerful graphics card in the world to achieve the maximum.
All of its powerful features are available at a price that is out of this world. So you don't have to break the bank to get a great 4K screen.
The best ultrawide monitor: LG 34WK95U
Riley Young / Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: It's expensive, but LG's 34-inch Ultrawide is stunning to look at and stands head and shoulders above most other large screens.
For whom it is: Those who want a huge multi-monitor experience without bezels.
Why we chose the LG 34WK95U:
This 34-inch display is full of pixels thanks to its 5K resolution, 5,120 x 2,160 pixels and the screen type that LG calls "Nano-IPS". This means that it offers a wider gamut of colors than almost any monitor we've ever come across. The color accuracy is also second to none, and with the HDR improvement, there are only a few displays that can even approximate the appearance of this display.
Although the contrast ratio is surpassed by some of his extremely wide contemporaries, 770: 1 is hardly bad in our tests and with a brightness of 409 nits it becomes a lot of white and a lot of dark if necessary. Games and media of all kinds look fantastic on this display – even if you work on it, the sharpness and clarity of everything on the screen is an unforgettable sight. If you want a stunning display, this is the one for you.
Even better, the LG34WK95U is actually easy to use. The ready-to-use calibration is excellent and the menus are simple and intuitive. It is an all-round pleasant pleasure. We miss any kind of adaptive synchronization technology and the 60 Hz refresh rate can turn off high-end gamers, but for everyone else it's worth it if you can bear the high price.
Read our full LG 34WK95U review
The best curved monitor: Samsung CF791
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
Why should you buy this: It's huge, impressive, whether you're playing or working, and the picture quality is fantastic.
For whom it is: Those who want a fantastic multi-monitor experience without partitions.
Why we chose the Samsung CF791:
At 34 inches wide, the Samsung CF791 is not the largest Ultrawide in the world, but it is quite simply our favorite. With fantastic picture quality, pro-gaming features like high refresh rate (100 Hz) and AMD FreeSync support, it's great whether you blow up enemies or just edit a few tables at a time. With a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, it's not quite 4K, but it's more than detailed enough for a beautiful, clean look, no matter what you use it for.
The colors and contrast are instantly perfect. It also achieves a contrast ratio of 940: 1 without calibration and provides almost perfect color accuracy after calibration. The CF791 was full of surprises during our test. It has consistently exceeded the competition and our expectations. Games look good, movies look good and even increase daily productivity. The latest version of the monitor also updates it with a Thunderbolt 3 connection for faster data speeds and more charging options. This makes this monitor more impressive than ever.
The Quantum Dot technology from Samsung helps a lot in all cases and delivers a fantastic contrast ratio and color depth that can hardly be surpassed on even more expensive displays. There may be some issues finding compatible media content on platforms like Netflix or Amazon Video, but for almost everything else, this steals the show. It has been an eye-catcher in our offices since our arrival.
It's a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for. In this case, that's a lot of the screen that looks fantastic.
Read our full Samsung CF791 review
The best 32-inch monitor: BenQ EX3203R
Why should you buy that?: 32 inches is a lot of screen space, but BenQ offers solid functions and a beautiful panel. And it's pretty affordable.
For whom it is: Players and everyone who needs a lot of screen space for their next project.
Why we chose the BenQ EX3203R:
As prices for high-resolution screens have dropped, prices for larger displays have also dropped. A 32-inch screen would have cost a fortune a few years ago, but today an excellent display like the BenQ EX3203R is extremely affordable. It offers 32-inch screen area with a respectable resolution of 2,560 x 1,440p (the gaming sweet spot) and a high refresh rate of 144 Hz.
As if that weren't enough, there is also HDR support, an immersive 1800R curvature, and FreeSync 2 to kick off the screen tearing and stuttering. This is a monitor that ticks so many boxes that we're not quite sure which category to put it in, but given its impressive size and build, the best 32-inch device seems to be a good solution.
This monitor is ideal for playing and working. Thanks to the HDR support, it offers excellent color support and popping black and white tones. You can even power it using a single USB-C cable if you want to keep your desk tidy.
Given the price, the frame and stand also look pretty good. What do you dislike about this affordable monster?
Research and buying tips
Which brand monitor is the best?
No monitor brand makes the best monitors in the world. For this reason, this list is created by different manufacturers. However, there are some that you can rely on more than most to produce great screens. Dell has been a long-time favorite of ours with years of fantastic displays. It is also aimed at professional audiences as well as gamers, so you know there will be something in your lineup that you like.
Other notable brands worth considering are Acer, which tends to produce some of the best gaming screens in the world. Samsung offers some of the best ultrawide screens and large monitors we've ever seen, and LG has a good all-round catalog of displays.
Which size of computer monitor is the best?
This very much depends on the resolution you are aiming for and how much desk space you have. Bigger usually looks better, giving you more screen space for work and bigger pictures for games and movies. However, you can extend entry-level resolutions like 1080p to the limit of their clarity. Large screens also take up more space on your desk. If you work or play on a small trolly desk, you should definitely buy a massive Ultrawide like the Samsung CHG90.
As a rule of thumb, 1080p looks good up to 24 inches, while 1440p looks good up to 30 inches and beyond. We would not recommend a 4K screen that is smaller than 27 inches because you will not see the actual benefits of these extra pixels in a relatively small space with this resolution.
Are 4K monitors good for gaming?
You can be. 4K offers the pinnacle of game detail and gives you a whole new level of immersion in atmospheric games, especially on larger displays that can fully display this mass of these pixels in all their glory. However, we believe that high refresh rate monitors can provide a better experience. If you don't have the deep pockets that you need for one or two powerful graphics cards, you won't get these frame rates at 4K. A 27-inch 1440p display like the Asus PG279Q is still the sweet spot.
Also note that monitor performance is often linked to frame rate management technologies like FreeSync and G-Sync these days. Therefore, pay attention to these technologies and compatible graphics cards when making decisions about gaming monitors.
Which is better: LCD or LED?
The short answer is: Both are the same. The longer answer is that this is a corporate marketing mistake when it comes to getting the products across properly. Nowadays, most monitors with LCD technology are illuminated with LEDs. So when you buy a monitor, it's usually both an LCD and an LED display. We have a complete guide for further explanations on LCD and LED technologies.
However, OLED displays have to be taken into account, although these panels do not yet have an impact on the desktop market. OLED screens combine color and light in a single panel known for its vivid colors and contrast ratio. While this technology has been making waves in TVs for a few years, they're only just making a tentative move into the world of desktop monitors, like the massive Alienware 55-inch OLED display we got our hands on at CES 2019.
What type of monitor is best for your eyes?
If you suffer from eye strain, look for monitors with built-in light filtering software, especially filters specifically designed to alleviate eye problems. These filters block more blue light. This is the part of the spectrum that affects our eyes the most and is responsible for most eye strain problems. However, you can also download eye filter software apps for each type of monitor you receive.