Monitor Buying Guide

Overall Top Rated Monitors

Budget Gaming Editing
HP Pavilion 22CWA Acer Predator XB241H Dell UltraSharp U3415W
21.5-Inch IPS LED Display 24-Inch LED Display 34 Inch Curved LED Display
1920 x 1080 Resolution 1920 x 1080 Resolution 3440 x 1440 Resolution
16:9 Aspect Ratio 16:9 Aspect Ratio 21:9 Aspect Ratio
60 Hz Refresh Rate 144 Hz Refresh Rate 60 Hz Refresh Rate
7ms Response Time 1ms Response Time 5ms Response Time

The HP Pavilion 22CWA is quite amazing for it’s price range with an IPS display. The Acer Predator XB241H is a slick looking gaming monitor with a 144hz refresh rate and low response time which is absolutely ideal for gaming. The Dell UltraSharp 3415W is full of high quality wide screen viewing greatness, perfect for designers require large amounts of space. However, if none of these fit the bill for you then check out the rest of our recommended best monitor list:

Top Rated Monitors

Type Monitor Size Resolution Rating
Top Budget Monitors HP Pavilion 22CWA 21.5" 1920x1080
HP W2082A 20" 1600x900
Dell SE2416HX 23.8" 1920x1080
ViewSonic VA2246M 22" 1920x1080
Acer G236H 23" 1920x1080
Top Gaming Monitors Acer Predator XB241H 24" 1920x1080
ViewSonic XG270 27" 1920x1080
ASUS VG248QE 24" 1920x1080
BenQ ZOWIE XL2411 24" 1920x1080
ViewSonic XG2401 24" 1920x1080
Top Editing Monitors Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34" 3440x1440
ViewSonic VP2780-4K 27" 3840x2160
ASUS PA328Q 32" 3840x2160
BenQ BL3200PT 32" 2560x1440
BenQ BL2711U 27" 3840x2160

 

Things to look out for in a top rated monitor

 
We’re here to present to you our picks for the top rated monitors available right now. We’ve formulated this list using monitors for various tasks throughout our careers and have narrowed it down to specific tasks. If you’re looking for the best monitor for editing, we’ll gladly narrow that down for you. In search of the best gaming monitor? We’ve got that for you too.  Monitors vary widely in terms of features and price, but we have found the best monitors for gaming available today, which you can see in the table below. In this list we’ll discuss various features and price breakdowns

We know there are a ton of different varieties of monitors, so our aim is to help simplify this process for you. We’ve used and endlessly reviewed all different types of monitors and this list is the ones we personally use and recommend. Our picks are above for the best rated monitors have been extensively tested, so you can feel extremely comfortable using any of these top rated monitors.
 
The display of the monitor is the quintessential feature of a monitor. If it doesn’t look good, it’s not good plain and simple. Display features are broken down into various specifications

  • Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels that a monitor can display. The default format is width x height with the units being in pixels: for example, 1920 x 1080. Higher resolution generally equates to more screen real estate, which is ideal for multi tasking users. Most monitors come in the default aspect ratio of 16:9, but may differ depending on the type of monitor.

  • Panel type

The panel type of a monitor matters greatly. While you may get beautiful images on any time, there are small, but noticeable differences between each type of panels. TN (Twisted Nematic) panels generally have lower response times usually around 2 milliseconds. TN panels frequently are cheaper than the alternatives, until higher refresh rates come into play. The main downside to TN panels is poor viewing angles.

IPS Panels on the other hand, offer far superior viewing angles. IPS panels generally have greater color accuracy out of the box. The downsides to IPS panels are that they’re usually more expensive than TN panels by quite a bit. Response times of IPS panels are higher, with the best response times being about 5 milliseconds.

  • Color

In monitors there usually isn’t much of a difference in everyday use in color with most capable of a wide selection, but color specifications do matter for designers and enthusiasts. When people refer to color in monitors it’s usually contrast and color accuracy. Contrast ratios show the difference between the darkest blacks and the brighest whites a monitor display can produce. For the most part anything beyond 1000:1 is considered good and industry standard. Color accuracy refers to how accurate colors are outside of the box, but nearly every monitor includes tools to adjust these to the desired specification, so it doesn’t matter too much. Some monitors are capable of displaying more colors than others with most monitors being able to display 16.7 million colors, but some offer up to over a billion colors.

  • Response time

Response time is simply how fast the monitor can change from one pixel value to another, or essentially produce the image to the screen. Lower the response times, the better it will feel. Top rated monitors for gaming will have low response time because for gamers and lower times provide a smoother gaming experience, as even a few milliseconds can mean the difference between life and death. For everyday users though, response times don’t matter as much. I’d still aim to get as low as possible however.

 

Know your needs

  • Price

The price of a monitor is often a consumer’s biggest concern. Is it too expensive? Is it too cheap? Luckily now a days the average monitor is quite good in terms of performance at any price range. The higher your price range, the better quality you’ll get for the most part, but that’s not always true. There are variations between products at similar price ranges, and it’s our job to help you select the best monitor for you. Often, the higher the price, the higher the screen size will be. Higher end monitors feature greater colors, frequencies, response times and performance. We’ll help you find the top rated monitors for your budget needs.

  • Performance

The next main point a consumer is worried about is Performance. It’s hard to tell how the monitor will perform at a brick and mortar shop or online, but with our best monitors reviews you’ll be able to see first hand accounts. The monitors should perform according to the task you’ll most use them for. Gaming monitors should have less ghosting, higher frequencies, higher contrast rations, and low response time. Monitors for editing should have greater color calibration and more screen real estate for multi tasking between editing programs.

  • Extras

For most people, this is a moot point, but extras can play a part in the decision making process of buying the best monitor possible per their budget. Some monitors include speakers, eco-friendliness, and extra connections. Occasionally monitors will even have television cable capability although rare. Some monitors include wall mounts and ceiling mounts. Any extras add up to create top rated monitors.

 

Our Overall Top Rated Monitors

HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor

HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor

Our Top Rated Budget Monitor

 

The HP Pavilion 22CWA comes in as our top budget monitor for several reasons. First of all, the image quality. It’s difficult to get an IPS LED screen at a budget price and this monitor looks fantastic because of it. IPS panels let you view from almost any angle, so this monitor will look good no matter what orientation you view it at. The screen size feels just right for a budget monitor at 21.5 inches, featuring a resolution of 1920 x 1080. The bezel-less monitor maximizes the viewing space and really makes you feel like you’re getting your monies worth. The dynamic contrast ratio of 8,000,000:1 makes the colors clearer and richer.   The LED back-lighting looks great and doesn’t strain eyes after long periods of use. The screen comes with anti-glare treatment to reduce glare from the surrounding areas.

The weight of the monitor comes in at 6.6 pounds and feels surprisingly light. No more lugging around that old heavy CRT. The monitor comes with the usual input connections of VGA, HDMI (with HDCP), so nothing game breaking in that department. The HP Pavilion is an ENERGY STAR certified monitor designed to reduce power consumption. It has simple and subtle button controls under the display that are quite easy to use.

Overall the monitor does exactly what it set out to do, and that’s be a high quality budget monitor for the everyday user whether they’re just a beginning user or an advanced editor. There’s really no going wrong at all with the HP Pavilion if you’re on a very tight budget and we cannot recommend it enough.

 

 

Acer Predator XB241H bmipr 24-inch Full HD 1920x1080 NVIDIA G-Sync Display, 144Hz, 2 x 2w speakers, HDMI & DP

Acer Predator XB241H 24-inch Full HD 1920×1080  144Hz

Our Top Rated Gaming Monitor

First of all, WOW, our top rated gaming monitor looks absolutely killer. The Acer predator is a beauty to behold, and it’s got the performance to back up it’s dashing looks. The Acer Predator XV241H comes in at a nice 24 inches at the standard 1920 x 1080 resolution. It features NVIDIA G-Sync display, which allows your monitor to sync with the GPU(graphics processing unit or graphics card) to eliminate screen tearing and reducing input lag. The Ultra Low Motion Blur technology allows moving objects on screen to appear sharp as a tack without any ghosting.

The ergo-stand of the Acer Predator XB241H allows the monitor to swivel and tilt in any direction which allows the user to customize their viewing angle. VESA compatible mounting is a nice touch for users who wish to mount this beauty on their walls instead. Not to mention the stand just looks awesome.

The display of the XB241H is on a TN panel, which allows for lower response times, and is good for everyday use outside of gaming. The response time is a blistering 1 millisecond, can you say fast? It offers up to 180Hz refresh rate which will eliminate ghosting in even the best of machines. The colors look fantastic and the contrast ratio is perfect for gaming. You won’t have any trouble seeing the enemies hiding in the bushes with this gaming monitor. The monitor is even NVIDIA 3D ready which allows users to experience games and content like they never have before.

It’s easy to see why this monitor is our top rated gaming monitor. The Acer Predator is a monster that packs quite the punch. It’s got all of the bases covered and then excels at each category, while even throwing in extras like 2W speakers and an awesome swivel stand. The price feels quite right for this beauty of a monitor and we will always recommend the Acer Predator XB241H first.

Dell UltraSharp U3415W PXF79 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor

Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-Inch Curved LED-Lit Monitor

Our Top Rated Editing Monitor

Do you see that? It’s like Dell mashed two screens into one and made this awesome wide 34-inch monitor. It’s got so much screen real estate for multi tasking various editing programs that you might not even need double monitors anymore! The curved display is an absolutely wonderful feature to have and looks amazing. The screen resolution is massive and comes in at 3440 x 1440. It’s very easy to see why this would be our top rated editing monitor just from the picture alone, but we’ll dive a bit deeper for you.

The display of the Dell UltraSharp U3415W is flawless. The 21:9 aspect ratio creates a panoramic viewing experience allowing you to put up multiple windows at a time without it feeling cluttered. The images display crystal clear and the colors look stunning. The LED-lit monitor doesn’t cause any eye discomfort after long use, and that’s something us editors complain about quite a bit.

The Dell UltraSharp U3415W has unrivaled usability and can connect almost seamlessly to other monitors to create an even greater viewing experience. It features easy to use connections and offers six USB connections to connect to any or even multiple devices at once. It comes with speakers that produce crystal clear sound at 18 watts. The three year warranty makes this purchase an easy thought. The price is a bit expensive for monitors in general, but trust us, this editing monitor is the last one you’ll ever need.

 

 

 

 

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