10 Best 4K Monitors to Look out for in 2017

Will it be worth the price if you upgrade to 4K? Find out the answers and choices here!

  • March 07, 2017

As the all-new 4K monitor prices are gradually coming down, their availability has surged as well. It is possible for you to get these monitors for great sale prices, albeit still a little on the steeper side. The question is, will it be worth the price if you upgrade to 4K?

First things first, 4K monitors happen to be four times greater in resolution than your average 1920x1080 displays, which is 3840x2160. For computers, having a high display resolution is ideal as your operating system can produce resolutions much higher than 1080p. As opposed to having, say a TV of that many pixels, having a computer monitor as large can truly depict the precise detail that your PC is capable of showing. Hence, you can reward your senses to a sharper interface, improved desktop and of course, a better gaming experience. Your eyes too will be closer to the monitor compared to a television screen; hence the pixel density increase will be clearly noticeable.

From the extensive market of 4K monitors, we have picked a high end and a budget option for you. Within a budget, the Dell P415Q is the best choice while for those of you willing to spend a bit more, there is the Dell P2715Q.

THE 10 BEST PRODUCTS ARE:

Device Name

Screen Size

(inches)
Colors

Brightness

(cd per meter square)
Screen Lighting Resolution  
Dell P2715Q 27

16.7 million

350 LED 3840x2160 Check Price
ASUS PB287Q 28 1.07 billion 330 LCD 3840x2160 Check Price
Dell P415Q 23.8 1.07 billion 300 WLED

3840x2160

Check Price
SAMSUNG U32E850R 31.5 1.07 billion 350 LCD Panel, WLED Backlight 3840x2160 Check Price
Acer Predator XB281HK 28 16.7 million 300

LED Backlight

3840x2160 Check Price
Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ 27 1.07 billion 300 WLED 3840x2160 Check Price
HP DreamColor Z32x 31.5 1.07 billion

300

LED-backlit

LCD monitor

3840x2160 Check Price
AOC U3477PQU 34 16.7 million 320 LCD 3440x1440 Check Price
Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 40 1.07 billion 300 WLED 3840x2160 Check Price
BenQ BL3201PH 32 1.07 billion 350 LED 3840x2160 Check Price
1. Dell P2715Q (Overall Best) - Splurge for Quality

The Pros

  • IPS panel
  • Great aspect ratio
  • VESA compatibility
  • Excellent monitor connectivity
  • Adjustable stand

The Cons

  • Clear lack of display controls
  • Pricey

For those who just need a 4K monitor in their lives, the Dell P2715Q is their dream come true. This 27-inch monitor has a 3849x2160 along with IPS (In-Plane Switching) makes for a roomy desktop and breathtaking image quality for gaming, YouTube videos, visual design on a professional level and of course, 4K movies. The aspect ratio of the monitor is 16:9, making it ideal for your gaming and visual editing needs. Moreover, any content can be viewed smoothly thanks to its refresh rate of 60 frames per second.

Dell has outdone itself when it comes to creating a well-connected monitor. Features that we think you will love on the hardware end are the USB 3.0 hub, adjustable stand, and its VESA compatibility to be used with a monitor arm. It also boasts a single-stream DisplayPort which can get the monitor to operate at its maximum resolution.

Regarding its design, the P2715Q might not be the most stunning monitor available in the market. In fact, the design is very straightforward and does not have much of a wow factor to it. However, what seemingly looks like a hasty construction turns out to be quite stable and sturdy. All kinds of frills have been discarded with this one as the slim panel on it does not waste any space. We believe that the ergonomic stand needs a little more love from our end! This stand came as a pleasant surprise as we could adjust its tilt, pivot, swivel and height with much ease.

Beyond minor adjustments such as brightness and contrast, the P2715Q does not need any fidgeting with when it comes to showing true-to-color images. This is perfect for those of you who do not want to go through adjustment issues. However, it might bother those who prefer more options of adjustment. Users who do want to experiment with the display properties can only just adjust some basics such as brightness, contrast and RGB values with the help of a simple menu button. For a monitor of this quality and price, the lack of display controls can be a bit disappointing.

2. Asus PB287Q - Not a Gamer’s Dream

The Pros

  • Sharpness (157 PPI)
  • Great aspect ratio
  • Response time
  • 10 bit, over 1 million colors

The Cons

  • Average contrast performance
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • TN instead of IPS panel
  • No USB port
  • Grainy text as computer monitor

For starters, the Asus PB287Q comes rather cheap and is quite utilitarian in its right. The aspect ratio happens to be a pleasant 16:9, plus there is the WLED display that should suffice for a 3840x2160 resolution. Moreover, the sharpness and clarity of the monitor can be on very fine levels, as the pixel density per inch is 157 PPI. Be it 4K scaled graphics for Windows 8.1, 10 or any native 4K UHD material that you get your hands on- the PB287Q does bring to the table some sharp UHD visuals.

The response time on this monitor did impress us, being 1ms GTG to be exact. This makes the monitor an excellent choice for those of you working in digital design. The refresh rate of this is 60Hz, which according to the company makes for ‘ultra-smooth gameplay.’ The price too is on the reasonable end, which might benefit gamers, but let us get to the gaming aspect later.

The rendering of color is where this monitor performs a little poorly. The main reason behind it is its TN display technology. However, the contrast of this monitor does give some of the better ones a run for their money. Even though we have seen better native contrast on monitors around the same price range, PB287Q still does a decent job. The range, nuance, and richness to its ‘blacks’ give the images on this monitor wonderful dimension.

Our next winner here is the color rendering of the monitor, even for a TN display. Usually, it is the IPS monitor that performs better in terms of vibrancy. However, the PB287Q offers a real, broader 10-bit color range. This enables it to display over 1 billion colors instead of the 16.7 million colors of the 8-bit monitor variants. More colors, hence a much smoother transition between different hues! For a monitor this low in price, this is a commendable feature.

At this point the monitor might sound too good to be true, however, for some reason, Asus has completely forgotten to provide any USB port in it. We felt that this was the biggest letdown for an otherwise superb monitor for gaming considering that USB ports are the bare minimum. They happen to be the standard for most gaming accessories, chargers, etc. The position of the buttons on this one too is problematic, as they are situated at the back. Hence it is very likely to press the wrong button at any time. Some other problems arose related to display, as simple items such text looked extremely grainy as well. The simple fact that this is a TN monitor, not IPS is responsible for these graphic glitches; making this laptop not-so-great for gamers.

3. Dell P2415Q (Budget Pick) - On a Budget

The Pros

  • Good connectivity ports
  • 10 bit, over 1 million colors
  • Price

The Cons

  • Blurry upscaled elements

You might have guessed from the serial number that this monitor’s screen is 24 inches. When it comes to color accuracy, it performs just as well as the 27-inch variant.

Some of the strengths you may notice are the ease of use, connections, and ergonomics of this monitor. Another great feature we love is the fact that the P2415Q incorporates In-Plane Switching without costing a fortune. For this price, you would have to settle for a 28” Twisted Nematic or TN panel otherwise. Of course, you might be one of those who prefers smaller monitors with a higher resolution, yet many others might find working with these monitors challenging.

You might notice that the upscaled elements look a bit blurred and non-scaled ones get miniaturized- which only happens due to the smaller screen size of this model. The performance of this monitor also depends on which Operating System you are using. We found it to perform the best with MAC OS.

4. SAMSUNG U32E850R - Living It Large

The Pros

  • Huge screen size
  • Adjustable stand
  • PLS technology
  • 10-bit panel
  • Darkness enhancing mode
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Great response time

The Cons

  • Average contrast performance
  • Slight reflection of objects

First impressions do last in case of this monitor. At first sight, you are immediately greeted by the large 31.5-inch screen. This grand nearly 32 inches, 4K LCD panel has been made using the PLS technology by Samsung. This is easily on par with the IPS panels in monitors of other brands.

If you walk up to it, then you will start noticing that the monitor does reflect objects in front of it quite a lot. Thankfully, though, it does not remain a problem if it is placed in better lighting and if it is switched on. The stand can be adjusted easily and seemed relatively strong as well. There are 2 USB ports with supercharging and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Instead of a fast refresh rate, the strength of the U32E85 is on the LCD panel that targets better picture quality. This monitor happens to be a 10-bit panel, providing better differentiation of color in comparison with the usual 8-bit variants. Samsung, however, claims that their monitor can only display some 16.7 million colors; hence it is evident that the processing in the background is in fact, happening in 8 bit as true displays with 10 bits show 1.097 billion colors. The 1000:1 contrast ratio, 350 brightness and viewing angle of 178 degrees are all typical of a monitor of this price range.

When it comes to the connectivity of this monitor, there are ample options. Two DisplayPorts; one full sized and the other mini are available along with two HDMI sockets- 1.4 and 2.0 respectively. The second HDMI becomes limited to just 30Hz at full 4K resolution. To get the full 60Hz, you have to use both DisplayPorts along with one HDMI.

Now the main strengths of the monitor as being advertised by parent company Samsung happen to be the size and some key gaming features that it has. Worth mentioning among them is the darkness enhancing mode and AMD FreeSync. However, great response time is the precondition for gamers, which this monitor misses out on. The refresh rate remains 60Hz; hence the super fast 144Hz panel gamers are in for a letdown.

5. Acer Predator XB281HK - Game On

The Pros

  • G-Sync, smooth transitions
  • 10-bit panel
  • Great response time

The Cons

  • TN panel
  • Unsuitable for the workplace

This particular monitor has been advertised as a real gamer’s monitor, yet it has a completely different take on the experience than another model from ACER- the XB271HU. The latter is not a 4K monitor per se with a resolution of 2560x1440, yet has a whopping 165 Hz for refresh rate! The XB281HK, however, trumps the resolution game, giving a true 4K experience. Both of these monitors provide the NVIDIA G-Sync feature so that the frames are better off. However, G-Sync is not what is typically used for 4K gaming monitors, especially if its refresh rate is only 60Hz!

The real appreciation for this monitor depends on a powerful GPU. With a NVIDIA 980Ti GPU for example, we found that we could play some major games smoothly by dint of the G-Sync at its 60fps rate. It is also true that G-Sync would work silky smooth with higher refresh rate monitors. However, you might prefer the crisp picture quality and detail of a 4K monitor better in this case.

One of the major reasons why we did not like this monitor as much is the TN panel it comes with. Again, the other, non-4K model wins here that uses IPS panel. Once the picture moves a few degrees off center, the color differentiation is not as sharp. This may not bother a gamer; however, it does become bothersome if you are viewing real world screens and live action movies. As a rule of thumb, any monitor that uses IPS paneling will provide colors that are more vibrant than in this one.

We are probably nitpicking at this point, but this model can prove a little unsuitable at the workplace. We found out that the browser and Windows fonts looked a little blurrier than what is typical of a large 4K screen. You might have seen better 2560x1600 screens or even the ones at 1440 perform better with small fonts.

The bottom line is, for a super high-resolution game screen and the silky smooth G-Sync, this monitor is still worth a second look.

6. Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ - Near-Perfect:

The Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Flexibility
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
  • ASUS Eye care technology

The Cons

  • Incompatible with graphics of Windows 7 and below

This is a wonderful gaming monitor that has made our list for all the right reasons. The Asus ROG Swift PG27AQ has quite a few highlights that caught our eye. The 4K resolution is beautifully clear on the 27 inch ultra HD display. As it has IPS switching, the color gamut coverage is excellent, brightness enhanced and there is great expansion of the effective viewing angles in this monitor.

It is worth mentioning that the Nvidia G-sync technology synchronizes the refresh rate on screen and the output if you are using it for gaming on your PC GPU. If you happen to be a PC gamer who likes their world in 4K UHD, this monitor is ideal for you if you’re using one of the latest Nvidia graphics cards. The combination of the Nvidia graphics card and the PG27AQ monitor is seamless and fluid gaming at a maximum frame rate of 60Hz. However, higher frame rate, say 100+ fps games are not going to be as wonderful on this monitor model.

Some great features that protect eyesight and enhance the gaming experience are also provided here. The Flicker-Free, GameVisual, GamePlus and Ultra-Low Blue Light are easy on the eye and provide maximum comfort for serious gamers during long sessions. ASUS has done an excellent job in this department. In terms of desktop use, we found that the icons and text appear easy on the eye as well. However, if you are using a version of Windows below 7, this monitor’s native resolution does not work well with those.

The design on this monitor is to die for- both in terms of looks and flexibility. The pivot, height, tilt and adjustability of angle make it a truly versatile monitor, also having VESA compatibility.

7. HP DreamColor Z32x - All About That Color

The Pros

  • Great color reproduction
  • Intuitive controls on screen
  • Picture quality

The Cons

  • Average contrast
  • Ghosting

It is huge, and it delivers accordingly in terms of crisp resolution. HP’s current line of monitors boasts this superior quality behemoth of a device that has a massive 32-inch screen and IPS panel. The display is marketed as a ‘professional’ one, hence targeting those who need to work with high color accuracy. Hence the price, even though on the upper side, is justified for professionals.

This monitor happens to have one DisplayPort, one mini-DisplayPort, and two HDMI inputs. Having the capability of powering two USB 3.0 jacks mounted at the rear, there is a USB 3.0 connection that can be connected to other peripherals. It would have been nice had there been a few extra USB ports on either flank of the monitor. Those come in handy for connecting plug-and-play devices, but those are just not there to be found.

Even though it is being marketed as a strictly professional quality monitor, gamers might want to try out the 4K resolution and the sheer size of it. At first glance, one might be tempted to buy this instead of smaller but higher refresh rate monitors. It is true that the Z32x does not have response time issues. According to HP, the response time gray to gray happens to be eight milliseconds. However, the problem we did face here was that of ghosting. Our tests revealed that fast moving objects seem to leave quite the trail behind under certain conditions. For gaming, this could prove lethal.

With great color accuracy, wide viewing angles and a high ratio of contrast; the entire Z display line of HP is targeted at creative professionals who work extensively with color. This model, in particular, covers 100 percent of the sRGB and 99.5 percent of the AdobeRGB color space.

8. AOC U3477PQU - Gamers Can Skip

The Pros

  • Amazing 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Adjustable stand
  • Picture quality
  • Price

The Cons

  • Just one DisplayPort and HDMI
  • Contrast lower than MVA LCD
  • Not for gaming

The AOC U3477PQU is living proof that huge monitors can come in prices lower than the $500 tag. The enormous 34-inch panel, the amazing 21:9 aspect ratio and IPS panel ticks all the major boxes for us. Other models like Philips BDM34U90C might have the curve preferred in most monitors, for a lower price you do get an adjustable stand to alter the height as per your requirement.

Even though we believe that beauty lies skin deep, this monitor scores 10/10 in that department. The screen itself may not be very slim, but the borderless panels create an illusion of it being slim. The bezels have been set behind the front plastic panel. A simple brushed metal base and an elegant stand complement the entire arrangement gracefully.

Setting up the monitor takes a bit of an effort because you have to screw mount the screen on the stand. There is the option of rotation and height adjustment through which we could plug all the necessary cables, setting the monitor to the correct height. Moreover, the resolution and size of the monitor work seamlessly, hence one can skip worrying about the scaling options of Windows. An ideal pixel pitch of 109 PPI is obtained from 3440x1440 pixels on its 34-inch screen.

One fact to take note of is that the AOC U3477PQU is by no means a monitor for gaming. There exists no G-Sync controller, nor is there any high-speed LCD panel to aid in gaming. Hence, this monitor is best used for its display. The software provided by AOC helps you to divide your desktop. You can easily choose to stack the windows side by side instead of having it stretch it across the entire screen width. Of course, you can choose to do without this fix and continue to use a huge screen.

9. Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC - Who’s the Biggest?

The Pros

  • Picture quality
  • High resolution (with sensible pixel density)
  • Design

The Cons

  • Cool color temperature
  • No stand adjustment
  • Screen too large for many

Is there any such thing as ‘too big’? Well, the Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC is the largest of them all. This is a 4K monitor that measures 40 inches diagonally, dominating not just desks but full sized rooms too. This large screened monitor is a bit on the pricier side as well.

Beyond size, this Philips model has some other great features that do justify its price. The pixel density of the screen happens to be 110 from a 3840x2160 resolution off of a 40-inch screen. This is a much more reasonable PPI than say, a 138 or 163 PPI density found in other large 4K screens. You rather get a PPI density on par with the 2580x1440 resolution. Due to this, the sheer sharpness of smaller panels may be missing, but it is more practical for work on the desktop. Texts and icons appear sharp, showing themselves in much more manageable size. Hence you can do without squinting at the impossibly tiny text in the scaling options of Windows 8.1 and such.

The only problems we discovered hardware wise is the lack of an adjustment stand. Such a large monitor can become quite unmanageable if the stand cannot be adjusted accordingly. Again, when it comes to picture quality, the color balance did not impress us. It constantly kept showing color temperature on the cooler side of things, which can be annoying. The ports have been placed at sensible places so that you do not have to struggle to look for correct places to connect things, which we are fond of.

10. BenQ BL3201PH - Last but Not Least

The Pros

  • Picture quality
  • High resolution
  • Connectivity
  • 100% sRGB gamut colors

The Cons

  • Average contrast performance
  • Fewer colors in Adobe RGB

The BenQ BL3201PH with its 32 inches of the display has a few great features to offer. The color gamut coverage is exceptional, moving beyond the 3840x2160 pixel resolution. Users of sRGB will enjoy a hundred percent coverage of the spectrum, plus the 10-bit panel provides support for 1.07 billion colors in full Ultra HD glory.

Connectivity wise, the BenQ BL3201PH offers an entire package of several HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. Not only that, this monitor happens to have a DisplayPort 1.2, a mini Display Port 1.2 and a DVI-DL port as well. We cannot help but commend BenQ for keeping so many connectivity options. It also comes with great flexibility having VESA support, great tilt and swivel as well as wall mounting option.

It is because of the IPS panel that the monitor performs so well on color, as well as the 1.07 color option. However, if you are using the Adobe RGB gamut, you might face problems while working with digital design. Hence the colors and visual performance are not exactly picture-perfect. The contrast options too, we found to be slightly odd, which is common with IPS screens. Professionals working in cinematography might be put off by the fact that the contrast is not as sharp. Some users have also stated that this model shows a slight red tinge in colors like gray and black.

Verdict

Overall, the best performing monitors are the ones that work with IPS instead of TN, have a higher refresh rate than 60Hz and have more sensible pixel density in terms of the screen size. You can also perhaps figure out the fact that not every large monitor will serve every purpose. If you are more into the design, then you might want something that supports both sRGB and Adobe spectrums, such as the HP Dreamcolor. For gamers, we love the models with faster refresh rate and better sync like the Acer Predator. However, the two Dell models that have made it to the top as our overall best and budget pick have our hearts right now.

If you are looking to upgrade to 4K like the other technology savvy, this is the best time to start comparing prices and what you get for the money. The top ten that we have listed here could be a great place to start!

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