We tested computer monitors from Dell, Lenovo, AOC and a lot of other brands to see which is the best gaming monitor and office monitor in terms of picture quality, features and settings.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carry out all of our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. We used the monitors in everyday situations; everything from playing games to watching films and editing documents. We tested them with several different computers and via several ports to minimise sources of errors. Some of the factors we have taken into account when we tested these computer monitors were:
We have taken all of these factors into account and compared them to how suitable the monitor is for its target audience. This has finally been weighed up against the computer monitor's value for money, resulting in an overall score.
Large screen for a reasonable price
Target group: Domestic users Size: 27 (16:9) Panel type: IPS Response time: 5 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort Miscellaneous: Built-in speaker
The AOC 27P1 is a large LED monitor that's very easy to assemble and adjust. To raise and lower the monitor, you simply apply a little weight with your hand and push it up or down. Despite this, you can hang headphones and speakers on it without the monitor descending. An interesting and neat solution. The installation is also really easy. The stand consists of two parts that you click in and screw together. The solution to attach the stand to the monitor is also a tool-less click-together function. Three graphics cables and a power cable are included, which is generous. The cables are good quality too, but unfortunately the power cable is very short.
The AOC 27P1 has physical buttons on the lower part of the front of the monitor which are easy to distinguish and use quickly when you need them. This is useful if you have the monitor connected to several units at the same time as you can quickly change between ports. But the image quality on the 27P1 leaves a lot to be desired. Straight out of the packaging, the black's a bit tame - even though the greyscale is fine overall. The colour is rich enough, but the entire image is a bit on the yellow side. The combination of not quite black enough and a yellowish image means that all the colours are a bit off, and that also affects the depth of the image. On the other hand, the sharpness is perfectly fine and of course you can also calibrate the image and get a more precise result. The problem when you reduce the black is that you lose detail in the darker parts. The monitor does a good job of not reflecting windows and so on. It also has built-in speakers, and the sound quality of these is amazingly good given the price. You get a nice broad sound with a pleasant treble. The AOC 27P1 is ideal if you're looking for a large, simple computer monitor for the home office.
Lightning fast response time with beautiful and bright colours
Target group: Gamers Size: 27” (16:9) Panel type: IPS Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels Response time: 1 ms Refresh rate: 240 Hz Ports: DisplayPort, HDMI, USB
When you think of Lenovo, you generally think of reasonable laptops and exceptional keyboards. But of course the Chinese electronics giant produces many other products. For example, they also manufacture really top-class monitors, including the Legion Y27GQ gaming monitor, which offers QHD resolution, a refresh rate of an amazing 240 Hz and an impressive response time of less than a millisecond.
It also supports Nvidia’s G-Sync, which makes this a very interesting choice for gamers prioritising a slightly more classic screen (in other words, not a 38 inch 21:9 type affair) that delivers in terms of specifications.
No, this isn’t a 4K screen, but on the other hand, a much more affordable graphics card can run a new game in QHD resolution without major problems – something that should also appeal to many people with a more limited budget. There aren’t many games that currently support 240 Hz, but there’s definitely a point in being future proofed as well.
The monitor is very easy to assemble. It’s also very attractive, with a neat stand with holes drilled in the feet and a blue underside. The screen has a slightly industrial touch that gives it visual weight. The screen edges are extremely thin, and this, combined with the simple and minimalistic long edge with a few buttons at the bottom, contributes to the sober and ‘heavy’ impression, even if the buttons on the front and the screen menus themselves could have been a bit more attractive and easier to navigate.
The monitor supports both Nvidia’s G-Sync and AMD’s Freesync, giving it a very broad appeal. It also keeps up very well when we try it with more demanding games, even on the highest possible settings. The smoothness is evident, even if you normally use a 120 Hz monitor.
We’d also like to congratulate Lenovo on excellent colour reproduction. We’re not talking perfect blacks, but overall it’s impressive to say the least. The colours really pop.
Everything works really smoothly and there’s minimal lag. However, in really dark areas, we notice a certain amount of colour banding. How much this will bother you is a very individual thing, but it’s one of the few details that mean we can’t give this monitor full marks.
The other main detail is the sound, and here we’re not talking about the speakers but the fans. If you don’t use full-size headphones, you may well find this constant and rather loud buzzing quite irritating. They seem to run at the same speed the whole time and regardless of load, so if you’d be thinking of doing quieter work on this monitor, it’ll definitely be a problem. In other words, this is a gaming monitor intended for people playing with headphones on.
Otherwise, it’s hard to find any faults with this product. It delivers a magnificent image in all ways, and finding another monitor of this size with these specifications really isn’t easy. It’s ideal for gamers with high demands for quality and who primarily play wearing headphones.
Best premium screen for demanding gamers
Target group: Gaming Size: 24.5 Panel type: Full HD/IPS Resolution: 1920x1080 Response time: 1 ms Refresh rate: 360 Hz Ports: USB 3.0, HDMI 2.1 x3, DisplayPort x1
Asus ROG Swift 24.5 PG259QNR is truly a high-quality computer screen for gamers. The refresh rate is 360 hertz, which is in the upper range of even a premium screen. If you play games where this is important, it is of course a big plus, but it also requires that you have a computer that can deliver accordingly.
This screen weighs a lot. It is generally bulky and a bit cumbersome on your desk, but the size of the screen is very useful if you sit a bit away from it.
The stand that comes with it works well, but there is also a section that allows you to attach the screen directly to your desk, so you don't have to use the stand. Which is nice, as this screen otherwise takes up a lot of space. Instead you can free up some space for other items.
PG259QNR has really high picture quality. It is an IPS display with excellent colour reproduction, razor-sharp clarity, and good intensity. We didn't notice any flickering or similar irritating details, and you get a really good picture even if you sit at an angle.
If you put it in direct sunlight, you will experience some problems with reflections, but not excessively so.
Asus ROG Swift 24.5 PG259QNR is suitable for those of you who have a really high-performance computer in the premium class, who can achieve the type of performance that this screen can then display – and who have a stable desk with plenty of space.
Perfect screen for anyone working with two monitors
Target group: Home user/Workplace Size: 27 (16:9) Panel type: IPS Resolution: 2560x1440 Response time: 5 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
This 27-inch screen from Dell is a versatile and very functional model. It has a really good ergonomic viewing angle and can be angled quite a lot no matter which direction you want it to face, and it’s also easily adjusted vertically.
The IPS panel gives the screen really good colour reproduction. Our feeling is that it works just as well for games as for things like editing in Photoshop or Lightroom. The colours are quite strong and the contrast is deep. With a few quick adjustments, it’s easy to get good brightness and a colour temperature that suits your taste.
The Dell P2720DC – like many of their monitors – has a neat and minimalistic design. The edges around the screen are thin and the whole thing feels very slim. If you’re looking for a multi monitor setup, i.e., several screens next to each other, the thin frame makes this screen an ideal choice.
Another thing that will make your life easier is that the P2720DC allows you to connect another monitor directly to the port on this screen, instead of having to plug it into a computer or whatever. This means you save on computer ports, which nowadays are often quite limited in number.
It’s perfect as a work or study monitor where you need to use several screens. And the richness of colour and depth of contrast make it excellent as a work screen. It also works perfectly well for games, but bear in mind that it only has a 60 Hz refresh rate and 5 ms response time, so if you’re looking for a hardcore gaming screen, this is the wrong choice. But other than that, this is a really good and versatile monitor.
Versatile monitor with great colour reproduction
Target group: multimedia monitor Size: 23.8 inch (16:9) Panel type: IPS Resolution: 2560 x 1440 Response time: 5 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: HDMI, Displayport Miscellaneous: Adjustable vertically/horizontally
The Dell P2421D is an amazingly broad monitor. And we’re not talking about the size of the monitor, but the target group it’s suitable for.
The design is stylish. It’s a simple, black construction that exudes minimalism. This means the P2421D fits well into most homes. The thin upper edge and side frames also mean you get a lot of picture for your money.
The P2421D has well balanced colour reproduction. The monitor succeeds at picking out colours in an incredibly natural way, making it particularly suitable for photo editing. Blacks have good weight and create excellent depth. Both in games and during photo editing, the P2421D reproduces colours accurately and gives a soft but contrast-rich experience.
On the negative side, the refresh rate isn’t great. The 2421D is a 60 Hz screen, and most people nowadays would probably prefer 144 Hz or even 240 Hz, but there are exceptions. For example, if you play games where you need fast lateral movements or turns, this probably isn’t the monitor for you. But if you’re a single-player gamer, or play games like League of Legends or WoW, this is a screen that will give you a fantastic experience.
The P2421D is also relatively kind on the eyes. We normally reduce the brightness a bit to prevent eye strain, but we didn’t need to do this with the P2421D. It’s comfortable to use even for long periods, and while some screens tend to give you dry eyes or minor headaches after long sessions, we haven’t noticed that at all while testing this one.
This is a really versatile screen and exactly because of that, we’d recommend it to users in most areas – everything from editing photos and video to office work or gamers who don’t need really high refresh rates. You simply get a lot of computer monitor for your money.
Excellent computer screen for the home office
Screen type: Office screen with LED panel Size: 28.1 ins Resolution: 4K 3840 x 2560 pixels (aspect ratio 3:2) Brightness: 185 nits Dimensions: 604 x 181 x 481 mm Weight: 6.2 kg Support for VESA: No Refresh rate: 60 Hz Response time: 8 ms Ports: 2 x USB 3.2. HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort, USB-C
We should make it clear from the outset that the Huawei MateView 28” is a monitor aimed at professional users in different types of office environments, and to some extent also at professional users with different kinds of creative jobs. So if you want a screen that’s all about graphics handling for games or 3D animation, you should look elsewhere. This screen has an image refresh rate of a modest 60 hertz and a response time of 8 milliseconds. That said, however, the Huawei MateView 28” is a really nice screen.
The main feature is the aspect ratio of 3:2. At a time when ultra-wide screens and 21:9 are starting to become commonplace, this aspect ratio may feel a little strange. But it has its merits. Especially if you value a good vertical overview.
For example, if you’re trying to create music with Logic Pro on a Macbook Pro, the screen is actually something of a revelation. You get a much better overview of the channels and don’t have to scroll as much as with other screen types. Of course, the image isn’t very wide, but it offers 4K resolution and so it still contains a lot of information in the width.
It is also a wonderful experience to be able to view an entire website without having to scroll. Sometimes it feels more like you are using a 38-inch screen rather than the 28-inch screen it actually is.
So how good is the picture? Well, as we’ve said if you have a computer that allows you to use 4K resolution, this screen gives you a razor-sharp image on such a small area. We also think the colour reproduction is really first class, and the brightness at 185 nits will be more than enough for most users. Nor will the contrast or sharpness disappoint.
The screen is also a pleasure to look at in terms of design. It has very thin screen edges and a shell in a metal finish that looks very futuristic.
The stand contains all the connections, which means you don’t have loads of cables hanging down underneath the monitor. In terms of ports you get HDMI, mini-display port, USB ports (of which two are USB-C) and a headphone output.
One weakness is that the setting options are minimal. It’s possible to tilt the screen, and you can adjust the height by 11 cm, but that’s it.
This is a screen primarily for those looking for a practical work tool. The 3:2 ratio can make life a little easier for working, and the screen also delivers a high-resolution, high-contrast and bright image with excellent colour reproduction. Gamers need to go elsewhere, but they aren’t the intended target group anyway.
Affordable giant with all you need for the home office
Target group: Office Size: 34” (21:9) Panel type: VA Resolution: 3440 x 1440 pixels Response time: 4 ms Refresh rate: 100 Hz Ports: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB-B x 1 (charging), USB 3.2 x 4 (1 x quick charge), headphones, speakers
On paper, the Philips 345B1C seems to have it all: A large, curved screen area with decent resolution, plenty of ports, built-in speakers and a relatively low price. In other words, lots of goodies for those with plenty of space on the desk of their home office.
Unpacking the screen does not reveal any major oddities, except for the fact that you need enough connectors on the back to empty your entire spare cable drawer. The screen can switch between image inputs without the need for you to get involved, and one USB port is able to charge a laptop (90W) if required. The USB ports themselves aren't as badly positioned as those on some monitors, but we’d still have liked to see at least one or two of them made more readily accessible to quickly insert a USB stick or similar.
And it's actually USB and sound that are the major downsides of this screen. The speakers don’t give brilliant sound, but you wouldn’t expect that and they work fine for speech. Regardless of whether we connected a Mac or PC to the screen, we never succeeded in getting the volume control to work, but instead had to go into the screen's menu system to adjust it, which is incredibly annoying.
The USB ports do their job most of the time and it's nice to have all the connections hidden behind the screen. From time to time however, USB connections seem to malfunction, either in the form of the mouse lagging or the headphones crackling for no obvious reason. The easiest way to fix this is to pull everything out, turn off the screen and start over, but that’s a pain to do.
The screen itself works really well however. It’s a shame that it’s only a VA panel, but any worries about poor viewing angles are eliminated because the screen is curved. Consequently you never really notice this disadvantage.
In terms of colour, the screen performs really well and you get a fairly natural colour scale across the entire screen. Yet, all forms of HDR and newer technologies are absent. Nor will faster players be happy with the 100 Hz refresh rate, but for less demanding gamers and for office work, it’s good enough.
We’re a bit irritated by the fiddly USB hub, which is otherwise a good reason to choose this screen over one without the same function. But on the whole, you’ll probably be very happy with the Philips 345B1C as a larger office screen, especially in terms of the price tag.
Philips B Line 345B1C/00 computer monitor 86.4 cm (34') 3440 x 1440 pixels Quad HD LCD Black
Philips 345B1C - 34 inch Curved WQHD Monitor, 100Hz, 4ms, VA, Speakers, Height Adjust, Power Sensor, USB Hub (3440 x 1440 WQHD, 300 cd/m², HDMI/DP/USB-B/USB 3.2)
Philips B Line 345B1C/00 computer monitor 86.4 cm (34") 3440 x 1440 pixels Quad HD LCD Black
Good value curved gaming screen
Target group: Gamers Size: 27” (16:9) Panel type: VA Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels Response time: 1 ms Refresh rate: 165 Hz Ports: DisplayPort, HDMI, 2 USB
The MSI Optix MAG272CQR makes the most of its size with a more pronounced curve than average. This monitor is in a really tough category, but it also boasts a slightly higher refresh rate than average – although not the highest available.
MSI’s screen has a higher-than-average curvature of 1500R. You either love it or you hate it, but given that you can sit closer to the 27 inch screen, it actually gives a really good experience.
MSI’s software has a number of pre-set modes for both office work and gaming, together with plenty of options to set the monitor exactly how you want.
The refresh rate is 165 Hz, slightly higher than the standard 144. It’s not exactly professional level, but combined with the resolution and support for AMD Freesync, you get a good experience even with less than optimal hardware. Although in practice, the difference between 144 and 165 Hz isn’t really noticeable.
The performance is pretty good overall with really good colour reproduction and HDR support. The former means the screen does well outside games, as more of an office monitor if that’s what you need.
The design also works for the home office, as MSI have let the curve speak for itself when it comes to design. There's an illuminated logo on the back, and the monitor generally has nice clean lines, although the sprawling feet detract slightly from the elegant design.
As well as the display ports, there are two USB ports on the back for accessories – perfect for connecting a mouse and keyboard. However, both ports (and it’d have been nice to have more) are rather poorly positioned, so it’s best to use them for accessories you aren’t going to move often.
The MSI Optix MAG272CQR is a good value choice if you're looking for a high quality curved gaming screen. The greater curvature perhaps won’t suit everyone, but we think it works well in this size.
Falls at the finish line
Target group: Gaming/Esport Size: 27 (16:9) Panel type: IPS Resolution: 3840x2160 Response time: 4 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: VGA, USB upstream (type B), USB 3.2 x 3, HDMI x 2, DisplayPort, Headphone jack Miscellaneous: Built-in speaker
The Philips 278M1R is a 27-inch gaming screen from Philips, and their first screen entirely focused on esports. But does it get to the finishing line?
In terms of appearance, the Philips 278M1R has a really stylish design with a metallic, black look that makes it easy to place almost anywhere in your home. It takes up a fair bit of space depth-wise due to its stand. But the stand also helps a lot in terms of ease of use, as the 278M1R is quite brilliant when it comes to mobility of the screen. You can angle it pretty much just as you want to find a position that suits you.
The 278M1R is a 4K screen, so there’s not much to complain about on that end. The colours are full-bodied and rich. Even at sharp viewing angles, the 278M1R still does well, although, as with many other screens, it does lose the richness of colour at more extreme angles. On the whole, however, it does an extremely good job.
As mentioned above, this screen has a focus on esports. Given that, we think it’s totally unacceptable that this screen is only 60 Hz. It does work, of course, as long as you play via last generation's consoles. But if you’re playing with a computer as your game source especially, 60 Hz is much less than you’d expect from an esports screen. If you play fast first-person shooters, where speeds can reach up to 300 FPS, a minimum of 144 Hz would have worked much better in terms of the screen handling fast movement.
Apart from that low refresh rate, however, this is a great screen. And if it had been at least 144 Hz, the 278M1R would probably have been a test winner.
If you want to play FPS games with fast movements, or esports where sharpness is a priority, you’d probably do better to look for a 144 Hz screen (or more). But if frame rate isn’t crucial for you, then this is a great computer monitor. It’s ergonomic, has great image quality and it’s easy to set up.
High image quality, quick, cool design
Target group: Gamers Size: 24 inch (16:9) Panel type: VA Response time: 1 ms **Refresh rate: **144 Hz Ports: VGA, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4x2 Miscellaneous: Vertically adjustable, AMD FreeSync
The AOC C24G1 is a curved computer monitor aimed at gamers. It has a really quick refresh rate and low response time given the panel type, which makes it a good middle ground for anyone looking for a monitor with high image quality and a fast response time. The curved design is intended to give a more immersive experience. We don't particularly notice this, but it gives a nice stylish touch to a product group that's normally rather bland design-wise - or completely over the top. We don't have any problems with distortion or similar effects as a result of the curved shape.
It quite simply works very well. The very thin frame around it leaves very little dead space, making the monitor feel compact despite its 24 inches. It's very easy to adjust the monitor vertically - you simply push it up or down. It's also very easy to install, as assembly is done completely without tools. It also includes a display port cable, so you can use the full power of the monitor. However, the power cable is unfortunately very short and limiting.
The AOC C24G1 has uniform illumination and good sharpness. The tone of the image is a bit on the yellow side when we test it with factory settings. The black is also a bit on the tame side. But the viewing angle is good and the colour is nice and rich. It also has a uniform greyscale. However, you'll have to spend some time calibrating the C24G1, which you need to do before sitting down and starting to play. This is because the pre-installed factory settings are a bit off in terms of the colour. Fortunately there's plenty of room to change the settings, and a number of pre-set profiles intended for different types of games. You can also save the settings for two different users. But the physical buttons on the lower edge of the frame are very small and it's hard to distinguish them from each other. Given how many settings the monitor has, it would have been good to position them in a more user-friendly place, and ideally to make them physically different.
The settings interface could have been more user-friendly too. As it stands, it's quite fiddly, and unfortunately, you can't really calibrate the black properly without losing out on detail. The monitor has an acceptable anti-glare coating and lag is limited. Given the price class, the AOC C24G1 is a very good buy for the gamer who has the hardware to back up the specifications - in other words, a sufficiently powerful computer.
Affordable alternative with almost professional level performance
Target group: Everyday users, influencers. Size: 27 inch (16:9) Panel type: IPS. Response time: 14 ms. Refresh rate: 60 Hz. Ports: DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, DisplayPort Out, HDMI 1.4 x 2, USB 3.0 x 5.
The Viewsonic VP2768 is an LED illuminated monitor with an IPS panel from LG Display. What makes it different is that it has QHD resolution. If you’re looking for a 27 inch monitor with QHD resolution, you’ll quickly realise that this can be quite a pricey undertaking, but this monitor is relatively affordable.
The screen is very elegant with its thin edges, which are only 8 mm thick. The thin design means that the screen has no ports on the sides. But there are plenty of inputs and outputs on the back.
The stand is both attractive and very easily adjusted in all directions. It can be adjusted in terms of height, angled sideways, tilted and rotated, which means you should easily be able to find an optimal angle.
The VP2768 offers many functions for adjusting the image, and the menus are relatively easy to navigate and understand. There are a number of pre-installed calibration modes, and they actually work so well that you generally don't need to adjust anything manually.
The monitor displays blacks that are pretty much average for this price class. The contrast ratio of 1000:1 is also about the same as other similar monitors. As for grey scales, the monitor performs extremely well. The colours are saturated and correctly reproduced too.
As we’ve already said, there are a lot of connection options: DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2, DisplayPort output, two HDMI connections and a full five USB 3.0 connections. Unfortunately, the monitor has no speakers at all, which was probably necessary to retain the elegant, thin design.
The VP2768 is an example of how a screen with a slightly older panel technology can still qualify to be used in more demanding circumstances. However, a monitor refresh rate of 60 Hz and a response time of 14 ms mean that it really isn't a gaming monitor, but on the other hand that’s not the idea with this monitor either. And actually, if you're looking for a large monitor with a really good resolution to be used for more everyday tasks, this one can feel a little bit too good. Anyone working with photos, design or video editing is likely to appreciate the Viewsonic VP2768.
Viewsonic VP Series VP2768 computer monitor 68.6 cm (27") 2560 x 1440 pixels Quad HD LED Black
Viewsonic VP2768 2560 x 1440 27", 100% sRGB, 60Hz, 2xHDMI, DisplayPort, USB A/B, 5ms, Height Adjust, Auto Pivot, VESA, Professional IPS WQHD Monitor
ViewSonic VP2768 27" IPS Monitor - Black
Good office screen with potential space for your mobile
Target group: Office Size: 27” (16:9) Panel type: IPS Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels Response time: 6 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: USB-C, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1 x 4, headphones, Ethernet, speakers
The Lenovo Thinkvision P27h-20 does everything it can to be an affordable alternative to both a monitor and docking station for your laptop. If it’s an all in one you want, then this is a really practical monitor, even if the price tag is a bit high.
The whole idea here is that you only need to connect a USB-C cable to your laptop to send the image to the external screen, get slightly better sound than the computer speakers can handle and let it handle all of your connections. On the back there are four USB ports along with a headphone jack and network socket. Since USB-C can handle quite a lot in a single cable, it’s also all you need for communication with the computer, even charging it with up to 65 watts.
The USB hub is hardly the fastest on the market and the built-in speakers are nowhere near the best, but, like the other connectors, they do their job flawlessly.
The screen itself can be set in both portrait and landscape mode and the table stand provides a very convenient setting for the screen in general. At the foot of the screen you will find a small notch where you are supposed to place your phone. However, the slot is often far too narrow for slightly larger phones or phones with covers. A built-in wireless charger would have been more useful.
If the price tag isn’t visible in the connections, it is a little more obvious in the screen itself. The edges around the screen surface are relatively thick and you also have to make do with a resolution of 1440p. That works perfectly well, but still feels a bit stingy given the price and size. The same goes for the refresh rate of 60 hertz and a rather sluggish response time. The Thinkvision doesn’t make any pretence at being a gaming screen, but that still feels a bit low.
However, there’s nothing wrong with either colour reproduction or blacks. Overall it looks pretty good, but without being at all mind-blowing. The Lenovo Thinkvision P27h-20 gains a lot from using USB-C, and that is where its real strength lies. But for the price, the resolution is a bit low and some technical qualities could have been better.
VA panel with a fast response time
Target group: Home users Size: 32” (16:9) Panel type: VA panel Resolution: 2560x1440 Response time: 1 ms Refresh rate: 165 Hz Ports: DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort Miscellaneous: Built-in speakers
The AOC 32” CQ32G2SE is a 32-inch screen with an inviting price tag that simultaneously offers a relatively high image quality. Above all, colour reproduction is really good, and this VA panel excels in this area given its price. Black areas are also good.
Unfortunately, the screen is very sensitive to reflections. So if your desk is close to a window or whatever, the surrounding environment is reflected and you find it difficult to see what you’re doing. The panel also seems to be sensitive to vertical movements – for example it becomes blurred when you scroll through pages.
The build quality is solid. The CQ32G2SE is actually quite attractive with thin red edges at the bottom and also offers a nice stable stand. One big disadvantage, however, is that you can’t raise or lower the stand to adjust the screen to your seat height – which is pretty poor. Overall, given the screen’s target group, this feels like a bit of a problem.
But not only does the CQ32G2SE deliver good colour and black, it also has a 165 Hz refresh rate and 1 millisecond response time, which VA panels have struggled with in the past. Such features really make a noticeable difference if you play games on the screen.
The AOC 32” CQ32G2SE is for people who want a larger screen with both high Hz and low ms and decent colour reproduction. If, on the other hand, you need a screen you can adjust in height and that can withstand window glare, you need to look elsewhere.
AOC Gaming CQ32G2SE 32" QHD Curved PC Monitor 165Hz 1ms MPRT FreeSync Premium
AOC Gaming CQ32G2SE - 32 Inch QHD Curved Monitor, 165Hz, 1 ms MPRT, VA, AMD FreeSync Premium, Low Input Lag, Speakers (2560x1440 @ 165Hz, 250 cd/m², HDMI/DP)
AOC G2 CQ32G2SE/BK LED display 80 cm (31.5') 2560 x 1440 pixels 2K Ultra HD Black, Red
Gaming monitor in TV format
Target group: Game console gamers Size: 55” Resolution: 4K Connections: WiFi, Ethernet Refresh rate: 120 Hz Ports: 4 x USB (3.2), DVI, 3 x HDMI (2.0), DisplayPort, optical audio output Miscellaneous: Speakers from Bowers & Wilkins
This 55-inch 4K ULTRA HD screen from Philips is a real beast when it comes to gaming monitors. Philips is targeting gamers with this monster, and we had to test it to see just how good it really was.
The 558M1RY5 is really stylish in terms of design. It has a metallic finish and is quite anonymous despite its large size. So it blends in well even in a more minimalist living room. What does stand out are the speakers from Bowers & Wilkins, but these are really well designed too, and they look just right together with the monitor's super-thin frames.
The sound from Bowers & Wilkins is more than good enough. It has a crisp tone, and the depth of the bass gives your gaming experience that little bit extra. However, if you want to hear where footsteps are coming from, you’ll need a proper surround system.
The colour accuracy of this screen is really good, and the contrast is nicely balanced. The screen gives a great film-like feel, and does incredibly well in single player games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Dark Souls.
However, we do have some questions. For example, why did Philips choose to make a 120 Hz screen when most consoles don’t even go over 60 FPS, and are more often around 30 FPS. A 60 Hz screen would have worked just as well and probably reduced the price a bit.
Console or not, we still decided to put the refresh rate to the test. We connected the screen to a computer instead – via HDMI – and set everything to run at 120 Hz. However, the HDMI ports turned out to be only version 2.0, which means you need a DVI cable to maximize the refresh rate – another hard blow for console players, but also a tiresome detail for what’s marketed as a gaming screen.
If the refresh rate isn’t an issue for you, the Philips Momentum 558M1RY5 is a really good buy, as you get a lot of picture and sound for your money. But if a high refresh rate is important to you – as it is to many gamers – then you should probably look for another screen or wait for Philips to launch this screen with HDMI 2.1
Ideal for photo editing and video
Target group: Premium multimedia monitor Size: 27 inch (16:9) Panel type: VA Resolution: 27” 3840 x 2160 Response time: 5 ms Refresh rate: 60 Hz Ports: HDMI, Displayport, USB-C Miscellaneous: Adjustable vertically/horizontally
With narrow edges and a fantastic and simple design, the Dell U2720Q comes in as a premium monitor. Most reviewers seem to want to put it in the gaming section, but it actually has a broader target group. It’s far from just a gaming monitor.
The U2720Q is an IPS 4K monitor that’s amazingly good at picking out details in both still and moving images. It gives even small objects, such as thumbnails on YouTube, the kind of sharpness and depth of detail that mean even the tiniest element – which you’d otherwise easily miss – is visible.
This makes it a perfect monitor for video and photo editing too. With an excellent resolution and sharpness, it's a pleasure to create images in Photoshop or to edit videos.
The U2720Q also works pretty well for gaming, but because it only has a 60 Hz refresh rate it can feel a bit old fashioned. Today's gaming market is leaning ever more towards 144 Hz, and that’s what we’d expect from a gaming monitor in this price class. In fact, if you’re a dedicated gamer you’re probably even expecting 240 Hz and a low response time. So this monitor definitely wouldn’t be your first choice.
But if you play games that don’t depend on fast movements, the U2720Q is a fantastic monitor and one that will satisfy most people. The colours are natural, and the monitor makes the most of its 27 inch size.
Unfortunately, it can be a bit light sensitive, particularly when it comes to reflections, and shouldn't be positioned opposite a window.
The monitor comes with a USB-C outlet for your computer. If you connect it to a Macbook, you only get a refresh rate of 30 Hz. Then again, PC manufacturers are increasingly moving towards USB-C.
If you have a Mac, this probably isn’t the monitor for you, nor for anyone who plays games with fast movements. But if you have a Windows computer and enjoy photo or video editing, the Dell U2720Q is a monitor with great colours and excellent sharpness.
You often buy a computer monitor when you buy a stationary computer. But lots of people also choose to buy a bigger monitor for their laptop, which they can connect when they're sitting at a desk. There are several advantages of having two monitors. For instance, you can divide programs over the two surfaces, giving you more space and bigger windows to work in, and if you have a small laptop you can also get a bigger monitor to help you work on tasks requiring more accuracy. Ergonomically, it's also better to look straight ahead at a computer monitor than on a downward angle at a laptop screen.
When choosing a computer monitor, you should start from your needs and your wallet. Different computer monitors have different specifications to suit different target groups. For example, a computer monitor intended for gaming will have a high refresh rate and low response time. Meanwhile, a computer monitor intended for graphics editing or office work will instead prioritise aspects such as a wide viewing angle, perfect colour reproduction and good contrast.
What ultimately controls these factors is the type of panel the monitor is based on:
When you know what type of monitor you're looking for and what your budget is, it then becomes easier to filter the monitors on offer. But to make it even easier, we're going to look at a few more specifications.
Of course, monitor size is often a crucial factor when you're choosing a computer monitor. How big a monitor do you need? Once again, it's all about your needs. If you're going to be doing a lot of image processing or watching films, a big screen is best. But it also depends on how far away from it you're going to sit. For example, if you're going to be playing games, you don't want to have to move your head sideways to see the entire screen. Computer monitors between 21-27 inches are usually a reasonable range for most people. The size is measured diagonally. 1 inch corresponds to 2.54 cm.
It isn't enough to have a big monitor if you want a high quality image. You also need high resolution. Particularly if you're going to watch a lot of films. Resolution is, coarsely speaking, a measure of how many pixels there are on the screen. Graphics on the monitor are all based on pixels, so the more your monitor can support, the more detailed the image will be. But it's also more demanding on your computer. If you want a large screen with high pixel density, you also need a computer that can cope with displaying the content.
Most computers today can cope with 1080p (full HD) resolution. This can now be regarded as the standard resolution. But if you're a big film nerd – or you recently bought a TV – you probably know that 4K is approaching fast. If you want a monitor bigger than 27 inches, and have a powerful computer, 4K (in other words, 2160p) is the toughest standard you can buy. You can also get 1440p as a middle ground.