We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

Whether you’re working from home, gaming, or creating content, a solid 4K monitor provides all the screen real estate you need to get things done. A high-resolution display will allow you to see text, photos, and video in great detail—especially media that’s been created recently. External monitors have been a common tech accessory for decades, but the marketplace for 4K displays specifically has expanded greatly over the past few years. The combination of 4K PC and console games, accessible 4K video, and the necessity of a home office or learning space has accelerated this change. If you’re assembling a new computer setup, these are the best 4K monitors available right now.

How we chose the best 4K monitors

The monitor market has introduced several new 4K models in recent years, but these high-res options still aren’t the standard. If you want 4K resolution, that narrows the field quite a bit right off the bat. By eliminating hundreds—if not thousands—of options, it’s easier to choose the best one for your needs. Our recommendations are based on meticulous research and carefully considering the most common uses for a 4K monitor. We’ve also considered the computer platform (Mac or PC) you’re using and whether you’d like to use your monitor with several devices or to replace a TV.

A monitor is the type of tech accessory most people will rely on daily for a decade or more, so our recommendations must stand the test of time and be ready to work with every computer you get. Longevity, multi-functionality, and value were the core virtues we considered when searching for and ultimately selecting the best 4K monitors.

The best 4K monitors: Reviews & Recommendations

Our selection of 4K monitors is designed to match any budget and lifestyle. Some are “all-rounders,” which means they’ll be pretty good for many tasks, while others are designed for a specific purpose—gaming, for example—or have a differentiating tech spec, like a curved panel. Our 4K monitor recommendations will serve you well while browsing the web or streaming video.

Best overall: Dell S2722QC




  • Size: 27-Inches
  • Ports: 1 x USB-C PD, 2 x HDMI, 2 x USB-A, 1 x headphone jack
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Vesa compatibility: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speakers: Yes


  • Can quickly charge laptops while they’re connected
  • Multiple USB-A ports
  • Built-in speakers


  • Low refresh rate for serious gaming

Dell’s S2722QC is an all-in-one package that offers the right mix of excellent performance for most uses and value. One of its standout features is a USB-C port, which allows you to connect it to a MacBook or many modern Windows laptops without an adapter. Yes, there’re multiple HDMI ports on this display, but hooking your computer up to it over USB-C has two big advantages.

First, the laptop will actually charge while it’s connected to this monitor, so it’ll be ready to go when you disconnect it. Second, the single cable also supports data transfer, which is helpful if you hook up an external hard drive, webcam, or another accessory into the S2722QC’s USB-A ports. Using this 4K monitor as a charging station and USB hub puts it at a big advantage over most external displays available now—especially given the S2722QC’s sub-$300 price tag. As a bonus, this single-cable solution will make your home office setup look neater. and ensure your laptop is ready to go when you take it out of your home.

If your laptop doesn’t have a USB-C port, you can still plug it into one of this external display’s two HDMI ports. The next time you upgrade your machine, these welcome features will likely become accessible, which future-proofs the S2722QC a little bit. This 4K monitor’s port selection is complemented by its 3W speakers, which will be useful if you haven’t invested in a standalone audio system for your computer. You shouldn’t expect any audio miracles from this hardware, but it’s better to have something than nothing.

The S2722QC’s only downside—depending on how you plan on using your 4K monitor—is its relatively slow 8ms (millisecond) response time and 60Hz panel. This doesn’t make a difference when you’re watching videos, browsing the web, or editing photos. The only time you’ll notice this feature is when you’re playing fast-paced games like first-person shooters. Casual or slower-paced games don’t require a fast refresh rate display, but cutting-edge titles will suffer slightly, so opt for a dedicated gaming monitor instead.

If you’re not a PC or console gamer looking for a high-resolution display primarily for gaming, the S2722QC will serve you very well.

Best for gaming: Samsung Odyssey Neo G8




  • Size: 32-Inches
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI, 2 x USB-A, headphone jack
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Vesa compatibility: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speakers: No


  • Extremely high refresh rate
  • Support for Adaptive Sync with AMD and NVidia graphics cards
  • Matte display won’t show glare from lights


  • Price
  • Curved display may not be for everyone.

If gaming is your primary use case for a 4K monitor, Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G8 is a no-compromise display. Its 240Hz panel is incredibly fast, allowing you to play the latest games at their fastest-possible speed—so long as your gaming computer‘s graphics card and processor are fast enough to handle them. The monitor’s display panel is complemented by built-in software support for Adaptive Sync, which will offer better performance when it’s hooked up to a computer with an AMD or NVidia graphics card.

Adaptive sync will further reduce latency (lag) and the frequency of image artifacts like screen tearing, which can occur when the screen is updated with new images quickly. This technology, which works with settings like low input lag mode and a refresh rate optimizer, increases the probability of smooth, consistent gameplay.

Many modern games support HDR (high dynamic range), which improves contrast and color accuracy when a PC or console is hooked up to a display that supports them. Samsung outfitted the Odyssey Neo G8 with Quantum HDR 2000, so newer games, TV shows, and movies will really pop. Games that don’t support HDR will also look nice, so don’t worry if you spend a lot of time playing the classics.

While Samsung focused primarily on optimizing the Neo G8 for gaming, it made design choices that make it a solid pick for general use. The 4K monitor can be tilted and height adjusted and rotated a full 90 degrees. This is a huge deal ergonomically, as it allows you to position the monitor exactly where you want it without having to get a third-party stand or mount.

The most controversial choice is that the Odyssey Neo G8 has a curved display, a love-it-or-hate-it situation. Curved displays have the advantage of taking up more of your peripheral vision, which, combined with the Odyssey Neo G8’s 21:1 aspect ratio, will create an immersive gaming experience. On the other hand, curved displays can reflect light from multiple angles, which can get frustrating if you’re playing in a well-lit room.

If you have a dedicated PC or console gaming setup, Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G8 can be an excellent 4K desk-friendly display. That said, its cutting-edge hardware does come at an extremely high price. Don’t get us wrong, the Odyssey Neo G8 is an excellent 4K monitor and priced appropriately given its tech specs, but it’s a significant investment.

Best curved: AOC CU32V3




  • Size: 32-Inches
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, headphone jack
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Vesa compatibility: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speakers: No


  • Large viewing angle
  • Built-in blue light reduction
  • Price


  • Curved display may not be for everyone or everywhere

We mentioned the big pros and cons of choosing an external display with a curved panel in the Samsung write-up above, but if you’ve decided this type of display is right for you as a content creator, AOC’s CU32V3 is the monitor to pick. The 32-inch 4K monitor will fill your field of vision, which can be helpful if you’re hunkering down on a big video or photo editing project that requires your full attention. Creative work is what the CU32V3 excels at because it supports 121 percent of the sRGB color gamut along with 90 percent of the Adobe RGB and 89.8 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamuts. These specs become particularly important when you’re color-grading video, which needs to look accurate on multiple TVs with different settings.

The CU32V3’s 4ms latency and 60Hz refresh rates are fine for most tasks, but we wouldn’t recommend playing serious games on this 4K monitor. Those tech specs are appropriate for a monitor in the CU32V3’s price range and will only affect users with a particularly intense use case. AOC was pretty generous when deciding on this monitor’s port selection, though we’d have liked to see some USB-A ports since they’ve become standard on many displays. On the other hand, we appreciate the CU32V3’s built-in blue light reduction mode, which will make it easier to use it late at night. A blue light mode will tint the screen, so it shouldn’t be enabled when photo or video editing, but it’s a nice feature if you’re surfing the web or using this 4K monitor for regular tasks.

If you’re set on getting a curved 4K monitor, AOC’s CU32V3 is an excellent value thanks to its big screen and color reproduction.

Best ultrawide: LG 38WN95C-W


  • Size: 38-Inches
  • Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt (USB-C), 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x USB-A, 1 x Headphone jack
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Vesa compatibility: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speakers: No


  • Massive display that’s still VESA compatible
  • Solid refresh rate for gaming
  • Wide port selection


  • Price
  • May be too big for many desks

Ultrawide monitors have become popular recently because they allow you to have two full-sized windows open on a single display rather than requiring a dual-monitor setup. At 38 inches wide, the 38WN95C-W requires a huge space commitment, but you’re rewarded with a curved display guaranteed to take up all of your peripheral vision. Technically this is a QHD+ (3840 x 1600) display, which isn’t quite a “true 4K,” but it’s the closest you’ll get with a display like this. The monitor would have to be comically tall to accommodate the extra 500 pixels, and you won’t miss them with this type of display.

The 38WN95C-W is stacked on the tech side, especially in its port selection. You can connect four devices to it simultaneously using its mix of HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt ports. The monitor’s Thunderbolt 4 input—the same shape as a USB-C port—has the same benefits as the one in our best overall pick for this guide. You can charge your laptop and connect it to accessories through the 38WN95C-W’s pair of USB-A ports with a single cable.

Gamers will appreciate the 38WN95C-W’s 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, and support for AMD FreeSync and NVidia G-Sync, all of which make this monitor a solid pick for gaming. Its height, swivel, and tilt-adjustable stand also score points in the ergonomics arena. Frankly, it’s hard to find a task the 38WN95C-W isn’t well suited for.

The limiting factor for this display is space—if you have enough and are committed to living the ultrawide monitor lifestyle, the 38WN95C-W can handle anything you throw at it with aplomb.

Best budget: Philips 288E2E




  • Size: 28-inches
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Headphone jack
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • Vesa compatibility: 100 x 100 mm
  • Speakers: Yes


  • Support for 120 percent of the sRGB spectrum
  • Height and tilt adjustment
  • Price


  • Refresh too slow for gaming

Philips’ 288E2E proves how far the affordability of 4K monitor technology has come in a relatively short time. For $270 (at the time of this reporting), you’re getting a 28-inch 4K display with AMD FreeSync support, the ability to display 120 percent of the sRGB color spectrum, built-in speakers, and an ultra-slim design. Philips had to make very few feature cuts when designing this display, and they mostly come down to nice-to-have-but-unnecessary extras, namely a USB-A port and ultra-fast refresh rate.

These commissions aren’t glaring—though gaming on a 60Hz panel isn’t ideal—and make the 288E2E feel like a slightly more barebones version of our best overall pick, Dell’s excellent S2722QC. Part of this 4K monitor’s appeal is its averageness. Hear us out: There’s no curved panel or ultrawide design, just a straight-ahead high-resolution display. While this may be relatively boring, it’s exactly what most people are looking for in a 4K monitor for general tasks. This display even has built-in speakers, a relative niche feature not found in many of its competitors in this price range.

If your needs are relatively modest, the difference between Philips’ 288E2E and other picks is insignificant. You can use the money you save by picking up this display to upgrade additional parts of your home office setup.

What to consider when buying the best 4K monitors

Several factors should be considered when deciding which 4K monitor fits your needs. These are the five we’ve deemed most important when conducting our research and to help you make your selection:

Screen size

4K monitors come in a variety of sizes, but bigger doesn’t always necessarily mean better. A large monitor will take up more room on your desk and may not be necessary if your needs are modest. Photo and video editors can take full advantage of the space available on a 38-inch 4K monitor more easily than a writer or typical student. Ironically, it’s easier to see individual pixels on a monitor as its screen size grows, which may annoy you if you’ve got very sharp sight. The 4K monitors we recommend run the gamut from 27-38 inches.


A monitor’s ports (also called inputs) determine which cable is required to connect it to a computer or other tech accessory. All of the 4K monitors above are equipped with multiple HDMI ports, which are the most common input found on external displays and TVs. Many also feature a DisplayPort or USB-C port, which are more niche but serve the same purpose. Some of our 4K monitor picks have USB-A ports, which allow you to use them as a hub to connect your computer to additional accessories.

Refresh rate

A monitor’s refresh rate—measured in hertz, shortened to Hz—determines how quickly it can be updated with new information. Refresh rates are measured in milliseconds, which means this tech spec isn’t important for common tasks but will make a difference if you choose to use your external display for gaming. A typical monitor offers a 60Hz refresh rate, but it can go much higher. Some gaming monitors go as high as 500Hz, but that’s extreme for the category.

VESA compatibility

All 4K monitors above come with a built-in stand, but you can replace it with a different one—whether it’s a wall mount or a monitor arm—if preferred, as long as they are VESA compatible. Switching to a different monitor stand may improve the ergonomics of your computing setup or save you desk space based on the one you choose.


If you’d like to use your computer as a TV replacement, it’s smart to get one with built-in speakers. A monitor’s speakers will never match the quality of a powered pair but will work well in a pinch.


Q: Is text too small on a 4K monitor?

No. Text looks very clear on a 4K monitor. If you’re having trouble reading it, you can always zoom in on the text you’re reading to see it more easily.

Q: Does a 4K monitor need HDMI 2.1?

No. Many 4K monitors have HDMI 2.0 ports and will connect to a game console, computer, or another tech accessory with no problems. HDMI 2.1 ports are only necessary for playing native 4K console or PC games with HDR (High Dynamic Range) enabled.)

Q: Can my PC handle a 4K monitor?

Yes. Most desktop and laptop computers sold in the past five years or so are powerful enough to run a 4K monitor capably.

Q: How much should a 4K monitor cost?

This will depend on the display’s size, refresh rate, and the other factors listed above. You can get a basic 4K monitor for under $400 but will have to spend much more if you’d like one specifically suited for gaming.

Final thoughts on the best 4K monitors

A 4K monitor will quickly become the most important tech accessory in your computing setup, right next to the external hard drive you use for regular backups and the Wi-Fi router you rely on for a steady Internet connection. It used to be difficult to find monitors with this resolution without spending thousands of dollars or settling for sub-par specs, but thankfully that’s no longer the case. Advancements in display technology have made 4K monitors more accessible and affordable than ever, and once you get one, there’s no going back.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio, to video games, to cameras, and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.