The 8 Best 4K Monitors of 2022

See what the fuss about ultra-high-definition graphics is all about

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Once a rarity, 4K monitors are now common, and they're accessible for everyday users, professional creatives, and hardcore gamers. Also referred to as Ultra HD or UHD, they come in various sizes and fit most budgets, though they're still more expensive than high-definition (HD) monitors with 1080p resolution. Upgrading to one means a sharper, more enjoyable image that's as outstanding in Photoshop as it is in Netflix or your favorite PC game.

We researched and tested the top contenders from top brands like Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, LG, and Samsung. Here are the best 4K monitors you can buy right now.

The Rundown
Best Overall:
Dell S2721QS at Amazon
Best Budget:
Asus VP28UQG at Amazon
Best Design:
BenQ PD3220U at Amazon
Most Versatile:
Dell U3219Q at Amazon
Best for Streaming:
Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ at Amazon
Best Curved Screen:
Dell S3221QS at Amazon

Best Overall: Dell S2721QS 27 4K UHD Monitor

Dell S2721QS 27 4K UHD Monitor

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Outstanding image quality

  • Attractive design

  • Sturdy adjustable stand

What We Don't Like
  • Lackluster HDR

Dell's surprisingly affordable S2721QS sets the standard for value among 4K monitors. It produces a vivid, beautiful image, yet it's among the least expensive 4K monitors you can buy. It's that good. You could spend several times more on a monitor without seeing any difference in image quality.

Highly accurate and vibrant color performance backs up the monitor's sharpness. The S2721QS also delivers above-average contrast for a monitor of this size. It has a high maximum brightness and supports High Dynamic Range (HDR)—high contrast levels between very bright and very dark colors—though its HDR performance isn't remarkable. HDR differs from 4K, but you might see these features together in monitors.

The monitor doesn't cut corners in build quality, either. It has a sturdy ergonomic stand that's adjustable for height, tilt, swivel, and pivot. It has a simple yet effective design with slim bezels (borders) and a white rear panel with a distinctive textured pattern. 

The other monitors on this list are great, but most people can stop at the Dell S2721QS. It's a wonderful choice for most people and won't clean out your wallet.

Size: 27 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, audio out

Best Budget: Asus VP28UQG

Asus VP28UQG

Walmart

What We Like
  • Less than $300

  • Solid image quality for the price

  • Supports adaptive sync

What We Don't Like
  • Budget design

  • Stand offers few adjustments

The Asus VP28UQG's most attractive feature is undoubtedly the price. It typically sells for barely more than what you spend on 1080p monitors of similar size. Making the leap from 1080p to 4K delivers an incredible bump in sharpness and a much better day-to-day experience. 

Asus does give this monitor a few extra tricks. It promises a low response time of one millisecond and supports AMD FreeSync, which reduces stuttering in games. The refresh rate is the usual 60Hz, but most gamers don't have a PC that can exceed 60 frames per second in modern games at 4K resolution. In other words, the VP28UQG is a good budget gaming monitor.

The manufacturer cut corners to achieve the price, however. The monitor's design isn't attractive. It also makes do with a simple, inexpensive stand that adjusts only for tilt. However, it uses a VESA mount (the standard mount type), so it accepts third-party stands.

Size: 28 inches | Panel Type: TN | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 2x HDMI, DisplayPort

Best Design: BenQ PD3220U 4K Monitor

BenQ PD3220U 32-Inch 4K Monitor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Gorgeous design

  • Solid build quality

  • Great image quality

What We Don't Like
  • Mediocre contrast ratio

The BenQ PD3220U is a high-end, 31.5-inch 4K monitor designed for creative professionals. This monitor's for you if you need excellent image quality and precise color accuracy. It's also a solid, attractive monitor that's among the most luxurious of any price.

The monitor looks finely honed from every angle. You'll appreciate its detail and realism. It also feels great thanks to a rock-solid stand that provides ergonomic adjustments for height, tilt, swivel, and pivot. Its only image quality flaw is a lackluster contrast ratio that can make dark scenes look hazy.

The PD3220U also packs in connectivity options, including Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. It supports up to 85 watts of power delivery over the Thunderbolt 3 port, which means you can dock with a laptop using a single cable.

Size: 31.5 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 2x HDMI, DisplayPort, 2x ThunderBolt, USB-C, 3x USB-A

Most Versatile: Dell U3219Q LED-Lit Monitor

3.9
Dell U3219Q LED-Lit Monitor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Excellent build quality

  • Gobs of ports

  • Sturdy, adjustable stand

What We Don't Like
  • A bit pricey

  • 60Hz refresh rate

  • HDR is just OK

Dell’s UltraSharp 32-inch U3219Q monitor has a sharp 4K display with accurate color and excellent all-around image quality, yet that’s not why most people choose to buy it. Its connectivity options and adjustable stand separate it from the pack.

This monitor has a USB-C port, four USB-A ports, and an HDMI and DisplayPort. The USB-C port can handle DisplayPort and up to 90 watts of power delivery. That means you can dock a USB-C laptop with just one cable. The stand is adjustable for height, tilt, swivel, and can pivot 90 degrees to use the monitor in portrait orientation. It’s also sturdy and keeps this large monitor balanced as you move it. 

Our reviewer's only complaints center on the monitor’s more advanced image quality features. The 60Hz refresh rate isn't great for gaming. And while the U3219Q supports high dynamic range (HDR), it’s certified only for the most basic DisplayHDR 400 standard. This is where the monitor shows its age, as some new competitors have better HDR.

Size: 32 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, 4x USB-A

"It’ll hook up and connect with most accessories or devices with no issue, essentially providing users with an extra USB hub." — Zach Sweat, Product Tester

Dell U3219Q

Lifewire / Zach Sweat

Best for Gaming: Acer Predator XB273K Monitor

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What We Like
  • Vibrant color

  • 144Hz refresh rate

  • G-Sync support

What We Don't Like
  • HDR isn't great

  • Very wide stand

Lower pricing typically comes with compromise, but that’s not true with the Acer Predator XB273K, which is an outrageously good deal. The Predator XB273K does everything gamers demand; it has a 144Hz refresh rate (the recommended minimum for gaming) and supports Nvidia’s popular G-Sync standard for adaptive sync, technology that helps reduce any lags or stuttering. This monitor also delivers vibrant, accurate colors. 

It does have limitations. It supports HDR, but the monitor isn’t bright enough to make it pop. The monitor also has a very large stand that makes it hard to position on your desk. It’s not ideal for console gaming because it lacks HDMI 2.1. As a result, it can’t deliver 4K quality when used with the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

Still, these issues are minor given its image quality, refresh rate, and price. This Acer monitor is a great choice for PC gamers.

Size: 27 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 2x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 4x USB-A

Best Splurge: Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX Monitor

Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX Monitor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Outrageous image quality

  • Best HDR in any monitor, ever

  • Supports 4K/120Hz with Xbox Series X

What We Don't Like
  • Ludicrous price

  • Hard to find

It's no exaggeration to say Asus' ROG Swift PG32UQX is the future of monitors. It has a full-array Mini LED backlight with 1,152 independent dimming zones. This amount is more than you find in all but the most expensive Mini LED televisions, yet they're packed into a 32-inch display. 

The result is outrageous. The PG32UQX can deliver a peak HDR brightness of over 1400 nits. That's higher than most HDR TVs—in some cases much higher, as budget HDR TVs rarely exceed 1000 nits. Bright scenes are so vivid you may instinctively squint or turn away from the screen. 

This monitor also has spot-on color accuracy, a refresh rate of 144Hz, and supports Nvidia's G-Sync adaptive sync technology. It doesn't have HDMI 2.1, but it can handle 4K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate when connected to an Xbox Series X over HDMI. Sorry, PlayStation fans—you're out of luck.

Size: 32 inches | Panel Type: IPS | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 3x HDMI, DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB

Best for Streaming: Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ Monitor

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What We Like
  • High maximum brightness

  • Up to 144Hz refresh rate

  • Supports HDMI 2.1

What We Don't Like
  • Motion clarity could be better

  • HDR can be a problem in dark scenes

The Asus ROG Strix XG43UQ is technically a monitor. Still, it outclasses small televisions like the Sony X85J and Samsung Q60A, delivering a high refresh rate and supporting the cutting-edge HDMI 2.1 standard. That means it can deliver a 4K signal from an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

Though great for gaming, the ROG Swift XG43UQ is also great for Netflix. It supports HDR and delivers a maximum peak brightness of over 1000 nits, which is incredible for a 43-inch display. It also has a solid contrast ratio and provides a sense of depth and realism comparable to Sony’s 43-inch X85J television. 

While the XG43UQ’s HDR is solid in bright movies and shows, the display’s simple backlight can cause hazy patches to appear in darker content. It also has a problem with dark objects appearing to “smear” in fast motion, which isn’t always obvious but can reduce clarity in motion. Even so, this monitor easily defeats its competition in image quality and responsiveness and may well be the most attractive 43-inch display you can buy—at least until OLED or Mini LED hits this market.

Size: 43 inches | Panel Type: VA | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 4x HDMI, DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB

Best Curved Screen: Dell S3221QS 4K Monitor

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What We Like
  • Great contrast ratio

  • Good connectivity

  • Attractive curved screen

What We Don't Like
  • Mediocre brightness

  • Poor HDR support

The Dell S3221QS is great for the same reasons we recommend the Dell S2721QS. The larger S3221QS has a curved screen but delivers the same knockout combo of excellent image quality and competitive pricing. The curved display is the most noticeable difference. It provides a more immersive feel in games and movies, but the curve is subtle enough so it won’t distract in day-to-day use. Curved displays aren’t for everyone, but fans of the format will like what they see.

The S3221QS uses a VA panel instead of the IPS panel found on the S2721QS, which improves the contrast ratio and is excellent for movies, TV, and games with many dark scenes. On the downside, the monitor doesn’t get as bright as its 27-inch sibling. It technically supports HDR but is nowhere near bright enough to do it justice. 

Though large and affordable, the S3221Qs is an attractive monitor with slim bezels and a sleek, modern design. The sturdy standard supports height and tilt adjustments. There’s a good array of connectivity, including two HDMI 2.0 ports and two USB ports.

Size: 32 inches | Panel Type: VA | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Video Inputs: 2x HDMI, DisplayPort, 2x USB

Final Verdict

The Dell S2721QS (view at Amazon) is an outstanding monitor at an outstanding price. It has superb image quality, a sharp 4K image, an attractive design, and a highly adjustable ergonomic stand. Its strengths carry it through a wide range of uses, from day-to-day productivity to Netflix or content creation. Those looking for a more budget option should consider the Asus VP28UQG (view at Amazon), which delivers a good quality image at a reasonable price.

What to Look For When Buying a 4K Monitor

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Most 4K monitors also support HDR, which can increase the range of colors and contrast you see, but there’s a big gap between the best and the worst HDR monitors. Most monitors aren’t bright enough to do HDR content justice. If you want great HDR, look for a monitor that’s at least DisplayHDR 1000 certified. That means it will deliver a peak brightness of over 1000 nits, which is on par with a quality HDTV.  

Refresh Rate

An enhanced refresh rate above 60Hz is not important for everyday use but often appeals to gamers. Higher refresh rates lead to a more responsive feel and smoother gameplay. Gamers who want the ultimate experience should look for a 144Hz refresh. Just plan to pair it with an expensive video card, at only the best hardware is fast enough to make the most of a 4K/144Hz monitor.

Extra Ports

Although our top pick is affordable, most 4K monitors are expensive. The added price should come with perks like excellent connectivity. Look for a monitor that has three or more video inputs. USB-C is not always available, but it’s an awesome perk that’s useful if you plan to connect a USB-C laptop.

FAQ
  • What is 4K resolution, and why does it matter?

    4K is a resolution of 3840x2160. It packs four times the total pixel count of more common 1080p displays, with a resolution of 1920x1080. This increase in pixel density means a sharper and more detailed image with few jagged edges around small objects and text. 

  • Does your computer support 4K resolution?

    Any new computer sold since 2017 is fast enough to handle 4K resolution, though some budget systems may lack the right ports. Your computer should have an HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 port (or newer) to make the most of 4K. 

  • Will 4K always look better than 1080p?

    A 4K monitor typically looks sharper than a 1080p display. Windows and macOS do an excellent job of scaling apps to 4K resolution, and most apps allow this without issue. Apps that haven’t received an update in the last five years may look odd or small on a 4K monitor.

About Our Trusted Experts

Matthew S. Smith is a technology journalist and product reviewer with nearly 15 years of experience. He’s tested over 600 monitors or laptop displays since 2010 and has a record of objective testing results that goes back a decade.

Zach Sweat has years of experience in tech. In addition to reviewing monitors for Lifewire, he's previously been published on IGN and Void Media.

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