Best computer monitor 2020: 4K, gaming and curved displays

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Whether you’re working from home or you’re simply seeking to get a little more richness out of video and images, there’s never been a better time to buy a new monitor.

Very good monitors can now be bought for little more than the cost of a new video game. Meanwhile, if you want something extraordinary, it’s available for  little bit more.

When choosing a monitor, there are a few key specifications you should look at. The most fundamental is connectivity. Does the monitor have the right connection ports to connect to your computer, games console, or whatever else you wish to use it with? Common display interfaces include HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort and USB Type-C.

Another important point to address is the monitor’s resolution. The vast majority of monitors being made today have at least a Full HD (1920 x 1080px) resolution. 

At the higher end of the market, detail-rich 4k displays are common. Higher resolution models are most relevant to people who intend to use their monitor for gaming or streaming 4k media.

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Speaking of gaming, there are a few specs to look out for if you need a monitor that’ll do justice to your favourite games. In particular, look at the refresh rate and response time. The refresh rate is the number of times per minute the image is refreshed, so the higher that figure is, the more dynamic the game can be. 

The response time refers to how long it takes for the pixels on the screen to change colour in response to the input. A response time of five milliseconds or less is what you’re looking for.

Finally, think carefully about the width of the monitor you require. In our view, the most suitable monitor sizes for home use are within the range of about 21″ to 27″. 

This measurement describes the length of the diagonal between the bottom-left and top-right corners of the screen.

A larger screen is generally construed as providing a better video viewing experience, while smaller screens can be more convenient to keep around the home.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent. 

LG 27QN880 27″ QHD ergo IPS monitor

Elegant, convenient and beautifully sharp, this is our favourite monitor for home working. We found it a joy to set up and use, with the eight default picture modes catering excellently for a range of uses, from gaming to writing this very review.

The ergonomic stand of the 27QN880 is a bit of a marvel. Once safely clamped onto your desk, it enables you to swivel, extend, retract, pivot or tilt the screen, pretty much as you please. This makes it remarkably easy to position the monitor on your desk, where other screens of the same size might take up too much space.

BenQ GW2480 24 Inch 1080p eye care LED IPS Monitor

This is the best affordable monitor we’ve tested, offering excellent performance and quality at a very fair price. The edge-to-edge design of the screen is particularly slick, placing whatever’s on-screen firmly in the spotlight. Its stand feels robust and nicely finished, well beyond our expectations.

A particularly interesting feature of this monitor is its “brightness intelligence technology”, which dims excessively bright areas of the screen whilst boosting the visibility of dark areas. In our testing, this clever tech delivered a wonderfully watchable viewing experience, combining comfort and clarity.

Lenovo Q27q-10 27 inch QHD monitor

Let’s finish our monitor reviews roundup with a really strong option. This is that rarest of things: a monitor with a really distinctive design. Borderless on three sides and with a sleek lateral stand, this is one of the most striking monitors we’ve tested.

We also found this a particularly fine monitor to work with. The monitor’s 2560 x 1440px resolution gave us all the detail our eyes could desire. The viewing experience was comfortable, too, which presumably owes something to the Q27q-10’s flicker-free and blue light reduction technologies.

The verdict: Computer monitors

Thanks to its eye-catching combination of beautiful visuals and extreme flexibility, we’re naming the LG 27QN880 our Best Buy. Not only will this monitor make whatever you’re viewing or watching look its best, it’ll also help keep your desk tidy by virtue of its clever clamp-based stand.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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