Best High Resolution Monitors 2016 – Buying Guide

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Best High Resolution Monitors

Monitors come in many different flavors. Some monitors are geared towards gamers, while others are tailored for professionals such as photographers or graphic designers. What you choose to do with your monitor should greatly influence the type of monitor you purchase. Each monitor on this list has a high resolution, which means they are appropriate in many situations. However, some monitors are more advantageous than others under certain circumstances.

For instance, a ultra high resolution monitor such as a 5K monitor, which has a total of 14.7 million pixels, is more suitable for professional usage. A UHD 5K monitor offers an extreme number of pixels and quality, but it also carries a huge price tag. Monitors with 144Hz refresh rates or higher is best for gamers. The faster refresh rate is noticeably smoother and offers less tearing than 60Hz monitors.

Because of the huge selection of monitors, isolating a single monitor can be a daunting task. We have narrowed down the enormous list of monitors into a small list of the best monitors. This list is further organized by sub-categories that help divide monitors into appropriate sections to make it easier to select the monitor you want.

Best High Resolution Monitors 2016

1. Dell UltraSharp UP2715K 27″ 5K Monitor
2. Asus PA328Q 32″ 4K Monitor
3. BenQ XL2730Z 27″ 144Hz Gaming Monitor
4. Acer Predator X34 34″ Curved UltraWide Monitor
5. Samsung U32D970Q 32″ 4K UHD Monitor
6. Acer XB280HK 28″ 4K UHD Monitor
7. Acer Predator XB271HU 27″ QHD Monitor
8. ASUS MG279Q 27″ QHD Monitor
9. Acer G257HU 25″ 2K Monitor
10. Acer B286HK 28″ 4K UHD Monitor

Best Monitors for Professionals

Dell UltraSharp UP2715K 27″ 5K Monitor

Dell UltraSharp UP2715K 27" 5K Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Dell UltraSharp UP2715K 27" 5K Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 27″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 5120×2880
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 8ms | Panel Type: IPS

The Dell UltraSharp UP2715K is an ultra-high resolution monitor that features an astonishing 5120×2880 pixels – that’s more than 14.7 million pixels. A 4K display has approximately 8.3 million pixels. For comparison, that means a 4K display can fit inside a 5K display and still have 44% of its pixels left over. In order to process all the pixels from your graphics card, you will need two DisplayPort cables.

The main selling point of this monitor is its high resolution. This 5K panel uses IPS technology and offers superb viewing angles and color. The monitor is aimed more towards professionals than gamers, but it can still be used for casual or single-player gaming. The disadvantages to such an awesome monitor is the hefty price tag, lower refresh rate, and slower response time. The refresh rate is 60Hz and the response time is 8ms, which is slower than other displays.

Asus PA328Q 32″ 4K Monitor

Asus PA328Q 32" 4K Monitor Best High Resolution MonitorAsus PA328Q 32" 4K Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 32″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 6ms | Panel Type: IPS

The ASUS PA328Q is a 32-inch Ultra-High Definition (UHD) monitor designed for professionals who demand extreme performance and incredible image detail. The display uses IPS panel technology to deliver the most accurate and precise colors. It uses gray-scale reproduction down to micrometer levels to ensure the most stunning images. At a resolution of 3840×2160, it provides over 8 million pixels. That is over four times the pixel density of a standard 1080p display.

The large 32-inch display and ultra high resolution translates to a fairly sizable investment. The PA328Q is a solid choice for graphics professionals who depend on accurate colors and superior image details. The panel has a 6-millisecond response time, which means it may produce motion blur while playing fast paced games. The monitor wasn’t designed for heavy gaming, but can be used for casual gaming. The ASUS PA328Q has a larger screen size and faster response time than the Dell UP2715K, but it has a smaller workspace when compared to the 5K display.

Best High-Res Gaming Monitors

BenQ XL2730Z 27″ 144Hz Gaming Monitor

BenQ XL2730Z 27" 144Hz Gaming Monitor Best High Resolution MonitorBenQ XL2730Z 27" 144Hz Gaming Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 27″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440
Refresh Rate: 144Hz  | Response time: 1ms | Panel Type: TN

In general, the resolution of a gaming monitor is not the most important thing. For gaming, the BenQ XL2720Z 144Hz 1080p gaming monitor is more than adequate. But if you want a high resolution monitor and a great gaming monitor, then the BenQ XL2730Z is the perfect choice. It is a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 2560×1440. It is the ultimate gaming monitor because it combines a fast refresh rate and response time with a high resolution display.

A resolution of 2560×1440 offers over 1.77 times as many pixels as the standard 1920×1080 resolution. The higher resolution gives greater image clarity and finer details. The BenQ XL2730Z is desigend to have the smoothest and fastest display performance for competitive play. This monitor offers great versatility for gamers because of the high resolution and rapid response time. It can be used to watch movies, play games, or used for work.

Acer Predator X34 34″ Curved UltraWide MonitorAcer Predator X34 34" Curved UltraWide Monitor Best High Resolution MonitorAcer Predator X34 34" Curved UltraWide Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 34″ | Aspect Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440×1440
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 4ms | Panel Type: IPS

A curved gaming display offers a better viewing experience and is more captivating. It has a standard refresh rate of 60Hz, but can be overclocked to 100Hz. The Acer Predator X34 has a gigantic 34-inch curved screen. It has an IPS panel with an aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution of 3440×1440. The UltraWide resolution depicts all the details precisely and draws you into the action. The display offers an incredibly immersive experience because it offers a uniform viewing experience without having any blindspots.

Although this gaming monitor doesn’t have the fastest refresh rate, it compensates by integrating with with NVIDIA G-Sync technology. G-Sync technology helps alleviate screen tearing and input lag by dynamically synchronizing the refresh rate with the graphics card. This monitor is absolutely fantastic for gaming and offers an extremely wide viewing angle at 178 degrees. It is an outstanding ultra-curve high definition gaming monitor.

Best 4K Monitors

Samsung U32D970Q 32″ 4K UHD Monitor

Samsung U32D970Q 32″ 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution MonitorSamsung U32D970Q 32″ 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 32″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 8ms | Panel Type: PLS

The Samsung U32D970Q is a 32-inch Ultra-High Definition (UHD) monitor that features a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution and a wide-view Plane Line Switching (PLS) panel. It has accurate colors, good gray-scale performance, lots of screen real estate, and highly detailed images. The PLS panel produces very dark blacks that makes everything look a lot sharper. In addition, it has no trouble displaying many shades of gray, which provide sharper highlights and shadow details.

The viewing angle is good, but not as good as some high-end In-Plane Switching (IPS) monitors. The monitor is great for productivity and maximum efficiency. Many gamers will not appreciate the 8-millisecond response time, which will not [provide ghost-free action. To limit screen tearing, you need a monitor with a fast refresh rate and response time. While the Samsung U32D870Q is a great monitor for most users, it may not be suitable for gamers. The Acer XB280HK 4K UHD Monitor, with a 1-millisecond response time, is a more appropriate option for gamers.

Acer XB280HK 28″ 4K UHD Monitor

Acer XB280HK 28" 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Acer XB280HK 28" 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 28″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 1ms | Panel Type: TN

Similar to most monitors, the Acer XB280HK utilizes a TN panel. The monitor has an Ultra HD 4K resolution that pushes more than eight million pixels, while also supporting incredibly fast response times. It has a 1-millisecond response time and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. A variable refresh rate is available with NVIDIA G-Sync technology. It should improve performance and limit stuttering and input lag.

The Acer XB280HK features stunning, high quality images with excellent detail. It creates an outstanding visual environment and enhances working efficiency. The TN panel is excellent for rapid scenes found in gaming. G-Sync technology eliminates screen tearing so scenes will appear instantly and much sharper. While the display colors are not as impressive as IPS panels, it is an incredible monitor for 4K gaming.

Best 2K Monitors

Acer Predator XB271HU 27″ WQHD Monitor

Acer Predator XB271HU 27" QHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Acer Predator XB271HU 27" QHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 27″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440
Refresh Rate: 144Hz  | Response time: 4ms | Panel Type: IPS

The Acer Predator XB271HU is a 27-inch gaming monitor with a 2560×1440 resolution, also known as WQHD. The IPS panel technology offers excellent colors and the best viewing angles. Another key feature of this monitor is its incredibly fast refresh rate, at 144Hz. However, with NVIDIA G-SYNC the maximum refresh rate can reach up to 165Hz, while the minimum refresh rate is 30Hz, making the G-Sync range 30Hz-165Hz. The higher refresh rate offers even smoother gameplay without motion blur.

The response time is 4-milliseconds, which is considered really fast for this type of panel. The Predator XB271HU is a versatile monitor that can be used as a professional monitor or gaming monitor. The monitor features an ultra-thin bezel (zero-frame) that completely immerses you in the game universe. The Predator XB271HU is one of the best monitors on this list and is a perfect multipurpose monitor.

ASUS MG279Q 27″ WQHD Monitor

ASUS MG279Q 27" QHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

ASUS MG279Q 27" QHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 27″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440
Refresh Rate: 144Hz  | Response time: 4ms | Panel Type: IPS

The ASUS MG279Q has very similar specifications as the Acer Predator XB271HU. The monitor has a 27-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1440. The response time is 4-milliseconds and it utilizes IPS panel technology to offer glorious viewing angles and incredibly detailed colors. It has an extraordinarily fast refresh rate, at 144Hz. The maximum refresh rate is 144Hz, unlike the Acer XB271HU that can reach up to 165Hz.

The ASUS MG279Q utilizes AMD FreeSync technology for consistent visuals and smooth gameplay. This monitor is the perfect alternative to people who own an AMD graphics card. The ASUS MG279Q is currently the best FreeSync monitor. The IPS panel is vibrant and offers stunning visual clarity and color quality. The high refresh rate and wide viewing angles means there’s no need for a compromise. It is one of the absolute best monitors for gaming and multipurpose use.

Best High-Res Budget Monitors

Acer G257HU 25″ 2K Monitor

Acer G257HU 25" 2K Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Acer G257HU 25" 2K Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 25″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560×1440
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 4ms | Panel Type: IPS

As you may have noticed, high resolution monitors are really expensive. A typical high-res monitor can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. The bigger the screen and the higher the pixel density, the more the monitor will cost. Most high resolution monitors also have large screens, which is why they typically cost a lot more than 1080p monitors.

There is no need for compromises with the Acer G257HU. It is an affordable 25-inch display with a QHD 2560×1440 resolution. The widescreen monitor is excellent for gaming and multimedia on a budget. It is built with an IPS panel, which provides beautiful colors and wide viewing angles. Overall, the Acer G257HU is a cost effective monitor and great for casual usage. The refresh rate and response time is a little underwhelming for gaming, but the high resolution is good for productivity.

Acer B286HK 28″ 4K UHD Monitor

Acer B286HK 28" 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Acer B286HK 28" 4K UHD Monitor Best High Resolution Monitor

Screen size: 28″ | Aspect Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840×2160
Refresh Rate: 60Hz  | Response time: 2ms | Panel Type: TN

The Acer B286HK 28-inch 4K UHD monitor has a gorgeous display with incredibly accurate colors. While most 4K monitors are extremely costly, the Acer B286HK comes at a modest price. The 3840×2160 resolution has four times more pixels than a standard 1080p resolution. Unlike other 4K monitors, this monitor is built with a TN panel, which offers incredibly fast response times. The fast response time makes this monitor viable for gaming.

The refresh rate isn’t too special, it has a standard 60Hz refresh rate. The viewing angles are mostly good, though not the best. Running on 4K resolution at 60Hz requires DisplayPort. The monitor offers good overall performance in most games. It is a reasonably priced monitor and a great choice as a budget 4K monitor.

What to look for in a High Resolution Monitor

Brightness: The monitor’s brightness is important if you are working in a brightly lit room. The brightness is measured in candelas per square meter, or cd/m2. In most cases, the higher the number, the better.

Contrast: The contrast is expressed in a ratio called the Contrast Ratio. The contrast ratio is the measure between the brightest white and the deepest black. A higher contrast ratio produces images that are more intense and vivid.

Black levels: Black levels refer to a monitors ability to display dark scenes. Monitors with good black levels have better color accuracy and clarity in dark scenes. The black levels are more noticeable when watching videos or playing games.

Input lag: For monitors, the input lag refers to the delay between your graphics card sending out the signal and your monitor receiving the signal. The affects of input lag is referred to as the signal delay and is measured in milliseconds. Monitors with low input lag may feel more advantageous because the interaction with the monitor feels instant.

Resolution

A monitor’s resolution refers to the number of pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. It is usually represented by width x height, with the units in pixels. For example, “1920 x 1080” means a width of 1920 pixels and a height of 1080 pixels. And the total number of pixels would be 2,073,600.

The screen resolution is represented by a lot of numbers and acronyms, so here is a list of the most popular resolutions to help simplify the process.

Resolution Also Known As
1280×720 HD, 720p
1920×1080 FHD, Full HD, 1080p
2560×1440 QHD, WQHD, Quad HD, 1440p
3840×2160 UHD, Ultra HD, 4K, 2160p
5120×2880 UHD, Ultra HD, 5K, 2880p
7680×4320 FUHD, Full Ultra HD, 8K, 4320p

Refresh Rates

Fixed Refresh Rates

Most monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz, which means that up to 60 discrete frames of information are displayed every second with a 16.66ms delay between frames. There are few monitors that can run at high refresh rates such as at 120Hz, 144Hz or even higher. A refresh rate of 120Hz means the monitor can display twice as much information per second and output 120 discrete frames of information per second at a 8.33ms delay between frames. As you can see, a higher refresh rate means a smaller delay. This leads to less screen tearing and much smoother images.

Variable Refresh Rates

As mentioned before, traditional PC monitors have a fixed refresh rate of 60Hz. The images are refreshed 60 times per second, no matter what. That means your graphics card needs to continue rendering frames, at whatever speed it can, to the display. A fixed refresh rate can result in screen tearing — part of the monitor is displaying an old frame while another is displaying a new frame. This problem can be mitigated by using dynamic refresh rates, or variable refresh rates. G-Sync and FreeSync technology is a solution from NVIDIA and AMD. The refresh rates sync with the graphics card and the refresh rate constantly changes. This helps eliminate input lag and screen tearing, while also creating fluid images while playing PC games.

Things to Consider

Panel Technology: Think about what type of panel you want before purchasing your monitor. There are pros and cons to each panel type.

  • Twisted nematic (TN) panels, the most common and cheapest panel type, are great for fast response times and high refresh rates.
  • Vertical alignment (VA) panels, a good midrange option, has better color accuracy and the best blacks of all panel types.
  • In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels, the most expensive option, has great color accuracy and the best viewing angles.

Ports and Connectors: 

  • DisplayPort is the latest version of display connecters. It is often referred to as the successor of DVI and HDMI cables. It offers higher bandwidth connections and supports thinner and lighter monitors. Displayport is especially important for high resolution and high refresh rate monitors because it relies on extra bandwidth to properly process all the information.
  • DVI is a common display connector. It is compatible with most monitors and graphics cards. Many monitors favor HDMI and DisplayPort over DVI, but it is still recommended that you get a monitor with at least one DVI connection unless the monitor is super thin.
  • HDMI cables are used to connect the display with an high-definition source. HDMI connections can transfer uncompressed video data and digital audio to a HDMI-complaint source device. HDMI is extremely common and is popular among many devices.

Viewing Angles: When you look at a monitor from different angles you often notice how much the colors shift and how the screen darkens. The colors and screen should not change when you look at it from a different angle. However, certain panel types have lower viewing angles such as TN panels.

Warranty: You want to buy from a manufacturer that has confidence in their products. A long warranty indicates that confidence. Most monitors have a 3-year limited warranty, so try to find a high-resolution monitor that has at least a 3-year limited warranty.

Two or more monitors: High resolution monitors are meant to accomplish more with less. In most cases, one high resolution monitor is enough unless you work in a professional field where more work space is needed. For gamers, it is better to get multiple “low resolution” monitors with high refresh rates than a single monitor.

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