Best monitors 2020: Upgrade to a proper screen

The top external displays for photo editing, office work and more

Chances are, you're sitting in an office, reading this on a monitor that isn't that great. Organisations tend to stick with whichever monitor comes with a PC, and that's not always the best option.

Having a good monitor can pay dividends in terms of greater productivity: clear, easily readable screens can prevent headaches, brighter displays can cut down on glare from the sun, and larger monitors can increase your desktop real estate and cut down on scrolling. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

To help you decide which monitor is the best one for you, we've put together a list of the top displays that you should consider for your business. 

Iiyama ProLite XUB2792UHSU

Delivering on promises of excellent colour accuracy, the Iiyama ProLite XUB2792UHSU represents great value-for-money, and offers great performance to boot.

The firm claims this display is designed for creative professionals, and its excellent hardware certainly reinforces this claim, based on our experiences at least. This is key because the monitors' panels are being shipped directly from the factory, without calibration tests normally seen, which represents an element of risk. 

Despite a number of other shortcomings, this monitor is astonishingly good for the price, offering a 27in 4K display with excellent sRGH colour accuracy and overall quality. 

Size27in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160 
Brightness355cd/m2
PortsDVI, DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB-A , USB-C

Price when reviewed: £324 

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full Iiyama ProLite XUB2792UHSU review for more information.

BenQ DesignVue PD2720U

If you're keen on a 4K display that boasts a sharp image quality and good technology, you needn't look further than the BenQ DesignVue PD2720U. This monitor showcases fantastic image quality throughout and is packed full of screen modes and features.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Of course, it'll cost a little more than its rivals, but this monitor justifies the price by offering fantastic image quality. Only especially demanding tasks will require the additional performance the BenQ offers over similar monitors, but it's well worth the extra cost should you definitely need to make use of this.

Size27in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160 
Brightness353cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB 3.1, 2 x Thunderbolt 3

Price when reviewed: £728 

Read our full BenQ DesignVue PD2720U review for more information.

NEC MultiSync EA271U

This NEC monitor is highly adjustable, is fitted with a vast array of ports, and boasts excellent sRGB image quality, although there are some question marks over is accuracy for Adobe RGB and NTSC gamuts. 

The MultiSync is aimed at demanding office workers, with the idea being you can stare at its display for a full day without feeling eye fatigue while not compromising on high image quality. This monitor does tick the right boxes in terms of combating eye strain, with an ambient light sensor and low blue light adjusting the display to suit all conditions. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Aimed mainly at office workers, the NEC MultiSync is a top-notch 4K panel which offers superb image quality within the sRGB gamut, along with clever features, despite its price tag.

Size27in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160 
Brightnessn/a
PortsDisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB 3.1 hub

Price when reviewed: £712 

Read our full NEC MultiSync EA271U review for more information.

Eizo ColorEdge CG319X 

This staggering monitor features near-flawless image quality and a built-in colourimeter but comes at the cost of its hefty price tag, and weight. It's, frankly, an insane monitor that's comparable to the talents of Lionel Messi, and comes with everything you'd need.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

This top-of-the-range goliath is pitched at video professionals, largely due to a cinematic 4K panel that bundles in all the technology needed at the highest level. These features include HLG and PQ gamma curves to ensure HDR video accuracy, as well as a phenomenal gamut coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space. This monitor offers everything that video professionals could ask for, putting its 12.4kg weight and high price point to one side. 

Size31.1in
Resolution4,096 x 2,160 
Brightness394cd/m2
Ports2 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 3 x USB-A

Price when reviewed: £3,325 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full Eizo ColorEdge CG319X review for more information.

Acer ProDesigner BM320

This relatively inexpensive monitor boasts good gamut coverage and colour accuracy and can be used for photographic, media and film work efficiently. However, these qualities are undermined by a poor contrast, which leaves colours looking bright and breezy but without an awful lot of depth. Darker shades, especially, are inadequate.

It's just about acceptable with which to perform most tasks, and also boasts a solid selection of ports alongside decent adjustment options. Overall, a solid feature set alongside good colours and a decent price means the Acer ProDesigner BM320 represents a solid option for office-based workers. 

Size32in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160 
Brightness291cd/,2
Ports2 x DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 3

Price when reviewed: £525 

Read our full Acer ProDesigner BM320 review for more information.

ViewSonic VP3268-4K

Those in the market for an all-purpose screen might baulk at the price of this monitor, but for designers, media editors and graphics professionals, the level of accuracy offered by the ViewSonic VP3268-4K make it an absolute bargain. Colour reproduction is superb, and ViewSonic has calibrated it to a wide variety of professional colour-spaces.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The only slight gripe we have with it is that the sRGB mode - while amazingly accurate - is locked at 120cd/m2, but it's easy to flick between this setting and other, more luminescent modes whenever you need to.

Size31.5in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160 
Brightness357cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, miniDisplayPort, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 4 x USB 3

Price when reviewed: £666 (exc VAT)

Read our full ViewSonic VP3268-4K review for more information.

AOC X24P1

Although this attractively-designed monitor is a real looker, its business-focused roots are betrayed by its somewhat unusual 16:10 aspect ratio - popular with financial workers and database professionals, as it allows them to fit a few extra spreadsheet rows on-screen. This monitor is a great fit for graphics tasks as well, as the image quality and colour accuracy are both outstanding.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

What really elevates this screen, however, is its gorgeous design. The borderless panel looks absolutely excellent, and the front-facing OSD buttons mean you won't have to fiddle around to change the settings. Even better, it's all available for less than 200 excluding VAT.

Size24in
Resolution1,920 x 1,200 
Brightness359cd/m2
PortsHDMI, DVI, VGA, 4 x USB 3.1

Price when reviewed: £192 (exc VAT)

Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full AOC X24P1 review for more information.

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS

On first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that this 27in monitor is, in fact, an Apple iMac; it's fair to say that Iiyama has taken a substantial amount of design inspiration from Apple's desktop screens. Thankfully though, that's not the only resemblance, and it also features a blazing-bright 5K panel.

It's not quite as colour-accurate as other monitors on this list, which means that graphic designer types will probably want to give it a miss. However, if you want a superb-looking 5K screen without breaking the bank, this is a great buy for the money.

Size27in
Resolution5,120 x 2,880 
Brightness500cd/m2
Ports2 x DisplayPort, 3 x HDMI

Price when reviewed: £608 (exc VAT)

Read our full Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review for more information.

Samsung CF791

This monitor is an excellent illustration of why Samsung's displays are so widely-admired. Combining a wide 21:9 aspect ratio with a stylish curved design, this 34in monitor is an absolute treat to behold.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Not only that, but it's also up to Samsung's usual unimpeachable levels of quality. Colour accuracy is amazing, the 3,440 x 1440 resolution is perfectly crisp, and the contrast is superb. An excellent monitor for photo editors and creatives, this sleek display absolutely justifies its asking price.

Size35in
Resolution3,440 x 1,440 
Brightness315cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, USB x2

Price when reviewed: £667 (exc VAT)

Read our full Samsung CF791 review for more information.

Iiyama ProLite XUB2790HS

This monitor may not be the most eye-catching example on this list, but it's one of the more affordable, packing in a good-quality panel with capable colour accuracy and contrast for less than 200.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The clincher though is its adjustable stand. You may be surprised how many monitors at this price point have no adjustability, but the IiIiyama ProLite XUB2790HS has height adjustment, tilting, rotation and more. The only real problem is a frustrating on-screen display, but it's a minor one.

Size27in
Resolution1,920 x 1080
Brightness245cd/m2
PortsHDMI, DVI, VGA

Price when reviewed: £168 (exc VAT)

Read our full Iiyama ProLite XUB2790HS review for more information.

Eizo FlexScan EV2450

The Eizo FlexScan EV2450 offers everything you could need from a monitor - the image quality of the panel itself is outstanding, it's got heaps of ports and the design is attractive without being as flashy as some more expensive monitors from the likes of Samsung.

Advertisement - Article continues below

There's also a handful of useful features like automatic brightness, a good range of motion in the stand and a five-year warranty. For under £200, it's a superb all-rounder that offers all the essentials for an excellent price.

Size23.8in
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
Brightness228cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, VGA, USB 3 x2

Price when reviewed: £188 (exc VAT)

Read our full Eizo FlexScan EV2450 review for more information.

Asus VC239H

If it's no-frills basics you're after, you can't get much better than the Asus VC239H. For just £100, you're getting a 24in 1080p display with an IPS panel. That's pretty good value in and of itself, made even better by the fact that display quality is far better than we've got any right to expect at this price.

There's little in the way of extra features, and it's decidedly unassuming in looks, but this monitor is a great pick for those on a budget.

Size23.6in
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, DVI, VGA

Price when reviewed: £100 (exc VAT)

Read our full Asus VC239H review for more information.

AOC Q3279VWF

They say size doesn't matter, but if it does then the AOC Q3279VWF is in an excellent position. This 31.5in behemoth is huge and has a 1440p resolution to match that expansive screen.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Image quality is good, and although the brightness could be better, it's more than capable enough for editing duties. Even more impressively, at less than £200, it's an absolute steal.

Size31.5in
Resolution2,560 x 1,440
Brightness232cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, HDMI 1.4, DVI, VGA

Price when reviewed: £166 (exc VAT)

Read our full AOC Q3279VWF review for more information.

Philips 241B7QPJKEB

If you're dead-set on nabbing yourself an IPS monitor, you won't find one carrying much better value than this. The panel isn't as colour accurate or as big as the BenQ SW2700PT but is perfectly capable of delivering colours that will delight the eyes and for under £200 it's a steal.

The design of the monitor is as visually stunning as its picture quality, the top and side bezels are so thin it's nigh-on borderless and the stand is also highly adjustable. Phillips includes its SmertErgoBase which provides the standard height, swivel and tilt adjustment and also pivot it 180 while maintaining stability.

Size23.8in
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
Brightness213cd/m2
PortsDisplayPort, VGA, HDMI, USB 3

Price when reviewed: £167 (exc VAT)

Advertisement - Article continues below

Read our full Philips 241B7QPJKEB review for more information

Asus ProArt PA32U

If you've got acres of space and cash to burn then the Asus ProArt might be for you. This massive 32in 4K panel sports near-perfect colour accuracy with a score of 99.7% on the sRGB gamut, helped in part by the bundled calibrator. The max brightness of 290cd/m isn't anything to shout about but more than enough for the office.

If the design is a priority, then the sleek and contemporary metallic look of this monitor is hugely pleasing, as is the sharp angular nature of the design. There's not a lot to hate about this panel, other than the price which is quite steep and that the colour accuracy lags behind some of its rivals.

Size32in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160
Brightness290cd/m2
Ports

DisplayPort, HDMI x4, Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, USB hub (2 x USB 3, USB-C)

 

Price when reviewed: £1,667 (exc VAT)

Read our full Asus ProArt PA32U review for more information

Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355239/microsofts-patent-design-reveals-a-mobile-device-with-a-third-screen
Mobile Phones

Microsoft patents a mobile device with a third screen

6 Apr 2020
Visit/development/application-programming-interface-api/355192/apple-buys-dark-sky-weather-app-and-leaves
application programming interface (API)

Apple buys Dark Sky weather app and leaves Android users in the cold

1 Apr 2020
Visit/data-insights/data-management/355170/oracle-cloud-courses-are-free-during-coronavirus-lockdown
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020