5 monitors worth checking out for 2021 at all sizes and prices

Welcome to our first attempt at compiling a list of the best monitors worth; progress has been slowed by the refusal to function in our testing lab, amongst many other pandemic-related issues, but we’ll get there eventually. Slowly. However, we have a modest list of options that we are confident in recommending, with more in the works. If you’re looking for additional affordable options, take a look at our list of the best displays under $200. And, because shopping for a monitor may be a complicated experience, we’ve created a monitor-buying guide and a gaming monitor-buying guide to help you make sense of it all.

HP Omen 27i 1440p 27-inch monitors worth with a beautiful design for work and play

Despite being part of HP’s Omen gaming range, this has quickly become one of my favorite monitors of the past year. The 27-inch 2,560×1,440 27i from HP has a wide color gamut (98 percent P3), a gaming-friendly 165Hz refresh rate with Nvidia G-Sync (over DisplayPort), and an elegant design that should appeal to non-gaming family members; it has some basic gaming lighting as well as a useful task light shining down beneath the bottom bezel.

It’s also a lot easier to manage wires than the standard recessed, bottom-accessed design due of the unique port placement — on the sides of a diamond in the back. I’ve been using it for months and have yet to encounter a single issue or screen artifact. (Note that the wide-angle shot gives the impression that it is curved, but it isn’t.) It’s also suitable for perching a webcam above due to its thin-but-not-too-thin depth. The lack of built-in speakers and the fairly high price are potential downsides for certain users. Read our first impressions of the HP Omen 27i.

HP Omen 27i 1440p 27-inch monitors worth with a beautiful design for work and play
HP Omen 27i 1440p 27-inch monitors worth with a beautiful design for work and play

BenQ EX2780Q 1440p 144Hz monitors worth – a nice choice for work and play with with built-in speakers

The EX2780Q is a good multipurpose pick for the money if you have the luxury of choosing something that will last you a while (and the price has dropped recently). It has a gaming-friendly 144Hz refresh rate, 400-nit brightness, and a 95 percent P3 gamut for basic HDR support in games and movies, as well as built-in speakers that actually sound pretty good. It also has a gaming-friendly 144Hz refresh rate, 400-nit brightness, and a 95 percent P3 gamut for basic HDR support in games and movies, plus built-in speakers that actually sound pretty good. However, there is one drawback: you can only tilt it, not raise or lower it.

BenQ EX2780Q 1440p 144Hz monitors worth - a nice choice for work and play with with built-in speakers
BenQ EX2780Q 1440p 144Hz monitors worth – a nice choice for work and play with with built-in speakers

Asus ProArt PA278QV 1440p sRGB monitors worth – well-rounded choice for creatives

The 2,560×1,440 PA278QV is a wonderful option if you need a color-accurate monitor on a budget. It has great sRGB accuracy and is well-rounded for the price, including a 75Hz refresh rate if you require it for games with slower action (simulations, turn-based RPGs, and so on), a USB hub, a full set of inputs, and speakers. In portrait position, the stand lifts and lowers, swivels, and enables a 90-degree rotation. The speakers aren’t that loud, and the connections can loosen when you move it about, but other than that, I really like it. If you can’t afford it, the PA248QV, a 24-inch variant with a reduced resolution of 1,920×1,200 pixels, is $90 cheaper.

Asus ProArt PA278QV 1440p sRGB monitors worth - well-rounded choice for creatives
Asus ProArt PA278QV 1440p sRGB monitors worth – well-rounded choice for creatives

Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitors Worth – feature-packed portable

A dedicated HDMI input or a USB-C connection (plus a second USB-C to power it), a USB-A port, and stereo speakers with a headphone jack are among the features of Desklab’s 4K touchscreen variant. The glossy screen, which may be rather reflective, is my sole criticism, but that’s the price you pay for a touchscreen.

Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitors Worth - feature-packed portable
Desklab Ultralight Portable 4K Touchscreen Monitors Worth – feature-packed portable

BenQ EW2780 27-inch FHD IPS FreeSync display – a solid budget choice

This should be on your short list if you want an inexpensive, appealing FHD monitor with decent built-in speakers. They’re not audiophile-quality, but they’re good enough for watching movies, listening to podcasts, and streaming music while you work. They can also get loud enough (without distortion) to hear from a long distance away. And potentially loud enough to irritate your upstairs neighbors (who are constantly galloping around and bothering you).

It has three HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2, which is more than most cheap monitors have, however most people don’t need that many. Other features include a 75Hz refresh rate with AMD FreeSync technology, audio profiles, gamma adjustment, and a color mapping mode to cater for color blindness. It isn’t an HDR monitor, but given its technological limitations, it can approximate it as closely as feasible.

Despite all of the customization choices, the screen isn’t particularly bright, and the onscreen display can be a pain to use. Furthermore, you can only tilt the screen, not lift or lower it.

BenQ EW2780 27-inch FHD IPS FreeSync display - a solid budget choice
BenQ EW2780 27-inch FHD IPS FreeSync display – a solid budget choice

>> Read more: Best gaming laptop to buy for 2021 at all sizes and prices

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