Recommended Monitors [2021]

Gaming setup with three monitors, a gaming PC, and a custom keyboard.

Monitors are one of the most important aspects of any setup. They are a great addition to a laptop setup and they are essential if you are using a desktop.

If you have a great graphics card for gaming but a bad monitor it may be the real bottleneck in your battlestation.


What We Suggest

Budget Monitor (Around 100): Asus VZ249HE

Monitor Under $250 for Gaming (24 Inch): AOC 24G2

Monitor Under $250 For Gaming (27 Inch): AOC 27G2

Monitor Under $250 For Productivity: LG 27QN600-B

1080p 240Hz Gaming Monitor: LG 27GN750-B

1080p 360Hz Gaming Monitor: Asus ROG Swift PG259QN

1440p 144Hz to 165Hz Gaming Monitor: Asus ROG Strix XG27AQ

1440p 240Hz Gaming Monitor: Samsung Odyssey G7

Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Under $500: Acer XZ342CK Pbmiiphx

Ultrawide Gaming Monitor: LG 34GP83A-B

Ultrawide Productivity Monitor: BenQ EX3501R

Super Ultrawide Monitor For Gaming: Samsung Odyssey G9 

Super Ultrawide Monitor For Productivity: LG 49WL95C-W

4K Gaming Monitor: Asus ROG Strix XG27UQ

4K Productivity Monitor: ViewSonic VP2785-4K

Monitor For Creative Work (Mac): Apple Pro Display XDR

Monitor For Creative Work (Windows): ASUS ProArt Display PA32UCX-PK


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How To Choose A Monitor

Understanding Your Budget

The first thing that you should figure out before looking at different monitors is your budget. Making sure you have a specific budget will make it easier for you to narrow down your search so you can find what you want faster.

You can always go a bit over your budget if there is a monitor that has everything that you want but having a baseline can make everything a lot easier, especially when seeking help from other peoples or resources.

Am I A Gamer or Worker

When looking at a monitor, in order to get something that suits your needs in the best way possible you need to understand if you game or work more.

You can find monitors that will give you everything you want for gaming with a high refresh rate and low response time or go for something that has great colors and maybe a software that is more useful for those who work. There are also many monitors that can provide a happy medium.

If you are a gamer then you should mostly look at monitors that do provide a high refresh rate (144Hz is probably the best place to start) and ones with a low response time (typically go for something that is 1ms or less).

If you do creative work or do general productivity, looking at monitors that are very color accurate and are large could be very helpful. Color accuracy is very important if you do any photo/video editing, graphic design, or other creative work. Extra screen real estate is also useful to fit more documents on a screen, be able to see more code, and so much more. Looking into something like an ultrawide could also be something that you consider.

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Could An Ultrawide Benefit Me

Recently ultrawide monitors have become increasingly popular and for a very good reason. They give you much more real estate and can suit some applications better than your standard 16:9 monitor.
Ultrawides are about 1.5 times wider with a 21:9 aspect ratio and there are super ultrawides with a 32:9 aspect ratio that are 2 times wider than a regular monitor.

An ultrawide can add to the immersion in games and movies. Most movies fit the size of an ultrawide and will remove black bars that you typically see at the top or bottom. Additionally in games such as racing/flight sims or survival games the immersion is taken to a new level. You are able to see much more and you get sucked into the game.
They are also great for productivity. You can keep multiple tabs on one screen and see a lot more content. This could even remove the need for an additional monitor in your setup. Video editors can see a lot more of their timeline too which can be immensely useful and if you make music then it is easier to see more of each track.

It is important to note that ultrawides are more expensive but if you think you could benefit from one, they can give you a great experience.

Monitor Size

The 3 most popular monitor sizes are 24 inches, 27 inches, and 32 inches. If you get something like an ultrawide the most common size is 34 inches which will have the same height as a 27-inch monitor. Super ultrawides are typically 49 inches and they are also the same height as a 27-inch monitor but even wider.

Typically smaller monitors are cheaper but a bigger monitor can give you more real estate to work with which is very useful in many applications. There are many factors to consider. If you have enough money to get a bigger monitor if you would like something that is bigger or smaller, and if you have enough space on your desk.

Typically we would recommend a 27-inch monitor if you are not getting an ultrawide because you get a lot of screen real estate and a 32-inch monitor is often considered quite big.

Overall it depends on your situation and if you believe that you would benefit from having more space to work with.

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Panel Technology

The panel of a monitor is the actual screen itself. There are 3 main panel types used in modern monitors. IPS, VA, and TN.

TN or Twisted Nematic panels are a technology that replaced older CRT TVs. It has many benefits for gamers but it is not the best if you planning to do creative work. Typically we would not recommend TN monitors.

Pros:

  • Usually quite cheap
  • Great response times, which is great for high refresh monitors

Cons:

  • The viewing angles are not that great (this can ruin contrast, brightness, and color reproduction)
  • Color accuracy is often not as good as other technologies

VA or Vertical Alignment panels improve off of TN panels and provide better contrast ratios, viewing angles, and color reproduction. As a downside, most VAs are not as fast as TNs or high-end IPS monitors. VA is considered a happy medium of getting many benefits of IPS without breaking the bank.

Pros:

  • Better picture quality than TN panels
  • Best contrast ratio for monitors

Cons:

  • The response time is lower on average than the other two technologies

IPS or In-Plan Switching panels align the parts inside to produce the best image quality, color accuracy, and viewing angles. Also in recent years, IPS monitors have really improved in response time technology getting very close or on the same level as TN panels.

Pros:

  • Best color accuracy, image quality, and widest viewing angles
  • Great for people who use their computers for gaming and productivity

Cons:

  • Can often have backlight bleed in low light scenes
  • High quality IPS monitors with low response times are often more costly

There are other kinds of panel types like OLED but they are not as popular as these 3 technologies in monitors.

Additional Features

Besides the main features of the panel itself and finding a monitor that suits your main needs, there are some other factors that may help you narrow down the monitor that you buy.

Looking at things like stand, the user interface of the monitor, and software support are just some of the many things to look at when in the market for a monitor.

Resources To Use

While you can just look for monitors to get on guides or via a site like Amazon or Best Buy, there are some very useful resources that you can use. Besides looking at guides, one of our favorite resources to use is PCPartPicker. PC Part Picker is a website to help compile lists of parts when building a PC while also checking for compatibility.

You can sort to find monitors with certain refresh rates, with a certain panel type, under a certain price. You can also sort between some features like G-Sync for gaming monitors or to find a monitor that has built-in speakers.

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Why Trust Us

At The Tech Frontier we are a group of tech enthusiasts and we have tons of experience with computers, peripherals, and monitors. We have tested tons of different monitors studied how all the relevant technologies work.

We have made sure that these price options align with features and price points that we think are best for all people but we also have made sure that there are a variety of different monitors for all sorts of needs and budgets.

We have compiled this list not just from understanding the tech of each of these monitors and the features but by understanding what the end user may want. We are tech enthusiasts, gamers, and creatives and get to see monitors from a variety of different lenses.


Conclusion

Hopefully, these options have helped you narrow down your search as to what options are best for you and you now know what to look for in monitors while researching what to purchase.

There are many monitors that appeal to different markets with a variety of features. You can find monitors that are for gamers and others for creatives. There are also varying sizes and panel types to suit varying needs.

If you want to check out more guides and reviews check out the rest of our site with new articles coming out every week. As always, thanks for reading!

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