With today’s cutting-edge PC hardware, a top quality monitor has never been more important. As features such as high refresh rates, 4K displays, ultrawide screens, and syncing technologies become more common, users need to choose a device tailored to their needs.

Gamers will want something with refresh rates higher than 60Hz and support for VRR (variable refresh rate), while media professionals will prioritize a top quality panel and color accuracy above all else. Then again, maybe you’re not in one group or the other and are looking for an overall balance between image quality, features, ergonomics, connectivity and screen size. To make picking the right monitor easier, here are our favorites in a handful of distinct categories.

Best Overall

Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q

Great | Differentiating Features
Fantastic color accuracy and image quality. 100% sRGB, and REC 709 color space.

Good | Most Have It
Flagship, big 4K display. Plenty of connectivity options. Stylish design.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No G-Sync or FreeSync support. Expensive.

We had high hopes for the successor to Dell’s 2014 flagship UP3214Q, and we weren't disappointed. In our review we called it "an early adopter's dream" and "4K monitors should all be this big." So yes, we are convinced the UltraSharp UP3216Q is an absolutely stunning 32-inch 4K monitor and this is reflected in its steep $1400+ price point.

The Dell is ahead of its similar sized 4K rivals when it comes to color spaces. The monitor displays 100 percent of the sRGB gamut and 99.5 percent of the Adobe RGB color space, along with 100 percent of the REC709 standard and 87 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut - two standards that are widely used in content production. It also ships with an average Delta-E < 2 calibration.

The 3840 x 2160, 140PPI panel is gorgeous; the image quality and color accuracy look light years ahead of many other 4K panels. And while the 60Hz refresh rate, lack of syncing technology, and 6ms response time mean it’s not the greatest gaming monitor available, titles will still look gorgeous on this screen - provided you've got the right hardware to drive all those pixels.

Dell’s display also boasts 178 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angles, 1.07 billion colors, and 300 cd/m² typical maximum brightness. There are a wide range connectivity options on offer, too: a single DisplayPort 1.2, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, a 6-in-1 media card reader, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and 1 USB 3.0 upstream.

If you spend most of your time sitting in front of a monitor and are looking for a 4K screen with incredible colors, plenty of versatility, tons of features, and a whole lot of screen, you can’t beat the Dell UP3216Q.

Best Enthusiast Monitor

Dell U2715H

Great | Differentiating Features
Multiple inputs. Amazing out of the box picture quality. Great warranty. Five port USB 3.0 hub. Impressive audio.

Good | Most Have It
Competitively priced. Elegant design. Good viewing angles.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
No variable refresh rate technology support.

Picking a monitor that can be used for both work and play while hitting that sweet spot of price, performance, and features is no easy task. For enthusiast monitors that tick all the boxes, the Dell UltraSharp U2715H continues its reign at the top of the pile for just $430.

1440p is on its way to becoming the preferred resolution of most PC users, and 2560 x 1440 looks spectacular on this 27-inch display. It has great out of the box color reproduction and an amazing, clear image that shows the quality of the LG IPS "Neoblade" panel. It also features a 6ms response time (in FAST mode), typical brightness of 350 cd/ m², a 60Hz refresh rate, and 178-degree viewing angles.

The simple yet stylish stand allows a range of smooth movements, including tilt, pivot (clockwise and anti-clockwise), and swivel. Connectivity, meanwhile, is one of the UltraSharp U2715H strongest features. Its five USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI 2.0 inputs, single mini-DisplayPort 1.2, and two standard DisplayPort 1.2 connections should be enough for the vast majority of users.

The best elements of this monitor aren't restricted to its display and build; you also get some of the best guarantees around. A single bright pixel will see the monitor replaced with a new one; there’s a three-year limited hardware warranty; and best of all, the Advanced Exchange service means you get a replacement before sending off your defective unit.

The lack of VRR support or high refresh rate means there are better monitors for gaming, but most people will be pleased with what Dell’s machine can produce for general usage at this price point.

Also Great: Going Ultrawide

If you want something larger that could replace a dual monitor setup, the Dell UltraSharp U3415W might be right up your alley. Like its 27-inch sibling, the U3415W uses an IPS panel that delivers the same rich, accurate colors out of the box, solid gray-scale performance and wide viewing angles. But it’s also slightly curved, has a maximum resolution of 3440 x 1440 and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The U3415W is great for multitasking and although it’s not a gaming monitor, it’s still snappy and responsive.

As a side note, Dell recently launched the effective replacement model for this monitor, the new UltraSharp U3417W. Both monitors share very similar specs, with the updated model showing less backlight bleed and a thinner bezel. It's also curvier and more stylish. Given Dell's track record we can assume the newer model is just a tad better overall, however it's a newly launched model and no expert reviews are out yet. If anything this presents an opportunity. The U3415W remains a great option that is discounted heavily from its MSRP at $690, while the new U3417W is going for $1000.

Best Gaming Monitor

Asus PG279Q

Great | Differentiating Features
Amazing 165Hz refresh rate, G-Sync. Stunning picture. Premium design.

Good | Most Have It
Plenty of settings for gaming. 1440p looks great without being too demanding. Intuitive user interface.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Some calibration may be required to get the best picture. Still expensive.

There’s a reason why the Swift PG279Q from Asus' gamer-focused ROG line is so expensive: it’s the best gaming monitor you can buy today. Instead of having to compromise and pick between the fast refresh rate and low input lag of a TN Panel, or the stunning beauty of an IPS screen, the Swift offers the best of both worlds. All wrapped up in a stylish package.

Hitting 60 fps at 4K resolutions is still a struggle for all but the fastest GPUs. For visually luscious gaming that doesn't end up looking like a slideshow, the Swift’s 2560 x 1440 resolution is perfect. Even with graphical settings turned up to high, you can push the coveted 60fps mark in 1440p on most games with a previous-gen GTX 970 – the most popular GPU among Steam users.

At 27-inches, this monitor is big enough for all your gaming needs without feeling overwhelming or getting in the way of the cases/printers/cats that occupy some desks.

The PG279Q is one of only three 165Hz monitors available in the market. There are quite a few 144Hz displays around, and it can admittedly be difficult to notice the difference between the two, but those moving away from 60Hz monitors will see the difference in both gaming and everyday use. Not only will your mouse pointer seem to glide across the screen but, providing you have a beefy GPU, or turn down the settings, a game hitting 165 FPS in 1440p is the kind of sight to make console gamers weep.

For extra buttery-smooth gameplay, Nvidia users will benefit from the PG279Q’s G-Sync support, which synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate to your GPU for an even smoother experience.

The small joystick hidden behind the monitor makes adjusting the OSD easy, and there are plenty of options available, including preset display modes and overlays designed for games. You also get 1000:1 contrast ratio, 100 percent of the sRGB gamut, 178-degree viewing angles, and a snappy 4ms response time.

The design is a big plus point, too. With its sturdy square base, thin bezel, and the ROG brand's splashes of red, the Swift has the look of a premium piece of hardware. There’s the full range of height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments available, and it even has a smart cable management system at the back to keep everything tidy.

If you had to pick faults with the PG279Q, it would be that it could use more inputs. The single DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI ports, along with two USB 3.0s, may be enough for most people, but many monitors in this price range boast more options. Ultimately, though, the Swift is worth the asking price. Pair it with a GTX 1080 and you’ll never want to leave your home again.

A Great Ultrawide Option

While ultra widescreen gaming monitors are being released all the time, such as Samsung’s CF791 series, it's Acer’s Predator X34 ($1250) that continues to dominate this category. It has very close competition from Asus’ PG348Q but the Acer just edges it. Both monitors offer a remarkable 3440 x 1440 experience and many people will find picking between the two comes down to design preference.

The 34-inch, 100Hz refresh rate gives the X34 an unbeatable level of immersion when playing games and watching movies that support its 21:9 aspect ratio. This monitor also comes with G-Sync support, a single 1.2a DisplayPort, a single HDMI 1.4 input, a DP daisy chaining port for connecting a secondary display direct, and a 4-port USB 3.0 hub. If you’re a fan of ultrawides, own a graphics card that can make the most of it, and have plenty of spare cash available, the Acer Predator X34 could be your dream monitor.

Best Affordable 4K Monitor

LG 27UD68-W

Great | Differentiating Features
Phenomenal 4K performance for this price range.

Good | Most Have It
AMD FreeSync support. Genre-specific gaming modes.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Very few ports. Stand could be better.

Purchasing a quality 4K monitor no longer means splashing out well over $500. Not only does LG’s 27UD68-W offer a gorgeous 3840 x 2160 resolution on its 27-inch IPS screen, but it also comes with a slew of gaming features, including FreeSync. Gamers with a beefy AMD card looking to make the move to 4K will find the 27UD68P's ~$450 price an absolute bargain.

In addition to FreeSync support, you also get Black Stabilizer for identifying and brightening dark areas in games, Dynamic Action Sync that reduces lag time, and different modes that optimize the settings in FPS and RTS titles. The 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate, meanwhile, may not be the fastest, but they work well when it comes to 4K gaming. The LG 27UD68-W boasts of some other impressive specs, including 1.07 billion colors, 178-degree viewing angles, 350 cd/m² peak brightness, and over 99 percent sRGB coverage.

There have been a few cutbacks made to keep the monitor’s price down. Connectivity is limited to two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a single DisplayPort 1.2. It also lacks built-in speakers, though most people prefer external audio devices these days. And although the monitor’s small bezels make it look sleek and larger than it actually is, the stand is a bit plasticky. But despite these minor issues, it’s an incredible monitor with a fantastic price.

Best Value Monitor

Asus VS239H

Great | Differentiating Features
An IPS monitor at an amazing price. Colors look sharp and crisp.

Good | Most Have It
5ms response time. Good warranty.

Average | Competitors May Be Better
Few inputs and features. Limited stand movement.

While there have been a number of monitors released over the last year that fall into the budget category, it’s impossible to beat the Asus VS239H-P when it comes to great performance at a sub-$150 price. This monitor is now available for $129, which in an unbelievable price for an IPS display. The 23-inch, Full HD screen has a 5ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate, making it a good choice for gamers looking for a no-frills monitor that does the job without breaking the bank.

You also get single HDMI, D-sub, and DVI inputs, but few other features, which is to be expected in this price range. Asus’ 3-year warranty and free 2-way shipping is a great extra touch, and makes the VS239H-P even more of a bargain.

If you’re looking for something even cheaper, then check out the HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS monitor. It’s about as basic as you can get, but this display features an IPS with bright, sharp colors and a 7ms response time. At an incredible $99, you can understand why it’s currently the best-selling monitor on Amazon. If you want a no-frills display that produces a good picture, or are interested in a multi-monitor setup on a budget, the Pavilion's a great choice.