Ultra HD TVs have been available in the US since late 2012. Initial offerings were reserved for those with thick wallets but prices have fallen considerably in recent years, inviting a wide range of consumers to the high-resolution realm of 4K.
One segment that has been served particularly well by this newfound affordability is computer users.
I personally made the switch from a triple monitor (1080p) configuration to a single 40-inch 4K television in 2016 and haven’t looked back. Later on I wrote an article on the switch, the implications, and what kind of monitor you should choose if you want a 4K TV to effectively work as a monitor.
The extra resolution afforded by the Samsung UN40KU6300 I chose at the time was welcomed with open arms and gaining back valuable real estate on my desk has been liberating.
Ever since writing the article about using a 4K TV as a desktop monitor, we've kept receiving questions about different TV sets, and the article has proven popular even a year after we published it.
So, if you’re interested in replacing your desktop monitor with a 4K TV and want to know what to buy, you’ve come to the right place. Maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start or could use a hand in narrowing your search. Whatever the case, this guide is intended to help steer you in the right direction.
An all-around solid performer
At 42.5 inches, this 4K HDR TV falls into what I’d call the Goldilocks range – not too small or too large, but just right size-wise for use on a typical desk. As a desktop monitor replacement, it has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon with an overall rating of 4.0 out of five stars and the current sub-$540 price tag is well within reason. The set also boasts better-than-average viewing angles, low input lag for gaming and support for chroma 4:4:4.
If I had it to do all over again, I’d likely spring for the Sony KD43X720E.
TCL Corporation may not carry the brand recognition of a Sony, Samsung or LG TV, but the Chinese electronics maker has been making waves in the entry-level sector. If you’re looking for maximum value, the 48.5-inch TCL 49S405 is tough to beat.
This budget-minded set sports an aesthetically pleasing design with thin bezels that should blend into any decor. TCL’s offering also supports 4:4:4 chroma when running at 4K @ 60Hz and has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon but its price is where the display really shines. At under $330, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a comparable TV of this size and quality for the money.
When price is no object
LG is synonymous with image quality and the OLED65C7P is no exception. Measuring in at 64.5 inches diagonally, this visual stunner checks all of the requisite TV-as-a-monitor boxes – low input lag for gaming, 4K @ 60Hz with 4:4:4 chroma support, incredibly thin bezels and more.
Given its weight (just shy of 50 pounds without the stand) and sheer size, you’ll likely want to mount this on the wall and maintain a viewing distance of several feet at minimum. Being an OLED set, there’s also the potential for burn-in so this may best be reserved for those that consume a lot of media or game frequently.
If you can stomach dropping just south of $2,600 and are willing to compromise in a few areas, the LG C7P series is sure to impress visually as evident by its 4.4-star Amazon rating. Given its high price tag, it wouldn’t hurt to do some additional homework to make sure it’ll meet your specific expectations before pulling the trigger.