A bad monitor can make you suffer every working minute.
Remote work (aka work from home) has countless benefits. In addition to saving you from the needless commute every single day, you can design a working setup that best suits your preferences.
And while there can be endless little pieces to a perfect home office, I consider a desk, chair, and monitor the primary ones. They chiefly dictate the state you will be in after wrapping up your routine work.
Specifically, we’ll cover different display technologies, and their pros and cons, which will ultimately help you to decide on the best monitor for your use case.
QLED stands for Quantum dot Light Emitting Diode. This is a Samsung-made LED variant that promises high color fidelity and longer lifespans.
This comes with excellent control over backlight dimming to give you higher contrast ratios. In other words, the Quantum dots allow for good brightness and deeper blacks, an aspect that conventional LED lacks behind OLED (discussed later).
And since it’s made from inorganic materials, the infamous OLED burn-in issues won’t find a home at QLED displays.
Overall, Samsung claims it’s best for someone consuming lots of HDR content.
This one from Hisense isn’t ultrawide. However, it’s a 50-inch 4K QLED monitor with Fire-TV built-in, which makes it perfect for entertainment and productivity chores.
The Fire-TV integration includes Prime Video, Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and more. Besides, this one supports Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, and HDR10+, adding to its entertainment capabilities.
In addition, what’s good is 600 nits peak brightness and 32 local dimming zones for vibrant colors and excellent contrast ratios. Moreover, it allows wireless connectivity for Bluetooth-compatible audio devices such as external speakers.
Importantly, this one isn’t suitable for high-octane multiplayer gaming as its refresh rate is limited to 60 Hz.
Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is the best in terms of producing true blacks and is vastly less taxing on the eyes. Every pixel in OLED lights up individually, and there is no backlight, as with other displays.
But since it’s made of “organic” components, its lifespan isn’t as good as typical LED displays. In addition, it can suffer from burn-in or image retention over time which is the primary issue in this otherwise top-notch display technology.
Despite that, brands across platforms use OLEDs in their devices, such as smartphones (iPhones, Samsungs, Pixels, etc.), smartwatches, smart bands, TVs, and monitors.
And brands do take certain preventive measures to avoid burn-in issues.
The bottom line, it’s an excellent display tech producing vibrant colors, deeper blacks, excellent viewing angles, and is capable of quick response times (<1ms).
The ViewSonic ColorPro is a hidden gem that scores high on many pointers, which ultimately helped it make it here in this curated list.
First, it’s compact and can also work while being connected to your laptop without any dedicated power source. In addition, you can connect other devices, such as power banks, to charge them through this portable OLED monitor.
The highlight of this screen is PANTONE validation which signifies its superior color accuracy, which is needed for designers and other color-sensitive professions.
You can also enjoy it as a secondary display across operating systems with its Micro HDMI and USB-C ports.
This 27-inch QHD OLED monitor is best for gamers out there.
The primary features of the LG Ultragear are 0.03ms response time, 240 Hz refresh rate, height, tilt, and swivel adjustments for ever-flexible gameplay.
Adding delight for the gamers, you also get support for NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSyn Premium. Moreover, the DTS:X integration makes every gaming experience true to life with spatial audio.
However, its 1.5M:1 contrast ratio and DCI-P3 98.5% color gamut is a testament to its being a nice one for creatives.
Apple has a league of its own, with the display segment following a similar story. This Studio Display from Apple is easily one of the best you could buy. Here are some of its features:
600 nits brightness
DCI-P3 color gamut
12MP ultra-wide camera
Six-speaker stereo sound
Thunderbolt 3 port (96w charging)
Tilt and height adjustable
Ultimately, it’s so much more than just a typical display. It’s bright and colorful, has a fantastic in-built spatial audio system, a great mic setup for online meetings, is robustly built, and has a few more things making it almost perfect for productivity and creativity tasks.
However, it’s reportedly a 60Hz display which is clearly not meant for gaming. In addition, it’s best for someone residing in Apple’s walled garden. And while coupling with a Windows PC is possible, it may have you miss some software-oriented optimizations.
Curved screens are slowly making inroads. And like any new product, brands want you to throw your flat screens out and switch to their counterparts.
Let me be clear; you can get curve monitors in almost all display types (OLEDs, LEDs, etc.). So, it’s not an entirely new category. However, it’s a feature most buyers wish for in their upcoming display purchases.
Importantly, the magic of curved screens starts to show up the bigger you get the size. In that case, it’s a more immersive viewing experience, ideal for gaming and cinematic sessions.
In addition, it offers less distortion than flat monitors, especially around the edges. Theoretically, it also means less eye strain.
The specification here you need to take note of is the curvature. So, a 1000R monitor will feel more “curved” than a 1500R curvature monitor for a specific size. Technically, it means a 1000R monitor is part of a curve with a 1000mm (1 meter) radius.
And the best way to feel that curve is to be at the center of the curve. For instance, a 1000R monitor will be best enjoyed if you stay at a 1m distance. Too much distance will fade away curved benefits and will make it appear like a flat display experience.
Those were a few basics you must know. Now, let’s jump on to some options.
For this budget, this WQHD 165Hz VA panel has everything to delight a gamer. With 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync Premium, and HDR 10, the features make it most suitable for entertainment (gaming, in particular).
It’s a 1000R curve that some Amazon customers termed as “aggressive” for its display size. Because 32 inches is not that big, and the 1000R curve can feel a bit overwhelming to some. But again, that’s subjective, and there are thousands who have rated this monitor a solid 5/5.
Coming to a few shortcomings, this VA panel means the brightness and color gamut won’t be as rich as IPS panels. However, it can produce deeper blacks than IPS screens, especially if you intend to use it in dark rooms.
Personally, I have transitioned from an IPS to VA, and I can say the overall experience has been very positive. And I can vouch for overall less strained eyes at the end of a workday.
Consequently, it’s a display chiefly aimed at gamers and will also do for general-purpose work. However, if you’re creative, then sticking to one of the OLED panels will be the best option.
The Sceptre 30-inch curved comes with a 21:9 aspect ratio and up to 200 Hz refresh rates, making it another one carved out for the gamers in mind.
It supports AMD FreeSync Premium for smooth gameplay and has built-in speakers which work best for online meetings. Besides, this VA panel offers 99% sRGB coverage and 1ms MPRT response time, which is good at this price point.
This monitor also has a native blue light filter for reducing eye strain. In addition, its Picture-in-Picture mode allows for effective multi-tasking.
The curvature measurement is 1800R which should feel fantastic with this ultrawide setup. Moreover, you get a stand that supports tilt adjustment.
Overall, a fine monitor for gamers and general work, barring creatives.
Have you noticed the extra space when you use Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, or most websites on the internet? It’s because not everything is made for (ultrawide) displays.
In addition, most websites don’t have separate smartphone versions, which gives another reason to make everything slim, even if that means wasting all that space on the sides for all users with wide displays.
Consequently, vertical (or portrait) monitors present a solution. And while you can rotate the display in the settings, most monitors don’t have hinges supporting all that rotation physically.
So, this isn’t another display type. Put simply; these are the ones that support rotating so that you can switch to either mode, landscape, or portrait with ease.
This is a 29-inch WFHD ultrawide monitor with an IPS LCD display with a (not meant for gaming) 75 Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time.
It offers decent 178-degree viewing angles and has PIP and PBP modes for superior multi-tasking.
The highlight of this display, except the fact that you can rotate it 90 degrees for a portrait experience, is the Delta E value (∆E)＜2, which means it’s excellent for color accuracy.
However, it supports only 99% sRGB and 93% DCI-P3 color space which is good but not ideal for creatives in serious graphic design. So, that makes it kind of a mixed bag with the best use cases left to general-purpose computing.
If it makes things any better, you also get a height and tilt adjustable stand.
Conclusively, it’s one of those jacks of all trades which should be acceptable at this budget.
In-Plane Switching or IPS (LCD/LED) displays are the budget kings of the monitor segment. They were quite popular until OLED hit the market with their superior image quality with high contrast and true blacks.
In their defense, IPS screens have no issues like burn-ins and can last for years or decades without any significant quality degradation.
A few things they excel at are brightness, decent response times and colors, and (as already discussed) a low price point.
That being said, their ideal use case would be routine work and entry to mid-level gaming.
This one is more powerful than the preceding one, supporting up to 165 Hz refresh rates and AMD FreeSync Premium.
Asus has also used its proprietary technology ELMB (Extreme Low Motion Blur), which helps reduce blur and eye strain. However, this can only be used at certain framerates, such as 85Hz, 100Hz, and 120Hz, as per Asus support.
Notably, all brands have some home-grown tech they flash with their products. But how effective they are in real-life depends on personal preference and specific setup. Consequently, these aren’t the features your buying decisions should totally depend upon.
Moving on, this Asus display also comes with ultra-blue light tech, which should work similarly to any blue light filter.
Finally, this should be good for entry to mid-level gaming with its acceptable refresh rates and 1ms response time.
Thin Film Transistor (TFT) is a variant of LCD which in turn is related to LED. Consequently, it’s not revolutionary and would perform like a typical LCD/LED display.
The only difference between a TFT LCD and a standard LCD is the former can have better image quality due to its thin film transistors.
Ultimately, it’s extremely common and slowly phasing out. So, I won’t recommend getting one. But if you’re so into them, here is one still up for grabs.
Hitesh works as a senior writer at Geekflare and dabbles in cybersecurity, productivity, games, and marketing. Besides, he holds master’s in transportation engineering. His free time is mostly about playing with his son, reading, or lying… read more