Single page Print

Conventional displays

Product Type Price
Acer H236HL bid 23" 1920x1080 IPS $139.99
Acer K272HUL bmiidp 27" 2560x1440 AHVA $349.99
Asus PB278Q 27" 2560x1440 PLS $449.99
Dell P2415Q 24" 3840x2160 IPS $499.99
Dell P2715Q 27" 3840x2160 IPS $580.87
Dell UltraSharp U3015 30" 2560x1600 IPS $1,099.99
Asus PQ321Q 32" 3840x2160 IGZO $1,454.00

The budget pick: Acer H236HL bid
For those who need only a basic display for web browsing and games, we submit Acer's H236HL bid, a cheap-but-cheerful display with everything the average person needs and nothing else. This 23" screen features an IPS panel with a 1920x1080 resolution, plus HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs, for only $140. You do give up VESA mount compatibility and height adjustments, but it's hard to complain about those omissions for the price.

A cheap 27" option: Acer K272HUL bmiidp
We're fans of cheap, no-name 27" IPS displays with 2560x1440 resolutions here at TR, but our previous pick is no longer available. Thankfully, there's an even cheaper option around, and it's from a recognized manufacturer. Acer's K272HUL bmiidp doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it's got niceties like an on-screen settings display and multiple inputs that the cheap Korean displays usually do without. Still, this Acer lacks height adjustability—it only tilts—but it can be mounted on a VESA-compatible stand or arm if the stock stand isn't up to muster.

It should be noted that this display uses an AHVA panel from AU Optronics, which TFT Central describes as an "IPS-like" technology, rather than true IPS. Even so, Expert Reviews called the K272HUL bmiidp's panel "fantastic," and they found that it reached 99.8% coverage of the sRGB gamut after calibration. At only $350, this display seems like a screaming bargain if you can live with its limitations.

A ritzier 27": Asus PB278Q
For $100 more than the Acer above, Asus' PB278Q (not to be confused with the 4K PB287Q) adds some nice features that the cheaper monitor lacks. Asus includes a height-adjustable stand that can switch between landscape and portrait modes, and the PB278Q can also be mounted on a VESA-compatible arm or wall mount.

Like the Acer, this technically isn't an IPS display. Instead, it's built with one of Samsung's PLS panels, another IPS-like technology. For all intents and purposes, though, this is an IPS-equivalent panel. We've spent quite a bit of time with the PB278Q, and it has the same rich color reproduction and wide viewing angles as any other IPS-class display. For $449, it's a premium monitor at a reasonable price.

A pair of 4K options: Dell P2415Q and P2715Q
If you're ready to make the leap to a 4K display, Dell's P2415Q and P2715Q seem like good bets to us. Both feature IPS panels, single-tile configurations, and factory calibration that's supposed to reduce the average delta-E to less than three. They also feature 99% coverage of the sRGB gamut and three-year warranties.

The biggest difference between the two displays is their size: the P2415Q is a 24" display, while the P2715Q is a 27-incher. As a result, the P2415Q has a higher PPI than the P2715Q. The smaller screen costs less, too.

A professional-grade option: Dell UltraSharp U3014
The UltraSharp U3014 is the latest revision of Dell's classic 30" monitor. It features a humongous panel with a 2560x1600 resolution (and thus a taller 16:10 aspect ratio than typical 27" screens), and it has a plethora of inputs. Dell even built a card reader into this thing. Neither 4K nor G-Sync are part of the program, but you can look forward to stellar image quality without PPI scaling issues to spoil the fun.

Dell's PremierColor panel (a true 10-bit, AH-IPS affair) can reproduce 100% of the sRGB color space and 99% of the wider Adobe RGB gamut. Dell also claims to factory-calibrate the U3014 to an average delta-E of less than two for color-critical work. The U3014 can even be calibrated in firmware if needed for extra precision.

A 4K 32" alternative: Asus' PQ321Q
If you'd like a helping of 4K along with your extra-large display, Asus' PQ321Q is an intriguing option. Scott describes its unusual IGZO panel as "a thing of beauty, almost certainly the finest display I've laid eyes upon." It's worth noting that the PQ321Q is a dual-tile 4K display, which can play havoc with BIOS screens and games at times. Asus has a single-tile successor to this monitor in the works. Still, we think the PQ321Q could make a ton of sense for professional content creation work.