The Best 4K Gaming Monitor of 2021 - Buyer's Guide
4K gaming is all about bringing your experience to the next level. But pairing your gaming monitor with the right specs makes all the difference. We are talking high refresh rates at least 60Hz, and you can go for 144Hz and 240Hz if you have a monstrous GPU.
If you are all about rendering action without tearing, motion blur, and flickers, you’ll want to consider a 4K with HDR. It is your best bet to enjoy Overwatch, Call of Duty, and other FPS games. But if you are all about enjoying competitive gaming like Anthem and Battlefield V, low response rates and a high refresh rate is definitely a must consideration.
Our research for the greatest 4K gaming monitor was all about balancing the features that the modern gamer wants. After comprehensive consulting with industry experts, hardcore and pro gamers, the best monitor to beat is BenQ EL2870U. It has advanced gaming specs including HDR and Free Sync technologies complemented by brightness intelligence technologies for the best gaming moments whether in brightly lit or in dim conditions.
Acer Predator X27 will also entice you though it costs a little more. The monitor has Quantum Dot technology with Nvidia G-Sync summing up some of the best features to beat the gaming grid.
1. BenQ EL2870U 4K HDR Gaming Monitor: Top 4K Gaming Monitor with HDR
Gaming is all about enjoying delicate details. With BenQ EL2870U HDR and free sync technologies, you are assured of ultra-fine details and top of the line clarity than on any other 4K monitor in this price range.
BenQ EL2870U is excellent in theory as it is in the practical sense. We start with the aesthetical appeal it brings to the table thanks to its two-tone finish. At the price, it’s no surprise to find that it has plastic parts and the stand is not height adjustable.
But that’s about it on the exterior because this monitor shines when it comes to color technology. With a 1ms response rate and 60Hz refresh rate; you don’t need to pair it with a high-end GPU to experience smooth, fast paced gaming.
The monitor combines AMD’s Free sync to reduce tearing and to deliver flicker-free gaming. If you are used to battlefield field chaos of fast car-racing motion, you should not see a pixel out of place. It transitions from color to color delivering black blacks and true blues and reds.
This monitor thrives on an AMD Radeon graphics card, but you won’t have to pay extra to have additional hardware that is compatible with Free Sync unlike what happens with NVIDIA’s G-Sync. It achieves impressive color pop and vibrant imagery.
HDR is the highlight feature of this monitor. It comes with a button that allows you to toggle HDR/B.I.+ on and off. You will also be able to choose brightness intelligence technology. In this mode, it can adjust the screen’s brightness and color temperature according to the ambient light.
Also, this monitor has a light sensor which you also turn on. Like smartphones, the monitor will adjust the color temperature and brightness throughout the day. It helps to prevent eye strain especially for those of us who stick it out to complete a GTA series.
Looking at the ports and connections, you get a DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports. It is a nice option for seamless transfer of video and audio from PCs and also sharing of mid-range refresh rates.
Flaws but Dealbreakers
This monitor does not have USB. It is not the kind you want to pick if you do productive work that needs sharing using flash drives from time to time. We also find that if you are distracted by pop-ups, the light sensor tells you it’s adjusting the light so your attention may shift which may, in turn, cost you a game. Even so, it's still at the top of the best 4k gaming monitor list.
2. Acer Predator X27: Best High-End 4K Gaming Monitor
It’s brighter, relentlessly perfect, and among the top 4K monitors for hardcore gamers. You will obviously pay top dollar for this monitor owing to its advanced specs not seen in many gaming monitors.
Acer Predator X27 is not your usual monitor. You need to pair this monitor with an equally capable GPU to realize features you didn’t know were possible. First up is the ability to push graphics rates up to 144Hz when it is overclocked. It maintains its refresh rate at 120Hz so you can still game blur-free.
We particularly like that it enjoys tear-free gaming with Nvidia’s G-Sync. It brings out the best out of the 4K imagery and allows you to tap into the full potential of HDR. The premium reference display is anything we have seen as it packs a punch with 1000 nits of brightness.
It remains as bright as it can in ultra-bright conditions, but that doesn’t mean it will hurt your eyes. This monitor achieves a remarkable 1000:1 contrast ratio, and it has quantum dots. With HDR it has 1000 nit brightness. It can deliver deep blacks close to what you would experience on OLED panels.
Acer Predator X27 also explores anti-glare technology which ensures you will not experience eye strain.
The physical design of this monitor is nothing like its display technology. It’s quite chunky and is surrounded by black plastic bezels. We expected more including having lots of ports which is not the case.
It is 21mm wide at the bottom and 11mm thick on top. The display controls consist of three buttons on the lower right corner and a joystick. It is quite straightforward to input different functions for a customized display.
We do like that the panel is height adjustable and it can tilt and swivel over different degrees. You don’t need to install it at eye level because you can bring it as close or as far as you need it to be.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
We like that this monitor includes a fan to dissipate gaming heat, but it can get too loud and become distracting.
3. LG 24UD58-B UHD IPS Monitor: Best Cheap 4K Gaming Monitor
If Acer Predator X27 is out of your league, no worries because you can still enjoy 4K gaming in an equally impressive model. LG 24UD58-B endears to give you a little more in a monitor that won’t break the bank.
It is unique in that it has on-screen controls and the screen split 2.0 feature. It delivers competitive performance since it also includes AMD FreeSync for vivid colors with smooth motion in the fastest games.
LG 24UD58-B enjoys lag-free gaming when pitted against games like GTA 5 on PlayStation 4. Its colors are detailed and of high-quality thanks to 4K resolution and stabilization of blacks because of Free Sync technology. It games free of ghosting or blurs that is commonplace with lower resolution screens.
The IPS panel can only go as low as 5ms. When put side by side with a TN panel with 1ms response time, it is basically the same, but it can give you better visual quality and color representation. But this monitor does not stop here. It allows you to choose between different gaming modes so you can enjoy FPS as much as MMO and MOBA games.
With the Dynamic Action Sync feature, it reveals a distinct side of itself that showcases fluid gaming on a budget monitor.
Regarding the construction design, it is elegant and it brings a touch of high-end gaming with the new Arcline stand. It provides exceptional stability such that you can bang on the desk when you lose without shaking this monster.
You can also opt to use VESA mounts to wall mount it for a sleeker look. It is home in gaming rooms as it is in lounges so have it your way.
Connectivity of this monitor is enabled with a DisplayPort and two HDMI ports located at the back of the display. It will come with the respective cables saving you a trip to the store. This model does not, however, include USB ports which is understandable at this price range.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
LG 24UD58-B does not have inbuilt speakers. You will have to pair it with a separate set if you want to enjoy immersive sound.
4. BenQ PD3200U 32-Inch 4K UHD Monitor: Best 4K Monitor Under $1000
BenQ PD3200U is advertised as a monitor for creative professionals and designers but what makes it perfect for gaming is that it brings all those refreshing colors into gaming. The good thing is that you don’t have to pay top dollar for it. The monitor balances color and power performance better than most 4K brands.
The color technology on this model explores its exclusive AQColor technology. It brings you sRGB, Adobe RGB, and Rec.709, meaning it does not compromise on color detail and accuracy. It is designed to deliver color precision which in turn provides immersive gaming.
You will like that its IPS panel enjoys wide viewing angles and does not suffer from color shift. At 32 inches everything is large and engaging which makes it easy to input functions and control without strain.
When hooked to a gaming rig, it does not require powerful graphics cards because it supports up to 60Hz. This is not a bad thing considering if you are a casual gamer with 4K games, the imagery will provide a satisfactory experience.
However, it lacks G-Sync or FreeSync which means you may not enjoy fast-paced games and superior reflexes as you would with monitors that have these technologies.
BenQ PD3200U comes in a simple and straightforward design. It has a black and dark gray color scheme which makes it easy to blend in. It’s the kind that’s easy to use with LED lighting effects. What you get is an unassuming monitor ready to take on gaming and also be there for professional quality work.
BenQ PD3200U is also adjustable up and down, side to side, and backward. Whichever configuration that you feel comfortable gaming on. Not to mention, it has an array of ports including two DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, an SD card slot, four USB-A ports, and even a headphone jack.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
If you are looking for slim bezels and a glossy finish, this is not the monitor for you. It may not represent the aesthetic qualities that some gamers demand.
5. Asus VP28UQG 28-Inch with Eye Care Technology: Best for Casual Gamers
You are probably wondering, when are we going to review an ASUS. Well, here it is. Perhaps the most sought model by casual gamers. Asus VP28UQG is king in fast gaming visuals, and you have the 1ms refresh rate and FreeSync to thank.
As an entry-level monitor, we are impressed with what Asus has done with this baby. It has 300 nits of brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio. With 170/160 viewing angles, it spells immersive just the way we like it. Not to mention that it goes with most GPUs as it has a 60Hz refresh rate.
It can play modern titles with coughing extra expenses on cooling when driving demanding graphics. Its high resolution is indicative that casual and pro gamers can be happy spending time in front of this monitor. What’s more, it provides sRGB color, so it’s not left behind in color reproduction.
This monitor also has 10-bit color support. Although it is not as advanced as in other models like the ASUS MG28UQ it still employs decent color depth and detail. To prevent eye strain, it also invests in eye care or low blue light.
The physical attributes of the Asus VP28UQG are in line with midrange gaming monitors. It has thin bezels and a sturdy stand that allows tilt functions but not height or side to side adjustments.
When it comes to the ports, it's pretty basic like what we expected. You only get a DisplayPort and two HDMI 2.0 ports. It also has a headphone jack input and leaves it at that.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
The 5-way joystick is not the most intuitive. Most people would prefer a set of buttons especially for accessing Asus GamePlus. It does not cover a high percentage in the wide-color gamut, but that’s no issue as it matches the price.
6. LG 27UK850-W 4K UHD with FreeSync: Most Stylish 4K Gaming Monitor
LG 27UK850-W does everything well. Whether you want it for professional office work or sweating your palms of competitive gaming, this is the monitor for you. It brings you the HDR effect in that it can transform low-quality content into sleek imagery.
This monitor does a good job providing saturated color and improving color up to 400 nits of brightness in HDR mode. Combined with its high pixel density, everything looks crispier, bigger, and detailed. It experiences very little IPS glow and backlight bleeding, so everything is balanced.
Gaming is better with AMD FreeSync, and LG 27UK850-W explores the best aspects of this technology. Paired with a Radeon graphics card, it eliminates choppy gameplay and image tears to offer you effortless gameplay. It is meticulous in the way it executes every detail.
You can expect favorite LG features including screen split, on-screen control, and black stabilization. With the capability to tailor the monitor settings to specific gaming needs, you get to experience superior blacks in dark scenes and color-rich scenes like lush forests and pebbly beaches by manipulating the settings.
Perhaps the most likable feature of this monitor is the borderless design. Anyone will fall for the ultra-thin bezels that blend in with your décor. It does not take attention from the game; rather it becomes one with its background.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
LG 27UK850-W is limited to 60Hz refresh rate. It is one of those monitors that you would love if you are a casual player, but competitive gamers will find it limiting in achieving superfast response times.
7. ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQ 27-Inch Gaming Monitor: Best Asus Gaming Monitor
Competitive gamers looking for a reasonably priced monitor with equally decent features will find ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQ a good consideration. It complements top-notch gaming setups with monstrous graphics and powerful horsepower to drive graphics to the next level.
ASUS ROG is a group of upscale monitors that are a sweet spot for hardcore gamers. With this particular model, you get to enjoy fluid gaming with Nvidia G-Sync technology since 60Hz will not cut it with demanding graphics on the latest titles.
The monitor showcases a 178-degree viewing angle to expand your horizons and offer extra-smooth performance. Everything looks sharp and beautiful whether you are playing Counter-Strike or League of Legends. You will enjoy a splash of color without tearing and blurry edges in fast MOBA and FPS games.
It allows you to respond fast thanks to its 4ms response rate aided by G-Sync. It is particularly helpful when playing demanding graphics at high settings.
When it comes to brightness, it achieves 300 nits and 1000:1 contrast ratio. It comes with distinct aesthetics including thin 8mm, two-stage bezels. The angular design on the stand and cabinet tell a tale of a monitor built for playrooms. It will catch the eye of any gamer as has an LED ring that lights up the stand.
We are particularly impressed by its configuration of ports. It has an HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.4, Audio I/O and two USB 3.0 ports. All the ports are tucked away neatly but still easy to access. It even has 2W speakers, a rare feature in gaming monitors.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
ASUS ROG Swift PG27AQ is a bit expensive. Casual gamers will find it overkill for its high-end features they may never use or need.
As HD gives way to UHD, we are excited about the possibilities of 4K and the technologies that come with it. Since not many people care for high-end 4K monitors if they can’t match it with a powerful graphics card, it is easy to see why most monitors are still at 60Hz refresh rates.
But Acer Predator X27 defies this trend with overclockable refresh rates up to 144Hz. It has the price to show for it, complemented by a ton of advanced gaming features.
We were also keen on color performance as some models beat the hassle to find themselves on top. We are talking about LG 27UK850-W as it includes HDR for accurate color calibration.
And in a market where most monitors stick to HDMI and Display port only, we are pleased with BenQ PD3200U and LG 27UK850-W for including USB-C ports.