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The best 4K monitor in 2022: top quality high-res screens for creatives

Best 4K monitor
(Image credit: Acer)

If you need a high-resolution display, look to the best 4K monitors for the ideal panel. Although 5K and 8K monitors (opens in new tab) already exist, they are still very few and far between. More importantly, such displays are still incredibly expensive and out of most people’s reach. And, with very little 5K and 8K content out there to fully utilize it, getting one is a rather imprudent decision.

That makes 4K monitors the more economical option. Not that they’re cheap themselves. Just the opposite, many displays with UHD resolution are expensive – even though there are some affordable ones that have popped up in the last couple of years. That’s where the good news comes in. Not only are there cheaper 4K monitors, but more economical models should join them soon. And, it’s only a matter of time before this monitor type becomes altogether affordable, especially with Ultra HD quickly becoming the new standard of display resolution. 

That isn’t to say that 1440p and even 1080p displays are no longer viable viewing solutions. However, 4K monitors do have a modest list of advantages over them. Beyond delivering sharper, more detailed visuals, they allow users to display videos, photos, and hi-res vector images at 100%, which makes them a boon to creative professionals who require a seamless creative workflow. They also offer a lot more screen real estate, which allows any editor or designer to spread out and save a bit of time.

Just bear in mind that a 4K display does require considerable processing and graphical power, especially when you’re running UHD content and rendering UHD videos. On top of that, finding one with very high refresh rates is next to impossible. There are now a few 144Hz 4K monitors on the shelves, but there aren’t 240Hz and 360Hz options available. At least, not for now.

If you do have a PC powerful enough to run 4K content and you don’t require fast refresh rates – not many creative professionals do, anyway – then it might be time to jump on the 4K bandwagon. Keeping in mind color gamuts, brightness level, contrast, screen size, features, and price, we found the best 4K monitors for photographers, video editors, content creators, graphic designers, and other creative professionals seeking that Ultra HD goodness on a monitor that will deliver on everything else.

Best 4K monitor in 2022

(Image credit: BenQ)
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Best premium 4K monitor for creators

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 250 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 100% sRGB, 99% Adobe RGB, 95% P3
Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (typ)

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile with USB-C connectivity
+
Pre-calibrated yet customizable
+
Great color space coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Ports are hard to reach

Whether it’s the inclusion of a USB-C port or the fact the BenQ SW321C PhotoVue is pre-calibrated at the factory, it’s clear that this display is made with content creators in mind. In fact, it even comes with additional hardware calibration settings so you can fine-tune it the way you want. And, though there are minor flaws such as the port placement, this is such a great monitor for creating content that they’re easy to overlook. After all, it has such a uniformly bright screen with impeccable color coverage – 99% Adobe RGB and 95% DCI-P3, to be exact – that any small issues are quickly forgotten. 

Read our full review: BenQ PhotoVue SW271C review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Asus)
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Best budget 4K monitor for creators

Specifications

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 250 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 100% sRGB, 100% Rec. 709
Contrast ratio: 1000:1

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive for a 4K creator display
+
Excellent accuracy out of the box

Reasons to avoid

-
Not bright enough for proper HDR
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AdobeRGB color space has been sacrificed

The thing about displays made for creators is they don’t come cheap, especially when you want that Ultra HD goodness as well. Luckily for economizing photographers and designers, the Asus ProArt Display PA279CV exists, touting 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 color gamut and Delta E < 2 out of the box. It has a great selection of ports as well, alongside a USB hub and Asus’ ProArt Palette that allows you to really customize it to your own specifications. That’s all without costing you a fortune. As expected, there are sacrifices to be made. That 250-nit brightness, for example, won’t even let you come close to getting proper HDR. But, if you’re on a budget, there’s much value to be had in this.

Read our full review: Asus ProArt Display PA279CV review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Acer)
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3. Acer Predator X27

Best 4K monitor for photo and video editing

Specifications

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 144Hz
Brightness: 1,000 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 100 sRGB, 99% AdobeRGB
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1

Reasons to buy

+
Stellar HDR for viewing and editing
+
Excellent build quality and features
+
Beautiful and accurate color coverage

Reasons to avoid

-
Some aging design aspects
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Should have dropped in price by now

Released back in 2018, the Acer Predator X27 may be an bit of an oldie at this point, but it’s still very much a goodie. That 144Hz refresh rate on a 4K panel alone makes it, even now, ahead of its rivals. And, there’s much more to laud here: Delta E<1 colour accuracy, excellent colour coverage, and that eye-blasting DisplayHDR 1000 that will prove handy whether you’re editing HDR content, consuming media, or squeezing in a PC game on your time off. That’s without mentioning that beautiful QLED panel and the built-in USB hub. It might be ever so slightly showing its age in a couple of places – there’s no USB-C port, for one – but that doesn’t change the fact that this monitor has been ahead of its time for several years now.

(Image credit: BenQ)
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4. BenQ PD3200U

Best 4K monitor for graphic design

Specifications

Screen size: 32-inch
Resolution: 4096 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 250 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 100% Rec.709, 100% sRGB
Contrast ratio: 1000:1

Reasons to buy

+
Great colour coverage
+
Excellent picture modes
+
Inexpensive for all that it offers

Reasons to avoid

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Requires a lot of desk space
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The design is a bit plain

Whether it’s the excellent color coverage, the various picture modes for different creative workflows, or that large 32-inch 4K display, the BenQ PD3200U is ideal for just about any creative workflow. To start, those picture modes come in handy when switching between different projects or focusing on something that not all monitors can do, like catering to those working in CAD software. There’s also great colour coverage here, even if it’s lack in the Adobe RGB department. It does require a bit more desk space than most monitors and won’t inspire anyone with its design. But, it’s what’s inside that counts, at least for this monitor. And, getting a display as good as this for its sub $1000/£1000 asking price is quite a steal.

(Image credit: Eizo)
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5. Eizo ColorEdge CG319X

Best 4K monitor for HDR video editing

Specifications

Screen size: 31.1-inch
Resolution: 4096 x 2160
Refresh rate: 60Hz
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 99% AdobeRGB, 98% P3
Contrast ratio: 1500:1

Reasons to buy

+
Automatic calibrator comes built in
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A healthy helping of input ports
+
Good creator-focused features

Reasons to avoid

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Eye-watering price
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Design lacks flair

What can you expect from a monitor design by a company that’s won an Oscar for a Scientific and Technical Award? Just take a look at the Eizo ColorEdge CG319X, a 4K monitor that’s made by creative professionals for other creative professionals (and has the price that solely meant for them too). Its 99% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3 colour coverage alone screams professional filmmaking. As do its built-in calibration sensor that will do the work for you and its excellent viewing angles that make collaborative efforts a bit more… well, effortless. Video editors and colourists will also appreciate the hybrid log-gamma and the PQ curve it comes equipped with, especially when tackling HDR workflows.

(Image credit: Acer)
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6. Acer ConceptD CP7271K

Best Pantone validated 4K display

Specifications

Screen size: 27-inch
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Brightness: 1000 cd/m²
Color gamuts: 99% AdobeRGB, 93% P3
Contrast ratio: 1000:1

Reasons to buy

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Filled with quite a few features
+
Comes with stunning HDR1000

Reasons to avoid

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A bit too expensive for many creators
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Doesn’t come with USB-C

The Acer ConceptD CP7271K may come at a steep price, and some of that may be because of the extra gaming-related features that are not necessary for editing and design. However, this display validates its price with aplomb. It not only comes with its high 4K resolution and a faster refresh rate than most design and editing-oriented panels, but it also has exceptional DisplayHDR 1000 and solid color support. The fact that it doesn’t come with USB-C connectivity is unfortunate. But, this is a Pantone-validated monitor, so you know that its color reproduction is superb, not to mention that it’s been calibrated to Delta E <1.

Read more
• Best monitors for photo editing (opens in new tab)
 Best video editing monitors (opens in new tab)
• Best curved monitors (opens in new tab)
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• Best ultra-wide monitors (opens in new tab)
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• How to calibrate a monitor (opens in new tab)
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• Best USB-C hubs (opens in new tab)

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