The best TV for a computer monitor is essentially two products in one – a versatile screen that offers both home entertainment and a display for computing tasks on your Macbook or PC.
There's a huge amount of overlap between the best TVs and best monitors: both will generally offer high picture fidelity, such as 4K resolution, and have connections and ports capable of high-speed data transfer. Thanks to TVs and monitors often sharing similar specifications, it's not that hard to get a screen that fills both roles in your home – meaning you can limit the cost and space requirements of purchasing two separate displays.
The big advantage of using a TV is that there's a lot more leeway with sizing. Most monitors sit in the 24-32 inch bracket, whereas TVs can come in astronomically larger sizes. A bigger screen can be a big help for showcasing your photographic portfolio or showreel to groups of people, or simply getting to see your work up close on a larger scale.
There's a reason some TV makers offer gallery stands or tripods as accessories, to allow for some versatility in how you present images – and allowing you to place a screen in your home as thoughtfully as you would a piece of furniture, not simply condemning a TV to a far wall.
That said, when using a TV as a computer monitor, you need to keep in mind where you'll be sitting in relation to the screen! Sitting on the sofa and balancing a keyboard and mouse on your lap isn't the most ergonomic setup, so we'd really recommend going for a TV that's 50 inches or less. This size bracket is much better suited to a closer viewing distance, with the added bonus of increased pixel density compared to larger TVs.
You have to be careful with color accuracy, contrast, and viewing angles – all things that OLED TVs generally excel at, for what it's worth – as TVs generally prioritise bolder colours and contrast over accurate representation of a picture. Designing a screen for sRGB and Adobe RGB isn't something that TV manufacturers would have to worry about, so we wouldn't recommend using a TV to edit your photos or videos.
Any regular gamers will want to make sure their TV has the right specification for handling games well, though – especially given the input delay that a TV's visual processing can cause – otherwise you'll want to stick with the best monitors instead. But if you're after a versatile screen that doubles as both a home entertainment hub and a large-scale image reel, here are our top recommendations.
Best TV for a computer monitor in 2023
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The Sony X90J comes in various screen sizes, but our preferred option for use as a computer monitor is the smallest (50-inch) offering. All sizes have a 4K resolution, so the 'baby' at 50 inches has the highest pixel density in the range, and therefore a sharper image when viewed from closer distances.
Image quality benefits continue with the inclusion of Sony's top-end Cognitive Processor XR image processor, as well as direct LED backlighting with local dimming results in inky blacks and minimal backlight bleed. You even get four HDMI ports, so there should be at least one spare to take input from your computer.
All this quality doesn't come cheap, but if you're after a great TV first and foremost, which can occasionally double as a computer monitor, this is a superb choice.
A 4K screen resolution on a 43-inch TV really requires you to sit fairly close in order to see the improvement in resolution over a 1080p Full HD display. But this is exactly how a TV works best when used as a computer monitor.
What sets this baby LG apart from similar 'small' TVs is that it gets the kind of features and extras you'd expect to find on more top-end models. There's Smart Voice Control with Alexa, AirPlay, and Google Assistant compatibility, along with HDR10 Pro and HLG support for displaying high dynamic range content.
What's more, if you plan on gaming on this TV, the auto low latency mode really comes into its own, automatically switching the TV to its game mode when a game input signal is detected, thereby reducing input lag.
Samsung’s The Frame should be a go-to television for budding photographers hoping to display their works in style. This compact screen is designed to blend in with the decor of your home, with a dedicated Art Mode that lets you display either your own images or classic artworks and paintings.
The 43-inch size can also be wall-mounted in both portrait and landscape, making it a versatile display – just keep in mind that the picture quality won’t be on par with some of the more premium options in this list, given some basic edge-lighting that may make for inconsistent brightness across the screen.
Samsung’s QLED (quantum dot) technology, though, does offer a decent minimum standard for contrast and color richness – and should cover 100% of the DCI-P3 color space.
This bestselling OLED TV from LG is well worth a look at. Its OLED panel ensures vibrant colors, exceptional contrast, precise brightness control, and deep blacks for stunning images. You can count on high specifications, including HDMI 2.1, 120Hz refresh rate, and a host of gaming features like VRR and an auto-low latency mode (ALLM) that reduces image lag. All in all, the LG C2 is a great choice for PC gamers.
Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync compatibility ensures the frame rate of the B2 matches that of your game, therefore eliminating any screen 'tearing' interference. OLED screens do come with the potential drawback of screen burn-in, where a menu graphic could theoretically become permanently etched into the screen if displayed for a very long time without change, but this isn't likely to be an issue unless you continually display a Windows taskbar or Mac OS dock on screen for extended daily periods.
You won’t find many 42-inch OLEDs on the market yet, but this compact size will ensure that the LG C2 works both as a TV screen and a desk monitor, offering the best of both worlds. The LG C2 also works in tandem with LG’s Gallery Stand, though only at larger sizes – so do have a think about what works best for you.
Samsung's QLED (Quantum dot) TVs set new standards for brightness and color vividness. In some respects, they can be considered superior to OLED TVs, and they're not susceptible to possible screen burn-in like OLED TVs. Oh, and the best bit, QLED TVs are significantly cheaper than their OLED counterparts!
Our top QLED pick is actually one of the cheapest models in the current Samsung QLED range - the Q60C. Its 43-inch screen size makes it an ideal balance between TV and computer monitor, with the 4K resolution making computer visuals crisp at fairly close viewing distances.
What's more, Samsung claims the QLED screen tech is also capable of displaying "100% color volume", which in theory should mean it also covers 100% of the extensive DCI-P3 video color space - something even a high-end computer monitor would struggle to match. The Q60C's HDR and image processing capabilities aren't quite on par with Samsung's larger QLED offerings, and viewing angles won't be a match for a true OLED display, but remember it does cost less than an OLED TV.
Three HDMI ports could also be a tad restrictive if you want to connect a lot of AV equipment in addition to your computer, but we still reckon this is a great value TV/computer monitor double act.
This Hisense TV is a great low-cost buy that should serve you equally well for TV and computer monitor purposes. Its IPS panel ensures good viewing angles and color consistency across the screen, and generally better tonal accuracy than a VA panel would, even if blacks may come across as dark gray.
You’re getting 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate here, in a variety of size options – specifically the 43-inch and 50-inch are probably your best bet. You won’t get HDMI 2.1 support here (just the HDMI 2.0 standard) but you can count on a clear, color-accurate picture. A slow response time means the A6H isn’t ideal for fast-moving videos, but for scrolling through documents and looking at static imagery and photography, you should do just fine.
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