27 inch & 28 Inch Monitor Reviews – Best Buying Guide for 4K 27″ and 28″ Display, Monitor, Screen, LCD and Panel for Sale
Now that the 4K monitor market is a serious and increasingly major part of the PC display industry, buyers of all kinds, from professional users, business owners, and home office users to gamers are taking a serious interest in the numerous models on sale. The mix of razor sharp clarity and numerous other cool display and connectivity technologies in most newer 4K PC displays is simply too interesting to resist and with good reason –they’re some of the best PC displays on sale today, even if their 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution isn’t taken into consideration.
And in this world of 4K UHD monitors, which tend to be larger than most normal HD displays, the 27-28 inch size range is definitely one of the most popular on offer. There are also plenty of smaller mid-sized 24 inch or smaller displays available and the market for super-sized 32 to 40 inch 4K monitors is also growing but the rulers of the roost and best sellers are almost entirely made of 27 to 28 inch display units.
Thus, among the 4K screens for PCs on sale in this size range, you’ll find an enormous amount of diversity, with gamer’s designs, professional visual editing monitors and basic home/business office monitors all represented at a fairly wide range of prices.
As we’ve made clear above, not all 4K monitors are created equal, even in the same general size range and depending on their main purpose, price and specific internal technologies, today’s monitors can vary enormously in the display quality and work flexibility they offer. While even the cheapest 4K screens can usually beat the pants off any low budget HD display in the wow factor of their graphics, some of the priciest and best 4K displays offer incredible color saturation, extraordinary detail, contrast and visual accuracy to a degree that looks truly impressive by anyone’s standards. These are some of the different display panel types which influence this:
IPS: IPS panels are usually found in some of the highest quality monitors on the market today and for good reason. IPS, also known as in-plane switching technology, offers some of the best color accuracy, vibrancy and brightness available in display today. Furthermore, it usually also entails superb contrast and some of the best viewing angles you can find in a 4K monitor. On the other hand, to its slight detriment, IPS is also offers up a bit of a slow response time, in the 4 to 9ms range. This is the speed at which the monitor’s graphics respond to an external control like a keyboard or console controller. However, for non-gaming PCs, IPS display is generally the gold standard in display technology. Other names by which IPS is also commonly known include PLS (plane to line switching) and AHVA (advanced hyper viewing angle).
TN: TN stands for Twisted Nematic and it’s one of the most common monitor panel display technologies in use today, with particular popularity in gaming-oriented 4K PC monitors. With TN screens, what you get is a superb response time that’s ideal for 4K gaming and some very decent, rich contrast levels. On the other hand, the majority of 4K monitors with TN display lack strong color vibrancy, brightness and are weak on color accuracy as well. Furthermore, they usually offer up weak viewing angles. However, low cost is a factor in favor of TN panel designs and monitors with this display type are usually some of the most affordable on sale today.
VA: VA (vertical alignment) panels aren’t quite as common as their IPS and TN cousins but they offer up their own unique blend of pros and cons. On the one hand, VA offers some very strong contrast performance, deep rich blacks and great color output while also delivering far superior viewing angles to those of TN. However, with VA panel design in monitors, ghosting effects can be a common problem, particularly during gaming and fast-moving video animation.
Most 4K monitors will have the same essentials of connectivity built into them and the technology which is considered to be crucial to these devices is quite standardized. Thus, while some 4K monitors will offer unusual features like Thunderbolt connectivity or possibly lack some important basic like USB connectivity, the vast majority of 4K displays and all of the monitors we’re about to cover absolutely include core connectivity specs like HDMI, USB, DisplayPort 1.2 and audio connections.
For any 4K monitor you decide to go for, the absolutely essential specs that should be present consist of HDMI 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 connectivity, DisplayPort 1.2 ports and at least a couple of USB ports, preferably of the USB 3.0 variant.
Among these, the single most crucial port will be DisplayPort 1.2, at least if you’re serious about smooth, quickly rendering 4K graphics on your monitor’s display. Since most existing 4K monitors and PC GPUs still lack HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 is the only means by which the two technologies can connect together for on-screen rendering of 4K ultra HD graphics at a smooth 60Hz, which is equivalent to 60 frames per second of video.
HDMI is also important for daisy-chaining more than more 4K monitor together (though DisplayPort can be used for this as well) and while most monitors only offer HDMI 1.4 for 4K graphics at 30Hz, some models now include HDMI 2.0, which is what you should go for if you can find it.
USB is also a crucial and sometimes overlooked connectivity spec of any decent 4K monitor. While useless for transmission of 4K video resolution, USB connectivity will let you connect all sorts of peripheral devices like external hard drives, mouse, speakers, mobile phones and so on to your PC easily.
We should also mention one of the newest connectivity standards for newer 4K monitors that have been emerging in 2016: USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. This is one of the very latest and most advanced connectivity types found in a small number of today’s 4K or 5K monitors. USB-C is still quite uncommon but this will likely change since the spec offers numerous benefits due to its enormous bandwidth power, which is enough to run full 60Hz graphics in 4K resolution on multiple UHD monitors through a single connection.
Just as their quality can vary enormously, so too can the retail price of 4K monitors for the consumer market. Depending on the specs, display features and specific panel technologies they come with, these monitors can come at price tags of anywhere between $300 and over $1000 dollars, with some truly professional 4K displays selling for more than $2000 even.
More than anything else, monitor price seems to be determined by how much color accuracy and contrast a model can deliver through its internal display specs. This is partly why IPS monitors usually cost more than their TN counterparts and why some of the priciest and newest 4K PC displays on the market are OLED models with nearly perfect blacks and superb color rendition.
That said, price is definitely a factor in the following rankings and we’ve tried to balance out quality with at least some degree of affordability wherever possible with most of the following models costing well below $1000.
FreeSync and G-Sync
On a final note before we move onto our listing, FreeSync and G-Sync definitely deserve mention. These are the two main technologies in existence today for synchronization of refresh rate between your monitor display and the GPU inside your PC. The result of this synch process is a smooth, tear and artifact-free video quality that’s especially useful for gaming and video or animation display. Gamers who want a top-quality 4K monitor should keep either FreeSync (which works for AMD GPUs) or G-Sync (which works for NVIDIA GPUs) firmly in mind, depending on the graphics card their PC has. These technologies aren’t too important for office-oriented 4K monitors.
The Best 27-28 Inch 4K monitors on sale today
Now, without further delay, here are the 4K monitors in the 27 to 28 inch size range which we consider to be the best models on the general market. All of the following are relatively affordable in comparison to truly expensive professional displays and many of them offer specialized gaming and pro user oriented technologies while still costing an amount that could be called fairly reasonable. Among the following, you’ll find something for just about every type of user.
LG’s 5K UltraFine monitor is probably one of the most advanced consumer PC displays released so far in 2016. It not only offers an excellent level of overall performance and calibration capacity for professional graphic editing work, it also includes some truly stunning display specs that are almost worthy of being compared to those of a premium HDR 4K TV, it’s an IPS monitor with some tremendous connectivity power through its cutting-edge USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Offering the wide viewing angles of IPS display technology and full DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut color space coverage such as that found in your typical 4K ultr HD HDR TV, the UltraFine also comes with the nearly perfect picture smoothness that you could expect from seeing 5K worth of pixels crammed into a single 27 inch display. This monitor’s one main defect lies in the fact that it’s almost entirely geared toward Apple’s machines and this makes the 5K UltraFine a less than ideal choice for many Windows machine users due to certain compatibility issues. However, if you own a new 2016 MacBook Pro laptop and want one heck of an external display that’s perfectly geared for these Apple machines, the LG 5K UltraFine is your single best possible choice.
The LG 27UD88 is not only one exceptionally aesthetic monitor, it’s also a superbly built piece of performance hardware and designed to be useful for a variety of needs, from performance 4K gaming to professional graphic design. For these and other reasons, the UD88 fully deserves a spot on this listing.
Starting off with its excellent connectivity specs, LG has put a lot of effort into making the 27UD88 one cutting-edge piece of display technology thanks to the inclusion of not only dual HDMI 2.0 ports but also a powerful new USB-C socket for one more source of 4K content at 60fps, i addition to the monitor’s HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 connectivity specs. Then there is the superb display performance of the 27UD88. This IPS monitor offers up professional color calibration tools, ssuperb 10-bit color for 1.07 billion RGB tones and despite its IPS display panel, the UD88 offers some excellent contrast and black levels, with a very decent level of display brightness to boot.
Finally, for the gamers out there who want something more than your typical budget 4K TN PC gaming monitor, the UD88 comes with AMD FreeSync technology for smooth frame rate synchronization between its own display refresh rate and that delivered by AMD GPUs.
ViewSonic is what we’d call something of an innovator in the 4K monitor landscape, at least from our reviewing experience. Their 4K displays offer a great mix of professional specs and advanced connectivity features while still costing a reasonable amount. All of these are effectively reflected in the VP2780-4k. Its 27 inch 4K ultra HD display offer sup 10-bit color, representing a total palette of some 1.07 billion colors and a number of associated features such as a 14-bit 3D lookup table and Delta E≤2 color palette of a whopping 4.39 trillion colors. In other words, for professionals who are working in color-critical applications, the VP2780-4k is one of the better relatively low cost options on the market.
Furthermore, this monitor also offers up excellent contrast, great color accuracy, several different multipicture and multitasking display options and also comes with the cool bonus spec of HDMI 2.0 connectivity, along with its more commonly seen DisplayPort 1.2a and 4 USB 3.0 ports.
The Samsung U28D590D was one of the bestselling 4K monitors of 2014 and with good reason. It offers up some robust, well-rounded specs, a relatively low price and superb display quality with 4K ultra HD resolution in one very pretty package. This monitor offers up a superb contrast ratios, a complete connectivity package with dual HDMI 1.4 ports, DisplayPort 1.2 and USB ports and also manages to offer an expanded color gamut at 1.07 billion colors. Furthermore, while its display uses TN technology, Samsung still manages to pack in some very decent viewing angles that are more in line with what you’d get from an IPS display.
On the other hand, we’re not major fans of the Samsung U28D590D’s lack of adjustability, though the monitor design is indeed much nicer than average in the 4K monitor world.
The ASUS ROG Swift is a bit of a pricier 4K ultra HD monitor as far as the gaming side of the market goes but it has plenty to offer for the dollars you spend on it. For starters, it’s one of the few IPS monitors on sale today with a specifically gaming-oriented bend and in this case, the mix of technologies works superbly. On the one hand, you get your hands on all the excellent display qualities of IPS, which include superb contrast, great display brightness and fine color range while also getting some decent response time in the bargain. 4ms doesn’t quite match the 1ms response of TN 4K displays but it’s quick enough to work decently considering all the other benefits the PG27AQ delivers. These benefits also include NVIDIA G-Sync technology, which is a powerful helper if your PC happens to use what are in practice some of the best gaming GPUs on sale today.
Finally, the PG27AQ looks great physically, with a truly stylish matte and shiny black body and full adjustability for height, tilt, pivot and other positions.
ASUS is no stranger to either 4K monitors or 4K laptops for that matter and the quality of the PB287Q bears out this familiarity with the technology. This is a 4K UHD monitor with some very solid and dependable specs which include decent connectivity, great luminance and a lightning quick 1ms response time in the PB287Q’s TN display. The monitor doesn’t offer the cutting edge of connectivity but it still delivers the essential goods in the form of dial HDMI 1.4 ports, DisplayPort 1.2 and MHL connectivity as well. On the other hand, the lack of a USB hub is major downside.
That said, this is a nearly ideal utilitarian, low cost 4K office monitor with great contrast, rich blacks and some very decent color reproduction. Furthermore, it offers 10-bit color, with 1.07 billion colors on display instead of the more usual 16.7 million in many TN screens. And, like we said, it’s very nicely priced at $479.99 or less (depending on sales offers)
Dell’s UltraSharp UP2715K simply can’t go without being mentioned in any list of top 27 and 28 inch monitors. This generally excellent ultra HD display for PCs not only includes a bunch of typically good Dell specs, it’s also one of the very few monitors on the entire market to offer not just 4K resolution but full-blown 5K (5120 x 2880) pixel count. In other words, we’re talking about some truly intense pixel density for a 27 inch display. So dense in fact that you’d be hard pressed to see pixilation no matter how hard you squint with native content. Native 4K graphics of any kind, upscaled to fit the 5K screen look particularly spectacular on the UP2715K and the monitor’s other display qualities are no joke either.
With IPS panel display, the UP2715K offers up wonderfully vibrant colors, superb contrast, great brightness and deep rich blacks. Furthermore, its viewing angles are great too. Also, as is the case with almost all Dell UHD monitors, the UP2715K is fully adjustable for swivel, tilt, height, orientation and VESA mounting holes.
Finally, its connectivity features are no joke either, with two DisplayPort 1.2 ports, HDMI 1.4 and a rather uncommon range of 5 USB 3.0 ports for assorted peripheral devices. Two downsides to the 5K UP2715K however is that it’s definitely not cheap at well over $1000 and that you’ll need to use both DisplayPort 1.2 ports for 5K graphics from your PC.
Dell’s P2715Q is one great all-around piece of IPS 4K PC display technology. It doesn’t feature many frills or much in the way of extraordinary design characteristics but it does deliver the specs and display quality to please any sort of highr-end home or office use needs wonderfully. The 27 inch display of the P2715Q offers great color vibrancy, accuracy and contrast while also delivering the usual wide viewing angles of IPS display technology, while the monitor’s connectivity options include HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort 1.2 and a whole USB 3.0 hub. Furthermore, as we’ve already noted as common for Dell 4K monitors, the P2715Q is fully adjustable for height, orientation, swivel and angle. It also offers VESA mounting capacity.
On the other hand, as a gaming monitor, the P2715Q is definitely not an ideal choice, since it’s 9ms response time is well on the slow side.
Samsung’s U28E590D is something of a more advanced replacement for the highly popular U28D590D 2014 4K monitor from the same brand. The U28E590D thus looks nearly identical to its older cousin but offers up several new and superior specs. These include HDMI 2.0 connectivity, Compatibility with AMD FreeSync technology and a superior class of TN display technology which delivers the usual gamer-friendly lightning fast response time while offering far superior viewing angles which are more in line with what you’d get from IPS panel technology.
Furthermore, the U28E590D comes with the usual host of DisplayPort 1.2, and USB 3.0 ports while also putting out excellent color accuracy and a superb 370 cd/m2 of brightness that truly sharpens this monitor’s contrast and the richness of its black tones.
Quite simply, the U28E590D is truly a winner for both gamers and office users and comes at a very reasonable price to boot.
Finally on our listings, Acer’s S277HK wmidpp 27-inch 4K monitor is somewhat unique due to its very lovely physical design and because it offer HDMI 2.0 connectivity instead of the more common HDMI 1.4 that a majority of 4K monitors still come with. With HDMI 2.0, 4K graphics from your PC can be transferred at 60Hz instead of the more usual and rougher 30Hz while both a mini DisplayPort 1.2 and DisplayPort 1.2 port also offer up a more common [email protected] connectivity option for PC GPUs. Furthermore, the S277HK wmidpp comes with some excellent display brightness, support for 1.07 billion colors and great contrast.
Also, as an IPS display, it delivers superb viewing angles, though the same IPS panel does slow down the response time to 5ms, which is just above the maximum ideal for 4K gaming. Again, we also love this Acer monitor’s physical look. It’s elegant, aesthetic and would fit nicely in any office or home environment. On the other hand, the S277HK offers no physical adjustment options for the monitor’s height, orientation or other possibly position changes.