These are the Six 4K PC Monitors that offer the most bang for your dollar
Stephan Jukic – May 30, 2015
4K monitors are not quite in the same price category as regular HD monitors and they even cost more than most types of UHD monitors that don’t offer quite 4K levels of pixel measurement (2550 x 1440 for example). However, in exchange for your dollars, what you get with virtually any name brand 4K screen for your PC is a visual experience par none.
Whether it’s for gaming, video editing or simply watching UHD imagery and video in the full resolution they both deserve, 4K is the only way to go.
That said, the prices of these top-shelf display screens have indeed been falling and while back in late 2013 and early 2014 virtually no 4K monitor could be found for less than $1000 (with many costing well, well above that) today’s market allows you a wide degree of buying power for well under $700.
There are of course still many high-end video editing and broadcast 4K monitors that cost way over $1000 and these absolute top-shelf machines have their place among certain types of career pros who need the very best in performance, but that isn’t what we’re covering here.
Instead, out of all the monitors available for $700 or less, most are of nothing less than excellent quality at normal usage and here we’ve selected the 6 that we think do the absolute best job of delivering superb video, excellent color saturation, fine refresh rates and useful connectivity options for all your gaming, video watching and even slightly limited professional visual design needs.
A Quick Note on 4K compatibility with PCs
Before we finally get down to our list, you really should read our general “Monitor” page here. It describes the details about differences between different kinds of 4K screens, lists our reviews of many of the monitors shown here and gives you a rundown of how your connectivity options will work with the PC you also use for this kind of resolution. Before buying any monitor, you really should check out the above page.
Samsung U28D590D Display 4k Monitor ($489.99)
The Samsung U28D590D is one of the best 4K monitor deals on the market today and was one of Samsung’s best-selling ultra HD monitors for 2014. So yes, while it is a model from last year, it still delivers in terms of modern features, great specs and overall display quality.
For starters, the U28D590D offers its users the usual connectivity package of HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2, meaning that you can hook it up to a PC for UHD graphics at 30Hz (the HDMI) or for the full 60Hz of smooth rendering (DisplayPort 1.2). On top of these, there is the excellent color reproduction that offers a solid 1.07 billion colors augmented by a surprisingly bright edge-lit LED array behind the screen. Samsung is particularly known for the luminance of its LEDs and for that reason, this particular screen gives up a great brightness score of 370cd/m2 instead of the more common 300 to 350.
Finally, and most importantly of all for gamers, the U28D590D’s TN screen offers a grey-to-grey response time of just 1 millisecond. This is about as fast as things get and, when combined with the connectivity features above, results in an ideal, highly affordable 4K display for gamers or non-professional 4K video users who don’t want to spend a fortune. Oh yeah, and did we mention that it also has an elegant design, typical of Samsung technology.
This is definitely one of the most popular 4K monitors among the entire UHD gaming and conventional use crowd. It not only delivers on visuals that almost match professional standards, it also comes with some excellent connectivity options.
To start with, there is its 4K ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and on top of that, it offers a very fast 2ms response time that makes it perfect for gaming. Combine this with a wonderfully sized 28 inch screen that comes with anti-glare technology and the B286HK is great for all sorts of lighting conditions and gaming or video browsing uses.
Along with the visuals, comes 5 high-speed USB 3.0 ports, a DVI-D input with HDCP content protection coverage and of course, DisplayPort 1.2 and Mini DisplayPort. Of course, the B286HK also offers you a 60Hz refresh rate.
On the negative side, the B286HK does have a slightly flimsy stand and its contrast ratio has been rated by testing at roughly 700:1, which could definitely be improved upon. However, despite this being a TN screen, it offers some very good off-angle viewing quality and the 16:9 aspect ratio is perfectly suited for 4K gaming.
This is definitely one of the fastest performing monitors on our list or in general. It’s 28 inch screen offers a full 4K ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60Hz and with an absolutely lightning quick 1ms response time.
Furthermore, it comes with a number of built-in technologies like SplendidPlus, VividPixel, GamePlus and QuickFit from ASUS for maximizing your gaming and 4K video browsing experience. On top of this, there are 2 HDMI 1.4 connections, a built-in DisplayPort 1.2 connection and an MHL connectivity port.
On top of all this, the PB287Q really delivers on the color gamut, with 10.bit color that delivers a smooth, beautiful gradation more fitting of a 4K TV than a monitor. This, combined with the 60Hz refresh rate and the extraordinarily fast 1ms response time makes this one of the best gaming screens on this entire list.
Finally, for visual designers, we also definitely have to mention the built-in Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture functionality for displaying content from two different sources at the same time. The PbP mode is particularly useful here because it splits the screen straight down the middle.
Dell’s 4k P2715Q 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor is a bit on the pricier side of the more affordable monitors presented here but it definitely delivers the value that comes with its price. This particular PC display offers some of the best color coverage on this list with 99% of the sRGB spectrum being covered and is fully adjustable for height, tilt, swivel and pivot, letting you place it in Portrait or landscape mode. Furthermore, it can be mounted to a Dell Single Monitor Arm or a wall for even more viewing flexibility.
In terms of other visual specs, the P2715Q gives you an excellent game-oriented aspect ratio of 16:9 and a smooth 60Hz refresh rate that lets the 4K action in high intensity games and videos flow as smoothly as possible. Pretty much the only downsides here are the somewhat limited ranges of adjustability options in the on-screen visual characteristics menu.
Connectivity-wise, the P2715Q offers the usual but effective package of several HDMI 1.4 ports, a Displayort 1.2 connection slot and a second DisplayPort slot that’s there for chaining two of the monitors together for a single image, although this will reduce the overall refresh rate to jst 30Hz.
On this entire list, the Acer S277HK wmidpp occupies a special position because of one feature it has that the others lack. This is an HDMI 2.0 port that lets you access 4K resolution graphics at 60Hz if you can find a GPU that comes with HDMI 2.0 connectivity. In this regard, the S277HK is currently almost unique in the 4K monitor world since only one other display, the Viewsonic VP2780 4K 27 inch Monitor, offers the same kind of HDMI 2.0 connectivity. In contrast, the Viewsonic costs more than $1,000 and the S277HK is available for just $598.
The S277HK also includes DisplayPort 1.2 and Mini DisplayPort.
When it comes to visual specs, the S277HK is also no slouch at all. It offers what the company claims to be a dynamic contrast ratio of 100 million to 1 with support for 1.07 billion colors and because of the aforementioned contrast ratio, the dark and light variation is almost as good as what you’d find in a good 4K TV. As for brightness/luminance, the 300 nits of illumination give you more than enough light from the screen to clearly watch anything in brightly lit spaces.
The S277HK is an IPS display, so gamers might find its response time a bit slow but the HDMI 2.0 also works to make it an excellent option for 4K gameplay.
Acer XB280HK bprz 28-inch Display Ultra HD 4K2K NVIDIA G-SYNC (3840 x 2160) Widescreen Monitor ($679)
The Acer XB280HK bprz is another specifically unique piece of PC display hardware on this list. Why? Because it also comes with the highly game-friendly technology known as G-SYNC built into it. Developed by chip and GPU maker NVIDIA, G-SYNC technology lets the XB280HK synchronize its own internal refresh rate with that of whatever GPU your PC has for a maximal level of smoothness regardless of what refresh rate your computer’s GPU can handle. This results in a smooth, fast gaming experience that’s optimized for exactly what your PC is capable of.
In addition to this, you get the power of a 1ms response time, for absolutely optimal in-game motion rendering and a stunning visual clarity with excellent colors, and the obvious benefits of full 3840 x 2160 4K UHD resolution.
In terms of connectivity, the Acer XB280HK bprz gives you 1 DisplayPort 1.2 slot and 5 USB 3.0 ports. Unfortunately however, it doesn’t seem to offer HDMI 1.4, which is a bit of a downer.
Story by 4k.com