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Best 4K monitor 2023: The top UHD displays for work and gaming

Upgrade to UHD with our pick of the best 4K monitors to buy

The best 4K monitor is a difficult thing to pin down. As 4K or Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) monitors become more commonplace in the home and the office, it becomes increasingly challenging to select the best 4K monitor for your needs. While it’s certainly a good thing to see UHD monitors in such high volumes (and at increasingly low prices), having a surplus of choice is never much fun for the consumer.

So how do you separate the best 4K monitors from the worst? At Expert Reviews, we’re constantly testing and tinkering with monitors of all shapes and sizes, from dinky 1080p panels to enormous ultrawide monsters. This article is made up of a collection of the best 4K monitors we’ve tested recently: we want to help you cut through what is becoming a very crowded marketplace so that you can assess a small number of high-quality 4K displays and choose the best one based on your specific requirements.

Below, you’ll find our favourite 4K monitors, alongside a brief buying guide to help newcomers understand what makes a UHD display different from the rest.

Best 4K monitor: At a glance

Best overallPhilips 279C9 | £436Check price at Amazon
Best on a budgetAOC U27P2CA | £233Check price at Amazon
Best for gamingAsus ROG Swift PG32UQ | £1,220Check price at Amazon

How to choose the best 4K monitor for you

Do I need a 4K monitor?

First things first: UHD monitors aren’t cheap, and they also tend to demand a lot more of your hardware. Playing a video game at 4K requires a high-end graphics card, for example, and streaming YouTube, Netflix or Disney+ videos in 4K requires a rock-solid, high-speed internet connection.

If you’re new to PC monitors, or your GPU is a little less than “high-end”, you should definitely consider starting with a cheaper and less demanding 1080p or 1440p display instead. You can check out the best 1080p or 1440p monitors in our dedicated roundups.

If you’re eyeing up a 4K monitor for your new PS5 or Xbox Series X, you might want to consider a 4K TV. Only a small number of 4K monitors currently support HDMI 2.1 – a requirement for making full use of the high resolutions and refresh rates offered by next-gen consoles. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to 4K TVs – and some double as rather good PC monitors, too. You can find out more in our roundup of the best TVs for gaming available today.

READ NEXT: The best monitors to buy

How much should I spend?

It’s possible to buy a decent 4K monitor for as little as £400. Really high-end models top out at ludicrous sums, but these are designed for professional photo/video editors and should be avoided by everyone else. The monitors in our roundup tend to fluctuate between the £400 mark at the low end and around £900 at the high end.

What size should I buy?

This is partly dependent on personal taste, but usually monitors in the 27in–32in range are well suited to being placed on a desk and used for office work and after-hours gaming. You can go bigger, but you’ll obviously need to sit further away to comfortably view the entire panel.

Most of the monitors on our list nestle in that 27in to 32in range. We think the lower end is more comfortable for working and playing at your desk, while the 32in end is good for pushing back a foot or so from your desk to enjoy a bit of after-hours gaming.

READ NEXT: The best ultrawide monitors to buy

What specifications should I watch out for?

Resolution: UHD 4K is always 3,840 x 2,160. True 4K, which is very rare, is 4,096 x 2,160.

Refresh rate: Unless you’re a gamer, 60Hz/75Hz is perfectly fine. Gaming monitors with 4K resolutions commonly peak at 144Hz, but you’ll need a very powerful PC to maintain triple-figure frame rates at 4K resolution.

Panel technology: IPS LCD is the most common form of panel technology. IPS monitors tend to have great colours and viewing angles, but contrast ratios and response times are often inferior to that of VA LCD panels.

4K monitors with VA LCD panels tend to have great contrast and good colours but much higher response times and poor viewing angles. They can also exhibit higher than average amounts of motion blur when gaming, due to slow pixel response times.

HDR: When implemented well, high dynamic range (HDR) makes games and movies look more vibrant and impactful. Most modern games and streaming services support it in at least some capacity.

As 4K monitors with HDR tend to be at the pricier end of the market, they often come with higher DisplayHDR certifications, such as DisplayHDR 600, 800 or even 1,000. The number indicates the maximum brightness (in nits) of HDR content on the monitor in question, and generally, the higher the number, the better. If you want the absolute best HDR experience, then your monitor absolutely needs to have local dimming technology too, so make sure to look out for it in the specifications.

Connectivity: It’s important to make sure your new monitor has ample connectivity for your PC, laptop and/or consoles. That means the correct number and type of video ports – in this case HDMI, DisplayPort or USB-C, as older connectors such as DVI or VGA can’t carry a 4K signal. USB-C can’t handle refresh rates higher than 60Hz, so gamers should concentrate on DisplayPort for video transmission duties.

USB-C ports can also charge connected devices, with maximum power delivery ranging from 10W to 45W depending on the product. If you plan on connecting to your new screen via a Windows laptop or a MacBook with few to no USB-A ports, consider looking out for a monitor with a USB hub (with at least two USB-A ports) for mice, keyboards or external drives.

Finally, next-gen console owners will want to keep an eye out for HDMI 2.1 ports, the new standard that facilitates 4K/120fps on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Adjustability: It’s crucial that a monitor offers as many adjustment options as possible to aid your posture and permit all-day comfort – the last thing you want is a pile of books wedged under your lovely new 4K monitor. That means it’s essential to check a monitor’s height adjustment, pivot, swivel and tilt functions. Prepare to sacrifice adjustability the less you spend, but in general, it’s worth paying a premium for a top-quality adjustable stand.

READ NEXT: Our favourite budget gaming monitors

How we test 4K monitors

We believe that a good monitor review is supported by detailed in-house testing. Each monitor we received is subjected to the same tests: using a colorimeter from X-Rite and DisplayCal’s calibration software, we take multiple measurements of colour gamut coverage, accuracy and temperature; contrast, luminance and black point; and panel uniformity. We use Blur Busters’ suite of online motion handling assessment tools to check for ghosting, inverse ghosting and motion blur (and how overdrive/MBR settings impact them). If a 4K monitor has HDR with local dimming, we use a HDR video of a bright, moving shape to try and catch the zones in action.

We’ll then spend at least a week with the product, using it for work/play and assessing the core feature set (the port selection, the stand and the build quality). We’ll also explore the OSD fully. Finally, we compare the monitor to similar products to determine how it stacks up value-wise.

You can find the results of our tests in our full-length reviews, linked below.

The best 4K monitors you can buy in 2023

1. Philips 279C9: Best 4K monitor

Price when reviewed: £436 | Size: 27in || Check price at Amazon

The Philips 279C9 takes the formula established by other 4K monitors on this list and adds a couple of uncommon features into the mix for good measure. It does so at a fairly competitive price point, too, which is no mean feat given what’s on offer here.

This 27in IPS monitor supports a rudimentary form of HDR: it’s not exactly going to blow your mind, but we noticed an improvement in colour vibrancy all the same. It also supports AMD FreeSync technology for reducing screen tearing when gaming. These things are noteworthy simply because they aren’t commonly found on office monitors; if you’re a casual gamer with a good rig that you’ve ended up reluctantly using very often for work, the 279C9 caters for you.

Elsewhere in our tests, the 279C9 performed very well indeed, producing 97% of the sRGB colour gamut with a fantastically low Delta E of 0.3, so you can rest assured that colours are accurately represented in the sRGB space. Brightness tops out at around 380cd/m², which is more than good enough for even well-lit environments, although it falls a little shy of the 400cd/m² minimum required for that DisplayHDR 400 certification.

You’ve got plenty of room for cables here, which is great news: two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DP 1.4 port sit alongside a four-port USB-A 3.2 hub and a single upstream USB-C 3.0 port that provides up to 65W of power and can also carry a video signal (although in doing so, prevents use of the USB hub).

The downsides? The lack of speakers is a bit of a pain, and it’s also worth noting that although this monitor does support 75Hz refresh rates at lower resolutions, when gaming at 4K it’s locked to 60Hz. Otherwise, this is a fiercely good monitor for just about any scenario.

Read our full Philips 279C9 review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 75Hz; Response time: 5ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C 3.0; Other ports: 4 x USB-A 3.2, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes

2. AOC U27P2CA: Best budget 4K monitor

Price when reviewed: £233 | Size: 27in || Check price at Amazon

The AOC U27P2CA is undoubtedly a great-value 4K monitor. The IPS panel is mounted on a stand with the four major types of adjustment: 150mm of height adjustment, 90 degrees of pivot, 180 degrees of swivel and 35 degrees of tilt. It has a four-port USB hub (with two mounted on the side for easy access) plus a USB-C port, two HDMI ports, one DP port and a 3.5mm headphone jack completing the impressive features list

This is a bright, punchy monitor that has a fairly wide colour gamut and a uniform panel. It struggles a bit with colour accuracy, which is surprising for an AOC monitor, but unless you’re a professional content creator this won’t be too much of an issue.

To be totally transparent, we criticised the U27P2CA in our full-length review because we felt it was overshadowed by its siblings, the 1440p Q27P2CA and 4K U32P2CA. However, if you desperately want the increased screen real estate and all the trimmings for a very reasonable price, you won’t be disappointed by this monitor at all.

Read our full AOC U27P2CA review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 75Hz; Response time: 4ms; Video inputs: 1 x HDMI 1.2, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm Speakers: Yes

3. Dell UltraSharp U2720Q: Best high-end 4K monitor

Price when reviewed: £585 | Size: 27in || Check price at Senetic

This unassuming 27in panel is brimming with features that combine to create the most well-rounded 4K monitor we’ve ever tested. From a technical perspective, this is an IPS panel that refreshes at 75Hz. It performed well on test, producing 95% of the sRGB colour gamut with good accuracy; DCI-P3 reproduction was a little less than advertised but at 87% remains pretty good for a non-professional monitor.

On the rear you’ll find a healthy selection of ports: one DP 1.4 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, three USB-A 3.0 ports and two USB-C 3.0 ports (one upstream, one downstream), plus a headphone jack for audio duties. Equally impressive is the stand, which provides all four of the crucial adjustments, including 130mm of upwards/downwards movement.

We had no issues navigating the onscreen display (OSD), although we did find that the stand wobbled a bit each time we pressed one of the four OSD navigation buttons. We were also a bit disappointed by the lack of built-in speakers – you’ll have to rely on the 3.5mm jack or a pair of headphones. These are minor quibbles, however, with what is otherwise a thoroughly impressive all-rounder. It’s just a shame that the price has been creeping upwards since launch.

Read our full Dell UltraSharp U2720Q review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 75Hz; Response time: 5ms; Video inputs: 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C 3.0; Other ports: 3 x USB-A 3.0, 2 x USB-C 3.0, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes

Check price at Senetic

4. Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ: Best 32in 4K gaming monitor

Price when reviewed: £1,220 | Size: 32in || Check price at Amazon

The latest high-end 32in 4K gaming monitor from Asus leverages HDMI 2.1 and Variable Refresh Rate technology to broaden its scope beyond the reach of PC gaming enthusiasts. This is a gaming monitor for PS5 and Xbox Series X owners – and a very good one at that.

From a practical perspective, the PG32UQ covers almost every base. Ports include HDMI 2.1 (two of these), DisplayPort 1.4 (one of these) and USB-A 3.0 (two of these) plus a USB-B port to wire in your laptop or PC. The monitor lacks only the ability to swivel into a portrait orientation – pivot, tilt and height adjustment options are all present and correct. It’s a big, hefty thing (almost 10kg) that will sear your retinas at close quarters, but that’s hardly unexpected.

Speaking of retina-searing, the PG32UQ supports DisplayHDR 600 and has 16 local dimming zones for more nuanced backlight control. The result is a higher standard of HDR than you’ll find on most gaming monitors – still not a patch on a proper HDR TV, but certainly noticeable when you’re mid-game. Pair this with outrageously vibrant colours (this monitor produces 120% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut, with solid accuracy to boot) and a lovely 144Hz refresh rate and you’re looking at a seriously impressive bit of kit. The only downside in this regard is the mediocre contrast, an unfortunate side effect of the IPS panel technology.

Our verdict is simple: if you have money to blow on a gaming monitor, and you’d prefer to play your next-gen console on a smaller (but no less impressive) screen, buy the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ.

Read our full Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B 3.0, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes

5. BenQ EW2880U: Best value 4K monitor

Price when reviewed: £329 | Size: 28in || Check price at Amazon

The BenQ EW2880U is a multipurpose 4K monitor with a comparatively low price tag. For the money, you’re getting a 28in IPS panel with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 5ms response time and AMD FreeSync support. The EW2280U performed well on test, producing 114% of the sRGB colour gamut with strong accuracy and achieving brightness and contrast results that lined up very neatly with BenQ’s claims (300cd/m² and 987:1 respectively). These final figures don’t exactly make for great HDR, but as the monitor has no official HDR certification this is only a small niggle

Outside of the panel’s performance, the EW2880U continues to impress. It has a decent selection of ports: two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DP 1.4 port for video and a USB-C port capable of delivering 60W of power and carrying a video signal at the same time. Great for owners of modern MacBooks in particular. The stand, meanwhile, offers height adjustment plus a small amount of swivel and tilt – not spectacular but good enough for most people

We also like this monitor’s surprisingly good audio and the fact that it comes with a remote control for easy access to volume controls while you’re comfy on your bed/sofa/gaming chair. It’s a jack of all trades and a master of none, sure; but at this price, it’s too good to ignore.

Read our full BenQ EW2880U review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 60Hz; Response time: 5ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x USB-C; Other ports: 1 x USB-C 3.0, 1 x 3.5m; Speakers: Yes

6. AOC U32P2CA: Best 32in 4K monitor

Price when reviewed: £426 | Size: 32in || Check price at Amazon

Successor to the impressive AOC U32P2, the AOC U32P2CA completes the package by taking everything that made its predecessor great and adding a USB-C port in for good measure

That means you’re getting a versatile stand with 180 degrees of left/right swivel and 150mm of height adjustment, which is more than enough to keep you in good posture. The port selection is near-identical to the U32P2’s, meaning you get four USB-A ports for peripherals, a USB-B port, two HDMI ports, one DP port and a 3.5mm headphone jack – that’s on top of the new USB-C port, which is capable of supplying 65W of power and carrying a video signal simultaneously.

The MVA panel technology lessens the severity of the poor viewing angles and produces a good contrast ratio and peak brightness. It’s not as accurate as its predecessor, unfortunately, but is nonetheless a punchy and colourful display for office use. The 75Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time (G2G) won’t prove too off-putting for casual gamers, either.

Overall, this is a practical, affordable 32in 4K monitor that’ll do you proud. If you need colour accuracy on a budget and don’t mind losing the USB-C port, however, consider the AOC U32P2 instead.

Read our full AOC U32P2CA review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: MVA; Refresh rate: 75Hz; Response time: 4ms; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 1 x USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes

7. Philips Momentum 279M1RV: Best 27in 4K gaming monitor

Price when reviewed: £720 | Size: 27in || Check price at Amazon

The Philips Momentum 279M1RV is an HDMI 2.1-compliant 27in 4K gaming monitor for PC, Xbox Series X and PS5. It ranks among our current favourite monitors full stop: this is the complete package, with a stunning display, a versatile stand and a great selection of ports plus a few surprising extras thrown in. That includes Philips Ambiglow lighting that adorns the rear and throws light onto a nearby surface.

With a DisplayHDR 600 certification (not 400, as Amazon suggests) and a 16-zone local-dimming backlight, the Momentum delivers impressive HDR performance for a gaming monitor, which further bolsters its position as a next-gen console companion. The stand offers tilt, pivot and height adjustment (it can’t rotate into portrait mode), and you’ll find both a USB hub and a USB-C port on the rear alongside HDMI, DP and 3.5mm ports.

This monitor aced our in-house tests, producing a wide gamut of colours in an accurate manner. Brightness topped out at 650 nits while contrast came in at 1,497:1 in HDR mode with local dimming enabled. Those are great results for an IPS panel, and they bode well for the HDR performance and general eye-popping-ness (technical term) of the panel

Obviously, this monitor isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the most well-rounded high-end gaming panels we’ve ever encountered.

Read our full Philips Momentum 279M1RV review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Refresh rate: 144Hz; Response time: 1ms; Video inputs: 3 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 4 x USB-A, 1 x USB-C, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes

8. Philips 27B1U7903: Best 4K monitor for professionals

Price when reviewed: £1,020 | Size: 27in || Check price at Amazon

The 27B1U7903 is Philips’ attempt to squeeze everything a high-end, professional-level user could realistically want in a 27in monitor. To that end, you get a 4K IPS display, support for the top-of-the-line DisplayHDR 1400 playback and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. Of course, all those features come at a fair old amount of cash for a 27in monitor, no matter how good.

Centre stage is the 3,840 x 2,160 163dpi IPS panel with a mini-LED backlight that features 2,304 individually controllable dimming zones. That is how the 27B1U7903 deserves its VESA DisplayHDR 1400 certification and delivers superb, almost OLED-level, HDR performance. It also helps that the maximum brightness in SDR mode is 997cd/m², while In HDR and from a small area (<5%), it’s a searing 1,800cd/m². That works wonders for the contrast ratio.

There’s plenty of colour available with gamut volumes of 163.3% sRGB, 112.5% Adobe RGB, and 115.7% DCI-P3 while the Delta E variance scores of 1.2 vs DCI-P3 and 1.6 vs AdobeRGB are professional grade. With two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.4 video input, four USB Type-A 3.2 Gen 1 data ports, two Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C 4 ports, and a gigabit RJ45 LAN port, the Philips is very well connected. Is it worth two grand? Absolutely.

Read our full Philips 27B1U7903 review for details

Other key specs – Screen technology: IPS; Video inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4; Other ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 4 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm; Speakers: Yes; Refresh rate: 60Hz