Below you’ll find a short list of my favorite 4K UHD monitors for 2016. Below that you can read our 4K UHD monitor buying guide in order to learn what to look for when buying a 4K monitor online.
See all of our 4K UHD Monitor Reviews
If you’re looking for a really HUGE 4K UHD monitor then you’ll want to check out the Philips BDM4350UC. The coolest feature of this giant 43-inch monitor is the fact that you can squeeze in four Full HD inputs and have them each displayed on one-quarter of the screen. At first glance, you might think this beast is expensive but I can assure you that it’s much more affordable than you could imagine.
If you’re looking for a mid-range 4K UHD monitor, look no further than the Dell S2817Q. This model is an excellent value and balances price to quality and features perfectly. This is sort of a mid-range monitor, but because it’s made by Dell, it’s a quality product that also has some excellent features. Some highlights include the powerful built-in speakers and blazing fast 2 ms response time.
WASABI MANGO UHD400
If you want a HUGE 4K monitor but you also want a really great deal, I would recommend checking out the WASABI MANGO UHD400. It’s hard to find any information regarding this manufacturer or this specific model, however, the positive customer reviews speak for themselves. This is probably the ONLY 4K UHD monitor you’ll see that’s 40+ inches in the sub-$600 price range. Even if you hadn’t planned to buy such a large monitor, I would still recommend checking this one out and reading the reviews on it. You might just change your mind.
I always dig deep to find the very best deals and the 28 inch 4K UHD YAMAKASI M280PU is definitely one of the gems I’ve uncovered. If you’re looking for a fair bargain and you don’t want one of those huge monitors listed above, give this one a shot. It’s a relatively unknown monitor yet a lot of people have really good things to say about it. Best of all, it’s the cheapest 4K UHD monitor on this list.
The Samsung U24E590D is great if you are looking for a really high-quality display that’s perfect for gaming. This monitor features AMD’s FreeSync technology that allows it to dynamically change refresh rates allowing for smooth, crisp images in high-action scenes. Samsung is known for the highest quality products and this monitor is no exception. If you want a top of the line 4K UHD monitor, definitely check out this monitor and other Samsung monitors.
What to Look For
The only common element of 4K UHD monitors is their screen resolution: 3840×2160 pixels. Other than that, monitors vary in a number of ways including color gamut, brightness, contrast, size, inputs and outputs, speakers, backlighting, and finish.
Below we’ll flesh out some of these concepts so you know exactly what to look for when purchasing a 4K UHD monitor online.
This is a really important spec that’s too often overlooked when people shop for monitors. The new 4K UHD standard has certainly brought a lot more attention to color gamut as the emphasis of the picture on a display is how realistic it looks, no matter what the actual specifications are.
Color gamut really boils down to how many colors your display is actually able to represent. More colors equal more realistic images. Typically, displays with higher contrast ratios will be able to cover a larger part of any color gamut as they are able to represent very bright, vivid colors alongside very deep, rich blacks.
If you are a digital artist or anyone who demands the very best realism from their monitor, you will want to find a display that is able to represent 100% of the sRGB spectrum. This ensures a greater level of accuracy for the colors on the screen.
Brightness and Backlighting
How bright your display can get, based on its backlighting, impacts the contrast of your display (and ultimately your color gamut) more than people may realize.
Monitors with extremely high dynamic contrast ratios generally have LED backlights that are able to regionally or locally dim depending on the needs of the colors near the LED light. The LED lights get bright and dark just exactly where they are needed to create bright colors and very dark blacks.
Most modern LCD monitors depend heavily on the dynamic contrast ratio spec to represent the performance of their displays in terms of how bright and how dark they can get. A lot of people would probably say that dynamic contrast ratios are exaggerated by the manufacturers. Either way, higher is better.
If you’re familiar with how audio products are power rated I would assume this would be a similar situation. Amplifiers and speakers can be rated with a max wattage as well as an RMS wattage. The max wattage is usually some exaggerated number while the RMS wattage is what people go by. This is the same with monitors, although the actual contrast ratio is usually nowhere to be found when the huge bloated dynamic contrast ratio is used to advertise the product.
Matte Vs Glossy
Most people prefer a matte screen. Glossy screens are said to improve contrast (there’s that word again!) although they pick up reflections very easily and can be somewhat messy and hard to clean. I’ll leave this one to personal preference although I would recommend a matte screen if you have no preference.
Inputs and Outputs
Modern video inputs and their pros/cons.
- VGA (D-sub): The classic connector that goes back to some of the most primitive computers you might find. The advantage of having a VGA connector is backward compatibility. The drawback is that it is an analog connection.
- HDMI: The High Definition Media Interface port is most popular among televisions and gaming consoles. If you have an HDMI port on your monitor you can connect your gaming console to it. The downside is that HDMI only goes up to 60 Hz refresh rate.
- DVI: A Digital Visual Interface port is like having an HDMI connection without the sound. The good thing is that a lot of devices have DVI. The bad is that the connectors are cables are kind of bulky and antiquated like VGA D-sub technology.
- DisplayPort: DisplayPort works much in the same way as HDMI. The good is that unlike HDMI, DisplayPort can achieve refresh rates above 60 Hz. The only downside is that not a lot of devices have DisplayPort technology.
- USB 3.1: Also known as USB Type-C or simply USB-C. This latest incarnation of the ever popular USB standard now includes enough power to charge your laptop and enough bandwidth to support 4K UHD monitors. The only downside is that it’s still new technology so it is expensive and there are fewer devices that support it.
- Lightning: Operates much the same as USB 3.1. Includes daisy chaining devices and support for a wide range of devices including monitors, input devices and more. Will this new standard go the way of FireWire? Like USB-C, Lightning ports also suffer from high prices and limited device support at this time.
It’s also good to check for any audio inputs or outputs that would be necessary for your configuration. Also, check if a monitor has speakers if you intend to play audio from it. Just because it has an HDMI connection doesn’t guarantee that it has speakers built-in. Most of the time, if speakers aren’t included, manufacturers will add 3.5mm headphone jacks that can be used for headphones or as an audio output to a receiver or amplifier.