In 2021, 4K resolution will be the standard for sharp image clarity. There are 8K TVs and even more modest 6K screens available. Even the greatest graphics cards can produce greater frame rates at reduced resolutions. But, if we’re being practical about what our eyes need and can perceive, how big a screen we can fit, our budget, and the media we have, 3840 x 2160 ranks near the top of premium viewing experiences, whether you’re gaming, watching a movie, surfing the web, or doing work. You can get there without breaking the bank with one of the finest budget 4K displays.
For a long time, 4K was considered a luxury that was out of reach for a PC monitor. However, as high-resolution screens have grown more mainstream and the bleeding edge has shifted to greater pixel counts, a market sector of low-cost 4K monitors has emerged, allowing you to bring the Ultra HD experience to your desktop.
The following are the top 4K monitors on a budget:
The Samsung UR59C offers a 32-inch VA screen with accuracy and curves, making it the best cheap 4K monitor. The image quality is excellent, with bright, realistic colors and legible lettering. Your website and games should seem as they should. The UR59C also has excellent contrast, as one would expect from a VA panel, with a contrast ratio of 2,590.5:1 after calibration.
Ultrawide screens normally have more noticeable curves, but the UR59C’s 1500R curve is noticeable and advantageous, allowing us to keep more windows in view despite its 16:9 aspect ratio.
Although this display isn’t designed for professional gaming, it can be used by casual gamers. The UR59C offers a 60 Hz refresh rate, a 4 millisecond reaction time, and no FreeSync or G-Sync to prevent screen tearing. Even a 75 Hz screen would provide considerably better response times and input latency scores. Games, on the other hand, didn’t look horrible thanks to the strong contrast and pixel density of a 32-inch 4K screen. You can enjoy blur-free gaming on the UR59C if you’re playing games that aren’t graphically intensive or at lower settings, and you have a fast enough graphics card that can consistently hit 60 frames per second (fps).
Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q
A monitor with 8.3 million pixels and a 144 Hz refresh rate will set you back a pretty penny. The Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, the finest affordable 4K gaming monitor, runs at a slower 60 Hz yet resists screen rips with FreeSync. Yes, input lag and reaction time are both much longer than on a 144 Hz panel.
This is a wonderful option if you’re working with a budget graphics card and want your games to seem detailed and realistic. On the VG289Q, SDR games seemed extra vivid, and dynamic contrast provided minor visual enhancements such as additional dimension. However, there are some displays on this page with superior contrast.
Although HDR isn’t as good as it is on a monitor with a full-array local dimming (FALD) or even an edge array backlight, shadows and highlights were crisper, and we appreciated the color boost.
Check out the LG 32UN500-W if you’re looking for a 32-inch 4K monitor on a budget. When it comes to image quality, contrast is key, and the 32UN500-W’s VA panel delivered a contrast ratio of 2,353.9:1 out of the box. DCI-P3 is the 32UN500-W’s native color gamut, and it accurately covers that color space without obvious inaccuracies.
The 32UN500-W isn’t going to win any HDR awards as a budget 4K monitor. Colors aren’t as vibrant as they should be, and the image doesn’t offer much of a boost over SDR.
However, the 32UN500-W boasts two 5W speakers as well as AMD FreeSync to prevent screen tears during recreational gaming. In general, it produced vibrant colors with deep blacks, making it ideal for watching 4K movies and other similar content.
With a bright screen, a consistently accurate image, and handy add-ons, the Dell S2721QS deserves the title of finest 27-inch cheap 4K monitor. The ability to connect multiple PCs and see them concurrently via picture-in-picture or picture-by-picture mode, as well as an optional program that allows you to calibrate the screen or arrange up to six windows in various preset configurations, are among the extra features. The latter is a huge help in terms of increasing production.
HDR isn’t a strong suit for this display. In this setting, we captured undersaturated color as well as obvious grayscale mistakes. And this monitor isn’t fast enough or has enough Adaptive-Sync (FreeSync or G-Sync) to be a good gaming screen.
However, in terms of image quality, this is a bright screen, with a maximum brightness of 393 nits in our testing and a high contrast ratio for an IPS monitor (1,101:1). You can also count on precise color reproduction. With the sRGB color, we only got a 2.6dE error.
If you’re doing professional work, a professional monitor is a good choice. Professional monitors are noted for providing outstanding accuracy at a high cost. However, as monitors improve, we’ve arrived at a stage where you can get monitors that have pro-level color accuracy without the pro-level price tag.
One such screen is the HP U28, which is the greatest cheap 4K display for creatives. The U28 distinguishes out among the monitors on this page for its ability to accurately cover both the sRGB and P3 color spaces with just a switch in the OSD and no calibration. You also get an adjustable stand with height and swivel adjustments, as well as the ability to switch from landscape to portrait mode, giving you lots of options for creative work.
The U28 from HP, on the other hand, is not cheap. While not as expensive as professional displays, the U28 is now the most expensive monitor on this list.
Still, with a USB-C port for charging laptops (or other devices), you might be able to cut down on cable clutter, and there are plenty of other connections to choose from. With that benefit in mind, as well as creative-level accuracy, the U28 is ideal for pursuing a pastime or possibly a job.