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Best monitors 2022: Upgrade to a proper screen

The top external displays for photo editing, office work and more

Abstract image of a blue monitor on a white background

Many businesses provide their staff with basic, cheap monitors – but a screen upgrade can be a smart investment. A display with plenty of working space helps staff to be more productive, while strong brightness and contrast will keep them from squinting and struggling in bright sunlight. A sharper, clearer and more colourful screen is even likely to make them more enthused and motivated.

There are other considerations, too. While colour reproduction may not be crucial to all departments, if you’re putting together materials to be shared online or professionally printed, you’ll want a screen that gives an accurate impression of how the finished product will look – otherwise you’re putting your company’s reputation on the line.

Here’s our selection of the best displays on the market, to help you choose the perfect screens for your business. 

Acer ConceptD CP5271UV

Acer ConceptD CP5271UV

The CP5271UV blew the IT Pro team away with its versatility, lending itself equally well to gaming and video editing as it does to professional-level graphic design. Since it's suitable for creative professionals, it naturally has an extremely high colour accuracy rating, covering 94% of the Adobe RGB gamut and 92% of the DCI-P3's profile too. A 360-degree swivel stand and 180mm worth of height adjustment also impressed, with only the fiddly OSD being the standout weakness.

Size27in
Resolution2,560 x 1,440
Brightness480cd/m2
Video Inputs

DisplayPort 1.4 (HDCP 2.2), 2 x HDMI 2 (HDCP 2.2), USB-C (Power Delivery up to 65W)

Price when reviewed: £667 exc VAT

Read our full Acer ConceptD CP5271UV review for more information.

Dell UltraSharp 25 USB-C

Dell UltraSharp 25 USB-C monitor

The Dell UltraSharp 25 USB-C was another monitor in this list with which we struggled to find a fault. In typical Dell fashion, the design is clean and solid - fit for any office environment - and the 1440p resolution is a serious selling point given the size of the display. At 25 inches, it's not the biggest monitor among our top picks but the resolution feels much crisper given the smaller screen size. For the price, you'll also struggle to find a more colour accurate monitor with 95% of the sRGB gamut and 89% of the DCI-P3 gamut covered.

Size25in
Resolution2,560 x 1,440
Brightness366cd/m2
Video InputsDisplayPort 1.4, HDMI, USB-C

Price when reviewed: £288 exc VAT

Read our full Dell UltraSharp 25 USB-C review for more information.

AOC Q34E2A

AOC Q34E2A monitor photograph

If you're looking for maximum screen estate on the smallest budget possible then the AOC Q34E2A is highly likely to be your best bet. At the price, though, there are some drawbacks to the display that should be expected with a 34-inch monitor at less than £200 (exc VAT). The colour accuracy is actually solid, covering 92% of the sRGB colour gamut which is a great score, all things considered. It's perhaps not quite accurate enough for graphic design, but good for the price. Users are also treated to a bright display that's evenly lit across the panel, although there is no height adjustment so a monitor arm might be best for this, depending on your setup.

Size34in
Resolution2,560 x 1,080
Brightness349cd/m2
Video Inputs

DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 1.4

Price when reviewed: £198 exc VAT

Read our full AOC Q34E2A review for more information.

Eizo FlexScan EV2360

Eizo FlexScan EV2360 monitor photograph

Sometimes all you need is a small tool to get the job done and the EV2360 offers a curious combination of display size, aspect ratio, and resolution that works really well. The 22.5-inch display is smaller than the average panel but combined with a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution stretched over a 16:10 aspect ratio, the work area didn't ever feel overly cramped at all. A less desirable colour accuracy score of 87% tested against the sRGB colour gamut is one of the few notable issues, along with the weak speakers, but it's a decent overall at an affordable price.

Size22.5in
Resolution1,920 x 1,200
Brightness250cd/m2
Video Inputs

DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA

Price when reviewed: £177 exc VAT

Read our full Eizo FlexScan EV2360 review for more information.

LG UltraWide Ergo 34WN780-B

A photograph of the LG UltraWide Ergo 34WN780-B

It's not often a monitor's stand steals the headlines in a hardware review but the backbone of the LG UltraWide Ergo 34WN780-B delivered a bespoke fit for the monitor as well as an array of ergonomic benefits including a generous 130mm of height adjustment. The display itself is highly colour accurate scoring 98% of the sRGB colour gamut and offers ample room for work with a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution, however, a lack of USB-C connectivity may be a deal-breaker for some.

Size34in
Resolution3,440 x 1,440
Brightness330cd/m2
Video Inputs

1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0

Price when reviewed: £358 exc VAT

Read our full LG UltraWide Ergo 34WN780-B review for more information.

Philips Moda 27 (4K)

A photograph of the Philips Moda 27 (4K)

There are plenty of 4K displays on the market that are comparably capable and much cheaper - sometimes hundreds of pounds cheaper, in fact - than the Moda 27 but regardless, this display makes you want to spent the extra money. Outstanding colour accuracy is married with a clean design, slick joystick-controlled OSD, and ample connectivity options to make this monitor's price seem entirely reasonable.

Size27in
Resolution

3,840 x 2,160

Brightness382cd/m2
Video Inputs

1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C (65W)

Price when reviewed: £385 exc VAT

Read our full Philips Moda 27 (4K) review for more information.

Iiyama ProLite XUB2792QSN-B1

A photograph of the Iiyama ProLite XUB2792QSN-B1

This great-value package delivers what previous Iiyama displays have often lacked in the past: USB-C connectivity. With hot desking so prevalent in modern offices, efficient one-cable connectivity is key and the USB-C connectivity added to this largely colour-accurate 2,560 x 1,440 panel delivers just that. It's a versatile monitor that's perfect for businesses locked to a £300 budget but is only let down in a few areas, such as a lack of colour customisation and depleting colour accuracy as you reach the outer edges of the display.

Size27in
Resolution2,560 x 1,440
Brightness341cd/m2
Video Inputs

1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB-C (65W)

Price when reviewed: £286 exc VAT

Read our full Iiyama ProLite XUB2792QSN-B1 review for more information.

Philips Brilliance 346P1C

A photograph of the Philips Brilliance 346P1C

It's not often you find a monitor that produces truly stunning colours, and whites in particular, on a VA panel - that accolade is usually reserved for IPS panels - but the 346P1C bucks the trend. A blisteringly bright display coupled with impressive 95% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut is a real plus, and the robust selection of ports, including a USB-C port with a rare 90W of power delivery, means just about any device can hook up to this monitor and enjoy its excellence. It's truly one of the very best products in this list.

Size34in
Resolution3,440 x 1,440
Brightness463cd/m2
Video Inputs

1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB-C (90W)

Price when reviewed: £416 exc VAT

Read our full Philips Brilliance 346P1C review for more information.

Poly Studio P21

A photograph of the Poly Studio P21

All-in-one video meeting solutions are less common choices for workplace monitors but they certainly serve a purpose. As you would expect, the P21 sports excellent audio and video quality and users enjoy a delightfully simple setup process. It's not a stunner, visually. A small 21.5-inch display runs a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution - dated by today's standards - and uses LCD technology rather than the more modern IPS or OLED panels. You're probably not looking for this to be a graphics design powerhouse anyway, but it's a fantastic solution for those who want a great virtual meeting experience.

Size21.5in
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
Video Inputs

USB-C x3

Price when reviewed: £620 exc VAT

Read our full Poly Studio P21 review for more information.

MSI Modern MD271CP

A photograph of the MSI Modern MD271CP

The real selling points for this products are the value and looks. Coming at just north of £200 (exc VAT), the product is excellent value, offering 27 inches of curved screen estate in what is a very aesthetically pleasing package - something often seen as an afterthought by manufacturers. It takes some configuring in the OSD to get the picture looking its best, but with the right settings the display is pleasing enough for the price, though colour accuracy could be better.

Size27in
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
Brightness220cd/m2
Video Inputs

1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x USB-C/DisplayPort

Price when reviewed: £208 exc VAT

Read our full MSI Modern MD271CP review for more information.

ViewSonic VP2785-2K

VP2785-2K

Although at first sight the VP2785-2K appears to be overpriced, it's actually a steal for creative professional on a budget, especially those who work in both print and video. This monitor comes with the promise of 100% coverage of the Adobe RGB gamut and 96% of DCI-P3, and it also supports hardware calibration, for which you can set a regular reminder in the OSD. All the features are here, whether that’s pivoting, 130mm of height adjustment or the inclusion of a three-port USB-A hub.

Size27in
Resolution2,560 x 1,440
Brightness340cd/m2
Video InputsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, USB Type-C

Price when reviewed: £493 exc VAT

Read our full ViewSonic VP2785-2K review for more information.

Philips Brilliance 328P6

Phillips Brilliance 328P6

It may not be as beautiful, or as tweakable, but Philips has invested its budget in all the areas that matter to create yet another brilliant monitor for a great price. The Brilliance does live up to its name: while a peak brightness of 460cd/m2 in general use is more than enough, this monitor’s VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification means that it can hit 600cd/m2 highs when playing suitable material. In fact, you can even make the argument for this screen to act as a TV.

Size31.5in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160
Brightnessup to 600cd/m2
Video Inputs1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Type-C, RJ-45 Ethernet port

Price when reviewed: £458 exc VAT

Read our full Philips Brilliance 328P6 review for more information.

Philips 243B9

Philips 243B9 on desk

The Philips 243B9 is a simple yet functional 24in 1080p monitor that fills this particular niche with aplomb. While its understated design isn't necessarily ugly, it does feel decidedly cheap in comparison to some of Philips' more premium models. That said, the Philips 243B9 is an affordable gem: it offers great colour accuracy, a solid maximum brightness and lots of handy extra features all for less than £200. There are very few monitors in this price bracket that can offer the same level of quality. 

Size23.8in
Resolution1920 x 1080
Brightness285.62cd/m2
Video InputsVGA, DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, USB-C 3.2 Gen 1

Price when reviewed: £180 exc VAT

Read our full Philips 243B9 review for more information

Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH

Philips Brilliance monitor

The Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH is one of the best all-round productivity powerhouses IT Pro has ever seen. Thanks to its 3,440x1,440 resolution, there's room for three documents side by side, which surely ends the debate on whether two screens are better than one. While it's not as expansive as Philips' colossal 49in Brilliance 499P9H, it's also much more manageable and reasonably-priced. If you're looking for an all-purpose, future-proof monitor, you won't get much better than this.

Size34in curved panel (1500R)
Resolution3,440 x 1,440
Brightness500cd/m2
Video InputsDisplayPort 1.4 (HDCP 2.2), HDMI 2 (HDCP 2.2), USB-C (power delivery up to 90W)

Price when reviewed: £458 exc VAT

Read our full Philips Brilliance 346P1CRH for more information

Eizo Foris Nova

Eizo Foris Nova

The Eizo Foris Nova isn't any old monitor - it's the McLaren of monitors, according to our review, and it defies all notion of what a monitor is. It's so special that there are only 500 units of it in existence and it costs a whopping £2,416. You do get quite a lot for that though; a 4K OLED panel, a stylish build, HDR video and perfect colour accuracy. We can't quite say that is worth over two thousand pounds, but it sure looks good.

Size21.6in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160
Brightness330cd/m2
Video Inputs2 x HDMI (v1.4)

Price when reviewed: £2,416 exc VAT

Read our full Eizo Foris Nova review for more information

AOC U2790PQU

A photograph of the AOC U2790PQU

The AOC U2790PQU packs a number of valuable features including a snazzy design and a highly adjustable screen. and it's a bargain at just £234. It may have been built to a budget but it both looks and feels more classy than its closest rival, the Iiyama. For day-to-day duties, its panel is fine, and it also packs an impressivr 3,840x2,160 pixels into its 27in frame.

Size27in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160
Brightness465cd/m2
Video Inputs1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0

Price when reviewed: £234 exc VAT

Read our full AOC U2790PQU review for more information

Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

A photograph of the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q

If you're looking for a 27in monitor to upgrade your home office, we can't think of many that would do the job better than the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q. You can buy a 27in 4K monitor for less, but they lack the all-round quality of the Dell and the versatility provided by its USB-C connector. If you're looking for 4K, want USB-C and can't afford more expensive rivals, the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is the monitor for you.

Size27in
Resolution3,840 x 2,160
Brightnessn/a
Video Inputs1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Type-C

Price when reviewed: £445 exc VAT

Read our full Dell UltraSharpU2720Q review for more information

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