The Best Monitor Buyer’s Guide – Summer 2022

By Ari Altman | Published July 11, 2022 | Updated July 11, 2022

Acer Predator X34A New Monitor Is Your Best PC Upgrade!

Technology is always improving, and there’s no place that’s more evident than in the latest monitors. Our Monitor Buyer’s Guide continues to feature the best offerings, a total of ten models in all, many of them launched in the past year. This just goes to show just how fast the industry is moving.

From mainstream to 4K to ultra-wide, there’s something new and better at every pricepoint! And a quick shoutout to gamers: if you’ve been holding off on a new GPU upgrade due to high prices, use the money you’ve saved up on a new gaming monitor and get the most from your current PC today!

All the Best Picks for Summer 2022!

There’s a monitor in our guide for everyone, from home and small office users, to content creators, traders, and gamers. They include models ranging in size from 24″ to 38″, and just about every resolution you can think of, from 1920 x 1080 to four times that (3840 x 2160 or 4K). But there’s more to monitors than just size and resolution. Therefore, we’ve broken down our picks into two main categories:

  • Home- and Small-Office Monitors: The first five monitors on our list fit into this category, offering prices, features, and designs for any office environment. They start at just over $100 and go up to around $1,000.
  • Gaming Monitors: The last five monitors on our list are gaming-specific monitors, which at this point must feature both frame syncing technology (AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync) and high refresh rates (at minimum we recommend 144Hz, but our picks now go up to 180Hz). There’s no reason to buy a “gaming monitor” that doesn’t have both of these features today. While Acer and Asus used to dominate the gaming monitor market, there’s more competition than ever, including from the big names in the TV industry, particularly LG, plus the elite gaming brand Gigabyte. This is pushing innovation forward and bringing prices down. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer!

A Quick Primer on Frame Syncing Technology

Gamers who have been out of the market for a while may want to learn more about the concept of frame syncing. This method of displaying images on screen matches a monitor’s refresh rate to frames rendered, rather than refreshing at a locked 60Hz. Sounds simple, but it makes a big difference. By eliminating lag and screen tearing caused by too many or too few frames being displayed, frame syncing provides truly fluid images.

There are two types: Nvidia’s G-Sync, which requires additional hardware in the monitor along with a licensing fee that drives up the price, as well as AMD’s FreeSync, which uses capabilities built into the DisplayPort standard. While this led to confusion among gamers for years, Nvidia finally relented in early 2020 and unlocked FreeSync compatibility in its modern GPUs via drivers. Today, any monitor marketed as “G-Sync Compatible” actually works on either Nvidia or AMD GPUs! With that said, “G-Sync” monitors still only work on Nvidia GPUs, and we typically only recommend those to gamers using ultra-high-end Nvidia GPUs. To see our recommend video cards, definitely check out our Video Card Buyer’s Guide.

Final Thoughts

As always, links to Amazon are provided for our US readers, which will auto-convert for readers in Canada, the UK, and parts of the EU, with automatic substitutions made where necessary. If you decide to purchase any of the models we profile, please support this site by using the links we provide.

Monitors – Summer 2022

Home/Small Office

  • The 24-inch Small Office Monitor

    Sceptre E248W-19203R

    $111
    This monitor offers a 24″ 1920 x 1080 panel, a 75Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling, a slim bezel for sleek looks, as well as dual HDMI inputs and a VGA input. It even has built-in speakers!
    The Guru’s Tip

    To use the built-in speakers, we recommend connecting this monitor to your PC using an HDMI cable.

  • The 27" Productivity Monitor

    Sceptre E275W-QPT

    $200
    As is typical of a Sceptre monitor, this one packs in a tremendous amount of features for the price. It offers a big 27″ 2560 x 1440 IPS panel, a 75Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling than typical 60Hz monitors, a Displayport and dual HDMI 1.4 ports, plus built-in speakers. It even includes a Displayport cable in the box!
    The Guru’s Tip

    This model competes in price with many 24" 1080p monitors!

  • The 32-inch 4K Monitor

    LG 32UN550-W

    $330
    Looking for the best high-end content creation monitor available at a bargain price? This is it! It gives you a great view of your desktop, thanks to its massive 32″ 4K panel! It also includes a highly-adjustable stand for proper ergonomics.
    The Guru’s Tip

    LG is offering this at a price so close to typical 27" 1440p monitors that it's practically a must-buy if you have the space for it!

  • The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor

    Philips 346E2CUAE

    $420
    It wasn’t long ago that monitors with the specs of this model would cost twice as much, so there’s no doubt that Philips is offering tremendous value in a high-end model here. You get a huge 34″ curved VA panel with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 , 121% of the sRGB color gamut, and an adjustable stand to allow for an ergonomic position. It’s equipped with Displayport and HDMI inputs, plus a USB Type-C port to connect to laptops. The best part is that it’s protected by a 4-year advanced exchange warranty.
    The Guru’s Tip

    This professionally-styled and high-performance monitor would be at home in any small office (as long as you have the desk space for it!).

  • The 38-inch Ultra-Wide Productivity Monitor

    LG 38WN95C-W

    $1197
    With a massive resolution of 3840×1600 and a highly-curved 38″ panel, this ultra-wide from LG is the perfect productivity monitor. It can easily support viewing three standard-sized windows side-by-side. For a lot of use cases, that’s much better than a 4K monitor, which has the same horizontal resolution spanned across a much shorter width, making it harder to see. This model also has USB Type-C with 90W power delivery, which is perfect for connecting to a laptop for both video and charging.
    The Guru’s Tip

    Remember, this isn't just bigger than 34"-class ultra-wides, it's also higher resolution, allowing you to make use of that extra space!

Gaming

  • The 24-inch 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    AOC 24G2

    $170
    If you want to pick up a true “gaming” monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. And this is the very best value out there in high-refresh-rate monitors. It features a 24″ 1920×1080 IPS panel capable of displaying images at up to 144Hz, which makes it infinitely smoother than a standard 60Hz monitor that costs just a bit less. And thanks to its FreeSync technology, it will run with zero lag or screen-tearing. Another nice feature of this model is the height-adjustable stand, which allows you to dial in just the right setup!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Not long ago, a monitor like this would have sold for well above $200!

  • The 27" 2560x1440 Gaming Monitor

    HP X27q

    $250
    HP has taken over the value high-end gaming monitor market with the X27q. Didn’t think you could get value in a high-end monitor? Think again! The X27q offers all the specs you could want: a 27″ 2560×1440 IPS panel capable of a 165Hz refresh rate, enhanced with FreeSync Premium frame-syncing technology. Previously, you couldn’t get anything but an inferior TN panel for this price. The X27q even has a height-adjustable stand, which we consider critical for a high-end monitor, making this a flat-out winner!
    The Guru’s Tip

    Most monitors in this size class are stuck at 144Hz, but HP has punched it up to 165Hz!

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    AOC CU34G2X

    $380
    Are you ready for serious big-screen gaming? Then feast your eyes on this 34″ monitor from AOC, which breaks new ground in terms of features and performance per dollar. The Nitro packs in an ultra-wide 3440 x 1440 VA panel with a 1500R curve, a fast 144Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync technology to keep your frames running smoothly. It also offers a height-adjustable stand (unusual at this pricepoint), plus a 3-year hassle-free warranty for screen defects!
    The Guru’s Tip

    While 4K is most definitely a thing, ultra-wide gaming may in fact be superior, despite the lower resolution, due to the enhanced immersion you get from the wider viewport.

  • The 32" 4K 144Hz Gamer's Dream Monitor

    Gigabyte M32U

    $700
    It took seemingly forever for the elusive 32″ 4K 144Hz panels that gamers had dreamed of for years to finally hit the market, and surprisingly Gigabyte was first out of the gate with one widely available at retail. Known for its high-end video cards and motherboards, Gigabyte has quickly made a name for itself in the gaming monitor market, and the M32U simply astounds with its features. Get a load of these specs: a 31.5″ 3840 x 2160 4K IPS panel, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms (GTG) response time, FreeSync, 10-bit color,  90% DCI-P3  and 123% sRGB color space, and VESA DisplayHDR 400. It even has a built-in KVM switch, allowing you to use it on multiple systems with the push of a button!
    The Guru’s Tip

    For years, 4K gaming monitors were stuck at 27", which is simply too small to take advantage of the immense resolution.

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    Acer Predator X34 Sbmiiphzx

    $1100
    Without a doubt, the latest Acer Predator X34 is best of breed, offering the absolute best performance and features of any 34″ ultra-wide on the market. That includes 3440×1440 IPS panel with a 1900R curve, a refresh rate of up to a blazing-fast 180Hz, Nvidia G-Sync frame syncing, plus Nvidia’s advanced Reflex Latency Analyzer, which pairs with high-end mice to allow you to fine-tune responsiveness to an unprecedented degree.
    The Guru’s Tip

    While there are bigger gaming monitors out there, none offer the fine balance of performance and size that this one does.

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