The Best Monitor Buyer’s Guide – Winter 2024

By Ari Altman | Published February 5, 2024 | Updated February 5, 2024

Gigabyte M32UA 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 a dozen models in all, many of them launched in the past year.

The reality is that intense competition and innovation is making it harder to navigate the monitor market, especially for gaming, but even productivity monitors are increasingly laden with specs. From mainstream to 4K to super-ultra-wide, 24″ to 49″, 60Hz to 240Hz, IPS to OLED, and various flavors of HDR, there’s a lot to take in. You might even need to consider whether a monitor can charge your laptop over USB Type-C, effectively adding power supply functionality. The big question is, which features do you want, because you can’t have them all!

All the Best Picks for Winter 2024!

In this guide, we try to find the best overall pick for each user in each product category, from budget home office to extreme gaming. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so we’ve broken down our picks into two main categories:

  • Home- and Small-Office Monitors: The first six 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 $1,200. These are differentiated based on size of course, but also stand adjustability, USB charging, and color quality.
  • Gaming Monitors: The last six 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 240Hz). 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, they’ve fallen behind big names in the TV industry, Samsung and LG, and other brands are leading the way on value, including Sceptre and 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 – Winter 2024

Home/Small Office

  • The 24-inch Small Office Monitor

    Sceptre E249W-19203R

    $97
    This monitor offers a 24″ 1920 x 1080 panel, a 75Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling, blue light shift to reduce eye strain, 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

    Samsung S61B

    $200
    This Samsung model offers a big 27″ 2560 x 1440 IPS panel, a 75Hz refresh rate for smoother scrolling than typical 60Hz monitors, dual Displayports and an HDMI 1.4 ports. It even includes an HDMI cable in the box!

    The Guru’s Tip

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

  • The 32-inch 4K Monitor

    LG 32UP83A-W

    $400
    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, and the IPS technology ensures great viewing angles and crisp colors! It also includes a highly-adjustable stand for proper ergonomics, plus 60W power delivery over USB-C.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is a big step up from the 27" 1440p monitor above, and while it does cost more, we think it's the ideal pick for most users today.

  • The 34-inch Widescreen Monitor

    LG 34WQ73A-B

    $429
    It wasn’t long ago that monitors with the specs of this model would cost twice as much, so there’s no doubt that LG is offering tremendous value in a high-end model here. You get an ultra-crisp 34″ curved IPS panel with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 offering, 99% 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 and provide video and up to 90W of charging. It has dual USB 3.0 ports to connect a mouse and keyboard, and even has a built-in KVM switch for the ultimate productivity enhancement: swap your monitor and peripherals between your desktop and laptop with the touch of a button!

    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 32-inch Professional 4K Monitor

    ViewSonic VP3256-4K

    $500
    Pair your content creation machine with a monitor that will let your work shine! The awesome ViewSonic VP3256 is a 32″ 4K IPS  monitor that achieves 100% sRGB gamut coverage, 95% Adobe RGB and Delta E<2 accuracy, and is Pantone-validated for tremendous color accuracy! It even has USB-C 60W power delivery, so you can connect your laptop and charge it at the same time!

    The Guru’s Tip

    There are a lot of 4K monitors out there, but again, there's much more to making a great monitor than just the resolution.

  • The 38-inch Ultra-Wide Productivity Monitor

    ViewSonic VP3881A

    $1200
    With a massive resolution of 3840×1600 and a highly-curved 38″ 2300R panel, the latest ultra-wide from ViewSonic can easily support viewing three standard-sized windows side-by-side. It’s also incredibly classy, perfect for a professional environment. Plus it supports laptops via a single USB-C cable for charging, video, and data!

    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 165Hz Gaming Monitor

    Sceptre E248B-FPT168 24″ 165Hz

    $122
    If you want to pick up a true “gaming” monitor, you want something with a high refresh rate. Luckily for you, Sceptre has been busy breaking down price barriers for high-refresh-rate monitors. This model features a 24″ 1920×1080 IPS panel (superior to TN or VA!), capable of displaying images at up to 165Hz, 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.

    The Guru’s Tip

    This is truly an amazing value - just a year ago, all you could get at this pricepoint was a 75Hz monitor, now you're getting something over twice as fast, and for gaming, that makes a huge difference!

  • The 27" 1440p 144Hz Gaming Monitor

    Sceptre E275B-QPN168

    $197
    Sceptre is all about deliver inconspicuously-named monitors with out-of-this-world value! This one packs in a big 27″ 2560 x 1440 IPS panel, a 144Hz refresh rate and FreeSync Premium for ultra-smooth framerates, a Displayport, an HDMI 2.0 port, and dual HDMI 1.4 ports, plus built-in speakers. To get it set up just right, it has a height-adjustable stand, unheard of in this price range. It even includes a Displayport cable in the box, which is what you want to use to get the most out of this monitor!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Not long ago, a monitor like this would have sold for well above $300!

  • The 34-inch Gaming Monitor

    Asus TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B

    $400
    Are you ready for serious big-screen gaming? Then feast your eyes on this 34″ monitor from Asus, which breaks new ground in terms of features and performance per dollar. It has an ultra-wide 3440 x 1440 curved VA panel, a fast 165Hz refresh rate, and FreeSync Premium technology to keep your frames running smoothly. It also offers a height-adjustable stand (unusual at this pricepoint), plus built-in speakers (which are more for convenience than incredible performance, but hey, they can be useful in a pinch!).

    The Guru’s Tip

    While 4K is most definitely a thing, ultra-wide gaming may in fact be preferable for many gamers despite the lower resolution, due to the enhanced immersion you get from the wider viewport and curved screen.

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

    Gigabyte M32U

    $650
    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" Ultra-wide OLED

    Samsung Odyssey G85SB

    $1000
    Welcome to next-gen gaming, here today! The G85SB features an incredible 34″ ultra-wide QD-OLED panel, able to hit 175Hz, produce up to 1000 nits for true HDR images, while also offering the most colorful images ever seen on the desktop. And it does this all without a distracting cooling fan, thanks to its advanced energy efficient design. At this point, if you want an ultra-high-end monitor, it’s going to be an OLED, much like the high-end TV market.

    The Guru’s Tip

    While there are bigger gaming monitors out there, there is no better gaming monitor available at any price - this model simply changed the game!

  • The Super-Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor

    Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 G95SC

    $1300
    Samsung has changed the gaming monitor market… yet again! The G9 moniker has been used for years to denote the most advanced super-ultra-wide monitor on the market, and the G95SC is the ultimate version. By adding OLED technology, Samsung was able to provide near-infinite contrast and insane response times. Like the two previous G9 models, it still sports a massive 49″ panel with a 240Hz refresh rate and the signature super-ultra-wide resolution of 5120 x 1440. To keep that tremendous refresh rate as smooth as possible, the monitor offers AMD FreeSync Premium Pro (also compatible with Nvidia). Note that OLED tech allowed Samsung to reduce the curvature of the G9 to a more usable 1800R thanks to OLED’s superior viewing angles versus VA panels. The previous version was very hard to place comfortably on a desk and could not be used for anything but gaming due to distortion. That means the G95SC is now not just the ultimate gaming monitor, but the ultimate all-around monitor!

    The Guru’s Tip

    Note that Samsung does have a larger 57" model with higher resolution, but no current gaming graphics card can drive it to its full 240Hz due to a DisplayPort incompatibility, so we can't recommend it at this point.

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