the-best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
the-best-4k-monitors-for-creatives-2023

Best 4K Monitors for Creatives in 2023

Steve Roberts: Updated November 2022

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Creatives are a special breed. We’re constantly thinking outside the box to come up with new and innovative ideas. And we need the best tools to help us do that. That’s why I’m excited about the following 4K productivity monitors. They provide you with the crystal-clear images you need to get your work done with the brilliance you deserve—and all without breaking the bank! What is the best 4K monitor for graphic design to buy in 2023? Keep reading…

Summary Chart of The Next Monitor You Never Thought You Needed

Philips
Dell UltraSharp
Dell UltraSharp
ViewSonic
BenQ Designer
LG Ultrafine Ergo
Philips 279P1-27 Inch 4K Monitor, 60Hz, 4ms, IPS, USB-C Dock, Height Adjust, Speakers, flickerFree (3840 x 2160, 350 cd/m², HDMI/DP/USB-C/RJ45/USB 3.2)
Dell U2723QE UltraSharp 27inch 4K IPS Black Technology Monitor
Dell UltraSharp U3223QE 31.5" 4K UHD WLED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - Black, Silver
ViewSonic VP3256-4K 32-inch Premium IPS 4K Ergonomic Monitor, Ultra-Thin Bezels, Colour Accuracy, Pantone Validated, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, Professional Graphic Design, Photo & Video Editing
BenQ 32 Inch Designer Monitor, 3840x2160 4K UHD, IPS, 100% sRGB, Hotkey Puck, Dual View, HDMI, DP, PD3200U
LG Ultrafine Ergo 32UN88A 4K UHD IPS Monitor 31.5 Inch 3840 x 2160 IPS Display, DCI-P3 95%, HDR10, USB Type-C, Ergonomic Stand, AMD Freesync, White
Model
279P1/00
U2723QE
U3223QE
VP3256
PD3200U
32UN88A
Screen
27-inch IPS Panel
27-inch IPS Panel
31.5-inch IPS Panel
32-inch IPS Panel
32-inch IPS Panel
31.5-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
3840 x 2400 Pixels
3840 x 2400 Pixels
3840 x 2400 Pixels
3840 x 2400 Pixels
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
16:9
16:9
16:9
16:9
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
60 Hz
75 Hz
60 Hz
60 Hz
60 Hz
Color Support
1.07 billion colors, NTSC 103%, sRGB 122%
True brilliance, 98% DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400
True brilliance, 98% DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400
100% sRGB gamut coverage, % Adobe RGB, Delta E<2 accuracy, factory calibrated
100% Rec. 709 and sRGB color space, Calman Verified / Pantone Validated
DCI-P3 and HDR10
USB-C
Yes, 65W power delivery
Yes, 90W power delivery
Yes, 90W power delivery
Yes, 60W power delivery
Yes, 65W power delivery
Yes, 60W power delivery
Special Features
Height Adjustment, Flicker Free, 2x 3W speakers, headphone out, VESA 100 x 100
Height adjustment, Tilt adjustment, Flicker-free, Enhanced connectivity, Exceptional contrast
Height Adjustment, Tilt Adjustment, Flicker-Free, Enhanced Connectivity, Exceptional Contrast
Anti Glare Screen, Blue Light Filter, Frameless, Flicker-Free
AQ Color Technology. Eye-Care Technology, Mode Switching
RangeHeight Adjustment, Adaptive Sync, Pivot Adjustment, Swivel Adjustment, Tilt Adjustment, Built-In Speakers, High Dynamic Range
Prime Status
-
-
-
Philips
Philips 279P1-27 Inch 4K Monitor, 60Hz, 4ms, IPS, USB-C Dock, Height Adjust, Speakers, flickerFree (3840 x 2160, 350 cd/m², HDMI/DP/USB-C/RJ45/USB 3.2)
Model
279P1/00
Screen
27-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Color Support
1.07 billion colors, NTSC 103%, sRGB 122%
USB-C
Yes, 65W power delivery
Special Features
Height Adjustment, Flicker Free, 2x 3W speakers, headphone out, VESA 100 x 100
Prime Status
-
Dell UltraSharp
Dell U2723QE UltraSharp 27inch 4K IPS Black Technology Monitor
Model
U2723QE
Screen
27-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Color Support
True brilliance, 98% DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400
USB-C
Yes, 90W power delivery
Special Features
Height adjustment, Tilt adjustment, Flicker-free, Enhanced connectivity, Exceptional contrast
Prime Status
-
Dell UltraSharp
Dell UltraSharp U3223QE 31.5" 4K UHD WLED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - Black, Silver
Model
U3223QE
Screen
31.5-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
75 Hz
Color Support
True brilliance, 98% DCI-P3, VESA DisplayHDR 400
USB-C
Yes, 90W power delivery
Special Features
Height Adjustment, Tilt Adjustment, Flicker-Free, Enhanced Connectivity, Exceptional Contrast
Prime Status
-
ViewSonic
ViewSonic VP3256-4K 32-inch Premium IPS 4K Ergonomic Monitor, Ultra-Thin Bezels, Colour Accuracy, Pantone Validated, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, Professional Graphic Design, Photo & Video Editing
Model
VP3256
Screen
32-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Color Support
100% sRGB gamut coverage, % Adobe RGB, Delta E<2 accuracy, factory calibrated
USB-C
Yes, 60W power delivery
Special Features
Anti Glare Screen, Blue Light Filter, Frameless, Flicker-Free
Prime Status
BenQ Designer
BenQ 32 Inch Designer Monitor, 3840x2160 4K UHD, IPS, 100% sRGB, Hotkey Puck, Dual View, HDMI, DP, PD3200U
Model
PD3200U
Screen
32-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Color Support
100% Rec. 709 and sRGB color space, Calman Verified / Pantone Validated
USB-C
Yes, 65W power delivery
Special Features
AQ Color Technology. Eye-Care Technology, Mode Switching
Prime Status
LG Ultrafine Ergo
LG Ultrafine Ergo 32UN88A 4K UHD IPS Monitor 31.5 Inch 3840 x 2160 IPS Display, DCI-P3 95%, HDR10, USB Type-C, Ergonomic Stand, AMD Freesync, White
Model
32UN88A
Screen
31.5-inch IPS Panel
Display Resolution
3840 x 2400 Pixels
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Color Support
DCI-P3 and HDR10
USB-C
Yes, 60W power delivery
Special Features
RangeHeight Adjustment, Adaptive Sync, Pivot Adjustment, Swivel Adjustment, Tilt Adjustment, Built-In Speakers, High Dynamic Range
Prime Status

In Search of the Best 4K Monitors for Creatives

If you’re anything like me, you love to have the latest and greatest technology. So, when it comes to monitors, you want the best of the best. But you also want the best bang for your buck.

How do you survive as a cutting-edge creative in search of the best 4K monitor in 2023 and beyond? There are so many options, so many specifications, and so many aggressive HDMI cables wanting to grab your hard-earned dollars.

That’s why I’ve decided to research some of the best 4K productivity displays for us geeky creatives—without having to rob a passing space pirate of all their intergalactic credits.

I’ve been using an LG 35″ curved monitor for some time now and I have to say it’s absolutely amazing. I was curious as to how an ultrawide would actually look and feel in person, but after using one for a while I appreciate the huge workspace when working on large projects.

However, one thing I still wanted as a graphic designer and coder is greater clarity/sharpness of text and better color reproduction. The panel on the LG is a VA display, it was fine for a while, but now I am shifting more in favor of an IPS panel (these reasons are explained below).

First, if you’re new at all this and wondering what on earth is a 4K monitor, then I try to explain some of the key concepts with a decent portion of humour. Are 4K monitors all sparkles and giggles or will my old monitor from the 18th century still get the job done?

A quality 4K screen is a high-resolution (see below) monitor that is perfect for creative professionals, designers, and content creators who want the best image quality without spending $20 million dollars for a display that might be overkill in the long run.

Did you know that the word ‘pixel’ is an abbreviation originating from the words picture-element? Now, who will be the next Trivial Pursuit champion? Click to Tweet
best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
The world’s top athletes have known the origins of the word ‘pixel’ for decades, and now are hopping mad that I have disclosed it in this article.

What is a Pixel?

Pixel is an abbreviation originating from the words picture-element.

A pixel is the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on a screen. By itself, it isn’t much. But when you put a bunch of pixels together, you can create some pretty incredible images. Just think – without pixels, we wouldn’t have Facebook, Netflix, or Minecraft!

You can also think of the pixel as a tiny dot that makes up what you see on a computer screen. Imagine you took a bunch of tiny little cupcake sprinkles and put them together to make a delightful snack while watching Stranger Things. The more sprinkles, the bigger the cupcake, the longer you snack.

All those tiny sprinkles squares of color on your screen are so small; you can barely see them unless you look so close or become a biophysicist named Hank Pym (the Ant-Man) and fight crime at a microscopic level. But despite their small size, pixels play a significant role in how we see images and text on our screens.

Let’s make it super simple:

5K means roughly 5,000 pixels wide.

4K means roughly 4,000 pixels wide.

4K displays are used in professional content production by creatives and digital cinemas and feature a screen resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels. It is all most of us will ever need, and it is more than adequate for most use cases with those on a budget.

My preferred setup these days is two 4K displays, side by side.

One monitor is set to landscape orientation and is my main display; the other is swivelled to portrait mode to make me feel very special as I work on my next magazine project. (I really want to use 12 in a circular pattern so when I swivel in my chair I have no loss of vision at all, but that is for another day.)

But what about the old curved screen ultrawide? I still appreciate those bigger-than-life wide-screen setups, but being able to swivel one monitor 180 degrees so I can design and code in portrait mode is perfect for my workflow.

Being able to swivel one monitor 180 degrees so I can design and code in portrait mode is perfect.

Monitor Resolutions For The Uninformed

We all know that monitors come in different shapes and sizes.

But have you ever stopped to wonder what all those numbers and letters mean when you’re looking at the specs about screen size and resolution?

Are they evil pharmaceutical scribbles to plan the next global pandemic?

Have they discovered a set of new Fred Astaire dance routines with an umbrella and hidden them in confusing glyph sequences?

What if they are a new spreadsheet formula to destroy all Google Sheet and Excel files on the planet?

As a creative in the market for a new monitor, or even if you’re just curious about what all those numbers mean, read on!

When it comes to monitors, resolution is everything.

So what exactly is monitor resolution?

Resolution is the number of pixels that make up an image on your screen. The higher the resolution, the more detail you’ll be able to see.

Most monitors today have a resolution of 1920 × 1080, which is also known as Full HD. This means that there are 1920 horizontal pixels and 1080 vertical pixels making up the image on your screen.

Being the creative wonder worker that you are, you’re looking for even more detail than that—which is why a screen with 4K resolution, which has a revolution, oops, resolution, of 4096 × 2160 pixels is the best way to go.

A summary of all you ever need to know about monitor resolutions and their weird codes till the year 2099 (HD in all the below stands for High Definition):

Weird Display NameEven Weirder Pixel Dimensions
540p (qHD)
qHD may sound similar to QHD, but it stands for quarter-HD, hence the lowercase “q.” This was popular around 2011
960 × 540 pixels
720p (HD)
720p isn’t considered very sharp for today’s monitors, in fact, it might be better to buy a magazine on how to create an omphalos garden ornament.
1280 × 720 pixels
1080p (Full HD / FHD)
The ubiquitous display resolution found in every nook and cranny of the planet
1920 × 1080 pixels
2K
Popular in the movie projection industry. For television and consumer media, 1920 × 1080 is the most common 2K resolution, but this is normally referred to as 1080p.
2048 × 1080 pixels
1440p (QHD / QuadHD / WQHD)
Known as ‘Quad HD’, 1440p is 4 times stronger than the base HD variant. Not all that popular, so next.
2560 × 1440 pixels
2160p (UHD)
UHD stands for “ultra high definition”. Practically all 2160p display resolutions are also 4K, but there are slight nuances – google it.
3840 × 2160 pixels
4K
This is the one you want to buy when the moon is full and your mouse is fully charged. 8 million active pixels for your creative delight.
4096 × 2160 pixels
5K
Okay, you can also buy this one if you really want to, but most of the time they are very expensive, ranging in price from $1399 to over $5000.
5120 × 2880 pixels
8K
Sure, it brings even sharper and more vibrant colors, but usually, you need a backpack of ‘Uncle Sams’.
7680 × 4320 pixels
39K (WOW-HD)
WOW stand for Wigglenuts of Wonder. Wigglenuts replace pixels in the year 2086. The 39K WOW-HD will be available in August of 2099.
40,080 × 22,545 pixels
The Ultimate Chart of Display Abbreviations and Screen Resolutions

Is there a 32K? There are plans by some companies, and even a few cameras can shoot in 32K, but the main issue for 32K monitors concerns current technology with screen resolution and the CPU/GPU capability to drive them.

the-best-4k-monitors-for-creatives-display-screen-resolutions
Sample Screen Resolutions: Our old 1080p (Full HD) displays seem a little dated these days!
best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
Pugs believe that owning a 4K IPS display is way better than finding gourmet alligator bones in a park at midnight.

Yikes! Screen Technology

Oh dear, more mumbo jumbo.

It can all get a little confusing when looking at the large capital letters on marketing propaganda describing the variations in screen technology.

What is the most prevalent screen-tech on the planet?

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) is a type of flat panel display which uses liquid crystals (not related to the New Age movement) in its primary form of operation.

LCDs are as ubiquitous as oxygen and replaced that old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) screen that gave us the classic monitors (circa 1994 X-Files) that were as thick as the Dark Lord’s helmet as he contemplated the destruction of Alderaan.

Shh, don’t tell anyone, but LCDs have also begun being replaced by new display technologies such as OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diode).

Here are the main types of LCD panel technology available today: 

TN, IPS, and VA. (oh dear, not more capital letters)

TN stands for twisted nematic. Sounds like twisted neurotic and is probably a gesture of anarchic defiance against all other screen technologies.

IPS stands for in-plane switching. If you want to leverage liquid crystals aligned in parallel universes and quantum jump world at the speed of thought, then IPS is the way to go.

VA stands for vertical alignment. Does this mean you can only use a VA monitor if you have a standing desk? Not really, but the blacks are so deep that the Kraken enjoys holidaying in their pristine obsidian depths.

TN panels are the most common type of LCD panel. This is because they are cheap to produce and give a fairly decent image quality. Gaming monitor manufacturers tend to opt for TN panels due to their current faster response times.

However, as a creative, you want to aim for the best image quality, and display as many colors as possible. Perhaps stay away from TN tech if you are geeky serious about producing the next world-class New York Times magazine cover art.

IPS panels are more expensive than TN panels, but they have much better image quality and allow for wider viewing angles, but they are more expensive.

VA-based monitors also offer much higher contrast, better color reproduction, and wider viewing angles than most TN panels, but they tend to have slower response times.

Do I Even Care About Aspect Ratio?

Another term you may have heard around the grand interwebs when shopping for a new 4K monitor is aspect ratio. So what is aspect ratio and should I even care?

To explain it to a small baby hippopotamus with a penchant for spatial geometrics—the aspect ratio of something is the relationship between its width and height.

For example, a square (like a 24th-century Borg starship) has an aspect ratio of 1:1 because it is equally wide and tall. A rectangle might have an aspect ratio of 4:3, which means it is four units wide for every three units tall. 

In monitor jargon, the aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and height of the screen. I know you’ve always nodded off when your friends speak about 16:9, 21:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios, but nod off no more intrepid one, the Borg have started to assimilate you into their 4K collective.

The aspect ratio of most monitors and TVs today is 16:9 (widescreen), and we are seeing more and more content being produced in this format. There are a few reasons for this shift.

First, widescreen monitors and TVs are way more common, so there is a larger market for content that is produced in this format.

Second, widescreen offers a more immersive experience for the viewer, as it allows for a wider field of view.

Most 1080p and 4K monitors are 16:9 aspect ratio.

16:9 aspect ratio and the associated screen resolutions (in pixels) include:

1280×720, 1366×768, 1600×900, 1920×1080 (1080p), 2560×1440, 3840×2160 (4K), 5120×2880, 7680×4320

Quick Designer Tip: Say you have a photo that is 1600 x 1200 pixels, but your blog only has space for a photo 400 pixels wide. To find the new height of your photo—while preserving the aspect ratio—you need to perform astounding feats of shadow magic or….use this Aspect Ratio Calculator. This is one of my go-to secret tools I have used for years. 

how to calculate the aspect ratio
The actual formula to calculate the aspect ratio without the Aspect Ratio Calculator website, you’re welcome.

What is Color Gamut?

A color gamut is a range of colors that can be represented by a professional monitor.

Don’t get all your USB-C ports clogged with utter confusion, even though you will see it all over advertisements when buying a new 4K. It simply means a range of colors, like all the colors of the rainbow.

Think of it as a gourmet meal (as opposed to a gamut meal) at an exclusive restaurant on Mars. Your plate is filled with a myriad of exotic tastes from around the universe, including the Iagulan Charms from the Omniverse Gateway (kinda like spicy chocolate, but with a one-two punch that causes you to see the entire range of colorful creatures that dwell outside the normal range of site for humans).

What the Iagulan Charm is for taste-sensational delight, the color gamut is for visual sensational delight.

How is it pronounced? Like ‘damn-it’ but with a G — but if you want to say it like a flamboyant pâtisserie chef creating a few pink pâte feuilletée at a gourmet celebrity hob-nob, then feel free.

The sRGB color gamut includes all the colors that can be represented using the RGB color model. The sRGB color gamut includes approximately 35% of all visible colors.

Other color spaces you may have heard of around the internet when trying to choose ‘the best budget monitor ever’, include the wide color gamut (WCG) which is wider than that of Rec. 709 (mentioned below in the BenQ IPS monitor for example), along with DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB color space.

The term “gamut” can also refer to the complete range of colors that can be seen by the human eye. The gamut of an LCD screen is limited to the emitted spectrum of its backlight.

The better the guts of the computer monitor, the better the color accuracy and color reproduction of the color space.

And for a later quiz when you could win over $50,000: The term gamut was adopted from the field of music, where in Latin “gamut” meant the entire range of musical notes of which musical melodies are composed.

best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
Color Gamut Clowns are terrifying at the best of times, and purchasing a new 4K monitor does not help reduce the fear of seeing one hovering over your bed at 3 am.

Top 4K Monitors That Won’t Break the Bank

So, you’re planning on making the switch to a 4K monitor. You are so thankful to have gleaned some of the above factoids and now understand the difference between the aspect ratio of a Borg spacecraft and what a 720p display is. Don’t worry if you are still a bit sketchy on refresh rate, no point in jamming up your brain-canyon with techy subplots.

Although 4K TVs are now the norm for the average household, 4K monitors are also poised to become as popular as sliced artisan bread as well—and will most likely replace the old 1080p displays in the near future.

Here are six of the best 4K monitors on the market for 2023, perfect for most creative professionals, graphic designers, coders, and strange wizards that phase in and out of our reality on tiny pink bicycles.

Philips 27-inch Brilliance

Philips 279P1-27 Inch 4K Monitor, 60Hz, 4ms, IPS, USB-C Dock, Height Adjust, Speakers, flickerFree (3840 x 2160, 350 cd/m², HDMI/DP/USB-C/RJ45/USB 3.2)

279P1

Model Number

Chock-full Of Features

  • USB-C enables laptop power to charge directly from the monitor. That’s a diamond plus right there.
  • UltraClear 4K UHD (3840×2160) resolution for precision. Duh, this article is all about the best 4K monitors—so of course, it is going to that resolution.
  • Philips display meets the TUV Rheinland Eye Comfort standard to prevent eye strain caused by prolonged computer use. Rheinland Eye Comfort is one of the main eye comfort certification providers with over 25 years of experience.
  • Philips Flicker-free Technology applies a new solution to regulate brightness and reduce flicker for more comfortable viewing.
  • The panel is super bright, so your creative skull will appreciate this one. Sharp and crisp is better than dull and drab.
  • The selection of ports is like a built-in hub for all those cluttery cables. This helps to stop the sheep wandering across your desk in the wee hours of the morning from gnawing on the HDMI cable.
  • It features a SmartErgoBase (monitor stand) that delivers ergonomic display comfort and provides cable management. The base can swivel, tilt and rotate to various angles (landscape or portrait) to ensure maximum viewing angles.
  • The screen technology is IPS.
  • Works great with both Macs and PCs
Philips 279P1-27 Inch 4K Monitor, 60Hz, 4ms, IPS, USB-C Dock, Height Adjust, Speakers, flickerFree (3840 x 2160, 350 cd/m², HDMI/DP/USB-C/RJ45/USB 3.2)

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 4/5

Overall the Philips 27″ 4K Brilliance Monitor is a solid performer with a brilliant display, good hub connectivity and power delivery to charge any attached notebook. It is everything you didn’t know you needed.

Dell 27-inch UltraSharp

Dell U2723QE UltraSharp 27inch 4K IPS Black Technology Monitor

U2723QE

Model Number

Why You Need This Dell

  • Excellent for creating and editing all types of media.
  • The USB hub is one of the best if you want to connect your devices easily. 
  • Features groundbreaking IPS Black panel technology that delivers deeper blacks than regular IPS panels.
  • Incredible color and superior black performance with a contrast ratio of 2000:1. I know it was mentioned above, but I want blacks to be black – not 85% black!
  • Like the Philips monitor above, the Dell has its own unique version of ‘eye-comfort-tech’. ComfortView Plus is an always-on, built-in low blue light screen that reduces potentially harmful blue light emissions. 
  • Truer-to-life color with 98% DCI-P3 and VESA DisplayHDR™ 400. What this basically means is that it meets a professional rating system, the maximum being DisplayHDR 1400. The DCI-P3 is not a droid, sometimes casually referred to as P3 or Display P3. It stands for Digital Cinema Initiatives and is used to standardise the colors used in the film industry. DCI-P3 will have access to a larger percentage of colors the human eye can actually see. It is better than the common sRGB.
  • Up to 90W power delivery, so your Macbook’s mind-numbing, soul-melting spreadsheet formulas will never fail to calculate on time.
  • Super speed USB 10-Gpbs ports enable easy connections and fast data transfers of all the latest CIA top secret footage on UFO and alien technologies.
  • A solid alternative to the Philips Brilliance.
Dell U2723QE UltraSharp 27inch 4K IPS Black Technology Monitor

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 4/5

The Dell 27″ 4K UltraSharp Monitor is an excellent display for the price, with exceptional contrast and enhanced connectivity, along with an impressive array of additional features.

Dell 31.5-inch UltraSharp

Dell UltraSharp U3223QE 31.5' 4K UHD WLED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - Black, Silver

U3223QE

Model Number

Like The Other Dell, But Better

  • The Dell 27″ UltraSharp is essentially a smaller version of the Dell U3223QE, so all the above features apply—but there are still a few minor differences.
  • The 27″ version has a broader swivel range than the 32″, making it easier to share your screen with someone, but it’s minimal, so what’s that between performing circus bears? 
  • The native contrast is slightly better on the U3223QE (2104:1). Black and white ratio is slightly improved.
  • SDR brightness is slightly better on this monitor. SDR stands for Standard Dynamic Range.
  • The color range is more evenly distributed by a few more points than the 27” Dell. What this means is that gradient color spectrums appear a fraction smoother.
Dell UltraSharp U3223QE 31.5' 4K UHD WLED LCD Monitor - 16:9 - Black, Silver

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 5/5

The Dell 32″ 4K UltraSharp Monitor, like its small sibling, is an excellent display with deep IPS blacks—whether for use on Macs (including text sharpness) or Windows.

best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
All 4K and 5K owners must wear blue socks when looking at the screen. These are provided by reputable manufacturers and help with eye strain.

ViewSonic 32-inch Premium

ViewSonic VP3256-4K 32-inch Premium IPS 4K Ergonomic Monitor, Ultra-Thin Bezels, Colour Accuracy, Pantone Validated, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, Professional Graphic Design, Photo & Video Editing

VP3256-4K

Model Number

Okay, This Is Cool

  • International color standard Pantone validated and 100% sRGB wide color gamut. sRGB is a standard RGB (red, green, blue) color space that HP and Microsoft created cooperatively in 1996 to use on monitors, printers, and the World Wide Web. This monitor meets Pantone’s rigorous testing and calibration standards. In 1963, Pantone revolutionised the printing industry with the colorful Pantone Matching System.
  • The display delivers stunning color reproduction that ensures the colors in your videos and photos are true-to-life and nearly indistinguishable from the color seen by the naked eye.
  • Support USB-C with 60W high-speed charging, plus HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.2.
  • Screen tech is an IPS panel with 32-inch frameless design.
  • Like many professional 4K displays, the ViewSonic Includes a CAM/CAD mode for design, portrait mode for photography, and adaptive-sync mode for your game design time.
  • The High Dynamic Range of HDR10 gives greater control over gamma adjustment in your video and photographic projects. This will bring out the vibrance of your lights and the depth of your darks with enhanced clarity and insane details.
ViewSonic VP3256-4K 32-inch Premium IPS 4K Ergonomic Monitor, Ultra-Thin Bezels, Colour Accuracy, Pantone Validated, HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type-C, Professional Graphic Design, Photo & Video Editing

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 5/5

The ViewSonic 32″ 4K Monitor gives the Dells a run for their money with its amazing colorimetrically accurate IPS panel, Pantone validated, with ultrathin bezels. I am seriously looking at getting two of these to replace my ultrawide LG.

BenQ 32-inch Designer

BenQ PD3205U 31.5” 4K Monitor for Mac, UHD, sRGB, Rec.709, HDR10, IPS, AQCOLOR Technology, USB-C, Factory-Calibrated, Color Mode, Darkroom Mode, Animation Mode, CAD/CAM Mode, Hotkey Puck G2, KVM

PD3205U

Model Number

It Gets More Awesome

  • 100% Rec.709 and sRGB color space with IPS Technology. Like the above ViewSonic’s sRGB standard, Rec. 709 is another color standard developed by ITU (International Telecommunications Union).
  • Various color modes bring the necessary detail to your eyes. For example, Darkroom Mode allows you to adjust image brightness and contrast for work in dark environments.
  • Also, like the ViewSonic above, there is a CAD/CAM Mode that enables you to enjoy superior contrast of lines and shapes in technical illustrations.
  • To bring added convenience to the BenQ, a hockey puck-shaped Hotkey Puck is included with the monitor. With a simple click of a button, designers can quickly and effortlessly switch between different picture modes based on their varying display needs.
  • The screen is Factory Calibrated so designers can make full use of color accuracy on a monitor. Factory calibration, as the term suggests, is the calibration process conducted in the factory itself, before each individual monitor ships.
  • The 90W adapter can also charge the 140W MacBook Pro.
  • The BenQ PD3200U is both Calman Verified and Pantone Validated.
BenQ PD3205U 31.5” 4K Monitor for Mac, UHD, sRGB, Rec.709, HDR10, IPS, AQCOLOR Technology, USB-C, Factory-Calibrated, Color Mode, Darkroom Mode, Animation Mode, CAD/CAM Mode, Hotkey Puck G2, KVM

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 4/5

The BenQ 32″ 4K monitor drops one dragon only because it is slightly older than the other displays. Apart from that, designers and developers should certainly take a look at this display.

LG 32-inch UltraFine Ergo

LG Ultrafine Ergo 32UN88A 4K UHD IPS Monitor 31.5 Inch 3840 x 2160 IPS Display, DCI-P3 95%, HDR10, USB Type-C, Ergonomic Stand, AMD Freesync, White

32UN88A

Model Number

Clear, large, and beautiful

  • DCI-P3 95% for premium color reproduction. Enjoy sharp picture quality with rich, profound color reproduction thanks to that DCI-P3 color space.
  • LG’s flexible Ergo stand and screen have the ability to adjust the height, retract, extend, swivel and pivot to provide the preferred position to enhance your viewing experience. Make sure your desk can support a C-clamp and grommet.
  • Minimise those additional wires with a USB Type-C port allowing 4K video display, data transfer and laptop/mobile device charging, all simultaneously over a single cable.
  • With many 4K monitors, striking a balance between a beautiful IPS display with enhanced color reproduction and a great price can be tricky—yet LG seems to have got the combination right on this one.
  • It is being used by creative professionals across the media creation industry: photography studios, videographers etc.
  • This monitor delivers outstanding peak brightness and excellent grey uniformity. So if one of your main criteria in choosing a professional 4K monitor includes good color accuracy for photo editing, then this display will probably exceed your expectations.
LG Ultrafine Ergo 32UN88A 4K UHD IPS Monitor 31.5 Inch 3840 x 2160 IPS Display, DCI-P3 95%, HDR10, USB Type-C, Ergonomic Stand, AMD Freesync, White

Moonpixel Dragon Rating: 5/5

The LG 32″ 4K monitor has incredible color accuracy and an approachable price tag. Creative professionals working from home would do well to take a look.

But What About

What about a second breakfast? And other concluding remarks.

5K Versus 4K?

What about I skip the 4K and nab a 5k instead and be done with it?

For some, it may mean the best investment dollar for maximum benefit!

The Apple 5K display is super clear, but they are certainly not cheap. 

They draw you in with spectacular detail and they are packed with a phenomenal set of features so everything you do springs to life. 

For instance, on a Samsung 4K monitor, you can still see single pixels, but on an iMac 5K display, you can’t distinguish single pixels anymore.

A 5K display has roughly 33% more pixels than a 4K display.

4K displays have around 8.3 million pixels.

5K displays have around 14.7 million pixels.

With an aspect ratio of 16:9:

  • a 4K display has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels
  • a 5K display has a resolution of 5120 x 2880 pixels

If you really try to look, you may be able to find a difference in the two displays (and they are there), especially if you put them right next to each for a direct comparison.

But at the end of the day, my preferred choices are still one of the following 32-inch monitors (if you can afford that extra desk space for a slightly larger screen size, it is well worth it I think):

  1. Dell 4K UltraSharp Best monitor for digital artists.
  2. ViewSonic 4K PremiumBest value monitor for design.
  3. LG 4K UltraFine Best all-round monitor for content creation.

Most quality 5K monitors generally carry a much higher price tag, usually US$1500 and upward. 

If you are interested, one recommendation for a top-quality 5K monitor would be the LG Ultrafine 5K

The purpose of this article is to source a great monitor for an equally great price—and a quality 4K screen can do just that.

best-4k-monitors-for-creatives
Once you start using an 8K monitor you will soon evolve into a higher life form and begin to notice the flight paths of alien starships in the midnight sky.

Do I Need an Ultimate 8K Wonder Box?

Like warp drives for interstellar travel—when it comes to monitors, size really does matter.

That’s why an 8K monitor is an amazing slice of pudding. It’s the perfect size for watching movies or working on multiple projects at the same time. Plus, the resolution is incredible. Every image is crystal clear and sharp.

These displays will not only deliver incredibly sharp and highly detailed images. It’s like having a real-life window into another world.

8K monitors sound like an amazing purchase for creatives, graphic artists and designers who need sensational levels of detail, but they may not be worth sinking ALL your cash into.

But if you do have a spare US$5,000, then this may be the way to go, especially if you won the Lotto, but for most of us, a quality 4K monitor (even a 5K screen) is still the best option at the moment. I believe they come with a free stand!

That being said, there’s only one “affordable” 8K screen out there: Dell USA has one; Dell Australia do not advertise it on their website, but it is available via Amazon

Concluding Wisdom

Striking a great balance between specs and price is like creating the perfect cup of tea—water, temperature, tea bags, milk, and stand time before consuming, these all play a part.

If you would prefer to make your own tea with lemonade, strawberries and 18th-century dried banana skin, that is your decision—and just like the 4K monitors recommended here and the one you end up purchasing – will also be your decision.

I keep reminding myself to be careful not to get too caught up in the details.

Most 4K monitors are good enough to please most people, most of the time, and a detailed graph on the luminosity of pixel number 104,322 on a stormy night in June might not mean much in the big scheme of things.

These days you can upgrade to a 4K screen without spending a year’s wages, but still, even the best 4K monitors can still be expensive if you want pro-level calibration, the best color accuracy, and the ability to detect incoming mad squirrels pilots.

10-Point Checklist for Purchasing a New Monitor

I know you’ll still do hours of research, so here is a final 10-point checklist to help you pass the time on your intergalactic journey to discover the best monitor in existence:

  • Check what ports and connectivity you need. You know – HDMI, Display Port, VGA, DVI, Thunderbolt, USB-C, Droid Charge Port etc. No point in buying a monitor that requires a yellow feather to connect, and you are left standing there with a gold-plated $900 HDMI cable.
  • What screen size do you want? Will a 27-inch be enough, or will the extra real estate of a 32-inch make you feel like the King (or Queen) of France in 1775?
  • Is color accuracy super important for end-production results for clients? Consider pro-level calibration in this regard.
  • Is my current computer hardware compatible with a 4K monitor? If you refuse to give up your classic 1977 TRS-80, you might run into some issues.
  • Do you want to be able to tilt the screen in all the unearthly angles you can think of? Portrait, landscape, the Pythagorean Wealth Angle of 33.33 degrees? Pay attention to the ergonomics and flexibility of your new display.
  • Will your new monitor give you adequate resolution? These days I would look for nothing less than 4K (unless you are a gamer and want super high refresh rates and a 1080p landscape). Start at 4K, and splash out on a 5K if you really need to.
  • What is your main usage profile? Gaming, creativity, video creation, coding, writing vegan smoothie recipes in a nice 144hz font, or surfing the dark web at 3:02 am? Ask yourself how you plan to use the monitor daily, and shop accordingly.
  • What type of screen finish? Gloss or matte? These can affect picture quality: contrast, color vibrancy, appearance, etc.
  • Is audio quality important? Are you happy to use the sub-par built-in speakers or do you want to experience the joy and escapism that class-leading sound with a $2200 KEF LSX II Bookshelf Speaker?
  • Increased sharpness of a 4K display may, in fact, be better for your eye health. Gary Heiting, optometrist and senior editor of the website AllAboutVision says that “Increasing screen resolution so it exceeds the discriminating ability of the eye lowers the risk of strain.” So if that concerns you then definitely consider the benefits of the more defined resolution of print and images that 4K provides.
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SteveRoberts

Steve Roberts is a full-time blogger, digital marketer, and freelance designer who also helps young Jedis make informed lightsaber decisions. Join Steve on this incredible journey, learning how to scale your business and entrepreneurial vision. His clients include organizations and businesses from Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA.

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