Whether you're building a super-high end gaming PC or you just enjoy the extra screen real estate that a 4K display offers, you have tons of options on the market that are big or small, affordable or top of the line. Here are five of the best.
Title photo by Dave Dugdale.
Seiki's newest model, the SM40UNP 40" Pro monitor will set you back an eye-watering $2,500 in Australia, but it's well regarded and well reviewed. It's one of the largest 4K monitors you can buy that's designed mostly to be a monitor and not a TV (although it can certainly function as both). It's a full 60Hz panel with a native resolution of 3840x2160 pixels, packs two HDMI ports, two Displayport ports, a DVI-D port if you need to scale down and even a VGA port.
There's a USB 3.0 hub on this panel as well, along with a VESA compatible swivel/tilt stand that's also height adjustable. The panel isn't technically an IPS display, but PCPer notes that its colours and blacks are much better than you might expect, and that you get a bit of the best of both worlds when you're comparing IPS and TN panels. However, the display doesn't come calibrated (despite its "Pro" name) so you'll have to handle that yourself using the on-screen menus.
Almost all of Dell's 4K displays are impressive, but the 24" represents a sweet spot in size and price. This 24" LED backlit panel will set you back just under $650 online, and for your money you get a 4K panel capable of 60Hz that supports HDMI, daisy-chaining via DisplayPort and packs in a USB 3.0 hub. The base is swivel, tilt, and height-adjustable, and can be VESA mounted if you prefer. Native resolution, like most 4K displays, is at 3840 x 2160 pixels, with an 8ms response time. This Dell panel, like most Dell UltraSharp displays, is well regarded for its colour accuracy, wide viewing angles, and matte anti-glare screen coating, which makes it easy to use even in bright environments. Oh, did we mention this is an IPS display?
The P2415Q has been praised for its colour accuracy and compatibility with Retina-based laptops, so you can connect your laptop without losing all of those precious pixels just by using a larger screen. The price is nice, too.
If this Samsung 28" 4K display seems familiar, it should: It's the display we used in our 4K-capable gaming build. It has a recommended retail price of $749, but for your money you get a full 60Hz-capable panel that's well designed, packs the standard 3840 x 2160 pixel native resolution, boasts 1ms response times, and includes two HDMI ports and one Displayport port. The display supports picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture from multiple inputs, which is a nice touch. It's a TN panel, not an IPS, so keep that in mind, and the display's base isn't VESA-compatible, and it's tilt-adjustable only. That means no height adjustability, and no swivel or pivot. The cabinet is a glossy black, which some people will love but others will hate.
The U28D590D has speedy response times and impressive gaming performance, and it's well known for great colour reproduction even though it's not an IPS display. Still, it's relatively affordable for the amount of screen real estate to on-desk footprint you get. The joystick on the back to control the on-screen menus and options is a nice touch as well.
The Dell P2715Q is the big sibling of the 2415Q, and is ideal for people who prefer panels just a bit larger, or who want a 4K display with pixels that are a little bigger and easier to work with. It will set you back around $850, and it comes with all of the features you would expect from a Dell Ultra display. It supports 60Hz, HDMI, Displayport, and miniDisplayport, connecting other devices via Displayport (daisy-chaining), and has a USB 3.0 hub embedded in the display. The monitor is VESA mount compatible, if you take it off of its fully swivel/tilt and height adjustable display. Like its smaller cousin, its native resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz, with 9ms response times and LED backlighting on an IPS panel.
Kogan knows how to make a budget-friendly monitor, and this 28" 4K panel comes in at $526. It's a 60Hz screen at 3840 x 2160 pixels, has two HDMI, two Displayport, one DVI input and 5ms response times. If you require more screen real estate than a 24" panel and are shopping on a budget, this is a solid no-frills option. It has all the important features without adding a bunch of other ones you may not need.
This week's honorable mentions go out to the Samsung 32-Inch Ultra High Definition Professional LED Monitor (U32D970Q), which has excellent colour reproduction, versatile 32" footprint, tons of calibration options and beautiful a design. On the downside, it's not cheap with an asking price topping $2000 and it only has a single HDMI port. Read the full specs here.
We should also mention the biggest competition to that 40" Seiki display that made the roundup — the Philips BDM4065UC 40" 4K 60Hz Monitor, which can be found for around $1030 online. It effectively up-sizes 4K resolution to where its really useful both for gaming and productivity, assuming you have a system that can power it.
Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favourite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is — and make your case for it — in the discussions below.