Best 27-inch monitor: top overall, value, gaming picks
Are you in the market for the best 27-inch monitor to complement your workspace or enhance your gaming experience? With a plethora of options available, choosing the right one can seem daunting. In this article, we’ll navigate through the sea of choices to help you find the monitor that not only fits your needs but also elevates your visual experience to new heights.
Before we get into it, we’ve been scanning deals online to find top Black Friday monitor deals. Below we’ve found a selection of top offers worth considering.
- Acer SB242Y EBI 23.8″ Full HD monitor, $79.99 (save $60)
- Acer Nitro 27″ 1440p 240Hz Gaming monitor, $249.99 (save $150)
- LG UltraGear QHD 34-Inch 160Hz Curved Gaming Monitor $249.99 (save $150)
- SAMSUNG 55″ Odyssey Ark 2nd Gen 4K UHD, $1,999 (save $1,000)
Products at a Glance
The 27-inch monitor strikes a perfect balance between ample screen real estate and desk-friendly dimensions. Ideal for both productivity and entertainment, these monitors offer enough space to multitask without overwhelming your workspace. Whether it’s for professional content creation, daily computing tasks, or immersive gaming, a 27-inch monitor provides the versatility and performance required for a multitude of activities.
How we picked the best 27-inch monitors
In our quest to identify the best 27-inch monitors, we sift through a multitude of publicly available benchmarks, user reviews, and professional critiques to form a comprehensive view of the market landscape. We consider the nuanced needs of various user groups—gamers, professionals, and casual users—weighing each feature against the practical demands of these audiences.
Monitors that offer a harmonious balance of resolution, refresh rate, and color performance often rise to the top of our list, demonstrating the versatility to excel across different uses. Our selection process also takes into account the reliability and reputation of manufacturers, warranty services, and customer support.
Best 27-inch monitor: top overall, value, gaming picks
- Exceptional 4K resolution.
- USB-C hub streamlines connectivity.
- Accurate color with 99% sRGB coverage.
- Premium price point.
- No built-in speakers.
- Limited HDR capabilities.
The Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor (U2723QE) is a standout choice for professionals who demand high-resolution clarity and color accuracy. With its 3840 x 2160 resolution, this monitor delivers stunning 4K visuals, making it ideal for content creators, graphic designers, and users who engage in precision-oriented tasks. The USB-C hub functionality simplifies connectivity, offering a seamless single-cable solution for video, data, and power, enhancing workspace efficiency and reducing cable clutter.
Users will benefit from the factory-calibrated 99% sRGB color coverage, which provides out-of-the-box color accuracy and uniformity. This feature, combined with VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification, ensures vibrant and lifelike images. The ergonomic stand and sleek design not only save desk space but also allow for comfortable viewing angles throughout long work sessions.
- High refresh rate for smooth performance.
- 1ms response time
- Adjustable and ergonomic design
- Color accuracy leaves something to be desired
- Limited 1080p resolution
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM gaming monitor is a fantastic choice, thanks to its speedy response times and immersive qualities.
Sporting the classic TUF branding, the VG279QM boasts a design that strikes a balance between style and utility. The refined aesthetic features a square stand and discreet bezels. While the rear lacks elaborate design features, it incorporates subtle etching for a distinctive gamer look.
As for specifications, the VG279QM excels with a 280Hz refresh rate, a swift 1ms GTG response time, Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync, and G-Sync support. The combination of these features sets it apart in its price range, delivering a performance level that is hard to match. In terms of gameplay, the monitor ensures a seamlessly smooth experience, enhancing the overall sense of immersion. The 1ms response time prevents ghosting, and G-Sync eliminates screen tearing issues. Although certified as Display HDR400, it falls short of true HDR standards.
This monitor is a great match for competitive esports players, but this means it may not excel in color reproduction. Despite this minor drawback, it remains an outstanding gaming monitor overall.
- Expansive widescreen OLED panel.
- The high refresh rate for fluid gaming.
- Adaptive-Sync for broad compatibility.
- Premium price tag.
- Potential burn-in with static images.
- Limited ergonomic adjustments.
The Alienware AW2723DF stands as a prime choice for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts who crave an expansive widescreen experience. This monitor features a sizeable screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio, providing a wide canvas for an engrossing gaming and cinematic experience. Its 2560×1440 resolution ensures crisp, detailed images, and the OLED panel’s natural prowess in contrast delivers deep blacks and vibrant colors.
This monitor is not just about size; it’s about speed. With a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a GTG response time of 0.03ms, it offers exceptionally smooth motion, which is critical for fast-paced gaming. Adaptive-Sync technology, compatible with both FreeSync and G-Sync, ensures tear-free visuals even during intense gameplay. The premium build quality and design Alienware is known for makes this monitor a visually appealing addition to any setup.
- Superior OLED image quality.
- Exceptionally fast response for gaming.
- Versatile Adaptive-Sync support.
- Higher price bracket.
- Not G-Sync certified (but compatible).
- OLED's susceptibility to burn-in with prolonged use.
Asus’s ROG Swift PG27AQDM enters the fray as a formidable contender in the high-performance gaming monitor segment. Boasting a 26.5-inch OLED display, the monitor offers a quantum leap in image quality with its 3440 x 1440 resolution. The wide and accurate color gamut ensures that every scene is rendered with the utmost precision, making it a dream display for gamers who also dabble in creative work that demands color accuracy.
What sets this monitor apart is its gaming-centric features: a blistering 240 Hz refresh rate paired with an almost instantaneous 0.03ms response time. Such specs cater to the needs of eSports aficionados and competitive gamers where every millisecond counts. Despite not being officially certified for G-Sync, it performs admirably with Nvidia graphics cards, offering a smooth, tear-free gaming experience. This monitor is for the serious gamer who wants the edge in performance without compromising on visual fidelity.
Best 27-inch monitor: Buying Guide
If you went through this article but didn’t understand all the specs and jargon we threw around, don’t worry. We’ve dedicated this section to a buying guide that you can use to get informed and make the right buying decision for you. These may all be 27-inch monitors, but there are plenty of meaningful differences between each model we’ve selected.
What is PPI, and why should I care?
What may draw your eye most is PPI. This is a measurement that we at PC Guide pioneered using in our monitor reviews before any competitors took to it. PPI stands for Pixels Per (Square) Inch, and it helps us give a better indication of how these monitors will actually compare to one another in terms of fidelity.
The bigger the number, the denser the pixels. The denser the pixels, the harder it is to individually see them, which is pretty important for monitors since you are usually sitting close to them.
When viewed at an average desktop viewing distance, you typically want your desktop display to have at least 90 PPI. This lines up with a 24-inch 1080p monitor, and it means you shouldn’t notice any blurring or pixelation unless you intentionally lean in and squint for it.
When buying a 27-inch monitor, it’s important that ideal PPI is maintained. The benefit of having a larger display is enjoying more immersion and screen real estate, but if you’re using, say, a 1080p resolution, things will be noticeably pixelated.
Below, we’ve listed the PPI for common resolutions at 27 inches:
- 720p (HD) – ~54 PPI. NOT recommended. At. ALL.
- 1080p (Full HD) – ~82 PPI. Not recommended, especially for desktop usage. May be fine when watching movies or playing games at a farther distance, though.
- 1440p (QHD) – ~109 PPI. Recommended for all usage. Provides a respectable boost in clarity over a 24-inch 1080p display in terms of PPI.
- 1800p (QHD+) – ~135 PPI. Recommended resolution for gaming on a 4K display. Still looks considerably better than 1440p, but at much less of a performance penalty as native 4K.
- 2160p (4K) – ~163 PPI. Excellent, and probably a bit overkill for gaming and media. Unparalleled in desktop usage, though.
Panel Type: TN vs IPS vs VA
Panel type refers to the underlying panel that powers your display. Depending on the panel type, things like viewing angles and color reproduction will be affected.
- TN – Lowest price; worst color and viewing angles. Best responsiveness. Recommended for budget gamers and eSports gamers.
- VA – Middle-ground in price and color reproduction. Viewing angles and responsiveness on par with IPS in most scenarios. Seems to handle HDR content better, if Samsung’s VA displays are any indication.
- IPS – Highest price, but best color reproduction and viewing angles. A bit less responsive than TN panels, but not to a noticeable extent to most– especially not on a high refresh rate display. Recommended for anyone who can afford it.
Refresh rate and VRR
Refresh rate is measured in Hertz, and it counts the number of times a display can “refresh” its image in a second. A similar-but-not-completely-identical metric in games is framerate, or frames per second (FPS). While games can often run well above 60 FPS on a PC, the refresh rate of your monitor will limit the FPS it can display. 60 Hz tops out at 60 FPS, 75 Hz at 75 FPS, and so on.
Because of this, higher refresh rates provide smoother gaming experiences. For this reason, 144 Hz displays are recommended for competitive gamers.
VRR refers to Variable Refresh Rate technology. To cut a long story short, something called “screen tearing” occurs when your framerate does not match your monitor’s refresh rate. V-Sync is usually used to combat this, but using traditional V-Sync results in input lag and worse performance.
Newer displays use FreeSync (AMD-made with Nvidia support) and G-Sync (Nvidia-exclusive). These are essentially-identical VRR technologies that allow the monitors to completely sync with the GPU, even when running below maximum refresh rate. This prevents screen tearing and provides a smoother gaming experience, making FPS dips less noticeable.
That being said, you’ll still need to use some other V-Sync solution if your in-game framerates are exceeding your monitor’s refresh rate. This is unlikely to be a problem on a 144 Hz display, but on a 60 Hz panel, you’ll likely want to use Nvidia Fast Sync or AMD Enhanced Sync to keep screen tearing from occurring when you exceed the VRR range.
HDR stands for high dynamic range. This is a primarily TV-centric technology, introduced with 4K TVs to provide brighter whites and darker blacks. This is accomplished by using more powerful and intricate lighting technology, and it comes at a pretty penny. Because of the relative size of monitors compared to 4K TVs, good HDR implementations are tough to pull off, and a lot of PC content has yet to even support the technology.
At this point in time, HDR is primarily recommended for those who moonlight as console gamers at their desks. Even the best desktop HDR solution won’t quite stand up to a living room TV solution, though, so keep that in mind.
Response time is measured in milliseconds and generally measures the time it takes for a pixel to go from Gray to Gray (GTG). Non-standard response time measurements like MPRT occasionally pop up to make numbers look lower than they actually are, though.
While response time doesn’t directly measure input latency, it generally stands to reason that a 1 ms monitor will be more responsive than a 5 ms monitor, if only marginally. Refresh rate can muddy this up further, though.
We’ve ensured that the best 27-inch monitors in our roundup should all have excellent low input latency for gaming and common usage alike. Regardless, we’ll list common ranges below.
- 1 ms to 2 ms – The best, only achievable by TN panels.
- 3 ms to 4 ms – Good-to-great, depending on the refresh rate. Typical for high-end IPS and VN panels.
- 5 ms – Just okay. Common on decent IPS and VA panels, as well as budget TN panels.
- 6+ ms – Bad, especially for gaming purposes. Don’t bother. (Editor’s Note: Pretty sure we have never even recommended a 6+ ms monitor.)
27 inch monitors are fairly large, but they don’t require a specialized space as an ultrawide monitor would. However, they make a good compromise for people who struggle to see smaller screens but don’t have space for a truly massive monitor.
Is 1440p good on 27-inch?
Yes, 1440p resolution is excellent on a 27-inch monitor. This combination strikes a comfortable balance between screen real estate and sharpness, without the need for scaling that higher resolutions might necessitate on the same screen size.
In conclusion, the Dell UltraSharp 27 4K USB-C Hub Monitor (U2723QE) emerges as the editor’s choice when it comes to the best 27 inch monitors, setting a high bar with its brilliant 4K resolution and USB-C connectivity, making it a versatile powerhouse suitable for professionals and general users alike. Its color accuracy and ergonomic design further solidify its status as the top pick for those who want the best display technology wrapped in a functional package.
As we step down the lineup, each monitor offers distinct advantages tailored to specific user needs. The Dell S2422HG delivers exceptional value for budget-conscious users without sacrificing essential features. For those who yearn for a panoramic view, the Alienware AW3423DWF’s widescreen is a dream come true, and the Asus ROG Swift PG27AQDM provides the ultimate gaming experience with its OLED panel and lightning-fast refresh rates.