It hardly seems like yesterday when HD monitored and TVs were the next big thing, then we dabbled with 3D capable panels once again and the current trend is 4k, ultra high definition screens. Added on to this though now is HDR.
High-Dynamic Range displays are capable of reproducing much deeper contrasts in the image, allowing lighting to appear with more of a glow to it for example.
If you have gone all out on a beast of a graphics card and now find it’s time to upgrade your display to give it something to drive properly then the screens on show here will all make you gasp in amazement at the clarity and depth of color they are capable of.
as well as a couple of more regular widescreen offerings but with different sizes. We usually do this to suit all budgets but if you are in the market for a monitor with these specs, then budget better not be one of your major considerations. This kind of panel does not come cheaply.
Two tests here, one with your usual use of the Avatar movie file to see how the screen handles Bluray video, colors, and fast action movie footage. We also then ran it each through their paces with Star Wars Battlefront II to provide it with a fast action gaming experiences across several different settings with very different color schemes.
Best HDR Monitor in 2021
Well-suited for gaming
A good number of ports
4ms response rate
“Small” at 27”
Not to be confused with the range of laptops of the same branding, Acer’s Predator range now includes a monitor within the moniker, and much like the laptop range, it is clearly pointed at the gaming fraternity.
Right off the bat, you will see it comes with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology so if they are your GPU of choice this is going to be a perfect fit for you. It may only have a 4ms response time but, in reality, this won’t affect the majority of people who play on it.
It’s 4K with great HDR and it is a very bright screen which really helps to bring all those game colors to the forefront.
It’s slightly unusual look is party down to the shield that is built-in to block out some of the surrounding light.At 27” it is the smallest monitor here with a native resolution of 3840×2160 running at a 120HZ refresh rate. If you are in the know this can be overclocked to 144Hz
Connectivity is also up there with best in class with an HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-B and four USB-A ports as wells.
Just look at it
Great display with pretty much everything
You need a big desk
100Mz seems a little low these days
Now, this is a nice screen. BenQ has really hot the spot here with this giant curved 35” ultrawide monitor. Rather than concentrating on one specific aspect of entertainment like the gaming-focused Predator, this screen from BenQ is great at everything it does, yet never truly excels at any one of them. That sounds like a downside but it really isn’t if you have even the remotest interest in using use PC for multiple purposes.
It obviously looks amazing, curved screens are next-level when it comes to style and beating away that old plastic black rectangle feel of many monitors even today.
It seems like TV styling has come such a long way and for some reason, monitor designers haven’t caught up yet, but that accusation cannot be leveled here.
It’s 4ms response time is impressive and matches the Acer Predator for gaming in that respect but this one has Freesynce support rather than G-Sync. It’s a shame that it is this kind of exclusivity that will keep both this and the Predator out of the arms of a certain portion of PC users.
The refresh rate is set at 100Hz which is not the best in class but whatever you throw onto this panel will look amazing.
It comes in at a great price too and when you factor all this together if you have a room for a screen of this size it’s hard to recommend anything else.
A lovely piece of equipment without a doubt.
Good halfway point towards a full ultrawide
Four manual HDR settings
Freesync to no good for Nvidia
This second monitor on show from BenQ today again offers something a little different. It has a narrow 16:9 aspect ration across its 31.5-inch panel making a great option for those who either don’t want or can’t afford an ultrawide 4K monitor right now.
Another, let’s use the word novelty, but not in a bad way is the front-mounted button that allows you to switch between four different HDR settings, which combined with a sensor ion the bezel will automatically adust things depending on your current lighting environment.
Like the last BenQ it supports AMD Freesynce so if you are an Nvidia fanboy you should probably look elsewhere if you are getting a new screen for gaming as G-Sync monitors will suit your purposes much better.
The 3840×2160 resolution is locked in at 60Hz which again doesn’t exactly leave you much room for maneuver in the future but this is still an amazing screen at a decent price point.
A DP port, 1 HDMI, and a USB-C port complete the package meaning you can connect it to just about any modern PC or console and it also has built-in speakers to take advantage of if you don’t have a sound system or headset already set up.
Things To Consider
Do you actually need an HDR monitor?
You don’t. Especially not yet although more and more software is arriving that makes use of it. Movies look infinitely better so if you use it for things like Netflix you will see a massive improvement. If you are just sending emails and hanging around Youtube, maybe not so much.
Will my gaming experience be better with an HDR monitor?
Yes undoubtedly. While not every game supports it when you find one of your favorites that do (say Red Dead Redemption 2) you will be blown away at how good one of your favorite titles that you have played for ages can look.
If I want to play something to watch something that isn’t HDR will it look worse?
Quite the opposite but not exactly because of the HDR ability of your screen. None HDR content won’t benefit from the better coloring of HDR content but the screens are generally brighter and always generally seem to look better. There’s no science in there though. Just perception.
The curved lines of the Benq Ultrawide steal the show in this round-up. It is a beautiful thing item to have on any desk, even when it is turned off, but the second you put it to use you will know that your money has gone in the right place. It’s not for everybody, it is a large beast after all, but it is a monitor you will hopefully not feel as though you need to upgrade again for a good while to come.
Games and video all look great on it and the extra real-estate also makes working on it a doddle. If you haven’t tried out an ultrawide monitor yet you are missing out, and if you want to try one out, then this is a great place to start.