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8 Best Monitors for Graphic Design (LED vs. LCD in 2019)

You probably know this already but it’s worth repeating: many display manufacturers promise outstanding performance but only a handful deliver. Falling for the wrong one can cost you more than just a tidy sum of money. You can have the most powerful computer there is, but without a high-quality monitor, your work will likely suffer.

But what does high-quality even mean? And how can you be sure that the monitor you have your eyes on is right for you?

We’re here to help. We’ve scoured the web for the best monitors for graphic design that money can buy. Take a look now at our top picks.

1. ASUS PA329Q 32” LCD Monitor

The ASUS PA329Q is a professional-grade monitor (with only a few minor drawbacks) that will make sure you can take on heavy-duty tasks.

Features

This 32-inch monitor features 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) that provides incredible levels of detail. It’s perfect for those complex projects where immaculate precision is a must. With a pixel density of 138 PPI, there’s pretty much nothing in your work that you won’t be able to see in great detail.

As for the color reproduction, the 3M QDEF (Quantum Dot Enhancement Film) ensures an impressive color spectrum. The monitor supports 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB, along with 99.5% Adobe RGB color spaces. The viewing angle is also very wide thanks to the IPS display.

Another feature that you’ll find handy in more than a few situations is the ASUS ProArt calibration technology. It allows you to fine-tune color accuracy and uniformity so that you can ensure the perfect brightness and color consistency for each project. You can create custom color profiles and store them on a dedicated IC chip built into the monitor, which you can easily access at a later time.

When it comes to connectivity, the PA329Q definitely doesn’t disappoint. It features all the ports you’ll need, including:

  • Four HDMI 2.0 ports
  • DisplayPort 1.2
  • Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • Five USB 3.0 ports
  • 9-in-1 card reader.

If you want to see all these features in action, check out the review below:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ASUS+PA329Q

The Good

One of the main selling points of this monitor is the combination of high resolution and color reproduction. You get 300% more space and up to four times the clarity of a standard 1080p display.

It also supports the best hardware calibrators like Datacolor Spyder 5 series and X-rite i1 Display Pro. You can tilt and adjust the monitor’s position and height to your liking for those long working hours.

The Bad

The main drawback of the PA329Q is the not-so-good eye protection technology. ASUS Eye Care is supposed to reduce blue light and remove flickering, but the users haven’t been amazed by it. Some of them reported that their eyes still hurt after prolonged use, but this doesn’t happen very often.

Another potential issue is the price. Even though you’ll get your money’s worth out of this one, it might be a bit too expensive for some. Still, many consider the great features justify the price, so it might be a worthy investment.

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-PA329Q-3840×2160-ProArt-Monitor/dp/B01F6D1ITM

2. BenQ PD3200U 32” LCD Monitor

If you’re looking for a very capable monitor that you won’t have to overspend, the BenQ PD3200U might be your choice. Despite the humble price, it’s packed with premium features that are usually found in high-end devices.

Features

Technology-wise, this is another LCD monitor with 4K resolution that will do a great job of making sure you don’t miss any details. Connect it to your laptop and you’re ready to go.

It also supports 100% Rec. 709 and sRGB, providing the amazing color reproduction that every designer will appreciate. It offers a generous viewing angle, as well as a response time of only 4ms.

The first thing that sets the PD3200U apart from the crowd is the three different display modes:

  • Darkroom Mode – Enhances brightness and contrast to provide more clarity and sharpness to images that need to be edited in darker environments.
  • CAD/CAM Mode – Perfect for technical illustrations, this mode brings out great contrast of lines and shapes to ensure high detail level.
  • Animation Mode – Lightens specific image areas to offer better control over movement.

Another very useful feature that graphic designers will appreciate is DualView. It lets you pull up your images in two different modes side by side and manipulate them without having to use separate monitors.

Check out the review below to see how these features perform:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ycMBzHsp-s

The Good

The first thing that makes this monitor worth your attention is its price. For a professional monitor that offers this variety of features, it’s more than fairly priced.

Of course, this is far from the best thing about it. The different modes can be extremely helpful in many situations, and so can the KVM (Keyboard Video Mouse) switch, which lets you see the content of different PCs using a keyboard and a mouse.

The Bad

The main thing that users have complained about is the potential vertical brightness imbalance. It’s not really noticeable, but you can sometimes see it on solid backgrounds. Some users have also reported random glitches, but they happen fairly rarely.

https://www.amazon.com/BenQ-PD3200U-Designer-3840×2160-DualView/dp/B01MY142C0

3. Dell UP3216Q 32” LED Monitor

If you prefer an LED monitor over LCD, this 32” Dell might be the right one. The UP3216Q is a beast of a monitor, and if you can live with a couple of shortcomings, it can make a big difference to your work.

Features

The UP3216Q is a well-built monitor that strips down features to the basics. No gimmicks, no over-the-top options, just an incredibly crisp display with great color reproduction. The 4K resolution at 60Hz provides great clarity and accuracy.

Dell’s PremierColor technology ensures superior color space coverage and precision, with 100% sRGB and Rec. 709, 99.5% Adobe RGB, and 87% DCI-P3. With less than 2 Delta E, you can expect great factory-calibrated color consistency and accuracy. Thanks to the 1.07 billion-color depth, you can see fine details even in dark areas.

If you need to further tweak and calibrate the monitor and colors, you can use Dell’s UltraSharp Color Calibration Solution, as well as a custom Color Mode.

The Good

Good color reproduction is essential for many graphic designers that rely on color consistency. Rest assured that the UP3216Q doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Another thing that makes it worth thinking about is great connectivity. It’s equipped with the following ports:

  • DisplayPort
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • HDMI 2.0/MHL 2.0 with HDCP 2.2
  • 6-in-1 card reader

The Bad

LED displays tend to suffer from backlight bleeding. Unfortunately, the UP3216Q isn’t immune to this issue. This isn’t really a matter of build quality as much as it’s about the nature of LED technology. Thankfully, not many users have reported it, but it can still happen.

https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Ultrasharp-UP3216Q-Monitor-3840/dp/B016IBVKNU

4. EIZO CG277 27” LED Monitor

This professional-grade monitor justifies its high price with incredible features.

Features

The CG277 looks and feels like an amazingly-built monitor. It’s a 27-inch LED display with a resolution of 2560×1440, which might not sound like much but is certainly enough for those that need to work on fine details.

The 300 cd/m2 brightness and 1000:1 contrast ratio offer great representation of even the darkest areas. The monitor offers 99% Adobe RGB coverage, as well as self-calibration abilities, so it can adapt to all kinds of projects with ease.

As far as the ports go, it’s not exactly packed with them. It comes with one each of DVI-D, DisplayPort, and HDMI port.

Another thing that makes this monitor a great choice is its unique design that helps with media reproduction. If you want to see how it’s done, check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWUBNwSyhxg

The Good

The main thing that makes this monitor comparable to the best ones on the market is the great color gamut and display uniformity. It reproduces accurate colors without noticeable light bleeding or similar issues. It’s well-built, reliable, and proven against a wide variety of demanding tasks.

The Bad

The 2560×1440 resolution might be a deal-breaker for some. Even though it’s more than sharp enough to meet the needs of most professionals, some people who demand extremely fine details might find it subpar. Also, the price might give many people pause.

https://www.amazon.com/CG277-BK-ColorEdge-Professional-Graphics-Monitor/dp/B00IT5XKX2

5. EIZO CS2730 27” LED Monitor

Although the CS2730 is made with photographers in mind, it offers everything that graphic design professionals need to work on all kinds of projects. It’s far more affordable than the EIZO CG277, but its relative shortcomings are few and small.

Features

Feature-wise, this monitor closely resembles its more premium counterpart. It’s another 27-inch LED display with 2560×1440 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. It has an Adobe RGB coverage of 99%, as well as the same 1000:1 contrast ratio.

The area where this monitor trumps most other options out there is brightness. Rated at 350 cd/m2, it offers a near-perfect brightness that not even some of the best monitors can compare. On the other hand, the 10ms response time certainly isn’t anything impressive, but this won’t affect most users that badly.

EIZO offers a 5-year warranty on this monitor, so you can rest assured that you’ll be covered should anything malfunction.

If you want to see what EIZO’s team member has to say about it, check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoaCMw3F_Zk

The Good

The best thing about this monitor is the super brightness. Paired with EIZO’s trademark wide color gamut, it can display different media in a way that allows you to see even the darkest of areas with ease. The price is also quite appealing, since a monitor of such capabilities often cost a lot more.

The Bad

As mentioned, the response time might disappoint some users. Since the industry standard is around 4ms, 10ms just doesn’t seem competitive. Still, many users won’t be bothered by this, so the monitor is still worth taking into consideration.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012TNRI1E/ref=psdc_1292115011_t1_B00IT5XKX2

6. iiyama G-Master GB2730QSU 27” LED Monitor

iiyama generally specializes in gaming monitors, so the G-Master GB2730QSU-B1 might not seem like the best choice for graphic designers. However, once you take a closer look, you’ll see some features that certainly scream graphic design.

Features

This 27-inch monitor has a WQHD resolution of 2560×1440. Its 75Hz refresh rate is what makes it perfect for gaming, as well as animation design. The same goes for the 1ms response time, which will ensure the best animation smoothness on a monitor.

The TN LED panel offers 1000:1 contrast ratio with advanced contrast od 80M:1. Paired with the 350cd/m² brightness, this will provide superior media reproduction.

It’s flicker-free and does a great job at blue light reduction, so you can rest assured your eyes will stay protected. It’s also one of the most energy-efficient monitors out there, with a power consumption of only 52kWh per annum.

The Good

The response time of this monitor is the best you’ll find. It’s among the fastest and smoothest on the market, so it’s perfect for everyone that works in animation. The price is also surprisingly low.

The Bad

Aside from the lowish resolution, there’s really nothing bad to say about it. Sure, it might not be a professional-grade monitor, but it’s certainly a great starting point for those on a budget.

https://www.amazon.com/Iiyama-2560×1440-G-Master-GB2730QSU-B1-FreeSync/dp/B0788BBHMH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1547651528&sr=8-1&keywords=iiyama+g-master

7. Samsung U28E590D 28” LED Monitor

The Samsung U28E590D doesn’t disappoint at a price that makes it accessible to any graphic designer.

Features

It’s a 28-inch LED monitor with 4K resolution that offers impressive smoothness and color reproduction, even more so considering the price.

It accurately represents more than 1 billion colors, ensuring realistic media representation. It also ensures generous viewing angles, as well as a minimum brightness of 310 cd/m². Images will look very natural, and you can always tweak the settings to your liking.

Input latency is brought to a minimum due to the 1ms response time, making this monitor perfect for animation professionals.

Overall, it’s an impressive budget monitor that has a lot to offer. Take a look at what a tech expert has to say about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5YXWqhL9ik

The Good

The best thing about this monitor is its outstanding value for money. At a very low price, you get features that you often see in expensive premium-grade monitors.

The Bad

Sadly, backlight bleeding can be an issue with this monitor. Truth be told, you can’t expect it to be flawless at this price, so if this isn’t that big of an issue for you, it’s still among the best budget monitors around.

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-U28E590D-28-Inch-LED-Lit-Monitor/dp/B00YD3DBOC

8. Philips BDM4065UC 40” LED Monitor

If you’re in need of a large monitor that offers great performance, this one might be right for you. It doesn’t offer any over-the-top features, so what you can expect is a stripped-down monitor that does all the basics well.

Features

The BDM4065UC is a 40-inch LED monitor with 4K resolution. It offers extreme clarity on a huge display, so it’s perfect for everyone that needs to multitask or view graphics in high detail.

The 50M:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 300 cd/m² brightness offer great performance that can meet the expectations of most professionals. On the other hand, the color representation isn’t the best, so if this is important, the Philips might be a bit disappointing.

The connectivity is very good, and you get the following ports:

  • USB 3.0
  • VGA
  • HDMI/MHL
  • DisplayPort
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Audio In/Out

To see this monitor in action, check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZfK6YkU9_E

The Good

A large 4K display that performs this well is fairly hard to find. This one will make for a great design experience.

The Bad

The biggest issue with the monitor is color banding. Color representation isn’t the best either, which might make it unappealing to some designers.

https://www.amazon.com/Philips-BDM4065UC-Resolution-Speakers-DisplayPort/dp/B00OO9YWR0

The Final Word

As you can see, there’s a good graphic design monitor for every professional.

While choosing the best one for you, make sure to think about the projects that you’re working on and match them to the features.

Bear in mind that a higher price doesn’t guarantee the best performance. More often than not, you’ll be able to find a great monitor at a fair price, so don’t think of it as the deciding factor. Instead, take a closer look at the features of our top picks and choose the one that suits your design adventures the best.

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Staff Writer DLC

Daily Logo Challenge staff writers focus on creating in-depth guides focusing on mastery of design and development. Let us know what you think in the comments section above.