The Best HDR Monitors (2020 Reviews)

premium pick

Acer Predator X35

acer predator x35 bmiphzx
  • 512-zone FALD
  • 3440×1440 200Hz
  • G-SYNC Ultimate
best overall

ASUS PG27UQ

asus pg27uq monitor
  • 384-zone FALD
  • 3840×2160 144Hz
  • G-SYNC Ultimate

If you’re in the market for an HDR monitor, you’ve probably come across terms such as ‘fake HDR’ and ‘pseudo HDR’ – and now you’re worried that you’ll end up buying a bad HDR display.

We don’t blame you! Monitor manufacturers put HDR labels on just about anything these days, and that’s why in this buying guide, we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know about HDR when it comes to monitors.

In truth, there are only two HDR displays worth considering for the sake of HDR: the Acer X35 and the ASUS PG27UQ.

These two monitors feature full-array local dimming (FALD), which is essential for a good HDR (High Dynamic Range) picture quality on LED-backlit monitors.

The beauty of HDR image lies in the display’s ability to produce incredibly bright and vivid details in highlights of the picture while preserving black depth and details in shadows at the same time, thus creating this ‘high dynamic range.’

Of course, a wide color gamut and a high screen resolution are also very important in making the picture look great! 

HDR monitors without proper local dimming solutions simply cannot deliver a ‘true’ HDR picture as for them to produce specific bright details, for instance, their entire screen has to adapt, which leads to overexposing of dark areas.

Regardless, some of these less capable HDR displays can still offer a noticeable improvement over the standard image i.e., SDR (Standard Dynamic Range). You won’t get the real HDR viewing experience, but rather just a glimpse of it.

For the best HDR viewing experience, we recommend getting LG’s OLED TVs. OLEDs don’t rely on a backlight to produce the picture, which allows them to achieve an infinite contrast ratio as each pixel is self-emissive.

They also offer a great gaming experience thanks to their high refresh rate, low input lag, and quick response time.

Be sure to check out the LG B9, an excellent budget OLED TV, and the LG CX, which is a more premium model.

Table of ContentsShow

Best True HDR Monitors

The following monitors offer everything you need for an immersive HDR viewing experience including high peak brightness, high contrast ratio, high resolution, and wide color gamut!

Alas, they don’t come cheap.

The Pros:

  • High brightness, strong contrast, wide color gamut
  • Full-array local dimming solution
  • G-SYNC up to 200Hz
  • Plenty of additional gaming features
  • Ergonomic design with rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Noisy fan
  • Minor ghosting visible in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • Expensive
  • Noticeable halo/bloom in certain scenarios

About The Monitor

The Acer X35 is one of the best gaming monitors currently available.

Image Quality

Based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel with a 2,500:1 static contrast ratio, a 600-nit peak brightness, 10-bit color depth, 90% DCI-P3 color gamut, and 3440×1440 resolution, the Acer X35 delivers excellent both SDR and HDR image.

For HDR content, the contrast ratio gets a boost up to 100,000:1 while the peak brightness can reach a bit over 1,000 nits, which makes for incredibly vivid details in highlights and shadows of the picture.

It has a 512-zone local dimming solution. These zones can dim parts of the image that need to be dark without lowering the brightness of parts of the screen that need to stay bright. As a result, you get deeper blacks and higher contrast.

Now, since there are almost 5 million pixels on the screen and only 512 dimming zones, sometimes, the light from a lit zone will bleed into the dimmed zones that surround it, thus generating a halo/bloom effect.

This only happens in certain scenarios. For instance, if you place a white cursor on an entirely black background. In case you find it too distracting, you can just disable local dimming while not gaming or watching videos.

That is why OLED displays are best when it comes to HDR picture; even though they can’t get quite as bright as some LED displays, they have an infinite contrast ratio as each pixel produces its own light.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any viable HDR OLED gaming monitors currently available, so most users go for LG’s OLED TVs, which offer additional useful features for gaming such as G-SYNC compatibility, 120Hz, and more.

The Acer X35 has additional tricks up its sleeve, though.

Its 21:9 ultrawide format further improves the viewing immersion by providing you with a broader field of view, and its 3440×1440 resolution results in crisp details without any scaling necessary.

The monitor also features a factory-calibrated sRGB emulation mode for ~100% sRGB color output for basic content creation and entry-level color-critical work.

For professional-grade color accuracy, you will need an IPS panel display, though.

Features

Moving on, the monitor supports G-SYNC Ultimate, which ensures flawless VRR (variable refresh rate) performance up to 200Hz if you have a compatible NVIDIA graphics card.

G-SYNC Ultimate also allows you to use G-SYNC and HDR at the same time without any screen tearing, stuttering, or noticeable input lag penalty.

Since the monitor has DisplayPort 1.4, there are some bandwidth limitations.

If you want 10-bit color, you will be limited to 144Hz. With 8-bit color, you can get as high as 180Hz, whereas, for 200Hz, you will need to use 4:2:2 chroma subsampling.

Now, using chroma subsampling makes text appear fringy, so we don’t recommend using it in video games with a lot of text involved.

This bandwidth limitation shouldn’t worry you too much.

First of all, the difference between 8-bit color and 10-bit color in video games is barely visible. Besides, most games are limited to 8-bit color anyway.

Secondly, even with a high-end PC system rig, reaching 200FPS at 3440×1440 isn’t possible in most video games, so 144FPS or 180FPS will be sufficient.

Other features include the standard gaming utilities such as custom crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, Dark Boost (for better visibility in darker games), a refresh rate tracker, etc.

As it’s the case with all VA panel monitors, some minor black smearing will be visible in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes as pixels take longer to change from deep blacks into lighter shades.

Overall, the amount of visible smearing is negligible; the Acer X35 is one of the fastest VA models when it comes to pixel response time speed.

Visit our full Acer X35 review for more information.

Design & Connectivity

acer x35 back

The stand of the monitor is robust and versatile with up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/25° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, four USB 3.0 ports (3 downstream + 1 upstream), a headphones jack, and dual 4W built-in speakers. Note that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440.

The G-SYNC module also requires a cooling fan, which has an annoying ramping up noise on this monitor. In-game audio will cover the noise, but if you like to play in silence, it can be frustrating.

Alternatives

  • ASUS PG35VQ – ASUS’ variant of this monitor which uses the same panel. It offers a virtually identical picture quality and performance, but has a different design. Its cooling fan is also more silent.
    Depending on region and availability, one model may be considerably more affordable than the other. So, be sure to check them both out! Visit our Acer X35 review for a more thorough comparison between the two.

The Pros:

  • High brightness, strong contrast, wide color gamut
  • Full-array local dimming solution
  • G-SYNC up to 144Hz
  • Plenty of additional gaming features
  • Ergonomic design with rich connectivity options
  • Accurate and consistent colors

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Noticeable halo/bloom in certain scenarios
  • Contrast ratio not as high as that of the Acer X35

About The Monitor

The ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ is another exceptional HDR monitor. It has 384 dimming zones, but a smaller 27″ sized screen which comes to around similar FALD performance in comparison to the Acer X35.

Image Quality

Unlike the Acer X35, the ASUS PG27UQ is based on an IPS panel that offers more accurate and consistent colors across the screen, which along with its Delta E < 3 calibration, makes it ideal for professional color-critical work.

IPS panels also offer a faster pixel response time speed, so there won’t be any smearing in fast-paced games.

Additionally, you get wider 178° viewing angles. While there aren’t any major shifts in color, contrast, or brightness when you look at the X35 screen off-axis, the picture quality on the PG27UQ will be flawless at basically any angle.

There are some downsides here as well.

Firstly, 4K UHD is considerably more demanding to drive than 3440×1440, so you’ll need a very powerful PC rig to sustain over 60FPS at 4K with decent settings.

Moreover, IPS panels have a lower native contrast ratio of ~1,000:1. So, blacks won’t be quite as deep as that of the Acer Predator X35 monitor.

Other specs are similar and include a 1000-nit peak brightness, 10-bit color depth support, and a wide 97% DCI-P3 as well as 99% Adobe RGB color gamut.

Features

DisplayPort 1.4 limitations affect the ASUS PG27UQ as well. For 144Hz, you’ll need to use chroma subsampling, while for 10-bit color, you’ll need to decrease the refresh rate to 98Hz. You can use the monitor at 120Hz with 8-bit color.

G-SYNC Ultimate is supported up to 144Hz, while other useful features include custom crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and RGB lighting. 

Visit our detailed ASUS PG27UQ review for more information.

Design & Connectivity

asus rog swift pg27uq amazon

The stand of the monitor is a bit bulky with somewhat thick bezels, but the build quality is excellent. You can adjust the height of the monitor up to 120mm, swivel it by +/- 35°, tilt by -5°/20°, or VESA mount the screen.

Connectivity options include HDMI 2.0 (max 60Hz at 4K), DisplayPort 1.4, a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub. 

Alternatives​

Acer’s variant of this monitor based on the same panel is called the Acer Predator X27. It offers identical image quality and performance with a different design, two extra USB 3.0 ports, and built-in speakers, but no pivot adjustment.

Depending on region and availability, check out both models and choose whichever is cheaper or according to your design/features preference.

Acer also promises a more accurate Delta E < 1 calibration, but it’s usually much more expensive.

The newer model, the Acer Predator X27P (X27 Pbmiphzx) has a newer G-SYNC module that allows variable refresh rate to work over HDMI and with AMD cards or Xbox One consoles.

Looking for something better?

Keep an eye on the upcoming Acer Predator X32 and the ASUS ROG Swift PG32UQX 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS models with a 1152-zone Mini-LED FALD system, DisplayHDR 1400, and G-SYNC Ultimate. They should be available by the end of 2020, for ~$3,600.

Big Format Gaming Displays?

There is one more type of G-SYNC Ultimate gaming monitors, which we decided not to include in this guide. These are called Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) and include the HP Omen X 65 and the ASUS PG65UQ.

They are 65″ 4K 144Hz gaming monitors with G-SYNC Ultimate and DisplayHDR 1000.

However, they have only 384 dimming zones, just like the 27″ models, so the HDR picture quality won’t be as good. What’s more, they are very expensive at ~ $3,500 – $5,000.

At that price range, we recommend getting one of LG’s 2019 or 2020 OLED TVs, which are superior in almost every way and more future-proof (with HDMI 2.1) yet considerably cheaper.

For instance, the 65″ B9 goes for $1,800. It offers an infinite contrast ratio as each pixel emits its own light. That means no haloing/blooming, and no backlight bleed. Moreover, OLEDs have a significantly faster pixel response time speed.

While the BFGDs have G-SYNC modules that provide VRR for NVIDIA graphics cards over DisplayPort and VRR over HDMI, they only have HDMI 2.0, which maxes out at 60Hz meaning that they aren’t ready for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. 

LG’s OLED TVs support HDMI 2.1 and will, therefore, allow for 4K 120Hz support without any compression for newer consoles and GPUs. With OLED TVs, you just have to be careful when it comes to burn-in and image retention.

Best DisplayHDR 1000 Monitors

The following monitors are VESA DisplayHDR 1000 certified just like the previous two displays, but they don’t have full-array local dimming. Instead, they are edge-lit and feature only a few dimming zones which aren’t nearly as effective at creating a high dynamic range as FALD systems. Still, they can offer a significant growth in picture quality.

The Pros:

  • High brightness and wide color gamut
  • Good native contrast ratio
  • 32-zone local dimming solution
  • FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting visible in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • Narrow FreeSync range
  • BGR subpixel layout
  • Expensive

About The Monitor

The Philips 436M6VBPAB is the most cost-effective 43″ 4K monitor with a decent HDR picture. It used to go for around $1,000, but you can find it nowadays for $500 – $700. We also don’t recommend buying it for $1,000 – only on sale.

Image Quality

Thanks to its 4K resolution, a 1000-nit peak brightness, a wide 97% DCI-P3 color gamut, and a high native contrast ratio of 4,000:1, the Philips 436M6 offers an immersive picture quality for both HDR and SDR content.

There are many things to keep in mind, though.

First of all, it has only 32 dimming zones. While these zones can push the contrast ratio up to ~7,000:1, they are nowhere near as effective as the 384-zone or 512-zone solutions of the previously-mentioned monitors.

So, in some scenes in video games, you will get an exceptional picture quality while other more demanding scenes (in terms of the number of required zones for efficient local dimming) won’t look as good.

In other words, you aren’t getting the true HDR viewing experience. Thanks to the display’s good specs, though, the image quality is excellent regardless.

For the $500 – $700 price, it’s the best 43″ monitor for the Xbox One X and PS 4 Pro as you also get a lower input lag and a quicker pixel response time speed than that of any ‘gaming’ TV at this price range.

When it comes to PC gaming, we recommend investing in the ASUS PG27UQ instead, or one of the other gaming monitors included in this guide.

Another thing to keep in mind about this monitor is its BGR subpixel layout instead of regular RGB, which makes text appear smudgy at 100% scaling (no scaling) when looking at the screen from up close.

This isn’t visible in video games, but if you want to do productivity work, you will need to scale the display to at least 125% to make the text appear sharp and clear, but you will lose on screen real estate.

Features

The Philips 436M6VBPAB supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-60Hz VRR range, and it works well with compatible NVIDIA GPUs within the same dynamic range.

Due to its rather narrow range, video games that are locked to 30FPS won’t benefit from FreeSync, but this is the case with all low refresh rate FreeSync displays.

Other noteworthy features include Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture and the Ambiglow RGB technology, which consists of LEDs placed at the bottom bezel of the screen that can be synchronized with on-screen content.

Design & Connectivity

philips 436m6vbpab hdr pc monitor

The aluminum stand is quite sturdy and offers -5°/10° tilt adjustment while the screen is VESA mount compatible.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, USB-C (DP 1.2 Alt Mode + Data, no Power Delivery), a headphones jack, a dual-USB 3.0 hub, and dual 7W built-in speakers.

Alternatives​

There are different models of the Philips 436M6VBPAB depending on the region it’s sold in:

Another difference between these two monitors is that the /00 variant can use local dimming for SDR content too.

Other 43″ Models

There are a few more 43″ 4K 120Hz+ gaming monitors available, however, we don’t recommend them for console gaming because they all support HDMI 2.0 meaning that they’re not ready for future consoles with HDMI 2.1.

  • ASUS XG438Q – 43″ 4K 120Hz monitor with FreeSync 2 and DisplayHDR 600
  • Acer CG437K P – 43″ 4K 144Hz G-SYNC Compatible monitor with DisplayHDR 1000
  • ASUS PG43UQ – 43″ 4K 144Hz G-SYNC Compatible monitor with DisplayHDR 1000 and DSC which allows for 144Hz at 4K without the use of chroma subsampling

For PC use, you get the same BGR subpixel layout issue as with the Philips 436M6, and their HDR picture quality and performance is underwhelming in comparison to a cheaper LG 2019/2020 OLED TV.

The Pros:

  • High brightness and wide color gamut
  • Good native contrast ratio
  • 10-zone local dimming solution
  • FreeSync up to 240Hz
  • Ergonomic design and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Underwhelming HDR image quality for the price, but the monitor excels at other things

About The Monitor

The Samsung Odyssey G9 offers an incredibly immersive gaming experience thanks to its super ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio with a high 5120×1440 screen resolution, a 240Hz refresh rate, and quick 1ms GtG response time.

Image Quality

This 49″ super ultrawide monitor is equivalent to two 27″ 1440p displays put side by side without the bezels in between them.

The pixel density is also identical to 1440p on 27″ sized monitors meaning that you’ll get sharp details and plenty of screen space. Naturally, such high resolution is very demanding, especially at higher frame rates.

In addition to its high resolution, the monitor has a strong 1000-nit peak brightness, a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, and an excellent static contrast ratio of 2,500:1.

Now, there are only ten dimming zones on this gigantic screen, so local dimming isn’t very effective. You’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience, but some scenes in certain video games will look amazing.

Obviously, most people will buy this gaming monitor because of its big screen size and high resolution paired with a quick refresh rate while the HDR support is just a bonus.

For solely HDR purposes, there are better monitors and TVs at this price range available.

Features

Both AMD’s FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC Compatible are supported over DisplayPort with a 60-240Hz VRR range.

Further, to get 5120×1440 at 240Hz, you will need an AMD Navi or NVIDIA Turing (or newer) graphics card with DisplayPort 1.4 DSC support. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to 120Hz at 5120×1440.

Be sure to check how your favorite games handle the 32:9 aspect ratio as video games that don’t support it will be displayed with black borders at the sides.

Other features include Black Stabilizer (for better visibility in darker games), custom crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and Picture by Picture.

Visit our Samsung C49G95T review for more info!

Design & Connectivity

samsung odyssey c49g95t monitor design

The stand of the monitor offers height adjustment up to 120mm, swivel by +/- 15°, tilt by -5°/15°, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

It also sports an aggressive 1000R screen curvature for added immersion and RGB lighting at the back of the monitor.

Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, one HDMI 2.0 port, a headphones jack, and three USB ports (2x USB 3.0 downstream + 1x USB upstream).

HDMI 2.0 maxes out at 5120×1440 60Hz or 3840×1080 120Hz.

Best DisplayHDR 600 Monitors

Monitors with DisplayHDR 600 certification have a peak brightness of 600-nits, a wide color gamut, and some sort of local dimming implemented. While they cannot get as bright as the HDR1000 models, they still offer a notable improvement over standard displays at a (usually) reasonable price.

The Pros:

  • Good brightness and wide color gamut
  • Strong native contrast ratio
  • 16-zone local dimming solution
  • FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Height-adjustable stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting visible in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • Expensive

About The Monitor

The ASUS CG32UQ is the best 32″ 4K HDR monitor for console gaming currently available. Thanks to its FreeSync over HDMI support, it’s particularly amazing for the Xbox One X.

Image Quality

It is based on a VA panel with a contrast ratio of 3,000:1, a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, and a 600-nit peak brightness which makes for excellent picture quality.

There are 16 dimming zones which can further increase the contrast ratio of HDR content, but local dimming is not available for SDR content on this monitor!

For most people, 32″ sized monitors are ideal for 4K resolution as little to no scaling is necessary (100% – 125%) and you get crystal-clear details as well as plenty of screen space.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 40-60 VRR range via both DisplayPort and HDMI while other gaming-related features include custom crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, a refresh rate tracker, and on-screen timers.

Around the screen are LEDs with customizable RGB lighting including the option to sync with on-screen content or other AuraSync-compatible peripherals.

Design & Connectivity

asus cg32uq monitor back

The ASUS CG32UQ features premium design quality and features. There are two textured pads where you can place your controllers and charge them via the USB ports (one at each side).

Additionally, there are four more USB ports (2 upstream and 2 downstream), three HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DP 1.2 input, a headphones jack, and two 12W built-in speakers with surprisingly good audio quality.

You can elevate the screen up to 100mm, tilt it by -5°/20°, or VESA mount it via the 100x100mm pattern.

Alternatives​

While the ASUS CG32UQ is an excellent monitor for console gaming, it’s quite expensive due to its premium features.

Alternatively, you may want to consider getting a similarly priced TV such as the Hisense H9F with a much better HDR picture quality or the Samsung Q60R with FreeSync and 120Hz at 1080p/1440p – in addition to 4K 60Hz support.

If you plan on getting the PS5 or the Xbox Series X, you should get a TV with proper HDMI 2.1 support or wait for gaming monitors with HDMI 2.1.

For PC gaming, we recommend the next monitor instead.

The Pros:

  • Good brightness and wide color gamut
  • Strong native contrast ratio
  • 8-zone local dimming solution
  • FreeSync up to 240Hz
  • Ergonomic design with rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • None

About The Monitor

The Samsung Odyssey G7 is available as both 27″ and 32″ model: the Samsung C27G75T and the Samsung C32G75T.

Now, both monitors offer identical features and performance, but the 27″ model offers a higher pixel density (108 PPI) for sharper details whereas the 32″ variant has a bigger screen – but a lower pixel density (93 PPI) and a higher price.

Image Quality

These 1440p gaming monitors also have DisplayHDR 600 certification with a peak brightness of 600-nits, a static contrast ratio of 2,500:1, and a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut.

They have a local dimming solution, too, though there are only eight zones.

The HDR image quality is very similar to that of the ASUS CG32UQ, but due to its high pixel density, ASUS’ 4K model will look sharper when you’re closer to the screen.

However, because 1440p is a lot less demanding to drive than 4K, these 240Hz gaming monitors offer a lot more responsive gaming experience, especially in fast-paced video games.

Plus, the Samsung G7 has a very fast 1ms GtG pixel response time speed for no visible ghosting or smearing behind fast-moving objects.

In other words, the difference in motion clarity and responsiveness is much more noticeable than the difference in HDR image quality when comparing the Samsung G7 and the ASUS CG32UQ.

Features

FreeSync Premium Pro and ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ are supported with a 60-240Hz and 80-240Hz VRR range, respectively.

Other features include Black Equalizer (improves visibility in dark areas in video games), various pre-calibrated picture presets, and RGB lighting.

Visit our Samsung C32G75T review for more information.

Design & Connectivity

samsung c32g75t monitor

The stand of the monitor is quite sturdy and offers a wide range of ergonomics including up to 120mm height adjustment, -9°/13° tilt, +/- 15° swivel, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility while the screen has a steep 1000R curvature.

Connectivity options include two DP 1.4 ports, HDMI 2.0b, a dual-USB 3.0 hub, and a headphones jack.

You will need a GPU with DP 1.4 DSC support to take full advantage of the monitor. With older cards, you’ll be limited to 1440p 240Hz with 8-bit color.

Alternatives​

If you’re looking for something similar but cheaper, check out the previous-gen Samsung CHG70 1440p 144Hz HDR600 monitor.

It offers a similar HDR picture quality at a lower price, but it doesn’t have as fast pixel response time speed resulting in prominent smearing in fast-paced games.

The Pros:

  • Accurate and vibrant colors
  • High pixel density
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync up to 144Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Ergonomic stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel option
  • Not as high contrast ratio as that of VA panels

About The Monitor

The LG 27GN950 is the best HDR monitor with an IPS panel you can get under $1,000.

Image Quality

Thanks to its Nano IPS panel, the LG 27GN950 offers a wide 98% DCI-P3 (135% sRGB) color gamut for vibrant and lifelike colors.

The contrast ratio is limited to ~1,000:1, and there are only 16 dimming zones, so blacks won’t be as deep and vivid as those of the two previously-mentioned DisplayHDR 600 monitors with VA panels.

However, besides the superior color accuracy and consistency of the IPS panel, you also get wider viewing angles and faster pixel response time speed.

In fact, the LG 27GN950 is the first 4K IPS monitor with a 1ms response time for zero ghosting in fast-paced games.

Features

Moving on, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and it’s certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, thus ensuring smooth VRR performance with a 48-160Hz dynamic range supported.

Other noteworthy features include custom crosshairs, Black Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker games), advanced picture adjustment tools, various picture presets, and fancy 48-LED RGB lighting at the back of the monitor.

For more information, visit our full LG 27GN950 review.

Design & Connectivity

lg ultragear 27gn950 monitor

The LG 27GN950 boasts an innovative 4-sides borderless design with ultra-thin bezels at all four sides of the monitor.

Further, the stand is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/15° tilt, 90° pivot, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports (max 60Hz at 4K HDR), DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC (Display Stream Compression), a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.

For 4K 144Hz 10-bit, you’ll need a GPU that supports DisplayPort 1.4 DSC (AMD Navi or NVIDIA Turing – or newer).

Older graphics cards are limited to 95Hz 4K 10-bit or 120Hz 4K 8-bit.

The Pros:

  • Accurate and vibrant colors
  • High pixel density
  • Plenty of features including FreeSync up to 160Hz
  • Quick response time speed
  • Ergonomic stand and rich connectivity options

The Cons:

  • Design lacks swivel option
  • Not as high contrast ratio as that of VA panels
  • No DSC support

About The Monitor

If you’re looking for an ultrawide gaming monitor with meaningful HDR picture quality, but can’t afford the Acer Predator X35, consider the LG 38GN950!

In fact, the LG 38GN950 even offers some advantages over the X35 when it comes to SDR.

Image Quality

The monitor is based on LG’s 37.5″ 3840×1600 Nano IPS panel with a wide 98% DCI-P3 color gamut, rapid 1ms GtG response time speed, and wide 178° viewing angles.

So, in comparison to the X35, you get a considerably larger screen with a higher resolution to back it up, a wider color gamut with more consistent and accurate colors (there’s a 100% sRGB emulated mode), wider viewing angles, and faster response time!

The main downside of the LG 38GN950 is the mediocre static contrast ratio of 1,000:1. While there are 12 dimming zones, it’s not enough to significantly improve the contrast.

HDR content gets a boost in peak brightness to 600-nits from 450-nits. So, the HDR picture will look better, but it’s still not a match for the true HDR viewing experience of the X35. 

Features

VRR is supported via FreeSync Premium Pro and NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible with a 48-144Hz range over DisplayPort. You can also overclock the monitor to 160Hz, in which case VRR will also work up to 160Hz.

However, as there’s no DSC support, you will have to drop the color depth to 8-bit for 144Hz and 160Hz. For 10-bit color, you’ll need to lower the refresh rate to 120Hz.

As the 3840×1600 resolution is quite demanding, this won’t be a big issue as you’ll hardly push 120FPS at this resolution in the latest titles with ultra settings and 10-bit color.

Undemanding games mostly don’t support 10-bit color anyway, or there’s no visual difference, in which case you can just use the monitor at 160Hz without any downsides.

Other noteworthy features include Black Stabilizer, custom crosshairs, various pre-calibrated picture presets, and RGB lighting at the back, which can be synchronized with audio or video. 

Design & Connectivity

lg 38gn950 monitor back

The design features a subtle 2300R screen curvature and decent ergonomics with up to 110mm, tilt by -5°/15°, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphones jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub. 

Alternatives

The LG 38GN950 is also available as a ‘business’ model with an extended 3-year warranty, LG 38GN95B, as well as a variant with Thunderbolt 3, the LG 38WN95C.

Best Entry-Level HDR Monitors

In case all of the above-mentioned monitors are out of your budget, the following monitors will can still provide you with a decent HDR picture quality at a more affordable price.

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut
  • Strong native contrast ratio
  • FreeSync up to 60Hz

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting visible in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • Tilt-only stand

About The Monitor

The LG 32UL500 is the best budget 32″ 4K monitor for console gaming, PC gaming, watching movies, and other entertainment and everyday purposes!

Image Quality

This monitor uses the same VA panel as the ASUS CG32UQ. You get a peak brightness of 300-nits, a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, and a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, but there is no local dimming nor peak brightness boost for HDR content.

In fact, the LG 32UL500 doesn’t qualify for VESA’s entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification, which requires a peak brightness of at least 400-nits.

Regardless, it offers a more immersive HDR picture quality than most HDR400-certified displays as it has a high native contrast ratio as well as a wide color gamut (which some HDR400 monitors don’t have).

The monitor also has a Rec709 pre-calibrated mode (same as sRGB) for more accurate color output. So, you can even use it for some content creation. If you need professional-grade color accuracy, though, you’ll need an IPS display.

Features

The LG 32UL500 supports AMD FreeSync over both HDMI and DP with a 40-60 VRR range; with NVIDIA cards, it only works within its ‘Basic’ 48-60Hz range without issues.

Other features include Black Stabilizer, On-Screen Control (make OSD adjustments in a desktop application), pre-calibrated picture presets, and advanced image adjustment tools (gamma, 6-axis hue/saturation, color temperature).

Design & Connectivity

lg 32ul500 monitor back

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen via the 100x100mm VESA pattern. Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and dual 5W built-in speakers.

The LG 32UL500 is also available with a height-adjustable stand as the LG 32UK550.

Alternatives​

In case the LG 32UL500 is not available, check out the BenQ EW3270U which is based on the same panel.

Visit our best 4K monitor buyer’s guide for additional information.

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut
  • Accurate and consistent colors
  • FreeSync up to 60Hz
  • Fully ergonomic design

The Cons:

  • Not as high contrast ratio as that of VA monitors

About The Monitor

Want a smaller 4K HDR monitor? Look no further than the ASUS VG289Q!

Image Quality

This 28″ monitor features an IPS panel for more accurate and consistent color reproduction, flawless 178° viewing angles, and a fast pixel response time speed for gaming.

Of course, due to its low 60Hz refresh rate, fast-paced motion won’t look nearly as smooth as it does on 144Hz gaming monitors, but you won’t get any prominent smearing behind fast-moving objects.

Just like the LG 32UL500, the ASUS VG289Q doesn’t have VESA’s DisplayHDR 400 certification, but it offers a better HDR picture quality than most certified displays.

IPS panels have a lower static contrast ratio than VA models, so blacks won’t be as deep on this HDR monitor.

However, the ASUS VG289Q offers a decent 350-nit peak brightness and a wide 90% DCI-P3 color gamut.

Although the color gamut is actually wider on LG’s monitor, colors will look punchier and more consistent across the screen on this display due to the nature of IPS panels.

You’ll also find an sRGB emulation mode for a more accurate color output for sRGB content.

Further, 4K resolution results in a high 157 pixel per inch ratio on 28″ sized monitors, so the details will be very sharp and crisp, but you’ll need to apply some scaling for small items such as text to be readable.

Features

AMD FreeSync is supported with a 40-60Hz VRR range over HDMI and DisplayPort, and it works well with NVIDIA cards, though your mileage might vary here across different units of the monitor.

Other noteworthy features include custom crosshairs, pre-calibrated picture presets, and Shadow Boost. For more information, visit our ASUS VG289Q review.

Design & Connectivity

asus vg289q monitor back

You can elevate the screen of the monitor up to 150mm, swivel it by +/- 62°, tilt by -5°/20°, rotate by 90°, or VESA mount it via the 100x100mm pattern.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers.

Alternatives​

If the ASUS VG289Q is not available, check out the Samsung U28R550 which uses the same panel.

The Pros:

  • Wide color gamut
  • Strong native contrast ratio
  • Good peak brightness for the price

The Cons:

  • Minor ghosting visible in fast-paced games, mostly in darker scenes
  • No AMD FreeSync
  • Tilt-only stand, not VESA mount compatible

About The Monitor

The BenQ EW277HDR is the cheapest monitor that offers some sort of noteworthy enhancement for HDR content.

Image Quality

Now, 1080p resolution on this 27″ sized monitor results in a mediocre pixel density of 81 pixels per inch, meaning that the picture will be somewhat pixelated up close with rather limited screen real estate available.

So, we don’t recommend this monitor for productivity work and similar use.

For gaming and other entertainment purposes such as watching movies and videos, it’s great as individual pixels won’t be distinguishable.

What makes this monitor better than most 1080p monitors at this price range is its combination of high 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, a strong 400-nit peak brightness, and a wide 93% DCI-P3 color gamut.

Around this price range, you could also get a good 1080p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, which would provide you with a lot more responsive gaming experience, but the image quality will be more immersive on the BenQ EW277HDR.

So, if your frame rate doesn’t surpass 60FPS in video games, or if you have a 1080p console, this monitor is for you.

Features

Sadly, the BenQ EW277HDR doesn’t support FreeSync, so you’ll have to rely on V-Sync if you wish to eliminate screen tearing.

It offers all the standard image adjustment tools as well as the unique Brightness Intelligence Plus technology which consists of built-in sensors that can automatically adjust the monitor’s brightness and color temperature according to ambient lighting.

Visit our BenQ EW277HDR review for more information.

Design & Connectivity

Benq Ew277hdr Back

Another weak point of this monitor is the design. While it is very slim and has thin bezels, its stand is tilt-only while the screen is not VESA mount compatible.

So, you’ll need to purchase an adapter if you wish to mount it or use a third-party stand riser. Connectivity options include two HDMI ports, VGA, a headphones jack, and 2W speakers.

Alternatives​

The LG 32ML600M is another good budget HDR monitor though due to its low pixel density (70 PPI), it’s only recommended for console gaming and watching movies/videos at a distance (at least ~ 4ft / 120cm).

It has an IPS panel with lower contrast and brightness, but it has a bit punchier colors, wider viewing angles, and faster response time.

Conclusion

Found the best HDR monitor for you? Feel free to leave us any questions you might have in the comments below!

All in all, you certainly won’t be disappointed with the Acer X35 or the ASUS PG27UQ if you can afford them as they offer an otherworldly HDR viewing experience.

Most people will be perfectly happy with Samsung’s G7 and G9 or LG’s 27GN950 and 38GN950 as well!

Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.