Best 4K HDR Monitor In 2021

With 4K monitors becoming more popular - and affordable - we take a look at the market's leading 4K HDR monitors for both gaming and everyday usage

WEPC Best 4k HDR monitor Featured image 01

Last Updated: 25/05/2021

In recent years, TVs and gaming monitors have started to support 4K resolutions on a much wider scale. Alongside higher resolutions, manufacturers have also started to implement HDR (high dynamic range) in the same panels – providing greater levels of realism and immersion. Whilst this has been the general trend for the past few years, 4K HDR monitors are still a little sparse in today’s market – with few actually supporting HDR to what many class as ‘decent’ standards.

For that reason, we’ve scoured the web to find only the best 4K HDR monitors on offer. We’ll be running down our favourite 4K HDR monitors of 2021, choosing each based on price, performance, aesthetics, and overall build quality.

So, with a tonne of stuff to get through, let’s dive straight into it!

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Pick
Best 4K HDR Monitor
02
Runner Up
Best 4K HDR Gaming Monitor
03
Best 4K HDR TV
A 4K HDR TV that offers top end performance

Best 4K HDR Monitor: First Look

01
Editor's Pick
Best 4K HDR Monitor
LG 34GN950 B

LG 27GN950-B 27 Inch

0 /5
Editor's Rating

This isn’t the first time an LG monitor has topped one of our best monitor guides, and it certainly won’t be the last. The LG 27GN950-B is one of the best monitors LG has ever produced, bringing all the top features you could want to the table.

The 27inch flagship from LG comes equipped with a whole plethora of exicitng specs, including a 4K screen resolution, 160Hz refresh rate, and speed response time too. As far as HDR performance goes, the LG comes equipped with HDR600, making it one of the better performers we’ve tested. Overall, a fantastic monitor that really does tick all the right boxes.

02
Runner Up
Best 4K HDR Gaming Monitor
ROG Swift PG32UQX

ASUS ROG SWIFT PG32UQX

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The ASUS ROG SWIFT PG32UQX is a stunning gaming monitor that offers everything you could want for a more immersive experience. With great ergonomics, performance-tailored specs, and ASUS’ build quality guarantee, you won’t need to upgrade this panel anytime soon.

If it weren’t for the price tag, you’d likely see this monitor at the top of our list. Unfortunately, the ASUS ROG SWIFT PG32UQX is the most expensive monitor in this guide – and for good reason.

If you’re looking for the best of the best and money is no object, look no further. The PG32UQX really does it all, equipped with all the high-end specifications you could want for a great gaming experience.

03
Best 4K HDR TV
A 4K HDR TV that offers top end performance
LG OLED 48CX

LG 48CXPUB OLED

0 /5
Editor's Rating

The OLED TV from LG is a great solution for individuals who enjoy the big-screen experience. Whilst it won’t be ideal for certain gaming scenarios, console gamers will enjoy the immersion this panel brings to the table.

Granted, the LG 48CXPUB isn’t a gaming monitor – but it does tick all the right boxes in this competitive best-of guide. With a 4K screen resolution and OLED technology at its centre, users will experience a simply incredible HDR gaming experience.

Whilst it won’t be for everyone, it should certainly be on your list of consideration if you prioritize 4K and HDR.

04
Best 4K HDR Console Monitor
One of the latest 4K gaming monitors that offers HDMI 2.1 support
Acer nitro xv282k 1

Acer Nitro XV282K

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Acer is one of the first manufacturers to release a 4K gaming monitor with HDMI 2.1 support, giving console gamers what they’ve wanted since the arrival of PS5 and XBOX Series X. The Acer Nitro XV282K is the latest in a lineup of impressive monitors to come out of the Acer locker, providing great gaming performance at a value-tailored price tag.

The Acer Nitro XV282K is one of the best monitors we’ve tested in some time, equipped with 4K screen clarity, a quick 144hz refresh rate, and low 1ms (VRB) response time. Granted, this monitor doesn’t provide the best HDR experience, but it does offer an all-round package that is hard to beat – especially if you need HDMI 2.1 support.

Check Out Our Full Review Of The Acer Nitro XV282K Here

05
Best Budget 4K HDR monitor
A 4K HDR monitor that won't break the bank
ASUS VG289Q

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

0 /5
Editor's Rating

Lastly, we have the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q, a budget-oriented monitor that still offers 4K HDR performance. Whilst this is the cheapest monitor in this guide, don’t let that put you off. If you are working towards a budget, this monitor provides a surprisingly good HDR experience.

The 28-inch monitor from ASUS comes equipped with a 4K screen resolution and 60Hz refresh rate – sluggish by today’s gaming monitor standards. That said, with an IPS panel at its centre, color recreation and HDR are areas where this monitor genuinely excels.

Whilst this monitor won’t be for competitive players, the ASUS VG289Q still offers good performance for the budget-restricted players who don’t require rapid response.

Check Out Our Full ASUS VG289Q Review Here

How We Test & Choose

Whether it’s a best-of guide or a single product review, we ensure every monitor we recommend has been through a strict testing process. We don’t just search Amazon for the top sellers, we hand-pick the market’s best monitors, and each one is tested with the same meticulous care and attention as the last. This ensures that we can present you with the best products the market has to offer, and gives our readers confidence that they can trust any monitor we do recommend as having been through the same impartial review process.

As part of the monitor review process, we like to test each for color accuracy, responsiveness, panel uniformity, build quality, and overall gaming performance. We use a number of specifically designed tools to capture the data for each monitor, ensuring only the highest levels of accuracy are recorded during testing. This process allows us to hand-select the best monitors from both a performance and value standpoint, whilst also enabling us to compare the latest models with last season’s best sellers. Click here if you want to see our in-depth explanation of how we test each and every monitor.

What Is High Dynamic Range

Despite HDR being used within consumer TVs for some time now, its inclusion in PC monitors is only just beginning to take off. But what exactly is HDR?

High Dynamic Range refers to the physical difference between the darkest dark and brightest bright. Contrast ratio is displayed using the “1:1” format, with the difference between the two numbers being the total range your monitor can display. For a monitor to be classed as HDR-compatible, it must offer a greater bit depth, luminance, and color volume of the standard dynamic range.

In 2016, Ultra HD Alliance announced the certified requirements for any HDR display. A monitor must be able to showcase a peak brightness of 1000 cd/m2 alongside a black level less than 0.05cd/m (translating to a contrast ratio of 20,000:1).

Monitors that were branded with the HDR standard would be classed as better than SDR alternatives. They would be able to showcase a greater range of colors in a more realistic fashion. Furthermore, they would also be able to display better levels of detail in the extreme dark and bright areas of a scene – creating greater levels of immersion during gameplay.

Things To Consider When Shopping For A 4K HDR Monitor

Like any hardware purchase, buying a 4K HDR monitor comes with a whole host of secondary considerations. Whether you’re looking to save money, get the best value, or just understand what is required to run a 4K HDR monitor efficiently, the following considerations will enable you to do that a little better.

Here’s what you should know and consider before buying a 4K HDR monitor:

4K Screen Resolution

If you’re looking to upgrade from a 1080p panel to a 4K HDR monitor, the first thing you need to know is the additional strain you’ll be putting on your PC – especially the GPU. Screen resolution is one of the most performance-effecting factors you should concern yourself with. Screen resolution refers to the number of pixels your screen is displaying at any one time. For example, a 1080p screen will be showcasing 1920 pixels horizontally by 1080 pixels vertically. When you move up the theoretical resolution ladder, you’re effectively multiplying the number of pixels that the PC has to produce.

If you’re using older hardware, chances are you might not be able to reach the FPS required to get the most out of the monitor you plan to buy. Ensure your PC hardware is capable of supporting the resolution you want to upgrade to – if not, you may end up with a very expensive monitor that you can’t utilize properly.

HDR Standards

Plenty of manufacturers jump at the chance to market their latest panels as “HDR” compatible. However, not all HDR monitors are made equal. HDR comes in a number of different standards that offer varying levels of performance that include; luminance, color gamut, local dimming, and the speed of the response time for HDR dimming.

VESA, a technical standards organization, created the hierarchy of HDR to help separate the good from the bad. They award monitors that showcase standout performance with higher HDR ratings – helping to make the decision process that little easier.

Fortunately, there aren’t a tonne of HDR  standards to learn, with most revolving around max luminance, color gamut, and contrast. Below are the varying standards in order from best to worst:

HDR Performance Hierarchy By Tier 1

HDR10 Vs DisplayHDR

One of the most confusing features of HDR is understanding the difference between HDR and DisplayHDR.

Let’s start with the former. HDR10 is a protocol that helps format the data into something the GPU can understand. There are several protocols for HDR, including HDR10+, DolbyVision, and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG). Each of the protocols works uniquely, offering up pros and cons for certain scenarios.

DisplayHDR, on the other hand, is a performance specification of the monitor. DisplayHDR measures the performance aspects of a monitor’s HDR output, looking at luminance, color gamut, bit depth, and rise time. While HDR10 is used by 99% of devices that support HDR, not all HDR monitors support DisplayHDR. For all intents and purposes, DisplayHDR is an additional performance boost on top of HDR10.

Best 4K HDR Monitors In 2021

01
Editor's Pick
02
Runner Up
ROG Swift PG32UQX
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS ROG SWIFT PG32UQX

Refresh Rate

144hz

Response time

4ms GTG

Screen size

32”

Resolution

3840 x 2160

03
Best 4K HDR TV
LG OLED 48CX

LG 48CXPUB OLED

Screen size

48"

Refresh Rate

120Hz (HDMI 2.1)

Response time

>1ms

Resolution

4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160)

Type

OLED

04
Best 4K HDR Console Monitor
05
Best Budget 4K HDR monitor
ASUS VG289Q
Asus Logo

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Response Time

5ms

Size

28"

Maximum Resolution

3840 x 2160

Panel

IPS

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Pick
Pros

Fast response time

Low input lag

4k resolution

Superb SDR color gamut

Respectable HDR gaming support

Cons

Weak contrast ratio

Poor reflection handling

Poor ergonomics

As we said before, this isn’t the first time the LG 27GN950-B has topped one of our best-of guides, and it probably won’t be the last. Thing monitor is hugely impressive, ticking all the right boxes when it comes to both gaming and productivity workflows.

Overall, the 27GN950-B is a fantastic 4K gaming monitor. It offers up a high 160Hz (overclockable) refresh rate and low response time, pairing together to achieve excellent gameplay with very little ghosting or tearing. Enabling the 160Hz refresh rate is only achievable via DisplayPort 1.4, but that isn’t too much of an issue. This monitor does not come with HDMI 2.1 support, nor does it offer full G-Sync support either. That said, it does provide FreeSync variable refresh rate and is compatible with G-sync GPUs – helping to reduce screen tear to an absolute minimum. Remember, to get the most out of this monitor, and all the panels in this guide, you will need a fairly beefy PC/GPU. This is mainly thanks to the 4K resolution that really does push your components to the limit.

The monitor delivers an excellent gaming performance overall, with the displayHDR600 certification providing a decent uplift in detail when it comes to extremely bright and dark spaces. HDR600 is a step up from the base-level 400 and you can see that when comparing two monitors with varying technologies. The 27GN950-B also promotes a very low input lag, with not perceived delay between peripheral movement and screen response. With excellent build quality, great viewing angles, and a wide colour gamut, the LG 27GN950-B is a brilliant all-round gaming monitor that really doesn’t put a foot wrong.

02
Runner Up
ROG Swift PG32UQX
Asus Logo 500x177 1

ASUS ROG SWIFT PG32UQX

Refresh Rate

144hz

Response time

4ms GTG

Screen size

32”

Resolution

3840 x 2160

Pros

Impressive 144Hz refresh rate

Fantastic 4K IPS panel

Decent 4ms response time

Great color accuracy and HDR support

Cons

Very high price point

Does not support HDMI 2.1

When it comes to gaming monitors, ASUS are one of the best manufacturers out there – providing the market with a whole slew of options to choose from. The PG32UQX is from the higher-end of this list, offering up all the performance-enhancing specifications you could want from a 4K HDR monitor.

On the surface, the ROG SWIFT PG32UQX is a stunning 4K gaming monitor that offers a smooth, responsive gaming experience. With a 144Hz refresh rate and low 4ms response time, the IPS panel in this monitor delivers stunning gameplay in crystal clear clarity. The low input lag this monitor showcases ensures that a connected feel is experienced when playing games, making general gameplay feel a whole lot more immersive. The IPS panel is 32-inches and offers a large color gamut and great accuracy right out of the box. Whilst this won’t be accurate enough for professional editors, it certainly offers more accurate color recreation than lesser alternatives.

Like most ASUS monitors, the build quality of this monitor is absolutely fantastic. Furthermore, with great stand ergonomics, users will be able to reposition the panel to their exact requirements. The HDR quality of this monitor is driven by the DisplayHDR 1400 standard – offering up a wide color gamut that covers 98% of the DCI-P3 space. Whilst the color gamut on this monitor is extensive, it still falls a little short in the darker shades – a common characteristic of an IPS panel.

With a tonne of performance-enhancing features to explore, users will be able to tailor their gaming experience to their needs – saving any custom settings to one of the profiles in the OSD. Unfortunately, this monitor does not offer HDMI 2.1 support, meaning full 4K 144Hz support will require a DisplayPort connection.

03
Best 4K HDR TV
LG OLED 48CX

LG 48CXPUB OLED

Screen size

48"

Refresh Rate

120Hz (HDMI 2.1)

Response time

>1ms

Resolution

4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160)

Type

OLED

Pros

High Refresh Rate

Almost Instantaneous Pixel Response Time

HDMI 2.1 Support

Sleek and Stylish Design

Stunning OLED Color Accuracy

Cons

Pricy when put amongst gaming monitors

Whilst the LG48CXPUB isn’t strictly a gaming monitor, it definitely excels when paired alongside a gaming monitor. It got our best gaming TV award, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t feature in this specific HDR-related monitor page.

LG have produced a fantastic gaming TV in the OLED 48CXPUB – offering up all the performance you could want for both console and PC gaming. The 48inch TV delivers a simply breathtaking HDR experience thanks to the OLED technology this TV comes equipped with. Like all OLED products, this monitor has the ability to turn off pixels individually – resulting in perfect blacks and stunning HDR reproduction. The LG 48inch TV comes equipped with a fast 120Hz refresh rate, FreeSync VRR, and a bunch of display features that help tailor the TV to exact requirements. We recorded excellent panel uniformity from this TV, alongside a huge color gamut that helped with immersion and realism.

The overall gaming experience was fantastic on this TV, providing rich, vibrant colors that didn’t deteriorate because of slow response times. The OLED technology in this TV offers up an almost instantaneous pixel response time that will likely outperform many of today’s monitors. Furthermore, with HDMI 2.1 support, the 48CXPUB also becomes a fantastic TV for any console gamer looking to achieve 120Hz gameplay in 4K screen clarity.

One downside to this display is that the risk of permanent burn-in is quite high. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this – it’s one of the main flaws in OLED’s technology. That said, if you’re careful and watch varied content, you shouldn’t experience any permanent damage.

04
Best 4K HDR Console Monitor
Pros

Immersive 4K 144Hz visual experience

Sleek design

Agile-splendor IPS panel

Fully versatile stand

Rapid response time

Cons

Bottom bezel feels flimsy

Peak brightness isn't amazing

The wait for a decent 4K gaming monitor that comes equipped with HDMI 2.1 support is finally over. Console gamers can finally rejoice, knowing that 120Hz gameplay in 4K is finally available in monitor format. The Acer Nitro XV282K is one of the first monitors to come equipped with said support, providing a 144Hz refresh rate alongside a high 4K screen resolution. The monitor from Acer is part of the new Nitro lineup, offering up great performance at what Acer considers as good value for money – a statement we struggle to argue with.

The Acer Nitro XV282K comes with a sleek design that is characterized by thin bezels and a circular base. The monitor offers good panel adjustments, including height, tilt, and swivel functionality. The build quality of this monitor certainly feels robust, stepping up from the flimsiness that was often attributed to the Nitro lineup.

From a specifications standpoint, the Acer Nitro XV282K provides you with a whole host of exciting specifications; including 4k screen resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms (VRB) response time, and HDR400 certification. Whilst the HDR on this monitor isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, it’s certainly worth a mention due to the HDMI 2.1 support it offers. Running an HDR signal through the monitor does yield some decent results, with greater detail being seen in extreme bright (and dark) areas. Like some of the other monitors in this guide, however, peak brightness isn’t the best – making HDR a little lackluster in bright rooms.

 

05
Best Budget 4K HDR monitor
ASUS VG289Q
Asus Logo

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Response Time

5ms

Size

28"

Maximum Resolution

3840 x 2160

Panel

IPS

Pros

Stunning picture clarity

Very immersive gaming experience

Fantastic value for money

Nice depth in bright areas

Cons

Inputs are lacking

Low refresh rate

Slow response time

Lastly, we have our best 4K hdr gaming monitor, the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q. Despite the flaws which we’ll touch upon later, this monitor still offers a decent gaming experience for those that prioritize image clarity and color accuracy.

The VG289Q comes equipped with a 3840 x 2160 maximum screen resolution, 60hz refresh rate, and 5ms response time. Whilst this isn’t the best for competitive games such as CS:GO and COD Modern Warfare, it’ll hardly make a difference to single-player titles – where FPS can be capped to 60 frames per second with no real knock-0n effect to gameplay. The IPS panel at the heart of this monitor is the standout specification it offers, providing great colors that over 90% of the DCI-P3 color space. HDR10 is supported on this monitor, with bright areas resulting in a slight improvement in detail. Like other ASUS monitors, the VG289Q offers impressive build quality and superb stand ergonomics, allowing you to create the perfect viewing angle for your needs.

Speaking of viewing angles, the IPS panel also provides excellent viewing angles, making this monitor a great choice for multiperson usage. The 28-inch screen results in an immersive experience that is only heightened by the thin bezels that wrap around its edges.

Final Word

So, there you have it, our complete rundown of the best 4K HDR monitors in 2021. Despite HDR not being fully incorporated in today’s monitors, there are still a flurry of monitors that offer the immersion-boosting feature.

The list of monitors we’ve chosen all offer a unique set of pros and cons – some tailored towards gaming, others towards value and budget. Ultimately, these are the best 4K HDR monitors on offer right now.

If you have any questions regarding the monitors in this guide, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Monitor & PC Product Specialist
at
WePC
For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO – a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast – dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD’s Ryzen 3600X.

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