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We tested 16 4K monitors: See the test-results/comparison in this article!

Thank you god, 4K-capable monitors are finally affordable! The cheapest test candidates are available for a little over 300 US Dollars. We have tested the latest 4K monitors for you all.

Full HD (1080p) monitors are now thing of yesterday:) If you want to see impressive image quality, then  you need a model with fourfold resolution placed on the desk i.e. a 4K monitor. These monitors show a native resolution of 3840×2160 pixels (aka UHD.) It gives you more usable screen area and generally a finer display are certainly some of the main attractive advantages, which a 4K monitor promises and delivers as well. This is primarily intended to benefit users who have a lot to do with photo and video processing or who work with large Excel tables. Our tests have shown that not every 4K monitor is worth purchasing and hence are do not recommend them. Also, expensive does not necessarily mean good.

1. Viewsonic XG2700
Perfect color reproduction and uniform illumination; our test winner offered the best picture quality in the test and was also the most economical 4K monitor. It is equipped with four image signal inputs, four USB jacks, and a versatile adjustable stand is good, only [the usual] speakers are missing.

Image signal inputs: 2 HDMI, 2 display ports
Image quality: 8/10
Power Consumption: 9/10
Test score: Good 9.2/10

Pros:
Good picture quality and original true color reproduction
Fast image change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
USB 3.0 hub built-in
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Somewhat cumbersome menu settings

2. Asus PB27UQ
In the test of the picture quality, the only Asus was able to beat the winner, Viewsonic XG2700. It scored points with a faster image buildup; it is 8 milliseconds faster which is good for fast-paced action games. Convenient: The Asus has three HDMI jacks, for example, for PC, game console, and ultra-HD Blu-ray.

Image signal inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 display port
Image quality: 9.3/10
Power Consumption: 9/10
Test score: Good 9.1/10

Pros:
Good image quality
Very fast picture change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
Built-in speakers
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Menu settings are confusing

3. BenQ BL2711U
The BenQ needed on average only 7.5 milliseconds for image composition, which is one of the best values among the 4K monitors. And the picture quality of BenQ loosely got a good rating. The only drawback is that the color white is a bit bluish, which can cause the color reproduction generally cooler.

Image signal inputs: 2 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 display port
Image quality: 7.5/10
Power Consumption: 9/10
Test score: Good 8.8/10

Pros:
Good image quality
Very fast picture change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
USB 3.0 hub, built-in speaker
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
Limited menu settings

4. Acer CB271HK
Good and affordable are terms you can also use in the 4K world. At least it is true with the cheap Acer CB271HK. The image composition is good, the picture quality is high. Only the illumination of the display is more uneven than the test winner. In addition, the Acer waived a USB hub and a second HDMI jack.

Image signal inputs: 1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 display port
Image quality: 8/10
Power Consumption: 8/10
Test score: Good 8.7/10

Pros:
Good image quality
Very fast picture change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
Built-in speakers
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
Just OK menu settings

5. Liyama G-Master GB2888UHSU-B1
This was a comparatively clear winner among the 4K devices; the 28 inch Iiyama showed, in the test films, photos, and games, crisp and natural colors. In addition, it offers many connections and loudspeakers, can be adjusted and tilted.

Image signal inputs: 1 VGA, 3 HDMI, 1 display port
Image quality: 8.4/10
Power Consumption: 7/10
Test score: Good 8.5/10

Pros:
Very high image quality
Very high color fidelity
Built-in speakers
USB hub
Many adjustment possibilities
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness

6. AOC U2777PQU
The AOC is particularly versatile with the connections. Here, even a VGA cable can be used, for example, for a picture-in-picture display. Overall, the AOC achieved a good place in the picture quality. White gives it slightly bluish, which may lead to a cooler color presentation.

Image signal inputs: 1 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 display port, 1 VGA
Image quality: 7.9/10
Power consumption: 8.1/10

Test score: Good 8/10

Pros:
Good image quality
Very fast picture change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
USB 3.0/USB 2.0 hub, speakers built-in
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
No menu settings

7. Asus MG28UQ
The display of this top equipped Asus can be rotated for reading web pages or writing long texts into portrait format. Like the test winner, users are able to connect two devices (e.g. computer and console) and display the image contents in parallel on the display.

Image signal inputs: 3 HDMI, 1 display port
Image quality: 8.1/10
Power Consumption: 7.5/10
Test score: Good 8/10

Pros:
Very high image quality
High color fidelity
Fast image change
Built-in speakers
USB hub
Many adjustment possibilities
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness

8. Philips 272P7VPTKEB
In terms of equipment, the expensive Philips won; it has everything, even a web cam. The picture quality is good, but two weaknesses threw this model back; the picture is a little dark with a maximum brightness of 211 candelas per square meter, in addition it is somewhat unevenly lit.

Picture signal inputs: 1 HDMI, 2 display ports, 1 VGA
Image quality: 8/10
Power Consumption: 7.7/10
Test score: Good 7.9/10

Pros:
Good image quality
Very fast picture change
Adjustable height
Swivel and rotatable
USB 3.0 hub, speaker, webcam built-in
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Low brightness
Only reasonable menu settings

9. Acer CB281HK
The best value for money was offered by the Acer in this comparison. The image quality is not sharp, and brightness and contrast are too low. But the monitor ensures a fast picture change, is economical, and offers many adjustment possibilities and connections.

Image signal inputs: DVI, 1 HDMI, display port
Image quality: 8/10
Power Consumption: 7.4
Test score: Good 7.8/10

Pros:
Very high image quality
High color fidelity
Very fast picture change
Built-in speakers
Very many adjustment possibilities
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Low brightness

10. Philips 288P6LJEB
Of all 4K monitors, the Philips offers the best picture quality. Only criticism is that the picture is too dark. Nothing to complain about in terms of equipment; there many connections, USB hub, and the possibility to operate Blu-ray player and PC in parallel are simply great.

Image signal inputs: VGA, HDMI / MHL combi socket, display port
Image quality: 7.8/10
Power consumption: 6/10
Test score: 7/10

Pros:
High image quality
High color fidelity
USB hub
Many adjustment possibilities

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
Slightly sluggish when moving pictures
Very high power consumption

11. AOC u2868Pqu
The AOC presented games, holiday pictures, and action films very sharply, but it lacks color. The equipment is great, like the Philips 288P56LJEB, the AOC also has an MHL socket, with which image contents of the tablet or smartphone can be transferred to the monitor.

Image signal inputs: VGA, HDMI / MHL combi socket, display port
Image quality: 8/10
Power consumption: 5.9/10
Test score: 6.9/10

Pros:
High image quality
Quick image setup
USB hub
Many adjustment possibilities

Cons:
Low color fidelity
Slightly low brightness
Very high power consumption

12. Samsung U28D590D
The picture quality of the Samsung is one of the best in the test, the equipment, unfortunately, is not. The monitor can neither adjust the height nor rotate. And loudspeakers are missing as well as a DVI connection or a VGA socket. On the other hand, the power consumed by this 4K model is good.

Image signal inputs: 2x HDMI, display port
Image quality: 8.1/10
Power Consumption: 6.5/10
Adjustment/Options: 4/10

Test score: 6.7/10

Pros:
High image quality
High color fidelity
Quick image setup

Cons:
No speakers
Few adjustments
Few connections

13. AOC U2879VF
AOC offers a very favorable 4K monitor under $400 in this comparison. And it shines with a high picture quality. It does not have loudspeakers, its display can only tilt and a picture-in-picture function, when connecting several devices, is also missing.

Image signal inputs: VGA, DVI, HDMI, display port
Image quality: 7.9/10
Power Consumption: 7.5/10
Adjustment/Options: 3.9/10

Test score: 6.6/10

Pros:
High image quality
High color fidelity
Low energy consumption

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
Slower image change
Few adjustments
No speakers

14. Asus PB287Q
PB287Q offers a high screen, but its maximum brightness is somewhat low. In addition, it needs significantly more power than the Samsung U28D590D. The Asus is in a slim housing; its buttons lie on the back of the monitor. When touching, the unit displays the corresponding functions on the display.

Video signal inputs: VGA, HDMI/MHL combo socket, HDMI, display port
Image quality: 8/10
Power consumption: 3.3/10

Test score: 6.5/10

Pros:
High visibility
Quick image setup
Very many adjustment possibilities

Cons:
Slight color fidelity
Slightly low brightness
Very high power consumption

15. Viewsonic VG2860MHL-4K
The Viewsonic did not do convincingly good in our tests. Poor results were seen for the low contrast and brightness reproduction, as well as for the slow picture change. It has an HDMI connection with MHL technology, which allows the picture contents including smartphones to be transferred.

Image signal inputs: DVI, HDMI / MHL combination socket, HDMI, display port
Image quality: 6.5/10
Power Consumption: 6/10

Test score: 6.4/10

Pros:
High image quality
High color fidelity
Low energy consumption
Built-in speakers
USB hub

Cons:
Slightly low brightness
Very low contrast
Slower image change

16. Samsung U28E850R
The Samsung offered a high picture quality and proved as the most economical 4K device, however, if users use it together with the enclosed HDMI cable, it disturbs other devices such as baby phone. Result: EMC test (electromagnetic compatibility) failed, which is a big devaluation.

Image signal inputs: 2 HDMI, 2 display ports
Image quality: 7.5/10
Power Consumption: 6/10
EMC test: Failed

Test score: 6.3/10

Pros:
Good image quality
High color fidelity
High brightness
Fast picture change
Low energy consumption

Cons:
EMC test failed
No speakers

The picture quality is generally good
The good news is that almost all of the candidates achieved a good grade in this test discipline. Only the Acer CB-281-HK and the View Sonic VG-2860-MHL-4K left the lab with only a satisfactory result. The reason is that the mentioned monitor has a reflecting surface, which can cause disturbing reflections. However, other 4K monitors also shown this reflecting issue in the test, albeit less strongly. When viewed from the side, especially the ones that have the so-called TN panel, are softening colors, often falsified. A single user who sits in the 90-degree angle in front of the screen, is probably hardly see this as a disturbing issue. If you place your new 4K monitor in a low-light, then you need a high-brightness model to detect screen noise. Over 300 candelas per square meter (cd/m²) should be enough, and only one of the 4K monitors tested, the Samsung U28E850R, which, slipped through the EMV test and therefore landed in the last place. The second brightest in the test was the AOC U2879VF with at least 292 cd/m². Colors with 100% accuracy were only in Viewsonic XG2700-4K; it is great for photo and video processing. The other candidates scored high 90s in this test.

Power consumption for 4K monitors
The costly display technology for the 4K monitors is noticeable in the power consumption. Here, the Viewsonic XG2700-4K with 35 watts was the most economical, followed by the Samsung U28E850R and Philips 272P7VPTKEB with 36 and 39 watts, respectively. For comparison, many Full HD monitors consume just 15 watts in operation. Economical in stand-by – all tested 4K monitors consumed, in the standby mode, less than 1 Watt.

Service/Guide needs improvement!
A 4K monitor is (almost) self-explanatory, but apparently, the manufacturers usually pack only a brief guide in the box. The sketched instructions may often suffice to connect the stand to the screen part and connect the cables correctly. However, an aid in printed form for the operating menus would still be desirable. Only a few of the tested 4K monitors, such as the Asus MG28UQ and the Acer CB281HK, earned the “Comfortable” rating.

Connection via DisplayPort or HDMI
With 4K monitors, the image transmission is digital and thus loss-free. DisplayPort and HDMI are usually used. A distinction must be made between different version standards for the connections. HDMI is currently available as 2.0a or 2.0b – both deliver 3840×2160 pixels at a maximum of 60 hertz and support HDR (High Dynamic Range) for photorealistic images. DisplayPort is common in the versions 1.3 and 1.4, which both fuse 4K with up to 120 hertz. DisplayPort currently only generates a higher Hertz value with the compression switched on. For this 4K monitor comparison, however, is irrelevant because none of the 4K monitors tested here offers more than 60 hertz. Ambitious PC gamers will need to find it hard to get their hands on a 4K monitor that supports 120 or more refresh rate.

Ergonomics with 4K monitors
If you work on the screen for hours, you should be able to adjust the slope and the height exactly to your needs. All the test candidates can be adjusted in the inclination, but an adjustable monitor foot is more suitable, with which the user can adjust the height of the screen and even rotate it. The height adjustment is standard among the 4K monitors. Many programmers and programmers are particularly pleased with a pivot function: some test candidates can also be turned into portrait format.

Conclusion
At the top of the test results is the Viewsonic XG2700-4K. It scored especially good in the disciplines of picture quality and energy consumption. But even if ViewSonic describes its 4K monitor as gaming-capable, it did not achieve top scores here. In terms of image composition, the monitor in the second place is better, the Asus PB27UQ. The Philips 272P7VPTKEB proves that the most expensive price tag does not automatically mean the best 4K monitor – place 8 for the Philips. The best value for money is the Acer CB281HK (Rank 9) in this comparison. Although it seems weak in the test with the picture quality, the economical operation and the many adjustment possibilities are offered and it is a good option for an overall package.

About the author

Adil Khan

Adil Khan

Adil Khan is a 30 years old Nerd who has been playing with his toys, computers and electronics, since the late 90's. His passion lies in the digital world of 1's and 0's i.e. until quantum computers are available for purchase :)

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