The Designo MX27UC is a model exemplary in terms of high performance, the variety of features supported and elaborated and stylish design. The built-in stereo system makes this model an all-in-one device.
The 4K resolution supported may be experienced as excessive for this screen diagonal size.
This display by Asus is capable of catering to the needs of a wide audience. The combination of high performance and style the MX27UC has to offer will undoubtedly please both professional and casual users.
UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Viewing Angles: 178°/178°
Response Time: 5ms (Gray to Gray)
Vertical Refresh Rate: 76 Hz
1x HDMI (v2.0)
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x DisplayPort over USB-C
1x 3.5mm Audio Input Mini-Jack
2x USB 3.1 ports (Superspeed USB Charging)
The design of the stand allows for pivoting the screen both clockwise and counter-clockwise as well as tilting it and adjusting its height. The USB hub feature enables a convenient connection of USB devices.
The USB connection ports have an inconvenient arrangement.
A great choice for those who need a reliable work tool: flexible positioning will provide a convenient use, while a decent QHD resolution supported is optimal for video watching and general purpose use.
27" (24", 25")
QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Viewing Angles: 178°/178°
Response Time: 8ms (6) ms
Vertical Refresh Rate: 86Hz
2x HDMI 1.4 (MHL 2.0) connector
1x Mini DisplayPort
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x DisplayPort out (MST)
1x Audio Line out
5x USB 3.0 ports - Downstream (4 at the back, 1 with battery charging)
Has the Asus Smart Contrast Ratio technology of dynamic contrast, which automatically changes the image settings depending on content, allowing you to enjoy a high-quality image regardless of the content.
May not switch to sleep mode when multiple host devices are connected via HDMI and DVI-D ports.
An affordable high-quality FullHD monitor, which Smart View feature allows you to conveniently watch movies and videos when lying on your sofa.
21.5" (23", 24", 27")
Full HD (1920x1080 pixels)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Viewing Angles: 170°(H)/160°(V)
Response Time: 5ms
Vertical Refresh Rate: 75Hz
1x Audio Out 3.5mm
Comes with an additional On-Screen Control software application, which allows a convenient configuration of the monitor settings from the host device in addition to using the integrated hardware controls. The proprietary split screen feature provides an effective use of the large screen space.
Requires a lot of space on the desk as well as a big distance between the user and the screen due to a large size.
Owing to its large size of 32", availability of the wall mount and ports for the most commonly used connection interfaces this monitor can be used as a good alternative to a middle-sized TV.
Full HD (1920x1080 pixels)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Viewing Angles: 178°/178°
Response Time: 5ms
Vertical Refresh Rate: 60Hz
1x DVI (D-Sub)
1x USB 2.0 (Upstream)
2x USB 2.0 (Downstream)
1x Audio Out 3.5mm
Owing to lightning-fast 1 ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, this model provides a smooth image without any ghosting or other visual artifacts caused by fast moving objects. The convenient menu with many image settings greatly facilitates the monitor use.
You need to use a Dual-link DVI cable to get the 144Hz refresh rate at the FullHD resolution on this monitor.
The GN246HL by Acer is not only a perfect suit for avid gamers but also a device that brings a mind-blowing 3D experience. With the resulting 60Hz refresh rate in 3D, this display delivers a flicker-free experience when watching stereoscopic content.
Full HD (1920x1080 pixels)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Viewing Angle: 170°(H)/160°(V)
Response Time: 1ms
Vertical Refresh Rate: 144Hz
1x HDMI 1.4a
1x VGA (D-Sub)
1x Audio Out 3.5mm
What Is an HDMI Monitor?
HDMI monitors are the display devices that are equipped with at least one HDMI connection port, among other ports. The HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) is a proprietary interface for transmitting uncompressed video data together with compressed or uncompressed digital audio data. The interface serves for the data exchange between an HDMI-compliant source device (discrete video card or an integrated display controller) to a compatible output device (computer display, TV panel, digital video projector or a digital audio processing/decoding device).
This port allows you to connect such monitors not only to PCs or laptops but practically to any HDMI-enabled multimedia host devices. Owing to the HDMI backward compatibility and ability to transfer high-resolution digital video (up to 4K 60Hz for the HDMI 2.0) and multi-channel audio content (up to 32 channels of 24 bit 192 kHz) for which there is an evergrowing demand, the interface is commonly used in a large variety of digital devices. HDMI interface has a high throughput and supports the 4K resolution.
For our review, we've picked the 5 best HDMI monitors so you can choose a model optimal for your needs. It is worth noting that not all the monitors come with an HDMI cable and may not allow a comfortable positioning at eye level using only their mounts, so we suggest looking through our HDMI cable and monitor stands and mounts reviews to get one.
What Features to Compare
First of all, it is necessary to determine a range of tasks you’re going to perform using your monitor. Based on the intended purpose it is recommended to decide on the diagonal size of your future display. The practice shows that 21-24” monitors are perfect for office work and text processing, casual and non-professional gaming, watching movies and Internet surfing. With that, we suggest choosing monitors with a 27-inch and larger diagonal size for 3D modeling, graphics and photo editing, professional gaming. The monitor resolution is directly related to its size and defines the number of the smallest picture elements (pixels) your model has and therefore the monitor ability to show subtle and small images details. Larger displays tend to have higher screen resolution and nowadays even small HDMI monitors offer at least a FullHD (1920x1080 pixels) resolution, which is enough for text processing applications and watching videos. However, it is recommended to seek for QHD (2560x1440 pixels) and higher resolutions support if you choose a 27” or larger display for professional applications.
The next point in our specifications list closely connected to the visual experience the monitor provides is the panel type. For now, there are several panel technologies used by display manufacturers with the TN and IPS being the most widely used panel technologies for LCD displays. Owing to the peculiarities of these technologies the displays with TN and IPS panels have their own inherent parameters in terms of performance and their own pros and cons. From a user point of view, the panel response time, refresh rate and viewing angle are the most crucial ones. With the response time being the shortest time within which an individual pixel can change its color from black to white (some manufacturers provide measurements for a grey-to-gray color change) the smaller values, usually specified in milliseconds, enable the display to renew the whole image or its parts faster and thus improve the performance. For the panel refresh rate (measured in Hz) that also contributes greatly to the display’s ability to redraw images, on the other hand, the higher values usually indicate a better performance. In some monitor models, TN panels demonstrate higher refresh rates and smaller response times than those of IPS panels, which makes the models with TN panels more preferable for fast image redraw-critical applications like professional gaming.
IPS panels in their turn usually provide viewing angles (vertical and horizontal angles through which an image on the display preserves its original look and visual properties compared to those perceived when looking at the image straight perpendicular to the screen surface) and color rendering superior to those by TN panels.
Though an HDMI port is a default connectivity option for an HDMI PC monitor, having other types of ports available is also highly recommended. Similar to HDMI, a DVI port serves for a digital video signal transmission but also supports analog and combined digital/analog video transfer, which provides a wide compatibility with older displays and video devices mostly due to the DVI’s compatibility with now obsolete VGA analog video interface. However, the DVI is more limited in terms of the video resolution supported and does not support audio signal transfer. In this regard, a modern DisplayPort connection is more recommended for your monitor to have as it provides the capabilities on par with those of the HDMI.
Additional USB ports on your monitor would also be a plus as they are very convenient for connecting various USB-enabled portable devices and media.
While the vast majority of modern monitors are equipped with an adjustable stand, not all the models offer a pivoted and tiltable stand. Such a stand allows not only rotating the screen around vertical and horizontal axes but also moving it along the vertical axis while keeping the screen tilt angle fixed and to rotate the display around the central view axis. Needless to say, this stand makes your monitor much easier to use.
As the monitor is not a panel alone, we recommend paying attention to the width of screen bezels on the model you consider as thinner bezels not only make the monitor more compact but also may give it a more aesthetic look and blend seemingly with the environment.
ASUS Designo MX27UC
Hardly Leaves Much to be Desired
The new professional MX model by ASUS is a combination of ultra-thin design and enviable technical specifications. Look for yourselves, it has a 27" IPS panel with large vertical and horizontal viewing angles of 178 degrees encased in a frame with ultra-thin bezels made of metal-like plastic. ASUS has opted for a stylish color solution - an icicle gold finish which makes the monitor look outstanding. The MX27UC profile is only 0.5"-thick with the screen bezel thickness is minuscule 0.04". This Asus MX display rests on an elegant round stand that completes its overall design. Indeed, taking a look at this monitor gives you an understanding why it was awarded the IF Design 2016 Award. Another prominent feature of this Asus HDMI monitor is the support of 4K/UHD resolution together with 100% sRGB color gamut. With the 4K resolution, the monitor provides 225% of pixel amount of that on average 27" monitors with QHD resolution. The larger screen space gives you an ability to arrange more windows on your desktop and makes the MX27UC a powerful tool for those who work with graphics and 3D modeling, design, photo and video editing applications. With the maximum brightness of 300 cd/m², the model offers 1300:1 contrast ratio, which shows a good technical potential of this display.
A Comprehensive Support of Modern Connection Interfaces
For this top-tier display model, ASUS provided a rich set of connectivity interfaces. The Designo MX27UC is furnished with modern HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 digital video/audio interfaces. Moreover, the monitor offers a separate DisplayPort connection over the USB Type-C port available. With such a sterling connectivity you can easily pair the 27-inch MX27UC with your PC video adapter, a laptop, modern gaming console or a hardware multimedia player and, in case the source supports it, enjoy a 3840x2160 pixels resolution at 60Hz on this monitor. With that, the USB hub feature provides two USB 3.1 ports for downstream connection of USB-compatible devices and their fast charge using the Superspeed USB Charging feature. There is also a 3.5mm mini-jack analog audio input available.
Ready for Any Task
This Designo iteration has an advanced SplendidPlus Video Intelligence Technology by Asus under the hood, which is seen in premium-class models. This technology allows you to select optimal image brightness, contrast, and sharpness by choosing between the eight presets available by pressing the monitor hotkey. In addition, you can make further adjustments after choosing a preset and revert to initial preset settings if you are not satisfied with the manual tuning results.
A Sound Behind the Visuals
This large monitor by Asus has to offer more than a splendid visual experience alone. The MX27UC is equipped with a pair of high-quality speakers designed by Bang & Olufsen. These extremely compact yet potent 3W speakers support ASUS proprietary SonicMaster and ICEpower® technologies. Similar to SplendidVideo technology, the available AudioWizard offers 4 preset sound modes (Gaming mode / Movie mode / Music mode / User mode) to provide the best sound experience on the built-in sound system of the monitor.
Dell UltraSharp U2715H
Worth Looking to, Pleasant to Look At
The Dell U2715H monitor is definitely worth your attention, no matter what the tasks you're going to use it for. It is really hard to deny the advantages, which a 27-inch monitor with all the modern ports available brings. These parameters make the U2715H model a good alternative even to a flat TV. PC, laptop, smart console or a multimedia player, connected to this monitor will provide you a great diversity of usage opportunities. The monitor specifications show that the model has an inbuilt LED-backlit IPS screen with a maximum resolution of 2560x1440 pixels, which will allow you to enjoy a high-quality picture. With the comparatively high typical brightness of 350 cd/m² the model provides a comfortable 50 cd/m² minimum brightness, at the same time offering a horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 178 degrees. Achieving such wide viewing angles owing to the IPS panel use, the Dell Ultrasharp ensures a great flexibility as for positioning on your workplace. The Dell U2715H has a default pixel response time measured at 8ms, which may seem a little large for some extreme gaming fans. However, you can opt for switching to a panel overdrive mode, which will reduce the response time to approximately 6ms eliminating possible high input lag-related issues. Owing to its 99% sRGB color space coverage this Dell HDMI monitor has a great color rendering capabilities - all the colors look natural and vivid right out of the box. Add an anti-glare finish and you will get a display device, which brings a refined movie watching experience.
A Flexible Positioning
Talking about the Dell U2715H we can't omit to give a praise to its stand. Having a metal-like look the stand is actually made of a very durable plastic, which makes the whole monitor structure more lightweight. The foot of the stand is furnished with rubberized spacers to prevent the stand from slipping and sliding on a horizontal surface. A special aperture in the stand makes laying out connection cables to the display more convenient and allows keeping them in one bundle. The monitor stand and swivel are designed to allow for adjusting the monitor height, tilting the screen as well as pivoting it both clockwise and counter-clockwise, which is very convenient if you decide to make some rearrangements of your working space and don’t want to move the display.
Organize Your Desktop
The Ultrasharp U2715H model by Dell has the Easy Arrange feature, which enables you to organize the monitor's desktop into various predefined or customized window layouts. After activating the Easy Arrange proprietary feature, you can easily make application and explorer windows reposition and resize automatically to fill predefined specific regions within a window layout.
Convenient to Connect
As distinguished from many models with a vertical arrangement of connection ports on the side, the Dell U2715H has all the ports aligned horizontally and facing down. Such design solution is logical and practical considering the monitor thin bezels and low profile, it also significantly facilitates the laying of connection cables as you do not need to connect them often. However, it may be inconvenient to connect USB devices with such ports arrangement.
An Optimal Addition to Your Working Environment
If you are unsure which new monitor to buy for your PC, we recommend paying your attention to the VS228H-P model by Asus. This one will definitely suit you for performing your day-to-day tasks. The model has a diagonal size of 21.5", which is an optimal solution for an office or home non-professional use. The design of this monitor is both nifty and functional - the control buttons are located on the lower horizontal bezel of the monitor, on the right side. Owing to this the buttons are easily accessible yet not very conspicuous and distracting as they are placed on the butt. As for the stand, the Asus VS228H-P uses a detachable one, which you can easily detach if you decide to mount the display on the wall. In case of a wall mounting, the 100x100 VESA compatible mount is available and allows using a wide variety of brackets based on your needs. The manufacturer used the TN+Film panel with a LED backlight for this 21-inch model, which provides typical for this type 170-degree vertical and 160-degree horizontal viewing angles. Together with the LED lighting and FullHD TN panel, Asus engineers implemented the company proprietary technologies that enabled images rendering with a stunning dynamic contrast of 50,000,000:1. The specified value was achieved in large part owing to the Asus Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR) technology that adjusts the screen brightness according to the image content so that the picture is displayed with a better black level and more vivid colors, especially during the playback of dynamic such content as movies and videos.
Get the Maximum from Any Content
The ASUS company manufactures this model with their cutting-edge SplendidVideo Intelligence Technology implemented. The Splendid enables you to do an optimization of image properties and enhance such parameters as color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness by choosing a content type-optimized preset. You can select one of the 6 preset video modes (Scenery, Theater, Game, Night View, sRGB, and Standard) using the hotkey located in the bottom right corner of the monitor front panel. It's important to note that you can further adjust picture parameters after selecting the preset.
Watch Videos the Way You Like It
It is sometimes very enjoyable and comfortable to watch videos or movies when lying on a sofa or a couch, though it is not the best option in terms of visual experience. Luckily, the Smart View Technology on the VS228H-P model can adjust color parameters to deliver the image and colors rendering quality similar to that experienced when sitting straight in front of your monitor.
Taking care of nature
If you're still unsure what monitor to choose here is an interesting info about this Asus model, which may tip the balance in favor of this device. The VS228H-P uses an environment-friendly mercury-free LED-backlit panel and comes in a corrugated cardboard packaging consisting of recycled materials for at least 80%.
A TV-Large Screen
Nowadays, computer monitors become more and more frequently used not only for their primary purpose as PC display devices but as TV substitutes. The 32MA68HY by LG is one of the envoys of this new era of multipurpose monitor use. The main reason why this model can be used as a TV substitute is its huge 32-inch diagonal size. This 32" budget LG model uses an IPS screen with a FullHD resolution support and these features also make it similar to middle-sized flat TVs. The specified maximum brightness of the LG 32MA68HY is 250 cd/m², which is enough both for office and home use. LG used the panel with the 60Hz refresh rate, which is sufficient for a wide range of tasks including the gaming as LCD displays do not produce an uncomfortable flickering even at such low rates. The panel also has a 5ms response time that is adequate for an amateur gaming. Add the panel's ability to render 16.7 million colors and you'll get a clear concept of a multipurpose monitor that copes equally well with text processing and Internet browsing to gaming and video editing and watching.
Of course, technical capabilities and size of the panel alone do not make the LG 32MA68HY a versatile option. To be comfortably used this way the model has to provide a good connectivity and this 32-inch device does just that. The display offers HDMI, DisplayPort, D-Sub, and USB ports together with an audio output. This variety of ports opens vast possibilities and allows connecting smart consoles, multimedia hardware players, PCs and laptops to your monitor.
Despite its large size, the 32MA68HY is far from thick and has only a noticeable bulging in the lower part of the screen to accommodate the circuitry and connection ports. This IPS monitor comes with a wall mounting (VESA 200x100) so you can use it as a wall-mounted TV.
A Nice Combination of the Screen Menu and Controls
Such features as monitor settings menu and controls are crucial for a user. That is why we want to emphasize the convenience of the screen menu and ergonomics of the five-position button on this LG monitor. The control button is made as a joystick to ease the navigation through the settings. Alternatively, you can use the On-Screen Control software available for a free download to configure the display parameters. The software allows you to adjust brightness, contrast, windows positioning and other settings from the connected host device.
An Effective Multitasking
An effective management of the screen space on such a large monitor as the 32MA68HY-P definitely needs some advanced features. In this regard LG armed this model with a very convenient split-screen function, available from the additional On-Screen Control software. In this application, there is the "Screen Split 2.0" item, which enables you to split the screen between several application windows both vertically and horizontally. With that, you can create up to 4 windows with up to 14 configurations each.
For those fond of reading this display offers a proprietary Reader mode. The mode was designed especially to mitigate eye fatigue by reducing the blue component of the 32MA68HY screen. This solution makes the model your perfect companion for long reading sessions.
High-Quality Gaming Experience
The GN246HL monitor was designed by Acer primarily for gaming. Indeed, the specifications and features of this model focus on high performance and practicality. It has a classic and somehow minimalistic design with an x-shaped stand and LED-lit control buttons on the monitor bottom for a quick access to the OSD menu and turning the power on and off. However, the GN246HL is not lacking elegance either as the black and gold colors on the stand that allows the screen tilting add a style to the overall slim design of this Acer model. In terms of connection interfaces for pairing the display with your PC, gaming console or a laptop you are all covered - there are HDMI, DVI and even analog VGA (D-Sub) ports on the lower side of the monitor back panel.
As this model is gaming-oriented, it comes with a FullHD TN+Film panel providing an astonishing 1ms response time to eliminate a ghosting effect and keep the image crisp. Though this feature is not the only that makes the GN246HL an outstanding gaming option - the impressive 144Hz vertical refresh rate contributes greatly to reducing the "motion freeze" and delivering an ultra-smooth visual experience. With that, this 3D TN gaming monitor provides healthy 170-degree horizontal and 160-degree vertical viewing angles, which allow for some flexibility in choosing your position relative to the central axis of the screen.
No Hindrances on Your Way to Victory
We want to reiterate that having a panel with a combination of 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time in your display is not simply beneficial for your gaming experience but is absolutely necessary for an extreme gaming. When your performance in a gaming match depends on your response to the situation in a split second no visual lag or ghosting artifacts must not stand in your way. Aptly engineered, the Acer GN246HL ensures you have everything at hand to show your unadulterated gaming skills.
A Window to the 3D World
In addition to keeping the image smooth regardless of the gaming pace and amount of motion and camera shifting on the video, the high vertical refresh rate is very good for a 3D experience. With a 3D-compatible video card and 3D Vision™ glasses, you can enjoy watching your content in a stereoscopic 3D. The important aspect of using the 3D Vision technology supported on the GN246HL, however, is that the vertical refresh rate of the resulting stereoscopic image you will experience in the glasses is the original monitor refresh rate divided in two. Thus, the model provides a 60Hz refresh rate (the model supports 120Hz max in 3D mode) when watched in 3D, which ensures a comfortable viewing and prevents an eye fatigue otherwise experienced on the displays with lower refresh rate values due to the image flickering.
A Comprehensive Approach
With all the virtues and advantages this monitor has to offer you need not to forget about the importance of the other components of your system that are involved in rendering images on the screen. Keep in mind that the full display potential can be unlocked only when it is used in combination with a potent video card, powerful CPU, and enough RAM to keep the video card's GPU always fed with required data, and a proper connection.
Q: What is the difference between HDMI and other display connection interfaces?
A: The HDMI is the most widely used digital connection interface that provides a transfer of high-quality and high-resolution uncompressed video (up to 4K 60Hz and 5K 30 Hz stream for the current HDMI 2.0 version) and high-fidelity multichannel audio. However, there are several more interfaces used today. Feature-wise the modern DisplayPort is analogous to the HDMI as it also provides a simultaneous transmission of digital audio and video offering even higher resolutions (up to 8K 60Hz) and is backward compatible with HDMI, DVI and VGA through the use of passive and active adapters. The DVI (Digital Visual Interface) is a video only interface that has more limitations in terms of video stream resolution and refresh rate, which was superseded with HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces. DVI can be used to transmit digital only (DVI-D), analog only (DVI-A) and combined (DVI-I) signal. The VGA is an obsolete low-resolution analog video interface that is not used in modern devices.
Q: Is there any difference between various HDMI connectors?
A: There are Type A, B, C, D, E HDMI connectors, which differ in size, shape and pin configuration. The 19-pin Type A is a standard connector for monitors, digital projectors, and video/audio devices and has the 13.9 mm × 4.45 mm dimensions. The type C is called Mini and is smaller in size than the Type A, though it has the same 19-pin configuration. Type C is intended for some portable devices. However, the Type D is even smaller and is widely used in modern smartphones, tablets, and phablets. The Type B and E connectors are special purpose ones have a limited use. With that, you can connect the type C Mini connector to a type A connector if you use a type A-to-type C cable.
Q: Do HDMI interface versions differ from each other?
A: Yes, the HDMI has several versions. The interface versions differ by the available bandwidth (every new version usually provides a higher bandwidth), which defines the maximum resolution and refresh rate of the video that can be transferred using the interface. For example, the 1.0 version allowed transmitting the video with maximum 1920x1080 pixels resolution and 60Hz rate, while the current 2.0 version enables a transmission of 3840x2160 pixels video with the same refresh rate. Though the new interface versions improve on the previous in terms of bandwidth and video formats supported they are backward compatible, which is a great advantage of the HDMI.
Q: What devices can I connect to my HDMI monitor to get a picture?
A: With the backward compatibility of the interface versions and interconnectivity of HDMI connectors, you can pair your monitor with practically any HDMI signal source: PC or laptop video card with an HDMI out, tablet PC, phablet or a smartphone (using a Type D Micro to Type A adapter or a cable) via its Micro HDMI out. You can watch the video on your HDMI monitor even from a miniature HDMI-enabled system-on-a-chip, like Raspberry Pi 3 B.
Q: How can I use the built-in speakers on my HDMI monitor?
A: There are two ways of outputting audio via built-in speakers on your monitor with an HDMI port. First, you can use the HDMI interface to transmit the digital audio from a source device to the monitor and get the sound from the speakers. In this case, the support of digital to analog audio conversion is a must for the monitor, however, the vast majority of HDMI-enabled monitors support this feature. As an alternative, you can use a dedicated audio input (usually analog) of your monitor with a corresponding source and cable, if this input is available.
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