My Top 5 Monitors for Hardcore Console Gaming
Two big trends are happening right now in gaming. One has to do with the gamers, and one has to do with technological advancement. Both are coming together to create some of the best console gaming monitors in 2018.
However, all the new specs and tech advances can make picking the best possible console gaming monitor harder, too. That’s why I’ve written up this buying guide—to help you find the best console gaming monitor that fits your budget, your console, and your needs and wants.
Before we dive into specific console monitors, let’s look at what’s driving change in the gaming world right now. First, monitors, as opposed to televisions, have finally caught on with console gamers because of their supremely crisp displays and wider arrays of displayable colours.
Better contrast and more colours mean that a gamer’s experience playing on a monitor will be much more lifelike. As monitors for console gaming have become more and more popular, the world’s biggest tech companies have taken notice—and started developing some truly next level products and technologies.
The increasing popularity and capability of these monitors have come together to make 2018 the year of the console gaming monitor—a change that will definitely be as big as, and might even be bigger than, the jump from the difficult and lower-quality component, composite, and s-video to HDMI back in the 2000s.
If you have or want an Xbox One S or PS4 Pro, the simple fact is that you’re not getting all you can out of your system. Here are some of the amazing features these systems support or will support in the first quarter of 2018:
- 4K resolution - you’ve known it looks great for a while now, and it’ll look even better on a console gaming monitor.
- 1440p - an option that’s a lot easier on the budget than 4K, but still blows last decade’s 1080p out of the water.
- HDMI 2.0 - and even higher!
Now let’s look at some of the monitors that are set to shake up the whole gaming world in 2018—and might just change the way you game forever.
- ASUS VP28UQG 28” FreeSync Gaming Monitor
- Samsung C32HG70 32” HDR QLED Curved Gaming Monitor
- LG 32UD59-B 32” 4K UHD Monitor with FreeSync
- Dell UltraSharp U2718Q 27” UHD Monitor
- Samsung U28E590D 28” UHD LED Monitor
#1. ASUS VP28UQG 28” FreeSync Gaming Monitor Review
|Resolution||3840 x 2460|
|Connectivity||2 HDMI Ports|
I figured I’d start this review with a monitor that’s a little easier on the budget, but still outshines last year’s models by a long shot. Its resolution of 3840 x 2160 and 157 PPI are impressive enough, but even more than a crisp picture, this monitor’s great features separate it from the competition.
Here are just a few of the wild things this monitor can do:
- ASUS Eyecare – Reduces blue light emission and screen flicker so your eyes aren’t strained even by hours and hours of gaming.
- GamePlus – Added features like timers and crosshairs to help you improve your gaming, as well as an FPS counter for the graphics-obsessed and pro game reviewers.
- 1 MS response time!
This monitor, with its 2 HDMI ports, works great with both the Xbox One S and the PS4. There are a few drawbacks, namely its stand only offering tilt adjustment, but all in all these screen packs in value.
Last but not least, the ASUS VP28UQG FreeSync has a maximum luminance of 350 cd/m2—meaning you can view a clear picture under virtually any conditions.
#2. Samsung C32HG70 32” HDR QLED Curved Gaming Monitor Review
|Resolution||2560 x 1440 QHD|
|Connectivity||2 HDMI 2.0 ports; 2 USB; 3.0 ports (1 charging)|
|Luminance||HDR: 600 350 cd/m²;|
This offering from tech giant Samsung doesn’t just want to be a good gaming monitor, but the Cadillac of console gaming monitors. From its larger overall size to its inclusion of HDR features, which are still new to the market and haven’t appeared in even other high-end monitors yet, it wows gamers the world over.
Even before you turn this monitor on, it looks like a work of art. From its aesthetically pleasing finish to the beautiful curvature of the screen, everything about it looks thoughtfully crafted. Of course, once the screen comes to life, that sense of craftsmanship goes through the roof.
While the HDR support, which allows you to see a truly unprecedented level of detail and kicks the maximum brightness up to a peak of 600, is the device’s main feature, it does some other things well, too:
- Dual Hinge Stand - allowing any directional adjustment you can think of: tilt, pivot, and height
- Support for AMD FreeSync 2
- 144Hz refresh rate - so you don’t miss a second of the action
- Connectivity - 2 HDMI 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports (one of which even offers charging!) in addition to the DisplayPort.
While researching and testing this product for review, I found it hard to notice any real flaws. The high price tag, though, might be prohibitive for a lot of gamers out there. That being said, as HDR technology becomes more common throughout the year, the price may drop—and you never know when you’ll be able to find a deep discount!
#3. LG 32UD59-B 32” 4K UHD Monitor with FreeSync Review
|Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Connectivity||2 HDMI 2.0 ports; 1 DP 1.2 port|
Whether you prefer sports games and first-person shooters with incredibly lifelike graphics or fantastical games with a more stylized graphical tone, the colour display makes a huge difference. There’s a reason we don’t play games in black and white, after all.
While the 32UD59-B 32” monitor from LG had already earned its place among the best console gaming monitors of 2018 with its sharp display and wide array of connectivity options, its colour palate sets it apart from even the highest-end competition.
Just like the standards required by the biggest film directors and studios, this monitor covers 95% of the colour space of DCI P3—meaning that your games look just as lifelike as the movies! Think about this in comparison to sRBG. With over 25% more colour, you may as well play in black and white if you’re sticking with sRBG.
The monitor also boasts an amazing black stabilizer effect which makes it easier to see in the dark in game worlds by increasing contrast and revealing a deeper and wider variety of extremely dark colours on the screen.
The response time of this monitor is also worth mentioning. While I tested it for this review, I didn’t experience lag once—and yes, I was playing the latest games on the highest settings.
One drawback I will note is that the stand included with this monitor only has height adjustment, and lacks pivot or tilt support. However, it’s easy to get around this problem, because the monitor is extremely easy to mount.
All in all, this is a great monitor for virtually any PS4 Pro or Xbox One S gamer.
#4. Dell UltraSharp U2718Q 27” UHD Monitor Review
|Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Connectivity||1x HDMI 2.0 port; 1x DP; 1x mDP; 3x USB 3.0|
This entry into Dell’s well-respected UltraSharp series of monitors perfect for console gaming comes with some surprising features to make gaming even easier and more fun. Its biggest feature, though, is its astonishing HDR10 feature.
The HDR10 works with the other fantastic display specs of this monitor to make gaming more beautiful and fluid than on any of last year’s models and even most of the UltraSharp’s toughest competition.
On top of that, this is one of the lowest priced monitors with HDR support. While it’s still certainly not a budget option, its mid-range pricing makes true HDR much more accessible to the average gamer than it has ever been before—and all of this with no compromise in quality.
One of the other key features of this console gaming monitor is its anti-glare coating. This is great not just for when the morning sun comes spilling through your window and lets you know you’ve been up to gaming all night again, but also for the long-term health of your eyes!
The only thing I worry about with this monitor is the long-term durability of its stand, which seems quite thin. However, I didn’t run into any problems during my extensive testing process, and it’s also important to note that the stand is fully adjustable regarding height, pivot, and tilt. Of course, the monitor is also mountable!
With its high clarity, HDR support, and comfortably mid-range price point, this monitor is a great choice for PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One S gamers from the casual to the professional.
#5. Samsung U28E590D 28” UHD LED Monitor Review
|Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Connectivity||1x HDMI 1.4; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x DP 1.2|
While this monitor from Samsung has many of the same key specs and features that put other monitors in the top class, it seeks to differentiate itself with a few features other monitors are currently lacking:
- Eco Mode is consuming only 19 watts - making your gaming easier on the environment and your wallet.
- Great grayscale display power - that makes shadows and highlights sharper, especially when combined with the screen’s brightness.
- 1 MS response time - to avoid picture lag and stutter, along with FreeSync support.
On top of all that, the screen is housed in a minimal but aesthetically pleasing characteristic Samsung design, with a beautiful bevel to accent the screen and the classic Samsung single button approach to adjustments. While the system is packed with features, it is also easy to operate.
Additionally, the monitor gives you a bit more control than many similar console gaming monitors do, such as the ability to automatically optimise settings based on players’ angle of view—or tweak those same settings to your heart’s content, to create the exact picture you want.
The monitor also has full tilt adjustment and boasts 2 HDMI ports, although it has to be said that only one of them is HDMI 2.0—which may be annoying for those of you who game on both a PS4 Pro and an Xbox One S.
Although it’s certainly not a budget choice, this monitor can be had for a significantly lower price than similar models from other brands and some other Samsung models in general. That being said, it also doesn’t offer HDR support.
I hope these reviews have helped you find the perfect monitor for your needs and budget. Any of these monitors would make a fine choice for any gaming enthusiasts, but I hope there’s one on this list that stands out to you because it has all the features you want.
While every device has pros and cons, it’s easy to see that monitors overall are improving drastically already, and are set to continue improving throughout 2018. Even in the rest of the first half of the year, there are several monitors slated for release that I’m excited about.