Christmas Gift Guide: Monitors – time for an upgrade

Computer monitors make wonderful presents … even if your loved one already has a monitor! Desktops can usually support two or more. A monitor on the desk improves the usefulness of a notebook. And they come in all sizes and prices. In this gift guide we present a few that should bring a smile to someone’s face on December 25th.

Philips Momentum 436M6 monitor – around $1,400


Quantum Dots are one of the coolest display technologies around. And the most effective, producing a wider range of colours. Philips has combined that technology with a 42.5-inch panel and UltraHD (3,840 by 2,160 pixel) resolution in the Philips Momentum 436M6 monitor.

With a screen that big you should consider a few things. Is the desk it will go on at least 90cm deep? If this monitor’s too close and it’s just too big. Does he or she like using their computer monitor for entertainment purposes? That’s where this one really delivers the goods, peaking up to 1,000 nits of brightness and with a wide colour gamut.

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.6/5.

Samsung C34J79 34” curved monitor with Thunderbolt 3 – $1,599


We can’t claim to have been fans of the curved TV, and we’re glad they’re mostly gone. But curved monitors are a different matter. The 34-inch Samsung C34J79 is a fine example of the species.

You see, when you’re using a monitor you’re at a fairly steady, central position. That’s where the curvature makes things easier. Your eyes don’t need to focus on so many different distances.

This Samsung unit has a massive 34-inch QLED, Quantum Dot screen. The resolution is 3,440 by 1,440 pixels in a 21:9 ultra-wide aspect. And it has Thunderbolt 3 for connecting to the latest and best computers.

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.5/5.

BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor – $899


Do you think your loved one would like to be able to see four screens of information on one screen? Or perhaps on screen’s worth of information in super high resolution? That’s what the BenQ EQ3270U monitor can deliver, thanks to its UltraHD – 3,840 by 2,160 pixel – resolution. With a 32-inch screen size in 16:9, that kind of resolution makes sense.

Our reviewer’s view: “I suspect the price and value is unbeatable.” He was particularly impressed with the anti-glare coating, and the future-proofing, thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 port. With HDCP 2.2 compliance, he or she can even watch UltraHD Blu-ray on this one.

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.5/5.

Benq 4K 28 EL2870U monitor – $569


Want to get him or her a compromise? 4K, but not one that’s going to eliminate all desk space? The 28-inch BenQ 4K 28 EL2870U monitor could be just the thing. Our reviewer found that with those 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, he could have the screen much closer to his face than usual.

With the high-resolution, everything remained smooth. The other things that impressed him were the build quality and the 10-bit colour with support for 100% of the sRGB colour gamut.

Best thing of all? The extremely reasonable price of $569.

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.2/5.

Samsung 27-inch Quantum Dot Gaming monitor – $600


Are games his or her thing? Gamers want speed more than resolution in their monitors. And that’s what this monitor provides. Well, speed and colour. Our reviewer: “Side-by-side with my monitor I can see this QLED (Quantum Dot) has crazy, intense colours. Brilliant. I can see details in the shadows I never saw before. Colour and details – winner Samsung.”

And then there’s the curve of the screen, which “drew in” our reviewer’s eyes. But most of all there was that speed. He could dial in frame rates of up to 144 hertz. Gamers rejoice!

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.4/5.

Samsung 27-inch CF591 monitor – $450


Want to impress your loved one with a pair of hard-working monitors? Curved ones that effectively extend into a single ultra-wide screen. Our guy was super impressed with this one from Samsung.

He notes that the curvature of the screens allows them to work together without the distracting “v” join between two screens. They work even better because the side bezels of these monitors are just 8mm wide, so the working areas of the screens can be extremely close together.

Our reviewer’s conclusion? “I pensioned off my dual 24” monitors, and I am using two of the 27” CF591 as my production setup.”

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.8/5, just about our highest rating.

Samsung’s LC49HG90 49” QLED gaming monitor – $2,499.95


How about a bit of “bloody big”? That’s how our reviewer described this monitor, and how could you disagree? Take a curved UltraHD screen and cut it in half, horizontally. You end up with an all-encompassing monitor that stretches 1.2 metres from side to side.

But there’s more to it than that. This monitor incorporates the QLED technology of Samsung’s premium TV range, allowing high dynamic range display. But this thing is for games. Really, truly for games. So, it supports frame rates of up to 144 hertz — no chances of missing anything at all in those FPS games.

Read our review here. We rated it at 4.2/5.