Clarity is key when it comes to gaming and design. If you’re sniping enemies, editing video, or even just catching up on some work, a good monitor can be invaluable. With factors like size, speed and ports to consider, there is an endless list of details to check out when searching for the perfect device. Acer, ASUS, and ViewSonic were just some of our choices for this year’s list, with newcomers to the gaming market, HUAWEI making an appearance.
Here are CGMs nominees for Best Monitor 2021/22:
Writer: Brendan Frye
The Acer XB273U NV is one of the more subdued gaming monitors I have reviewed, boasting a clean black chassis complemented by a gunmetal base, and since we need some “gamer feel”, RGB lighting for good measure. The display features a minimal bezel design that puts the focus on the screen, keeping things looking great for gaming, or while doing work.
This model features the standard level of ports for a monitor at this price range, including a DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0, along with five USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5 mm jack. It should be more than enough for most people’s needs, and the included USB 3.0 ports are a great touch, especially for cable management. I am sad to see no USB-C ports, but that is a nitpick on an otherwise great selection. Readers should note, you will need to use the DisplayPort 1.2 if you want to push the monitor to 170 Hz, since, sadly, HDMI is limited to 144Hz.
Offering a fast and quality display, Acer delivers a fantastic gaming experience with their XB273U NV gaming monitor.
Writer: Lane Martin
ASUS has several high-quality pieces in their Republic of Gamers line, all appropriately centred around gaming, and the ROG Strix XG27AQ certainly fits that description. Here we have a 27 in 1440p with the capability to hit a 170 Hz refresh rate at full HDR. It supports Adaptive Sync and blur reduction out of the box and, though I certainly wouldn’t call it a cheap monitor, it certainly won’t make the same size dent in your wallet as other monitors of its class.
The 2 HDMI ports, Display Port and USB 3.0 ports can easily be hidden away by a removable back panel that continues the rounded shape of the backplate. Additionally, there are even programmable RGB lights in the rear that can be programmed via Aura sync to mirror the colourful glows of any other ROG hardware you might employ. It’s a nice touch and a bonus for any brand loyalists out there, even if the glowing bit is up against a wall. Luckily, the rear RGB lights are not especially bright by default, so you won’t be pouring heaps of power into a feature you only enjoy when you’re elbow deep in frustrating cable management or retrieval.
The ASUS Republic of Gamers products have been consistently high quality and their Strix series doesn’t look to be any different. The ROG Strix XG27AQ promises to pack in a slew of features without breaking the bank too hard.
Writer: Joe Findlay
I had the chance to take a look at the ViewSonic Elite XG320U, a 32” 4K UHD monitor that is big and beautiful. It boasts a 150 Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and has a Vesa certified DisplayHDR 600 rating, meaning it meets a verified criteria for its detail, backlighting, contrast, and black levels. The Elite XG320U also comes with some fun little extras built-in. A fold out lever on the side of the monitor is a place to hang up your headset and another fold out lever is an anchor for your mouse cable. It’s little extras like these that are appreciated because, while they aren’t necessary, they are thoughtful.
The 150Hz refresh rate gives you a hyper-realistic motion while you game. It is worth noting that the default is 144Hz but, depending on your computer, you can overclock to 150Hz. With my RTX 2060, I was pulling in 144 fps easily on Fortnite and about 110-120 fps on Apex Legends easily.
The true value of the Viewsonic Elite XG320U was seen when I had to remove it from my setup and go back to my old monitor. You see and feel a difference when you make the upgrade, but to go back is a real eye-opener. This monitor delivered big on what it promised and without it, I am left wanting.
Writer: Joe Findlay
The MateView features a 28.2” 4K+ monitor with a resolution of 3840×2560 (1.5 million pixels more than a standard 4K monitor), which translates to a 3:2 aspect ratio. The extra 18.5% of real estate is a true gift to a content creator, giving you all kinds of space for an editing or streaming layout that just isn’t possible with a standard 16:9 monitor without shrinking your panels down to near microscopic levels.
But just because the MateView is a monitor that prioritizes productivity, it is not short on quality. It’s capable of achieving 98% of the DCI-P3 colour space, which, for those who don’t know, is the cinema standard colour gamut. The monitor can produce 1.07 billion colours, providing an incredibly vivid and colour accurate viewer experience. The MateView is also certified VESA DisplayHDR 400.
The HUAWEI MateView doesn’t just look and function like a professional monitor, it makes you feel like a professional. It’s a monitor that is so much larger than its specs suggest and, as a content creator myself, it has opened up my world in terms of productivity. It is a high-end monitor among high-end monitors.
HUAWEI MateView GT (Winner, Best Monitor 2021)
Writer: Brendan Frye
When it comes to gaming monitors, the competition has never been more ruthless. There are many brands that promise the best and most advanced display’s, but few deliver on every feature in a way that earns the CGMagazine seal of approval. This is the mindset I had when I first sat down with the HUAWEI MateView GT, but I was blown away. From work, to the latest games, this 34-inch curved display quickly became my favourite monitor of 2021.
The monitor has a slew of gamer centric features if you dive into the easy-to-use menu, making it possible to change the colour settings, monitor modes, along with the option, fun, on-screen crosshair that can help in games. While it may seem like a minor point, the way HUAWEI streamlined the menu experience, all with an easy-to-use control system, made
The often tedious task of adjustment as painless as possible. Even the placement of the controls—under the HUAWEI logo at the front—was a great move, making the blind search for controls a thing I did not need to worry about, at least while testing the MateView GT.
Delivering all the features content creators and gamers demand, the HUAWEI MateView GT is one of the best monitors of 2021, and a must-buy for anyone looking for a display upgrade.