Whether you create brilliant illustrations for your clients or you’re just getting into computer arts as a hobby, one of the most important tools for the job is your computer’s display. For that reason, it makes sense to research the best monitor for graphic design before you get serious about your next big job. In this article, we’ll break down what to look for as you shop, as well as HP‘s best monitors for designers from professionals to hobbyists.
What to look for in a monitor for graphic design
While the graphic design industry includes many different forms of art created through dozens of different programs and technologies, the “must-haves” for a professional are somewhat standard across the board.
For a project to be true to scale with accurate color during the design and editing stages, your monitor must properly represent the work. That’s why the following qualities are considered the minimum requirements for today’s designer.
A larger screen won’t help you more than qualities like resolution or color accuracy, but it can be a welcome perk for someone who sits at a screen all day and doesn’t want to have to squint to examine their work.
Larger screens are also beneficial when more than one person may be looking at a job. For team projects, consider monitors that are at least 27 inches so they can accommodate more than one person’s view.
Now we’re getting into non-negotiable territory, since graphic design is done at a very detailed level. If you don’t have a resolution that can support your art, it may end up looking skewed or not show up with the crispness of the actual file. The best picks use Ultra High Definition (UHD), or 4K as it’s also known, and Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD). Compared to the 1080p monitors from just a few years ago, these resolutions are better suited to show off your best stuff.
Did you know that high-end monitors display more colors than your eyes can even detect? While that may be the case, you still need to make sure your screen properly displays colors with true accuracy. Otherwise, two variations of blue could end up looking like the same color. After you spend hours choosing the perfect shade for your project, you need to make sure your screen does it justice.
Ports and connections
As a designer, chances are that you use several accessories to help you do your best work, and the right monitor can help tie all those extras together. Whether it’s a USB port to charge your smartphone or an SD card reader to upload and view files, you can find that functionality and more in your new monitor.
While not the most important feature to consider for the finished project, it’s human nature to want to get the best deal possible. Expect to pay more for a monitor that can handle the other requirements on this list, but know that it’s possible to meet even tight budgets when shopping for your new monitor.
Plus, it’s important to consider the price of your monitor as an investment in your craft. Keeping an eye on sales, like the HP Store weekly deals can help you stay within your budget, even for top-of-the-line monitors.
Multiple monitor setup
Even when picking the best monitor for your work, you may have to make a choice twice. Graphic designers commonly use dual monitor setups to help them multitask and keep two projects open for quick comparisons and edits, but picking a larger, widescreen monitor is also an option.
10 best monitors for graphic design
HP monitors are perfect picks for those using HP desktop PCs or laptops to do design work, but they aren’t limited to existing HP devotees. These top choices can help elevate your creative work on any device.
If you buy only one monitor for your workspace, consider this high-end curved option. The HP Z38c 37.5 curved display shows you more at once and makes large or panoramic scenes easier to edit. It’s the widest curved display from HP® and turns your setup into a more ergonomic experience. You’ll no longer have to shift your focus from one screen to another, because this setup gives you room to bring it all into one amazing view.
If you don’t need to go curved, you can easily boost your productivity with the precision display qualities of the HP Z32 31.5-inch 4K UHD display. In addition to offering a close-up view of your most detailed projects, you’ll see your project from more places in the room with the 178 degree horizontal, 178 degree vertical viewing angle.
USB-C port that serves as video connection and power supply
Zero Bright Dot Guarantee that offers screen replacement in the event of a faulty sub-pixel
Looking for a bit more screen to fill your space? Upgrade to the HP Z43 42.5-inch 4K UHD display. It has many of the same features as the 31.5-inch monitor, but this 4K dream also gives you a lot more space to see everything on your agenda. This graphic design essential is a solid choice for viewing charts, spreadsheets, and presentations, too.
More than 8 million pixels of outstanding light and color
3840 x 2160 resolution for the same viewing area as up to four separate screens
USB-C offers quick-connection to a number of devices
If you have your heart set on the brilliance of 4K and need a smaller monitor to fit into modest desk spaces, consider the HP ENVY 27 27-inch monitor. A perfect blend of function and form, it not only displays your projects but it powers your phone or desktop, too. And with AMD FreeSync technology, you’ll get the most out of your refresh rates and experience less stuttering and blurring.
IPS with micro-edge for optimal viewing
Greater than 99% sRGB color accuracy
Multiple ports for easy integration with accessories and devices
If 4K is out of your budget range, you can still find solid picks for FHD monitors with full color control, like the HP EliteDisplay E273 27-inch monitor. You also get USB connections right in the display, making it easier to use your favorite design accessories wherever you work.
4-way adjustability for ergonomic viewing
1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution that looks good from any angle
VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort™ connectors for versatile workstations
You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the nano IPS panel technology of the HP OMEN 27i gaming monitor. This QHD display boasts wide angles and easy adjustments to help you see everything on your screen. It also comes with tons of ports, including DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB 3.0, and a headphone jack.
165 Hz refresh rate, ideal for video and animation
DCI-P3 98% color reproduction
Adjustable screen angle for better viewing
7. HP OMEN X Emperium 65-inch big format gaming monitor
Looking for one of the largest 4K experiences ever? Consider the 64.5-inch diagonal screen of the HP OMEN X Emperium. This monitor offers refresh rates of up to 144 Hz, and you’ll love using it for work as much as play.
Includes HP OMEN X Emperium Soundbar to provide high-grade speakers and 3 stereo amps at 120 watts
384 zones of full direct-array backlight
NVIDIA® SHIELD streaming tech to access video and entertainment apps directly from your screen
The HP DreamColor line was made with design professionals in mind. This HP DreamColor Z27x G2 studio display shows off all of your work on the 27-inch diagonal QHD screen, and it comes with extra features that make it more than just a display. You’ll find that it’s actually a time-saving addition to any workflow.
One billion colors with 99% DCI P3 coverage
Pop-up sensors calibrate color on demand or when scheduled
On-screen markers and keyboard-controlled input switching to save time
A slightly smaller version of the Z27, the HP DreamColor Z24x G2 display gives you the same robust color control as the other HP DreamColor offerings. This LED-backlit champion provides 1920 x 1200 resolution at a 60 Hz refresh rate as well.
99% of Adobe RGB and 100% coverage of sRGB and BT.709
Great views from more angles
1,024 gray levels per channel and up to a billion colors
One more notable addition in the HP DreamColor family is the HP Z31x studio monitor. The larger 31-inch screen makes viewing more comfortable and shows everything in brilliant Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution. It also just so happened to receive the 2015 Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. If you need a red carpet-worthy addition to your workflow, this is it.
On-screen markers for quicker editing
178-degree horizontal and 178-degree vertical viewing angles
Plenty of ports, including USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, and USB Type-C
Is a 4K graphic monitor for you?
While 4K seemed futuristic at one time, it’s quickly becoming commonplace for professional designers. Even if you don’t have multiple graphic monitors with 4K capabilities, it’s smart to invest now if you think you’ll need it within the next couple of years.
This best graphics monitor tech is already embraced by those who value accuracy in color and lighting and it just may help you bring out the best in your work.
Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
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