The quality of the images professional and consumer digital cameras can capture has been improving steadily since the turn of the century. Today cameras that can capture 4K or 8K footage have become the industry standard, which is why video editors are in constant need of monitors that can display high-resolution images accurately.
Moreover, programmers, graphic designers, and gamers often need more than what 4K monitors that are currently available on the market can offer. Even though the obvious solution to the shortcomings of 4K monitors lies in getting displays that have higher resolutions, 5K monitors are still not widely accepted by professionals across different industries. That’s why in this article we are going to take you through some of the best 5K monitors you can buy.
What’s 5K Resolution?
Before we take a look at different models of 5K monitors, we are going to take a moment to shed some light on what 5K resolution actually is. The exact resolution of 5K monitors that have 16:9 aspect ratios can vary slightly depending on the model, but the most common 5K resolution is 5120X2880 or 14.7 million pixels.
This means that 5K monitors offer 33.33% more pixels on both horizontal and vertical sides than 4K monitors. This extra space can be useful to video editors who want to view 4K footage at native resolution while still being able to see the interface of the app they are using to process it.
As 4K content is growing more popular, 5K monitors are becoming more useful, which might make them more available on the markets around the globe in the next few years. However, 5K resolution is still not a standard digital cinematography format in 2019, since most video content creators opt to shoot their footage in Full HD or 4K resolution.
8 Best 5K Monitors for PC and Mac Computers
It has been a little over five years since the first 5K monitors hit the market, but even after all this time, the model selection is still scarce. Even so, nearly all 5K monitors are capable of stunning performances regardless of the purpose for which they are used. So, let’s take a look at the 8 best 5K monitors for PC and Mac computers you can buy in 2019.
Best for: Graphic design, software development, video editing
The minimalistic design of the ultrawide monitor makes it an appealing option for both private and professional settings. LG 34WK95U-W has an IPS panel with a 21:9 aspect ratio that has excellent viewing angles so that the position from which you are viewing the monitor doesn’t impact the quality of the image.
This 5K monitor provides a plethora of connection options, as it features two HDMI and USB ports, as well as a DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 port that ensures fast data transfers. Besides the HDR support the LG 34WK95U-W grants, your access to a plethora of split-screen options which can be particularly useful if you are working on demanding video editing projects. This LG’s 5K monitor ships with an adjustable stand, but if it is too large for the work surfaces you have in your office or at home, you can easily mount it to a wall.
Best for: artists, graphic designers, video editors
MacBook Pro owners who are thinking of getting a 5K monitor should consider getting the LG 27MD5KB-B since this model is the product of the collaboration between Apple and LG. This a great option for a secondary screen, although you must purchase adapters if you want to use this 5K monitor with a PC computer.
Its color reproduction capabilities and a wide range of viewing angles make it suitable for creatives from a broad range of industries. Moreover, the LG 27MD5KB-B is equipped with integrated microphone, speakers, and a camera that enables you to communicate with your clients without using external headphone sets.
This 5K monitor features the ambient light sensor that adjusts the panel’s brightness automatically to provide the best viewing experience. In addition, this LG’s monitor has a powerful anti-glare coating and it provides consistent clarity regardless of the viewing conditions.
This is currently one the least expensive 5K monitor you can find on the market, so if Dell’s or LG’s model are too expensive for you, then Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS may be a good alternative. However, you shouldn’t expect the same performances that pricier models of 5K monitors provide. In addition to a relatively complicated calibration process, the Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS struggles to depict colors accurately even if you manage to calibrate it properly.
This 16:9 aspect ratio monitor looks a bit outdated as its thick bothers resemble monitor models from the early 2010s. Even though you can adjust the height, tilt or swivel of this monitor, its stand lacks stability, which is why it much better to mount it on the wall. Even so, Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS is a budget-friendly option that provides solid picture quality to all of its users, while its fast response time and excellent native contrast make it an intriguing choice for creative industry professionals.
Less expensive than the competition
Wide viewing angles
Fast response times
No HDR support
Doesn’t have USB hubs
4. Planar IX2790
Best for:Common use
Price:Available upon request, $788,16 on Amazon
Even though Planar is not one of the most recognizable names on the 5K monitor market, its IX2790 model provides excellent performances at a reasonable price. This bezel-free IPS LCD 5K monitor is modernly designed, and it fits perfectly to the office and any other working environment. All of the function buttons are located on the bottom bar so that you can access them quickly, but you must use them carefully as they are touch-sensitive. The wide horizontal and vertical viewing angle, as well as stunning color accuracy, make Planar IX2790 suitable for use in a broad range of contexts. However, professional video editors, graphic designers, and artists who work with digital images shouldn’t expect high-end performances more expensive 5K monitors can provide. Moreover, the monitor’s stand offers only modest tilting and height adjustment options, which is why it is much easier to mount IX2790 onto a wall.
Versatile monitor that can be used for a broad range of purposes
It hardly comes as a surprise that one of the best 5K monitors on the market comes from Dell, a company that has been at the forefront of the tech industry for decades. This recently released curved ultrawide monitor has a 32:9 aspect ratio and a 5120x1440 resolution that guarantees high image quality. The panel has an anti-glare finish that eliminates reflections and a wide viewing angle that allows you to see images accurately from virtually any angle.
This model requires minimum calibration as it ships with 99% sRGB factory calibration at Delta E less than 2. The VESA-compatible mount grants you complete freedom so that you can tilt, swivel or adjust the monitor’s height in any way you want. The U4919DW’s connection options are equally impressive since this 5K monitor features a DisplayPort, two HDMI ports and several USB upstream and downstream ports.
Best for:Creative and tech industry professionals, gamers
This is easily one of the most impressive 5K monitors you can find on the market in 2019, so you can hardly go wrong if you opt for the 499P9H model. The 49-inch display has a 32:9 aspect ratio and an anti-glare, 2H, Haze 25% screen coating that enables you to work on this 5K monitor under all types of light conditions.
The VA LCD panel doesn’t have a viewing angle that is as wide as the viewing angle that you can expect from IPS panels, but the 1800R curvature ensures that all images displayed on this 5K monitor can be viewed from almost any horizontal or vertical angle. Philips 499P9H also offers HRD support and it has a minimum input lag, which means that you can use it for gaming purposes. Moreover, this 5K model is equipped with a 2-megapixel FHD camera, a microphone and a pair of 5W speakers.
Gamers in need of a 5K monitor that is capable of delivering stunning performances even when displaying challenging gameplay, shouldn’t look much further than Samsung CRG90. With a 120 Hz refresh rate and a 4 ms response time, this model is unique among 5K monitors as it is perfectly optimized to take on demanding action video games.
Moreover, the curved 1800R curved panel immerses you into the gameplay by putting the action all around you. Samsung CRG90 is equipped with adaptive FreeSync 2 technology that eliminates tearing and provides smooth gameplay at high resolutions. The display has a 3000:1 contrast ratio as well as a Mega dynamic contrast ratio that ensure that brightest and darkest areas of the screen are perfectly balanced. Samsung CRG90 is also HDR10 compatible, but you should keep in mind that you need a powerful hardware setup in order to utilize all of the monitor’s features to the fullest.
Best for:Video editing, graphic design, common use
In case you are looking to maximize your workflow by replacing your dual monitor setup, LG 49WL95C may be the right solution for you, since it substitutes two 2,560 x 1,440 displays. Its curved IPS panel has a 32:9 aspect ratio and 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles.
Even though LG 49WL95C has 5ms response time, its refresh rate is at 60 Hz which makes this model only a modest gaming option. Even so, this LG’s 5K monitor model supports HDR and it is flicker safe. There are two HDMI ports, an USB Type-C port, a DisplayPort and a headphone out as well as a 10W speaker.
You can use this 5K monitor for a wide array of purposes that range from video editing to watching movies. However, you should make sure that the computer you have is capable of performing the tasks LG 49WL95C was designed to support.
Excellent color accuracy
Elegant bezeless design
Solid connectivity options
Aimed only at high-end professionals
Poor choice for gamers
5K Monitor Model
Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS
23 to 76 Hz, 60 Hz-recommended
Available upon request
The stunning image quality 5K monitors can reproduce is one of the main reasons why video editors, graphic designers, and digital artists are choosing to upgrade their desktop setups. However, most of the best 5K monitors you can buy in 2019 are expensive and they are only worth investing in if they are going to improve your productivity. Are you thinking of buying a 5K monitor? Which model are you considering? Leave a comment and let us know.
Max Wales is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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