Why would anyone want to watch a movie on a sub-40-inch screen? Well, ideally you wouldn't, but we don't all get what we want in life, now do we?
In a perfect world, all screens would span 50 inches diagonally and sport superhigh resolutions. Also, we'd all have enough space to fit them in every room.
Real life just ain't chock-full of unicorns and seven-year wizard colleges, though, and real-life dorms and apartments can be small. Doesn't mean you'd want to miss out on watching movies the way they were intended. Well, at least from a color, black-level, and contrast ratio perspective. We addressed the whole difference-in-screen-size thing earlier.
When it comes to movie watching, a monitor that can deliver deep blacks without sacrificing brightness is ideal. While the 2311x can get a bit too dark, crushing dark gray in certain scenes, it still manages to provide movies with a very cinematic look. Read the full review of the HP 2311x.
HP Pavilion 27xi
The HP Pavilion 27xi offers great overall performance but when it comes to movie watching it recalls the age old adage "don't sit so close to the TV." Using the Movie preset, the colors are more accurate and less saturated the farther away you are from the screen. Read the full review of the HP Pavilion 27xi .
Samsung SyncMaster S27B970
If you're looking for a monitor with beauty and brains, look no further than putting a ring on the S27B970. Just like a wedding, it's a bit pricey and once you commit it's hard to get out of (with the DisplayPort connection that is). If you don't mind these few faults, dinner and a movie with the S27B970 would keep you happy forever. Or until the next best thing comes around.
Apple Thunderbolt Display
The Thunderbolt Display has the same completely-useless-for-movies high XD (Extreme Definition) resolution as the previously mentioned Samsung S27A850D, but what it lacks in "upressing" your HD content, it makes up with a really, really glossy screen. Colors pop and buttery smoothness is experienced by all.
Samsung SyncMaster S23A750D
Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel technology is put to great use here as -- despite its unfortunate-looking foot stand -- the S23A750D delivers the best picture for movies I've ever seen on a 27-incher.
Samsung SyncMaster T27A950
I just realized that 60 percent of the monitors on this list are from Samsung. I guess that's not too surprising, given the company's TV pedigree. The T27A950 is the best thanks to its combination of brilliant picture and built-in apps like Netflix and Hulu. Read the full review of the Samsung SyncMaster T27A950.
Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these monitors head-to-head.