Do you enjoy cable clutter? Is your idea of a good time hunting around for the right adapter to connect a laptop to a display? If the answer is a resounding "no!" to these questions, you ought to consider a USB-C monitor for your next display upgrade.
With a USB-C monitor, a single cable delivers audio, video and power to the display. No need for an HDMI or DisplayPort connection for audio and video, with a separate USB cable to power the monitor's USB ports. No need for an adapter or conversion cable to connect an HDMI or DisplayPort cable to your laptop. As laptops grow thinner, many have ditched the HDMI port altogether and offer only USB-C connections. Most notably, Apple's MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro lack HDMI ports. And a USB-C monitor pairs nicely with a USB-C laptop.
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In terms of resolution, I recommend at least full HD (1,920x1,080 pixels) for a 24-inch display; Quad HD (2,560x1,440 pixels) for a 27-inch display and Ultra HD (3,840x2,160 pixels, or 4K) for anything 32 inches or larger. The other spec to keep an eye on is the maximum brightness rating, which you'll see range from 250 to 500 nits. Lower-end monitors are usually rated at 250 or 300 nits, which will likely suffice for a dark den or basement. For a sun-drenched office, however, you'll want something that's rated for 350 nits or higher. For more on that, I direct your attention to CNET's monitor buying guide.
Check out the best USB-C monitor deals we can find right now. The screen sizes range from 24 inches to a 34-inch ultrawide display. What you won't find here are professional-grade monitors with wide color gamut or gaming displays with fast refresh rates. These are general-purpose monitors for home, office and home office use.
This basic USB-C display from ViewSonic is surprisingly well-rounded for the price. It serves up a full HD resolution, which ought to provide a crisp image across the 23.8-inch panel. In addition to USB-C connectivity, it also features both HDMI and VGA connections. It's far from a gaming monitor, but if you want to play the occasional game, it does feature AMD FreeSync to help eliminate screen tearing and stuttering. Integrated speakers are on board -- not always a given -- and it's adjustable with both tilt and swivel (but no height adjustment). With a minimal 250-nit brightness rating, however, it's best used under artificial light rather than a room that receives a ton of natural light. It's on sale for $160 at Amazon right now.
Right now you can save $110 on this 27-inch USB-C monitor. It offers full HD resolution, IPS technology and ultra-wide viewing angles with 300 nits of brightness. And with eyesafe technology, it won't be as hard on your eyes if you have work or hobbies that cause you to stare at a monitor for hours at a time. At $190, it's a solid deal.
This Pixio PX275C is only $280, making it the most affordable 27-inch display with a QHD resolution we see right now. And it's not a dim, 250-nit panel. It's rated for an impressive 350 nits of brightness and also could serve as a budget gaming monitor with its 100Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync.
This 27-inch display from Asus boasts a QHD resolution and 350-nit brightness rating. It also offers the ability to daisy-chain multiple monitors with its DisplayPort-in and -out ports. You can connect up to four displays together without needing to connect each one to your PC or laptop first. It's $20 off at Amazon right now, bringing the cost to $309 and a rare example of a 27-inch QHD display that costs just over $300.
Rated 350 nits of brightness, this 27-inch QHD display is a bit brighter than the other ViewSonic above. The stand isn't the sleekest, but it makes up for its clunky design with flexibility, offering pivot, swivel, height and tilt adjustments.
This Lenovo model offers USB-C connectivity along with both HDMI and DisplayPort. It's rated for 350 nits of brightness and also supplies integrated speakers and a modern design with thin bezels and a flexible stand that provides height, tilt, swivel and pivot adjustments. It's discounted at Amazon right now from its already reasonable $350 list price.
This Dell monitor offers similar specs as the above models -- 27 inches, QHD resolution, USB-C connectivity, 350-nit rating -- along with a 5-megapixel, pop-up webcam for all of your video conferences. Its price has gone up; earlier this year it was on sale for only $330. It might be worth waiting to see if its price dips back below $350 before pulling the trigger on a purchase.
This BenQ model at its current price of $400 is an affordable 32-inch 4K display option, and it comes with USB-C connectivity. It's rated for 300 nits of brightness and also features AMD FreeSync and both HDMI and DisplayPort connections.
This 32-inch 4K AOC display, with a rating of 350 nits, should provide a panel that is a bit brighter than the above BenQ. It supplies a DisplayPort connection and a pair of HDMI ports in addition to USB-C connectivity. It also has integrated speakers and a flexible stand with height, tilt and swivel adjustments. It's $40 off at Amazon right now and a great deal for this combination of panel size, resolution and brightness.
This LG model is on sale at Amazon and LG for a reasonable $400. It offers AMD FreeSync and tons of connectivity. In addition to USB-C, you get a pair of HDMI ports and one DisplayPort connection. There's also two downstream USB ports, which lets you connect your USB devices without needing to reach the ports on your PC. It's rated for a sufficient 350 nits of brightness and boasts a sleek, curved stand that provides tilt, height and pivot adjustment.
This ultrawide display acts like a two-monitor setup but without the break in the middle between the display. It features an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and a 2,560x1,080-pixel resolution. In addition to being plenty wide, it should be plenty bright with a 400-nit rating. It also features AMD FreeSync. It's reasonably priced at $400 and right now you can save $10. And it's even more affordable for Best Buy members, who can save an extra $20.