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Best 27-inch monitor deals: 6 QHD displays for under $280

It's the monitor sweet spot. These 27-inch QHD displays deliver a roomy workspace and huge value.

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Ready for a monitor upgrade? Need more room than your laptop's screen offers? I feel you, work-from-home warriors. While I agree that bigger is better when it comes to monitors, how much display space do you really need if you aren't a PC gamer or creative pro? Further, do you need an HD monitor with 4K resolution and a high refresh rate if you're mainly sending emails and working on spreadsheets? 

I bought a 27-inch QHD display for our household earlier in the pandemic when the dining room morphed into my wife's home office. She needed a monitor for working from home. Now that she's returned to the office, I've grabbed it for my home office to replace the ancient 24-inch FHD monitor that seemed puny by comparison. 

I arrived at a 27-inch QHD display because it offered enough screen real estate and a sufficiently crisp image for a great price. I was surprised to find that QHD -- that is, quad HD or 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution -- displays didn't cost much more than 27-inch models with FHD resolution, i.e., "full HD," with the same 1,920x1,080 pixels as pre-4K TVs. And QHD pixel density on a 27-inch panel is dense enough that I can't see individual pixels when seated in front of the display. So far, I don't have any FOMO about not spending more for a 4K display (which would be at least 3,840x2,160 pixels).

Read more: This is the gear you need to work from home

Because I scratch my gaming itch with an Xbox One, I don't require a display with a fast refresh rate -- 60Hz or 75Hz will suffice. Because I don't engage in photo editing beyond an occasional crop or touch-up with the MacOS Photos app, I don't need a professional-grade monitor with a wide color gamut or HDR. I simply wanted a display larger than my current display with a bright, crisp image and a modern array of video connections that includes both HDMI and DisplayPort. Plus, I wanted thin bezels framing the display to make a side-by-side, dual-monitor setup look good should we eventually expand our dining-room operations.

Check out CNET's monitor buying guide for more, and check out my recommendations for 27-inch QHD monitors that will fit most budgets. I found a great deal on an LG display on Amazon, and it's still available at the same low price. Looking to spend even less? There's a model on sale at Lenovo for even less. Want a monitor that can let you email and spreadsheet during the day and do a bit of gaming in the evening? Check out the Pixio model on sale at Newegg. Read on for details and links.

Read moreBest 32-inch monitor deals: Five 4K UHD displays for under $450 

LG

This is the model I ended up buying on Amazon after shopping around. I got it for its current price of $227. It's an IPS panel with a QHD resolution, a rated 350 nits of brightness and thin screen bezels. I like the simple stand, although I wish it offered height support. Most monitors at this price, however, don't offer such adjustment, so I can live without it. It doesn't have internal speakers, but those are generally terrible and not something I'd ever use when I have a Bluetooth speaker in my home office. Or laptop audio, in my case of my wife working in the dining room. It offers one DisplayPort and two HDMI ports, giving us the flexibility to connect to a variety of PCs and laptops. I've got no complaints about its image, which I find to be sufficiently bright and crisp. The 32-inch version of this monitor is also tempting at its current price of $250.

Dell

You can save a sizable $120 on this 27-inch QHD display from Dell and get it for less than I paid for the the LG above. It's an IPS panel with both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, thin bezels and 350 nits of brightness.

ViewSonic

It won't win any design awards, but this basic, black ViewSonic monitor delivers a QHD resolution across its 27-inch IPS panel that's framed by thin bezels on all four sides. It's rated for 300 nits of brightness and includes both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, along with integrated speakers. It's currently priced at a reasonable $240 but can often be found for $220.

Newegg

You can save $60 on this 27-inch Pixio monitor that delivers a QHD resolution along with AMD FreeSync and a speedy 144Hz refresh rate and 1-millisecond response time if you want to use it for gaming in addition to work. It supplies an HDMI 1.4 port, an HDMI 2.0 port and a DisplayPort 1.2 connection and is rated for 400 nits of brightness.

Lenovo

The highlight of this discounted model from Lenovo is its USB 3.2 Type-C port, which means you can connect a MacBook and other laptops with a USB-C port (but not HDMI) to the monitor without an adapter or special conversion cable.  It also supplies HDMI and DisplayPort connections and is an IPS panel rated for 350 nits of brightness.

Viewsonic

Like the above Lenovo unit, this ViewSonic model features a Type-C port for easy, dongle-free connections along HDMI and DisplayPort inputs. Rated at 300 nits, this IPS panel isn't quite as bright as the Lenovo but includes AMD FreeSync for smooth, tear-free gaming should you want to dabble in such things when the workday is done.

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Originally published last year. Updated with the lastest deals.