What are the features that make for the best VA monitors? Before anything else, your VA monitor should offer high static contrast ratios so you get the best when it comes to the difference between dark and light colors on your display. The best options offer static contrast ratios up to 3,000:1. If you’re new to the topic of monitor panels, consider reading one of our panel type guides. If you’re an avid gamer, we highly recommend reading about the best panel type for gaming too.
Next, it’s important to understand that VA panels can be used in a wide variety of different applications and many different types of monitors. As such, the next most important consideration to make is finding a monitor that fits your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for gaming monitors or home office monitors, a VA monitor can usually provide the right feature set for you.
Finally, the best VA monitors provide excellent image quality. This factor takes into account your monitor’s screen resolution, color gamut, and maximum brightness levels. Where possible, you should always aim to get the best image quality possible, but this can change based on your budget and desk space.
Keep reading to learn more about the best VA monitors and the features that set them apart from other panel types and top-rated monitors available on the market today. This way, you’ll be able to make the most informed decision for your computer display needs.
Top VA Monitors
#1 Acer KB272HL 27-inch Full HD VA Monitor
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display is an excellent all-around alternative that works well for gaming, office work, or multimedia use. Its thin bezels make it look great, and its eye care features prevent eye irritation over long-term use.
- Rapid response time
- Good viewing angles
- Thin bezels offer a great design
- No support for HDR content
- Poor ergonomics
The ACER KB272HL is a 27-inch Full HD display that comes with a 4ms response time for quick reactiveness when gaming and Asus Vision Care technology to prevent any eye irritation over long-term use. The display has a 75Hz refresh rate and a VA panel for good monitor viewing angles. It’s got an HDMI and VGA port for decent connectivity options and a zero frame design for an edge-to-edge display. However, the monitor’s stand is not easily adjustable, and it does not support HDR content, which you can get out of an HDR monitor.
Gamers will appreciate the fact that the display comes with AMD Radeon FreeSync technology, as this prevents any instances of screen tearing during gameplay. Its 75Hz refresh rate may not be the highest, but it does well to ensure that there’s little motion blur. The VA monitor is well suited for use in brightly lit settings and flickers less for a more comfortable viewing experience. While these features are great, does it beat out the leading Philips monitors? We’ll let you decide.
#2 LG 32UL500-W 32-inch UHD VA Monitor
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display is excellent for color-critical work, as well as streaming multimedia content, thanks to a wide color gamut and support for High Dynamic Range.
- Excellent picture quality
- Great viewing angles
- Rapid response time
- Poor ergonomics
The LG 32UL500-W is a 32-inch display with excellent picture quality thanks to a UHD resolution. It has fantastic viewing angles and can render HDR content. This best 32 monitor covers up to 95% of the DCI-P3 color space for rich color reproduction, and since it is AMD FreeSync compatible, gamers will be able to avoid screen stuttering. Unfortunately, its stand is not height adjustable.
The 32-inch display also features Dynamic Action Sync for in-game enhancements that offer optimized performance, as well as a port selection that allows for two HDMI inputs, one DisplayPort connection, and an Audio In/Out. It has a 4ms response time for excellent responsiveness when gaming and is energy-star certified for low power consumption. If more options in this size range that are well-suited for gamers, consider checking out the best 32 gaming monitor too.
#3 GTEK 27-inch Curved Frameless Gaming Monitor
Award: BEST FOR ALL-AROUND USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display has various inputs to offer enhanced connectivity options. It is also great for gaming and supports HDR content for rich color when streaming content.
- Great port selection
- Support for HDR content
- High refresh rate
- Mediocre brightness
GTEK launched this 27-inch curved display back in 2021 as an ideal pick for gamers who would enjoy an immersive field of view, as well as a rapid 1ms response time to eliminate ghosting and allow for quick responsiveness when gaming. The display also boasts a 240Hz refresh rate that delivers butter-smooth visuals during fast action scenes and AMD FreeSync technology to keep screen stuttering at bay. Its top and side bezels are very thin to allow for a multi-screen setup, however, some might find its brightness pretty mediocre.
Nonetheless, the display offers a wide range of connectivity options to use. On its rear, users will find an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, two USB ports, a Type-B and a Type-C port, as well as an Audio Out port for private listening. The display also has support for HDR content, making it an ideal option for users that want to enjoy vivid color with their content. Picture quality is also great courtesy of its 1080p Full HD resolution, and since it is VESA compatible, users will have a very easy time wall-mounting it.
#4 AOC CQ27G2 Curved 27-inch Gaming Monitor
Award: BEST FOR HDR CONTENT
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display is an excellent choice for users who prioritize rich visuals and has a stand that is very easily adjustable. It’s got a high refresh rate and a curved display for an immersive viewing experience.
- Excellent color reproduction
- Rapid response time
- High refresh rate
- Poor viewing angles
The AOC CQ27G2 is a 27-inch frameless display with a 1500R curvature to offer an immersive viewing experience. Picture quality is also excellent thanks to its QHD resolution, and with a rapid 1ms response time, gamers will enjoy the quick responsiveness that the monitor offers. The display also has a 144Hz refresh rate for smooth motion handling and a fully adjustable stand to guarantee comfortable viewing. However, its poor viewing angles may make it difficult for some to consider.
Despite that, the display boasts excellent color reproduction thanks to a color gamut area coverage of up to 120% of the sRGB color space. The display also has FlickerFree and Low Blue Light technology for easy viewing and a height, tilt, and swivel stand. It has no stuttering thanks to AMD FreeSync Premium Technology, and its three-sided frameless design makes it ideal for a multi-screen setup. Check out our guide for a more in-depth curved monitor review of the best-curved models.
#5 HP V222vb Full HD Monitor
Award: BEST FOR CASUAL GAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display has a sleek, frameless design and excellent color reproduction for immersive visuals. It has wide viewing angles and technology to prevent eye irritation over long-term use.
- Excellent contrast
- Wide viewing angles
- VESA mounting compatible
- No support for HDR content
The HP V222VB is a Full HD monitor that has a decent 21.5-inch display that has an excellent 3000:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks and a 75Hz refresh rate for rapid motion control. Being a VA panel, the display offers great viewing angles and good enough color for users to enjoy an immersive color experience when watching movies or gaming. However, its lack of support for HDR content may set back some users.
To keep users safe from any kind of eye irritation they may encounter when gaming or streaming, the HP V222VB comes with a Low Blue Light mode that eliminates harmful blue light and allows for marathon gaming sessions. The display also includes two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort and is VESA compatible for easy wall mounting
#6 Viotek GNV30CXBA 30-inch Ultrawide Gaming Monitor
Award: BEST FOR COMPETITIVE GAMING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This display comes heavily optimized for professional gamers, and it has a great contrast to deliver deep blacks. Its color reproduction is excellent, and its stand is very easy to adjust.
- Excellent contrast ratio for deep blacks
- High refresh rate
- Good peak brightness
- No support for HDR content
The Viotek GNV30CBXA is a 30-inch ultrawide gaming monitor that is curved for an immersive viewing experience. It has a super-wide 21:9 aspect ratio and excellent color courtesy of its 112% color gamut coverage of the sRGB color scale. The display is also both FreeSync and G-Sync ready, so gamers that have either type of gaming GPU will not be limited at all. The display also boasts a 3000:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks and a rapid 200Hz refresh rate for excellent motion handling. However, its lack of HDR support may put back some users.
The display’s stand allows for height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustability, giving it excellent ergonomics. Gamers will appreciate its 5ms response time since it’ll allow for super quick responsiveness, and with a peak brightness that averages about 300 nits, the display is sure to remain visible even in a brightly lit setting.
Beginner’s Guide to VA Monitors
What Are VA Monitors?
At its core, a VA monitor is simply an extended display that connects to your computer or laptop to show you what you’re doing while operating your computer. If you have a desktop computer, you can use a VA monitor as your main display or as a second monitor.
Your VA monitor will typically feature a variety of connection ports, from HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1, VGA, DisplayPort, and USB-C. These connection ports are what allow you to connect directly to your computer.
VA Monitors vs. Traditional Monitors
When it comes to a comparison between VA monitors and traditional computer displays, it’s important to first understand that they both feature the same core functionality. As stated above, both monitors are made solely to display data, images, and information from your computer.
Where VA monitors differ from traditional monitors is in the fact that they use a different panel type than other monitors. When it comes to different monitor panel types, there are three main options from which to choose: VA, IPS, and TN.
We’ll discuss these different panel types in the following section.
How VA Monitors Work
At the basest level, a VA monitor works simply by connecting to your computer via a display cable. Once connected both to power and to your computer, the monitor will turn on and show you everything you’re doing while working on your computer.
All VA monitors are LCD monitors, which stands for liquid crystal display. An LCD monitor is made up of two panels with a liquid crystal material in between them. Once the monitor’s backlight is turned on, the liquid crystals react and arrange to display the data from your computer.
A VA monitor is one of three different monitor panel technologies. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the three:
- VA panel: VA stands for Vertical Alignment, which refers to the way the liquid crystals arrange themselves once activated by an electric current. VA panels make for excellent mid-range displays. They offer wide viewing angles and excellent color accuracy. In the lower and middle price range, you’ll typically get slower response times, especially when compared to other panel technologies.
- IPS panel: IPS stands for in-plane switching, which refers to the fact that the liquid crystals constantly shift their patterns. This results in wider viewing angles, amazing color accuracy, and fast response times.
- TN panel: TN stands for Twisted Nematic, which refers to the fact that the configuration of the liquid crystals twists light as it passes through the monitor. TN panels are extremely affordable with a fast response time. However, they offer a narrow viewing angle and less accurate color reproduction.
Do You Really Need a VA Monitor?
With their wide viewing angles, great color accuracy, and good response time, VA monitors are excellent all-around displays. They work well in a wide variety of scenarios, including gaming and professional work.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a person or scenario for which a VA panel will not work. If you want to keep costs manageable while still getting a solid product, then a VA monitor is an excellent choice. If money is abundant and you want a wider viewing angle you can also go for the best triple monitors for sim racing.
Is a VA Monitor Worth Buying?
- You Want a Well-Rounded Computer Display: The biggest selling point of a VA display is the fact that it can do a lot of things on the monitor without spending a ton of money on it. With good image quality and wide viewing angles, your VA monitor should be able to do anything you need without many drawbacks.
- You Play Video Games Casually: If you’re a casual gamer, a VA panel is an excellent choice. You’ll get an immersive gaming experience thanks to the panel’s vibrant colors and solid refresh rate. While the slower response times can prohibit you from competitive gaming, they still work well for casual video games.
- You’re a Creative Professional: With their wide viewing angles, wide color gamut, and decent brightness levels, VA monitors are good for creative professionals. Plus, with higher static contrast ratios, these monitors give you deeper blacks.
Why a VA Monitor May Not Be For You
- You Are a Competitive Gamer: If you’re into competitive gaming, then a VA panel might not be the best for you. This is because they tend to offer slower response times overall. Slower response times can result in more motion blur and ghosting, which can be detrimental to competitive games.
How Long Will a VA Monitor Last?
VA monitors are a type of LCD panel, which last anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 hours, according to leading experts like TechiExpert. If you were to use your monitor for an average of eight hours a day, this would mean most monitors would last you around 10 years.
Unlike touch-sensitive monitors, which don’t last as long as a standard monitor. So you must ask yourself, is a touch screen monitor worth it in the end? If you think they are, check out our list of the top-rated touch screen monitors you can get now.
You can prolong the life of your monitor by treating it right and keeping it clean and dust-free. Also, you can decrease the life of your monitor by constantly using it at its peak brightness setting.
How to Choose the Best VA Monitor
As you start to research individual VA monitors to find the best fit for you, it’s important to go into the whole process with a solid idea of which features and specifications you need. When you’ve identified those things from the beginning, you’re better equipped to make the best decision for your needs.
VA Monitor Key Factors to Consider
Ask yourself the following questions to learn more about which features are the most important to find in the VA monitor you purchase.
1. How do you plan on using your VA monitor?
The first step you need to determine before purchasing a new VA monitor is to decide how exactly you’re planning on using it. The answer to this question can help you determine which features are most important:
- General Use: If you don’t have a specific need for a monitor other than general use with a casual home computer, then there aren’t many specific functionalities to keep an eye on. Most VA monitors will work for general use and you’ll ultimately need to just worry about purchasing an option in your budget that offers excellent picture quality.
- Business Use: If you plan on purchasing a VA monitor for your home office or professional work, then you need to be more careful about the features you consider. In this category, find a VA monitor with more connectivity options, features for eye strain prevention, and good color accuracy.
- Gaming Use: VA monitors may not be the best for competitive gaming, but they are certainly still good for most gamers. If you play games on your PC, look for a monitor that offers high screen resolution, a wide color gamut, high contrast ratio, and quick response times. You may also want to consider gaming-specific features like Nvidia G-Sync compatibility and flicker-free technology.
2. What level of image quality do you want on your VA monitor?
Image quality is one of the most important features for any monitor, including VA monitors. The following features are specific to image quality:
- Screen size: VA monitors come in a wide range of screen sizes. The screen size you purchase ultimately depends on your personal preferences. In general, if you have the budget and desk space, we recommend purchasing a larger screen size. However, the most common monitor screen size lies between 24 inches and 27 inches.
- Resolution: Screen resolution refers to the total number of pixels on your monitor. We recommend purchasing a monitor with at least a full HD resolution, or 1920×1080 pixels. If you have the budget for it, though, you should consider getting a 4K monitor, which offers a screen resolution of 3840×2160 pixels.
- Color accuracy: A monitor with excellent color accuracy offers a wide color gamut, which means it can reproduce a wide range of vibrant colors. Monitors with a wide color gamut can provide a more immersive experience overall.
- Brightness: Monitors with a wide range of brightness levels tend to be more versatile overall. While you don’t necessarily need a high peak brightness, you should look for a decent brightness range so you can set it to your own preferences.
- Eye care technology: If you’re planning on using your computer display regularly, you may want to consider an option with eye care technology. These monitors focus on reducing eye strain with flicker-free technology, blue light filters, and more.
3. What kind of gaming specifications do you want on your VA monitor?
If you’re looking at gaming monitors in the VA panel category, consider these specifications:
- Refresh rate: This specification refers to your monitor’s ability to refresh the display multiple times with a new image every second. Higher numbers are better in this category, but most VA panels will offer refresh rates in the 60HZ to 120Hz range.
- Input lag: This specification refers to your monitor’s ability to respond quickly to the inputs from your mouse and keyboard. Faster response times in the input lag category are better for competitive gamers.
- Adaptive sync compatibility: Features like Nvidia G-Sync compatibility and AMD FreeSync technology allow your monitor to sync its refresh rate to your computer’s graphics card. With these features, your monitor will prevent screen tearing and motion blur. You can go for the FreeSync monitors with G-Sync compatibility if you’d like a monitor that offers you seamless compatibility with your gaming monitor.
4. What connectivity options do you need on your VA monitor?
It’s important to consider what kind of connectivity ports your VA monitor provides, especially as they compare to the video output ports you have on your computer. The best connections include options like HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1, USB-C, and DisplayPort.
However, depending on your needs, you may also want to consider a monitor with USB ports, an audio jack, and VGA input.
5. What additional features do you need on your VA monitor?
Many VA monitors offer additional features like built-in speakers, USB ports for charging or connecting peripherals, and built-in webcams. These features aren’t required for normal computer usage, but they can increase overall user-friendliness.
You may also want to consider a monitor with a curved screen. These monitors typically offer a 21:9 aspect ratio with an ultrawide monitor configuration, so you can fit more content onto a single curved screen. If you’re purchasing a curved gaming monitor, you’ll get a more immersive gaming experience.