In short, the best resolution for a 27 inch monitor is generally 4K (3840×2160), but this does depend on how you are using your monitor, as discussed below.
If you want a 27-inch monitor, you should take advantage of the extra real estate with at least a QHD screen, with 4K monitors also being a strong choice.
Choosing the right screen size and resolution can make the difference between a comfortable set up and one you dread using.
A good general rule is whether you’re editing photos or videos, playing high-end games or just using productivity software you want as large a screen as you can fit.
Why Choose a 27-inch Monitor?
A 27-inch monitor is relatively large, but not so big that it will overwhelm the average desk setup or make things unbalanced.
It also offers a good balance between the largest, most expensive monitors and smaller, cheaper ones.
The extra screen space makes the size an excellent choice for a gaming PC or console, for photo and video editing and for general office use. Before going through what resolutions are best for each task, though, there are other things to consider.
Viewing Distance For a 27-inch Monitor
How far you’re sitting from the display has a big impact on what the image looks like and how much detail you’re able to make out. In general, the closer you are, the more detail you can see.
If you sit between 43 cm and 52 cm (1.4 feet to 1.7 feet) from the monitor, you’re best off going with a 4K monitor, offering a resolution of 3840×2160.
If you sit between 53 cm and 80 cm (1.7 feet to 2.6 feet) from the monitor, a QHD monitor, with a resolution of 2560×1440, is a good choice.
If you sit between 80 cm and about a meter (2.6 feet to 3.4 feet) from the monitor, you’re probably safe with a Full HD monitor that has a resolution of 1920×1080.
Although the usage of a monitor is important, viewing distance is the most important characteristic when determining the ideal resolution. Therefore, you should ideally use the above information to choose your resolution, bearing in mind the additional considerations below.
Pixel Density For a 27-inch Monitor
One of the main considerations when picking a monitor is pixel density. That measurement, given in pixels per inch, gives you a rough idea of how high resolution a display is.
In general, displays with higher pixel density offer sharper, more detailed, more realistic images. That’s preferable when editing photos and videos but also important for video games and even for reading documents.
Pixel density can change a lot depending on resolution. A Full HD 27-inch monitor has a pixel density of 81 pixels per inch, while that rises to 108 pixels per inch for a QHD display.
A 4K UHD display has a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch, twice that of the Full HD monitor.
Photo Editing Considerations For a 27-inch Monitor
For photo editing, you really want a 4K UHD monitor, with a resolution of 3840×2160. That offers you the most pixel density and will give better apparent sharpness when editing.
You also need to consider the color gamut of the monitor, which refers to the colors the display is capable of showing. Higher-quality displays can show more colors.
If you’re a serious artist you should consider a monitor that covers the Adobe RGB color gamut. That will ensure better color reproduction if you print your images.
Gaming Considerations For a 27-inch Monitor
If you take gaming seriously, you need to look at more than just the size and resolution when picking a monitor.
Another key metric is refresh rate. That’s the maximum number of images a display can show in a second, and is measured in hertz, written Hz.
If you try to play a game at a faster frame rate than your screen can handle, you might get tearing. For gaming, look for a monitor with a refresh rate faster than 60hz. These refresh rates used to be more common on QHD monitors, but are now widely found on 27-inch monitors that also support 4K resolution, making these a better choice.
Productivity Considerations For a 27-inch Monitor
If you mostly plan to use the monitor for office work, make your choice based on resolution and the distance you sit from the monitor.
Having more screen space makes it possible to read more on screen at a time.