As a general rule of thumb, if you want more pixels, you’ll need to fork out more cash. Bucking that trend back in November 2018, in the halcyon days when leaving the house was a viable option, was the AOC U2879VF – a monitor that Katharine rather liked when she reviewed it at £273. Now it’s down to £190, which makes it a stone-cold bargain if you’re in the market for a new panel and don’t want to spend a huge amount of money.
There are, inevitably, some downsides to buying a 4K monitor at this price. It has a fixed stand for a start, so you may have to prop it up on some books if you’re particularly tall, and the colour accuracy of its TN panel is decent, but not outstanding.
It also only has a 60Hz refresh rate, so you won’t be pushing super high frame rates – although if you plan to do any gaming in 4K that was already wishful thinking. Still, at least you get AMD FreeSync support if you happen to have an AMD-flavoured graphics card in your PC. Alas, Katharine tested this long before Nvidia introduced their G-Sync Compatible driver, so it’s hard to say whether Nvidia graphics card owners will be able to make much use of its variable refresh rate tech (although given the screen’s capped at 60Hz anyway, it shouldn’t really be much of a problem either way).
There’s also a question as to whether 4K is practical on a screen of this size: plenty of people will tell you that you’ll need a far bigger panel than this to see the difference over a 1440p display, but at this price you might as well grab all the pixels you can take.
The real question is whether you can do better for this kind of budget, and for that you may want to turn your attention to the BenQ EL2870U which offers similar specs with the added bonus of better colour accuracy and (so-so) HDR support. It’s currently £35 more over at Ebuyer.
If you’re still in the research phase, it’s probably worth having a read of our best gaming monitor round up for tips on what you should look for and the best panels around for your budget. Meanwhile, if you’re after a different kind of screen, have a read of our regularly updated gaming monitor deals page to see what else is knocking around.