Top 8 Best Monitors for CAD in 2020 – Reviews and Comparison

By | May 5, 2020

If your work involves using computer-aided design (CAD) software, there are important factors that you should look for in a monitor. One of these is the color accuracy, and it determines how precisely a monitor can display colors from images.

Another aspect you should account for is pixel resolution. The higher the resolution of the monitor, the more your CAD designs will stand out visually. The minimum you should be willing to accept in this sector is a 1440p monitor, which delivers 2,560 x 1,440 pixels.

It’s also important that the monitor is capable of handling the demands of heavy-duty software like CAD. As such, it should have a fairly decent response time, refresh rate, and support different operating systems.

That said, we’ve compiled a list of the best monitors for CAD. These products strike a good balance between performance and resolution, making them suitable for CAD use.

1. BenQ PD2700Q 27 inch 1440p IPS Monitor

The BenQ PD2700Q is one of our favorite monitors for running CAD programs for several reasons. It offers a varied selection of image presets and uses in-plane-switching (IPS) technology.

BenQ PD2700Q 27 inch 1440p IPS Monitor

BenQ PD2700Q 27 inch 1440p IPS Monitor

Features

  • 27-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Aspect ratio of 16:9 with a maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2
  • Refresh rate 60 Hz
  • Color gamut 100% sRGB and 100% Rec.709
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
  • Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, mini DisplayPort and USB 2.0

Review

Quad high definition (QHD) resolution is one feature that makes the PD2700Q particularly suited for operating computer-aided-design software. Specified as 2560 x 1440 pixels, this allows you to enjoy color-accurate and sharp pictures.

And thanks to the IPS panel, you’re able to view these images from reasonable viewing angles without the font and icon sizes being shrunk excessively. To be more specific, its viewing angle stands at 178° in both vertical and horizontal planes. Also important to point out is that this monitor’s aspect ratio is 16:9. While this is not as big as 21:9, it still gives you enough room to view a large portion of the design you’re creating.

What’s more, this monitor supports 100% sRGB and Rec. 709 color gamuts. This means that colors are shown identically on different devices. Essentially, if you wanted to print or view a CAD design from an external source, you wouldn’t have to worry about any disparity in image color.

Another thing we like about BenQ PD2700Q is that it has preset modes including one for CAD applications. The CAD/CAM mode delivers higher imager contrast on 3D lines; hence, making it easier to distinguish details in sophisticated object wireframes.

2. Philips 276E8VJSB 27" 4K Ultra HD Monitor

If you want razor-sharp picture quality, a 4K resolution monitor like Philips 276E8VJSB is a superb choice. Interestingly, this monitor is fairly-priced and it’s backed by a 4-year advance replacement warranty.

Philips 276E8VJSB 27" 4K Ultra HD Monitor

Philips 276E8VJSB 27" 4K Ultra HD Monitor

Features

  • 27-inch display with 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) resolution
  • Refresh rate 60 Hz and 5 ms response time
  • IPS panel with aspect ratio 16:9
  • Maximum brightness 350 cd/m²
  • Connectivity includes DisplayPort 1.2, 2 HDMI 2.0
  • Supports screen tilt adjustment: range -5/+20°
  • Includes 4-year replacement warranty

Review

The key highlight of the 276E8VJSB is that it offers 4K resolution. This means that you’ll be able to view images with excellent detail and clarity, which is crucial when you’re designing and drafting parts and structures using CAD.

The monitor’s capability to display images in 10-bit color depth is another feature you’ll love. What this means is that it can display up to 1.07 billion color combinations, making it superior to an 8-bit panel which has a much smaller color palette (16.7 million colors).

Furthermore, the 276E8VJSB uses IPS technology, providing ultra-wide viewing angles. Like BenQ PD2700Q, this one delivers an optimal viewing angle of 178 degrees (both vertically and horizontally) without compromising on color accuracy or consistency.

Philips MultiView technology is another feature that will come in handy for CAD users. This is designed to display content on side-by-side screens, meaning you can view twice as much of your drawing at any one time. You could even use one portion of the screen to display your design work and the other to display commands and text screens.

3. BenQ BL2420PT 24 inch QHD 1440p IPS Monitor

Not everyone has enough space on their CAD workstations to put up a 32-inch monitor. If you’re limited on space, the small-sized 24-inch BL2420 by BenQ is just what you need.

BenQ BL2420PT 24 inch QHD 1440p IPS Monitor

BenQ BL2420PT 24 inch QHD 1440p IPS Monitor

Features

  • 24-inch IPS monitor with QHD resolution
  • Preset picture modes including CAD/CAM mode
  • Height-adjustable stand
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
  • Aspect ratio 16: 9 and maximum brightness 300 cd/m2
  • Color gamut 100% sRGB/ Rec.709 and 8-bit color support
  • Inputs include DisplayPort 1.2, VGA DVI-D and HDMI 1.4
  • 5 ms response time and 60 Hz refresh rate

Review

Despite being just 24 inches in size, this monitor offers an array of features that will benefit CAD users. First off, it has QHD/ 2K resolution, which is simply 2560x1440 pixels. For its size, this is a pretty decent resolution and it delivers fairly sharp images with clear details.

Also, this monitor comes equipped with IPS technology. Factor in the 100% coverage of sRGB and Rec.709 color spectrums, and you have a monitor that allows you to view color-accurate images from any angle. Plus, you can always adjust the screen’s position to create a more ergonomic setup. Tilt it up or down, swivel to the left or right, pivot by 90° or adjust its height.

We also like that the BenQ BL2420PT offers a wide selection of ports. With DVI, VGA, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort inputs, you can easily connect other devices in case you want to transfer or store your CAD files. There are a headphone jack and an in-line jack for connecting the two 1-watt speakers.

4. BenQ PD3200U 32 inch, 4K UHD Monitor

For a CAD user, a bigger monitor is always better. A large monitor like the PD3200U allows you to see more image content at once. This, in turn, gives you a deeper insight into the present state of your design project.

BenQ PD3200U 32 inch, 4K UHD Monitor

BenQ PD3200U 32 inch, 4K UHD Monitor

Features

  • 32-inch IPS panel with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution
  • Maximum brightness 350 cd/m2 and aspect ratio 16:9
  • Refresh rate 60 Hz and 4 ms response time
  • Supports 100% sRGB/ Rec.709
  • DualView technology with preset CAD/CAM mode
  • Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) Switch function
  • Connection options are: HDMI, USB 3.0, DisplayPort and mini DisplayPort

Review

The large 32-inch display of the BenQ PD3200U isn’t the only feature that makes it suitable for CAD. This monitor also boasts ultra-sharp image quality, thanks to its 4K resolution. Thus, you don’t have to squint at small texts, pictures, or minuscule icons.

Better yet, the monitor is designed to offer an ergonomic view of your content. Unlike most monitors that only have tilt adjustments, the stand of the PD3200U offers greater customization. You can tilt, adjust its height, or rotate it to portrait mode for a better viewing experience.

On the same note, this monitor is equipped with BenQ’s DualView technology. This feature helps you display two files side-by-side; hence, giving you a better view of how you’re progressing with the creation of your design. Also, you can display the two types of content in different preset modes- one can be in CAD mode and the other in Animation mode.

5. Dell U-Series 38" Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3818DW)

Want to increase your productivity with a dual-monitor setup without having to purchase two different monitors? Consider investing in an ultra-wide monitor like the 38-inch U3818DW by Dell. Whether you’re creating a 3D or 2D model, a bigger screen gives you a larger surface area to work with.

Dell U-Series 38" Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3818DW)

Dell U-Series 38" Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3818DW)

Features

  • 38-inch curved display with 21:9 aspect ratio
  • Maximum display resolution is 3840 x 1600 pixels at 60 Hz
  • Brightness 350 cd/m2 and 8-bit depth
  • Color gamut 99% sRGB/ Rec.709, 78.1% for DCI-P3
  • Response time 8 ms (in normal mode) and 5 ms (in fast mode)
  • Height, tilt and swivel adjustments
  • Connection options include 2 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, USB 3.0 hub

Review

One of the things that set this giant monitor apart is its curved display. The benefit of this is that it provides a more immersive viewing experience than if you were using a flat panel. If you use your monitor for long hours at a time, this feature is particularly handy as it minimizes glare and reflections.

Given that you’re investing in an ultra-wide monitor, it must provide a high resolution as well. Luckily, Dell U3818DW doesn’t disappoint with Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD). It’s not as good as that of 4K resolutions but it’s plenty enough to show your CAD images clearly.

Besides, the manufacturer more than makes up for the resolution by offering excellent color reproduction and viewing angles. With a 99% coverage of sRGB and Rec.709 spectrums and 78.1% of DCI-P3, this monitor displays images with optimal color accuracy.

6. Samsung 28-Inch UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor

When purchasing a monitor to use for CAD, you want one that provides the sharpest images possible. This capability partly depends on its response time, which determines just how efficiently it can switch between colors. In that regard, the Samsung UE570, with an ultra-fast response time of 1 millisecond, is one of the best monitors for CAD applications.

Samsung 28-Inch UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor

Samsung 28-Inch UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor

Features

  • 28-inch display with 4K resolution
  • TN display technology with a maximum brightness of 370 cd/m2
  • 1 billion color support
  • Connectivity: 2 HDMI 2.0 and 1 DisplayPort
  • 1 ms response time and refresh rate of 60 Hz
  • Split-screen function
  • Tilt adjustment range -2° to +15°

Review

At 28 inches, the Samsung UE570 is perfectly-sized for a CAD workstation. It’s not too big that it takes up too much space, neither is it too small that you struggle to see the content.

But where this monitor shines is the 4K resolution. If your primary concern when purchasing a CAD monitor is resolution, this model’s 3840 x 2160 pixel is the best. Essentially, this translates to pictures that are bigger, better, and sharper.

The cherry on the cake is the monitor’s capability to support a billion shades of color. This means that not only are the pictures clearer but also vivid and realistic thanks to the improved color accuracy. This is a very welcome feature when you’re dealing with visual-intensive programs like CAD.

The only drawback is that the UE570 has a twisted nematic (TN) display. Now, although this does not offer the best viewing experience - as you’d expect from an IPS display- it’s decent enough for design work. Its horizontal and vertical viewing angles are rated at 170° and 160° respectively. As such, you’ll still be able to view your designs even when you’re observing from the side.

7. LG 29WK600-W 29" UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor

If you’re looking to invest in an ultra-wide monitor that will offer a seamless working experience, the LG 29WK600 is your best bet. The 21:9 aspect ratio means the screen doesn’t display the black bars at the top and bottom; hence providing more room to view your design.

LG 29WK600-W 29" UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor

LG 29WK600-W 29" UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor

Features

  • 29-inch display with an aspect ratio of 21:9
  • Full HD resolution and a maximum brightness of 300 cd/m2
  • IPS display technology
  • 99% coverage of sRGB color space
  • Response time 5 ms and 75 Hz refresh rate
  • Screen split function
  • Tilt-adjustable
  • Connectivity is through 2 HDMI 2.0 and 1 DisplayPort

Review

As we mentioned earlier, the picture quality is an integral factor to consider when buying a monitor for CAD. Fortunately, this monitor delivers high-quality images thanks to its Full HD resolution which is specified as 2560 x 1080 pixels.

The fact that it’s HDR 10 compatible is another factor that makes the LG 29WK600 suitable for CAD. High dynamic range (HDR) refers to the variation between the lightest and darkest tones in an image. Superior to a standard dynamic range (SDR) monitor, an HDR screen enables you to see images with more details and with a wider range of colors.

Like most of the monitors we’ve reviewed, this one also has an IPS display. Thus, you’ll have a pretty good view of your CAD designs. To improve your viewing experience further, you can adjust the stand’s tilt angle to 5° backward or 15° forward. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the screen split function that lets you display two sources of content simultaneously.

8. Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX 27-Inch IPS Monitor

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX is a 27-inch monitor with a sturdy build, sharp resolution, and ergonomic viewing experience. This makes it ideal not just for CAD applications but also for everyday use.

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX 27-Inch IPS Monitor

Dell Ultrasharp U2719DX 27-Inch IPS Monitor

Features

  • 27-inch display with QHD resolution
  • Razor-thin bezel display with 99% sRGB coverage
  • 8-bit color depth with a maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2
  • 5 ms response time and refresh rate 60 Hz
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty
  • In-plane-switching technology
  • Inputs are 1 DisplayPort 1.4, 1 HDMI 1.4, 2 USB
  • Height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments

Review

At first glance, you’ll notice the stylish, ultra-slim design of the U2719DX screen. Achieved using Dell’s InfinityEdge technology, the monitor eliminates typical menu control buttons and additional distractors which would otherwise be stuck on the frame. This way, you can focus better on your design work and enjoy a more interactive feel viewing the content.

The 2560 x 1440 pixel-resolution is another impressive feature of this monitor. It displays images in QHD, which is up to 1.77 times better than full HD resolution. Furthermore, the monitor provides 99% of the sRGB color spectrum. As such, images are displayed in vibrant and accurate colors; thus, helping you get the most out of your CAD software.

The Ultrasharp U2719DX uses an IPS display for a bright and evenly-lit performance. You can view your designs and other content from any angle, without any loss of brightness or color accuracy.

Besides, this monitor has one of the most customizable stands to enhance your viewing experience. You can pivot, swivel, tilt, or adjust your monitor’s height to achieve a more comfortable setup.

Wrap Up

If you’ll be embarking on any CAD design work, purchasing top-rated monitors such as the ones in our review is a fantastic investment. These displays offer better resolution, precise color accuracy, and can comfortably handle the demands of this software.

Resources & References

1. BenQ PD2700Q 27 inch 1440p IPS Monitor
2. Philips 276E8VJSB 27" 4K Ultra HD Monitor
3. BenQ BL2420PT 24 inch QHD 1440p IPS Monitor
4. BenQ PD3200U 32 inch, 4K UHD Monitor
5. Dell U-Series 38" Screen LED-Lit Monitor (U3818DW)
6. Samsung 28-Inch UE570 UHD 4K Gaming Monitor
7. LG 29WK600-W 29" UltraWide 21:9 IPS Monitor

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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