I've got to admit, these Cyber Monday OLED TV deals make OLED gaming monitors look painfully overpriced

Cyber Monday monitor deal banner, with two montiors displayed.
(Image credit: Samsung, LG)

The old TV-as-PC-monitor thing used to come with a whole hill of compromises. These days, any self-respecting TV does 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh, low latency, the works. Which makes it all the harder to ignore some of the best Cyber Monday deals on OLED TVs right now. One thing's for sure, they make OLED PC monitors seem hideously overpriced.

How so? Well, you can have the 42-inch version of the C3 OLED set, complete with LG's brightness boosting Evo panel tech, for just $897 from B&H Photo. That's the real 4K deal for not a lot more than you have to pay for 1440p 27-inch and 34-inch OLED monitors.

Of course, there are plenty of options if you want to go bigger. The 48-inch LG C3 Evo is yours for $1,047. Still not enough? The 55-inch LG C3 is $1,297 and the 65-inch is currently on sale at $1,597

Incidentally, you can get the lower-spec LG B3 65-inch for just $1,297 on Amazon right now. But the B3 isn't as bright as the C3 and even the C3 can struggle in that regard, so we'd stick with the C3 models.

1. LG C3 OLED | 42-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,296.99$896.99 at B&H (save $400)

1. LG C3 OLED | 42-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,296.99 $896.99 at B&H (save $400)
LG makes some mean TVs, but they're actually pretty excellent for gaming on, too. Not only do you get the benefits of the awesome OLED panel technology (incredible contrast and rich colours) but it'll run up to 120Hz and supports HDMI 2.1 for all your gaming needs. This smaller panel is more of a size we like for a smaller space, though it's still a bit large for a desktop.

Price check: LG $899.99

2. LG C3 OLED | 48-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,396.99$1,046.99 at B&H (save $350)

2. LG C3 OLED | 48-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,396.99 $1,046.99 at B&H (save $350)
This slightly larger C3 OLED is once again a bit too big for the desktop but would work great in a smaller living room space where you're sat closer to the TV.

Price check: LG $1,049.98

3. LG C3 OLED | 55-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,796.99$1,296.99 at B&H (save $500)

3. LG C3 OLED | 55-inch | 4K | Smart TV | 120Hz | $1,796.99 $1,296.99 at B&H (save $500)
Another step up to 55 inches nets you an even bigger $500 savings. At this size, we're getting beyond plausible desktop monitor usage. But this is a huge amount of screen for the money for a living room PC for gaming and movies. 

Price check: Amazon $1,296.99

4. Samsung S90C | 55-inch | 4K | OLED | 120Hz | $1,897.99$1,297.99 at Amazon (save $600)

4. Samsung S90C | 55-inch | 4K | OLED | 120Hz | $1,897.99 $1,297.99 at Amazon (save $600)
For PC usage, we tend to prefer Samsung's QD-OLED panels to LG's W-OLED thanks to the former's superior full screen brightness. This is a 55-inch model, runs at 120Hz and is about as bright an OLED as you're going to find at this price point.

Price check: $1,299.99 at Best Buy

There's a big step up to $2,497 for the 77-inch LG C3 and $3,997 for the 83-inch, so it's a clear case of diminishing returns on those larger models.

So, let's stick with the 42-inch to 55-inch LG C3 models. What are the downsides versus an actual monitor. Surprisingly few, actually. The most obvious drawback is also their main attraction, size.

Even a 42-inch panel is a big old lump for any desk, so the ergonomics are a bit iffy. That problem only escalates as you step up through 48-inch and then 55-inch. Then there's the related issue of pixel density.

4K sounds great. But stretched over a 55-inch panel, that makes for a pixel density of just 80 pixels per inch. That's significantly lower than, say, a 27-inch 1440p panel, which clocks in at 109 pixel per inch.

So, sitting at normal monitor viewing distances, the net result is big, chonky pixels, slightly blocky text and a reduction in image clarity and sharpness versus any conventional monitor. A 42-inch 4K OLED TV isn't as bad in that regard and has similar pixel density to a 1440p 27-incher.

Of course, you can simply sit further away from the screen, which is essentially how large TVs are intended to be used. But you're not really going to be sitting 10 feet from your monitor as you browse the web, are you?

So, the larger you go, the more these TVs make sense for living room PCs as opposed to desktop rigs. But the two smaller options here very plausible as straight up monitors and offer absolutely stellar value compared to out-and-out PC monitors with OLED panels, like LG's own 27-inch 1440p UltraGear 27GR95QE-B, which will set you back $780 on Amazon right now.

The other issue is full-screen brightness. LG quotes peak brightness of well over 1,000 nits for these C3 TVs. But that only applies to very small objects covering a small single-digit percentage of the panel. Full screen brightness is actually around 200 nits and you really notice that limitation in day-to-day computing.

Again, as a living room PC, the full screen brightness thing is less of an issue. But you'll notice it if using one of these OLED panels as a daily driver monitor.

On that note, you could also opt for the 55-inch Samsung S90C for $1,298 at Amazon. We tend to find Samsung's QD-OLED tech is that little bit better for full screen brightness. Sadly, Samsung doesn't go smaller than 55 inches for the S90C.

All of which means these OLED TVs are still epic value. You just need to go in with your eyes literally wide open. They do come with some drawbacks. As long as you are aware of them, we think that especially the smaller sets can make really fantastic gaming monitors.

Jeremy Laird
Hardware writer

Jeremy has been writing about technology and PCs since the 90nm Netburst era (Google it!) and enjoys nothing more than a serious dissertation on the finer points of monitor input lag and overshoot followed by a forensic examination of advanced lithography. Or maybe he just likes machines that go “ping!” He also has a thing for tennis and cars.