Best Budget Monitors

Best Budget Monitors

Finding the best budget monitors under $200 can be a pain. There are so many options on the market and you need to decide which will be the best for you and your needs. In this review I’d break down the top 15 cheap computer monitors based on the price vs performance and situations they will be used in.

15 Best Budget Monitors

best budget monitors

Today, there is no need to spend more than $500 in order to get a great 27-inch IPS display. Frankly speaking, $200 is enough. So, when you get a chance to buy a cheap monitor, pay attention to all variants. Usually, you start looking for a new display, when you need a professional gaming monitor, you are just at the beginning of your photography career or do the first steps in video editing. Perhaps, you rented the office and need a great number of qualitative monitors or just want to connect a bigger monitor to your laptop. So let’s figure out what our budget monitor market may offer.


1. BenQ GW2270

benq gw2279 budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $100
Size: 21.5 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920х1080p | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 60Hz: Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: 1 х DVA, 1 х VGA.

 
Pros+
  • Flicker-free technology
  • Perfect size and resolution ratio
  • Decent viewing angles
Cons-
  • No integrated dynamics
  • No HDMI port
 
 

Although it seems to be a limited option, BenQ GW2270 offers an ideal balance of simplicity and functionality. In general, the contrast levels are quite good for everyday use. This cheap computer monitor is a gaming one thanks to the quick response and perfect pixel density. Moreover, this model is a great variant to create a double screen at a reasonable price. If you don’t want to buy a large screen laptop and need a monitor for business, BenQ GW2770 is a great choice.


2. LG 27UK650-W

lg 27uk650-w budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $450
Size: 27 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3440x2160 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort.

 
Pros+
  • Great price-quality ratio
  • Perfect resolution and size for multitasking
  • Many functions, including FreeSync via HDMI
Cons-
  • Lacks HDR productivity
  • No built-in speakers
 
 

LG 27UK650-W is a great 27 inch IPS LCD monitor with HDR support. It offers a quick matrix response for games and good peak brightness. It has a great picture quality, wide view angles, and good resolution, which reflects every little detail. Although the monitor supports HDR technology, its performance is not very useful in this mode.

Look though my list of inexpensive laptops that you may buy together with this monitor for professional photo/video editing, work, study or gaming.
 

It is more suitable for medium-illuminated places since it perfectly copes with reflections and flares, which look gray in dark rooms. LG 27UK650 is the best budget 4K monitor featuring HDR technology. It is a great option for gamers and movie lovers.


3. ViewSonic VA2359-smh

viewsonic va2359-smh budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $120
Size: 23 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920х1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz: Response Time: 7ms | Inputs: 1 х HDMI, 1 х VGA.

 
Pros+
  • No screen frame
  • Suitable for games that require 1080 resolution
  • Good price with a 3-year warranty
Cons-
  • Rather slow response
  • Slightly blurred image
 
 

This monitor belongs to cheap computer monitors group and may be used as a gaming one. It has a display with IPS-panel for brighter colors. ViewSonic monitor response is equal to 5 ms, but it is fine for IPS monitors. ViewSonic is also suitable for games with 1080 resolution.

This monitor is recommended for Apple laptops’ owners who need high quality and long term work. Incredible colors and sound are guaranteed.
 

Thanks to flexible connectivity features, it may be easily connected to a laptop, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If you are a gamer with a small budget, it the best cheap gaming monitor for you.


4. LG 25UM58-P

lg 25um58-p budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $150
Size: 25 inches | Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2560х1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: 2 х HDMI.

 
Pros+
  • Great color reproduction
  • Split screen function and gaming mode
  • Good build quality and design
Cons-
  • Has HDMI ports only
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
 
 

LG 25UM58-P has a distinctive feature ‒ an ultra-wide IPS panel. It offers much space for work. The best thing about this monitor is its 99% sRGB coverage and game compatibility. In other words, you may use it for design, image retouching, and games. It offers two HDMI ports is and compatible with VESA attachment.

Check out my list of good laptops for graphic design. This guide will be very helpful if you work in the sphere of 3D modeling or digital design.
 

Moreover, this display belongs to best budget monitors thanks to its split screen and PIP mode function which help easily organize several windows. You will surely like this monitor because it offers ultra-wide panel, 2560х1080resolution, gaming functions, beautiful design, and decent build quality.


5. LG 29WK600

lg 29wk600 budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $230
Size: 29 inch | Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2560x1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 75Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4.

 
Pros+
  • Cheap ultra-wide monitor
  • Correct factory sRGB calibration
  • HDR10 support
Cons-
  • No height adjustment, only tilt
  • Inconvenient command buttons arrangement
 
 

If you are looking for the best budget monitor for video editing, LG 29WK600 will not disappoint you. Thanks to its reasonable price, this monitor is perfectly suitable for video editing as well as for multimedia, games. LG 29WK600 doesn’t provide exact and deep colors as more professional and expensive competitors offer. But it pays its way for such a price. Actually, it was calibrated at the factory and covers 99% of sRGB picture range. Screen Split allows dividing the screen into several parts to facilitate multitasking. It also offers two integrated MaxxAudio dynamics with a capacity of 5W.


6. Dell P2717H

dell p2717h budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $243
Size: 27 inch | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 6ms | Inputs: 1 x DP, 1 x HDMI, 1 х VGA.

 
Pros+
  • Original configuration for convenient viewing
  • Fully adjustable stand with thin frames
  • USB 3.0 speed concentrator
Cons-
  • Average image quality
  • Not suitable for gaming
 
 

This 27-inch monitor from Dell Professional line offers many functions for those users, who are interested primarily in work capabilities. Although it is not suitable for games due to 1920х1080 resolution and update frequency equal to 60 Hz. It is an ideal budget monitor for business and media sphere. If you are looking for vertical portrait orientation, you may apply the fully adjustable stand which provides the preferable view angel. Dell also features an integrated ComfortView technology, which filters excessive blue light in order to mute bright shades while looking on the monitor for a long period of time.


7. AOC Q2778VQE

aoc q2778vqe budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $250
Size: 27 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560х1440 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Inputs: 1 × DisplayPort, 1 х HDMI, 1 х VGA, 1 х DVI.

 
Pros+
  • Good contrast and brightness
  • Quick response
  • Wall mounting possibility
Cons-
  • Poor build quality
  • Bulky design with wide frames
 
 

AOC Q2778VQE is developed by a less famous but highly-specialized Taiwan company. TN panel provides flash response equal to 1 ms, although the update frequency is limited to 60 Hz. It is the most available gaming device among the best budget monitors in my list. Although it does not have built-in speakers, the monitor features a 3.5mm audio jack which allows connecting headphones directly to it. According to recent standards, bulky front panels are considered to be a very subjective drawback, which disappears if you don’t plan to create a multi-monitor system. The overall design looks cheap. It is compensated by a 27-inch QHD display.


8. Acer XF251Q

acer xf251q budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $250
Size: 24.5 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920x1080 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 75Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Inputs: 2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA.

 
Pros+
  • Good build quality
  • Great contrast
  • AMD FreeSync Technology 144Hz
Cons-
  • Inaccurate color gamut
  • Poor viewing angles
 
 

Acer XF251Q is a reliable monitor with 1080p TN resolution featuring great game functions. It provides fast response, low input delay and supports AMD FreeSync technology. It has a great stand which may be adjusted for the perfect viewing spot. Unfortunately, it has a bad view angle that is why the picture quality leaves much to be desired while looking at the monitor at an angle. This budget monitor is suitable for a modest gaming workstation.


9. Acer G257HU

acer g257hu budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $252
Size: 25 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560х1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: 1 х DVI, 1 х HDMI, 1 х Display Port.

 
Pros+
  • Modern design with thin frames
  • Accurate picture at any angle
  • Fast response
Cons-
  • No USB
  • Stand with bad ergonomics
 
 

Acer G257HU is a nice 1440p IPS-monitor with decent picture quality and great peak brightness. The display provides good viewing angles but has poor black uniformity. It offers low matrix delay, but gamers will be disappointed with limited update frequency equal to 60Hz. Its 2560х1440 resolution significantly enhances viewing quality no matter whether you work or play. 1440p offers you extra workspace thanks to higher pixel density.


10. Alienware AW2518HF

Alienware aw2518hf budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $340
Size: 24.5 inch | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920х1080 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 240Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Inputs: 1 x Display Port, 2 x HDMI.

 
Pros+
  • Beautiful design
  • High frame frequency equal to 240Hz
  • Many ports
Cons-
  • Small diagonal
  • No G-sync
 
 

Alienware is a popular name among game lovers. AW2518HF features fast response and update frequency. The response has an impressive frequency of 240 Hz which makes it one of the best budget monitors for gamers. TN panel that does not support G-sync technology belongs to its drawbacks. It also has a height-adjustable stand, tilt and swing functions. It is even equipped with an AlienFX RGB LED-based lighting, which may be synchronized with any image on the screen and other AlienWare equipment.


11. ASUS MG28UQ

asus mg28uq budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $360
Size: 28 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Panel Type: TN | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 1ms | Inputs: 3 х HDMI, 1 х Display Port.

 
Pros+
  • 4K display
  • Great accuracy of color rendition
  • Completely regulated stand
Cons-
  • Medium contrast
  • Rare updates
 
 

Despite the lack of FreeSync, it is a nice choice for every user as it has fantastic characteristics. The monitor has an elegant and thin design, stylish black colors and a solid build. It can handle all types of resolutions up to 4K.

If you want to edit photos professionally and keep colors as realistic as possible, you need a well calibrated monitor and a good photo editing laptop. Look through my list of the best monitors for photo editing for different budgets.
 

Finally, the model has many advanced features that will not only enhance your gaming performance but also will not let your eyes get tired during long-term usage.


12. ViewSonic VP2768

viewsonic vp2768 budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $400
Size: 27 inches | Ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560х1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 14ms | Inputs: 2 х HDMI, 1 х DisplayPort, 1 х mini-DisplayPort, 1 х DisppalyPort-Out.

 
Pros+
  • Top-quality build
  • Accurate color rendition
  • Ready hardware color calibration
Cons-
  • The absence of USB-C
  • Slow response
 
 

ViewSonic VP2768 is another representative of the best budget monitors created for professional designers. It has a good reputation. IPS panel offers true color depth. The monitor has a ready hardware color calibration. The 14-bit scheme creates an amazing palette of 4.39 trillion colors for amazingly accurate reproduction of images, which is extremely important for professional apps. ViewSonic VP2768 is the best choice for mid-level monitors. It has four USB 3.0 ports and audio output.


13. MSI Optix MAG341CQ

msi optix mag351cq budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $460
Size: 34 inches | Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 100Hz | Response Time: 8ms | Inputs: 1 х HDMI, 1 х Display Port, 1 х DVI.

 
Pros+
  • Good quality for a reasonable price
  • High contrast
  • FreeSync up to 100 Hz
Cons-
  • Lack of USB ports
  • Dark pixels are blurred in dynamic games
 
 

MSI Optix is a good model for fulfilling ordinary tasks on a daily basis. It is also quite suitable for working in Photoshop but you shouldn’t expect very accurate colors. The image is very clear without artifacts from the anti-reflective layer. VA panel provides users with good contrast. You can play either with or without FreeSync.

If you want professional video content for your YouTube channel or Instagram, choose one of the following monitors for video editing that are well calibrated and show amazing performance.
 

It is the best budget computer monitor which offers gamers everything they really need: reliable video editing, impressive contrast, high resolution and quick response. Despite some problems with accurate color reproduction, it provides good performance at a low price.


14. Dell UltraSharp U3415W

dell ultrasharp u3415w budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $650
Size: 34 inches | Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 3440x1440 | Panel Type: IPS | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Response Time: 5ms | Inputs: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x MHL.

 
Pros+
  • A wide viewing angle
  • Excellent contrast and brightness
  • Great image quality
Cons-
  • Modest color selection
  • Presence of the flare spots
 
 

U3415W is a nice 34-inch 21:9 curved display with a cinematic resolution of WQHD (3440x1440). This model can show images from two devices at the same time, using functions (picture in picture) due to the presence of several ports. Owners can control everything that happens on the screen easily due to its curved design. Moreover, it has two speakers (9 W each), which make daily watching of videos and playing games funnier. Overall, a given model is one of the best ultra wide monitors these days. It is suitable for photographers, gamers, video editors or any professionals who look for more space to work.


15. Acer Predator Z35

acer predator z35 budget monitor

 
 

Price: about $700
Size: 35 inches | Ratio: 21:9 | Resolution: 2560x1080 | Panel Type: VA | Refresh Rate: 144Hz (OverClocking to 200Hz) | Response Time: 4ms | Inputs: 1 х HDMI, 1 х Display Port.

 
Pros+
  • High contrast
  • Plenty of gaming functions including G-SYNC
  • Height regulated stand
Cons-
  • Dark pixels are blurred in dynamic games
  • 200 Hz is a bottleneck due to slow response time
 
 

It is a nice model among the best budget monitors. This is a massive 35-inch extra-wide display that features a fast update rate of 144 Hz (200 Hz OC) for exciting gameplay. The model provides users with deeper black colors and a better ratio between the darkest and the brightest shades in comparison with other panel technologies, including TN and IPS.

The resolution (2560x1080) of UWHD is very low for a 35-inch screen. It leads to a bad pixel density of 79 pixels per inch. Viewing angles are 178 degrees vertically and 172 degrees horizontally. Thus, they are not as wide as on IPS panels, but better than TN panels.


List of 15 Best Budget Monitors

IMAGE CAMERA CHARACTERISTICS Check Price
benq 21.5 monitor BenQ GW2270 CHEAPEST
  • 21.5 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920х1080p
CHECK PRICE
lg 27 monitor LG 27UK650-W OUR CHOICE
  • 27 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3440x2160
CHECK PRICE
viewsonic 23 monitor ViewSonic VA2359-smh
  • 23 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920х1080
CHECK PRICE
lg 25 monitor LG 25UM58-P ULTRAWIDE
  • 25 inches
  • Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 2560х1080
CHECK PRICE
lg 29 monitor LG 29WK600 BEST IPS
  • 29 inches
  • Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 2560x1080
CHECK PRICE
dell 27 monitor Dell P2717H
  • 27 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
CHECK PRICE
aoc 27 monitor AOC Q2778VQE FOR GAMING
  • 27 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 2560х1440
CHECK PRICE
acer 24.5 monitor Acer XF251Q
  • 24.5 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
CHECK PRICE
acer 25 monitor Acer G257HU
  • 25 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 2560х1440
CHECK PRICE
Alienware 24.5 monitor Alienware AW2518HF
  • 24.5 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 1920х1080
CHECK PRICE
asus 28 monitor ASUS MG28UQ BEST 4K
  • 28 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3840x2160
CHECK PRICE
viewsonic 27 monitor ViewSonic VP2768 FOR PHOTO EDITING
  • 27 inches
  • Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 2560х1440
CHECK PRICE
msi 34 monitor MSI Optix MAG341CQ
  • 34 inches
  • Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 3440x1440
CHECK PRICE
dell 34 monitor Dell UltraSharp U3415W FOR VIDEO EDITING
  • 34 inches
  • Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 3440x1440
CHECK PRICE
acer 35 monitor Acer Predator Z35
  • 35 inches
  • Ratio: 21:9
  • Resolution: 2560x1080
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose a Budget Monitor?

When you are on a tight budget, you should be more careful while choosing the best budget PC monitor. Even a difference of 50 dollars may be crucial. If you can’t decide which model to select because of the various prices for similar characteristics, then look at my guide.

1. Screen Size

best budget monitors

Are you confused about sizes? I will give you examples to explain better. FullHD (1080p) usually looks best between 20-24 inches, 2K – between 25-29 inches and 4K – between 29-34 inches. Ultimately, this will depend on the characteristics of your PC and personal preferences. But lots of people like 27-inch screens the most, as there is enough space for work and they have an average resolution (1440p).

2. Resolution

best budget monitors

FullHD (1080p) used to be a gold standard for the best budget monitor. However, it is just a basic characteristic nowadays. If you're eager to spend more money, there are several other options worth considering, especially if you want to improve screen space or gaming visualization. But there are more monitor functions aside from resolution. In fact, too high resolution on a too small screen can often be annoying, because it compresses all the images and forces you to enlarge the fonts to read information easily.

3. Contrast Ratio

best budget monitors

It is the difference in light intensity between the brightest color (white) and the darkest (black). You need a high contrast ratio for a brighter image. Computer displays often have two separate contrast ratios: active/dynamic contrast ratio and static contrast ratio. The best budget monitors are not an exception as well.

Active/dynamic contrast measures the brightest and darkest colors for a certain period of time, while static one measures them at the same time. Pay more attention to static contrast.

4. Refresh Rate

best budget monitors

An update rate of the monitor is measured in Hertz (Hz) and indicates a number of times it can update the displayed image per second. This rate also determines how many frames per second the model can show. Monitors may have the following update rates: 60Hz, 75Hz, 144Hz, 240Hz. It is important to remember that a high rate won’t make sense unless your graphics card is powerful enough to produce a required number of frames per second. Therefore, make sure that your video card can run necessary games at a required rate before making a decision to buy a cheap computer monitor with 144 Hz or 240 Hz.

5. Panel Technology

best budget monitors

The type of matrix panel affects the brightness of the picture, its visibility when exposed to direct sunlight and the viewing angles.

Twisted Nematic (TN) is the most widespread type of TFT screen. It has a rapid response time, but low color accuracy and poor viewing angles. This display technology is popular for gaming models.

In-plane Switching (IPS). These screens have better viewing angles and more accurate color reproduction than VA and TN panels. They feature a slower response time than TN screens. It is better for the best budget monitors designed for professionals, image retouching and video editing.

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is the latest visual display technology. OLED monitors consist of plenty of individually illuminated pixels for clearer black and better color integrity than LED backlit screens.

6. Response Time

best budget monitors

It is measured in milliseconds (ms) and shows how long does it take for one pixel to switch from black to white or switch between different shades of gray. Actually, the shorter the response time, the smoother the movement will be.

7. Useful additions

best budget monitors

The next additions may not be present in all best budget monitors, but having them will make your work more convenient. Therefore, you must be ready to pay more money.

USB ports

The presence of USB ports in the best budget IPS monitor allows connecting other devices through the screen. Nowadays the number of models which have USB 3.0 connectors is increasing. As a result, you can quickly transfer large files without using the system block ports.

The speakers

Many cheap monitors for gaming have in-built speakers. In most cases, they are far from perfect. Movies, music and games may sound unsatisfactory. So skip this option while making a final decision. If you care about sound, you should use separate speakers or headphones.

Stand

Traditionally, professional monitors have more stand adjustments than standard models. These additional settings include height, tilt and rotation. Consider whether you need them, as such functions can be very useful.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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