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Computers are already pretty expensive, even before you factor in all the additional costs for accessories and monitors. To that end, lots of people aim for a budget display when putting together a computer build. One of the best budget monitors on the market can even provide you with a great viewing experience for streaming or video games.
We treated the best monitor for trading as a special category and the best bezel less monitor for those who need more screen space. In addition, for those of you who want to save on the sound peripherals, we reviewed the best monitor with speakers along with feedback and other team expert recommendations. We also reviewed affordable monitors for editing photos. Click here for the best touch screen monitors.
As for the budget monitors in general, let's see what they have to offer!
Top 3 Budget Monitors
In this guide, we’ll go over my top picks for excellent cheap monitors. I chose these based on overall functionality and affordability combined rather than just looking at their features or cost. After all, you want something worthwhile and affordable, not just dirt cheap. For Mac Mini users, I suggest reading my reviews of suitable monitors in this post, and for PC users we also reviewed monitors from Dell.
Best Budget Monitor Reviews
The Dell PS419H is one of the best budget computer monitors through and through. It features a 24-inch screen and an LED display with a black border: a classic design that many will appreciate for their set up. But the monitor does a great job of providing consistent and rich colors thanks to specialized In-Plane switching technology which helps provide unbeatable image quality at this price range. In a nutshell, this keeps color vibrancy the same no matter where you sit in relation to the monitor’s viewing angle.
It also features a really thin frame. In this way, the monitor is a good choice if you want to combine it with other displays. You'll be able to easily chain two or three monitors together for a wider gaming or media viewing experience.
The monitor has a relatively thin stand, but it’s wide enough to afford significant stability and prevent the monitor from easily toppling over if your desk shakes.
The actual neck of the monitor is fairly thick and provides phenomenal stability as well as an easy place to grip the screen if you need to move it.
To make things even better, it can easily connect to Blu-ray players, multiple types of smart TVs, gaming systems, and any other HDMI enabled device. You’ll even be able to share an Internet connection with a dedicated ethernet port.
This monitor meets the latest HDMI standards, so it's perfectly fine for 4K video at 60 Hz and other advanced video broadcasting standards. In other words, you'll be able to use this budget monitor for just about any media viewing for a relatively low asking price.
The original bundle comes with an HDMI cable. But you can also get it for slightly less money if you have a working cable already. This is an excellent additional option to save a few extra bucks.
Overall, it's a must have for anyone and easily the #1 on our list. With excellent color accuracy, contrast ratio, and everything you want in an affordable monitor without the bells and whistles.
The Acer SB220Q is one of the best cheap 1080 P monitors for those who want a quality display for all their media experiences. It’s 21.5 inches across and displays its images and videos in full HD resolution. That’s 1920x1080, which is perfect for a monitor of this size.
The monitor utilizes AMD FreeSync technology to reduce frame rate variation between the monitor your computer. This will allow you to enjoy gaming experiences and other complex media without any tearing or stuttering as a result of frame rate differences. It has a default refresh rate of 75 Hz, which I found to be great for a monitor with 1080 resolution and at this price range.
The frame of the monitor is something I really liked as well. It’s ultrathin at 0.24 inches, so pairing it with additional monitors to extend your displays pretty easy and aesthetically pleasing.
It also makes the screen appear to pop more vibrantly than otherwise. The colors don’t differ depending on your viewing angle, which is another big plus. This makes it easy for groups to gather around the monitor and enjoy a piece of media together without losing any color vibrancy.
With a 4 ms response time, I thought the monitor did a fine job of seeming responsive and snappy when I swung a cursor around or played games.
It’s also great in terms of viewing angles. You’ll be able to modify the neck of the monitor from a range of -5 degrees to 15 degrees. In other words, you’ll be able to view this monitor from a multitude of sitting or standing positions without having to crane your neck. It has a default 178-degree viewing angle around its horizontal axis, too.
The ViewSonic XG2402 is my choice for an affordable gaming monitor for several reasons. For starters, it comes built with full HD 1080 P resolution and an ultrafast 1 ms response time. Why does this matter? When it comes to competitive gaming, any input lag and what is displayed on the screen could cost you a match or place you at a disadvantage. This is why we reviewed the best budget 144hz monitors: better performance without breaking the bank.
Having such a fast response time means you’ll be able to stay competitive with even the best gamers in your field or title. The monitor is also built with an amazing 144 Hz refresh rate. In a nutshell, it comes packed with all the hardware you need to enjoy your gaming experiences to their greatest extent.
It’s also bolstered by AMD FreeSync tech, which reduces tearing and stuttering even if you play complex games and move around quickly.
The screen measures in at 24 inches, which is excellent for most gaming and media viewing needs. It also comes with a set of customizable visual modes that are perfectly optimized for different gaming experiences. You’ll be able to optimize your color distribution and viewing pleasure for FPS, RTS, or even sports games.
To make things even better, it can work with laptops or any other type of computer thanks to its versatile HDMI and USB ports. It also comes with a three-year warranty, so you’ll be able to replace the monitor or get technical support if you run into any issues.
The LG 32MA70HY-P is another solid choice for a budget monitor with solid SRGB color and color gamut. It’s built up 32 inches and brings a full HD display. The full HD clarity and color reproduction enhances your projects and media viewing and makes this a great work computer if you operate with Photoshop or other programs frequently.
You’ll also be able to make use of an on-screen optimizer control that lets you fine-tune the monitor for the job at hand. Several software modes are baked into its feature list, like a reader mode that reduces eyestrain if you have to spend lots of time using the monitor at work.
You'll also be able to use a special split-screen software configuration that lets you use up to four different windows at a single time. There are 14 possible configurations, so you can truly customize your workspace as you desire with this monitor.
The Samsung C27F398 is my final choice for a great budget monitor, and for good reason. It’s a curved model that gives you an immersive viewing experience no matter what media you choose to pair with it.
It also features a slim frame design and a glossy black finish. All these aspects combined make it extremely modern and sleek, as well as perfect for combining with minimalist desk aesthetics.
In terms of specs, it has a rapid 4 ms response time that’s great for viewing media and a 60 Hz refresh rate. It’s also fairly configurable in terms of brightness and color contrast. All in all, it’s an excellent general display monitor that provides lots of high-quality viewing power without breaking the bank.
The Sceptre IPS 24” Monitor is an all-around versatile monitor that caters to not only gaming but for heavy-duty processing work like media editing. The IPS panel is built to refresh at 144 Hz on a standard basis and can push up to 165 Hz if overclocked. It does have a slower motion blur rate at 7.5ms, which is slower than most, but not as noticeable for most people. It’s monitor features an edgeless design that enhances the build quality to give it a modern finish. This monitor is perfect for gamers and video editors out there!
Other noticeable features is the plethora of ports available for you to plug in other devices. There are 3 HDMI ports and 1 DisplayPort Cable available at the back of the monitor. What’s even better is that it comes with an actual DP cable in the box.
The monitor also comes with its own tilt stand, although many users suggest getting a VEGA stand to help adjust the flexibility of this monitor. Don’t have a headset? Well, you’re in luck, with this monitor you get built-in speakers, a feature that is not found in most gaming monitors. In the box it comes in, you will receive all of the contents you need to properly set-up. Other than the monitor itself, the package comes with stands, screwdrivers/screws, DP cable, HDMI cable, and a power plug.
The AOPEN 27 HC1R is a great budget monitor that is not only wallet-friendly, but it has gaming characteristics that you wouldn’t normally find with this budget. Features like AMD FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility brings users to fully immerse in their gaming experience.
There are other notable design features in this monitor that some found surprising in this price range. The fact that the monitor itself is a curved widescreen design gives of a modern and sleek finish. For ports on this monitor, it comes with 1 HDMI, 1 DP, and 1 DVI port with only the HDMI cable included. The monitor itself is tilt adjustable with a 5°-15° angle, but it makes up with the fact that’s VESA mounting compliant.
With an input lag of 4ms motion blur response time, it stacks up decently with other monitors. This average response time isn’t noticeable for most people. It’s also important to note that its panels are FHD and not IPS which can affect graphics viewing.
The VIOTEK GFV22CB is another monitor that is available in the market today. With a refresh rate at a maximum of 144 hz, and coming in at a pixel density of 1920 by 1080, this monitor emulates an experience you’d probably find in higher budget monitors.
In terms of the design, this monitor is smaller than others as it only measures at 22 inches. So this is perfect if you have limited desk space. You can easily tilt the monitor at a 5°-15° angle, and to increase flexibility it’s VESA mount compatible. The outer frame of the monitor’s screen is a stripe of chrome but it’s hardly noticeable. With ports, there are 2 HDMI, 1 DP, and 1 audio port available for use. It’s important to note that you only get the DP cable from the box.
With graphics, this monitor has an FHD panel that has its own settings to calibrate for sharp, and true-to-life colors. It has a motion blur response rate of 5ms, which isn’t too noticeable, but it’s slower than most. This monitor features good contrast and a good gamma range for the ability to properly calibrate with ease. In addition to graphic settings, this monitor is compatible with G-SYNC, and FreeSync modes which make it quite versatile.
What to Look for in the Best Budget Monitor
Before you finalize a purchase or decide on one of the best budget monitor picks below, consider the following factors. Not every budget monitor is great for everyone, as some monitors prioritize different features or might have different aspects that will be useful to you. In the end, you should always focus on a cheap monitor that has the stuff you need to fully enjoy your computer setup. You can even get the best gaming monitor under 100 USD, if you're lucky enough to get them on sales.
As an example, don’t bother going after one of the best budget gaming monitors if you aren’t a gamer yourself. Only prioritize features that you actually need and will use.
Budget Gaming Monitor Features
If you are a gamer, however, you should definitely focus on the features that the monitor includes. These are things like various customization settings, ports for headphones or microphones, remotes, or even FreeSync tech. Make sure that the gaming monitor has features specifically designed for gaming.
These are things like resolution and color spread. Some monitors display color in different frequencies or ranges than others. If you plan to watch a lot of shows or play lots of games with your monitor, pick something that has vibrant colors and which might even allow you to optimize those for your own viewing pleasure.
Consider resolution, too. Don’t go for 1920 x 1080 for anything above a 24-inch monitor. You don’t want too much resolution for a monitor that’s too wide to take advantage of it.
Ergonomics matter for overall comfort. You’ll want a monitor that is easy to look at for long hours on end. Try to find something that’s an appropriate height and style so you don’t strain your neck toward the monitor too often. An ideal monitor will let you see the full picture at a resting seated posture.
Design and Style
Finally, consider the design and style of a monitor before finalizing a purchase. Try to match the monitor with your overall computer set up for aesthetics. At the same time, make sure the monitor is easy to control, whether that means it comes with a separate remote or not. A monitor should always be easily controlled via buttons on its actual surface in case a remote ever goes missing.