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5 Best Budget Monitor Reviews of 2021 | Top Cheap Options

5 Top Picks

4 Reviewers

25 Hours of Research

23 Options Considered

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 video editing, as well as 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

The Samsung C27F398 is my final choice for a great budget monitor, and for good reason. It’s a curved screens model that gives you an immersive viewing experience no matter what media you choose to pair with it.

  • Nice curved design
  • Very slim frame
  • Good refresh rate

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 great resolution. 

  • Great viewing angles
  • Amazing contrast ratio 
  • Super thin frame

The ViewSonic XG2402 is my choice for an affordable gaming monitor for several reasons. For starters, it comes built with full HD 1080p resolution and an ultrafast 1 ms response time.

  • 3-year warranty
  • Good variable refresh rate
  • FreeSync tech

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 in depth reviews of suitable monitors in this post, and for PC users we also reviewed monitors from Dell.

For more horizontal space, the best ultra wide monitor should be the best choice and if you are a gamer, go for the best budget gaming monitor. That said, let's get started with best budget monitors options!

Best Budget Monitor Reviews

1. [Best Overall] Samsung C27F398

4.9/5

The Samsung C27F398 is my final choice for a great budget monitor, and for good reason. It’s a curved monitor 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 accurate color contrast ratio. All in all, it’s an excellent general purpose monitor that provides lots of high-quality viewing power without breaking the bank.

Samsung C27F398 Pros

  • Nice curved design
  • Very slim frame
  • Good refresh rate
  • Modern and sleek aesthetic

Samsung C27F398 Cons

  • Average response time

The Acer SB220Q is one of the best cheap 1080 P monitors for those who want a quality onscreen 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 screen size.

The monitor utilizes AMD FreeSync technology to reduce frame rate variation between the monitor your computer. This will allow you to enjoy a smooth gaming experiences and other complex media without any screen 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 1080p 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 accurate 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 accuracy or vibrancy.

With a 4 ms response time, I thought this good 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 wide 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.

Acer SB220Q Pros

  • Good viewing angles
  • Excellent, vivid and accurate color gamut reproduction
  • Super thin frame
  • FreeSync tech

Acer SB220Q Cons

  • Smaller than most

The ViewSonic XG2402 is my choice for an affordable gaming monitor for several reasons. For starters, it comes built with full HD 1080p resolution and an ultrafast 1 ms response time. Why does this matter? When it comes to competitive gaming, any low input lag and what is displayed on this larger 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 144Hz 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're playing 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.

ViewSonic XG2402 Pros

  • Three year warranty
  • High refresh rate
  • FreeSync tech
  • Fast response time

ViewSonic XG2402 Cons

  • No VGA ports

The Sceptre IPS panels 24” Monitor is an all-around versatile monitor that caters to not only gaming but for heavy-duty processing work like media editing. The type 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 features an edgeless design that enhances the build quality to give it a modern finish. This monitor is perfect for gamers, video editors and other content related work out there! 

Other noticeable ergonomic 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, so you can connect a second screen too. What’s even better is that it comes with an actual DP cable in the box.

The monitor also comes with its own basic stand that has tilt adjustment, although many users suggest getting a VEGA stand to help adjust the flexibility, like height adjustment, of this monitor and cable management. 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, so this monitor is worth paying.  

Sceptre IPS E248B-FPT168 Pros

  • Solid screw-in stand 
  • VESA compatible
  • A lot of ports available for plug-in

Sceptre IPS E248B-FPT168 Cons

  •  Power cord takes up two spaces on a power strip

The AOPEN 27 HC1R is a great tight 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 support 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 this more than decent monitor itself is a curved screen design gives of a modern and sleek finish. For ports on this monitor, it comes with 1 HDMI port, 1 DP, and 1 DVI port with only the HDMI cable included. This best monitor itself is tilt adjustable with a 5°-15° angle, but it makes up with the fact that’s VESA mounting compliant, if you have mounting holes. 

 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 type IPS panel which can affect graphics viewing experience.

AOPEN 27HC1R Pros

  • AMD FreeSync and G Sync compatible
  • Excellent contrast ratio in panels
  • Blue light filter

AOPEN 27HC1R Cons

  • Slight light bleed

 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 wall mount compatible, if you have VESA mount holes. 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 jack 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 vivid 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.

VIOTEK GFV22CB Pros

  • G-SYNC and AMD FreeSync compatible
  • Compact and bigger screen size
  • VESA Mount Compatible

VIOTEK GFV22CB Cons

  • Slower motion blur response time

4.3/5

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 and sleek 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 and built-in speakers. In this way, the monitor is an excellent choice if you want to combine it with other displays. You'll be able to easily chain two or three monitors together for a wide variety of gaming or media viewing experience.

The monitor has a relatively thin adjustable 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 this best 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 port 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, good contrast ratio, and everything you want in an affordable monitor without the bells and whistles.

Dell P2419H Pros

  • Easy to connect to many devices
  • Amazing contrast ratio at 100,000,000:1
  • Good resolution capabilities
  • In-Plane color tech

Dell P2419H Cons

  • A little small for some

4.2/5

The LG 32MA70HY-P is another solid choice for a budget monitor with solid SRGB 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 eye strain 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 multiple windows at a single time. There are 14 possible configurations, so you can truly customize your workspace as you desire with this monitor.

LG 32MA70HY-P Pros

  • Good screen size
  • Excellent colors
  • Can optimize for your job
  • Split-screen functionality

LG 32MA70HY-P Cons

  • Not great for PC gaming

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 best monitors prioritize different features or might have different aspects that will be useful to you. In the end, you should always focus on a best cheap monitor that has the stuff you need to fully enjoy your desktop 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 extra 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.

Graphics Properties

These are things like resolution and color spread. Some monitor models display better  color in different frequencies or ranges than others. If you plan to watch a lot of shows or play games with your monitor, pick something that has vibrant colors and which might even allow you to optimize those for your comfortable viewing.

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

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.

FAQs:

1. Which brand is best for budget monitor?

Here are the Top 3 Budget Monitors that we can recommend.

1. Dell P2419H -
The Dell PS419H is one of the best budget computer monitors through and through. It features a 24-inch screen real estate and an LED display with a black border: a classic design that many will appreciate for their set up.
2. Acer SB220Q -
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
3. ViewSonic XG2402 -
The ViewSonic monitor is a great 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 times, as well as built in speakers.

2. What is a good price for a monitor?

A budget-friendly LCD monitor costs between $100 and $200. This type of LCD monitor is an affordable option for students and general-purpose users looking to upgrade from an older CRT unit. Expect a 15- to 20 inch display in either 4:3 or widescreen format, with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels, at a low price.

3. Are expensive monitors worth it?

While some swear by the more expensive IPS panel monitors, particularly for video/photo editing, others prefer the less expensive TN panels for gaming. To answer your question, yes, more expensive monitors offer increased color accuracy and reduced motion blur.

4. What size computer monitor is best?

The optimal monitor screen size is determined primarily by the monitor's resolution and the distance between you and the screen. Some people believe that 1920x1080 should not be used on displays larger than 25 inches; 1440p is ideal for displays more significant than 27 inches; and 4K is perfect for displays more significant than 27 inches to 43 inches, depending on personal preference.

5. What should I look for when buying a monitor?

A budget-friendly LCD monitor costs between $100 and $200. This type of LCD monitor is an affordable option for students and general-purpose users looking to upgrade from an older CRT unit. Expect a 15- to 20 inch display in either 4:3 or widescreen format, with a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels.

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.