5 Top Picks
25 Hours of Research
12 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.
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. Let’s get started.
Top 3 Budget Monitors
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. 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.
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 fine for a monitor 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 lag between your input and what is displayed on the screen could cost you a match or place you at a disadvantage.
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. 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.
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.
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.