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Published Jun 27, 2023 6:18 PM
Cheap monitors can be total visual and functional catastrophes. You won’t find any of those on this list. As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, the monitor market has witnessed an influx of affordability and performance. Gone are the days when affordable monitors meant sacrificing display resolution or color accuracy. The current crop of monitors outperform their older counterparts without jacking up the prices.
Expect an array of options boasting features such as high resolutions, vibrant color reproduction, rapid response times, versatile connectivity, and sleek ergonomic designs. Whether you seek immersive experiences from a dedicated gaming monitor, precise image editing capabilities, or simply need a dependable everyday monitor, there’s one tailored to meet your specific requirements.
We’ve gathered together the best cheap monitors out there focusing on models with impressive features and superior image quality, that still manage to come in at an affordable price point. So that you don’t have to compromise on excellence when shopping on a budget.
Our monitor recommendations are based on extensive research. We included peer recommendations, critical reviews, and user impressions to create a list of contenders and then put them through their paces. We considered a wide variety of monitors suitable for a range of needs and users to come up with a comprehensive list of the best cheap monitors for 2023.
The word “cheap” can be difficult to parse on its own. While some of these monitors may not boast the absolute lowest prices, they do represent very real value. For tasks like gaming, for instance, there’s a certain point at which going too cheap will defeat the purpose of the display almost entirely. We avoid the traps that seem too good to be true because they usually are.
The best cheap monitors: Reviews & Recommendations
While we always suggest specific models for individual uses, it’s worth perusing all the options before you make a purchase. There can be lots of overlap, especially for general-use gadgets like a monitor.
Best overall: HP 24mh 23.8-Inch Display
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Screen Technology: IPS
- Panel Size: 23.8 inches
- DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA connectors
- Stand supports height, pivot, and tilt adjustment
- Well-performing and cost-effective
- No support for adaptive sync technology
- Not suitable for serious gamers
The HP 24mh 23.8-Inch Display pleasantly surprises with its extensive range of features at a regular price that’s well-under $200. Designed primarily for household or home-office use, this budget-friendly monitor boasts an IPS screen with slim bezels and exceptional sRGB color coverage. What sets the 24mh apart from other monitors in its price range are the additional perks rarely found in budget models: integrated speakers, the ability to effortlessly switch between landscape and portrait modes, and a convenient DisplayPort connector. The portrait mode also makes it easier to access ports that would otherwise face down. These noteworthy additions firmly establish it as our overall winner for an all-around, cost-effective flat-panel monitor.
However, serious gamers will be disappointed that it doesn’t have support for adaptive sync technology so screen tearing could be an issue. But for regular office uses it delivers especially as you’ll be able to get the perfect ergonomic position with its flexible stand that easily adjusts for height, pivot, and tilt. This monitor also looks good with its classy silver-gray bottom bezel and with the impressive sRGB color coverage, it’s a top-performing yet inexpensive model.
Best ultrawide: LG 29WN600-W
- Aspect Ratio: 21:9
- Screen Technology: IPS
- Panel Size: 29 inches
- Good colors and resolution
- AMD FreeSync technology for a better gaming experience
- Large UltraWide screen
- No height adjustment and limited tilt
When only an UltraWide monitor will do this budget-friendly choice could be the one for you. Multitasking, especially switching between different applications and screens is a breeze with a workspace that’s 33% wider than traditional monitors. In addition, your gameplay will look considerably more impressive with a wide-angle view. The full HD IPS display offers accurate color and contrast for productivity or play. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the option to adjust the height which means even with a riser it could be difficult to use it with a standing desk. However, it can tilt to a preferred angle although with limited range.
It has two easily accessible HDMI ports, a single DisplayPort, and dual 7W integrated speakers. This LG monitor comes with AMD FreeSync technology to eliminate screen tearing and stuttering for fantastic game performance.
Best for gaming: Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q 32 inch
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Screen Technology: IPS / W-LED
- Panel Size: 28 inches
- Good build quality
- Accurate, bright colors
- Excellent price point
- Contrast could be better
- No USB ports
If you’re serious about gameplay but don’t have thousands to spend on a monitor this incredibly affordable 4K model is the one you’ve been waiting for. Thanks to its AMD FreeSync technology you won’t have to worry about choppy frame rates or screen tearing interrupting your game. With support to pair with AMD Radeon graphics cards or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series, GTX 16 series, RTX 20 series, or newer graphics cards, you’ll be amazed at the visuals.
This monitor offers lots of adjustability to swivel, tilt, pivot, and alter the height for your ultimate comfort. It has a single DisplayPort 1.2 and two HDMI 2.0 but there are no USB ports, which is slightly disappointing.
Best curved: Samsung 24-Inch CF396 Curved LED Monitor
- Aspect Ratio: 16.9
- Screen Technology: VA
- Panel Size: 24 inches
- Crisp picture quality
- Compatible with AMD FreeSync technology
- Super slim curved design
This curved monitor comes in at a very reasonable price and offers excellent bright colors, high contrast rates, and deep blacks across a wide viewing angle suitable for a range of tasks.
As with many budget monitors you won’t be able to adjust the height, but you can tilt your screen to your preferred viewing angle. It offers ease of access to the outward-facing ports which include one HDMI and one VGA, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack. Also, at the back of the monitor, you’ll find something a little unusual, an ergonomic small joystick controller to access the monitor’s on-screen display settings. If you’re looking for a curved screen for immersive gameplay or just for a more comfortable viewing experience, this inexpensive monitor could be for you.
Best for creatives: BenQ PD2700U
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Screen Technology: IPS
- Panel Size: 27 inches
- Excellent value for money
- Professional grade features
- Great looking monitor
Creative types who work with graphic design or photo editing software may think they need to fork out for very expensive monitors to get the job done. But the BenQ PD2700U offers a pocketbook-friendly option for a variety of creative tasks. In fact, this sturdy-built monitor offers professional-grade features like a high-quality IPS panel, sRGB color, and HDR support. Some standout features that will make even long nights working to deadline shine included a special room light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness and picture modes for animation, photography, and CAD. You can split the screen and effortlessly view two of the eight picture modes at once including the Darkroom mode.
Things to consider when shopping for the best cheap monitor
Before you buy your new monitor, you’ll want to make sure it meets all your needs by considering the following specifications:
For crisp images and bright colors, you need to check the monitor’s resolution, contrast, and brightness specifications. The higher the resolution the more that can fit on the screen, which is important for picture editing or gameplay. The contrast is the difference between those very deep dark blacks and the crisp whites, high contrasts make images pop.
You might not need your monitor to have additional ports if you use an external drive or don’t use many peripherals however a HDMI connector is handy to connect your monitor to a laptop. Some monitors offer a USB-C connection, which can provide both power and data transfer. These can be useful if you have a laptop and you don’t want to have to plug in an extra charger. Some monitors also have other USB ports so you can plug in a mouse and keyboard. That way, it acts as a hub for all of your peripherals that you can access by plugging in a single USB-C cable.
A larger monitor can make some tasks feel easier, especially with multiple apps or screens open at once, and lead to greater productivity. The larger your monitor the higher your resolution should be. For example:
- Monitors less than 27 inches—1080p is adequate.
- Monitors of 27-30 inches—Pick 1440p.
- Monitors of 31 inches or more—Choose 4K if possible.
Opting for the biggest, cheapest monitor is admittedly tempting, but it’s also a surefire way to end up looking at a lackluster image with weak contrast and insufficient resolution.
Most new monitors have the option to adjust and tilt the screen for the best viewing experience but for total customization or if you want to use your new monitor with a standing desk, you’ll need greater customization to adjust the height or rotate the screen as well.
Q: Should I choose a 4K resolution?
4K resolution looks great on a large monitor of at least 32 inches. If you plan on running games on your new 4K monitor, you’ll want to make sure your computer has enough firepower inside to actually push that many pixels. If you prefer a smaller screen or won’t be playing games, you could save considerable money.
Q: How long does a cheap monitor last?
Computer monitors have a lifespan of around 50,000 hours, which is anywhere from 10 to 20 years for all-day use. So, there’s really no reason your new monitor, even a very affordable model, shouldn’t last you at least 5 years or more assuming you take care of it and don’t abuse it.
Q: Are UltraWide monitors worth it?
Ultrawide monitors look cool on your desktop but are they worth the extra money and space you’ll have to sacrifice to accommodate them? Your average computer user may not get much out of an UltraWide monitor although they can be useful for viewing several documents or tabs at once. However, where they really come into their own is in immersive or atmospheric gameplay.
Our favorite overall cheap monitor is the HP 24mh 23.8-Inch Display, which is an all-around top performer at a great price. There are plenty of deals to be had for those looking for a quality monitor at a bargain price.
We found the best cheap monitors offer all the features you’d expect at a price you’ll be happy to pay. If you want to upgrade your current monitor without breaking the bank, check out one of these top options.
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