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The 5 Best Budget Monitors - May 2019
Reviews

Best Budget Monitors
65 Monitors Tested
  • Store-bought monitors; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Even budget monitors can offer a decent experience, depending on your needs. Although they are usually smaller, with simpler designs and fewer added features, budget monitors can still offer a good overall user experience.

We've reviewed 65 monitors and below you'll find our top picks for the best cheap monitors available for purchase in 2019. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitor under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.

  1. Best Budget Monitor: Dell P2417H

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

    Test Benches:

    • 1.0: Fall 2017
    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    Score components:
    Size : 24 "
    Resolution : 1920x1080
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    No

    The Dell P2417H is the best cheap monitor that we've tested so far. It is a versatile, well-rounded 24", 1080p monitor, with wide viewing angles and a flicker-free backlight. Like most Dell monitors, it has very good ergonomics and is a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.

    Although it's a budget monitor, it has a decent variety of inputs, so you shouldn't have any issues connecting your devices, even if they are a bit older. It also has a 4-port USB hub, which is great. This monitor doesn't support any advanced gaming features like FreeSync, but has a fast enough response time and low input, which is great for casual gamers.

    This monitor delivers decent overall picture quality. It has a decent native contrast ratio but mediocre black uniformity, so it doesn't look quite as good in a dark room. On the other hand, it has great wide viewing angles, perfect for sharing your screen with someone else. Overall, the Dell P2417H is a decent budget monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

  2. Smaller Alternative: Dell P2217H

    Size : 22 "
    Resolution : 1920x1080
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    No

    If you like the Dell P2417H but would prefer something a bit smaller and a bit cheaper, check out the Dell P2217H. Aside from the smaller, 22" screen, this monitor performs nearly identically to the larger model. The unit we tested had worse black uniformity, so it doesn't look as good with dark scenes in a dark room, but this does vary a bit between units. The smaller size actually results in a higher pixel density on the P2217H, so text looks a little bit sharper.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Monitor For Gaming: ViewSonic XG2402

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

    Test Benches:

    • 1.0: Fall 2017
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    Score components:
    Size : 24 "
    Resolution : 1920x1080
    Refresh Rate : 144 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    TN
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    The ViewSonic XG2402 is the best budget monitor for gaming that we've tested so far. It delivers outstanding gaming performance, thanks to the fast 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support, and outstanding response time. It also has outstanding low input lag, which is great for even the most demanding gamers.

    Like the Dell P2417H, this monitor has a great selection of inputs, but it doesn't support an analog input, and the built-in USB hub only has two USB ports. It has very good ergonomics, and is well-suited if you're looking for a multi-monitor setup, although the bezels are a bit thicker than the Dell.

    Unfortunately, the ViewSonic XG2402 doesn't look as good in a dark room, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, though, it is a great budget gaming monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

  4. Cheaper Alternative: Acer XF251Q

    Size : 25 "
    Resolution : 1920x1080
    Refresh Rate : 75 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    TN
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    FreeSync

    If you like the ViewSonic XG2402 but would prefer something a bit cheaper, check out the Acer XF251Q instead. This monitor has a slower refresh rate than the ViewSonic, at only 75Hz, but still has an extremely fast response time, FreeSync support, and low input lag, which is great. It also has an additional HDMI port, but doesn't have any DisplayPort connections.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Office Monitor: Dell U2415

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

    Test Benches:

    • 1.0: Fall 2017
    7.4
    Mixed Usage
    Score components:
    Size : 24 "
    Resolution : 1920x1200
    Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
    LCD Type
    What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
    :
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
    When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
    :
    No

    If you're looking for the best budget office monitor, check out the Dell U2415. This is a decent all-around monitor, with a 24", 1920x1200 screen that is slightly taller than most 1080p monitors. It has great wide viewing angles, and a very good, easy to adjust stand, similar to the Dell P2417H. It is also an excellent choice for a multi-monitor setup, as the side bezels are very thin.

    This monitor isn't as well-suited for gaming or multimedia, though. It has a fast response time and flicker-free backlight, but it is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, and doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync or G-SYNC.

    Like most IPS monitors, this one doesn't look as good in a dark room. Like the P2417H, it has an impressive selection of inputs, including a great USB hub, but unfortunately, it doesn't have any analog inputs for older devices. Overall, though, it is a good budget office monitor that should please most people.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • HP 27f: Decent 1080p monitor, but the Dell P2417H is better overall See our review
  • Samsung C27F398: Good 1080p gaming monitor, but the ViewSonic XG2402 has a faster refresh rate See our review
  • ASUS VG245H: Good FreeSync gaming monitor, but the Acer XF251Q is a bit more versatile See our review
  • Sceptre C325W: Cheap, large monitor, but poor viewing angles and disappointing motion blur See our review
  • Acer G257HU: Decent 1440p monitor, but no advanced gaming features and terrible black uniformity See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best budget monitors. They are adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.

If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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