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The 6 Best Budget Monitors - Spring 2022 Reviews

Best Budget Monitors

If you're on a budget and you're looking for a monitor, there's a good choice you'll find the perfect option for your needs. Even budget monitors can offer a decent experience, depending on how you're using it. Although they're usually smaller, with simpler designs and fewer added features, budget monitors can still offer a good overall user experience for both gamers and people looking for an office monitor. If you're looking for a budget gaming monitor, many monitors include gaming features like variable refresh rate (VRR) support or higher refresh rates.

We've tested over 220 monitors, and below you'll find our top picks for the best budget monitors available for purchase. Also, check out our recommendations for the best monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.

  1. Best Budget 1080p Monitor: Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx

    The best budget 1080p monitor is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's one of the best gaming monitors we've tested, and it won't break the bank either, competing with more expensive monitors. While it's limited to a 1080p resolution, it still has a decent pixel density thanks to its smaller screen. It has great ergonomics with full 360-degree rotation, so adjusting it to your ideal viewing position is a breeze.

    When it comes to performance, it's an excellent choice for gaming with a high 144Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 165Hz. It has an exceptionally fast response time at its max refresh rate and 60Hz, with no overshoot, resulting in clear motion with minimal smearing and blur. It supports FreeSync natively and is compatible with G-SYNC. It also has very little input lag, making games feel incredibly responsive.

    While it supports HDR, it sadly doesn't get quite bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR content, and it lacks a wide color gamut. Due to its IPS panel, its contrast ratio is also mediocre, resulting in blacks that look more like gray when viewed in the dark. On the upside, it's bright enough to combat glare in most lighting conditions, and its wide viewing angles are great for co-op gaming. Overall, most gamers should be happy with it, making it our pick for the best cheap monitor for gaming.

    See our review

  2. Higher Refresh Rate Alternative: ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM

    If you want something with an even higher refresh rate, check out the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM. While you can't swivel it a full 360 degrees like on the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, and it has slightly lower pixel density due to the bigger screen, it offers better gaming performance. It has a 240Hz native refresh rate that you can overclock to 280Hz with a DisplayPort connection, and it has a quick response time both at its max refresh rate and at 60Hz. The native FreeSync support helps reduce screen tearing, and it's G-SYNC compatible. While it has low input lag at its max refresh rate, the main downside is that it increases a lot at 60Hz, so it's best to use it with high-frame-rate games.

    If you want the best cheap monitor with a 1080p resolution, the Acer is a more versatile choice, but if you're a gamer and need a high refresh rate, you can't go wrong with the ASUS.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget 1440p Monitor: Gigabyte M27Q

    The best budget 1440p monitor we've tested is the Gigabyte M27Q. The higher resolution helps result in sharper images compared to 1080p monitors, thanks to the higher pixel density. It's a well-built monitor with many office-oriented features, but its stand doesn't offer the most ergonomic adjustments.

    It performs well in bright rooms because it has decent reflection handling, and it gets bright enough to fight glare, but we don't suggest placing it opposite a bright window with direct sunlight. It also has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with someone else. Content creators should love the near-perfect coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, mainly used in photo editing, and it has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy. It also features a USB hub with two USB 3.0 inputs, and it has a KVM switch that allows you to control multiple devices with one set of a keyboard and mouse.

    The main downside to this monitor is its BGR subpixel layout, as opposed to RGB on most other monitors. This doesn't affect picture quality, but not all programs support the format, so some text looks blurry with programs that don't support BGR. If this bothers you, you can also flip the screen around to achieve the RGB layout, but that increases the input lag. Regardless, it's still one of the best monitors we've tested.

    See our review

  4. Alternative With Better Ergonomics: ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV

    If you prefer something with better ergonomics, look into the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It doesn't have as many features as the Gigabyte M27Q as it lacks HDR support and doesn't have a USB-C input, but the stand has a wide swivel range, and it can rotate into portrait mode, making this monitor a great choice if you need a vertical display. It performs well in bright rooms because it has great peak brightness and good reflection handling, meaning visibility won't be an issue. It also has very good out-of-the-box accuracy, and it has near-perfect coverage of the sRGB color space, but photo editors will be disappointed to know it has limited coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

    If you're looking for the best 1440p budget monitor, whether it be for office or gaming, the Gigabyte is a great choice. However, if you don't mind getting something with a lower 75Hz refresh that has remarkable ergonomics for office use, then check out the ASUS.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget 4k Monitor: Dell S2722QC

    If you want a 4k monitor for a higher resolution, the Dell S2722QC is the best option. It's an impressive office monitor with a few extra features, and it won't break the bank. Although budget 4k monitors are rare and are limited in features, this one provides good value, especially if you need something for work.

    Text looks incredibly sharp and clear thanks to the high pixel density, and there's enough screen space for you to open windows next to each other. It has a USB hub with two USB 3.0 inputs and a USB-C input, so you can connect a compatible device and charge it at the same time, and it supports up to 65 W of power delivery, which is enough to charge a work laptop. Visibility isn't an issue in a well-lit room either, as it has good reflection handling and high peak brightness. Also, combined with its great ergonomics, you can easily find an ideal viewing position for it.

    Sadly, it doesn't have many additional gaming features like HDMI 2.1 bandwidth, and it's limited to a 60Hz panel. Still, it has office perks like Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes if you want to view images from two sources at once, and it has built-in speakers if you don't want to spend extra on dedicated speakers. Overall, it's the best 4k budget monitor we've tested.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Ultrawide Monitor: Acer Nitro XV340CK

    The Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx is the best ultrawide budget monitor we've tested. Having an ultrawide display like this one offers a few advantages, as you can open more windows side-by-side thanks to the extra screen space with the 21:9 aspect ratio. If you already have two monitors in a multi-monitor setup, using one ultrawide eliminates having bezels in between.

    It's mainly for gaming, and it's versatile enough for other uses. It has a high 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing, but FreeSync works only with newer graphics cards. It delivers an impressive gaming performance because it has an amazing response time at its max refresh rate, and it has low input lag. It also has a backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur, but it results in image duplication. If you want to use it for co-op gaming, it has wide viewing angles and good ergonomics.

    Sadly, although it supports HDR, it doesn't add much because it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop, blacks look gray in the dark, and it doesn't display a wide range of colors in HDR. Although this monitor is a bit more expensive than the other monitors in this recommendation, it's considered budget for an ultrawide display. If this isn't a problem for you, it's the best budget ultrawide monitor we've tested.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is very similar to the S2722QC. The main difference is that the S2722QC has a USB-C input, which the S2721QS doesn't have. If you don't need that input, get whichever you can find for cheaper. See our review
  • MSI Optix MAG273R: The MSI Optix MAG273R is great for gaming, but it has worse ergonomics and a slower response time than the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. See our review
  • ASUS VG279QM: The ASUS VG279QM is essentially a larger version of the ASUS VG259QM with similar performance, but it costs more, so get whichever you can afford. See our review
  • Gigabyte G27Q: The Gigabyte G27Q is a great budget option with a 1440p resolution similar to the Gigabyte M27Q, but it doesn't have as many features, so it's worth getting the M27Q instead. See our review
  • AOC 24G2: The AOC 24G2 is a great alternative to the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx if you don't care about HDR because it doesn't support it. Its slightly lower refresh rate of 144Hz, compared to the Acer's 165Hz, isn't noticeable. See our review
  • ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM: The ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM has a 280Hz max refresh rate like the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM but with a TN panel, meaning it has worse viewing angles. It still costs less if you don't mind that. See our review
  • Dell S3221QS: The Dell S3221QS is a larger alternative to the Dell S2722QC, but it doesn't have a USB-C input, and for the price, it's worth getting the S2722QC. See our review
  • LG 27GN750-B: The LG 27GN750-B is an impressive 1080p gaming monitor with a fast 240Hz refresh rate, but it has worse ergonomics than the ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM, and you can't overclock its refresh rate to 280Hz, so it's worth getting the ASUS instead. See our review
  • ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV: The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is an upgraded version of the ASUS PA278QV with a USB-C port, but it costs more, and it's also too costly to be considered a budget monitor. See our review
  • Dell S3422DWG: The Dell S3422DWG is an impressive ultrawide gaming monitor with good dark room performance, but it costs more than the Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx, so if you're on a budget, go for the Acer. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 24, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the newer S2722QC and removed the LG 32UL500-W as an alternative; added the Acer Nitro XV340CK in a new 'Best Ultrawide' category.

  2. Jan 26, 2022: Added the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV as 'Alternative With Better Ergonomics' to the Gigabyte M27Q because it's available again; added the LG 32UL500-W as 'Larger Alternative' to the Dell S2721QS to reflect user needs; removed the LG 32N650-B because its price went up; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  3. Nov 23, 2021: Removed the ASUS ProArt PA278QV and the Acer Nitro XV340CK as 'Best Office' because of low availability; moved the Gigabyte M27Q to a new 'Best 1440p' and added the ASUS VG259QM to an alternative; added the LG 32GN650-B as 'Best 32 Inch'; updated Notable Mentions based on recent changes.

  4. Sep 24, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.

  5. Jul 27, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced LG 32UL500-W with Dell S2721QS.

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, sorted with their price from low to high. 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.