Even budget monitors can offer a decent experience, depending on your needs. Although they're usually smaller, with simpler designs and fewer added features, budget monitors can still offer a good overall user experience.
We've reviewed over 75 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.
The Dell P2417H is the best budget monitor that we've tested so far. It's a versatile 24 inch 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're 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 lag, 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, this is a decent budget monitor that should please most people.
If you like the Dell P2417H but want something a bit smaller, check out the Dell P2217H. This slightly smaller monitor delivers nearly identical performance. It has the same great stand as the larger model, with great ergonomics, and it performs nearly identically in every way. The smaller model even has the same selection of inputs, including the built-in USB hub.
Overall, although the larger size of the Dell P2417H makes it the best cheap monitor for most people, if you're limited on space the Dell P2217H is nearly identical.
The ViewSonic XG2402 is the best budget monitor for gaming that we've tested so far. It delivers a great overall gaming experience for both PC and console gaming. Motion is incredibly clear, thanks to the fast refresh rate and outstanding fast response time, and it has amazing low input lag, even when gaming at 60Hz from a console. This monitor also supports AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card over DisplayPort.
This monitor has decent picture quality overall. It has good peak brightness, decent gray uniformity, and great reflection handling. The stand has very good ergonomics, so it's easy to place in an ideal viewing position, and it can rotate to portrait orientation, making it a great choice for a multi-monitor setup.
Unfortunately, like most TN monitors, it doesn't look as good in a dark room and has disappointing viewing angles. Overall, though, it's a great choice for gaming on a budget.
If you like gaming in a dark room, the Samsung CF398 might be a slightly better choice than the ViewSonic XG2402. The Samsung is a less advanced gaming monitor, but it has much better dark-room performance, thanks to the much better contrast ratio and better black uniformity. This monitor also has better gray uniformity. Unfortunately, it's not as good for gaming overall, as it has a slower response time, slightly higher input lag, and a slower refresh rate.
Overall, the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best cheap monitor for gaming for most people, but if you're in a dark room and don't need the lowest input lag, the Samsung CF398 is a good alternative.
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 inch, 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's 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's 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's a good budget office monitor that should please most people.
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.