Getting a new monitor can cost a lot, especially if you want the best performance, but there are still some good options you can get for under $200. While many monitors in this price range are basic and don't offer extra features you'd find on high-end models, some provide good enough performance for uses like gaming and work.
There are a few factors to consider when looking for a monitor. Most low-cost options are available in 24-inch screen sizes with a 1080p resolution, but there are some with bigger ones with 27-inch screens. However, size is a personal preference, so you also need to think about your needs and how you're going to use it. For example, it's important to get something with good motion handling if you're a gamer, but versatile ergonomics are more important for work purposes, so there's no perfect solution for everyone.
We've bought and tested over 295 monitors, and below, you'll find our top picks for the best monitors that you can find for under $200. See our recommendations for the best budget and cheap gaming monitors, the best budget and cheap monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.
The best monitor you can get for under $200 for all-around use is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It's a versatile display designed with gamers in mind, and while the 24-inch screen may seem small, this is the size you'll have to settle on for something in this price range, especially if you want good performance. It has a 165Hz refresh rate with FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. It also has a fast response time at higher refresh rates, resulting in minimal motion blur, but there's more overshoot that causes inverse ghosting at lower refresh rates.
Even if it's designed primarily for gaming, it's also good if you want to use it for productivity or even just casually browsing the web. It has remarkable ergonomics that make it easy to adjust the screen, like if you need to show something to someone next to you. It even has wide viewing angles that keep the image consistent when viewed from the sides. Lastly, it gets bright and has good reflection handling, which is ideal if you want to use it in a well-lit room.
While the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is still a great gaming monitor, if you're looking for the best gaming monitor under $200 and you don't need something for other uses, then look into the ASUS VG248QG. It's an impressive 24-inch gaming monitor that isn't as versatile as the Acer because it uses a TN panel with worse uniformity, viewing angles, and overall picture quality, which is why it performs best only for gaming. So unless you want great picture quality, you'll still be happy with this one as it offers impressive gaming performance.
The main advantage of monitors with TN panels like this one is their remarkable motion handling, and the ASUS is no exception, as it has a fast response time at any refresh rate without any noticeable overshoot. It also has VRR support to reduce screen tearing, and there are a few extra gaming features like backlight strobing and even a virtual crosshair that your game's anti-cheat tool won't detect, giving you a competitive advantage.
If you're looking for something for office work, consider the ASUS VG246H. It doesn't have the same gaming features and performance as the ASUS VG248QG or the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, so consider it if you want to use it only for work purposes; otherwise, stick with the other monitors if you want something versatile. With a 24-inch screen, there isn't tons of space to multitask, but this is what you must expect when looking for a low-cost office monitor. This monitor's main advantage for work-related purposes is its outstanding ergonomics, making it easy to place in an ideal position. It also has wide viewing angles, suitable for sharing your screen with a coworker or client, as they'll see a consistent image from the sides.
Although it's a cheap monitor, it has an sRGB mode that results in great accuracy before calibration, which is important if your work requires accurate colors. It also has very good reflection handling if you want to use it in a room with a few lights, but it doesn't get bright enough to fight intense glare.
If you find 24-inch monitors too small and you're set on getting a 27-inch monitor, there aren't many options for under $200, but the MSI Optix G272 is a decent choice. It's designed as a gaming monitor, but it's still decent enough even for productivity, like if you want something bigger than the ASUS VG246H. However, it has much worse ergonomics, as you can only tilt it, so it's harder to place it in an ideal position. Still, it has wide viewing angles that keep the image consistent from the sides.
Besides that, it's a great gaming monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync support, and G-SYNC compatibility. It also has excellent motion handling because it has a fast response time no matter the refresh rate you play at, and it even has an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur. It has a 1080p resolution, so the image clarity is decent. If you want a higher 1440p resolution, the Samsung Odyssey G5 C27G55T is another option, but it has limited performance and costs more than $200.
May 23, 2023: Replaced the Acer Nitro RG241Y Pbiipx with the ASUS VG248QG and renamed as 'Best Gaming Monitor Under $200' because it's better for gaming; replaced the Dell G2722HS with the MSI Optix G272 and renamed as the 'Best 27-Inch Monitor Under $200' because the Dell went up in price.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors under $200 that are available to purchase. They're 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 the make your own decision, here is the list of all our reviews of monitors under $200. 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.