You don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune to get a decent monitor. Although they typically lack more advanced features, budget monitors can still deliver a decent experience for most uses if you're not too picky. Monitors in this price range are typically smaller-sized and limited to 1080p resolutions, which is still just fine for occasional use or casual gaming.
We've reviewed over 100 monitors and below you'll find our top picks for the best monitors under $200 available for purchase. See also our recommendations for the best budget gaming monitors, the best budget monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.
The best monitor under $200 we've tested so far is the Dell P2417H. It's a decent overall monitor that delivers the performance you would expect for its price, but it should still please people looking for a cheap monitor for their at-home office or gaming setup.
This is a 24 inch monitor that gives you enough screen real estate to multitask while saving you some space on your desk compared to popular 27 inch monitors. However, the 1080p resolution might be too low for some people to see finer details when watching videos. It has great ergonomics, allowing you to place it how you like, and it has wide viewing angles if you need to share your screen with someone else. Gamers will appreciate the great motion handling and incredibly low input lag, and the 60Hz refresh rate is good enough for console gamers.
Unfortunately, it has a mediocre contrast ratio and poor black uniformity, so it doesn't perform well in dark rooms. However, it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you won't need to get it calibrated if you don't want to. Overall, this is a good office and gaming monitor, and it's the best monitor under $200 that we've tested so far.
If you don't have as much space on your desk or want a smaller monitor as a second screen, then the Dell P2217H is a good alternative. It's the smaller version of the Dell P2417H, with similar performance; the black uniformity is worse, but this can vary from unit to unit. It has the same features that make it a good office or gaming monitor, although the smaller size isn't as good for multitasking or immersive gaming experiences. It also has outstanding gradient performance and no color bleed, which is good news for photo editors.
If you want the best monitor for under $200 that we've tested, the P2417H is a good, reliable choice, but if you don't have much space, consider the smaller P2217H.
The best gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested so far is the Acer XF251Q. It's decent overall and it performs best as a gaming monitor since its TN panel can produce a fast response time.
This monitor has a 75Hz refresh rate which could go as low as 40Hz with its FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support. This might not be enough for more competitive gamers, but budget monitors aren't exactly made for competitive gaming anyways, so casual gamers should be pleased with it. The input lag is very low, and stays low even with VRR enabled, which is great. Motion looks fairly clear on this monitor, but there's significant overshoot on any overdrive setting, which you can't disable when it's connected to a FreeSync compatible device.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have a DisplayPort input and as is the case with most TN panels, picture quality isn't good. The contrast ratio is mediocre and the viewing angles are poor, but luckily, it has good gray uniformity and its black uniformity is actually one of the best we've seen on a monitor. Overall, this is a great choice for gamers on a budget, making it the best gaming monitor under $200 that we've tested.
If you want a monitor with a better swivel range, check out the ASUS VG245H. This 24 inch monitor performs almost identically to the slightly larger Acer XF251Q with worse black uniformity, but it has a better height adjustment, much wider swivel range, and a better tilt range. This makes it easier to place it in an ideal viewing position without VESA mounting it. Sadly, its viewing angles are bad and it has mediocre overall picture quality, but it has great gaming performance with excellent motion handling and low input lag.
Overall, the Acer is the best gaming monitor under $200 for most people, but if you want a better stand and won't use it in a dark room, the ASUS is a good alternative.
If you want a monitor with a higher refresh rate, then the ViewSonic XG2402 is a good alternative. Its contrast ratio and black uniformity are worse than the Acer XF251Q, so it doesn't perform as well in dark rooms, but motion looks extremely clear on the Acer with almost no motion blur. It has FreeSync VRR support over both HDMI and DisplayPort connections, the input lag is extremely low, and it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. Unfortunately, its viewing angles are poor, so it's not ideal for co-op gaming. However, it can get bright and has great reflection handling if you want to place it in a bright room.
If you're looking for the best gaming monitor under $200, check out the Acer, but if you want something with a higher refresh rate, consider the ViewSonic.
05/22/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors under $200. 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 the make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews 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.