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 110 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 want a smaller monitor to use as a secondary screen or simply save some space on your desk at home, check out the smaller Dell P2217H. It mainly has the same performance as the larger Dell P2417H, except its out-of-the-box color accuracy isn't as good. It has the same wide viewing angles, excellent gray uniformity, and good reflection handling. It's limited to a 60Hz refresh rate with no variable refresh rate (VRR) support, but the motion handling is still great if you also want to use it for console gaming on the side. Since it's a smaller screen than the other Dell and has the same 1080p resolution, it has a higher pixel density, so the lower resolution shouldn't cause too many issues for most people. Lastly, like most Dell monitors, it has excellent ergonomics.
If you want the best monitor under $200 we've tested, the P2417H is a good choice, but if you're looking for something smaller, check out the P2217H.
The best computer monitor under $200 that we've tested so far available in a 27 inch size is the HP 27F. It's a decent overall monitor that won't cost you much. It's limited on extra features but if you're looking for a simple office monitor and don't mind the 1080p resolution, this is a good choice.
It has an IPS panel, which provides really wide viewing angles if you want to share your screen with others. It's a good choice for most bright office environments as it has great reflection handling and it gets bright enough to combat glare. Unless you work in a color-sensitive business, like photo editing, you won't need to get it calibrated as it has great out-of-the-box color accuracy. It also has excellent gray uniformity, so solid colors across the screen, like on a web page or a document, look great without any darkened areas.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR and it has a low contrast ratio, which is expected from an IPS panel. This monitor has a native 75Hz refresh rate and FreeSync support, but its slow response time results in motion blur and it doesn't have a black frame insertion feature, so it's not ideal for competitive gamers. It also has very limited ergonomics, so it's hard to place this monitor in an ideal position. Regardless, it performs well for its price and its screen size gives you enough space to multitask, so most people should be happy with it.
The best monitor under $200 for gaming 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 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, the 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 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 monitor under $200 for gaming 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. It also has a 1080p resolution and it has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you don't need to pay extra to get it calibrated.
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.
07/22/2020: Added the HP 27F and removed the ViewSonic XG2402.
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.