You don't necessarily need to spend a small fortune to get a decent monitor. Although they typically lack more advanced features, the best monitors under $200 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 are usually limited to 1080p resolutions, which is still just fine for occasional use or casual gaming.
Note: A number of the picks are slightly over $200. This is in part due to the pandemic as many monitors that were previously under $200 are now priced much higher. Our picks are ones that we think are worth paying just a bit more based on their performance, and you can likely find them on sale for under $200.
We've tested over 160 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 with a 1080p resolution that we've tested is the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. This is an IPS model that's well-suited for a wide variety of uses. It has amazing ergonomics, which includes a full 360-degree swivel, and the viewing angles are excellent, making it a great choice for sharing content and playing co-op games. Visibility in bright rooms is good, but like most IPS monitors, it isn't ideal for dark rooms due to its low contrast ratio, which makes blacks appear closer to gray.
Motion handling is truly superb for something in this price range. It has a 165Hz refresh rate and exceptional response time, producing clear images in fast-moving as well as providing more responsiveness. It supports FreeSync natively to reduce screen tearing and is compatible with NVIDIA's G-SYNC, though only over a DisplayPort connection. It supports HDR, but as expected for a budget monitor, it can't display a wide color gamut and doesn't get bright enough for a true HDR experience.
There's a pair of speakers built-in, but sadly, there are no USB ports for charging. You can add a virtual crosshair or frame rate counter on the screen and control the monitor's settings through software. The backlight is entirely flicker-free, and there's also a blue light filter that can help reduce eye strain. The price is just a tad above $200, but considering its excellent gaming performance, it's well worth spending a few extra dollars.
The Dell S2721D is the best monitor under $200 with a 1440p resolution that we've tested. This is a very good 27 inch office monitor that provides plenty of screen space for multitasking. It produces sharp images and text thanks to its high pixel density, great for any type of office work or even content creation. It has full sRGB coverage, excellent gradient handling, and no color bleed. It handles reflections well and gets pretty bright, so you shouldn't have any visibility issues in most lighting conditions.
It has a 75Hz refresh rate that makes everything feel a bit smoother and more responsive than a typical 60Hz panel. However, the response time is a bit slow. You can play some slower-paced games on it, but it isn't ideal for fast-moving games. On the upside, it has variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing. There's no HDR support, and like most IPS monitors, it has a mediocre contrast ratio that causes blacks to appear gray when viewed in the dark.
Sharing your screen with others might be somewhat complicated because even though it has wide viewing angles, you can't turn the screen at all due to the stand's terrible ergonomics. This might also make it harder for you to get a comfortable viewing position, so VESA-mounting is recommended. There are no USB ports, but it does have a pair of speakers built-in if you don't have dedicated ones. Overall, it's a simple but good office monitor that should satisfy most people.
The best monitor under $200 for dark rooms that we've tested is the Dell S2721HGF. It's a 27 inch curved model with a 1080p resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate. As is expected of most VA panels, it has a great contrast ratio that allows it to produce deep blacks. Its viewing angles are reasonably good, fine for sharing content or playing co-op games, though not for work that requires the utmost image accuracy. It handles reflections well and gets decently bright, but visibility might still be an issue in very bright, sunny rooms.
It has a good response time overall to deliver relatively clear images in fast-moving scenes. However, it's a bit slow in the dark transitions, which causes motion artifacts in dark scenes. The same can be said of its response time at 60Hz, making it less ideal for 60fps console gaming. Input lag is incredibly low, and it has both native FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR, which is somewhat expected for a budget monitor.
There are only a few extra features to enhance your gaming experience. You can put a timer or frame rate counter on the screen, and there's dark stabilizer feature that makes your objects more visible in dark scenes. The ergonomics are sub-par because it only allows for height and tilt adjustment, so it's best to VESA-mount it if you need greater adjustability. Nevertheless, it's a great dark room gaming monitor that's also easy on the wallet.
Mar 17, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Removed Acer VG271 and LG 32GN50T-B due to low availability and price increase. Replaced MSI G27C5 with Dell S2721HGF. Added Dell S2721D as 'Best 1440p'.
Jan 22, 2021: Removed Lenovo Q27q-10 due to price increase. Replaced HP 27f with Acer Nitro XF243Y because it performs better and the HP's price increased to $250. Removed ASUS VG245H and LG 24GL600F. Added LG 32GN50T-B.
Nov 23, 2020: Removed the Dell P2417H, Dell P2217H, and Acer XG251Q; moved the HP 27F to 'Best 1080p' and ASUS VG245H to the alternate; added the Lenovo Q27q-10 and MSI Optix G27C5.
Sep 24, 2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy.
Jul 22, 2020: Added the HP 27F and removed the ViewSonic XG2402.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors under $200. 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.