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 and usually limited to 1080p resolutions, which is still just fine for occasional use or casual gaming.
Note: Some of the picks are slightly over $200. 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 190 monitors, and below you'll find our top picks for the best monitors under $200 available for purchase. See 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. It's an IPS model well-suited for a wide variety of uses. It has amazing ergonomics, including 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, making blacks appear closer to gray.
Motion handling is superb for something in this price range. It has a 165Hz refresh rate and exceptional response time, producing clear images in fast-moving content and 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.
If you tend to game in a dark room, then look into the Dell S2721HGF. It doesn't have wide viewing angles like the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, but that means its VA panel has a higher contrast, so it displays deep blacks for dark room gaming. It's larger, delivering a more immersive gaming experience; however, since it has the same 1080p resolution, pixel density is lower. Its 144Hz refresh rate helps deliver a quick response time, but you may notice black smear, which is typical of VA panels. If you also want to use it in a well-lit room, it gets bright enough to combat glare and has good reflection handling.
If you're in the market for the best monitor under $200 with a 1080 resolution, check out the Acer. If you prefer something with a higher contrast ratio, look into the Dell.
The Dell S2721D is the best monitor under $200 with a 1440p resolution that we've tested. It's 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 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. It might also make it harder for you to get a comfortable viewing position, so VESA-mounting is recommended. There aren't any 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 portable monitor under $200 that we've tested is the Lepow Z1 Gamut. Portable monitors are different from typical desktop monitors because they tend to have different inputs and performance and instead focus on being compact to carry; this means they may not be as versatile as other monitors. This one is okay overall and a decent choice to use as a secondary screen.
Even though it has a smaller 15.6" screen and 1080p resolution, text clarity is great because it has a high pixel density. It has a good selection of inputs, including one Mini HDMI and two USB-C inputs, one of which supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to power up a small device like a phone and display an image at the same time. It even has built-in speakers, and there's an analog audio output if you need to connect your headphones. It's okay for content creators as it displays a wide color gamut, better than most portable monitors, but the out-of-the-box accuracy is disappointing.
Unfortunately, it has a terrible response time, so you'll notice motion blur even when scrolling through long documents. It comes with a folio case with limited ergonomics, as you can only place it in three positions, so you may need to get a separate tablet stand if you want to place it in an ideal viewing position. It doesn't get bright either, but it has great reflection handling. If some of these flaws don't bother you, you should be happy with it.
Jul 13, 2021: Moved the Dell S2721HGF to 'Dark Room Alternative' for consistency; added the Lepow Z1 Gamut; updated Notable Mentions based off market availability.
May 14, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. No change in recommendations.
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.
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.