There are plenty of monitors you can get for under $500 that offer good performance. Most monitors in this price range are considered mid-range and budget monitors compared to the rest of the monitor market, so they won't have the latest high-end features like QD-OLED panels or Mini LED backlighting. However, you can still find useful features like high resolution and USB hubs on monitors in this price range.
When looking for a monitor, it's important to consider what you'll use it for, as you would need a different type of monitor for office use than you would for gaming. Luckily, options are available for any type of user in this price range. These monitors are also available in a variety of sizes, including ultrawide, but choosing the right size is a personal preference. There's no perfect solution for everyone, but being conscious about your personal needs and budget is a good place to start when looking for a monitor.
We've bought and tested more than 295 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors to buy for under $500. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $300, the best budget and cheap monitors, and the best work monitors.
The best monitor we've tested in the $500 price range is the Gigabyte M27U. Although its price is sometimes above $500, it's still worth spending a bit more when it is because it's great for most uses, and it has a high 4k resolution. It's a versatile display that delivers detailed images, and thanks to its high pixel density, it has sharp text clarity. This makes it great for any use that requires you to read text, whether it be office work, content creation, or simply browsing the web. It's also a bright monitor, and combined with its decent reflection handling, you won't have issues using it in a well-lit room.
It has extra features that you won't normally find on monitors in this price range, like a KVM switch that makes it easy to control two sources with the same keyboard and mouse connected to the monitor. It's also a great choice if you need something for console gaming, as it supports HDMI 2.1 bandwidth that lets it take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. It even has a fast response time across its entire refresh rate range, ensuring motion looks smooth.
While the Gigabyte M27U is an excellent gaming monitor, if you want a monitor for your PC gaming setup but don't need something as versatile for other uses as the Gigabyte, check out the Dell Alienware AW2724DM. With a lower 1440p resolution, images aren't as sharp and detailed as on the Gigabyte, but it offers excellent gaming performance with a 165Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 180Hz. It has FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) support with G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing, and motion looks incredibly smooth thanks to its quick response time across its entire refresh rate range.
On top of its excellent gaming performance, it delivers good picture quality with accurate colors before calibration, high peak brightness, and wide viewing angles that keep the image consistent from the sides, which makes it a great choice for co-op gaming. It isn't a perfect monitor, though, as it has some text clarity issues, so if that's important for you, you can also consider the LG 27GP850-B/27GP83B-B, which is very similar and in the same price range.
If you're a competitive gamer and want a monitor with a higher refresh rate, there are some options you can get for even less. The ViewSonic XG2431 has a 240Hz refresh rate, and the Dell Alienware AW2523HF has an even higher 360Hz refresh rate, and both are impressive for gaming. However, they each have a lower resolution and smaller screen than the AW2724DM, so they're only worth getting if you want the high refresh rate.
If you don't need the gaming features of the Dell Alienware AW2724DM, or even the Gigabyte M27U, and want a 4k monitor for work purposes, check out the Dell S2722QC. Its high resolution is great for productivity because it increases the pixel density and helps deliver clear text, and the 27-inch screen is big enough to open two windows side-by-side. It's also a great monitor for a well-lit room because it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. Its wide viewing angles and excellent ergonomics make it easy to adjust the screen and share it with someone next to you.
It has a few extra features like Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes that let you view images from two sources simultaneously. It has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode with 65W of power, meaning you can charge smaller laptops and display an image from them using a single cable. It even has two USB-A ports to connect devices directly to the monitor, like your keyboard and mouse. If you want an even bigger USB hub, consider the Dell U2723QE, which has more features like a KVM switch but tends to cost more than $500.
If you don't need something for a specific use, like work or gaming, and find the 27-inch screen on the Dell S2722QC too small, then look into an ultrawide monitor. It provides extra horizontal screen space, which is ideal for multitasking or even if you want to see more of your game at once. In that case, the Dell S3422DWG is a great choice as it's versatile for different uses. It's great for gaming thanks to its high 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync VRR, and G-SYNC compatibility, and its motion handling is good at higher refresh rates, but there's smearing with fast-moving objects.
The picture quality on this monitor is great as it has a high contrast ratio that displays deep blacks, but it lacks a local dimming feature to improve it. It also gets bright in HDR to make some highlights stand out. There are some office features, too, as it has a USB hub with four USB-A ports, so connecting different devices is easy. However, it lacks a USB-C port. If you want an ultrawide monitor with one, check out the Gigabyte M34WQ, but it's sometimes harder to find.
Oct 20, 2023: Removed the Dell U2723QE because it went up in price, and renamed the Dell S2722QC as 'Best 4k Monitor For Work'; replaced the LG 32GP850-B with the Dell Alienware AW2724DM because it's better for gaming; replaced the Gigabyte M34WQ with the Dell S3422DWG because the Gigabyte is hard to find; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Aug 24, 2023: Added the Dell U2723QE as the 'Best Monitor For Photo Editing' to give another option, and renamed the Dell S2722QC as the 'Best Work Monitor' for consistency with other articles; added the Dell S2721QS to Notable Mentions.
Jun 30, 2023: Added the Gigabyte M27U as the 'Best Monitor Under $500' and renamed the LG 32GP850-B as the 'Best Gaming Monitor Under $500'; removed the Dell Alienware AW2523HF because it has a lower resolution than the LG; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Mar 09, 2023: Removed the ASUS ROG Strix XG27AQ and the MSI Oculux XG253R because of lack of availability; replaced the LG 27GP850-B with the LG 32GP850-B and renamed to 'Best Monitor Under $500' and added the Gigabyte M27Q X as the 'Best Gaming Monitor'; renamed the Dell S2722QC to 'Best 4k Monitor' from 'Best Office Monitor'; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors for less than $500 currently available. 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 to make your own decision, here is the list of all our reviews of monitors under $500. 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.