Monitors come in many shapes and sizes, with designs ranging from simplistic office monitors that blend into the decor to fancy gaming monitors with extreme designs. Whether it's for work or play, there are many good monitors available for under $500. From excellent gaming features to the largest screens you can get, there is something for everyone in this price range.
We've tested more than 85 monitors and below are our recommendations for the best monitors under $500 to buy in 2020. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.
The best monitor under $500 is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. It's an impressive 27 inch 1440p IPS monitor with exceptional low input lag for outstanding gaming performance. It maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side, just like most IPS monitors, while fast-moving content looks crisp with almost no blur thanks to the very fast response time. The 165Hz refresh rate improves the overall appearance of motion, and the monitor supports the FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for a wide range of refresh rates to ensure almost tear-free gaming.
Unfortunately, the monitor can't display deep blacks in a dark room, and although it supports HDR and can reach decent peak brightness levels for most HDR games, it lacks a wide color gamut to display the full richness of colors found in HDR content.
Overall, this is the best monitor for under $500 and delivers an impressive performance regardless of the intended use.
If you find that the ASUS TUF VG27AQ's 1440p resolution isn't enough for your content and you want a 4k monitor, get the LG 27UK650-W, the best 4k monitor under $500. You won't get the ASUS' 165Hz refresh rate, but on the upside, the LG is a very good 27 inch, 4k monitor with excellent low input lag and impressive motion handling, including FreeSync support for Xbox One or PC gaming.
If you want the best monitor under $500, get the ASUS; otherwise, if 4k resolution is important, the best 4k monitor under $500 is the LG 27UK650-W.
If you have an NVIDIA graphics card and want an excellent G-SYNC gaming monitor to go with it, get the Dell S2417DG, one of the best gaming monitors under $500. Its 24 inch screen is a bit smaller than some of our other recommendations, but it sports a 1440p resolution which means it's great for multitasking or getting immersed in your games. It has HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, a 4-port USB hub, and the same great ergonomic stand that's typical of most Dell monitors. It also has nice thin bezels, making it a good choice for a multiple-monitor setup.
This monitor is outstanding at handling motion thanks to its fast response time and flicker-free backlight. Its 144Hz refresh rate can easily be increased to 165Hz, and it supports NVIDIA's G-SYNC VRR technology to give it a smooth, tear-free experience. Unfortunately, due to its TN panel it has low contrast and bad black uniformity, and poor viewing angles.
Overall, it's a good monitor with a lot of features for the price, and one of the best G-SYNC monitors we've tested to date.
If you want a gaming monitor under $500 with G-SYNC but want something larger than 24", go with the Dell S2716DGR/S2716DG. It has a slower response time than the very similar Dell S2417DG but has a larger screen. It has the same ergonomic stand with full height and swivel adjustments and the same input options. While the unit we tested wasn't quite as bright as the S2417DG and had worse black uniformity, this may just be contributed to manufacturing panel variances. They both support G-SYNC and have a 1440p resolution, but the larger screen on this monitor makes it even more comfortable and immersive for multimedia and gaming purposes.
If you want to save some money and are concerned about slight differences in picture quality, go with the S2417DG, but if you want a larger screen that still gives you a great G-SYNC gaming experience, get the S2716DGR.
If you want to get the most for your investment, the ASUS VG279Q offers the best price to performance ratio and is the best value monitor under $500. This is a very good monitor for almost any use, and it's especially well-suited for gaming. It has outstanding motion handling, excellent low input lag, and decent overall picture quality. It has a great stand, with an outstanding range of ergonomic adjustments, so you can easily place it in an ideal viewing position.
This monitor has great peak brightness and good reflection handling, so you shouldn't have any issues using it in a bright room. It has wide viewing angles, perfect for sharing your screen with someone else or if you're looking to do a multi-monitor setup and won't be sitting directly in front of it.
Unfortunately, this monitor's 1080p native resolution might disappoint some users, as this isn't ideal for multitasking. This monitor also doesn't look as good when displaying dark scenes in a dark room, although this shouldn't be that noticeable for most people. Overall, it's a very good monitor that should please most people.
If you want something with a higher native resolution, check out the Dell U2518D instead. Although not as good as the ASUS VG279Q, this 25 inch monitor delivers very good performance for the price, with good overall picture quality, decent motion handling, and HDR support. It has a higher native resolution, delivering a sharper image with more screen real estate. It isn't as good as the ASUS for gaming, though, as it has a slower refresh rate and no dedicated gaming features, but it's a versatile choice for most uses.
Overall, although the ASUS is better for most people, if the low native resolution bothers you and you don't need dedicated gaming features, the Dell is a good alternative.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors under $500 currently available. 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 to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews 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.
01/10/2020: Added the ASUS TUF VG 27AQ and changed the article structure to reflect market conditions.
11/05/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.