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 2019. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.
The LG 27UK650-W is the best monitor under $500 that we've reviewed so far. This 27 inch, 4k monitor has excellent low input lag and great motion handling, including FreeSync support for Xbox One or PC gaming. It also has great wide viewing angles, perfect for side-by-side co-op games.
It has a fast response time, delivering clear motion with little blur trail. The 60Hz refresh rate is fine for most uses, but more demanding gamers might be disappointed. It also has good connectivity, including two HDMI ports and a single DisplayPort connection.
Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, and HDR doesn't stand out as well as it should. Although not always available for under $500, this is a very good 4k monitor that should please most people, and the best 4k monitor under $500.
If you want something cheaper than the LG 27UK650-W, check out the LG 27UD68 instead. This is a great 4k monitor with decent picture quality, very good motion handling, and excellent low input lag. It's a bit worse overall than the other LG, with a slightly worse response time, but most people won't notice this. It also doesn't support HDR, but this doesn't add much to the other LG anyway.
Overall, the LG 27UK650-W is the best monitor under $500 for most people, but if you want something a bit cheaper and won't miss the response time, the LG 27UD68 is almost as good.
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 IPS panel it has low contrast and black uniformity, but on the upside, it has wide viewing angles, excellent color accuracy, and does a good job at handling reflections.
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 overall 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.
11/05/2019: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.