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 145 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors under $500 to buy. See our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.
The best gaming monitor under $500 that we’ve tested is the ASUS VG279QM. This 27 inch model has excellent gaming performance and should satisfy the most demanding gamers despite its lower price point. Like many other ASUS models, it feels very well-built and has outstanding ergonomics thanks to its wide swivel range and its ability to rotate to portrait mode.
It has an exceptionally fast response time, and the 280Hz max refresh rate delivers superb motion handling with very little blur. The input lag is also remarkably low at max refresh rate. However, it becomes extremely high at 60Hz, so this isn’t a good option for console gamers. On the plus side, unlike many monitors, it has a Black Frame Insertion feature that can be used simultaneously with variable refresh rate. It supports FreeSync natively and is certified as G-SYNC compatible.
Unfortunately, it has a low contrast ratio, so it’s not the best option for dark room gaming. On the other hand, it has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate when viewed from the side, which is great for co-op gaming. All in all, the ASUS is an excellent choice for gaming and the best model we’ve tested for under $500.
If you prefer a monitor that has native G-SYNC support, check out the Dell S2417DG. Although it has a smaller screen than the ASUS VG279QM, its 1440p resolution on a 24 inch screen results in sharper images and text due to the higher pixel density. Unfortunately, its refresh rate caps out at 165Hz, but its response time is just as good, and it also has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature. It gets pretty bright and has great reflection handling, so you shouldn't have any issues with visibility in well-lit rooms. The biggest downside is that its TN panel has a low contrast ratio, and there's significant clouding throughout the screen, making it less ideal for dark rooms. Also, it has poor viewing angles, sub-par color accuracy, and it doesn't support HDR.
Overall, if you want the best gaming monitor under $500, check out the ASUS. However, if you're okay compromising a bit of picture quality for native G-SYNC support, look into the Dell.
The best monitor under $500 with a 1440p resolution that we’ve tested is the ASUS TUF VG27AQ. This 27 inch model is quite versatile and should please a wide array of users. It uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, so images remain accurate when viewed from the side. It also has excellent ergonomics with a wide swivel range and portrait rotation.
It performs especially well for gaming, with a very fast refresh rate, superb response time, and a Black Frame Insertion feature to reduce motion blur. Whether you use it at 165Hz or 60Hz, the input lag stays low, giving you a very responsive gaming experience, even for console gamers. It also supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing, and it’s compatible with G-SYNC as well.
Unfortunately, the IPS panel means it has a low contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray in darker environments, which isn’t ideal for dark room gaming. Also, it can’t display a wide color gamut for HDR content and can’t get bright enough to bring out highlights either. However, the overall picture quality is great, making it the best 1440p monitor we’ve tested for less than $500.
The best 4k monitor under $500 that we’ve tested is the Dell S2721QS. It’s a 27 inch model that’s mainly designed for office work, but that’s still suitable for a wide range of uses. It has plenty of screen space for multitasking, wide viewing angles to easily share your screen while working or gaming, and a high pixel density to produce sharp images and text.
The ergonomics are very good, and you can easily place the screen at your ideal viewing position. It also gets bright enough to overcome glare and handles reflections well, so you shouldn’t have any visibility issues when using it in well-lit rooms. It has a fast response time, low input lag, and both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing.
Unfortunately, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, but keep in mind that gaming in 4k is pretty demanding, so it shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Also, the contrast ratio is mediocre, which means it’s not a good choice to use in darker environments. That said, this is a very good 4k monitor that should please most users.
The best monitor under $500 in terms of its performance and value is the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV. It's one of the best office monitors we've tested and won't break your bank to give you impressive overall performance. It has a high 1440p resolution that delivers clear text and helps with productivity.
The stand has one of the best ergonomics we've seen on any monitor. You can swivel it 90 degrees in either direction, it has a high height and tilt range, and you can rotate it into portrait mode. It's a well-built model that fits into any office environment. It performs best in well-lit environments and easily gets bright enough to combat glare with good reflection handling. Its IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, so you won't have any issues sharing your screen with a coworker. Also, it has excellent gray uniformity and good out-of-the-box color accuracy, but these two things may vary between units, and your experience may be different.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support HDR, and it's limited to a 75Hz refresh rate, so it's not the most ideal choice for gaming. Still, it has an impressive response time and low input lag. It also has a few extra features like a USB hub, and there are built-in speakers, so you don't have to buy an external setup. Overall, this is a sleek model that's a great choice for the office, making it the best monitor under $500 in terms of value.
If you prefer something with a higher refresh rate for gaming, check out the ASUS VG279Q. It has a lower native resolution than the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV, but it still provides good overall performance. It has a native 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. Input lag is incredibly low, and it has a very quick response time, whether you're using it at its max refresh rate or 60Hz. Much like the PA278QV, this monitor is also great for use in well-lit rooms as it has good reflection handling and impressive peak brightness. Unfortunately, it doesn't perform well in the dark as it has a low contrast ratio, which is expected from an IPS panel, and disappointing black uniformity. On the upside, it has amazing gray uniformity, excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, and outstanding ergonomics.
If you want the best value for under $500, you can't go wrong with the ProArt, but if you need a higher refresh rate, look into the VG279Q.
01/05/2021: Updated text for clarity and structure, replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS.
11/03/2020: Removed the Dell U2520D, added the ASUS PA278QV, and moved the ASUS VG279Q to an alternate pick.
09/04/2020: Moved the ASUS VG27AQ to a main pick; replaced the Dell U2518 with the U2520D.
07/07/2020: Replaced Acer Nitro XV273X with ASUS VG279QM.
05/08/2020: Added ViewSonic Elite XG270 as a Notable Mention.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best monitors under $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.