The 5 Best Monitors Under $500 - Spring 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Monitors Under $500
168 Monitors Tested
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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 155 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.


  1. Best Office Monitor Under $500: ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV

    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    8.4
    Office
    8.3
    Gaming
    7.7
    Multimedia
    7.8
    Media Creation
    5.8
    HDR Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    75 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    Adaptive Sync

    The best monitor under $500 for office use 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 tested 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.

    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 should please most people and the best monitor under $500 for office use that we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Gaming Monitor Under $500: ASUS VG279QM

    8.7
    Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    280 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The ASUS VG279QM is the best gaming monitor under $500 with a 1080p resolution that we’ve tested. 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 at 1080p and the best model we’ve tested for under $500.

    See our review

  3. Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Under $500: Gigabyte M27Q

    8.1
    Mixed Usage
    8.0
    Office
    8.5
    Gaming
    7.9
    Multimedia
    8.0
    Media Creation
    7.3
    HDR Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 2560x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    170 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best gaming monitor under $500 with a 1440p resolution that we've tested is the Gigabyte M27Q. This versatile model sports a 27 inch screen that provides incredible immersion in games and is packed with great features. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles so that images don't look washed out when viewed from the side, making it a good choice for sharing content and co-op gaming. It gets very bright to combat glare, but it's not the most ideal for dark rooms as its low contrast ratio causes blacks to appear gray.

    Gaming-wise, it delivers an amazingly smooth and responsive experience thanks to its 170Hz refresh rate and exceptional response times. Images look clear in fast-moving scenes, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. It delivers a fairly decent HDR experience; however, the refresh rate is limited to 120Hz when gaming in 10-bit HDR. If you plan on using the monitor for work, you should know that it uses a BGR sub-pixel structure. It doesn't affect picture quality, but it can cause blurry text in some applications.

    The many extra features can be useful for streamers and multitaskers. It has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode that lets you display signals from two input sources simultaneously, and you can control both devices with one set of peripherals with its integrated KVM switch. It also has a USB-C port, but the power delivery is limited to 10W, which is only enough for smaller portable devices like smartphones. Nonetheless, it's an excellent, feature-rich monitor that should please most gamers.

    See our review

  4. Ultrawide Alternative: Acer Nitro XV340CK

    Size 34"
    Resolution 3440x1440
    Max Refresh Rate
    144 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you prefer an ultrawide monitor for better immersion, then check out the Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx. Unlike the Gigabyte M27Q, it has a 21:9 aspect ratio that provides more horizontal screen space, resulting in a more immersive gaming experience. Its response time is slower but still excellent, and it has a slightly lower 144Hz refresh rate. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very bright and might not be able to overcome intense glare, so it's better suited for a moderately-lit room. It has a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode, but no USB-C port or KVM feature.

    Overall, the Gigabyte delivers a better gaming experience due to its higher refresh rate and faster response times. However, if you want an ultrawide monitor for a more immersive experience, then go with the Acer.

    See our review

  5. Best 4k Monitor Under $500: Dell S3221QS

    7.6
    Mixed Usage
    7.5
    Office
    7.6
    Gaming
    7.6
    Multimedia
    7.8
    Media Creation
    6.9
    HDR Gaming
    Size 32"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    VA
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best 4k monitor under $500 that we've tested is the Dell S3221QS. It's a 32 inch model that provides plenty of screen space, allowing you to open multiple windows side-by-side. It has a great contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it a good choice for dark rooms, and it gets bright enough to fight glare in most lighting conditions. The stand only allows for height and tilt adjustment, so it's best to VESA-mount it if you have trouble getting a comfortable viewing position.

    It's well-suited for content creation. It has full sRGB and great Adobe RGB coverage, and it can also display a wide color gamut for HDR content. Color accuracy is only decent, though, so you might need to calibrate it first. It handles gradients superbly and has no color bleed. It has a 60Hz refresh rate and decent response times, fine for playing slower-paced games, but not the best for fast, reaction-based ones. On the upside, it supports VRR to reduce screen tearing.

    Unfortunately, it's not the most ideal for sharing content and work with others as it has narrow viewing angles that make images look washed out when viewed from the side. It has two USB 3.0 ports that you can use to charge your mobile devices or connect your peripherals and a Picture-in-Picture/Picture-by-Picture mode. So, if you're looking for a large 4k monitor for under $500, this one is worth checking out.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx: The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is an excellent 1080p gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate. Get this monitor if you're shopping on a very small budget. See our review
  • ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM: The ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM is a smaller and cheaper alternative to the ASUS VG279QM. It has the same 1080p resolution, but it has a higher pixel density due to its smaller screen size, so images and text look a bit sharper. See our review
  • ViewSonic Elite XG270: The ViewSonic Elite XG270 is an excellent gaming monitor, but it's more expensive than the ASUS VG279QM, and it has a lower 240Hz refresh rate and slower response times. See our review
  • ASUS TUF VG27AQ: The ASUS TUF VG27AQ is a great alternative to the Gigabyte M27Q, but it's more expensive, and its response times aren't as good. That said, it might still be a good choice if the M27Q's BGR sub-pixel structure bothers you. See our review
  • LG 27GN850-B: The LG 27GN850-B is a great gaming monitor. It has better response times than the Gigabyte M27Q but a lower refresh rate of 144Hz, and it's more expensive. See our review
  • Gigabyte G34WQC: The Gigabyte G34WQC is a good dark room alternative to the Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx. It has a much higher contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, but it has slower response times and worse viewing angles. On the other hand, it might be a better choice if glare is an issue because it gets a lot brighter to combat glare. See our review
  • Dell S2721DGF: The Dell S2721DGF is an excellent alternative to the Gigabyte M27Q, but it's more expensive. It has better response times, wider viewing angles, and significantly better ergonomics. See our review
  • LG 27UK650-W: The LG 27UK650-W is a good 4k monitor, but it's an older model that's discontinued and hard to find. See our review
  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS performs better than the Dell S3221QS, but it's hard to find due to low availability. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 01, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. Removed Dell S2417DG due to price increase. Replaced ASUS VG27AQ with Gigabyte M27Q and added Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx as ultrawide alternative. Removed ASUS VG279Q. Replaced Dell S2721QS with Dell S3221QS due to low availability and price increase.

  2. Jan 05, 2021: Updated text for clarity and structure, replaced LG 27UK650-W with Dell S2721QS.

  3. Nov 03, 2020: Removed the Dell U2520D, added the ASUS PA278QV, and moved the ASUS VG279Q to an alternate pick.

  4. Sep 04, 2020: Moved the ASUS VG27AQ to a main pick; replaced the Dell U2518 with the U2520D.

  5. Jul 07, 2020: Replaced Acer Nitro XV273X with ASUS VG279QM.

  6. May 08, 2020: Added ViewSonic Elite XG270 as a Notable Mention.

All Reviews

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.

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