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The 6 Best Monitors Under $500 - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Monitors Under $500

As the monitor market continues to grow, there are plenty of great monitors that you can find in any price range, including under $500. Although you won't get the best gaming monitors out there with a 4k resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, you'll still be able to find something that provides excellent gaming or office performance. Finding the best monitor in this price range depends on your needs and whether you want something with a high refresh rate focused on gaming, or a high resolution for office work.

We've tested more than 230 monitors, and below are our recommendations for the best monitors under $500 to buy. Also see our recommendations for the best gaming monitors under $200, the best budget gaming monitors, and the best 1080p monitors.

  1. Best 1080p Gaming Monitor Under $500

    The Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx is the best 1080p gaming monitor under $500 that we've tested. It's a versatile monitor with great gaming performance. Even if its 24 inch screen size doesn't provide the most immersive gaming experience, it helps increase the pixel density compared to larger 1080p monitors, meaning the text and image clarity is decent. It's well-built and has outstanding ergonomics, making it easy to place in an ideal position.

    The XF243Y provides great value for its price as it has features most gamers are looking for. It has a native 144Hz refresh rate that you can overclock to 165Hz, and it has both native FreeSync and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Motion looks very smooth with high-frame-rate games as there's minimal motion blur, but you see more inverse ghosting with 60Hz content and the variable refresh rate (VRR) support enabled, so you need to disable VRR for the best motion handling with low-frame-rate games.

    Sadly, while this monitor supports HDR, it doesn't add much. The Nitro XF243Y has low HDR peak brightness, can't display a wide color gamut, and has a low contrast ratio so blacks look gray in the dark. Regardless, it's a good choice for well-lit rooms because it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. All in all, it's a great 1080p gaming monitor that you can get for under $500.

    See our review

  2. Best 1080p Esports Gaming Monitor Under $500

    The Dell Alienware AW2521H is the best 1080p gaming monitor for under $500 if you're an esports gamer. It has a 1080p resolution like the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx, but there are a few differences that make it an excellent choice for gaming. It has an incredibly high 360Hz refresh rate with native G-SYNC support, which is beneficial if you have an NVIDIA graphics card and want to take full advantage of it, but it doesn't support FreeSync.

    Motion looks exceptionally smooth thanks to the really quick response time, especially when gaming at its max refresh rate. It also has an optional backlight strobing feature to reduce persistence blur, but it results in some image duplication. You won't have any issues with its input lag as gaming feels responsive, and the input lag remains low even with VRR enabled. The picture quality is also good as it has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, meaning you won't need to get it calibrated to enjoy accurate colors, and it gets bright in SDR.

    Sadly, it also has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray, the black uniformity is poor, and it doesn't have a local dimming feature to improve either of those. Although it has decent HDR peak brightness, enough to make some highlights stand out, it doesn't display a wide range of colors in HDR. Besides these small issues, it's an excellent gaming monitor that's the best choice for esports gamers on a $500 budget.

    See our review

  3. Best 1440p Gaming Monitor Under $500

    The best 1440p gaming monitor under $500 that we've tested is the Gigabyte M27Q. This versatile model sports a 27 inch screen that provides incredible immersion in games and has great features. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles so that images don't look washed out when viewed from the side. 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 impressively smooth and responsive experience thanks to its 170Hz refresh rate and excellent response time. Images look clear in fast-moving scenes, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. The many extra features are helpful if you're a streamer or multi-tasker. It has Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes that let 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 10 W.

    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 causes blurry text in some applications. It delivers a fairly decent HDR experience; however, the refresh rate is limited to 120Hz when gaming in 10-bit HDR. Nonetheless, it's the best gaming monitor under $500 with a 1440p resolution.

    See our review

  4. Best 4k Office Monitor Under $500

    The Dell S2722QC is the best 4k monitor under $500 that we've tested for the office. Although 4k monitors tend to be more expensive than $500, especially gaming ones, there are a few 4k office monitors that you can find in this price range. The resolution increases the pixel density on a 27 inch screen, which helps deliver crisp images with clear text.

    It's well-built and designed with productivity in mind. It has excellent ergonomics as you can swivel it, adjust the height, and rotate it into portrait mode if needed. It also has a USB-C input that supports DisplayPort Alt Mode, allowing you to display an image from a compatible device like a laptop and charge it at the same time. You won't have any issues with visibility in bright rooms as it gets bright enough to fight glare and has good reflection handling. Also, the wide viewing angles are great if you need to share your screen with someone next to you, as the image will remain accurate.

    Unfortunately, it's not ideal for content creators because it has limited Adobe RGB color space coverage, and it can't display a wide color gamut for HDR. Also, it has only decent out-of-the-box accuracy, so you'll need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest. If you only need it for basic office work, then it's one of the best 4k monitors we've tested.

    See our review

  5. Best 1440p Office Monitor Under $500

    The ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is the best 1440p monitor under $500 that we've tested for office use. It's a great 27 inch 1440p office monitor with tons of features to help maximize productivity. It's also a good choice for content creation and it's decent for media consumption and even some casual gaming. At a price that won't break the bank, this is a monitor that you should be happy with.

    You won't have trouble finding a comfortable viewing position, thanks to its outstanding ergonomics. It has a wide range for tilt, swivel, and height adjustments, and it can also rotate into portrait mode in either direction. It's also well-suited to bright office environments because it has good reflection handling and gets bright enough to overcome glare in most rooms. It uses an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, making it easy to share your screen with a coworker if you need to.

    Unfortunately, it lacks HDR support, which is disappointing if your work requires HDR colors. That said, it has several extra features that are very useful for office work. The bottom bezel has a built-in ruler, and it also has helpful on-screen overlays, like a grid alignment and a tool to preview documents in actual size. It has a USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt Mode and power delivery, as well as a USB hub feature. All in all, this is the best office monitor under $500.

    See our review

  6. Best Ultrawide Monitor Under $500

    The best ultrawide monitor under $500 that we've tested is the Gigabyte M34WQ. Getting an ultrawide screen is great if you like to open multiple windows side-by-side and you don't want to buy two monitors for a multi-display setup. It has a 3440x1440 resolution with a 21:9 aspect ratio, so it offers more horizontal screen space than a standard 27 inch, 1440p resolution, and it still maintains good text clarity.

    It's a good all-around monitor that offers both impressive gaming performance and great office features. It has a 144Hz refresh rate with native FreeSync support. Combined with its excellent response time and low input lag, you'll enjoy a smooth and responsive gaming experience. It also offers a few ergonomic adjustments, and it has wide viewing angles if you want to use it for co-op gaming. There are Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes if you want to watch something while gaming, and it also has a USB-C input, meaning you can connect a laptop, but it's limited to 15 W of power delivery.

    Unfortunately, it's not a good choice for HDR gaming because it doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, it has a low contrast ratio, and it lacks a local dimming feature, so blacks look gray, especially if you game in a dark room. Besides that issue, it's still a good overall ultrawide monitor and the best ultrawide monitor in this price range.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • ASUS VG279QM: The ASUS VG279QM is a 280Hz gaming monitor with a 1080p resolution that's in the same price range as the Dell Alienware AW2521H, but it doesn't have native G-SYNC support. See our review
  • MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD: The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is another excellent 1440p gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate, but it costs more than the Gigabyte M27Q, so if you're on a tight budget, it's worth getting the M27Q. See our review
  • Gigabyte G34WQC: The Gigabyte G34WQC is a good dark room alternative to the Gigabyte M34WQ because it has a VA panel. However, that means it has worse viewing angles, and it also has fewer productivity features. See our review
  • Dell S2721QS: The Dell S2721QS is a similar monitor to the Dell S2722QC as it has a 4k resolution. The main difference is that the S2721QS doesn't have a USB-C input, meaning that if you won't use it, you should get whichever you can find for cheaper. See our review
  • Gigabyte M32Q: The Gigabyte M32Q is very similar to the Gigabyte M27Q, just with a bigger 32 inch screen. It has lower pixel density, meaning text isn't as sharp, and it's also more expensive. See our review
  • Dell S3422DWG: The Dell S3422DWG is a great gaming option like the Gigabyte M34WQ because it has better dark room performance, but it costs more than $500. See our review
  • ASUS PG259QN: The ASUS ROG Swift PG259QN is a 360Hz G-SYNC monitor like the Dell Alienware AW2521H, but it costs more so it's not worth getting. See our review
  • ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV: The ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV is a similar monitor to the ASUS PA278CV that's cheaper because it doesn't have a USB-C input. If you're not going to use the USB-C input, get the PA278QV, or whichever you can find for cheaper. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 11, 2022: Restructured article to reflect user needs. Moved the Acer Nitro XF243Y from an alternative to a main pick as the 'Best 1080p Gaming Monitor', and replaced the ASUS VG279QM with the Dell Alienware AW2521H to name it the 'Best For Esports'; renamed the Dell S2722QC and the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV as 'Best For Office' options; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  2. Mar 08, 2022: Replaced the Dell S2721QS with the Dell S2722QC because it's better and moved the Gigabyte M34WQ to its own 'Best Ultrawide' category for consistency; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  3. Jan 07, 2022: Renamed the ASUS VG279QM to 'Best 1080p Gaming Monitor' and replaced the Dell AW2521HF with the Acer Nitro XF243Y for consistency; replaced the Acer Nitro XV340CK with the Gigabyte M34WQ for consistency; updated Notable Mentions based on changes.

  4. Oct 26, 2021: Removed the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B as the 'Curved Alternative', and added the Dell Alienware AW2521HF as 'G-SYNC Alternative' instead. Refreshed the text throughout.

  5. Aug 27, 2021: Added the ASUS TUF Gaming VG34VQL1B as the 'Best Curved Gaming Monitor Under $500'.

All Reviews

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.