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The 6 Best Monitors Under $500 - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Monitors Under $500
225 Monitors Tested
  • Store-bought monitors; no cherry-picked units
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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 220 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 PA278CV

    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    8.4
    Office
    8.3
    Gaming
    7.6
    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 ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV is the best monitor under $500 we've tested for office work. It's a great 27 inch, 1440p monitor with tons of features to help maximize productivity. It's also a great choice for content creation, media consumption, and even some casual gaming on the side. At a price that won't break the bank, this is a monitor that most people should be happy with.

    You shouldn'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 may be disappointing to some. That said, it has several extra features that may be very useful for office work or content creation. The bottom bezel has a built-in ruler, and it also has helpful on-screen overlays, like a ruler, 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 monitor under $500 for office use.

    See our review

  2. Best 1080p 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 we’ve tested. It's an excellent gaming display with a fast 240Hz refresh rate you can overclock to 280Hz, delivering exceptional motion handling, resulting in very clear motion with almost no noticeable blur behind fast-moving objects. It also has exceptionally low input lag at the native refresh rate, ensuring your actions sync with the movement on-screen.

    It's a versatile monitor with wide viewing angles and outstanding ergonomics, so you can easily find the perfect viewing position or share your screen with someone else. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most well-lit rooms, as it has great peak brightness and decent reflection handling with a matte coating. It even supports HDR, and unlike most monitors in its price range, it even gets decently bright with HDR content, although it can't display a wide color gamut. It's a native FreeSync gaming monitor, and if you have an NVIDIA graphics card, it's also G-SYNC compatible.

    Unfortunately, like most IPS screens, it has a low contrast ratio, meaning it's not the best choice for a dark room. It also has extremely high input lag at 60Hz, which might disappoint some console gamers, so you need to play games at its max refresh rate to take full advantage of it. Overall, despite these flaws, it's a great monitor overall that should please most people.

    See our review

  3. Smaller Alternative: Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx

    Size 24"
    Resolution 1920x1080
    Max Refresh Rate
    165 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    If you prefer something smaller with a higher pixel density, look into the Acer Nitro XF243Y Pbmiiprx. It doesn't have a 280Hz max refresh rate like the ASUS VG279QM, so it's not as ideal for high-frame-rate gaming, but it's still an excellent gaming monitor whose 144Hz refresh rate can be overclocked to 165Hz. Motion looks smooth both at its max refresh rate and at 60Hz, and the input lag remains low even with low-frame-rate games. It has excellent ergonomics because the stand offers a full 360-degree rotation, and it also has wide viewing angles, but like any other IPS panel display, black looks gray when viewed in the dark.

    If you're looking for the best gaming monitor under $500 with a 1080p resolution, you can't go wrong with the ASUS, but if you don't mind compromising on the max refresh rate for something cheaper and smaller, then check out the Acer.

    See our review

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

    8.1
    Mixed Usage
    8.0
    Office
    8.6
    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 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 amazingly smooth and responsive experience thanks to its 170Hz refresh rate and exceptional 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 can be helpful for streamers and multitaskers. 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 10W.

    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. 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

  5. Ultrawide Alternative: Gigabyte M34WQ

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

    If you prefer something with an ultrawide screen, then check out the Gigabyte M34WQ. Its 144Hz refresh rate is lower than the 170Hz on the Gigabyte M27Q, but the screen offers more horizontal screen space. Also, it uses a traditional RGB subpixel layout, meaning you won't have any issues with text clarity. It has many of the same gaming features with a quick response time, low input lag, and VRR support. It also has the same KVM switch and USB-C input, which are both great if you need to connect multiple devices. It supports HDR10 and displays a wide color gamut, but it sadly doesn't deliver the best HDR gaming experience because of its low HDR peak brightness and mediocre contrast ratio.

    If you want the best 1440p gaming monitor for under $500, the M27Q is a great choice, but if you want something with a wider screen, then check out the M34WQ.

    See our review

  6. Best 4k Monitor Under $500: Dell S2721QS

    8.1
    Mixed Usage
    8.4
    Office
    7.9
    Gaming
    8.1
    Multimedia
    8.4
    Media Creation
    7.0
    HDR Gaming
    Size 27"
    Resolution 3840x2160
    Max Refresh Rate
    60 Hz
    Pixel Type
    IPS
    Variable Refresh Rate
    FreeSync

    The best 4k monitor under $500 that we've tested is the Dell S2721QS. This 27 inch IPS model is a great choice for productivity, as it provides tons of space for multitasking, as well as an incredibly sharp image. It feels well-built, and it comes with a sturdy stand that includes basic cable management and a good amount of ergonomic adjustments. It has wide viewing angles so that the image remains accurate when viewing from the side, and it gets bright enough to combat glare.

    It's great for content creation, especially for those working in the sRGB color space since it has full coverage. Its Adobe RGB coverage is good but might not be enough for photography professionals. Gradient handling is superb, and there's no color bleed. It has a pretty good response time and VRR support if you want to play some games on the side as long as you don't mind playing at 60Hz.

    Unfortunately, even though it can display a wide color gamut for HDR, the HDR experience is rather underwhelming because it has a mediocre contrast ratio with no local dimming to improve the black level, and it just doesn't get bright enough to make highlights pop. Also, it doesn't have any USB ports. On the upside, you get built-in speakers and Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes. It isn't the most feature-rich, but it's still a great option if you need a simple 4k monitor that performs well.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • 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 sharper. However, it's a bit hard to find. 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 time. See our review
  • Dell S2721DGF: The Dell S2721DGF is slightly cheaper than the Gigabyte M27Q, and it's still impressive for gaming. However, the M27Q is more versatile. 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
  • ASUS TUF VG27AQ: The ASUS TUF VG27AQ is a great alternative to the Gigabyte M27Q, and it has an RGB subpixel layout, but it has fewer productivity features. See our review
  • MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD: The MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD is a good alternative to the Gigabyte M27Q, but it's more expensive, and it oversaturates some colors, so it's not a good choice if you rely on accurate colors. See our review
  • Dell S3221QS: The Dell S3221QS is a larger alternative to the Dell S2721QS with better dark room performance, but it has bad ergonomics and narrow viewing angles, so it's not as versatile. See our review
  • Gigabyte M32Q: The Gigabyte M32Q is very similar to the Gigabyte M27Q, just with a bigger 32 inch screen. However, its input lag is higher at 60Hz, which isn't ideal for 60 fps console gaming. See our review
  • Acer Nitro XV340CK: The Acer Nitro XV340CK Pbmiipphzx is an ultrawide gaming monitor comparable to the Gigabyte M34WQ, but it's hard to find. See our review
  • ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM: The ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM is even cheaper than the ASUS VG279QM with many of the same gaming features, but it has a TN panel, so the picture quality is worse. See our review
  • Dell Alienware AW2521HF: The Dell Alienware AW2521HF is a high refresh rate gaming monitor like the ASUS VG279QM, but you can't overclock its refresh rate to 280Hz. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. Jun 29, 2021: Verified accuracy of picks. Replaced Dell S3221QS with Dell S2721QS.

  5. Apr 30, 2021: Replaced the ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV with the ASUS ProArt Display PA278CV as 'Best Office Monitor Under $500'.

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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