Looking for a new monitor? A second or third to make working from home a little easier in the living room, or maybe just one to up your gaming experience with some surreal image quality? Are you wondering: what monitor is best for gameplay? How much is a monitor?
Look no further for the solution, for here we will take you through ten of the best budget monitors you can get in 2020, for less than $300.
Most suggestions are 27 inches. This is a great screen size for whatever things you need it for, and will make comparisons for your decision simpler. Any smaller inch display would not be a good choice for any other reason than not having the room in your house or office desk space.
There is an impressively large variety of monitors out there with an even longer list of features or things to consider. Game monitors, pixel density, built in speakers – it’s hard to know what improvements you’ll benefit most from. For example, higher refresh rates are best if you’re an avid gamer, but maybe if you want a computer monitor for work – it’s not as much what you need.
A useful buying guide section is next to help your research. We will then list the ten products below briefly, before going through each and their specs.
Buyers Guide: Considerations Choosing 27 Inch Monitors
Screen size very much matters. With smaller monitors (20 inch) gameplay may not be as enjoyable. If you struggle with your vision, bigger screens normally means better too. 24 inch monitors are the smallest you should go if there isn’t much color space – though keep in mind, the bigger the screen, the higher the resolution you may need.
In this particular set of prices, spending too much means going above 30 inches, which is why 27″ is a good choice with the least amount of compromise. A cheap monitor doesn’t tend to mean a 32 inch screen is included with the price.
Resolutions and scaling tend to be standard with most monitors. For Windows, a 16:9 aspect ratio is more popular, whereas Mac OS favours a 16:10 ratio. This is just an extra consideration if you are planning on screen sharing or using a HDMI extension.
The bigger your screens, the higher resolution that is needed, otherwise the pixels have to “stretch” to cover the wider screen real estate. A “full HD resolution” is a pixel resolution of 1080p – a 1080p resolution is usually on most of these recommendations. Any less (720p HD) would significantly lower image quality. A 2560 x 1440 (1440p resolution) is an improvement on this, but not typically the best value for your budget.
A 4k resolution is less common, especially for a budget monitor or a gaming monitor. They will need the latest video card or graphics cards, and not all games are optimised for 4k display gaming when refresh rates are prioritised. Accurate color depends on the color support offered by the company, like if srgb color is included, and whether it has wide viewing angles.
Whether a TN panel, IPS panel, VA panel or OLED panel type display, each panel types come with their own prices and strengths e.g. an IPS refresh rate is likely to be slower than TN. TN and VA panels are usually the most cheap of the lot.
TN panels are recommended for budget gamers due to the fast response times less input lags, however the drawback is worse viewing angles and worse colour richness – you sacrifice image quality. VA panels are the opposite with better contrast, viewing and vibrant colors. The drawback of VA panels are the lack of sharpness and worse color shifting.
IPS panels are best for creators (professional photographers, designers, video editors and image editors) due to the better clarity, color accuracy and picture quality. OLED have the highest price tag and offer the best picture quality, but on a budget finding this is unlikely. Whichever panel type you opt for, factor in your intended use.
Normally when buying a budget computer monitor, you should make sure you look at everything included with your purchase. Whether a stand is included or not can affect the final price you pay. However, if the monitor is VESA-mount compatible, you can use the VESA mount to put the monitor on a wall or monitor arm.
Check the mount screws on the back of the monitor match the mount. The majority of these have 100 x 100mm mounts, still, be clear on whether a VESA mount is supported. Most monitors are relatively low weight (under 20 lbs).
To get all those viewing angles, or even a portrait mode, look for tilt adjustment options and capabilities. They may not always be budget friendly if you desire more flexibility, but will help keep you comfortable – with some allowing you to alter the orientation.
More modern models of some monitors e.g. modern laptops like MacBooks have USB 3.0 (USB C, Thunderbolt 3) or DisplayPort connections. Therefore, they may be missing a HDMI port, whilst multiple USB ports are pretty much on all monitors. This means for any missing ports, you will need to buy an extra adaptor or cable with the conversion you need built in. You’re best to check if whatever monitor you choose can connect with your laptop and how many USB ports there are.
Before you buy, think of the extra devices you want to connect. Monitors computers, laptops, camera, headphones or a phone, to even watching TV will need a different port selection.
Best Budget 27 Inch Monitor 2020:
In no particular order:
- Samsung 27″ SF354
- Asus VG245H
- LG 27ML600M-B
- LG 32MA70HY-P
- HP Omen Monitor
- Samsung C27F398 Curved Monitor
- BenQ EL2870U
- Asus VS278Q-P monitor
- Dell P2219H monitor
- Dell SE2417HG monitor
1. Samsung 27″ SF354
Screen size: 27 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 250cd/m2 (typical) | Refresh rate: 75 hertz | Response time: 4(GTG) ms | Viewing angle: 178° wide viewing panel | Contrast ratio: 1000:1(Typ.), 700:1(Min) | Color support: 16.7M
Who’s it for: Gamers, Office, Home
For starters at $139, this is the lowest price point in our price range for best budget monitors. It’s basic but good value with Windows 10 certification from Samsung, with only one HDMI port. However, this cheap monitor has respectable LED display quality and quite an attractive design.
Nice and ultra slim at less than 0.4 inches thick, it comes with a circular stand base. Eco Saving Plus means it is energy efficient, saving power and your money. Reduced screen brightness with automatic transitions help with your energy costs even more.
With AMD FreeSync and Eye Saver offered, this can make a good games monitor for smooth action during those fast moving scenes. The FreeSync technology reduces input latency, screen tearing and stutter – helping games to run without error in the Games Mode. One possible downside is input lag, as reviews are mixed about the monitor’s suitability for PC gaming with high FPS.
If you pair it with a low cost AMD Radeon graphics card, then you can minimise any motion blur or judder even further. Wide viewing angles can be achieved with the wider panel.
Even if you don’t intend to play games, each feature will help with any long work sessions you have to do. Just one button can activate reduced blue lights emissions, making for more comfortable working.
For slightly less if you have a cramped desk, you can choose the smaller 24 inch model Samsung offer. Both models have HDMI input and are wall mountable.
2. Asus VG245
Screen size: 24 or 27 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 75 hz | Response time: 1 ms | Viewing angle: 170° (horizontal), 160° (vertical) | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (static) | Color support: 16.7M
Who’s it for: Gamers
Our next best budget monitor is a console gaming monitor from Asus with FreeSync/Adaptive sync, and can be bought both as 27 inch or 24 inch model, though the former will be around $100 more. Still, by buying this and saving considerably – this leaves you with extra to splurge on many other accessories for games players.
Although your purchase comes with a stand, this also comes with VESA standard mount compatibility.
Compared to Asus’ competitors, this monitor has one of the best response times, with a fast response time of 1 ms. This means there is great input technology, with dual HDMI ports making this monitor best for console gaming performance – greater ability than a TV. You’re less likely to have smearing or motion blur.
The AMD FreeSync technology gives seamless visuals without blurring, letting you make every millisecond count. Great for first person shooting and racing games, and for the budget gamer. Gameplus and the Game Visual feature are designed to enhance your fun, with smart cable management and a 5 way OSD navigation joystick.
Ergonomically designed, the stand is fully adjustable, letting you tilt, swivel, pivot and height adjustment of the monitor.
ASUS has designed care for your eyes with flicker free and blue lighting filters reduce any eye strain you might feel. The LCD display with minimise any rapid changes in light intensity.
Screen size: 27 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° (horizontal), 178° (vertical) viewing panel | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (typical) | Color support: 16.7M
At $195, this LG LED display budget monitor has a full HD resolution with an in plane switching IPS panel technology. Along with a gorgeous virtually borderless design and Radeon FreeSync tech, this monitor also has dual HDMI input connections besides standard USB inputs. The thin bezel removes distraction from the display.
With many nifty features, this cheap monitor can handle gaming with Radeon FreeSync minimising stuttering, although the refresh rate is a slightly lower offering than those shown before. Although not really a gaming monitor, it can handle gaming if not too intense.
A reader model reduces blue light, and on screen controls allow for handy picture mode presets and screen splitting – great for editing. AS an IPS monitor, color accuracy is good with a photo option. With VESA compatibility, you have the freedom to hang your monitor to free up your desktop. Consider that you will have to purchase the mounting hardware separate.
Who’s it for: monitor best for gamers and creators (video and image)
4. LG 32MA70HY-P
Screen size: 32 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 65 hz | Response time: 5 ms | Viewing angle: 178° (horizontal), 178° (vertical) viewing panel | Contrast ratio: Mega | Color support: 16.7M
Probably not a cheap monitor on our list at around $300, but also the largest size 32 inch display with thin bezels, this LG monitor offers some great additions. The panel type IPS has lots of room for spreadsheets, editing documents or pictures, and watching videos – making it great for in your house or the office desktop monitor multitasking. On screen controls add convenience, making it easier to adjust your picture setting.
Split screen 2.0 can show as many as four different windows in 14 different possible configurations, maximising your every day productivity – letting you see the bigger, colorful picture thanks to 68% color gamut. The Reader Mode on this IPS monitor will make a difference to your extended work sessions, leading any tasks you have being painless.
The three inputs supported are HDMI, D-Sub and Display port: a great range. As this is a slightly bigger screen space with the same full HD 1080p resolution as the 27 inch offerings – it’s maybe not a sufficiently high resolution. Still, it’s adjustable and has VESA compatibility so you get the option for mounting. If you want ultra-HD – LG offers this if you can shell out $100 more.
Who’s it for: perfect budget monitor best for the office desktop professionals, home, or a creator/designer (video editing)
5. HP Omen Monitor
Screen size: 24.5 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 350cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 144hz refresh rate | Response time: 1 ms | Viewing angle: 170° (horizontal), 160° (vertical) | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (static)| Color support: 16.7M
This Omen monitor by HP is a FHD gaming monitor, with tilt adjustment capabilities, VESA mount compatibility and FreeSync technology. Although there are slightly larger screen sizes, to stick to a budget, then a 24 inch monitor is much more affordable.
With a TN panel and LED monitor backlight, this budget monitor has some environmentally friendly components. There’s a low voltage halogen design, arsenic free anti glare monitor glass and mercury free backlights to stop annoying reflections. A micro-edge design will make for seamless multi-monitor computer setup, but note the TN panels can lead to compromises with poorer viewing angles and color accuracy when not looking straight on.
The high refresh rate (144Hz), peak brightness and response time features are some of the fastest possible, with AMD FreeSync – low input lag will let you enjoy an immersive experience. You can dominate those leaderboards with plenty of connectivity options for your devices with HDMI, DisplayPort inputs and USB 3.0 ports.
Users have noted great color reproduction, making it one of the best gaming monitors for fast paced action like racing, fighting or other motion sensitive options. 350 nits is also a higher brightness than you’ll find on our other picks.
Who’s it for: Gamers
6. Samsung C27F398 Curved Monitor
Screen size: 27 inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 hz | Response time: 4 ms | Viewing angle: wide | Contrast ratio: 3000:1 (static)| Color support: 16.7M
For under $200, this is the best monitor we could find with a curved screen on a budget, and yet another brilliant offering from Samsung.
Providing you with a stunning panoramic view, thanks to the super slim 1800R screen curvature design, it will enhance the time you spent as you work or game. Audio output is offered for added functionality.
For gaming, the FreeSync dynamically syncs the screen refresh rate with the frame rate to reduce stutter during usage. The response time may not be the fastest, but the saver mode for your eyes and Active Crystal Color technology from Samsung make this a contender for the best budget monitor particularly best for non-gaming work.
Eco-saving plus also adjusts brightness, with most components PVC and PVA free – a nice extra touch. If you choose to mount, note the curve may be a problem if you sit slightly at the side.
Who’s it for: office, gamers
7. BenQ EL2870U
Screen size: 28 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 4K HDR 3840 x 2160 | Brightness: 300cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 hz | Response time: 1 ms | Viewing angle: 170° (horizontal), 160° (vertical) | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (typical)| Color support: 1.07B
Not a lot of monitors will include 4k UHD display for the best budget amount of money: but here is the only one of our monitor picks that is a budget 4k monitor, at a price around $300.
Brightness Intelligence Plus technology for allows for an extended, optimal viewing experience. HDR support, enhanced brightness and contrast show some really great details. Vibrant, precise, realistic crystal clear images are achieved without screen tears.
In comparison to rivals, this HDR monitor has amazing color depth and accurate color with the support the highest on this list. Universal multi device connections and integrated stereo speakers are fantastic additions, but users have noted in reviews that the integrated speakers leave quality to be desired.
Smart focus settings reduce background distraction when watching entertainment content. For games, you can’t do much better than the 1ms response speed, with FreeSync for smooth intense gaming displays and no ghosting.
Eye care and HDR content are other little thoughtful things to make you happy.
Note that this monitor has a smaller VESA mount model (75mm), but the curvature may mean mounting isn’t the most suitable or necessary.
Who’s it for: movies, office, gaming, video editors (bit of everything for everyone)
8. Asus VS278Q-P monitor
Screen size: 27 inches | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080p panel | Brightness: 300cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 hz | Response time: 1 ms | Viewing angle: 170° (horizontal), 160° (vertical) | Contrast ratio: 80M:1 (dynamic)| Color support: 16.7M
One of the best budget monitors out there with reviews praising the sharp, crisp image detail from Asus (the second of Asus monitors on this list) – this offers impressive display performance for a non-4k resolution monitor model, with great color accuracy. The price is under $200: it won’t break the bank.
One of the higher contrast ratios we’ve picked will bring you lifelike images, with useful Asus intelligence settings for videos. Built in Quickfit lets you see documents, photos or whatever else in real size, with a grid mode.
With a built in speaker, wide view angles even from the side, D Sub inputs on top of HDMI and DisplayPort – and VESA mount compatibility, this monitor is competitively priced. The speedy response rate is particularly useful for monitors game performance.
Who’s it for: game users, family enjoyment (movies), designers
9. Dell P2219H TN monitor
Screen size: 21.5 inch | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080p | Brightness: 250cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60hz | Response time: 8 ms | Viewing angle: 178° (horizontal), 178° (vertical) viewing panel | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (typical)| Color: 16.7M colors supported
Compared to the Dell Ultrasharp which has an expensive price of around $600 for a 34 inch, 21:9 curved display with a cinematic image resolution and two built in speakers – this 21.5 inch display may feel a little small, but it is intended to be a cheap monitor version from Dell for the corresponding price.
HDMI connections, DisplayPort, VGA ports, flexible angle and height adjustment are all included, with easy installation. Ultra thin bezels give the model a sleek design, with ComfortView offering a great view angle.
The slow response rate may not lead to the most amazing performance for users wanting to do anything intense, making it better for options in the office or for non-active entertainment.
Who’s it for: home, office professionals
10. Dell SE2417HG monitor
Screen size: 23.6 inch | Aspect: 16:9 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080p | Brightness: 300cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60 hz | Response time: 2 ms | Viewing angle: 170° (horizontal), 160° (vertical) viewing panel | Contrast ratio: 1000:1 (static)| Color: 16.7M colors supported
IPS monitors from Dell are always a relatively safe choice. If you wanted built in speakers, or a webcam (other extra products or fancy equipment) or VESA mounting holes you’ll have to look elsewhere.
However, if you want a streamlined and tidy monitor with hidden power cord cable management for those pesky cables, and a mostly all screen no frames image because of the thin glossy bezels – consider this.
The description says its for games or PC use, and although it is renewed it works like new, with a guarantee from Amazon if there are issues or flaws you don’t like that warrant a next day replacement in the post. It’s definitely an alternative for better value – still with HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA ports.
Great contrast offered but not VESA mount compatible, although build quality from Dell allows a good, robust stand that should be enough.
Who’s it for: entry level gaming, but better for family entertainment where you live (internet browsing and watching Netflix)
What monitor is best for gaming?
Our pick to help you get the best budget gaming monitor experience is the HP Omen Monitor. At under $300 for an unrivalled refresh rate and response time, it may be slightly smaller but we believe the benefits and responsiveness are still the most satisfying for the purpose of monitor gaming.