We've tested 11 different affordable screens – measuring everything from brightness to color quality and response time – and ranked them from best to worst, and there's sure to be one that's right for you.
A basic monitor can be just what you need when you're on a budget, but you don't want to spend your money on a clunker that might look bad or be incompatible with your laptop. Whether it's for the home, office or mancave, you'll need at least one good monitor (maybe even a gaming monitor). Fortunately, you can get a good monitor for under $200, with some decent models costing less than $100. At those prices, you can even buy multiple displays without breaking the bank, or resorting to using an older laptop as a wireless display.
Samsung SD300 CBD Monitor LS24D300HLR
The 24-inch Samsung SD300 is the best display we saw in the sub-$200 price range. Even though it uses a TN panel rather than an IPS, the SD300 covers 114 percent of the sRGB color space, with a strong Delta-E accuracy rating of 0.12 (0 is perfect) and an average brightness of 242 nits. That makes it one of the brightest screens we tested. The monitor stand is simple to assemble (though you made need a screwdriver) and it lets you adjust the display angle. Unlike most of the monitors in this price range, Samsung equips the SD300 with both an audio jack and built-in speakers. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA, 3.5mm audio Brightness: 242 nits sRGB Gamut: 114 percent Internal Speakers:No
The 27-inch BenQ GL2760H is the largest monitor we found at this price, but that’s not the only reason to love it. It offers better-than-average picture quality, with wider color gamut (113 percent), better brightness (288 nits) and more capable accuracy (Delta-E 0.10) than most other monitors. The GL2760H has also got one of the faster response times we saw in this price range (2 milliseconds), which makes it a decent option for gaming. Handy features include a headphone jack for audio and VESA compatibility for mounting on a wall or monitor arm. It comes with Asus’ standard three-year warranty. Screen size: 27 inches Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA Brightness: 288 nits sRGB Gamut: 113 percentInternal Speakers:Yes
The Sceptre E E248W-1920R is a pretty solid deal. The 24-inch TN panel looks great, thanks to a slim design and narrow bezels, and boasts one of the best brightness ratings in our testing (273 nits). Color accuracy (Delta-E 0.12) and color gamut (103 percent) are both adequate, while a 5-millisecond response time makes it a decent performer for video. While the stand is a bit labor intensive to assemble, it does come with a complimentary screwdriver, and it’s VESA-mount-compatible so you can hang it on a wall. The Sceptre E248W-1920R is the only monitor we saw with both audio output and input, meaning you can still get audio when connected via VGA, though most users will opt for HDMI. Sceptre covers the monitor with a one-year warranty. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, VGA, 3.5mm audio out and 3.5mm audio in Brightness: 273 nits sRGB Gamut: 103 percentInternal Speakers:No
The 24-inch Asus VS248H is a solid option for the bargain hunter. It offers a decent-size display, quick 2 millisecond response times and Asus’ standard three-year warranty. While the color accuracy (Delta-E of 0.10) and gamut (108 percent) aren’t anything special, it does offer some of the better brightness of the low-priced models we tested, averaging 241 nits. Additionally, the monitor’s controls are easy to see and use, thanks to clear labels and placement along the bottom of the bezel. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA Brightness: 241 nits sRGB Gamut: 108 percentInternal Speakers:No
Acer R240HY bidx
The 24-inch Acer R240HY bidx is a solid entry into the affordable monitor space, with an IPS panel and a generous three-year warranty. The stand, which can be assembled without breaking out the toolbox, offers a decent range of tilt adjustment, along with a full selection of video inputs: HDMI, DVI and VGA. In testing, the Acer offered adequate color accuracy (0.08) and good gamut volume (103 percent), but poor brightness, averaging 194 nits. There’s also no option for VESA mounting, unless you want to buy a specially made adapter. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA Brightness: 194 nits sRGB Gamut: 103 percentInternal Speakers:No
The Dell SE2416HX may have an attractive price for its 24-inch display, but this older monitor suffers from dimmer-than-average brightness (averaging 179 nits) and slow response times (6 milliseconds) that result in image smearing when viewing fast-paced video or games. Viewing angles are quite good, thanks to an IPS panel. Its color accuracy is solid (0.11), if not the best we’ve seen, and its 108 percent of the sRGB color gamut is in the middle of the pack. It does have an attractively sleek design, with inputs for both HDMI and VGA, but it lacks any mounting support. It is covered by only a basic one-year warranty. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, VGA Brightness: 179 nits sRGB Gamut: 108 percentInternal Speakers:No
The 24-inch LG 24MP48HQ-P may not offer category-leading performance or an expansive feature set, but it gives you a capable IPS display for an affordable price. Overall performance was decent, with an average color gamut (108 percent), very good color accuracy (0.08) and a solid brightness average (208 nits). While we might wish for some more convenient touches, like tool-free assembly or VESA- mount capability, the LG monitor does offer HDMI and VGA connections and a basic one-year warranty. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: HDMI, VGA Brightness: 208 nits sRGB Gamut: 108 percentInternal Speakers:No
The 24-inch ViewSonic VA2446M-LED is a decent budget monitor, if you’re willing to accept a couple of quirks. For starters, there’s no HDMI input, so you’ll need to connect over DVI or VGA, or use an HDMI-to-DVI adapter. Compared with other budget monitors, the ViewSonic offers good brightness (226 nits), covers a respectable 119 percent of the sRGB color gamut, and sports decent color accuracy (Delta-E 0.09). It also boasts a built-in set of speakers, though without HDMI you’ll need to also connect a 3.5 millimeter patch cord to your PC to use them. ViewSonic has mounting holes for a standard VESA bracket, and it covers the monitor with a generous three-year warranty. Screen size: 24 inches Ports: DVI, VGA Brightness: 226 nits sRGB Gamut: 119 percentInternal Speakers:Yes
The Asus VS228H-P has a bargain price, but it comes at the expense of screen size, offering a 22-inch screen with a basic TN panel. The display itself is capable, if not impressive: It boasts an average brightness of 184 nits and accurate color (Delta-E 0.10) while covering a fair amount of the sRGB gamut (110 percent). But while the overall performance and smaller display aren’t the best we saw, it does offer some versatility, thanks to VESA-mount compatibility and an audio jack for connecting speakers or headphones (when connected over HDMI). It comes with a generous three-year warranty. Screen size: 22 inches Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA, 3.5mm audio jack Brightness: 184 nits sRGB Gamut: 110 percentInternal Speakers:No
The 22-inch Acer G226HQL is one of the least expensive monitors we reviewed, but that price comes with some compromises, like a small screen, a basic TN panel and no HDMI input. While you can still get full HD support with a DVI connection or a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, it’s a bit of a hassle if you’re connecting to a desktop or laptop that only offers HDMI-out. Assembling the stand requires a flathead screwdriver, and there’s no option for VESA mounts. That said, the inexpensive Acer boasts solid color accuracy (0.08), reproduces a good amount of the sRGB color gamut (107 percent) and has good-but-not-great brightness, averaging just 199 nits. It does, however, offer great response times, with a gray-to-gray pixel response time of just 2 milliseconds. If you can handle the small size and middling quality of the display, it’s quick enough for gaming. Screen size: 22 inches Ports: DVI, VGA Brightness: 199 nits sRGB Gamut: 107 percentInternal Speakers:No
HP Pavilion 22cwa
HP’s inexpensive Pavilion 22cwa monitor packages a 22-inch IPS panel into an sleek chassis and an elegant stand, but the small size and mediocre performance make it less attractive than competitors. Despite adequate color accuracy (Delta-E 0.10) it has the dimmest display we tested (171 nits) and less color gamut coverage (97 percent) than the rest of the budget-priced models we looked at. The Pavilion 22cwa also got the slowest pixel response time we saw (7 milliseconds), making it poorly suited to fast-moving imagery. Aside from these limitations, the monitor does boast a sleek-looking stand with adjustable tilt, has connections for HDMI and VGA, and is covered with a one-year warranty. Screen size: 22 inches Ports: HDMI, VGA Brightness: 171 nitssRGB Gamut: 97 percentInternal Speakers:No
What to expect for less than $200
In this price range, expect screens that are less than 30 inches and have 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, but not higher. Some of the monitors we looked at use IPS display technology, but the majority use the older TN panels, which often suffer from narrower viewing angles and less accurate color. You’ll also give up conveniences like built-in USB connections, faster refresh rates and height-adjustable stands.
|Product Name||Screen Size||Panel||Gamut||Brightnesss||Response Time|
|Acer R240HY bidx||24 inches||IPS||103%||194 nits||4ms|
|Acer G226HQL||22 inches||TN||107%||199 nits||2ms|
|Asus VS228H-P||22 inches||TN||110%||184 nits||5ms|
|Asus VS248H||24 inches||TN||108%||241 nits||2ms|
|BenQ GL2760H||27 inches||TN||113%||288 nits||2ms|
|Dell SE2416HX||24 inches||IPS||108%||179 nits||6ms|
|HP Pavilion 22cwa||22 inches||IPS||97%||171 nits||7ms|
|LG 24MP58HQ-P||24 inches||IPS||108%||208 nits||5ms|
|Samsung SD300(LS24D300HLR)||24 inches||TN||114%||242 nits||5ms|
|Sceptre E248W||24 inches||TN||103%||273 nits||5ms|
|Viewsonic VA2446M||24 inches||TN||119%||226 nits||5ms|
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