We spend most of our days in front of a computer monitor working, playing games or watching movies. If you don’t have a good enough monitor, you can damage your eyes which can cause headaches and other health issues. That’s why, we picked the 5 best budget monitors of 2020 and wrote this post to show you the pros and cons of each one. Let’s get started!
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Things You Should Know Before Buying A Budget Monitor
Size and Aspect Ratio
The most important thing when buying any monitor and not just in the budget range is its size. The screen size is measured diagonally from the corner to the other corner of the screen. Monitors come in different sizes from 15 up to 34-inches in size. The standard size is usually at 22-inches and normally a larger screen delivers more versatility and viewing angles. However, not every time larger is better since you might lack the desk space to accommodate a 32-inch monitor. Another factor that ties in with the screen size is the aspect ratio. In the past, you would find monitors with the 4:3 aspect ratio which were a little boxy, but now the most popular is the 16:9 aspect ratio which is the widescreen format. On top of that, you get the 21:9 ultra-widescreen format which is excellent but a bit more expensive.
After choosing the screen size of your next monitor you should choose the resolution. The resolution of the screen refers to the number of pixels that are displayed at any given moment. The higher the better since it corresponds to more sharpness and detail. There are 1080p Full HD monitors which are the most popular especially in the budget range. You can also get 1440p monitors which are better in terms of sharpness than the former. 4K is top of the crop in my opinion despite 5K and 8K monitors starting to circulate the market. But then again a 4K monitor will be significantly more expensive than 1080p and 1440p resolution panels.
The panel type is a pretty important choice you need to make before buying a new monitor. There are generally three-panel types out there, which consist of Twisted Nematic, Vertical Alignment, and In-Plane Switching panels, and you will need to choose the one that fits your needs the most. TN panels are the fastest and are more dedicated to gamers because they sacrifice a bit of color. IPS panels on the other hand deliver better colors, and better viewing angles, at a higher price. VA panels sit on the middle of both, and are generally better for office use, but suffer from ghosting most of the time.
Which Is The Best Budget Monitor?
5. Philips 272P7VUBNB
Best Budget 4K Monitor
We are going to start on this list with the excellent Philips Brilliance 272P7VUBNB. This is the best 4K monitor in the budget price range by a landslide. But it doesn’t deliver just that, as it is one of the best all-rounders out there, delivering plenty of sharpness, nice colors, great design with tons of adjustability and a lot compatibility. Philips has hit the sweet spot with this monitor. Let’s check it out.
In terms of design, you will see that this monitor has a business aesthetic that is attractive for the majority of the users. This makes the Philips 272P7VUBNB fit into different kinds of setup without any problem. The matte black finish makes all that even easier since it is extremely attractive and it is pretty easy to build a stylish theme. I also liked that on the top and sides the bezels are nearly non-existent with just a slightly thicker band on the bottom part to complement it.
Talking about the stand it delivers plenty of adjustability and stability. The adjustability includes tilt, swivel, pivot, and height, so you can get the best viewing angle for your needs. You can also install an aftermarket stand though with the VESA mount holes in the back. In terms of connectivity, the Philips 272P7VUBNB is truly excellent as it offers DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, and USB Type-C 3.2 reversible port. The latter means you can connect your laptop and charge it at the same time. Without forgetting I should mention that it has two USB Type-A ports, an Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm aux port.
The Philips 272P7VUBNB is based around a 27-inch in-plane switching panel that delivers a 3840×2160 4K resolution with a refresh rate of 60Hz natively. The response rate is also solid at 5ms and the contrast rate is 1000:1. The pixel density is solid overall and you will not lose a single detail from your movies or work. In terms of color reproduction, it managed to deliver 122% of the sRGB color space with a decent accuracy of Delta E 1.8.Wiht its Low Blue light and Flicker-Free features you will have plenty of fun with this beast.
4. Acer KG251Q
For our value pick on this list, we have the Acer KG251Q, which is an excellent gaming monitor that can do so much more than that. It might not have high-end specs or any feature that will make it stand out but it is a great package that will provide a pleasant performance for most users out there.
The design of the Acer KG251Q is pretty good overall not anything flashy though as it looks like a simple office monitor with slim bezels on sides and top and a band on the bottom. I should state that this budget monitor would make a fine piece for dual monitor setup and since it is extremely cheap you can get two of these for a bargain. The stand of this device is pretty good as well in terms of design and build quality, and overall I think that this panel will fit into most room designs without any compromise.
The Acer KG251Q doesn’t offer a lot of ergonomic adjustabilities, as it has just tilt adjustability. However, it has a VESA 100×100 mounting holes so you can opt for an aftermarket stand which I would most likely recommend, for both ergonomics and dual monitor setup. For connectivity, the Acer KG251Q offers two HDMI ports, a VGA input, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Acer KG251Q is based around a solid wide-screen 24.5-inch twisted nematic display with a Full HD resolution of 1920x1080p. I should also mention that it has a refresh rate of 75Hz and AMD FreeSync for a smooth tear-free gaming experience. While it is not the best one around, it would make for a great value pick for gamers or casual users with weaker systems.
3. AOC 24G2
Best For Gaming
For those that want a professional gaming performance but can’t afford to buy a high-end monitor, I present you the AOC 24G2. This monitor is the favorite of many gamers in the budget or otherwise because for its price it delivers all the features and performances that are needed to provide a high-speed gaming experience. Now with our further ado, let’s take a closer look into it.
The AOC 24G2 is a proper gaming monitor with all the design touches that you wish to find on one, but it isn’t obnoxious at all. I like the subdued and subtle approach that the company has made to this monitors design, as it has adopted the gaming design but with a simpler approach. It has the red lines and sharp details but it looks surprisingly good, something you can’t say for most gaming monitors. It has very thin bezels on the top and sides and a slightly thicker one on the bottom part that is accompanied by a ride line that looks excellent.
The stand is also extremely stable and delivers tons of adjustability. It has full ergonomic support, with height adjustment, pivot, swivel, and tilt, on top of all that you can choose an aftermarket mount since it has the 100×100 VESA mount holes on the back. Without forgetting I should state that the stand has a hole for cable adjustment which is great. In terms of connectivity, you have plenty here, as it has two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, VGA, and a headphone jack.
The AOC 24G2 is based around a 24-inch in-plane switching panel that is made by panda delivering superb viewing angles. It has a solid 1080p resolution with sharp details, a peak brightness of 310 nits, and a native contrast ratio of 1000:1. The biggest selling point of this monitor though is the 144Hz refresh rate with the AMD FreeSync feature for tear-free gaming and a 1ms MPRT. In addition to all that it covers 124% of the sRGB color gamut with a solid Delta E accuracy of 1.9. The best gaming experience at that price.
2. BenQ ZOWIE XL2430
The Most Versatile
The runner up on this list is one of my favorite monitors in the market, coming in from BenQ’s ZOWIE range the XL2430. This is one of the most impressive monitors at this price since it provides a versatile experience that is perfect for gamers, productivity users, and even designers. If I had to choose one monitor to rule them, all the BenQ ZOWIE XL2430 would be the perfect pick.
In terms of design, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2430 looks like a normal office monitor with an unassuming design. The only thing that gives it away is the brand new S-switch and the red accents on the stand. It has a matte black finish all around including on the base and it will fit in into every room design without a doubt. The bezels around the screen aren’t the thinnest though and I wouldn’t choose this for a multi-monitor setup. The stand delivers plenty of adjustabilities, with height, tilt, and swivel.
It also has VESA mount holes in the back for an aftermarket stand and on the stand, you will find a hole for cable management. For connectivity, you get some good options including DisplayPort, Dual-Link DVI-D, a pair of HDMI ports, and a 3.5m aux jack to complete the package. My favorite thing about this device is the new S-switch that allows you to switch between different settings quickly be it for gaming or professional matters.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2430 is based around a 24-inch twisted nematic panel that delivers a sharp 1080p resolution. As you might know, the twisted nematic panel is excellent for gamers since it is fast, and this one delivers a 1ms gray to gray response time, a superb dynamic contrast ratio, solid brightness of 350 nits, and a refresh rate of 144Hz. With a bit of calibration, even the color performance is better than most out there, establishing the BenQ ZOWIE XL2430 is one of the best out there.
1. Dell U2415
On top of the list, we have a monitor from Dell, the U2415. This is the monitor that delivers the most bang for your buck at this price point. It is also extremely versatile and can do anything including gaming, even though it isn’t designed for those purposes. It is also one of the best monitors for professional media work, and at this price, it is more than you could want. On top of all this, the Dell U2415 is the best choice if you are wan ta multi-monitor setup for your workspace, thanks to its feature that we will check out in a moment.
The first impression that you will get from the Dell U2415 is that it fits into most office spaces and design studios. It has some pretty solid minimalist vibes that combine so well with the utilitarian look of the monitor. It is also pretty sturdy overall and gives a high-quality impression. I should mention that the bezels on top and sides which make it perfect for dual or multi-monitor setups.
While we are at it I should state that it delivers a cable management solution for a clean setup, the VESA mounting holes are also there for you. The stand also provides plenty of ergonomic adjustments including height, tilt, pivot, and swivel adjustment. On the back, you will spot the connectivity options which include the HDMI, mini DP, DisplayPort, aux port, and USB port to deliver you plenty to play with
I should mention that the Dell U2415 has a pretty interesting spec sheet and feature list that will impress even the most nitpicky. First, off I should state that this one is based around a 24-inch in-plane switching panel with a taller than the normal aspect ratio of 16:10, which is better suited for productivity users. The resolution of the panel is 1920×1200 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 94 PPI. The refresh rate is 60Hz, the contrast ratio 1000:1 and it delivers a great color performance reproducing 99 of the sRGB and 77 of the Adobe RGB color space with great accuracy. One of the most impressive out there.
Hello! I am Bryan Nelson. I am a tech enthusiast, writer and i love everything tech related!