Everyone is on a budget. And not everybody can afford to buy monitors that are in the high price range. Over the years, larger displays have become so common. Technology has advanced as well. Market prices have become too competitive too. And the demand for cheap computer monitors has been on the rise.
Thanks to advanced of technology in recent times. And the decrease in the use of old technology. We would have still be paying more for computer monitors. Thanks also to competition in recent times. And the rise of several different manufacturers that produce monitors.
These improvements have forced prices down. And made it possible for anyone to find cheap displays that perform well in probably all works of life. Be it for photo editing, gaming, office or for business use, there is enough for you to choose from. In the budget of your choice.
If you wish to see the best cheap computer monitors right away, go to our best products section. Where we first featured the ones for general use (gaming, videos, home, and office use) and then the ones for photo editing. Click here to see them now.
For photo editors looking for the best cheap computer monitors for photo editing, see the top products available here.
If you are still with me, read on to know the essentials and basics regarding cheap displays.
Even if you are on a tight budget and you need a cheap monitor. You don’t have to compromise some of the most important quality and performance of a monitor. You don’t have to ignore some basic and core features a display should have.
And you don’t have to be in such a hurry. Or rush to buy one easily because of how attractive the price is. You need to be aware of the basic features that makes a monitor ideal for your needs. You need to be aware of what you need and require for yourself. And determine if the monitor you are interested in. Can provide all that you need.
Here are some of the basic things you need to look out for.
Size: LCD monitors are usually anywhere between 13-inches to 32-inches. It is always a good idea to go for a big screen display. Such as from 24-inches and above. Because the bigger the screen, the better and more detailed the view. With a big screen display, you have enough viewable area for you to work with. Or play games and watch movies with.
A big screen also affords you the opportunity to work without having to scroll about the screen every now and then. And you can work with two windows or more at the same time on a big screen. Because both windows will still fit the screen very well without you having to resize each window.
But size is a huge factor in determining the price of a monitor. Because the bigger the size, the higher the price of a monitor. In fact even a little increase in the size of a monitor. Such from 24 to 27-inches, increases its price significantly. To almost double the price of the 24-inch. So you should not go too high in size if you do not have the budget for it. A size between 21 to 24-inches is most ideal for the budget displays we are interested in here.
Although prices have really dropped for large screen displays. You will still spend a considerable amount of money for displays above 24-inches. For photo editing and graphic design purposes, do not go below a 23-inch display. A 24-inch and above screen is most ideal for that purpose. But if it is for office work and for entertainment (movies and gaming for example). Such as for desktop publishing and other general monitor use, a 21-inch and higher screen size will do. Also pay attention to the type of screen a display is made of. Choose a widescreen over a square screen display.
Resolution: You should try as much as possible as not to go cheap with resolution. Resolution has a lot to do with how many pixels of picture elements will be displayed on your screen. The more pixels of picture element available on a display, the more information visible on the screen. Without you needing to scroll through the page too often to see them.
In other words, a screen with a higher resolution (i.e one with a greater number of pixels), will display more of what you are working on. So there will be no need for you to scroll too much. Also the higher the resolution, the more accurate, detailed and crisp, images displayed on the screen will look. Resolution also determines how sharp and clear, images will be on your screen.
Check for a 1920 x 1080p resolution or higher. A 1920 x 1080 screen resolution (also known as Full HD resolution) and higher is most recommended. Because it is able to deliver very sharp and detailed images. And also able to display high definition videos (HD videos) accurately. Again, it really depends on what your needs are. If you’re into photo editing or graphics design. Resolution will be very important. But for other uses, it might not be that important.
Panel type: IPS (In-plane switching) panels are the best for photography compared to both TN (Twisted Nematics) and VA (Vertical Alignment) panels. They come in different types which are all improvements over the initial IPS technology. The different types include H-IPS, AS-IPS, S-IPS and E-IPS, etc.
The main advantage of IPS panels which is of most interest to photographers and color accurate purposes is that they reproduce colors more accurately. Moreover they offer wide viewing angles. Meaning you can view the screen of an IPS panel monitor at any position or angle of view. Without the screen changing in colors or contrast. And they offer true 8-bit and higher technology. Many of them are capable of about 125% or more of the NTSC color gamut. Like I said, it doesn’t matter the position you view their screen from. Because there will be no color shifts even at wide angles. Unlike TN panels that offer a limited angle of view for color stability.
But there are some disadvantages with IPS panels. They are not as fast as TN panels. Because their response time is not fast enough. Which makes them not good enough for fast paced games and videos. However there have been improvements recently in their pixel response time. You can get response rates of about 12ms and less with their improved technologies such as the S-IPS. Which is good enough for videos but still not enough for very fast paced games. IPS panels are also more expensive than the VA and TN panels. But recently they are getting cheaper and do compete reasonably well in terms of price with the other LCD monitor panel types.
If what you need is a monitor for photo editing. Or any other color critical purpose related to photography and graphics, an IPS panel display should be a must. Because you will be compromising on color quality if you do not choose an IPS or a PLS panel monitor. But if it is for any other general use and purpose. Such as for office use and desktop publishing. Or for playing game, watching movies, and general entertainment, you don’t have to choose an IPS panel as a must. Because TN and VA panels will be OK for your needs. In fact TN panels are the best for playing games and watching videos. Because of their very fast response time.
Extras: Depending on what you are going to use the monitor for, you may need to consider a few more extra important points. For example, you may want to choose a matte screen display over that of a glossy screen. To avoid color display issues that may occur due to reflections on a glossy screen.
Choose a monitor with wide viewing angles if what you need it for is sensitive to color changes. So you can view the screen from any angle without any change in color, brightness and contrast. IPS panel monitors are the best for a wide viewing angles.
Check to make sure the monitor of your choice is adjustable to any position you want. This enables you to adjust it to position any way you like. Meaning you can tilt, swivel, rotate, and height adjust it to wide ranges easily. For more comfort and viewing experience.
Check if it has lots of connectivity options as well. Like DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort, D-sub (VGA), and USB inputs. So you can easily connect it to your personal computer, camera, USB devices, gadgets and peripherals. And so you can easily connect it to other video sources as well.
There are a few more points to consider. But they might not be too important. It all depends on your needs. And what you intend to use a monitor for. Extra points such as; color details, contrast ratio, refresh rate, response time, aspect ratio, brightness, calibration, etc. Might add to a list of things you may want to check for. Not that you must check and make sure of all of them. But if you are still concerned to know more about these terms, visit this page here. And scroll way down where details are provided on what to check for in a monitor. That is where we explained what they all mean.
Price: This one is fairly obvious. Because we already know what we want. And if I may remind you what we are here for. We are here for the best budget monitors and the cheapest we can get. But not without some quality and basic features.
With regards to price, determine on time the price range you are willing to spend for a cheap display. Next you look at monitors within that price range. You may even be lucky to find something that is of much value and quality within your price range. Just be sure to know your budget.
Prices will vary based on size, features available and the type and model of the screen. IPS panels for example usually cost higher than the other LCD monitor panel types. You may even miss out on available input ports (connectivity options). And a few other features in a cheap display. Meaning that not all of what you want in terms of connectivity options and a few other features. Will be available in a cheap display you are interested in. Just pay attention to the things that are most important to you. And what exactly you need it for.
Next up is the part where we show you the top products we found in our search for the best.
Now that you are aware of the main features, let’s checkout the cheap computer displays that offer most of the basic features we need. Our goal here is to spend less. But gain more in a cheap display.
Best cheap computer monitors for general use
The following are the top cheap monitors that cost less than $200. For anyone looking for the best on a budget less than $200. They are mainly for gaming, videos, office, desktop publishing and home use etc.
ASUS VH238H is a 23-inch widescreen TN panel LCD display. With a 1920 x 1080p full HD resolution. That provides a good screen size and resolution based on what we discussed above. It features a stylish and user-friendly slim-flat package design. It is Eco-friendly meaning it uses less power. Which is good for energy and cost of power savings. And it provides true to life images that is powered by a mercury free LED backlight panel. It comes with built-in stereo speakers that you can’t see because it is hidden. For a rich multimedia experience.
It features a very fast response time of 2ms GTG (gray-to-gray). That helps to eliminate ghosting and tracers. And which is ideal for games and fluid video playbacks. It also has a special function that eliminates image distortion. And a smart view function that allows you to view the screen in a versatile position while lying down without any change in image quality. It features a cable management system that takes care of any tangling wires and cables. To help make your desk more organized without clusters here and there.
With ASUS VH238H, you get a 3-year panel and system warranty from the manufacturers. Which protects you from any risk involved in the delivery and usage of it. And in case you are not satisfied with its performance. It also includes a 3-year advanced exchange warranty. Which means that ASUS will be paying for the shipping cost both ways if you have problems with the monitor. And will ship you a replacement promptly.
However its stand is flimsy and there are no USB ports/inputs. Also its glossy housing around the screen area makes it a little bit reflective. Its buttons are a bit hard to press too. This monitor is definitely good for fast paced games, videos and for any other general purpose. Due to many of the features it has to offer with just a few cons. Choose it if what it offers matches your needs.
Viewsonic VX2370Smh-LED is a full HD resolution IPS panel borderless display. That is designed with a frameless bezel and touch sensitive controls. And with a mercury free LED backlight technology. It offers you sharp and vivid true to life colors. Image quality is great with wide viewing angles. Response time is 7ms.
HDMI port is included that provides high resolution image and video connections for gaming, graphics, and HD entertainment. Also available is a DVI (with HDCP) and D-Sub (VGA) inputs. It comes with a pair of 1.5-watt speakers with SRS Premium Sound technology. That helps it to deliver high end stereo sounds with audiophile quality. Audio performance is so good for a rich multimedia experience that you might not need to connect external speakers. Helping you to maximize desk space for your other needs.
Its frameless bezel features an elegant and glossy finish. Its touch function is very sleek and seamlessly provides simple and intuitive touch experience. Which makes adjusting the screen very fast and easy. Its IPS panel technology delivers wide viewing angles of up to 178 degrees for both horizontal and vertical view. And its brightness levels are consistent across all viewing angles with no distortion or decay. It also uses 40% less power without compromising your viewing quality. And you are protected by an industry leading pixel performance policy and 3-year limited warranty from the manufacturers.
However you cannot adjust its height nor can it swivel. It is ideal for anyone in need of a display for gaming, home entertainment and office use. It is as well good for photo editing. Choose it for an all purpose general monitor for work and entertainment.
Resolution is full HD 1920 x 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Its wide range of dynamic contrast ratio ensures you get a crystal-clear viewing experience. While its 5ms rapid response time ensures that moving images are sharp without blurs or any ghosting effect. Input connections include a DVI-D and VGA ports.
However, its tilt adjustment is very limited. And its stand could have been better and stronger. Because it is a bit limited as well when you want to adjust the stand. It is ideal for home use and for gaming. Because you are sure to get a good multimedia experience with its cinematic widescreen view.
HP Pavilion 2311x is a 23-inch TN panel LCD monitor with a WLED (White Light Emitting Diode) backlit screen. And an ultra-slim profile for a sleek and stylish design that takes up little space on your desk. Resolution is full HD (1920 x 1080p). It comes with HDMI, DVI-D and D-sub (VGA) video connecting ports. With HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) support to prevent transmission of non-encrypted high definition content. It supports Plug and Play for a quick and easy setup with your PC. But only if your computer system supports Plug and Play.
Its response time of 5ms helps to reduce motion blur in fast moving games and videos. There are QuickView modes in it that are optimized to match the screen performance with the content of your choice. It also features a BrightView panel function that reduces glare in brightly lit rooms.
Its LED backlighting helps to reduce any environmental impact that comes with making use of it. And helps to reduce power consumption and onscreen blur. Which also helps you to make the most of intensive games and movies. Enjoy even more of movies with it by connecting it to a variety of video sources such as HDTVs. You can tilt and height adjust it for your viewing comfort as well.
However there are no internal speakers. And ergonomic support is limited to just tilt. It is also not VESA mountable. This monitor is definitely good for general use but not for color critical purposes.
Color quality is great with this monitor. And it features the special ASUS smart contrast ratio function that dynamically enhances its color and contrast. Which helps it to deliver true and lifelike images for a great viewing experience that you will enjoy with videos and games. Response time is very fast at 2ms (Gray-to-gray) which helps to eliminate any ghosting effect and tracers. Meaning you don’t have to worry about its handling of fast moving images known with videos and games. Also its aspect control function makes it possible for you to enjoy true-to-life gaming and movie experience without image distortion.
There is a Smart View technology in it that offers versatile viewing of the screen in both straight view and upward while you are lying down. Which helps you to enjoy the same image quality for both views. It also comes with an easily detachable base that you can use for wall mount. It is VESA wall mountable as well. Moreover, you get a 3-year panel and system manufacturer warranty. That protects you from the risk of delivery and usage. And for after-sales service.
However there is no rotate function on this monitor. And it does not come with speakers. But does come with a headphone jack. If what you are looking for is a cheap computer monitor for gaming and movies. Or for general use, this monitor is definitely worth it.
Its LED backlight technology makes it able to consume up to 68% less energy than regular LCD displays. Helping you to save both energy and money. With mercury free and durable materials that helps it to minimize any environmental impact. Input connections available include DVI and D-sub (VGA). It also comes with a Kensington lock slot for protecting it. It is actually one of the cheapest we found in our search for cheap displays.
However, its stand is not adjustable. And the screen wobbles at the slightest jolt. It is recommended for gaming and for most other general use of a display.
- BenQ GL2450 LED TN panel 24-Inch Monitor
BenQ GL2450 is a 24-inch LED backlight TN panel monitor with a full HD resolution. That is equipped to deliver very clear and smooth pictures for video games and movies. And great image details for the best viewing quality. It allows the subtlest of details to stand out with richer and more realistic colors. To make your viewing experience even more absorbing.
It comes with a Senseye Human Vision Technology that offers the truest of colors in each of its six pre-set viewing modes. Aspect ratio is 16:9 and it is window 8 compatible. It includes a special Eco-mode function designed to save you power and money. If features a Flicker-free technology that eliminates flickering at all brightness level. Which effectively reduces eye fatigue for a more pleasant viewing experience. Its response time of 5ms enables you to enjoy high dynamic videos that are free from ghosting and other artifacts.
However it has no HDMI inputs. Nor does it have speakers. And some users complain of it not coming with a DVI cable for DVI input connections. So you will need to purchase a DVI cable for it. This monitor is definitely good for office and home use. To view and edit your documents. And for many other general purpose use of a display.
Acer S231HL is a 23-inch widescreen and ultra-slim LED backlit TN panel display. That is specially built to conserve space. With a very flexible physical lightweight assemble that can fit your desk easily without taking much space. Resolution is full HD 1080p.
There is DVI, VGA, and HDMI input connections with HDCP. Response time is 5ms for fast moving games and videos. It is eco-friendly as well with energy-saving features due to its LED backlight. Which can save you up to 70 percent less power consumption. All thanks to its white LED technology (W-LED) that is also mercury free.
Best cheap computer monitors for photo editing
These are the best monitors for photo editing under $200. For those on a tight budget. Remember we featured the best at other budget prices here.
Viewing angles is ultra wide at 178 degrees allowing you or someone beside you to view the screen at any angle with much accuracy. And without color shifts nor image distortions. It features very convenient key controls for functional set-up in its multi-language OSD. Its base is easily detachable for VESA wall mounting. And there is a security lock slot to help protect your display. Connectivity options include DVI-D, D-Sub and HDMI for easy connections with your PC and other devices. And you are protected by the manufacturers 3 year panel and system warranty with the purchase of this product.
However its buttons can be frustrating at times. And the display on it can be a little too sharp at times. It also has a limited defective pixel policy. On a final note, it is one of the best cheap monitors for photo editing. Especially if you don’t have the budget for the more ideal ones that cost almost $300 and above.
There is a detachable multi-purpose stand for standard and photo frame applications. And it comes with built-in 4 watts speakers. Its LED backlight panel requires just 50% less energy than regular CCFL monitors. Which helps for low power consumption that is completely free of mercury, a toxic material. Response time is fast at 5ms for fast paced games and movies.
Connections available include HDMI (with HDCP) and a D-Sub (VGA) port. Bonus features include a user friendly OSD menu, power saver modes and an off timer. There is an additional iMenu option included that lets you change settings using only your mouse and keyboard. And a Screen+ software that divides the screen into four self-contained work areas. For ease of use and improved productivity.
However the controls on the rear panel is a bit awkward requiring you to adjust the monitor from the back. But there is a disc provided to help with this that has a program called iMenu. Which installs all the OSD controls so you can simply click your way through all the settings on-screen with your keyboard or mouse. And it is not VESA mountable. It is highly recommended for photo editing if you are on a budget.
HP 23xi is a 23-inch screen LED-lit IPS panel monitor that has a unique micro-thin bezel-less design. It can fit virtually anywhere on your desk without taking up valuable space. Color performance is very impressive with sharp and vivid colors on display. And it delivers stunning visuals with its full HD resolution. And with a widescreen IPS panel that is equipped for superb color quality.
Viewing angle range is wide at 178 degrees. Meaning you get image and color consistency from almost anywhere around your workplace. With less distortion and blur. Making it good for photos, videos and games. You get eye-popping details with the HP Enhance+ feature that helps to deliver super-crisp images with advanced noise reduction.
Power consumption is very minimal with its mercury-free LED backlighting. And you get to save more on energy cost with its intelligent and efficient design that is built with the environment in mind. There is also a HP My Display Software that is included in the package of this display. Which allows you to customize screen settings and control power-saving modes. It also enables you to partition your screen so you will be able to work with multiple application windows that are open at the same time. And you are protected by HP’s standard one year limited warranty that includes world-class service and support.
However there are no in-built speakers. And there are no VESA mount holes on it for wall mounting. But it’s good for photo editing if you are on a budget.
AOC e2050Swd is a 20-Inch Class Screen LED-Lit Monitor with a slim design and clean styling. It offers you vibrant and clear images. And it is energy efficient. There is a Kensington security lock slot for anti-theft security. Resolution is 1600 x 900 at 60Hz refresh rate. With a high dynamic contrast ratio that helps to reveal darker image areas in greater depth. Image quality is great for photos and videos. Response time is fast enough at 5ms. Which allows you enjoy playing games and watching videos with it without missing a beat.
Connection options include a DVI-D with HDCP and a VGA input port. It is VESA compliant and wall mountable. A special i-menu software is included to allow you access its user-friendly On Screen Display menu with your mouse. There is also a direct-insert feature that allows your cables to be connected horizontally with ease. Without the complications of connecting your cables to the bottom of the panel where there is limited visibility. It is Eco-friendly and features an Eco-mode that provides you with five display preset settings for text, game, movie, internet and sport. All for the purpose of meeting your different viewing needs.
However there are no speakers and there is no HDMI port. And its colors are not really ideal for photo jobs. This display is actually for those on an extreme budget. That just needs a display for photo editing with basic features.
It includes an HDMI port for high resolution image and video connections. That is ideal for graphics, gaming, and HD entertainment. There is also a DVI (with HDCP) and D-Sub (VGA) connections. A pair of 1.5-watt speakers are in-built with it. With SRS Premium Sound technology that delivers high end stereo sounds with audiophile quality. Speaker performance is so good that you don’t need to connect external speakers.
It features a touch function that is very sleek. And that seamlessly provides a simple and intuitive touch experience. Which makes adjusting the screen very fast and easy. It delivers wide viewing angles of up to 178 degrees for both horizontal and vertical view with the help of its IPS panel technology. And its brightness levels are consistent across its viewing angles. With no distortion or decay. And you are protected by industry leading pixel performance policy and 3-year limited warranty that comes with it.
However its height is not adjustable nor does it have a swivel function. It is ideal for anyone in need of a budget display for photo editing. It is as well good for gaming, home entertainment and office use.
When it comes to cheap computer monitors, you don’t need to sacrifice much for price. Because some of them comes with great features. All you need to do is determine on time how much you are willing to spend in terms of budget. Next determine what you need exactly from a monitor. And then check if the monitor you are interested in has the things that are most important to you. You can start with the ones we found above in our research. And explore more if they don’t meet your needs.
Why do you need a cheap monitor? Which of them above are you interested in the most? And what do you think about all that has been said in this article?
Do you have contrary opinions or suggestions for us? We will definitely love to hear from you. Hit the comment button (the Leave A Reply button) below to reach us. And we will sure get back to you.