Whether you're working from home, or are just in the market to replace your old monitor, there are a lot of great options for those looking at the best cheap monitors. For under $500, you can get a monitor that provides about 90% of the same features found in monitors that are priced much, much higher. Some of these are amongst the best external monitors for Chromebooks, while others provide more of a focus on being the best gaming monitors. Regardless of what use case you are looking for, these are the best cheap monitors to consider.
Best Cheap Monitor Overall: BenQ GW2480
Sleek, slim, and cheap is the way to go.
When looking at BenQ monitors on the whole, you'll notice that the company has quite a few different offerings based on what your needs could be. The GW2480 is another example of a great cheap monitor as it's available in either 24-inches or 27-inches and sports a near-bezel-less design. This monitor can also be mounted with one of the best monitor arms, thanks to the 100x100 VESA mount compatibility.
As is the case in some of the other cheap monitors, the BenQ GW2480 is equipped with built-in speakers of its own. Again, these won't be able to substitute the likes of the best over-ear headphones or a great set of desktop speakers with a DAC. But if you're just planning on watching some YouTube videos or throwing on some music in the background, then they should do the trick just fine. Another sore spot when it comes to creating any desk setup is cable management. Thankfully, BenQ thought of this as there's a cable channel in the back of the monitor so you can easily route your power and display cables to keep them out of the way.
There's a lot to like about the BenQ GW2480, but not everything is perfect. While it's great that this monitor is available in two different sizes, you are still going to be limited to 1080p resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate. So it may not be the best option if you want to do any serious gaming. And your connection options are also limited with the single HDMI and VGA ports found on the back of the monitor.
Upgrade Pick: LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD
LG 27UD58P-B 4K UHD
Get 4K UHD resolution and AMD FreeSync compatibility in a good-looking package
There are a few things to take into consideration when you're trying to find the best monitor. The first of which is what you'll be using the monitor with, whether it's one of the best Chromebooks, or the best gaming desktop PC's. The LG 27UD58-B has many of the features one could want from a monitor that won't break the bank.
You'll get a gorgeous picture thanks to the 4K UHD resolution, and there are plenty of ports to choose from. LG includes two HDMI ports to go along with a single DisplayPort option, making it perfect for however you want to connect to your device of choice. There's even AMD FreeSync support, which is surprising because you're limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, but corners had to be cut somewhere.
The included stand makes it easy to adjust to the perfect height, and you can even pivot the 27UD58-B for the right angles. With so much going for this monitor, you might be hoping to see some HDR support, but that's another area where LG cut some features to keep this one of the best cheap monitors.
Premium Pick: Dell 27" USB-C Monitor (P2720DC)
Dell 27" USB-C Monitor (P2720DC)
One cable to rule them all
The Dell P2720DC is really the Swiss Army knife of monitors with its various ports for connectivity. These include a single HDMI, a DisplayPort In, DisplayPort Out (for daisy-chaining), and even a USB-C port. With more and more Chromebooks and laptops primarily featuring USB-C for charging and anything else, this makes for a one-cable solution for getting your Chromebook hooked up to a bigger display.
The USB-C port has another hidden feature, and that's the built-in Power Delivery functionality. If you have a laptop, Chromebook, or even tablet that you want to plug into the Dell P2720DC, then you'll be able to charge it at the same time. The only catch is that you're limited to 65W coming from the monitor, so if your laptop requires more than that, you may have to deal with a trickle charge.
Unlike other monitors featured on this list, the Dell P2720DC does not include a 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting your speakers. So you'll have to rely on your laptop or Chromebook for that, whether you grab some analog speakers or pair it with one of the best Bluetooth speakers. And when it comes to ergonomics, Dell has you covered as the stand for this monitor can tilt, swivel, and pivot, or you can take advantage of a VESA mount to save yourself some more desk space.
Best Cheap Curved Monitor: Sceptre C275W
Get a cheap monitor that's curved.
Cheap monitors are a dime-a-dozen, but when you find something with as great of a value as the Sceptre C275W, it's tough to ignore. This curved monitor measures 27-inches, with a curve that is just enough to keep your immersed while using your computer. While more expensive monitors have much faster refresh rates, the C275W is no slouch, as Sceptre states that this panel features a 75Hz refresh rate. So while it won't be the best gaming monitor, it's definitely better than some others.
If space is an issue when it comes to your desk setup, you can forget having to worry about trying to throw some speakers on the desktop. The Sceptre C275W feature built-in speakers that offer 2W of power, which isn't much, but unless you're using this for multiple movie-watching sessions, they will do the job just fine. Sceptre even went so far as to add its Blue Light Shift technology, which automatically reduces the amount of blue light being emitted, so your eyes will thank you later.
While everything else looks pretty great with the Sceptre C275W, there are a few things to be aware of. Notably, the 1920 x 1080 resolution is fine for most, but may not be the best for everyone. This, coupled with the fact that there are only two connection ports available (one HDMI and one VGA) may leave you a bit frustrated. Finally, you won't be able to adjust the height, meaning that you'll need to grab one of the best monitor stands to create the most ergonomic setup.
Best Cheap Monitor for Photographers: ViewSonic VP2768-4K
Look at all of your ultra-crisp monitor with proper color reproduction
Not everyone wants to focus on the gaming capabilities or features, but they still want a professional-grade monitor. The ViewSonic VP2768-4K delivers the goods, thanks to some of the best out-of-the-box color reproduction that our friends at Windows Central have seen in a cheap monitor. Resolution is on par with what you would expect from ViewSonic, as you'll find a 4K UHD IPS display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160.
There are a few different options at your disposal for connecting your computer to this ViewSonic. The company includes two HDMI 2.0 ports, along with a DisplayPort and Mini-DisplayPort option. For those who feel the need to change up the color reproduction a bit more, ViewSonic makes it easy to do so, right from the display settings.
While the VP2768-4K checks a lot of the boxes for professionals, gamers might want to look elsewhere. That's because this monitor is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, despite featuring such a great display panel. Plus, you won't be able to use it to view and enjoy HDR10 content, which is a little bit of a bummer.
Best Cheap Monitor for 1080p Gaming: AOC 27G2 (27-inch)
AOC 27G2 (27-inch)
4K gaming isn't the end-all-be-all
Some people don't care all that much for having the highest resolution possible, and would rather get one of the best cheap monitors with a high refresh rate. Thankfully, the AOC 27G2 is one of the best available thanks to its low-cost along with the big 27-inch display featuring its 144Hz refresh rate.
The refresh rate, combined with support for both NVIDIA G-Sync and AMD FreeSync makes this a competitor for one of the best gaming monitors overall. Getting a monitor that can handle whatever features your GPU can take advantage of is extremely important, especially if you want the best gaming experience possible.
While everything looks good on the outside, there are a few quirks about the AOC 27G2. Notably, you might want to adjust the color profile, as the out-of-box settings aren't tuned to perfection. And the combination of a big 27-inch display with just a 1080p resolution may get a bit tiresome on the eyes after a while with the lower resolution.
Best Cheap Monitor for 1440p Gaming: BenQ EX2780Q
BenQ EX2780Q Gaming Monitor 144Hz 1440p
Get an all-in-one entertainment experience
4K gaming is fun and all, but it's not an absolute necessity. You may not want to go all the way down to 1080p with a bigger monitor, but there's a nice sweet spot with 1440p. The BenQ EX2780Q is a fantastic option for those wanting to save some cash while avoiding both 4K and 1080p for gaming and anything else you do on your computer.
It should come as no surprise, but the BenQ EX2780Q actually falls under one of the best gaming monitors with its sleek design and built-in speaker system. There are actually two speakers and a subwoofer built right into the monitor, so you won't have to worry about taking up that precious desk space with extra speakers. The screen not only features a QHD resolution, but also features a 144Hz refresh rate, which is perfect for gamers.
BenQ also packed in plenty of ports with two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB-C with Power Delivery. With the USB-C port in tow, you can use this to connect and charge your Chromebook or laptop, although you are limited to just 60W of power. One other concern to be aware of comes down to ergonomics, as the stand is fixed, meaning that you won't be able to change the height of the monitor.
Best Cheap Portable Monitor: ASUS ZenScreen Go MB16AHP
ASUS ZenScreen 15.6" 1080P Portable Monitor
Perfect for on-the-go work
While MacBook and iPad users have the luxury of being able to take advantage of Sidecar for those times where some extra screen real estate is needed, the same can't be said for Windows or Chromebook users. That's where something like the ASUS ZenScreen MB16AHP comes in handy. This is a portable monitor that features a built-in 7,800mAh battery and can be used in different variations.
ASUS includes a foldable carrying case, which makes it easy to pick up and go whenever you're ready. Plus, this is how you can switch between horizontal or vertical orientations while trying to extend your screen. The display itself features a lower-resolution of 1080p, which can be frustrating for some but should be more than enough if you just want to throw some extra windows on an external screen.
The biggest potential hiccup comes in that the ZenScreen MB16AHp only features a single USB-C port and a microHDMI port. So if you have a laptop or Chromebook that doesn't make use of USB-C, you'll want to pick up an adapter to make everything work with this great portable monitor.
Best Cheap Monitor for Portable Gaming: ASUS ROG Strix Portable Gaming Monitor
ASUS ROG Strix Portable Gaming Monitor
Ultra-portable gaming on the cheap
ASUS didn't just stop at portable monitors when it came to the ASUS ZenScreen. The company upped the ante and started catering to gamers on the go thanks to the ASUS ROG Strix Portable Gaming Monitor. Although the resolution is also capped at 1080p, you are provided with a 240Hz refresh rate. This makes it the perfect companion for one of the best gaming laptops, or you can even use it to connect your PS5 if you want to.
The display itself measures at 17.3-inches, which may be a bit too big for some of the best tech backpacks. However, there are some larger options out there if you want to make sure you have an extra display with you while you're out and about. One thing to make note of is that the included smart folio case offers a little bit of protection, but you're going to want to be a bit more careful, as to not have any harm befall this excellent portable monitor.
While the ROG Strix Monitor has plenty of awesome features onboard, including USB-C Power Delivery, you again are limited by the input options. Just like the ZenScreen, you are stuck with using either USB-C or microHDMI, which should be fine for most, but is something to be aware of before plugging it into your gaming laptop or Chromebook.
Best Cheap Basic Monitor: Dell SE2419H
Just get a monitor for a bigger screen
It's no secret that Dell makes some of the best computer monitors, regardless of whether you want to get some work done, play some games, or just to give yourself a bigger screen. The Dell SE2419H falls into that last category and is one of the best Dell monitors thanks to its low price and slim bezels around three of the four edges.
Dell has even upgraded the SE2419H with a smaller stand which will help you to free up some of that precious desk space. It also helps that there's a cutout on the back of the stand to help with cable management as you can route the power and display cables through the hole to keep things tidy. You won't even have to worry about dealing with an external power supply, as a single three-prong power cable runs from the back of the monitor to your outlet. That's possible thanks to the built-in power supply that Dell included in the SE2419H.
With a monitor that is so inexpensive, it's easy to understand that you'll miss out on many of the bells and whistles found with more expensive options. But there is one potential hindrance for some, as there is only HDMI and one VGA port available. Additionally, the stand might be great for cable routing and management, but a monitor stand might be in order since the SE2419H can only be tilted back and forth.
Best Cheap UltraWide Monitor: Sceptre C355W-3440UN QHD
Sceptre C355W-3440UN QHD
Once you go ultrawide, you won't go back
For the last few years, there's been a shift from having multiple monitors on your desk to getting a single ultrawide monitor. There are some pretty useful benefits of using an ultrawide monitor, including the ability to free up a port on your computer if you aren't daisy-chaining the two monitors together. But the problem is that many of the best ultrawide monitors are rather expensive, and make too many sacrifices for what you have to pay.
Enter the Sceptre C35W-34409UN. Long random jumble of letters and numbers notwithstanding, this monitor from Sceptre measures 35 inches and features a frameless design that helps to immerse you in whatever you're doing at your desk. Gamers will be intrigued with its 100Hz refresh rate, along with the compatibility with AMD FreeSync. There's even a slight curve in the monitor so you aren't just looking at a flat panel all day and can reduce some neck strain.
While there are a total of four ports that you can use for connecting your laptop, Chromebook, or desktop computer, those looking for the 100Hz refresh will need to be a bit careful. There is only one HDMI port that will support the faster refresh rate, while the other two HDMI ports are limited to 60Hz. We've also seen some QC issues crop up from others who have picked up this monitor as you may run into some dead pixels here and there. Sceptre does offer a three-year warranty should any issues crop up in your time with this gorgeous ultrawide monitor.
Pick the best cheap monitor for your needs
There are more than a few monitors to choose from, and the best cheap monitor options are even larger. But when you take a look at LG 27UD58-B 4K UHD, you won't miss out on many features as this is our favorite upgrade pick for best cheap monitors. LG packed quite a few features into this monitor, including an adjustable stand, 27-inch 4K UHD resolution, and compatibility with AMD FreeSync.
This monitor hits just about every point you could want, except for HDR content and a more-traditional refresh rate. There's only a 60Hz refresh rate on the display, so it might not be the best option for those new AAA games, but for everything else, the 27UD58-B is absolutely perfect.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Andrew Myrick is a regular freelancer at Android Central. He has been a tech enthusiast ever since the original iPhone was released and continues to flip-flop between devices. You might as well hook him up to an IV filled with coffee to get him through the day. If you have any questions, you can find him on Twitter, and he'll get back to you.