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- Some of the best computer monitors don’t need to break the bank. These options all come with attractive designs and affordable price tags.
- Affordable computer monitors may be smaller than more expensive models, but they deliver a variety of settings to maximize screen quality in any environment.
- These screens generally work with HDMI cables and deliver LCD panels, but keep an eye out for unique designs and extra USB ports to make them even more useful.
Buying a computer monitor isn’t an easy process. There are a slew of them available, a countless number of features to consider, and so many design differences, like curved or even ultra-wide screens, that it becomes dizzying to simply find a solution.
One of the best ways to start when buying a monitor, however, is by limiting your choices by budget. If you know how much you want to spend, you can narrow your options and find a selection of monitors that fit your budget and come with the features you want.
For the vast majority of shoppers, spending $500 or less on a monitor is a smart choice to make. At that price point, monitors of all shapes and sizes are still available, and some even feature 4K resolution. And, although gaming monitors can often be significantly more expensive, there are even some monitors designed for playing video games that can hit the mark on price.
When looking for a new monitor under $500, there are some features to keep in mind. For one, you’ll want to make sure you like the design, since the device will be something you’ll be looking at for hours each day. You’ll also want to ensure that the monitor isn’t too big or too small for your desk.
On the feature side, consider whether you want a curved or flat display, and if resolution matters, opt for a 4K version. Some monitors come with a USB hub built-in, so you can expand your USB inputs. And, in most cases, you can get monitors that use HDMI cables, making it easy to hook up your screen to just about any modern desktop (or laptop). If you plan to use your monitor as a television and computer monitor, look for a wall-mountable version. There are plenty available, all with various features.
If you’re in the market for a new sub-$500 computer monitor, you don’t need to spend time trying to research a winner. Instead, read below. We’ve compiled the following roundup to help you find the right monitor for a variety of needs. And, since we’ve chosen the following options after evaluating their user and critics reviews, as well as their collection of features, you can rest assured knowing the monitors below are worth your money.
Options trading Here are the best computer monitors under $500 you can buy:
- Best monitor under $500 overall: Samsung S32R750U
- Best gaming monitor under $500: Alienware AW2518HF
- Best curved monitor under $500: Dell S3220DGF
- Best office monitor under $500: HP 6XJ00AA
- Best family monitor under $500: LG 27UL600
Options trading The best monitor under $500 overall
The Samsung S32R750U offers the best combination of features, design, and functionality in a package that, while a bit pricey, is still well worth the price.
Samsung’s monitor comes with thin bezels around a 31.5-inch LCD screen that makes it appear as if it’s an all-screen design. It comes with a thin stem and attractive-looking base to round out what might be the best-looking monitor design in this roundup.
That big screen is bolstered by a 4K resolution that should make all kinds of content look solid. It comes with a 4ms response time and 60Hz refresh rate, which should make fast-moving content look appealing, and with Mini DisplayPort and HDMI ports, you can hook the monitor up to just about any modern machine.
While it would’ve been nice to have seen a webcam in the monitor, its versatility, allowing you to use it at just about any height or angle, makes Samsung’s S32R750U an ideal choice for most shoppers.
Samsung’s monitor earned rave reviews from Trusted Reviews, with a score of four stars out of five. Reviewer Thomas Newton touted the monitor’s “space-efficient design” and said its contrast performance was “incredible”.
Pros: Outstanding design, big screen size, doesn’t take up too much space, 4K resolution
Cons: Too few ports, no webcam
Options trading The best gaming monitor under $500
If you’re a gamer who’s in the market for a high-quality screen that won’t necessarily take up too much room on a desk, the Alienware AW2518HF is the way to go.
Alienware’s monitor comes with a sharp design that features small bezels around its 25-inch screen, and an attractive base that could be ideal for gamers. Speaking of that 25-inch screen, it comes with LED backlighting to improve bright color representation, and thanks to full-HD resolution, most games and other content, like video, should look pleasant on the display.
Oddly, the gaming-focused Alienware monitor doesn’t have 3D support, but it does come with a wall-mountable design, so you can place it on a wall to save more space on a desk. Better yet, the monitor has an ergonomic design that includes the ability to swivel, tilt, pivot, and adjust the height during use.
On the tech side, the Alienware AW2518HF offers a 1,000:1 contrast ratio to boost color accuracy, and 400 cd/m2 brightness means it should be plenty bright enough in most environments. Be aware, however, that Alienware’s machine is priced at the top of the sub-$500 range.
I’ve used Alienware’s AW2518HF and found it to be one of the company’s better full-HD options. Its thin bezel does the job of reducing space on the desk and its unique base is a welcome addition. It also works great with games.
Pros: Appealing design, ultra-fast response time, wall-mountable, ergonomic stand
Cons: Only full HD, not 3D-friendly
Options trading The best curved monitor under $500
Curved monitors can be ideal for those who want a more focused viewing experience without taking up too much room on the desk. For those cases, the Dell S3220DGF is an ideal choice.
Dell’s monitor is a 32-inch screen with a deep enough curve on the edges. It comes with a quad-HD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, which means it’s a bit better than what you’d get from full HD, but not quite up to the standard of 4K. But, since it comes with AMD FreeSync technology and HDR, there’s a good chance your video gaming on the monitor will look fluid and vibrant all at the same time.
Unlike some of the other options in this roundup, Dell’s monitor is designed to be used as a USB hub and includes five USB 3.0 ports to do that. And, since it comes with a wall-mountable design, you can make it do double duty by acting both as your monitor and your television in a smaller room.
The monitor’s 3,000:1 contrast ratio is a welcome feature for gamers and movie addicts alike. And, with help from features like a frame rate counter and dark stabilizer, you can enhance your gameplay experience with ease. Overall, it offers a decent value for the price.
Tom’s Hardware gave Dell’s monitor a stellar four-and-a-half stars out of five and touted its outstanding brightness performance and strong contrast ratio. Dell’s monitor also earned high marks for its superior build quality, making it a sturdy choice.
Pros: Big screen size, five USB 3.0 ports included, wall-mountable design, HDR support
Cons: Curved design isn’t for everyone
Options trading The best office monitor under $500
If you’re looking for a monitor for the office that won’t blow you away with gaming and video features, but will deliver an ideal solution for productivity, go with the HP 6XJ00AA.
HP’s monitor comes with a 31.5-inch screen and utilizes LED backlighting with in-plane switching (IPS) to deliver its picture. In general, that means you can expect bright visuals from the display and colors should look vibrant. Be aware, however, that without HDR support in this monitor, the colors won’t be as vibrant as those that use the technology.
The device itself comes with thin bezels around the screen and a sleek silver finish to make the device look attractive on the desk. And, since it comes with an anti-glare design, you can use it in just about any setting or around any window, and you’ll find you’re able to easily see what’s on the screen.
That said, the HP monitor is somewhat bulky compared to the others in this roundup, due in large part to its massive screen, and since it has limited port support, you won’t be able to use it as a USB hub for connecting more accessories to your computer. Despite that, it comes with an affordable price that makes it harder for others to beat.
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HP’s monitor has earned nearly universal rave reviews from users. It earned high marks for its compelling design and bright visuals, and its affordability was a clear selling point.
Pros: Outstanding design, big screen size, solid viewing angles, anti-glare coating
Cons: Limited port support, may be bulky on desk
Options trading The best family monitor under $500
LG’s 27UL600 is an ideal choice for families that want a monitor that can work well for those who want to play video games, but still deliver solid-enough performance for those who want to get work done.
The LG 27UL600 is a 27-inch screen that uses LED technology to deliver bright, colorful visuals. Better yet, the monitor offers both 4K support and HDR readiness, so you can count on vibrant and high-fidelity visuals when you’re watching movies and television shows or playing video games.
On the design side, LG’s monitor comes with a rather tired design with somewhat thick bezels around its panel and a simple base. For a device that’s a little on the pricier side and has limited port support, a better design would have been welcome.
Still, with its reasonable size and great features, it’s a fine choice for most uses.
RTINGS awarded the monitor a score of eight out of 10 and gave it high marks for an outstanding picture and wide viewing angles. It also performs well for gaming, according to the outlet.
Pros: 4K support, HDR support, versatile for gamers and home office, anti-glare coating
Cons: Tired design, limited port support
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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