The best budget monitors for 2020

Tyler Lacoma

This article was last updated by Digital Trends editor Luke Larsen on 6/23/2020.

While we love showcasing the best and most advanced monitors you can get, we all know that sometimes our budgets can’t always cover their hefty cost. Often a good budget model is best, but finding low-cost monitors that are also quality picks can be a challenge.

After reviewing more than 100 of the world’s best displays, we’ve put together a list of fantastic budget options. Our current favorite is the 27-inch

Samsung SF354

, but if it’s not to your liking, we also have some favorites that are great for 4K movies or for gaming.

The best budget monitors at a glance:

Samsung 27″ SF354

Why you should buy this: It’s basic, but it’s everything you need.

$140 from Samsung

Who’s it for: Those on a budget.

Why we picked the Samsung 27″ SF354:

There are a few important things to know about buying a cheap monitor. The basics? Never go under 1080p resolution or under 27 inches (unless you lack space for it). Stick there, and you’ll guarantee a pleasant viewing experience fit for your home office.

The Samsung SF354 represents the best value you can imagine, meeting those standards. It’s a fairly basic monitor — maxing out at 250 nits and includes just on HDMI port. But at $170, it’s all about the value. This monitor does offer respectable display quality and an attractive design.

Samsung even throws in AMD FreeSync and an Eye Saver mode, for smooth gaming or long work sessions. You could pair this with a low-cost AMD Radeon graphics card for a simple, yet surprisingly awesome, gaming PC.

Have a cramped desk? For $40 less, you can opt for a smaller 24-inch model. At $130 it’s an absolute steal.

Acer G277HL

Acer G277HL Abid

Why you should buy this: If you want to save a lot of money while still getting a monitor that can handle your unique setup, this Acer monitor is a great place to start.

$296 from Amazon

Who’s it for: Those who want to save the most, people with a variety of different video inputs

Why we picked the Acer G277HL:

If you’re looking for a larger monitor that’s extra-affordable, Acer has you covered with this 27-inch model with an IPS screen. It packs a now-standard 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a maximum 60Hz refresh rate, a 4ms response time, and a 250-nit maximum brightness.

On the design side, we like its thin bezel even if it’s a bit bare-bones. However, you do get VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports, which could be perfect if you have varied peripherals and additional screens that you want the monitor to support.

LG 32MA70HY-P

LG 32MA70HY-P

Why you should buy this: This extra-large monitor is great for important tasks but the price is far more manageable than many alternatives.

$219 from Amazon

Who’s it for: Professionals, gamers on a budget

Why we picked the LG 32MA70HY-P:

Let’s say that even 27 inches isn’t big enough for your desktop computer dreams. Maybe you need an even larger monitor to host multiple windows, extra-large editing software, or games that just work better when you’re engulfed by the whole screen.

In these cases, we highly recommend the ultra-affordable LG 32MA70HY-P, a 32-inch, Full HD IPS monitor with multiple options for mounting. On-screen controls and built-in screen split options also make it easy to quickly adjust content and inputs as needed. The monitor includes DisplayPort, HDMI, and D-sub connections. It’s adjustable, allowing it to fit in a variety of desktop layouts.

If you’re willing to pay a higher price for a higher UHD resolution, LG sells the

LG 32UD60-B

 for $100 more.

BenQ EL2870U

BenQ EL2870U

Why you should buy this: The BenQ EL2870U gives you a large display and 4K resolution at an affordable price.

$300 from Office Depot

Who’s it for: People who need a high resolution for work or entertainment

Why we picked the BenQ El2870U:

Perhaps you’re more interested in a higher resolution, even if that means paying a bit more. This BenQ model offers a 4K resolution at 28 inches of anti-glare screen, perfect for getting that extra detail. It also includes HDR support and good color accuracy for its price and FreeSync technology, which eliminates screen tearing when using AMD-based GPUs.

For ports, the monitor offers HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4. However, it doesn’t include USB ports, which can make connecting certain peripherals difficult or impossible. Make sure that you don’t need any USB ports before you think about buying.

Asus VG245H

Why you should buy this: This display’s filters, FreeSync, and 1ms response time are great for gamers on a budget.

$169 from B&H Photo Video

Who’s it for: Gamers looking for an affordable compromise

Why we picked the Asus VG245H:

This Asus model is great for those who want a bit more performance in their monitor while still saving cash. The 24-inch, 1080p TN screen includes a 1ms response time, a 75Hz maximum refresh rate, color enhancement settings designed specifically for games, and filter settings for easier viewing.

More importantly, the VG245H includes Adaptive-Sync technology that falls under Nvidia’s “G-Sync Compatible” umbrella. It’s a great solution for AMD’s FreeSync too, eliminating on-screen rips and stuttering during your favorite games.

Overall, if you are primarily interested in gaming and prefer to spend money on things other than a monitor (or maybe you’re just looking for a good, cheap replacement), this model has your back.

Samsung Space Monitor

Luke Larsen/Digital Trends

Why you should buy this: The Space Monitor helps save space while providing a large screen at a great value.

$415 from Amazon

Who’s it for: People with small desks but important computer projects

Why we picked the Samsung Space Monitor:

It may be the most expensive on the list, but it’s also the most unique. This Samsung monitor is designed to save space while still providing an excellent resolution. From the stand to the large 31.5-inch screen, it’s made to sit up against a wall and keep as much of the desk clear as possible (we found it a little wobbly when adjusting, but otherwise serviceable thanks to a desk clamp). You can adjust the stand to change viewing height, but otherwise there are few adjustment options.

In addition to a 1080p option, the display also comes in a 4K resolution. It’s hard to find such a high resolution paired with such a large screen at this price, especially with the unique stand and base used by the Space Monitor.