The best budget monitors of 2024

A budget monitor doesn't have to mean putting up with small or low-spec screen

some of the best budget monitors

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

Finding the best PC monitor for your computer setup is one of the most important choices you'll make - even more so when choosing from budget monitors. It's your window into the system and the gateway to your digital world. With so many large screens on the market, it's easy to imagine you'll need a second mortgage to afford a budget monitor, let alone one that'll do everything you need it to. But you can get close to perfection for very little outlay.

Some of the more costly options out there sport multiple inputs, built-in speakers, and extreme resolutions. And then there are ultra-wide curved screens, but these aren't for everyone. You might be a gamer, a casual browser, or perhaps work on creative projects and need a monitor for photo editing and such. Having the right screen can enhance what you do.

The best budget monitors of 2024 at a glance:

Best overall: Samsung Odyssey AG320 - View on Amazon
Best under £100: ASUS VZ229HE - View on Amazon
Best for work: AOC 24B2XDAM 24 Inch - View on Amazon
Best for gaming: KOORUI 24 Inch - View on Amazon

You might be looking to upgrade your family PC, or maybe you work from home and need to streamline your workflow. Either way, our buyer's guide will help you break through the technical jargon. We've also included some handy FAQs.

So, if you find yourself on a budget and in need of a screen upgrade, we've found some of the best for you. Even better, they're all full HD, wide-screen and brought to you by reputable brands.

Best budget monitors of 2024:

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall monitor

Samsung Odyssey AG320 LS24AG320NUXXUSamsung

A favourite among monitor enthusiasts, the ever-brilliant Samsung Odyssey AG320 24-inch monitor is simply perfect for those who want long-lasting, comfortable and high-performance leisure time with their desktop.

Beautifully designed with three frameless sides and an almost militaristic stand and angular bottom edges, the Odyssey G3 stands alone amongst budget monitors on style alone.

As for performance, there's no denying it: the Samsung Odyssey is nothing short of brilliant for the price. Out of the gate, there's a whopping 165Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time and plenty of colour to enjoy films, TV shows and of course - gaming onboard.

That being said, the Odyssey G3 lacks any kind of HDR support, leaving contrast looking not dull, but standard, some cutbacks are expected with a monitor of its price. That being said, we cannot argue with its excellence, the Odyssey G3 is a sublime monitor, and for the price you might as well have two.

Pros

  • Incredible screen
  • Well-made and sleek
  • Fantastic 165Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time

Cons

  • Lacking exceptional picture quality

Best budget monitor under £100

The ASUS VZ229HE is a sleek, contemporary-looking 21.5-inch monitor. The frameless design of the ASUS VZ229HE truly opens up the workspace provided by the screen: if you buy more than one, this allows for a more seamless look to your multi-display setup.

The full HD screen delivers a flicker-free, crisp display, while the fantastic colour range ensures that the user is treated to an accurate and immersive image.

Eye Care is included to reduce eyestrain, and the 7mm thick screen and low-profile stand somewhat make up for the fact you can't wall mount this monitor. As a great monitor under £100, you cannot knock the ASUS VZ229HE for its price.

Pros

  • Eye-catching frameless design
  • Comfortable flicker-free screen
  • Small and ideal for dual-screen setups

Cons

  • Standard 60Hz refresh rate

Best budget monitor for work

The AOC 24B2XDAM is a straightforward 24-inch screen, offering full HD resolution on a clear VA panel. It has a slim frame, which is ideal for multiple monitor setups. It can connect to a computer via HDMI, VGA or DVI.

Sturdy, with wide viewing angles and a bright screen, this perfectly ideal monitor is great for conquering a harsh workload, or better yet: bunkering down to watch a movie marathon. A solid screen with full HD visuals, built-in speakers and a litany of performance-heightening technology to keep your screen tear-free, the AOC 24B2XDAM 24-inch monitor knocks it out of the park in terms of sheer value.

Not too big, not too small: park this well-sized monitor on any desk, and have room for plenty of office supplies, and perhaps a desktop PC while you're at it. A great monitor for working from home, and a worthwhile investment, this monitor is worth every penny.

Pros

  • Reliably built and solid - with lots of accessories
  • Works with HDMI and VGA connections so is ideal for hooking up to older tech
  • The frameless design makes this the ideal choice for applications where you want fewer distractions and more immersion

Cons

  • The lacklustre speaker will mean buying a USB speaker or soundbar

Best budget monitor for gaming

It's incredibly rare to find such a good deal as this KOORUI 24-inch gaming monitor. But why is this excellent value for money?

Well, the answer lies with its brilliant refresh rate. At a staggering 165Hz, KOORUI's gaming monitor is unrivalled at the price, offering the ultimate gaming experience for less than £200. What's more, the overall quality of the monitor is brilliant, with plenty of inputs for multiple device connections.

The addition of FreeSync technology is a serious bonus here. FreeSync enables some graphics cards to adjust the monitor's refresh rate on the fly for maximum smoothness and minimal screen-tearing. It's hard to find fault with this brilliant gaming monitor for the money.

Pros

  • Superior 165Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent value
  • Versatile and lightweight

Cons

  • Fairly weak LCD colours

Best 4K budget monitor

Philips 276E8VJSB - 27 Inch 4K MonitorPhilips
Price: $860.00

Despite not being the cheapest of monitors, the Philips 27E8VJSB is incredibly well-priced. If, like us, you simply cannot resist the breathtaking beauty of a 4K display but are taken aback by the price of those screens, this might just be the perfect budget monitor for you.

Immersive 4K visuals, and intense colour accuracy for a life-like viewing experience, all housed in what is a fantastic-looking monitor, the Philips 27E8VJSB brilliantly balances value and performance to create the perfect monitor for those who adore UHD visuals.

With a gorgeous 28-inch 4K screen with an IPS panel and a wealth of FreeSync technology, gaming will look fantastic on this brilliant display. But, if you're looking for much higher refresh rates, you might want to consider spending a little more or just go with a 1080p monitor - the choice is yours.

Pros

  • 4K visuals are phenomenal
  • Excellent screen size
  • Beautifully designed

Cons

  • Only 60Hz refresh rate

Best budget monitor with speakers

BenQ EW2480 Eye-Care IPS LED MonitorBenQ
Price: $206.31

This 24-inch monitor offers stunning full HD with realistic colour representation and great contrast. The addition of Eye Care reduces eyestrain, and so increases productivity.

The image is also enhanced by HDRi, a system which works to enhance overall image clarity. The larger screen real-estate available here, plus the sheer image quality of this monitor makes it hard to pass up at this price.

General users, programmers or even gamers who prefer slower-paced games will find it more than satisfying. A welcome addition is that the EW2480 also has built-in speakers, which are great for notifications and basic use.

Pros

  • Smart HDRi tech enhances visuals
  • Plenty of HDMI connectivity
  • Great 75Hz refresh rate

Cons

  • Fairly weak speakers, but ideal for price

Best 22-inch monitor

For general use, whether it's tackling office work, gaming or editing, the KOORUI 22-inch business computer monitor is perfect for getting the job done. A true budget monitor, this versatile 22-inch monitor is perfect for comfortable use all day long, without any concern of screen burn or dead pixels.

Handling at 75Hz with a 5ms response time, there's no lag or screen-tearing to be found with this trusty monitor. While it isn't the most sophisticated budget monitor, it certainly makes up for it with value.

Practically half the price of its competitors, with about the same build quality, KOORUI's excellent business monitor is packed with colour, has all the performance you'll need and is built to last. Without question, it's one of the best monitor deals of the year.

Pros

  • Excellent screen quality
  • Great modern design
  • Smooth refresh rate

Cons

  • Lacking HDR or other high-end features

Best energy-efficient monitor

Dell's SE2422HX is a really versatile monitor. The 24-inch display gives a solid amount of useable workspace, and with its FHD (1920x1080) screen resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, it looks great too.

The colour depth is pleasingly deep, and the anti-glare screen with a 178-degree viewing angle means that you have a little more freedom when checking or sharing your screen from the side.

A small but welcome bonus of the SE2422HX is its stable base, which doesn't impact your desk space. Note: Dell only ships this monitor with a VGA cable, you'll need to purchase an HDMI lead separately.

Pros

  • Full-HD resolution
  • Space saving base
  • Tough and built to last

Cons

  • Some users dislike the monitor's contrast

Best 1440p budget monitor

AOC's Q24V4EA offers a 24-inch display at QHD quality, bringing the user's content to life with crisp details and realistic colours. The thin bezel gives the impression of a much larger screen, and with a more than reasonable refresh rate of 75Hz, your work, movies and gaming are bound to look smooth.

A 4ms response time, amazing IPS panel, and Adaptive Sync to limit screen-tearing really push this monitor into the excellent category. There are even built-in speakers.

Despite a slightly basic design, there are very few things wrong with AOC's brilliant 1440p monitor, and at its price, you won't find anything better.

Pros

  • Full QHD resolution
  • Excellent IPS panel
  • Adaptive Sync is excellent for reducing lag

Cons

  • Fairly basic design

Best budget monitor for build quality

Japanese brand Iiyama isn't as well known in the marketplace as some, but it's earned a following in PC gaming and also with serious creatives thanks to industry-leading colour reproduction.

It's a brand that proves it can also offer great image quality at an affordable price with monitors like the GB2730HSU-B5. It's a true gem, its 27-inch screen houses great specs that include more than enough resolution for work and gaming. Its 75Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and FreeSync means this can deliver smooth gaming too.

Pros

  • Astoundingly good build quality
  • Great 75Hz refresh rate
  • The super-low 1ms response time

Cons

  • Weaker speakers than some others

Best budget monitors of 2024: Buyer's guide

How to choose a budget monitor

As with any budget item, the best budget monitors are not brimming with extras - they are set up instead to deliver as well as they can on the basics. However, it's still good to have a plan of action when looking at purchasing a new budget screen.

The best advice we can give is that you should be led by what you know you need. Whether your priority is screen size or connection types, meet these criteria as best as possible and then anything above and beyond is a bonus. But, a new budget monitor is really only worthwhile if your other peripherals are up to scratch, like having a high-quality computer mouse or comfortable, responsive ergonomic PC keyboard. Don't be tempted to skimp on these extras, as your brand-new monitor will only be a joy to use if your other peripherals are up to scratch.

Consider your connections

As you'd expect, many mid to high-budget monitors will have more connection ports of different types. With others, you may be restricted to just one or two ways to connect the monitor to your computer. Most modern monitors will use either HDMI or DisplayPort. These are digital connection types that support higher resolutions, such as HD and 4K.

If your PC is a little long in the tooth, it may not have these connections. It might have an older type of digital connection called DVI. DVI ports can support some high resolutions but not as high as the others above. Other than that, you're most likely to have analogue connections, such as VGA, which don't support modern high resolutions. There are a number of adapters, for instance, an HDMI to USB-C adaptor, that can help you get around some connection issues - but not all.

Look carefully at your computer or laptop before you buy a monitor, identify your connection options, and if you've got a lot to choose from, always go for the one that supports the highest resolution. Here's a visual guide to connection types (source: Wikipedia ):

Best budget monitors of 2024: Jargon buster

What is resolution?

Resolution refers to the number of pixels that are available on the screen – the more pixels, the better the image. It is worth considering that if you plan on jumping above standard Full HD resolution, you'll need to make sure your graphics hardware can handle the extra work. If in doubt, always check with manufacturers.

Resolution guide:

HD: 1280 × 720p

Full HD: 1920 × 1080p

Quad HD: 2560 x 1440p

Ultra HD/4K: 3840 × 2160p

Response time

Response time is how quickly a monitor can shift from one colour to another. The smaller the response time, the better. If the response time is too high, the colours may appear to blur, or subjects on the screen may appear to double. This is called ghosting.

Refresh rate

Refresh rate is to a PC monitor what frames per second is to film. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the image – low refresh rates can make fast-paced displays appear to jump, stutter and jolt. The refresh rate is measured in Hertz (Hz), and most monitors will sit at 60Hz.

60Hz is great for most situations, but gamers may want to look for the best gaming monitor with much higher rates to keep up with modern gaming standards. 144Hz gaming monitors are quickly becoming the minimum standard for high-quality, stutter-free gaming displays.

Panel types

Despite the rise of LED panels in the world of TVs (and some gaming monitors), the majority of budget monitors out there still use LCD panels. But, not all LCD panels are based on the same type of technology. Depending on what you're looking to do on your monitor, the different technologies have pros and cons. LED screens like the Lenovo 24-inch Gaming Monitor above are often the best option, but here are the other three most common types :

 TN (Twisted Nematic) panels: The most common LCD type in budget screens, they tend to have a narrower colour palette, lower contrast ratios, and poorer viewing angles. They do, though, support high refresh rates very well.

 VA (Vertical Alignment) panels: These panels are a more advanced version of TN ones. The key benefits are better contrast and wider viewing angles. Although they can support very high refresh rates, the response time of VA panels can be slower, resulting in some blurring with fast motion.

 IPS (In-Plane Switching) panels: These are generally considered to be the best panel type for an LCD display. They offer excellent colour accuracy and overall image quality, plus great contrast and wide viewing angles. If you can, choose IPS.

Best budget monitors of 2024: FAQs

What is the best budget gaming monitor?

Other than finding the highest resolution, the main thing that most gamers will be concerned with when choosing a new monitor is the refresh rate. As mentioned above, the higher the refresh rate, the smoother and more natural the motion. But, one extra feature that all gamers should look at is latency.

What is screen latency?

Latency, or input lag, is the time it takes between when an event is triggered (such as moving, shooting, etc.) and that event actually happening on-screen. Measured in milliseconds, anything below 70ms is acceptable, and under 40ms is excellent. The smaller the latency, the better - it means you can react faster and with more accuracy in games.

Why are monitors titled in whole numbers (e.g. 22-inch) but are actually smaller numbers (e.g. 21.5-inch)?

This can be confusing, but it's just the industry rounding things up. It's extremely common for a 21.5-inch monitor to be referred to as a 22-inch.

What is Eye Care?

Eye Care is a feature included with some monitors that adjusts the blue light emitted by the monitor. This promotes alertness, and improved cognitive function and reduces the negative effects of blue light - such as unbalanced circadian rhythm and eyestrain. Therefore, eye care is a serious benefit to anyone who spends prolonged periods of time working on computers.

Chris Duffillis a Tech Product Writer for What's The Best and Yours. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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