11 Cheap Monitors (Under $150) Ranked from Best to Worst

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Even if you own a laptop with a gorgeous display that you love working on, you can be more productive by connecting to another monitor (or preferably two or three). Fortunately, you can get a good monitor for under $150, with some decent models costing less than $100. At those prices, you can even buy multiple displays without breaking the bank. To help you pick a cheap monitor, we’ve tested 11 different affordable screens and ranked them from best to worst.

Samsung SD300 CBD Monitor LS24D300HLR

The 24-inch Samsung SD300 ($129.99) is the best display we saw in the sub-$150 price range. Even though it uses a TN panel rather than an IPS, the SD300 covers 114 percent of the sRGB color space, with a strong Delta-E accuracy rating of 0.12 (0 is perfect) and an average brightness of 242 nits. That makes it one of the brightest screens we tested. The monitor stand is simple to assemble (though you made need a screwdriver) and it lets you adjust the display angle. Unlike most of the monitors in this price range, Samsung equips the SD300 with both an audio jack and built-in speakers.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA, 3.5mm audio
Brightness: 242 nits
sRGB Gamut: 114 percent

BenQ GL2760H

The 27-inch BenQ GL2760H ($149) is the largest monitor we found at this price, but that’s not the only reason to love it. It offers better-than-average picture quality, with wider color gamut (113 percent), better brightness (288 nits) and more capable accuracy (Delta-E 0.10) than most other monitors. The GL2760H has also got one of the faster response times we saw in this price range (2 milliseconds), which makes it a decent option for gaming. Handy features include a headphone jack for audio and VESA compatibility for mounting on a wall or monitor arm. It comes with Asus’ standard three-year warranty.

Screen size: 27 inches
Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA
Brightness: 288 nits
sRGB Gamut: 113 percent

Sceptre E248W-1920R

The Sceptre E E248W-1920R ($109.99) is a pretty solid deal. The 24-inch TN panel looks great, thanks to a slim design and narrow bezels, and boasts one of the best brightness ratings in our testing (273 nits). Color accuracy (Delta-E 0.12) and color gamut (103 percent) are both adequate, while a 5-millisecond response time makes it a decent performer for video. While the stand is a bit labor intensive to assemble, it does come with a complimentary screwdriver, and it’s VESA-mount-compatible so you can hang it on a wall. The Sceptre E248W-1920R is the only monitor we saw with both audio output and input, meaning you can still get audio when connected via VGA, though most users will opt for HDMI. Sceptre covers the monitor with a one-year warranty.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, VGA, 3.5mm audio out and 3.5mm audio in
Brightness: 273 nits
sRGB Gamut: 103 percent

Asus VS248H

The 24-inch Asus VS248H ($139.99) is a solid option for the bargain hunter. It offers a decent-size display, quick 2 millisecond response times and Asus’ standard three-year warranty. While the color accuracy (Delta-E of 0.10) and gamut (108 percent) aren’t anything special, it does offer some of the better brightness of the low-priced models we tested, averaging 241 nits. Additionally, the monitor’s controls are easy to see and use, thanks to clear labels and placement along the bottom of the bezel.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA
Brightness: 241 nits
sRGB Gamut: 108 percent

Acer R240HY bidx

The 24-inch Acer R240HY bidx ($129.99) is a solid entry into the affordable monitor space, with an IPS panel and a generous three-year warranty. The stand, which can be assembled without breaking out the toolbox, offers a decent range of tilt adjustment, along with a full selection of video inputs: HDMI, DVI and VGA. In testing, the Acer offered adequate color accuracy (0.08) and good gamut volume (103 percent), but poor brightness, averaging 194 nits. There’s also no option for VESA mounting, unless you want to buy a specially made adapter.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA
Brightness: 194 nits
sRGB Gamut: 103 percent

Dell SE2416HX

The Dell SE2416HX may have an attractive price for its 24-inch display, but this older monitor suffers from dimmer-than-average brightness (averaging 179 nits) and slow response times (6 milliseconds) that result in image smearing when viewing fast-paced video or games. Viewing angles are quite good, thanks to an IPS panel. Its color accuracy is solid (0.11), if not the best we’ve seen, and its 108 percent of the sRGB color gamut is in the middle of the pack. It does have an attractively sleek design, with inputs for both HDMI and VGA, but it lacks any mounting support. It is covered by only a basic one-year warranty.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, VGA
Brightness: 179 nits
sRGB Gamut: 108 percent

LG 24MP48HQ-P

The 24-inch LG 24MP48HQ-P ($129.99) may not offer category-leading performance or an expansive feature set, but it gives you a capable IPS display for an affordable price. Overall performance was decent, with an average color gamut (108 percent), very good color accuracy (0.08) and a solid brightness average (208 nits). While we might wish for some more convenient touches, like tool-free assembly or VESA- mount capability, the LG monitor does offer HDMI and VGA connections and a basic one-year warranty.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: HDMI, VGA
Brightness: 208 nits
sRGB Gamut: 108 percent

ViewSonic VA2446M-LED

The 24-inch ViewSonic VA2446M-LED ($129.99) is a decent budget monitor, if you’re willing to accept a couple of quirks. For starters, there’s no HDMI input, so you’ll need to connect over DVI or VGA, or use an HDMI-to-DVI adapter. Compared with other budget monitors, the ViewSonic offers good brightness (226 nits), covers a respectable 119 percent of the sRGB color gamut, and sports decent color accuracy (Delta-E 0.09). It also boasts a built-in set of speakers, though without HDMI you’ll need to also connect a 3.5 millimeter patch cord to your PC to use them. ViewSonic has mounting holes for a standard VESA bracket, and it covers the monitor with a generous three-year warranty.

Screen size: 24 inches
Ports: DVI, VGA
Brightness: 226 nits
sRGB Gamut: 119 percent

ASUS VS228H-P

The Asus VS228H-P ($106.47) has a bargain price, but it comes at the expense of screen size, offering a 22-inch screen with a basic TN panel. The display itself is capable, if not impressive: It boasts an average brightness of 184 nits and accurate color (Delta-E 0.10) while covering a fair amount of the sRGB gamut (110 percent). But while the overall performance and smaller display aren’t the best we saw, it does offer some versatility, thanks to VESA-mount compatibility and an audio jack for connecting speakers or headphones (when connected over HDMI). It comes with a generous three-year warranty.

Screen size: 22 inches
Ports: HDMI, DVI, VGA, 3.5mm audio jack
Brightness: 184 nits
sRGB Gamut: 110 percent

Acer G226HQL

The 22-inch Acer G226HQL ($89.99) is one of the least expensive monitors we reviewed, but that price comes with some compromises, like a small screen, a basic TN panel and no HDMI input. While you can still get full HD support with a DVI connection or a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, it’s a bit of a hassle if you’re connecting to a desktop or laptop that only offers HDMI-out. Assembling the stand requires a flathead screwdriver, and there’s no option for VESA mounts. That said, the inexpensive Acer boasts solid color accuracy (0.08), reproduces a good amount of the sRGB color gamut (107 percent) and has good-but-not-great brightness, averaging just 199 nits. It does, however, offer great response times, with a gray-to-gray pixel response time of just 2 milliseconds. If you can handle the small size and middling quality of the display, it’s quick enough for gaming.

Screen size: 22 inches
Ports: DVI, VGA
Brightness: 199 nits
sRGB Gamut: 107 percent

HP Pavilion 22cwa

HP’s inexpensive Pavilion 22cwa monitor packages a 22-inch IPS panel into an sleek chassis and an elegant stand, but the small size and mediocre performance make it less attractive than competitors. Despite adequate color accuracy (Delta-E 0.10) it has the dimmest display we tested (171 nits) and less color gamut coverage (97 percent) than the rest of the budget-priced models we looked at. The Pavilion 22cwa also got the slowest pixel response time we saw (7 milliseconds), making it poorly suited to fast-moving imagery. Aside from these limitations, the monitor does boast a sleek-looking stand with adjustable tilt, has connections for HDMI and VGA, and is covered with a one-year warranty.

Screen size: 22 inches
Ports: HDMI, VGA
Brightness: 171 nits
sRGB Gamut: 97 percent

What to expect for less than $150

In this price range, expect screens that are between 21 and 24 inches and have 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution, but not higher. Some of the monitors we looked at use IPS display technology for improved color and wider viewing angles, but the majority use the older TN technology, which is serviceable but has its limitations. You’ll also give up niceties like built-in USB connections, faster refresh rates and height-adjustable stands.

Product Name Screen Size Panel Gamut Brightnesss Response Time
Acer R240HY bidx 24 inches IPS 103% 194 nits 4ms
Acer G226HQL 22 inches TN 107% 199 nits 2ms
Asus VS228H-P 22 inches TN 110% 184 nits 5ms
Asus VS248H 24 inches TN 108% 241 nits 2ms
BenQ GL2760H 27 inches TN 113% 288 nits 2ms
Dell SE2416HX 24 inches IPS 108% 179 nits 6ms
HP Pavilion 22cwa 22 inches IPS 97% 171 nits 7ms
LG 24MP58HQ-P 24 inches IPS 108% 208 nits 5ms
Samsung SD300
(LS24D300HLR)
24 inches TN 114% 242 nits 5ms
Sceptre E248W 24 inches TN 103% 273 nits 5ms
Viewsonic VA2446M 24 inches TN 119% 226 nits 5ms

(laptopmag.com, https://goo.gl/y4Rm8K)

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