Monitor prices have decreased substantially over the last couple of years. For this reason, I've started using a multi-monitor setup. It not only makes my work more productive, it makes it simpler was well.
I realize that switching back and forth between spreadsheets, windows, and documents was tedious and tiresome.
So, if you're ready to make the switch, or simply want to upgrade to a bigger monitor, here are a few inexpensive options that are not only budget-friendly at under $200, but also a good value overall.
Monitors have different panel types that affect their color accuracy, viewing angle, and responsiveness.
Most modern LED panels are TN, or twisted nematic, panels. (If the monitor doesn’t say otherwise, it’s a TN). These are energy efficient and inexpensive. These monitors have faster response times and allow greater refresh rates.
Refresh rates are especially important for competitive gamers. Most monitors come with a refresh rate of 60 hz, which means that it displays 60 frames per second. Some games allow up to 100 frames per second, so having a monitor with a higher refresh rate will give you a much smoother and less-jerky in-game experience.
On the downside, TN panels have lower brightness levels and the colors on the screen can get distorted very easily at different at different viewing angles.
In the past, IPS or in-plane-switching monitors were pricier than TN panels. However, a number of companies are now selling monitors with e-IPS panels for as little as $150. They have great color accuracy and superior viewing angles compared to the TN panels. This makes IPS a great choice for graphic designers or anyone who will be doing a lot of photo or video editing — though even casual users will notice and appreciate the superior picture quality.
On the downside, these monitor panels have slower refresh rates than TN panels. So, the slower response rates may be a liability for a serious gamer, or someone who wants to play 3D games.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider before buying a computer monitor is what you will be using it for. Will you just be checking email and surfing the web, or are you a hardcore gamer?
Will you be doing a lot of video or photo editing? Using it to watch movies and videos? What about size? Do you want the big screen experience when watching movies or playing games, or do you need a smaller monitor that will fit comfortably on your desk?
Answering these questions will help you get the monitor you need without paying for a bunch of unnecessary features.
A Good Budget IPS LED Monitor
IPS monitors give you better clarity and color accuracy along with wider viewing angles. If you're looking for a budget IPS option, then I'd look no further than the VS239H-P from Asus. With a full 1080p HD resolution, a quick response time of 2ms, and a design that's both slim and sleek it's my monitor of choice in 2016.
Why VS239H-P? Picture Quality.
I ordered my first in early 2015 and quickly ordered another. One of the main reasons is something that's a bit difficult to explain in words. The picture for this display exceeds expectations. With a 50,000,000:1 Smart Contrast Ratio and Splendid Video Intelligence technology, it looks better than other monitors in its price range and has deeper blacks as well. Another reason is that it came with 100% of the pixels working. This is a requirement for me as I simply can't stand a white pixel anywhere on the screen.
Asus Support is Pretty Good:
Asus has designated this monitor as part of its quick replacement program which is designed for their corporate series. If you rely on your monitor for your day to day, then it's good to know that Asus can quickly replace it if you have a problem.
Overall the Asus VS239H-P, in my opinion, the best budget monitor you'll come across. It has plenty of port options, including DVI, Analog, and HDMI and really looks great in a corporate setting. It's good for home use, semi-pro photographers, and even decent for gaming.
A Value TN LED Monitor
If you're not concerned with viewing angles or color accuracy, then another solid option is the Viewsonic VX2452MH.
Compared to the VS248H-P, its main benefits are in the design. The stand is a bit sturdier and can be tilted both up and down.
It's lightweight, energy efficient, and comes with integrated speakers. Overall, it has a pretty solid picture. If it's on sale for around $125, it's definitely worth a look.
The BenQ Gaming Monitor RL2455HM: A Great Gaming Monitor Under $200
A good gaming monitor has not only a low response time, reducing blur, but also a low input lag. Input lag refers to the delay between the moment you hit a key on your keyboard or mouse and the moment your keystroke registers on screen.
Why Input Lag Matters
Many online games can be decided by a fraction of a second. If you play a twitch-sensitive game, then an input lag above 1 frame could be the difference between victory and defeat.
While most manufacturers don't advertise this particular statistic many gaming monitors have been tested for it. One of the better performing TN panel monitors on the market is the BenQ RL2455HM, which is frequently in used in professional gaming tournaments and is a sponsor of MLG.
BenQ has been making a name for itself in the e-Sport world and this monitor has become its calling card. Overall, if you're looking for a gaming monitor in the $150 price range with minimal lag, this is your best bet.
That's a look at 3 monitors I think are the best value in the under $150 range. If you enjoyed this review, then be sure to check out others that I'll be coming out with shortly. Also be sure to let me know what you think below.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2014 Topmonitors
Monitor Open Commentary and Discussion Area
ImGib on December 31, 2014:
Thanks for the informative article. Can you compare the ASUS VS248H-P with the ASUS VN248H-P? I like the idea of the thin bezel if I decide to use two monitors. I don't currently do that and wouldn't want to give up better performance/options in other areas just to get a thin bezel. Thanks for your help.