While $500 won’t buy the most luxurious monitors available, this budget is high enough to snag an outstanding monitor with modern features. The best monitor under 500 price bracket offers the best overall bang for your buck.
I’ve reviewed hundreds of monitors and laptops over the past decade, keeping a log of my results. This history of performance provides a unique perspective into how monitors have improved over time. I can say with confidence that every monitor on this list is among the top five percent of monitors ever sold.
What to look for in a computer monitor
Following are the points to consider while buying the best monitors under $500:
What’s the difference between TN, IPS, and VA panel technology?
You’ll frequently see the terms TN, IPS, and VA while shopping for a monitor. These terms describe the basic panel technology a monitor uses. Panel type impacts many aspects of image quality, including color gamut, contrast, and black levels.
TN stands for Twisted Nematic, and it’s the oldest type of LCD panel technology still used today. Although inexpensive, TN panel technology struggles with color accuracy, color gamut, contrast, viewing angles, and maximum brightness. The falling price of newer technology has crowded TN panel technology out of the market. I recommend avoiding any monitor that still uses a TN panel.
IPS, or In-Plane Switching, surged in popularity after the turn of the millennium and is now the most common option in PC monitors and PC laptop displays. IPS panels have a solid color gamut and good color accuracy, and some are very bright. However, they can’t display deep, inky blacks and instead depict dark scenes as hazy gray. This is called “IPS glow.” It’s a problem if you intend to watch movies on a monitor but is much less noticeable in other situations.
VA, or Vertical Alignment, has surged in popularity over the past five years. VA panel technology is roughly equal to IPS in color gamut and accuracy but far superior in contrast ratio. A monitor using this technology can offer darker, more convincing black levels, eliminating the “IPS glow” problem. VA panels have a limited viewing angle, however, which can be a problem if the monitor is not always viewed straight-on.
Most monitors on this list use IPS panel technology. That doesn’t mean IPS is superior, however. In general, the IPS panel is best for productivity and general use, while VA is best for gaming and entertainment though there’s significant overlap. In many cases, a monitor’s recommendation is influenced by other factors that aren’t connected to panel type, like resolution, brightness, and, of course, price.
Do you really need a 4K display?
Our pick for the best computer monitor under $500, the Dell S2721QS, has a 4K resolution. To be precise, it provides a resolution of 3840 x 2160. This is identical to any 4K television. Computer monitors are much smaller than televisions, so even 1080p resolution is tolerable on a 27-inch monitor. A 4K monitor is far superior in sharpness, however, which does improve day-to-day use.
You might expect this only matters for movies or games, but the opposite is true. A sharp, clear image is most important for day-to-day use. A 4K monitor can display details, like small fonts or tiny interface buttons, without losing clarity. The result is a more versatile display. You can decrease the size of fonts or windows to fit more on your monitor or blow them up to make them more readable. Either way, the results will look better than 1080p or 1440p.
4K isn’t a necessity, but it’s a great feature to have.
Do you really need HDR?
HDR, or high dynamic range, is a standard designed to improve the contrast in movies, games, and other content. It can make bright areas of a scene brighter, and dark areas darker, creating a more dramatic, brilliant, and realistic image. But you don’t need HDR on a monitor in 2022.
Unfortunately, the computer monitor market is struggling to embrace HDR. Even the best monitors achieve a peak brightness level below budget HDR televisions. Computer monitors also rarely offer effective local backlight dimming, a feature that lets an LCD display selectively turn off portions of its backlight.
HDR content is more difficult to find and use on a computer than on television. The PC versions of popular streaming services, like Netflix, often have limitations on HDR, and graphics hardware that’s more than a few years old may not support the standard. Even the best HDR monitors struggle because of inconsistent software support.
What is contrast ratio, color gamut, color accuracy, black level, and gamma?
These terms are often used to describe a monitor’s image quality. They might sound intimidating, but they describe basic traits that anyone can appreciate.
- Contrast ratio: This is the range between the darkest black and the brightest white. A higher contrast ratio leads to an image that appears more realistic and provides a greater illusion of depth. The higher, the better.
- Color gamut: This describes the total range of colors a monitor can display. The display industry uses several standard color spaces, like sRGB, as agreed benchmarks. A monitor’s performance is described by the percentage of a color gamut the monitor can show.
- Color accuracy: This is a monitor’s ability to show colors precisely as they should appear according to industry color standards. Here, a lower result is better, with higher results indicating a larger variance from the agreed standard.
- Gamma: This describes how a monitor handles luminance, with various gamma curves described by numbers. An image will appear darker as the gamma value increases. Monitors designed for everyday use generally target a gamma value between 2.0 and 2.4.
Top Best Monitor Under 500
These monitors were selected through a combination of hands-on testing, which includes evaluation with a calibration tool, and comparisons with test results recorded by rigorous review websites. We also compared these monitors to past versions of the same model, if previously tested, to ensure the newest version is the best pick.
This article may include references and links to products and services from one or more of our advertisers. We may be paid compensation when you click on links to those products and/or services. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.
|Dell S2721QS 27 Inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultra-Thin Bezel Monitor, AMD FreeSync (HDMI, DisplayPort), VESA Certified, Silver||Buy on Amazon|
|LG 27GL83A-B 27 Inch Ultragear QHD IPS 1ms NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible Gaming Monitor, Black||Buy on Amazon|
|BenQ PD2700U 27 inch 4K Monitor for Designers 3840x2160 UHD IPS panel with AQCOLOR 100% Rec.709, sRGB; Factory-calibrated; DualView, Eye-care, Anti-Glare, Gray||Buy on Amazon|
|Sceptre 35 Inch Curved UltraWide 21: 9 LED Creative Monitor QHD 3440x1440 Frameless AMD Freesync HDMI DisplayPort Up to 100Hz, Machine Black 2020 (C355W-3440UN)||Buy on Amazon|
|Dell S3220DGF 32-Inch 2K QHD FreeSync Curved LED Gaming Monitor with HDR||Buy on Amazon|
|ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM 27” HDR Monitor, 1080P Full HD (1920 x 1080), Fast IPS, 280Hz, G-SYNC Compatible, Extreme Low Motion Blur Sync (ELMB SYNC), 1ms, DisplayHDR 400,||Buy on Amazon|
|Acer Nitro XZ342CK Pbmiiphx 34" 1500R Curved WQHD (3440 x 1440) VA Gaming Monitor with AMD Radeon Freesync, VESA Certified DisplayHDR400, 95% sRGB, 144Hz, 1ms VRB (Display Port & 2 x HDMI 2.0 Ports)||Buy on Amazon|
|SAMSUNG 24" CRG5 Curved Gaming Monitor, 144Hz, 4ms, Exclusive Gamer Settings, AMD Radeon FreeSync, Eye Saver Mode, 3000:1 Contrast Ratio, Black||Buy on Amazon|
|SAMSUNG UR59 Series 32-Inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) Computer Monitor, Curved, HDMI, Display Port, 3-Sided Border-Less, Eye Saver Mode (LU32R591CWNXZA) + Wacky Jacky Cleaning Cloth||Buy on Amazon|
|HP U28 4K HDR Monitor - Computer Monitor for Content Creators with IPS Panel, HDR, and USB-C Port - Wide Screen 28-inch 4k Monitor with Factory Color Calibration and 65w Laptop Docking - (1Z978AA)||Buy on Amazon|
|MSI QHD Rapid-IPS Quantum DOT Gaming Non-Glare Super Narrow Bezel 1ms 2560 x 1440 165Hz Refresh Rate Adjustable Arm G-Sync Compatible 27” Gaming Monitor (Optix MAG274QRF-QD)||Buy on Amazon|
|GIGABYTE M32Q 32" 165Hz Gaming Monitor, 2560 x 1440 SS IPS Display, 0.8ms (MPRT) Response Time, 94% DCI-P3, VESA Display HDR400, FreeSync Premium, 1x Display Port 1.2, 2X HDMI 2.0||Buy on Amazon|
|AOC CU34G2X 34" Curved Frameless Immersive Gaming Monitor, UltraWide QHD 3440x1440, VA Panel, 1ms 144Hz Adaptive-Sync, Height Adjustable, 3-Yr Zero Dead Pixels||Buy on Amazon|
|GIGABYTE G34WQC A 34" 144Hz Ultra-Wide Curved Gaming Monitor, 3440 x 1440 VA 1500R Display, 1ms (MPRT) Response Time, 90% DCI-P3, VESA Display HDR400, FreeSync Premium, Black (G34WQC A-SA)||Buy on Amazon|
|LG 32UN650-W Monitor 32" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Ultrafine Display, HDR10 Compatibility, DCI-P3 95% Color Gamut, AMD FreeSync, 3-Side Virtually Borderless Design, Height Adjustable Stand - Silve/White||Buy on Amazon|
|Acer Nitro XV252Q Zbmiiprx 24.5" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Zero-Frame FreeSync Premium Gaming Monitor, DisplayHDR400, 99% sRGB, Up to 280Hz, Up to 0.5ms (Display Port & 2 x HDMI 2.0 Ports), Black||Buy on Amazon|
|Portable Monitor - Lepow 15.6 Inch Full HD 1080P USB Type-C Computer Display IPS Eye Care Screen with HDMI Type C Speakers for Laptop PC PS4 Xbox Phone Included Smart Cover & Screen Protector Black||Buy on Amazon|
1. Dell S2721QS
The Dell S2721QS delivers 4K resolution and great image quality with no downside.
The Dell S2721QS is a great monitor. You can spend a lot more on a monitor, but this Dell makes it difficult to justify.
4K resolution is the headline feature. It works out to a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch, twice the pixel density of a 1080p monitor. That’s the highest available aside from 24-inch and 25-inch 4K monitors which, in 2021, are rare. It also does well in color testing, covering 100% of the sRGB color gamut with respectable color accuracy. The monitor’s contrast ratio of 1150:1 is strong for the category, providing a vibrant and dynamic image in movies and games.
It’s a looker even when it’s off. Dell’s reserved but professional white-and-silver design helps the monitor blend in. The attractive silver stand is hefty and provides significant ergonomic adjustment, including 150 mm of height adjustment, 60 degrees of swivel, and 25 degrees of tilt. The monitor can even pivot 90 degrees for use in a vertical orientation.
This monitor has a standard 60Hz refresh rate, which may disappoint gamers, but supports AMD FreeSync. Competitive gamers should buy our pick for the best gaming monitor under $500, the LG 27GL83A-B, which has a 144Hz refresh rate. However, the Dell S2721QS provides better image quality than the LG, making it a good choice for single-player, co-op, and strategy games.
Poor HDR support is this monitor’s only flaw. However, the monitor’s measured peak brightness of 438 nits is excellent for a monitor at any price point. We can’t recommend the Dell S2721QS for HDR, but many monitors in this price range don’t offer the feature at all.
If the Dell S2721QS is out of stock, consider the S2721Q as an alternative. It lacks an ergonomic stand but is otherwise identical to the S2721QS. It even has a VESA mount, so you can add a third-party stand, or reuse one from a previous monitor.
2. LG 27GL83A-B
The LG 27GL83A-B 27 Inch Ultragear is a responsive but attractive monitor that won’t bust your budget.
LG 27GL83A-B is the gaming monitor benchmark. Its excellent quality and attractive pricing make it a solid choice for players, no matter the genre of gaming they prefer. Plus, the monitor can pull double duty as a video or photo-editing monitor.
The monitor’s high-refresh IPS panel is the star of the show. It supports a refresh rate of up to 144Hz and is compatible with both AMD’s FreeSync and Nvidia’s G-Sync. That means it can synchronize its refresh rate with the frame rate of games, providing smooth motion with no stutter. The monitor has excellent response time performance, so fast-moving objects look relatively clear and show minimal ghosting. That’s important if you play competitive games and rely on split-second decisions.
Although built for speed, the LG 27GL83A-B provides vibrant color that spans 99% of the sRGB gamut. Its out-of-box color accuracy is competitive with entry-level professional monitors, so the monitor is acceptable for content creation outside the most demanding professional environments. The monitor’s 2560 x 1440 resolution can’t match the sharpness of our top pick, but it’s high enough to look great in most situations.
The monitor’s main weakness is its contrast ratio of 900:1, which is towards the low end of monitors in this price range. That’s bad news for HDR support, which falls way short of even the most affordable HDR televisions.
LG has an upgrade to this monitor, the 27GL850-B, which includes a Nano IPS panel. This improves color gamut and accuracy, making it an awesome choice if you want to combine the qualities of a professional monitor and a gaming monitor in one display. Unfortunately, the 27GL850-B is $100 to $120 more expensive. It’s not worth the extra cash if you’re only interested in gaming.
3. BenQ PD2700U
The BenQ PD2700U 27 Inch 4K Monitor delivers the best color performance you’ll find for less than $500, then throws in 4K as a bonus.
BenQ PD2700U is a stunning monitor that is certain to please anyone who needs a high-quality monitor for color-critical work. This monitor can cover over 100% of the sRGB and up to 100% of the Rec.709 color gamut. While I didn’t test this model for color accuracy, I’ve tested multiple monitors from BenQ including the larger, more expensive BenQ PD3220U and older SW2700PT. BenQ professional monitors consistently provide excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy.
While great out-of-box performance is important, professionals also need customization. The BenQ PD2700U delivers with multiple adjustments for color temperature, saturation, and hue, as well as several gammas, presets between a gamma curve of 1.8 and 2.6. These settings let you change the monitor’s image to better match the type of content you’re creating.
4K resolution is a nice perk, as it lets content creators view 4K media at full resolution, something not possible on a 1440p monitor. 4K also improves the sharpness of every web page you visit and document you open.
This monitor shares flaws with LG’S 27GL83A-B. Although it can hit nearly 400 nits of brightness, the BenQ PD2700U isn’t bright enough to properly display HDR. Its real-world contrast ratio of 900:1 is acceptable for content creation but is noticeable when you take a Netflix break. The Dell S2721QS is a better monitor for entertainment despite its lower price.
The BenQ PD2700U has a solid ergonomic stand with 140mm of height adjustment, 90 degrees of swivel adjustment, 25 degrees of tilt, and 90 degrees of pivot. It’s hefty and has a large base, so the monitor stays planted while you move it. The PD2700U has plenty of connectivity, including not just HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 but also the less common Mini-DisplayPort 1.4
4. Sceptre’s C355W-3440UN
Sceptre’s C355W-3440UN 35-Inch Curved Ultrawide Monitor has a huge, immersive display at a low price.
A quality ultrawide monitor is hard to find under $500, but the Sceptre’s C355W-3440UN is a reliable pick that is often in stock at major retailers. That alone is the monitor’s largest selling point. Many 34-inch, ultrawide monitors with 3440 x 1440 resolution typically sell north of $500, and some models approach $1,000. They’re also frequently out of stock.
The Sceptre’s C355W-3440 UN budget gaming monitor has good image quality despite aggressive pricing. Unlike other monitors on this list, which use a panel technology called In-Plane Switching (IPS), this monitor has a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel. What’s that mean for you? A great contrast ratio of nearly 3000:1, with deeper, more realistic black levels. The C355W-3440UN can’t match the color accuracy or gamut of other monitors on this list, but its superior contrast provides an immersive sense of depth in games and movies.
The monitor’s 3440 x 1440 resolution is important, too. You can find less expensive ultrawide monitors or price-comparable monitors from big brand names, but they reduce the resolution to 2560 x 1080. That resolution is low for a monitor of this size. The Spectre’s 1440p panel provides a sharper, clearer image.
Gamers will be happy to hear this monitor has a 100Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync. Owners also report it will work with Nvidia G-Sync, though its lack of official support means you could encounter bugs, like image flicker.
What’s the catch? Sceptre isn’t known for its quality control. The monitor looks and feels cheap compared to alternatives from LG, Samsung, and Dell. You may end up with image uniformity issues, like significant backlight bleed in one corner of the screen, though this problem seems to vary from one monitor to the next. These problems are balanced by the monitor’s good image quality and extremely low price
5. Dell 32 S3220DGF
The Dell 32 S3220DGF curved gaming monitor has the great image quality and a large display, making it ideal for movies and games
Do you want a big, curved monitor for entertainment? Dell 32 S3220DGF is easily your best option for less than $500. This 32-inch is sold as a gaming monitor, but its image quality and sturdy design make it a great general-purpose pick.
The Dell S3220DGF, like the Sceptre ultrawide, has a VA panel that delivers an excellent contrast ratio of nearly 3000:1. That’s outstanding for a computer monitor of any size at any price point, and it gives the monitor a sense of depth and realism that can rival budget HDTVs. The monitor has a resolution of 2560 x 1440, which falls short of the 4K resolution offered by some competitors. Its color performance doesn’t deliver the accuracy needed for professional work but does provide a vibrant, enjoyable image.
This is a gaming monitor, so it has a 165Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync. Owners report that Nvidia’s G-Sync works, though this support is unofficial. The Dell S3220DGF can’t achieve the intense clarity of the best gaming monitor under $500, LG 27GL83A-B, but it’s a huge leap over a 60Hz monitor. Most gamers will be impressed.
Like other monitors, the Dell S3220DGF has trouble with HDR. It’s VESA Display HDR 400 certified and can deliver slightly more than the 400 nits of brightness that certification requires, but it lacks local backlight dimming. The monitor has trouble when displaying a wide range of contrast in a single scene, such as stars in a night sky because the entire backlight must remain on.
Build quality is a highlight. Although its design is basic, the Dell S3220DGF feels solid and has a robust ergonomic stand that attaches via a standard VESA mount. The stand offers 150 mm of height adjustment, 25 degrees of tilt, and 30 degrees swivel.
6. ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM
ASUS is one of the biggest manufacturers of gaming monitors in today’s market – so, it’s no surprise to see another one of their high-performance panels reach the top of a WPC guide.
At the heart of this excellent gaming monitor lies a very efficient IPS panel that not only showcases good colors and a decent gamut but also brings a quick response to the table as well. It offers up low input lag, a high 280 Hz refresh rate, and a low 1ms response time – giving gamers a connected feel that really helps with immersion and general gameplay. Whilst this isn’t as fast as some 360 Hz monitors, it certainly offers you a clear advantage over gamers using 144 Hz monitors in competitive titles like PUBG, CS: GO, and COD.
The build quality and styling of this monitor are what you would expect from an ASUS monitor great gaming monitor. It comes with understated aesthetic gaming features that would fit into both office and gaming environments. The stand offers great versatility and a robust design, helping gamers find the perfect viewing position during gameplay. The OSD does feel a little old school now (especially when compared to the latest offerings) but it has everything you could want as a gamer. Overclock the refresh rate, enable G-sync, and switch ELMB on for the perfect gaming experience.
7. Acer Nitro XV340CK
Acer’s XV340CK is a great example among the Best Computer Monitors of the quality that their Nitro line offers to budget-restricted gamers. Whilst it isn’t the best monitor in this guide, it certainly offers an extremely well-balanced mix of performance and price.
Aesthetically, you have to say that Acer has done a pretty solid job with this monitor. The cylindrical stand is not only subtle in design, but it also offers great versatility and support. Often monitors of this size come with a decent amount of wobble – but that wasn’t the case here.
Looking at the specifications, you’d have to say, considering the price, this monitor is very impressive. At its heart lies an IPS panel that offers up very accurate colors and decent viewing angles to boot. The XV340CK also offers up a fast 144Hz refresh rate, low 1ms response time (when VRB is enabled), and decent input lag. Pair that with the 3440 x 1440 gaming screen resolution and you have an incredibly efficient gaming monitor – that is both well-priced and affordable.
8. Samsung CRG5
If you’ve been on the hunt for an affordable gaming monitor that delivers visual goods, you’ll be blown away by the CRG5.
It is easily the best monitor under 500 bucks to dip well below the price point. The CRG5 offers so much graphical flare that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a premium gaming monitor.
Thanks to G-Sync technology, you can look forward to your games displaying without tears or inconsistencies. The colors are vivid and accurate, bringing games to life with incredible realism.
I was pleasantly surprised by the contrast and deep levels of black. This is largely due to Samsung’s decision to go with a VA panel. It is able to block backlighting from getting through, resulting in incredibly rich graphics. There’s something special about this monitor’s ability to draw you into your games. This is the kind of performance that you’d expect to pay big bucks for. And yet it’s one of the least expensive monitors I reviewed.
Input lag is virtually eliminated altogether, and the gameplay feels responsive and accurate. When you factor in the sizable, curved screen display, you’re getting a more immersive gaming experience that’s worth a look.
I have to note that there were certain PC games that resulted in occasional ghosting. It certainly isn’t enough to be a deal-breaker, but it’s there nonetheless.
Also, you’ll need to have your own independent sound system, as there aren’t built-in speakers with this unit.
When you consider everything else the CRG5 excels at, minimal ghosting here and there isn’t a big deal. And most serious competitive gamers already have their own speakers.
Aside from these minor caveats, you’re getting what is otherwise an exceptional and competitive gaming monitor for an extraordinary price.
9. Samsung UR59C
The Samsung UR59C is the best budget 4K monitor, offering a 32-inch VA panel with accuracy and curves. Image quality is superb with bold, accurate colors and clear text — after calibration, that is. When we tested in sRGB mode, we recorded a color error of 4.3dE with visible errors, but our calibration got it down to 0.9dE. Your web and games should look as intended. The UR59C also offers fantastic contrast, as expected from a VA panel, hitting an impressive 2,590.5:1 after calibration.
Ultrawide screens typically offer more noticeable curves, but despite its 16:9 aspect ratio, the UR59C’s1500R curve is noticeable and beneficial, allowing us to keep more windows in view.
This monitor isn’t fit for serious gaming, but casual players can make it work. The UR59C has a 60 Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time, and no FreeSync or G-Sync to fight screen tears. You’d get noticeably better response times and input lag scores from a 75 Hz screen even. But with its high contrast and the pixel density of a 32-inch, 4K screen, games didn’t look bad. If you’re games that aren’t graphically intense or at lower settings and you have a speed enough graphics card that can consistently hit 60 frames per second (fps), you can enjoy blur-free gaming on the UR59C.
10. HP U28
If you’re doing professional work, you should probably opt for a professional monitor. Pro monitors are known for offering exceptional accuracy for a premium price. But with monitors continuously improving, we’re at a point where you can find monitors with pro-level accuracy in key areas, like color, just without the pro-level price tag.
The HP U28 is one such screen and the best budget 4K monitor for creatives. None of the monitors on this page are color slouches, but the U28 stands out with its ability to accurately cover both the sRGB and P3 color spaces with just a switch in the OSD and no calibration. You also get an adjustable stand that allows height and swivel adjustments and the ability to flip into portrait mode, offering plenty of flexibility for creative work.
HP’s U28 comes at a premium though. While not as pricey as professional monitors, the U28 is the most expensive monitor on this list as of this writing.
Still, with a USB-C port letting you charge laptops (or other devices), you may be able to reduce cable clutter, and there are many other ports here too. With that bonus in mind and creative-level accuracy, the U28 is great for feeding your hobby or even career.
11. MSI MAG274QRF-QD
The MSI MAG274QRF-QD is hands-down the best 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor you can get for under $500.
First of all, the MSI MAG274QRF-QD monitor has the perfect screen size for the 2560×1440 screen resolution as it hits the pixel density sweet spot of 108 pixels per inch (PPI) meaning that you get plenty of screen space as well as sharp and clear details without any scaling necessary.
As if that’s not enough, the display boasts an IPS panel with quantum-dot technology, allowing for exceptional color gamut coverage of 99% Adobe RGB and 10-bit color depth support. The colors are accurate, consistent, and vibrant! The MSI MAG274QRF-QD also supports HDR, but even though it has amazing colors, it lacks local dimming for a higher contrast ratio and deeper blacks.
So, some HDR content may look a bit better, but you’ll mostly prefer HDR disabled.
What makes the MAG274QRF-QD so good is its excellent pixel response time speed of 1ms GtG for zero ghosting which in combination with its gorgeous colors, high resolution, and wide viewing angles delivers both an immersive and responsive gaming experience.
Moving on, AMD FreeSync is supported with a 48-165Hz VRR range over DisplayPort and HDMI.
It is certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC compatible meaning that VRR will work without any issues with compatible graphics cards.
Other useful features include various picture presets (including sRGB and DCI-P3 modes), Motion Blur Reduction backlight strobing technology, Night Vision, and crosshair overlays.
The design has excellent ergonomic support with VESA mount compatibility, -5°/20° tilt, 100mm height adjustment, +/- 75° swivel, and 90° pivot adjustments.
At the back of the monitor, you will find two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack, a dual-USB 2.0 hub, and USB-C (DP 1.2 Alt Mode and 15W PD).
12. Gigabyte M32Q
If you want a 1440p high refresh rate IPS gaming monitor with a 32″ sized screen, the Gigabyte M32Q is the only such model available under $500; luckily, it’s awesome!
1440p resolution won’t look quite as crisp on the 31.5″ viewable screen of the M32Q (93 PPI) as it does on 27″ monitors (108 PPI).
In fact, you get the same amount of screen space and detail clarity as you would with a 24″ 1080p monitor, just a much bigger screen.
A lot of people, especially FPS gamers, also find 32″ monitors to be too big as they have to move their head/eyes more, putting them at a competitive disadvantage.
However, the image still looks quite crisp and since you’ll be sitting a bit further away from a 32″ screen (in comparison to 24″), individual pixels won’t be noticeable and you’ll get a more immersive gaming experience.
The monitor has a wide 94% DCI-P3 gamut (~120% sRGB) with a provided sRGB emulation mode; the contrast ratio is 1,000:1 as expected from IPS technology, while the peak brightness is very good at ~400-nits for HDR content and ~350-nits for SDR.
Finally, it boasts a fast 1ms GtG pixel response time speed that eliminates visible trailing behind fast-moving objects.
The Gigabyte M32Q supports AMD FreeSync and offers stable G-SYNC performance despite not having official certification by NVIDIA.
Gigabyte’s exclusive Aim Stabilizer Sync technology is supported as well, which allows VRR and MBR to be used at the same time in order to minimize the double-image effect.
Other features include custom crosshair overlays, on-screen timers, a refresh rate tracker, Black Equalizer, Dashboard (monitors CPU/GPU temperature, speed, etc.), and a built-in KVM switch.
The stand of the monitor is basic, but sturdy and versatile with up to 130mm height adjustment, +/- 30° swivel, -5°/20° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options are abundant and include DisplayPort 1.2, two HDMI 2.0 ports, USB-C (with DP Alt Mode), a headphone jack, dual 3W integrated speakers, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub
13. AOC CU34G2X
If you’re after something a bit different, the AOC CU34G2X is one of the best ultrawide monitors under 500 USD! In fact, it’s often available for ~$450.
Thanks to its ultrawide format (21:9 aspect ratio), the AOC CU34G2X provides a more immersive viewing and gaming experience as well as an extra horizontal workspace.
Further, it features a VA panel with a high static contrast ratio of 3,000:1, which makes for deep and vivid black shades.
In comparison to IPS panels, the colors aren’t as accurate and consistent, but they are vibrant and rich nonetheless with true 8-bit color depth and 120% sRGB gamut.
Here’s the kicker: 3440×1440 (UWQHD) resolution also provides a rich pixel density of 110 PPI on this 34″ screen, thereby ensuring crisp details and plenty of screen real estate.
The viewing angles are somewhere in between those of IPS and TN. They aren’t quite as wide as that of IPS, but they are a lot better than the viewing angles on TN panels.
Generally, the main downside of VA panels is the response time speed; pixels take a bit longer to change from one color to another, which causes noticeable ghosting, but it isn’t very important in most cases.
However, in fast-paced games where dark pixels are predominant in the picture, there is visible smearing of fast-moving objects which may be tolerable to some, but game-breaking to others.
Overall, if you mostly play fast-paced games competitively, you should avoid VA panels; otherwise, it’s not a big deal as you get an exceptional image quality for the price as a trade-off.
For casual and single-player FPS games, the amount of ghosting will not be an issue either. You can use the 1ms MBR technology to further eliminate the perceived motion blur.
Moving on, the AOC CU34G2X supports AMD FreeSync up to 144Hz, however, when using FreeSync, there might be some brightness flickering issues depending on your particular unit of the monitor.
Some CU34G2X units will work just fine while some may flicker only in certain games and in certain scenarios (for instance, only on loading screens or in menus), but it’s something to keep in mind.
Other features include pre-calibrated picture modes (FPS, RTS, Racing, etc.), custom crosshairs, Shadow Control (improves visibility in darker games), Game Color (saturation adjustments), and Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture.
Moving on, the AOC CU34G2X offers a sturdy design with up to 130mm height adjustment, -5°/23° tilt, +/- 30° swivel, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options include two DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.
Keep in mind that HDMI 2.0 is limited to 100Hz at 3440×1440.
The screen has an aggressive curvature of 1500R, which provides a more immersive viewing experience by extending your field of view.
14. Gigabyte M34WQ
The Gigabyte M34WQ basically combines the 3440×1440 resolution of the AOC CU34G2X with the fast response time and smooth VRR performance, but it has its flaws too.
To start with, the M34WQ is a flat-screen ultrawide monitor.
Most users would probably prefer a curved screen at this size as it brings the edges of the display closer to you for a more comfortable viewing experience. However, some users also won’t mind this, especially if they’re sitting a bit further from the screen.
The IPS panel of the monitor ensures accurate and rich colors with 91% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, while the contrast ratio sits at ~1,000:1 as expected.
Additionally, the M34WQ is a great gaming monitor with a fast pixel response time speed for minimal ghosting in fast-paced games.
So, in comparison to the CU34G2X, you get a faster response time speed, and wider viewing angles and you don’t have to deal with VRR brightness flickering, but the screen is flat and doesn’t have as high contrast ratio. While not officially certified by NVIDIA as G-SYNC Compatible, VRR works well with both Radeon and GeForce graphics cards up to 144FPS.
The monitor also supports backlight strobing (Aim Stabilirt Sync) and offers gaming features such as Black Equalizer, custom crosshair overlays, and a refresh rate TRACKER.
The stand of the monitor is sturdy and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 130mm height adjustment, 30° swivel, -5°/21° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, USB-C (DP Alt Mode, 18W PD), a headphone jack, two 3W built-in speakers, a dual-USB 3.0 hub, and a built-in KVM switch.
15. LG 32UN650
The LG 32UN650 is the only 32″ 4KIPS monitor available for under $500!
Cheaper 32″ 4K monitors use VA panels with a higher contrast ratio, but they don’t have as consistent colors or wide viewing angles as the LG 32UN650.
Most 32″ 4KIPS monitors go for ~$700 as they’re mainly intended for professional color-critical use with professional-grade factory calibration and other features.
Here’s the deal: the LG 32UN650 allows you to enjoy the advantages of the IPS technology at a more affordable price, but if you want to use it for serious color-critical work, you’ll need a colorimeter since there’s no sRGB mode.
The display covers 95% of the DCI-P3 color space (equivalent to ~125% sRGB), meaning that sRGB content will be over-saturated.
For regular use, be it gaming, watching movies, or anything in-between, this won’t be an issue as you get more vibrant colors with better shade variety.
However, since there’s no sRGB emulation mode that could restrict the monitor’s gamut to ~100% sRGB, you’ll need a colorimeter if you want accurate sRGB color output.
Next, the LG 32UN650 has 178° wide viewing angles, a 1,000:1 static contrast ratio, a 350-nit peak brightness, and a 5ms GtG pixel response time speed, so you won’t get as deep blacks as those of cheaper 32″ 4K VA models.
Nonetheless, the image quality won’t degrade at an angle and there won’t be any prominent dark smearing in fast-paced games.
AMD FreeSync is supported with a 40-60Hz VRR range over both HDMI and DisplayPort, and while the monitor is not certified as G-SYNC Compatible by NVIDIA, it does work with compatible GeForce cards (GTX 10-series or newer) over DisplayPort.
Other features include Black Stabilizer (improves visibility in darker scenes), Dual Controller (allows for control over two PCs connected to the display), and advanced image adjustment tools, such as 6-axis hue/saturation, and sharpness, four gammas presets, and color temperature fine-tuning in increments of 500K.
The stand of the monitor supports height adjustment by up to 110mm and tilt by -5°/20°, or you can detach the stand and mount the screen via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 inputs, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, and dual 5W built-in speakers. All ports feature HDCP 2.2 allowing you to stream copy-protected content in native 4K resolution from streaming services such as Netflix.
16. Acer Nitro XV252QF
The Acer Nitro XV252QF is the only 360Hz gaming monitor you can get for under $500, however, most competitive gamers actually prefer it over the more expensive models as it offers everything plenty of more useful features and flawless performance.
The monitor is based on an IPS panel, which means that you’ll get 178° wide viewing angles that prevent image quality degradation when viewed at an angle.
Further, you get accurate and consistent colors covering the standard sRGB color space in its entirety.
It has a strong peak brightness of 400-nits, so it can get more than bright enough even in well-lit rooms, while the contrast ratio is 1,000:1 as expected from IPS technology.
Another thing to keep in mind about IPS monitors is IPS glow, which is the expected drawback of this panel type.
Finally, the IPS panel of the XV252QF boasts a rapid 1ms GtG pixel response time speed, which ensures that there’s no visible trailing behind fast-moving objects, allowing you to focus on your targets without distractions.
moving on, AMD’s FreeSync technology allows you to synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate to your GPU’s frame rate, which will eliminate screen tearing and stuttering up to 360Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second) – or up to 390Hz/FPS if overclocked.
Alternatively, you can use the Visual Response Boost (VRB) technology, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur.
Besides the overclockable refresh rate, another advantage the XV252QF has over the more expensive 360Hz G-SYNC variants is that its backlight strobing implementation can operate up to 390Hz, whereas the other models are limited to 240Hz.
Other useful gaming features include Black Boost for better visibility in darker games, customizable crosshairs, and pre-calibrated picture presets.
The Acer XV252QF monitor has a robust and versatile design with full ergonomic support including up to 120mm height adjustment, -5°/25° tilt, +/- 180° swivel, 90° pivot, and VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, and two basic built-in speakers
17. Lepow portable monitor
Lepow 15.6” portable monitor is an ideal monitor to use for photo editing purposes in the low range as low as under $500. As the name suggests this product is portable and can be used by placing it on the stand that is its cover. Other than that this cover can also be used for the product’s protective covering. This is an inexpensive, portable, and applicable monitor for photo editing. May you get the best monitor for photo editing under 500.
This monitor is a perfect LED display product to be carried by those professionals who have limited time and are in need of urgent and handy editing. As the size and the shape of the product depicts, it is a handy product that is not just easy to carry but much easy to purchase as well. With its low-priced, auto-rotation feature, a large customer base looks forward to this Tablet type looking monitor. The leather cover is an added feature of the monitor. These superb specifications make this the best monitor for photo editing under 500.
The USB type- C to A cord and AC adapter are given to connect it with the mobiles and laptops so that the data transfer gets easier. The viewing angle can be customized with the help of the given grooves in the monitor. High-definition picture editing can be done by the use of this portable monitor. The IPS screen is a comfort feature for eye care. It doesn’t harm the eyesight with longer usage. Mini HDMI and USB ports are given. Two built-in speakers are also on the monitor to enhance the sound quality of the product. May you get the best monitors for photo editing under 500.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive breakdown of the best gaming monitors for under $500 this 2021. As you can see from the list above, $500 is an extremely generous amount of cash to splash on a monitor – allowing you to purchase some of the market’s leading options.
We’ve tried to select monitors that will suit different user demographics in the above article, allowing you to make the decision on which one suits you best. Whether you’re looking for 1440p, fast refresh rates, or just a large 4K panel, we’ve tried to satisfy almost every type of user in this guide.
If you have any questions regarding the panels we’ve chosen, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below.