Best 27-inch Monitor under 200 Dollars (Reviews and Guide 2022)

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Best 27-inch Monitor under 200

While a new or extra monitor is a great idea for your home office setup, shopping for one on a tight budget can be challenging. However, as screen technology gets better, there’s a greater selection of high-quality monitors at prices that are more affordable than ever before. 24 and 27-inches are becoming the new standard sizes for monitors that go for less than 200 bucks. Not only does a larger monitor offer more screen space to run and manage more applications. But more screen real estate creates an immersive experience for activities like gaming. Although they typically lack the advanced features of expensive models, the best 27-inch monitors under 200 dollars still deliver a decent experience.

Best 27-inch Monitor under 200 Dollars Review

1. Sceptre C278W

Sale
Sceptre Curved 27" Gaming Monitor R1500 98% sRGB HDMI VGA 75Hz Build-in Speakers, Blue Light Shift Machine Black (C278W-1920RN Series)
  • 1500R Curved Display The 1500R degree curved design immerses you completely into the gaming landscape, allowing you to spot all threats and opportunities before all of your competitors.
  • 75Hz Refresh Rate: With 75Hz refresh rate, images change faster and smoother than the standard, reducing screen tearing
  • 98% sRGB: With 98% sRGB, this monitor offers a wider color gamut than most conventional monitors, giving deeper colors and defining features.
  • Multiple Ports: Two HDMI and one VGA port each accelerate refresh rate up to 75Hz, providing the visual edge you need to defeat the competition during all of your gaming exploits.
  • Blue Light Shift: Reduce your monitors blue light to protect you from eye fatigue, irritation and strains. This enables you to work on your documents, watch movies, or play games more comfortably for extended periods.

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sceptre C278W has a lot going for it that makes it worth recommending. From a curved screen to very good image quality, it’s a great, large format monitor for daily use and even watching movies. But not so much for gaming.

Curved displays offer a more consistent viewing angle toward the edges, giving you a more uniform viewing experience.

Highlights include a stellar design which incorporates a curved panel into the 27-inch package. The C278W does a nice job of displaying images and video in a standard HD (1366×768) resolution with a refresh rate of 60Hz.

It’s a matte-black curved monitor surrounded by a thin strip that’s half an inch wide on the top and both sides of the panel. The stand consists of an oval base and a hinged arm that only provides tilt adjustment.

But the Sceptre C278W offers an intriguing mix of features and capabilities that help it stand out in a market full of monitors that have seen a lot of hot new features and innovations.

Display connections include an HDMI port, a DPI DisplayPort, VGA and a 3.5mm mini-jack for the VGA audio to ensure that most of your bases are well covered. But it doesn’t include any USB ports to connect peripherals like flash drives.

Pros:

  • excellent grayscale performance
  • large 27-inch curved display
  • VESA compliant

Cons:

  • low pixel resolution
  • lacks a USB support
  • no ergonomic adjustments

2. Asus VA27EHE

ASUS VA27EHE 27” Eye Care Monitor Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS 75Hz Adaptive-Sync HDMI D-Sub Frameless
  • 27-Inch full HD (1920x1080) LED backlight display with IPS 178° wide viewing angle panel and a frameless design
  • Adaptive-sync technology and refresh rate of up to 75Hz to eliminate Tracing and ensure Super smooth visuals while having crisp and clear video playback
  • Asus Eye Care technology features TÜV Rhineland-certified flicker-free and low Blue light technologies to ensure a comfortable viewing experience
  • Ergonomic tilt and VESA wall-mountable to save on desktop space
  • Connectivity ports HDMI and D-Sub

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When it comes to gaming monitors, Asus has the market all but cornered. While the company is among the top gaming monitor manufacturers, that’s not what the VA27EHE is. Instead, it’s a very capable, casual use focused monitor with a reasonable price-to-performance ratio.

To help with its casual use aspirations, the VA27EHE uses an IPS panel, which is supported by a maximum brightness of 250 nits. It works well as long as you’re not working in a particularly bright environment.

While still nowhere near gaming monitor levels, you get a 75Hz refresh rate, which is more than the usual 60Hz that’s common in this price segment.

The VA27EHE has a very modern overall design with some slim aesthetics. But even with solid borders, it doesn’t lend the monitor a feeling of being very sturdy. That’s not to say that quality is sacrificed for price. In fact, the materials don’t reflect the price of the monitor at all.

The OSD menu is well organized and user-friendly, allowing you to easily navigate through menus via four-buttons located on the back right of the monitor. Noteworthy features include Splendid pre-calibrated picture presets, GamePlust and QuickFit Virtual Scale, along with standard image adjustment tools.

You can expect to find the very bare minimum when it comes to connections. That means you get exactly one HDMI port and one Display port.

Pros:

  • IPS panel
  • 75Hz refresh rate
  • eye-care technology

Cons:

  • limited adjustments
  • lacks expansive connections

3. LG 27MP60G-B

LG 27MP60G-B.AUM 27" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Monitor with AMD FreeSync and 1ms MBR Response Time, Black
  • 27” Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display
  • 3-Side Virtually Borderless Design
  • 1ms MBR Response Time
  • AMD FreeSync
  • OnScreen Control

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now here’s a 27-inch monitor under $200 poised for budget gaming. The LG 27MP60G-B is the company’s latest big full HD monitor providing enough performance for casual gaming.

To help you enjoy games, movies and streaming in true-color performance, it’s backed by an IPS panel. The LG 27MP60G-B operates in a native resolution of 1920x1080p, with a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz.

The monitor has a 3-sided, virtually borderless design along with slim bezels that allow for a near seamless and immersive viewing experience. It comes with VESA Wall Mount capability with an interface pattern of 100x100mm to help you hang the monitor on a wall.

Special features include AMD’s FreeSync for smooth, tear-free gameplay and 1ms motion blur technology. The FlickerSafe feature works to reduce on screen flicker levels to almost zero, protecting your eyes to help you game through the night comfortably.

Accuracy is important, especially for shooter games. The Crosshair feature works to give you pro-level precision for increased accuracy.

The LG 27MP60G-B comes with a joystick button under the right panel by the LG logo on the lower bezel to help you activate the Main Menu, which includes the Power and Game Mode features.

Connectivity options include an HDMI 1.4 port, a DisplayPort, headphone output and one D-Sub.

Pros:

  • joystick controls instead of buttons
  • fantastic black levels
  • good stand

Cons:

  • image quality is good but not great

4. Acer SB270

Acer SB270 Bbix 27" Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor with AMD Radeon FREESYNC Technology - 1ms | 75Hz Refresh (HDMI & VGA Ports)
  • 27 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen IPS Monitor with AMD Radeon FreeSync Technology
  • Response time: 1ms VRB
  • Panel type: IPS. Dimensions (W x H x D)- 24.45 x 14.65 x 1.34 inches(Without stand)
  • Refresh rate: 75 hertz
  • Ports: 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA and 1 x audio port

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another gaming monitor you can pick up for less than $200 is the Acer SB270. It stands out at this price thanks to a handful of mid-range features, like FreeSync and a greater than standard refresh rate.

It has a full HD resolution, which with its 27-inch screen gives you just enough clarity without looking like it only has a 720p resolution. The SB270 enjoys a refresh rate of 75Hz so that it can display roughly 20% more frames than most monitors at this price.

It’s an Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor, which means it uses a very standard, very minimalistic bezel that’s nearly as thin as the bezel Acer uses on their top-shelf Predator monitors.

Being so devastatingly thin means that it’s a bit more fragile. It comes with a basic stand as monitors in this price category do with virtually no adjustment features.

But you do get AMD Radeon FreeSync, which is a dynamic sync technology. The general idea is that when enabled the monitor will change the refresh rate to match the FPS output of your graphics card to prevent screen tearing and keep your games running smoothly.

On the backside of the SB270, you’ll find one HDMI port, a VGA port and one 3.5mm audio jack. (Connecting to the HDMI port will give you more vivid colors and a higher refresh rate than connecting to the VGA port).

Pros:

  • excellent response times
  • good color reproduction
  • great viewing angles

Cons:

  • few adjustments
  • low contrast ratio

5. AOC 27B2H

AOC 27B2H 27" Full HD IPS Monitor, 3-Sided Frameless & Ultra Slim Design, HDMI and VGA inputs, Lowblue Mode, VESA compatible,Black
  • AOC 27 Inch Full HD 1920x1080 LED-lit monitor
  • Streamlined design: 3-sided frameless design with ultra-slim profile for a clean and streamlined look
  • Vivid imagery: IPS panel for wide viewing angles and vivid colors with over 100% in sRGB color gamut coverage
  • Compatible with most outputs: HDMI x1 (HDMI cable included) and VGA x1 inputs allow for easy connection to most computers. 3.5mm audio-out port built-in for easy connection to your speakers or headphones.
  • For your wellbeing: AOC low Blue mode and flicker-free technology helps to reduce harmful Blue spectrum of light and remove Flicker for more comfortable computing sessions

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The AOC 27B2H is an ultra-slim 27-inch monitor offering a full HD IPS experience. It’s a very good gaming monitor for the price with a good response rate. But while it’s a popular monitor, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Along with a full HD resolution and good response time, it also has a good contrast ratio. But it’s not quite as good as similar monitors. However, you get a comfortable viewing experience from any angle thanks to the In-Plane Switching panel. And the 81PPI (pixels per inch) gives you a sharp viewing experience.

The 27B2H boasts a 3-sided frameless design that makes it look more attractive than most competitors. The stand doesn’t have height adjustment. But it can swivel around on its axis. And you can tilt it for a more comfortable viewing angle.

It comes with VESA mounts, so there is a possibility for wall mounting. Along with a better-than-average-for-this-category 75Hz refresh rate for smoother gaming. It supports FreeSync technology, which is a good feature to have for gaming to prevent screen tearing.

To hook up the 27B2H to practically any device, the monitor comes with an HDMI 1.4 port, a D-Sub port, a 3.5mm audio out, and HDCP.

Pros:

  • ultra-slim profile
  • low blue light technology
  • excellent build and design

Cons:

  • lower response rate compared to similar monitors
  • no height adjustment

6. HP M27ha

HP M27ha FHD Monitor-Full HD Monitor(1920 x 1080p)- IPS Panel and Built-in Audio-VESA Compatible 27-inch Monitor Designed for Comfortable Viewing with Height and Pivot Adjustment-(22H94AA#ABA) black
  • OPTIMIZED SCREEN – Get high-quality pictures on a full HD display with an IPS panel and 27-inches of ultra-wide viewing angles (1920 x 1080 resolution)
  • EASY ON THE EYES – Work long into the night without any eye strain with HP Low Blue Light software designed for greater eye comfort
  • ADJUSTABLE VIEWING – Find your best view as the 3-sided micro-edge bezel display gives you unlimited sightlines, 100mm of height adjustment, and 90° pivot rotation
  • FULLY INTEGRATED AUDIO – Enjoy all your multimedia with a monitor that has convenient stereo audio right on the display
  • VESA COMPATIBILITY – The 100mm VESA pattern gives you plenty of options for mounting your monitor on whatever wall or desk suits your fancy

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The HP M27ha has a great panel for working from home. It even comes with extras that put it a cut above other budget monitors.

But before we get into those standout features, we have to look at some of the aspects that set it back. The modest resolution and unimpressive sRGB color coverage makes it best for strictly workday tasks. While a 1080p resolution looks fantastic on a 15-inch laptop, on a 27-inch monitor it’s just a bare minimum resolution.

One feature that makes the M27ha a standout in this price range is its ergonomically superb stand. It supports up to 4-inches of height adjustment with a tilt range of up to 5 degrees forward and up to 30 degrees away from you. And it can even pivot between landscape and portrait views.  

The HP M27ha also has a built-in pair of 2-watt speakers, which isn’t common in this price point. While the speaker quality is usable, the volume is on the soft side. Next to the power button are four buttons to control the OSD menu system. They’re responsive and the OSD is fairly easy to navigate.

Some of the other features that are out of the ordinary for a budget monitor are a DisplayPort connector, as well as HDMI and VGA connectivity.

Pros:

  • IPS panel
  • plenty of connectivity options
  • height, tilt and pivot adjustments

Cons:

  • mediocre sRGB color coverage
  • low resolution

7. Asus VY279HE

ASUS VY279HE 27” Eye Care Monitor, 1080P Full HD, 75Hz, IPS, 1ms, Adaptive-Sync, Eye Care Plus, Color Augmentation, HDMI VGA, Frameless, VESA Wall Mountable
  • 27-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) LED backlight display with IPS 178° wide viewing angle panel
  • Up to 75Hz refresh rate with AMD Sync technology to eliminate tracing and ensure crisp and clear video playback
  • Color Augmentation mode allow users with color vision deficiency to better distinguish between different colors
  • Rest Reminder users from eye fatigue and help users manage screen time
  • TÜV Rheinland-certified and Low Blue Light technologies to ensure a comfortable viewing experience

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Asus VY279HE is a business monitor. It checks most of the boxes a user might be looking for with a slick design. And a few technologies for gamers including AMD FreeSync and a 1ms response time.

The display has an anti-reflective coating that makes the monitor usable in brightly lit environments. It comes with a 1080p resolution that’s arguably the sweet spot for a 27-inch monitor. The result is crisp colors with fine details that make even small texts legible.

The VY279HE looks like a premium monitor with dark grey finishes and an ultra-thin bezel. It comes with an easy to assemble stand with a V-shaped base.

Gamers get to enjoy AMD’s FreeSync adaptive syncing technology. So, for example, if you’re using a gaming laptop with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, you’ll have no issue using the monitor and enabling the equivalent G-Sync functionality.

Other special features include eye care technology in the form of Ultra-Low Blue Light which reduces the harmful blue light emitted from monitors. It has four different filter settings to help you control the amount of blue light your eyes are exposed to.

The port selection is typical for a budget monitor, including HDMI, VGA and headphone jack.

Pros:

  • fantastic frameless design
  • easy to use and navigate
  • AMD FreeSync support

Cons:

  • basic ports
  • no height adjustment

8. Dell SE2722HX

Dell SE2722HX - 27-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 Monitor with Comfortview (TUV-Certified), 75Hz Refresh Rate, 16.7 Million Colors, Anti-Glare with 3H Hardness, Black
  • 27-inch Full HD monitors featuring three-sided slim bezels and a compact footprint.
  • Minimize harmful blue light emissions to help reduce eye fatigue with Dell’s TUVcertified Comfort View feature
  • A built-in power supply unit and cable holder help to further reduce clutter.
  • Save energy when your monitor is not in use with PowerNap
  • Eco-conscious packaging, this monitor is shipped Styrofoam-free and the packaging is made of at least 75% recycled cardboard.

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dell SE2722HX offers an amazing value if you want a decent monitor on a tight budget. If you’re looking for a monitor that can pull dual duty as a gaming monitor and you’re not looking for anything fancy, this is the one to get.

The monitor works flawlessly with a great response time. It offers a full HD 1920×1080 pixel resolution and a 1000:1 contrast ratio at 60Hz, along with a 21:9 widescreen aspect ratio that ensures great picture quality ensuring you’ll be able to see everything you’re working on clearly.

You also get an optional stand that tilts, swivels and allows for height adjustment. But the three-sided bezels surrounding the display are quite thick by today’s standards. It’s 100x100mm VESA mounts allow you to mount the monitor wherever you’d like.

The built-in AMD FreeSync technology synchronizes the monitor’s frame rate with your graphics card to prevent issues like screen tearing and other visual artifacts that can cause eye strain.

Also helping to reduce eye fatigue, the SE2722HX comes with Dell’s TUV-certified Comfort View function which works by reducing hazardous blue light emissions.

Connectivity is handled by a DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 (MHL), a USB 3.0 upstream port and two USB 2.0 downstream ports.

Pros:

  • AMD FreeSync technology
  • VESA mounting capability
  • Comfort View function

Cons:

  • thick bezels

9. LG 27MK600M

Sale
LG 27MK600M-B 27" Full HD IPS Monitor with Radeon FreeSync Technology and Virtually Borderless Design
  • 27 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display monitor
  • 3-Side virtually borderless design
  • Radeon free Sync technology
  • Dual HDMI input
  • On screen control with screen split

Last update on 2022-06-26 at 23:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The LG 27MK600M is a relatively new monitor. It comes with AMD FreeSync that’s compatible with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards.

It’s the inexpensive, high-performance monitor you’ve been looking for. Even at a relatively affordable price, it’s got all the bells and whistles necessary for an immersive visual experience.

The 27-inch panel delivers good viewing angles with better contrast and colors than TN panels. You’ll enjoy the fantastic precision and transparency of the FHD 1080p resolution with good color reproduction and reduced reaction times.

It comes with VESA mount supports which makes it wall mountable. The on-screen controls offer a host of essential display settings in a convenient window for fast, simple access. Options include Speed, Brightness, Display Mode Settings, Screen Split 2.0 and Dual Controller.

Gaming features include Dynamic Action Sync to catch every moment in real time. Black Stabilizer which helps to keep visibility even in dark scenes. And Crosshair to take your skills to the next level by placing the striking point in the center of the display.

Pros:

  • automatic standby
  • gaming features
  • IPS panel

Cons:

  • some users have reported an issue with black flickering lines

Best 27-inch Monitor under 200 Dollars Buying Guide

Price often isn’t the best indicator of quality, which means getting the best monitor doesn’t require shelling out a fist full of cash. But there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you end up with the right budget monitor.

Why a 27-inch Monitor?

Understanding why you’re shopping for a 27-inch monitor in the first place will help you narrow your choices. For instance, if you need a 27-inch monitor just for checking emails, browsing the Internet and playing a few online games on your down time. Then you don’t need to spring for one offering all the bells and whistles.

If you’re a budding graphics designer or photographer, however, and money is tight. Even a 27-inch monitor with IPS and a basic HD 1366×768 pixel resolution will serve you well.

But for gaming and enjoying movies, you’ll want to opt for a monitor that offers some gaming enthusiast goodies like a fast response time and high refresh rate, which we’ll go into more detail about further on in the guide. For now, let’s take a look at the different types of 27-inch monitors you can get.

Ultrawide Monitors

These monitors stretch out to give you more screen space than a regular flat monitor. They eliminate the need to buy more than one monitor. And they serve well for both work and play.

Curved Monitors

By virtue of having a curved form-factor, these types of monitors provide the ultimate immersive experience with their wrap around view. By providing more screen space, curved monitors also eliminate the need for multiple displays.

Touchscreen Monitors

This technology makes using a monitor highly intuitive with educational as well as commercial benefits. A touch-sensitive monitor, however, might require some additional hardware and software to get everything set up to taste. But the result often makes the effort well worth it.

Panel Type

Image quality is determined by features like color accuracy, image sharpness, contrast and black levels. And this has to do with panel type.

TN, VA and IPS are the most popular types of panel technologies when it comes to displays of any kind. Each one has its strengths as well as weaknesses which become evident depending on how you use your monitor.

There are pros and cons to each panel type. And each panel type determines the ability of the monitor. Choosing the right panel type is entirely dependent on the activity you’ll be doing. The better the quality of the panel, the better the viewing experience for the health of your eyes.

Let’s go through them for some detail:

TN (Twisted Nematic)

TN Panelsare the cheapest and most common panel type. They offer a fast response time and the highest refresh rates of all panel types, which is why they’re revered in the world of PC gaming.

But they struggle with color accuracy, limited contrast and brightness levels, a narrower color gamut as well as narrower viewing angles compared to VA and IPS panels, which means your eyes work harder to analyze all the information on the screen.

These monitors have the most basic construction, which is why they’re often cheaper than VA and IPS monitors. While they’re good enough for most use cases, this is not the panel type you want for professional photo editing.

However, you can get up to 240 FPS with support from a capable graphics card; 240Hz equals a smooth gaming experience for titles like Overwatch. If you’re a fledgling gamer on a tight budget, you couldn’t ask for a better monitor for the money.

VA (Vertical Alignment)

This panel type has surged in popularity over the past few years. VA Panels are a lot like TN panels with wider viewing angles and image depth along with a satisfactory refresh rate and a response time that also make them perfect for gaming.

This is a good midrange option with color accuracy that lies somewhere between TN and IPS panels. They even have the highest contrast levels of all panel types, giving you darker, more convincing black levels.

They’re also roughly equal to IPS panels in terms of color gamut and accuracy. And they’re far superior when it comes to contrast ratio with the ability to eliminate IPS Glow.

Even though viewing angles are wider than TN panels, they’re not as wide as the ones on IPS monitors, which is problematic unless you’re always able to view the monitor straight on.

NOTE: SVA panels are an updated version of the VA panel, with much of the same characteristics. Like TN technology, you’ll find VA panels on budget monitors.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

IPS panels offer broad viewing angles, which means you don’t have to be directly in front of the monitor to see what you’re working on clearly – this makes them the ideal choice if consistency and color accuracy is important to you for content creation and graphics design work.

This panel type was designed to solve the issues with TN and VA panels. It’s become the most common option for PC monitors for good reason. Monitors with IPS panels have a solid color gamut and good color accuracy and some are very bright.

IPS refers to the shifting patterns of liquid crystals inside the monitor’s display – the liquid crystals shift horizontally to create better viewing angles, impressive image quality and precise color accuracy with more even lighting. This also makes them a fantastic monitor panel for watching videos with intense color.

But they suffer from IPS Glow. This is when what should be an inky black is depicted as a hazy gray. It’s less of problem for photo editing than it is when watching movies and gaming.

Still, they remain the best panel type for photo editing. And they’re considered the second-best option for gamers (the slow response time holds them back, though). Paired with the right adaptive synch and graphics card, IPS monitors offer the most exciting visual experience.

NOTE: MVA (Multidomain Vertical Alignment) panels are better suited for graphic professionals that desire more depth of contrast for editing. Along with outstanding color and higher contrast ratios, you’ll enjoy super-wide viewing angles. These panels also operate by using liquid crystal cells that naturally align between two panes of glass to create a naturally black display screen.

Resolution

One of the key factors that determines the sharpness of a monitor is pixel density. The number of pixels on a monitor’s display dictates its resolution.

Specifically, resolution is the number of horizontal pixels on a monitor’s display by the number of vertical pixels, represented as (horizontal x vertical) on a spec sheet.

The higher these numbers are, the crisper images and text appear. Another way you may see the resolution of a monitor described is PPI.

Pixels Per Inch also refers to pixel density – it tells you how tightly spaced pixels on a monitor are to one another. But here, the lower the number (>200), the crisper images and text appear.

So, for example, in both instances, a monitor with a 1920×1080 resolution has 1,920 horizontal pixels by 1,080 vertical pixels making up the display.

Screen Size

The right screen size for you is highly subjective, so it’s tough to be prescriptive here. But there is a relationship between a monitor’s screen size and its resolution that’s worth considering for the best image quality.

The right resolution for your monitor depends on the size of the display – the larger the screen size, the higher the resolution needs to be. Going smaller, however, usually means you get a higher quality display with greater color accuracy for less money.

The average size of a monitor’s display is 24-inches. A full HD (1920×1080) pixel resolution looks good on 19 to 27-inch monitors. Why? Because due to the size of the display, the pixels aren’t so widely distributed – widely distributed pixels are the cause of pixilation.

That’s why even though FHD (1080p) looks fantastic on a 15-inch laptop, it’s the bare minimum resolution for image quality on a 27-inch monitor (things tend to look a bit pixelated on a big screen size with this resolution).

For a monitor that’s bigger than 27-inches, you’ll want to opt for a Quad HD (2560×1440) or 4K (3840×2160) resolution to maintain a sharp detailed image.

If you have a bit more cash to splash, a 27-inch+ monitor with a 2K WQHD or 4K UHD panel will have even better image quality than full HD. Newer gaming monitors are starting to move to a resolution of 2560×1440 and even 3840×216 (4K).

NOTE: A monitor’s screen size is measured diagonally from the top of one corner to the bottom of the adjacent corner. Now would be a good time to turn our attention to how a monitor’s size relates to symptoms of eye strain and eye fatigue.

Eye Strain

The size of a monitor affects your ability to use it without straining your eyes. A larger monitor will require you to keep more distance between you and the screen for a clear picture quality.

A larger monitor also means moving your eyes more often so you can see everything on the screen, which contributes to eye fatigue.

On the other hand, a smaller monitor will have a lower resolution, resulting in smaller images that require more focus and precision to see clearly, which also contributes to eye strain.

So, what’s the solution?

Again, picking the right monitor size is subjective. But for an office environment, a 20- to 22-inch monitor with a 21/9 aspect ratio will do the job quite nicely. To enjoy an episode of Red Dwarf on Netflix or Prime Videos, you’ll want to go with a 27- to 30-inch monitor.

Also, whether you’re gaming or studying large data sets for hours on end, you want to protect your eyes. Look for monitors that offer low Blue Light or Flicker-Free technology. Check out our top picks of the best monitors to reduce eye strain.

Aspect Ratio

As we’ve said, the smaller a monitor, the better the resolution tends to be. This is most evident when you place a smaller monitor with an FHD resolution by a bigger monitor with the same resolution – images on the smaller monitor tend to be sharper.

Why is that?

This has everything to do with the aspect ratio, which refers to the height of the monitor’s screen versus its width. While this explanation sounds a lot like resolution, aspect ratio takes into account a monitor’s ability to fit an image perfectly onto the screen.

The way to determine the best aspect ratio for the size of the monitor you want with the resolution you want is to turn its resolution into a fraction.

For example, let’s say a 27-inch monitor has a 1920×1080 resolution. Written as a fraction, that number will be 1920/1080. Then all you need to do is simplify.

So, if you want a 27-inch monitor with a full HD resolution, the aspect ratio needs to be 16/9. Or 16:9 to deliver a full HD experience.

Backlighting

The backlighting technologies you’ll find on monitors these days are LCD, LED and OLED. These types of backlighting have allowed monitors a smaller footprint to save a lot of space on your desktop. Not only that, but these backlighting technologies also help make modern monitors quite energy efficient.

Brightness

Activities like editing with Photoshop will require a bright monitor so that you can see all the details in the dark areas of the project you’re working on. Most monitors under the 500-dollar price range fall between 250 and 350 nits of brightness, which is considered pretty bright.

Contrast

This is all about the vibrancy of colors and the number of hues a monitor can display. Contrast ratio is the range between the darkest black and brightest white, but the focus is on black levels.

A monitor with a high contrast ratio result in images that look more realistic with a greater illusion of depth. Since all the pixels on a monitor illuminate to represent the object you see, blacks are often shown as a shade of gray.

For activities like photo editing, it allows you to see the gradations of detail within your work. You want to opt for a monitor with the most true-to-life black levels to produce your best work.

A monitor with a high contrast ratio also result in brighter colors as well as darker blacks, which means it will show more hues of colors versus a monitor with a lower contrast ratio.

Color Space

Also referred to as Color Gamut, this is the total range of colors a monitor can display given as a percentage of a color space. The industry uses several standard color spaces, making it sometimes challenging to compare two monitors without more context.

The two main color spaces are:

sRGB which is the standard for Internet use as it was originally designed to mimic the colors visible on old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors. But sRGB only covers about 35% of the colors visible to the human eye, making it one of the smaller color spaces used to measure a monitor’s performance. If you want to edit photos for the Internet or social media, then aim for monitors that offer as close to a 100% sRGB color gamut as possible.

Adobe RGB is used by most professional photographers as it most closely replicates the color that CMYK printers can print. It covers about 50% of all colors visible to the human eye. This is one of the most encompassing color spaces, not to mention the best profile for image editing programs like Photoshop. It’s significantly wider than sRGB and it’s primarily known for its richer greens and cyans than sRGB.

HDR

Monitors with this display technology are known to improve color contrast and represent realistic images – in other words you can be sure that what you’re seeing on the monitor looks exactly the way it should. They’re excellent for activities like photo editing and video editing where detail is important for delivering a jaw-dropping product.

Viewing Angles

This is the maximum angle at which you can see an image on a monitor without excessive degradation. It’s reflected in degrees both horizontal and vertical.

As we discussed in the section about panel types, this can vary from monitor to monitor depending on the panel technology behind it and the construction of the monitor.

A great example is the fact that a curved monitor will have a smaller viewing angle since this type of monitor is designed to be viewed straight on.

Most IPS monitors have wide viewing angles with consistent colors no matter your viewing position. Cheaper monitors like the ones with TN panels shift colors as you change your viewing position, which isn’t ideal for photo editing.

Refresh Rate

If you plan to use your monitor for gaming and watching movies, then you’ll want to pay special attention to the refresh rate on offer – this determines how smoothly moving images will appear on your monitor.

Most budget monitors under 300 dollars offer a refresh rate of 60Hz. This means the screen can refresh the image 60 times a second.

While that’s good imaging speed for most standard gaming, it’s nothing to write home about in the world of PC gaming. For the best performance, you’ll want to ensure that the refresh rate of the monitor you’re considering is compatible with the recommended refresh rate of the games you play most often.

The higher the refresh rate, the smoother your gameplay will be. A higher refresh rate is paramount for reducing motion blur when gaming.

The slower the refresh rate, the more likely it is for flickering to happen, which increases the amount of work your eyes do to see what’s on the monitor clearly.

What refresh rate should you consider?

Again, a monitor with a 60Hz refresh rate is the most common and will help protect your eyes. For gaming and watching movies, you’ll want to look for a monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz or higher to avoid screen tearing and visual stutters.

You may be able to find some monitors under 300 dollars offering 75Hz to 240Hz refresh rates. But the low refresh rates that are more common with monitors in this price range don’t make them the best candidates for high-end gaming with heavy graphics.

NOTE: Gaming monitors can be equipped with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate). This technology corrects issues like screen “tearing,” which is when the image on the screen becomes distorted, creating a distracting experience. NVIDIA was the first to address this issue with G-SYNC followed by AMD with FreeSync. Both technologies provide support for variable refresh rate.

Response Time

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades (and pregnancy tests). Every millisecond counts, especially when gaming.

While a monitor with a 1 millisecond response time is common these days, the budget gaming monitors under 300 dollars typically have a 5ms response time. This is the amount of time it takes for an input to be registered on the monitor.

Slower response times cause dissonance between what you’re doing and what you see. You want a lower response time for any activity that requires quick mouse movements, especially when it comes to competitive gaming where you want to detect fast moving objects as quickly as possible. But there is some debate on this.

Connectivity

Think about all the devices you’ll be connecting your monitor to like your laptop, desktop computer and gaming console. It’s important to ensure that the monitor you choose is equipped with all the connections you need. The most popular ports to look for on any monitor include VGA, DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI.

Connecting to your laptop will require either a VGA or DVI connector. The DisplayPort connector is becoming popular. Newer laptops will have an HDMI connector to fully exploit the power of your laptop’s graphics card for high-definition visual output.

If you want to properly output 1080p at 120Hz or higher. You’ll need a DisplayPort, a dual link DVI, or HMDI 1.3 or higher. But again, some graphics cards have limited output options.

Preferably, the monitor you choose for photo editing will come with a DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-Link DVI ports and HDMI. If you want to connect multiple monitors, you’ll want a model that comes with a Thunderbolt-in and-out port or DisplayPort 1.2.

No matter how you’ll be using your monitor, be sure the one you choose has all the ports and connections you need.

Ergonomics

Prioritize monitors with an ergonomic advantage. They allow you to align your eyes with the monitor that way you don’t have to crane your neck and eyes to look up at the screen.

While this helps reduce neck strain and other physiological issues associated with starring at a monitor for hours. Using an ergonomic monitor is also critical to the health of your eyes for preventing symptoms of eye strain.

If you vacillate between editing in portrait and landscape mode, you should also opt for a monitor that can rotate between landscape and portrait orientation.

You’ll find plenty of monitors with the flexibility to adjust for your ideal viewing angle for around $300 and up.

In case the monitor you choose is limited in this functionality, most come with VESA mounts to add a monitor arm, which will give you more room to make micro adjustments.

In summary, when shopping for a monitor with ergonomics, you want to look for the ones that offer swivel, tilt and height adjustment features to prevent sore backs.

FAQ

Is 1080p a good resolution for a 27-inch monitor?

A higher pixel count will give you a more detailed image that’s crisp and clear. For activities like streaming movies and playing your favorite PC games, 1080p is a good enough resolution on a 27-inch monitor. But things will look crisper and clearer on a smaller monitor with the same resolution.

Is a 27-inch monitor worth the investment?

27-inches has only recently become the new standard for monitors. You can easily get by with a 24-inch monitor. But a comparable 27-inch monitor will likely offer more features for your viewing pleasure.

Is 27-inches a good monitor size?

There’s really no such thing as a right or a wrong size for a monitor as it all comes down to personal preference. The ideal size for a monitor mainly depends on its resolution and how far away you want to sit from the screen.

Overall, a 1920×1080 resolution is best on a monitor that’s 25-inches or smaller. A 1440-pixel resolution is ideal for a 27-inch monitor. And 4K looks best on monitors 27-inches are larger.

What’s the best monitor size for gaming?

One activity where the size of your monitor matters is gaming. A screen size of 21-inches or larger is ideal for gaming since as the pixels-per-square inch get smaller, resolution increases.

But if you want a monitor with a larger screen size, you’ll want a higher resolution for the sharpest image quality.

Wrapping Up

Working with a budget means being laser-focused on the aspects of a monitor that’ll yield the best viewing experience. You don’t have to pay much these days to get a decent monitor. There are many budget monitors that can meet your needs without putting a dent in your wallet.

Our top choice is the Sceptre C278W. It’s set apart by its curved display and an intriguing mix of capabilities. Our second choice is the Asus VA27EHE, a casual use monitor with up to a 75Hz refresh rate. And our third choice is the LG 27MP60G-B. Not only does it also come with a 75Hz refresh rate, but it’s a gaming monitor that lets you take advantage of AMD’s FreeSync technology.