Best Monitor under 500 Dollars (Guide for Photo Editing Monitors in 2022)

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Best Monitor under 500

To produce your best work, you need a quality monitor for photo editing. It takes a lot to produce extraordinary visuals. A monitor developed with photo editing in mind will deliver good color accuracy and wide viewing angles. Not only color accuracy and wide viewing angles, but a great photo editing monitor will help you work accurately in the color space you want. Monitors in general have seen significant improvement in quality over the last several years. There are a lot of good choices out there, here’s our top choice for the best monitor under 500 dollars for photo editing.


1.Acer SB220Q21.5-inch240 nits1920x1080View
2.ViewSonic VP276827-inch350 nits 2560x1440View
3.Asus PA278QV27-inch350 nits 2560x1440View
4.BenQ GW248024-inch 250 nits 1920x1080View
5.Dell Ultrasharp U241524-inch 350 nits 1920x1200View
6.Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q27-inch 350-nits3840 x 2160View
7.Philips 276E8VJSB27-inch 350-nits 3840 x 2160View
8.BenQ PD2700Q27-inch 350 nits2560x1440View
9.LG 27UN850-W27-inch 350 nits3840x2160View
10.Dell P2419H24-inch250 nits1920x1080View
11.HP VH240a23.8-inch 250 nits1920 x 1080View
12.Asus PB278Q27-inch300 nits 2560 x 1440View
13.BenQ SW24024-inch250 nits 1920x1200 View

Best Monitor under 500 Dollars Review

1. Acer SB220Q 21.5-inches

The Acer SB220Q is a compact IPS monitor with a basic feature set that proves cheap doesn’t mean shoddy. And it’s one of the best options for a dual monitor setup.

Amazingly thin is the 21.5-inch IPS panel. Color accuracy is very good in the sRGB space. You also get a Full HD (1920×1080) native resolution and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Pixel density is 102ppi. At the given resolution, the smaller screen size and higher pixel density usually mean a sharper image.

The SB220Q is both lightweight and very compact with a stand comprising of a circular base and a vertical shaft connecting to the bottom of the monitor. Ergonomics are basic with only tilt adjustments. Unfortunately, it lacks holes for a VESA mounting bracket.  

You get the typical, basic feature range of the best budget monitors albeit with a smaller screen. On the bottom right edge is a power button. To its left are five small buttons to control the OSD (onscreen display) which has a wide range of settings that are easy to navigate.  

Like with many $200 monitors, ports are limited to HDMI and VGA, which are both in back, conveniently facing outward. Near the ports is a slot for a Kensington cable lock.


  • elegant design
  • ultra-thin panel
  • vibrant colors and crisp image quality


  • no VESA mount compatibility
  • tilt only design; basic feature set

2. ViewSonic VP2768 27-inch

ViewSonic VP2768 PRO 27" 1440p Monitor with 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT and Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design
  • PROFESSIONAL MONITOR: 2K WQHD (2560x1440p) 60Hz SuperClear IPS monitor deliver lifelike colors perfect for graphic designers, photographers, video editors and more
  • ULTIMATE COLOR ACCURACY: Screen wide sRGB, EBU, SMPTE-C, Rec. 709, and DICOM-SIM color spaces, Delta E<2 accuracy, and a smooth palette of 4. 39 trillion colors deliver precise, lifelike images
  • FRAMELESS DIGITAL CANVAS: A four-sided ultra-thin bezel shows off more of your masterpiece, and less of the monitor
  • HARDWARE CALIBRATION: Quick and easy calibration ensures that the color displayed perfectly matches the original file
  • FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: The VP2768 supports laptops, PCs, and Apple/Mac operating systems with HDMI 1. 4, USB, DisplayPort (Daisy Chain enabled), and Mini DisplayPort inputs

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now this is more like it, the ViewSonic VP2768 is a feature-loaded 27-inch IPS monitor that delivers excellent color performance. And it’s hardware-calibration ready, which is useful since photo editing requires consistently accurate colors.

The 27-inch display has a 2560×1440 resolution and its bright at 350 nits with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It uses a 14-bit LUT (Look Up Table) for precise color management. You get eight color space presets, including sRGB, EBU (European Broadcasting Union), SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers), REC709 (HDTV), DICOM (medical imaging) and three CAL (calibration) presets.

The black, zero-bezel cabinet gives the VP2768 a sleek minimalist look, while making the screen appear larger than it is. The monitor is supported by a fully adjustable stand, along with four VESA-compliant holes for wall mounting.

It also offers advanced color settings along with the hardware calibration. At the rear of the cabinet, on the right side, are a power switch and five function buttons for navigating the settings menu.

The VP2768 comes with a generous selection of ports, including a DisplayPort output, a USB hub, two HDMI inputs and two DisplayPort inputs (one full size and one mini). They’re all positioned at the rear of the cabinet, facing downward.


  • excellent color performance
  • advanced calibration settings
  • stylish no-bezel design


  • slow pixel response
  • lacks AdobeRGB and DCI-P3

3. Asus PA278QV 27-inch

ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 ΔE < 2, IPS, DisplayPort HDMI DVI-D Mini DP, Calman Verified, Eye Care, Anti-glare, Tilt Pivot Swivel Height Adjustable
  • 27-inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS monitor with frameless design
  • International color standard 100% sRGB and 100% Rec. 709 wide color gamut
  • Calman Verified with factory calibration for excellent Delta E less than 2 color accuracy
  • ASUS-exclusive ProArt Preset and ProArt Palette provide numerous adjustable color parameters
  • Extensive connectivity for maximum flexibility, including Mini DisplayPort, DisplayPort, HDMI, dual-link DVI-D, audio in and earphone jack, plus four USB 3.0 ports

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes the Asus PA278QV an ideal monitor for photo editing is that it offers professional-grade color accuracy straight out of the box. And it’s equipped with the kind of superb ergonomics and wide viewing angles that make it a good fit for just about any type of workspace.

It’s a 27-inch IPS monitor with a 1440p resolution, resulting in the ideal pixel density of roughly 108 pixel per inch. It offers Delta E < 2 factory-calibration with 100% sRGB color gamut coverage.

The PA278QV includes a sturdy and versatile stand with up to a 5.9-inch height adjustment, along with a 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility. The swivel range is 90 degrees in either direction, with a tilt range of 35 degrees down and 5 degrees up.

There are five hotkeys and a power button at the bottom of the monitor at the right side. You can use them to navigate the OSD menu and shortcuts to certain features that you can assign yourself. You’ll also find several pre-calibrated picture presets, including sRGB, Rec.709, Reading and Darkroom.

Connectivity options are abundant, including DisplayPort 1.2, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, Dual-Link DVI-D and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.


  • high pixel density
  • accurate colors
  • flicker-free backlight


  • low contrast ratio
  • mediocre black uniformity
  • some visible IPS glow

4. BenQ GW2480 24-inch

BenQ 24 Inch IPS Monitor | 1080P | Proprietary Eye-Care Tech | Ultra-Slim Bezel | Adaptive Brightness for Image Quality | Speakers | GW2480 Black
  • 24 inch full HD 1080P IPS panel: 23. 8” full HD IPS widescreen with 1920x1080 resolution, 250 nits of brightness, built-in speakers
  • Wide viewing angle: 178° wide viewing angle for clarity from any viewing angle
  • Edge to edge slim bezel design: Ultra-slim bezel for virtually seamless multi-panel configurations for extended view, space-saving base, elegant design for home office
  • Patented Eye-Care for extended use: Proprietary brightness Intelligence Adaptive technology adjusts brightness for comfortable viewing, low blue light and zero-flicker technology prevent headaches and eye strain. This eye tech delivers optimized images that are easy on your eyes.
  • Integrated cable management system: neatly hides cables inside monitor stand; VESA wall mount: 100 x 100 (millimeter)

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The BenQ GW2480 is a standard 24-inch IPS monitor equipped with the company’s cutting-edge Brightness Intelligence Technology. Its frameless design also makes this monitor a good choice for a multi-monitor setup.

The bezel-less display is one of the most striking features of this monitor, giving you a maximized view of the 24-inch screen. It uses LG’s AH-IPS panel that delivers 250 nits of peak brightness. And it supports 8-bit color, covering the basic sRGB color space.

Composed of modest proportions and minimal extras, the GW2480 follows the brand’s sleek aesthetic treatment. The stand doesn’t provide much by way of ergonomics, only offering a rather limited range of motion. Thankfully, it’s equipped with 100×100 VESA mounts to give you more flexibility.

What makes the GW2480 stand out from other 24-inch 1080p IPS monitors is its unique Brightness Intelligence Technology. Not only does it improve image quality, but it’s also healthier for your eyes. You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor in the OSD menu or turn the feature off.

I/O options are simple as well. The layout includes a DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4 and VGA for video input.


  • innovative Brightness Intelligence technology
  • impressive image quality
  • frameless design


  • tilt only design

5. Dell Ultrasharp U2415 24-inch

Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2415 24.0-Inch Screen LED Monitor, Black
  • 24-inch WUXGA Monitor (1920x1200) at 60Hz, 16:10 Aspect Ratio
  • 1000:1 Contrast Ratio, 16.78 Million Colors, 6ms Response Time. Enhanced power management with PowerNap enables the Dell Display Manager to either dim the monitor to the minimum brightness level or put it into sleep mode when it is not in use
  • Viewing Angel: 178/178, Widescreen Anti-Glare Display, Security Lock Slot
  • HDMI, Mini DP, DP, Audio line out, USB 3.0 with USB 3.0 Upstream Port. Temperature Range Operating: 0° to 40°C (32° to 104°F)
  • Height-Adjustable Stand (115mm) Title, Pivot, and Swivel with Built-in Cable Management

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dell Ultrasharp U2415 tells you what it brings to the table right in the name: an above average IPS panel. It also come with a highly ergonomic stand, along with a good range of connectivity options.

What you’re getting here is a 1920×1200 resolution monitor with wide viewing angles and a taller 16:10 aspect ratio. The display has a peak brightness of 350 nits and is supported by almost the entire sRGB color gamut. Colors appear crisp, making the U2415 a great monitor for entry-level design work.

Its serious demeanor allows it to blend well into professional environments. The bezels are ultrathin, and the stand offers good support. There’s a wide range of ergonomic adjustments, including tilt and swivel. Plus, you can switch the orientation from portrait to landscape. There’s even an option for VESA mounting to make it a great fit for your workspace.

The Ultrasharp U2415 uses an ordinary four button scheme to control the OSD. The buttons are touch capable, which is nicer to use but take some getting used to. You can find them located on the bottom right-hand edge of the bezel.

You get a wide range of ports including one DisplayPort, one Mini DisplayPort, two HDMI ports and five USB ports.


  • lots of connectivity options
  • wide viewing angles
  • easily adjustable stand


  • mediocre contrast
  • blacks are cloudy

6. Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27-inch

Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q 27-Inch 4K IPS Monitor
  • Exceptional details, ultimate efficiency — a 27” 4K screen with incredibly thin bezels — ideal for multiple monitor setup
  • Hone in on every task with a multi-monitor setup and experience a virtually seamless view thanks to ultrathin bezels
  • Dell HDR combines greater depth of colors, remarkable clarity and a high contrast range of shades to create strikingly realistic images. Colour Support:1.07 billion colours
  • Connect up to six compatible RF devices or Bluetooth 4.0 through Dell Universal Pairing. Dell Display Manager Compatibility. Operating system supported-Windows 10, 8.1. 7. Tackle multiple tasks at once and stay organized thanks to Easy Arrange, a feature that lets you tile and view applications side by side
  • Brightness 350 cd/m².Pixel Pitch:0.1554 mm x 0.1554 mm

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you need a bigger screen size in a Dell monitor, how about the 27-inch Ultrasharp U2718Q? It’s the best choice for a 4K IPS monitor with outstanding ergonomics making it easy to adjust. Color accuracy is decent right out of the box with wide viewing angles.

Like most IPS monitors the contrast ratio is low, resulting in blacks that look gray in a dark room. And it doesn’t support local dimming. But it has a good peak brightness with little variation depending on what you’re working on.

It has a simple design with very slim bezels on all four sides. The stand supports the monitor with little wobble. Like most Dell monitors, this one also has outstanding ergonomics with a -45 to 45-degree swivel range and a -20 to 5-degree tilt range.

The Ultrasharp U2718Q has the same standard four-button layout as most Dell monitors with good tactile feedback and menus that are generally easy to navigate. You’ll find the following settings in the OSD menu: contrast, brightness, aspect ratio, sharpness, color format, color temperature, input source selection, RGB, hue and saturation.

Connectivity options include HDMI 2.0a, DisplayPort 1.2, mini-DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and a quad-USB 3.0 hub.


  • 99.9% color range coverage
  • fully ergonomic support
  • extensive connectivity options


  • not flicker-free
  • susceptible to backlight bleed

7. Philips 276E8VJSB 27-inch

Philips 276E8VJSB 27" Monitor, 4K UHD IPS, 1 Billion+ Colors, Ultranarrow Borders, Lowblue, Multiview, 4Yr Advance Replacement Warranty
  • Philips e-line 27" Led monitor with ultra clear 4K UHD (3840x2160) resolution with 10-bit IPS panel producing 1.074 billion colors for smooth color gradations and detail
  • Elegant, slim design with narrow Border Display for a seamless appearance
  • Multiview enables active Dual connect and view at same time
  • Displayport 1.2, HDMI 2.0 (x2) inputs with HDMI audio-out for convenience

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for an affordable 4K monitor that’s not a BenQ, the Philips 276E8VJSB is yet another 27-inch 4K monitor you can get for a relatively cheap price. But it does make some sacrifices to be at this price.

The monitor is based on an IPS panel with a dithered 10-bit color depth for 109% of the sRGB color gamut. The slightly extended sRGB gamut provides more saturated colors so that the work you produce looks more lifelike. And it has a 350-nit peak brightness providing more than enough luminance to see your work.

The 276E8VJSB has a minimalistic appearance with a crescent-shaped, tilt-only stand and an adjustment range of -5 to 20 degrees. The powder-coated metal gives the monitor a premium feel. But it does lack some important features like VESA mounting compatibility.

The OSD menu is controlled by a joystick you can find beneath the bottom bezel of the screen. While the joystick is a bit stiff, navigating through the settings is more enjoyable than monitors that use buttons. It has a basic menu consisting of Picture/Picture by Picture and four levels of low-blue light emission filter to name a few.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.2 input.


  • vibrant and precise colors
  • wide viewing angles
  • decent static contrast


  • no VESA mount compatibility
  • tilt-only stand
  • IPS glow

8. BenQ PD2700Q 27-inch

The BenQ PD2700Q is a moderately priced 27-inch monitor designed specifically for CAD/CAM users, content creators and photo editors. It offers a nice selection of picture presets and delivers wide viewings angle performance.

You get a 27-inch IPS panel with QHD (2560×1440) resolution, which translates to an ideal 109ppi. The monitor is equipped with a 10-bit sRGB color capable of displaying 100% of the sRGB color gamut. And the flicker-free backlighting helps reduce fatigue during long work hours with a peak brightness of 350 nits.

The PD2700Q uses a basic-black cabinet supported by a rectangular stand and mounting arm that provides tilt, swivel, height and pivot adjustments with the addition of four VESA mounting holes.

There are six buttons on the right of the monitor for accessing the settings menu and the power button. Picture settings include Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Gamma, Dynamic Contrast, Aspect Ratio and Color Temperature. But while you can adjust hue and saturation, you don’t get any advanced options.

But you do get a handful of I/O ports around back that face downward. Here, you’ll find two DisplayPOrt inputs (full size and Mini), an HDMI input, an audio output, and three USB 2.0 ports (one upstream and two downstream).


  • good viewing angle
  • fully adjustable stand
  • lots of picture presets


  • skewed color accuracy
  • limited color settings

9. LG 27UN850-W 27-inch

LG 27UN850-W Ultrafine UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Monitor, VESA DisplayHDR 400, sRGB 99% Color, USB-C with 60W Power Delivery, 3-Side Virtually Borderless Design, Height/Pivot/Tilt Adjustable Stand
  • 27” UltraFine UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Display
  • VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • USB-C with 60W Power Delivery
  • SRGB 99% Color Gamut
  • 3-Side Virtually Borderless Display with Height / Pivot / Tilt Adjustable Stand

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The LG 27UN850-W is a 27-inch 4K monitor with precision image quality thanks to its native resolution and IPS panel. It has a sleek styling and a feature set finely tuned for photo editing. But since it leans more toward gaming, it’s missing aspects for professionals like DCI-P3 color.

The 27-inch UltraFine UHD (3840×2160) IPS display rocks a VESA DisplayHDR 400 and 99% sRGB color gamut coverage. It comes with a peak brightness of 350 nits, and a 16:9 aspect ratio.

LG is known for pleasing aesthetics in its product lines. The 27UN850-W affirms that tradition with a bezel-free cabinet supported by a curved metal bar. It’s telescopic arm providing height, tilt and pivot adjustability (you can turn the monitor from landscape to portrait mode).

Like most LG gaming monitors, the 27UN850-W uses a four-way joystick to access and navigate the settings menus. Use the joystick to change input sources, activate Game mode and power on the monitor. Additional settings include Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature and Black stabilizer.

Connectivity comes by way of rear-placed I/O ports, that include: a pair of HDMI inputs, a DisplayPort input, an upstream USB-C port, two downstream USB 3.0 ports and a USB port.


  • sharp 4K UHD image detail
  • USB-C port w/ 60W PD and DP Alt mode
  • rich connectivity options


  • slightly skewed greens
  • design lacks swivel option

10. Dell U2419H 24-inch

UltraSharp 24-Inch Screen Led-Lit Monitor (DELL-U2419H)
  • More room to work: with a stylishly thin panel profile (only 6.5mm at its thinnest) and a compact base that's approximately 30% smaller than its predecessor, you can free up valuable desk space.
  • Adjust to your comfort: pivot, tilt, swivel and adjust the height of your monitor for a comfortable setup all day long.
  • Clean and clutter-free: focus on your work while hiding away cable clutter with an improved cable management design.
  • Easy on the eyes: This TUV certified monitor has a flicker-free screen with comfort view, a feature that reduces harmful Blue light emissions.
  • Expand your efficiency: The virtually borderless design featuring InfinityEdge lets you enjoy a nearly seamless view of your content across multiple monitors.

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dell P2419H is a solid, compact LCD monitor with a small footprint and good ergonomic features. But it only has a 1080p resolution which is the standard for a low-cost monitor. The bright side is that what’s on offer should suffice, unless you’re doing a lot of photo editing.

The panel has a rated brightness of 250 nits. Typical of an IPS monitor, contrast is rated at 1,000:1. And it has a resolution of 1920x1080p. Color accuracy is middle of the road. Between the modest resolution and low contrast ratio, colors don’t really pop.

It has a slim frame and small footprint, which means it can easily fit into a tight workspace. The ergonomically friendly stand supports a full range of position adjustments for maximum comfort.

Physical controls consist of five tiny control buttons located along the right-hand edge of the bottom bezel. The rightmost button is used to power the monitor on and off, while the others help you navigate the menu system.

Connectivity is facilitated by a plethora of ports, including HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, a VGA port and four USB ports, two of them USB 2.0 and the other two USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 ports are conveniently side facing. While the other ports can be found in back and downward facing.


  • thin frame
  • fully adjustable
  • lots of ports


  • color accuracy is only acceptable
  • limited 1080p resolution

11. HP VH240a 23.8-inch

The HP VH240a has a superb sRGB color coverage and a stand with a full range of adjustability features, all of which sets it apart from most budget monitors.  

Another feature that sets it apart from most budget monitors is its unusually high contrast ratio for an IPS panel of 1000:1. The VH240a uses a 23.8-inch screen with full 1080p resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Not only that, but it has a respectable 92ppi pixel density.

Although it only has a 23.8-inch display, the VH240a is a bit larger and heavier than most 24-inch monitors. This is mostly due to the flexible stand, which while giving you a range of economic privileges that are unparalleled at this price, isn’t that unique for HP. In back are four 100mm holes for a VESA bracket. And you can rotate the monitor into portrait position.

Next to the power button are four buttons that control the OSD menu system. They’re responsive and easy to navigate.

The VH240a includes the usual minimal set of video inputs like the HDMI and VGA ports found on most budget monitors. All the ports in back of the monitor facing downward.


  • excellent sRGB color coverage
  • high contrast ratio for an IPS panel
  • stand offers a full set of ergonomic features


  • limited port selection

12. Asus PB278Q 27-inch

ASUS 27" 1440P Eye Care Monitor (PB278Q) - QHD (2560 x 1440), IPS, DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI
  • Impeccable lifelike visuals with 27” 16:9 2560 x 1440 with 100% sRGB and 178° wide-viewing angle
  • ASUS Eye care technology with Flicker free for less Eye fatigue; Ergonomically-designed stand with Tilt,Swivel,Pivot,Height adjustment plus wall-mount capability for comfortable viewing position
  • Extensive connectivity with native WQHD content support with HDMI, DisplayPort, and Dual-link DVI
  • ASUS-exclusive QuickFit Virtual Scale and Splendid Video Intelligence Technology for true ‘what you see is what you get’
  • Audio features stereo speakers : 3W x 2 Stereo RMS

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

The Asus PB278Q almost perfectly hits the sweet spot between features and value. It’s one of the first non-Samsung monitors to house a PLS (pane-to-switching) panel.

But its most unusual feature is QuickFit Virtual Scale. This feature allows you to preview your work on-screen in its actual size before printing. It serves as a highly useful guide to accurately view images in their native size for consistently organized content on a page for a project like designing graphics for the Web.

Due to its white LED backlighting, the monitor is fairly thin with a deep chassis. But the 11-inch foot stand is the most eye-catching visual trait. The swivel mechanism is located on the bottom of the foot stand. But due to this awkward implementation, the entire chassis swivels when rotated.

Navigating the OSD is a bit clunky: the Menu and Preset shortcut buttons also act as the Enter and Exit buttons. But the OSD features Standard, sRGB, Scenery Mode and Theater Mode presets. Plus, one additional customizable User Mode.

Connections include DVI, DisplayPort, VGA and HDMI. These connections face downward and would be difficult to access were it not for the useful pivot feature.


  • sharp, extreme definition screen
  • useful ergonomic options
  • LED backlighting provides uniform brightness


  • lacks USB inputs
  • poorly implemented swivel mechanism

13. BenQ SW240 24-inch

BenQ SW240 PhotoVue 24 inch Color Accuracy IPS Monitor for Photography
  • 24.1 inch 1920x1200 WUXGA 16:10 IPS Monitor for Photo and Video Editing
  • AQCOLOR TECHNOLOGY: 99% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3; Factory-calibrated; Delta E ≤ 2
  • HARDWARE CALIBRATION WITH PALETTER MASTER ELEMENT SOFTWARE: Tune and maintain optimal color performance
  • CONNECTIVITY: HDMI, DisplayPort, USB Type B (upstream), USB 3.0 (downstream), DVI-DL, SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC card reader

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What makes the BenQ SW240 so great is that its squarely aimed at graphic designers and professional photographers.

You get a 1920×1200 resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio that offers extra vertical screen space in comparison to the standard Full HD monitors. It’s based on the AHVA IPS panel with a 10-bit color support and 250 nits of peak brightness. And the display is factory-calibrated for both 100% of the sRGB and 99% of the Adobe RGB color gamuts.

The slim modern design consists of thin bezels making the SW240 ideal for a multi-monitor workstation. There’s also a wide range of ergonomics, as well as a 100x100mm VESA mounting capability.

The Color Mode hotkey allows you to easily toggle between the sRGB, Adobe RGB and Black & White color presets. The three other hotkeys can be used as shortcuts for Input, Brightness and Contrast adjustments. You can also assign the hotkeys different shortcuts in the OSD menu.

Connectivity options include DVI, HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2 as well as an SD card reader, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub.


  • professional color-editing monitor
  • plenty of useful features
  • wide color gamut


  • IPS glow
  • mediocre color contrast
ViewSonic VP2768 PRO 27" 1440p Monitor with 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT and Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design
ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 ΔE < 2, IPS, DisplayPort HDMI DVI-D Mini DP, Calman Verified, Eye Care, Anti-glare, Tilt Pivot Swivel Height Adjustable
ViewSonic VP2768 PRO 27" 1440p Monitor with 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT and Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design
ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 ΔE < 2, IPS, DisplayPort HDMI DVI-D Mini DP, Calman Verified, Eye Care, Anti-glare, Tilt Pivot Swivel Height Adjustable
ViewSonic VP2768 PRO 27" 1440p Monitor with 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT and Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design
ViewSonic VP2768 PRO 27" 1440p Monitor with 100% sRGB Rec 709 14-bit 3D LUT and Color Calibration for Photography and Graphic Design
ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 ΔE < 2, IPS, DisplayPort HDMI DVI-D Mini DP, Calman Verified, Eye Care, Anti-glare, Tilt Pivot Swivel Height Adjustable
ASUS ProArt Display PA278QV 27” WQHD (2560 x 1440) Monitor, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 ΔE < 2, IPS, DisplayPort HDMI DVI-D Mini DP, Calman Verified, Eye Care, Anti-glare, Tilt Pivot Swivel Height Adjustable

Last update on 2022-06-27 at 07:36 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Monitor under 500 Dollars for Photo Editing Buying Guide

A photo editing monitor is one specifically designed to represent digital images as accurately as possible according to the sRGB and Adobe RGB standards. In fact, working with photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop requires a quality monitor that can represent colors faithfully.

Even if you’re publishing material on the Web, a high-quality monitor allows you to calibrate content correctly. The best monitor under 500 dollars for photo editing will hit many of the points below.

Display Size

This is subjective, but to our mind the best monitor screen size for photo editing is within 27-inches. You can of course go larger or smaller. However, the larger the screen size, the more desk space you need and the higher the resolution will need to be to get a clear, sharp image. Going smaller usually means you get a higher quality display with greater color accuracy for less money, which is why the Acer SB220Q is our top choice.  

Panel Type

TN, VA and IPS. These terms describe the basic panel technology for a monitor. Panel technology impacts many aspects of image quality, including color gamut, contrast and black levels.

TN (Twisted Nematic)

This is the oldest type of LCD panel technology. Although inexpensive, it struggles with color accuracy, color gamut, contrast, viewing angles and maximum brightness.

These have the most basic construction, which is why they’re often cheaper than other panel types. While they’re good enough for most use cases, this is not the panel type you want your monitor to have for professional photo editing.

Color reproduction isn’t as good, and viewing angles are more limited than VA and IPS panel monitors.

VA (Vertical Alignment)

This panel type has surged in popularity over the past few years. Roughly equal to IPS in color gamut and accuracy, it’s far superior when it comes to contrast ratio.

Monitors using this panel technology offer darker, more convincing black levels, eliminating IPS Glow. But VA panels suffer from limited viewing angles, which is problematic unless you’re able to view the monitor straight on.

But monitors with these panels have the best contrast and image depth of any panel, particularly for blacks and grays. Color reproduction lies somewhere between TN and IPS panels. SVA panels are an updated version of the VA panel, with much of the same characteristics.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

This is now the most common option for PC monitors and laptop displays for good reason. Monitors with IPS panels have a solid color gamut and good color accuracy. And some are very bright.

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

Still, they remain the best monitors on the market for photo editing. IPS monitors offer the highest quality color reproduction, along with the best viewing angles of any panel type and more even lighting.

IPS panels also give you the most accurate preview of what your project will look like when you print it out.


The reason why you want to go for a monitor that offers a high resolution for photo editing is because you’ll get more usable screen real estate.

In other words, the best 4K (3840×2160) monitor can display more of what you’re working on than a Full HD (1920×1080) monitor.

This is because a higher resolution can handle smaller details. Ideally, the larger the screen size of the monitor you choose, the higher the resolution needs to be.

Pixel Density

This is kind of like resolution but it’s not. In fact, it’s related to both resolution and screen size. Pixel density is represented as ppi (pixels per inch) on a spec sheet. This is a reference to how tightly spaced the pixels on a monitor are to one another. The lower the number (>200), the crisper, sharper and clearer the image.

Color Space

Also referred to as Color Gamut, this is a reference to 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 research.

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 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.


The best monitor for photoshop under 500 dollars will need to be relatively bright so that you can see all the details in the dark areas of the project you’re working on. Most monitors in this price range fall between 250 and 350 nits of brightness.

Screen Contrast

Contrast ratio is the range between the darkest black and brightest white, but we’re mostly focused on black levels here. A monitor with a higher contrast ratio result in images that look more realistic with a greater illusion of depth.

Since all the pixels on a monitor is illuminated to represent the image you’re working on, blacks are often shown as a shade of gray. Again, this isn’t a bad thing for photo editing. It allows you to see the gradations of detail within your work. But you still want to opt for a monitor with the most true-to-life black levels to produce your best work.

Viewing Angle

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

Ability to Rotate

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

You’ll find plenty of monitors that offer this level of flexibility within this price range. And just in case the monitor you choose is limited in this functionality, most come with VESA mounts for a monitor arm which will give you more room to make micro adjustments.


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.


Do I need a 4K monitor for photo editing?

Since computer monitors are smaller than television screens, a 27-inch monitor with a 1080p resolution is more than plenty for photo editing. But overall, a 4K monitor has far superior sharpness.

A sharp, clear image makes day-to-day use more enjoyable. A 4K monitor can display details, like small fonts or tiny interface buttons, without losing clarity. The result is a more versatile display.

4K isn’t necessary, but it’s a great luxury and a viable option for photo editing. The color calibration pro tool these monitors offer boosts color accuracy. 4K even becomes essential if you’re looking for high-end photo editing capabilities at an affordable price.

Do I need HDR for photo editing?

High Dynamic Range is designed to improve contrast. It creates a more dynamic, brilliant and realistic image by making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker.

But do you really need it?

Even the best monitors today can achieve a peak brightness level just below budget HDR televisions. Also, graphics hardware that’s more than a few years old may not support the standard. And even the best HDR monitors sometimes lack consistent software support.

Is a gaming monitor good for photo editing?

A gaming monitor that offers a versatile range of useful features like several picture modes like the Philips 276E8VJSB can be useful for photo editing.

Is a DisplayPort better than an HDMI connection?

While DisplayPorts look similar to HDMI, a DisplayPort supports high-definition video and in many cases audio but with slightly different standards. For instance, DisplayPort 1.3 supports up to 8K, while DisplayPort 1.4 supports up to 8K and HDR.

How can I calibrate my monitor?

You can calibrate your monitor for the purpose of photo editing with the monitor itself. Or by using an independent hardware-based calibration tool.

Calibration using the monitor’s own tools requires going to the menu to set the white balance or direct RGB calibration. The advantage of hardware calibration is that it produces more accurate results and doesn’t require monitor specific menus or settings.

Wrap Up

When looking for the best monitor under 500 dollars for photo editing, it pays to do your research. A good monitor is vital for photo editing to help you work with precision and accuracy. Our top choice is the Acer SB220Q. It has a sharp 102-pixel density and the smallest footprint of any monitor on the list, making it ideal for a dual monitor setup. Our second choice is the ViewSonic VP2768. It’s a bigger 27-inch monitor, which we feel is ideal for photo editing. It has a bright 350 nit display with a 2560×1440 resolution. And it’s hardware calibration ready. Our final choice is the Asus PA278QV offering professional-grade color accuracy right out of the box.