Technological advances are increasing by the day in all fields, and monitors are no exception. This is why they’re becoming all the more costly, which might not sit well with those looking for a budget buy.
Admittedly, finding a good monitor around $150 is no walk in the park, but we’ve flipped the internet upside down and inside out to create this ultimate list.
So, without any further ado, let’s delve right into the six best monitors under $150!
This 24-inch screen size comes with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, which means you’ll be getting an impressive pixel density count of 91 pixels per inch(PPI). It comes with a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 250-nit peak luminance, 8-bit color depth, and 160°/170° viewing angles. I guess the latter gave it away, right? It is, in fact, a TN panel, but its visuals are quite impressive.
Additionally, this monitor comes with a 1 ms response time and a refresh rate of 75 Hz. Its performance is so good it can actually be used for console gaming! However, it’s worth mentioning that it doesn’t support FreeSync, so you can’t expect incredible performance out of it.
The BenQ ZOWIE RL2455S comes with an OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, where you’ll find an impressive feature called “AMA” or Advanced Motion Acceleration. This serves as an overdrive setting for pixel transition (response time) and gives you high or premium options or to shut it off completely.
What’s more, the ZOWIE RL2455S comes with a flicker-free backlight and a low blue light filter like in these best low blue light monitors, which means that you can use it for hours without your eyes faltering.
Not satisfied with the colors? You can use the Black eQualizer, which works on enhancing the visibility of the elements on your screen while Color Vibrance gives them more saturation. Also, from the display mode, you can adjust the aspect ratio without any distortion.
As for the connectivity, the RL2455S comes with two HDMI 2.0 ports, Dual-Link DVI-D, a headphones jack, two built-in speakers, and a VGA port. It’s also VESA-mountable (100 x 100mm). However, it’s not very ergonomic as you only get tilt movements.
Doesn’t strain the eye
Incredibly low input lag
Plenty of connectivity options
Not very ergonomic
Doesn’t support AMD FreeSync
The BenQ ZOWIE RL2455S is one of the best budget monitors you can find on the market thanks to its super low input lag, powerful performance, and the fact that it doesn’t miss out on any connectivity options, though it’s not the most ergonomic option out there.
The Acer VG240YP sports a frameless design that gives you an immersive experience. Of course, it only enhances the visual experience as this 23.8-inch screen size IPS panel features a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 250-nit brightness, 8-bit color depth, and 178° viewing angles. Not to mention the FHD resolution that makes everything look vivid and clear, especially with a 92.56 PPI.
You can enjoy the 16:9 aspect ratio with the 75 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time which are found on these portrait computer monitor. And the best part? The VG240YP supports HDR (High Dynamic Range). However, it’s only software-emulated, so bear that in mind.
To get the 1 ms response time, though, you have to enable Visual Response Boost (VRB) in the monitor’s OSD menu. This helps with reducing trailing and ghosting that happens with fast-moving objects. It is, indeed, faster than VA panels, but not as fast as TN panels.
The VG240YP comes with some pre-calibrated picture presets, including Movie, ECO, Racing, Action, and Sport, that will help you quickly adjust the monitor’s settings to suit whatever content you’re viewing.
Moreover, it comes with custom crosshairs for gamers called Aim Point and the ability to increase visibility during dark scenes in games or movies with Black Boost.
Though it’s a pretty solid monitor, it’s not the most ergonomic as it comes with tilt adjustments only from -5° to 20°. The good news is that it’s VESA mountable and comes with decent connectivity options, including two HDMI 2.0 ports and a DisplayPort 1.2
Low response time and high refresh rate
The Acer VG240YP is a very viable choice for mixed-use. Fast-paced gaming? Content creation? Multimedia? Endless spreadsheets? You can enjoy it all on this visually-pleasing and versatile monitor.
This 24-inch TN panel boasts a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080), which means a clear 91.79 PPI. What’s more, it has a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a brightness of 300 cd/m², as well as 170º horizontal and 160º vertical viewing angles.
The 60 Hz refresh rate and 2 ms response time are a little lower than what you’d expect from a TN panel, but still, its visuals are far superior to most monitors. Plus, the combination is good enough to eliminate any ghosting or lagging.
As for the connectivity options, you’ll be getting HDMI, VGA, and DVI-D ports as well as a 3.5 mm audio in and out connectors. You can even connect it to a gaming console, digital cameras, or Blu-Ray players thanks to the top-notch video and audio clarity the HDMI port has to offer.
What’s more, the ViewSonic VX2452MH comes with dual integrated speakers that will provide you with a fully immersive experience, and with a SPDIF audio-out, you can connect an external speaker to make the sound fill up an entire room just like these music production monitors.
With a simple press of a button, you can enjoy ViewSonic’s Game Mode that throws the spotlight on darker spots on the screen, in return, enhancing the image quality with the help of these best color settings for monitor.
As for ergonomics, this monitor only comes with 0º to 20º tilt, so it’s not the most extensive.
Great visuals for a TN panel
Incredible sound output
Subpar viewing angles
The ViewSonic VX2452MH is a pretty curious choice for multiple reasons. Despite boasting a TN panel, it comes with excellent visual capabilities. If you’re looking for a bang for your buck, this is definitely it.
The LG 24MP59G-P is a 24-inch monitor with a Full HD resolution, which means that you get a satisfactory PPI to display sharp details and text. Being an IPS panel, it comes with 178° viewing angles that maintain the same color, brightness, and contrast ratio no matter the viewpoint.
Also, You can count on getting vibrant and vivid images with the 8-bit color depth, not to mention that this monitor covers 99% of the sRGB color gamut, which is quite superior to most options on the list.
In terms of performance, it’s quite decent with a FreeSync range of 40 to 75 Hz and 1 ms response time with MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technology, so it minimizes trailing and stuttering. It also comes with a Black Stabilizer feature that enhances visibility during darker scenes.
As for connectivity, the LG 24MP59G-P comes with an HDMI 1.4 port, DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, and a headphones jack. However, it’s not VESA mountable. It’s worth mentioning that FreeSync works over both DP and HDMI with a 40 – 75 Hz VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) range.
Supports FreeSync up to 75 Hz
A lot of extra features like MBR
Vivid and precise colors
Wide color gamut
Not VESA mountable
If you’re looking for an IPS panel that can handle whatever activity you engage in, the LG 24MP59G-P is one of the best choices you can opt for. Additionally, its 99% sRGB color gamut and 75 Hz of refresh rate are quite impressive.
Being the only VA panel option on the list, this is the monitor you should opt for if you want to experience a little of everything. But most of all, it’s the one you should opt for if you’re looking for a curved monitor under 150 with decent screen size and gaming experience.
The AOC C24G1 comes with a 1500R curved display with an incredible 3000:1 contrast ratio that makes the images on your screen look a lot more lifelike and vivid. Like IPS panels, its viewing angles measure 178°, though they aren’t as consistent when it comes to retaining the contrast and colors from different angles.
Moreover, the AOC C24G1 boasts a 1 ms response time with a refresh rate of 144 Hz, which is even higher than some of the TN panels we have on the list! Not only that but by choosing an MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) number from 1 to 20 in the OSD menu and disabling FreeSync, you can really enhance the MPRT. However, if you don’t use that, you’ll be left with the monitor’s basic GtG response time, which is 4 ms of response time.
Admittedly, the AOC C24G1 comes with a relatively slow pixel transition time, especially dark pixels, which can cause smearing and reduce the overall image quality. But that wouldn’t be a huge problem unless you use your monitor under 150 for hardcore gaming, in which case, you should opt for a more capable option by all means.
The AOC C24G1 comes with some picture adjustment tools like sRGB color temperature presets and three gamma modes that help you get the perfect settings for the content you’re viewing.
It’s worth mentioning that when FreeSync is enabled, the flickering brightness issue could really be bothersome. It happens when your FPS (frames per second) is volatile or when it falls below 48 FPS, which triggers LFC, in return, deteriorating the image.
As for connectivity, the C24G1 misses out on nothing. It comes with two HDMI 1.4 ports, one VGA port, one DisplayPort 1.2 port, and a headphone jack. Both HDMI and DP support FreeSync and 144 Hz, which is an incredible combination!
It’s also a sufficiently ergonomic choice since it comes with 130 mm height adjustments, swivel adjustments up to -/+ 35°, -5° to 20° tilt, and is VESA mountable (100 x 100 mm).
Plenty of gaming features that enhance display and image
Super high contrast ratio
Ergonomic and sleek design
FreeSync support for both HDMI and DP
Dark pixels can cause smearing
Hesitant between the image quality of IPS panels and the performance of TN ones? Opt for the VA AOC C24G1 to get the best of both worlds. Not to mention, its curved design, connectivity options, and ergonomics give it a lot more value.
Combining 144 Hz of refresh rate and a response time of 1 ms on a 24-inch screen size Full HD display, the Acer KG241QP gives you both visuals and performance. However, being a TN panel means you’ll get slightly better performance than visuals.
This explains the distortion that happens to the brightness, contrast, and colors if you look at the size of screen from different viewpoints since this monitor under 150 comes with viewing angles of 170° horizontally and 160° vertically.
The Acer KG241QP works with compatible NVIDIA cards and supports AMD FreeSync up to 144 Hz with a VRR range between 48 to 144 Hz. This is super convenient for gaming, especially when you consider the VRB (Visual Response Boost) technology, custom crosshairs, Black Boost, and the pre-calibrated presets.
These are all famous Acer technologies that we’ve already discussed when reviewing the Nitro monitor under 150, but this want to beat the Nitro when it comes to performance thanks to its incredible specs.
However, its bezels are a little bulky, and the stand’s ergonomics are limited to tilting only. Luckily, you can make use of the 100 x 100 mm VESA pattern to mount the screen on a third-party stand and solve this problem.
As for connectivity, it offers the standard two HDMI 2.0 ports and DisplayPort 1.2 connections, and both methods support FreeSync and 144 Hz at Full HD resolution.
Quick response time and speed
Equipped with plenty of features like MBR
Supports FreeSync up to 144 Hz
Can be mounted on third-party stands
Substandard viewing angles
Image quality isn’t the best
If you really liked the technology integrated into the Acer Nitro but wanted a monitor with better performance, the Acer KG241QP is what you’re looking for. It has pretty much everything you can ask for in a budget monitor and a little more. The only drawback is that it’s not the most ergonomic.
Buying any piece of tech on a budget means that you have to prioritize, and what features to prioritize depends on what you’re looking to get out of the product you intend to buy. In this section, I’ll walk you through the things you should consider, how they affect each other, and, most importantly, how they affect the price range of your next monitor.
Screen Size and Display Resolution
When it comes to gaming monitors, bigger isn’t always better. The number you want to look out for is the pixel density, which is the ratio between the monitor’s resolution and size.
A pixel density that’s too low pixelates the image, and one that’s too high forces you to scale them up in order to read texts.
Since you’re going for a budget monitor, and most of the choices on the list are of 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, I’d highly recommend sticking to 24 inches screen size. You can opt for a 21-inch one, but nothing lower.
There are a couple of things that determine the image quality of your monitor in this price range beyond just the screen size and resolution, and these are:
Color Accuracy: How precise your monitor is in producing colors depends on the percentage of the sRGB standard color gamut (or high-end Adobe RGB gamut, in some cases). The higher this percentage is, the more realistic and accurate the colors will appear, so try to opt for a minimum of 95% coverage.
Contrast: Written as a ratio of X:1, the contrast ratio is the difference between the blackest black and the brightest white that can be displayed on the monitor. The “X” should be as high as can be to offer better contrast. In this area, VA panels shine, followed by IPS.
Black Level: Measured in cd/m², the black level indicates how inky the black would look on the screen size. In this case, you’re looking for lower numbers, and anything below 1.0 cd/m² would be good.
Modern gaming monitors house a number of inputs and outputs, some of which you have to make sure are there, like HDMI 1.4/2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and a 5 mm audio out.
The monitors HDMI 1.4/2.2 port works on transferring audiovisuals of mid-range resolution. That’s why the DisplayPort 1.4 is essential, in case you wanted support for high refresh rates and higher resolutions.
Also, the 5 mm audio out for if you want to connect your headphones to the monitor instead of the CPU itself.
Measured in milliseconds (ms), the response time refers to the duration of time a pixel takes to switch from black to white, or between two shades of grey. The lower this number is, the smoother the movements will appear on your screen, while higher numbers would probably result in a lot of ghosting and blurring when the camera moves quickly.
You’ll find the numbers varying between 1 ms fast response time and 4 ms response time, but on a budget, you might have to run with a 4 ms response timeoption.
Measured in Hertz (Hz), the refresh rate is another factor that focuses on minimizing choppy images and motion blur in monitors. The higher the number, the more frames the gaming monitor would be able to display per second, consequently resulting in no trailing or ghosting.
Opt for 75 Hz response times as a minimum for your gaming monitor under 150. And if you want to opt for higher ones like 144 Hz (I highly doubt you’ll find a 240 Hz option below $150), you should double-check that your graphics processing unit (GPU) can keep up with it.
Gaming Monitors come in three variants: IPS (in-plane switching), TN (twisted nematic), and VA (vertical alignment). You should be aware of what each focuses on to make a well-informed purchasing decision of a gaming monitor under 150.
IPS panels are known for their visual superiority, viewing angles, and vivid colors. However, they’re not as fast and effective in terms of performance like TN panels. The latter have higher refresh rate and fast response times.
Finally, VA panels work as a middle ground between the previous two types, where they give you great contrast and image depth with decent performance. Admittedly, it doesn’t live up to the visually-pleasing gasming experience of an IPS or the quick performance of a TN, but it’s a quality choice for monitors if you want a little bit of both.
Adaptive sync technology affects how smooth the synchronization between your monitor’s refresh rate and your GPU’s is. The more affordable variant of this gaming monitor technology is AMD FreeSync, while the higher-end one is NVIDIA G-Sync. The latter monitors are usually a lot pricier to incorporate into a monitor during manufacturing, and that’s why you wouldn’t usually find it on budget options.
This part is super important because it’s usually overlooked, but how ergonomic your gaming monitor is would really affect your experience later on. Make sure you opt for a robust stand that’s fully adjustable. By that, I mean that you can pivot, swivel, and rotate the gaming monitor as well as make height adjustments in monitors.
While this may not be the most crucial aspect to consider in monitors, if your quality gaming monitor comes with satisfactory built-in speakers, it would spare you the need to always use earphones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Curved Monitors More Comfortable Than Their Flat Counterparts?
Definitely, curved gaming monitors reflect the natural curvature of the eye, which leaves no room for strain. They also give you a better view of all parts of the screen simultaneously.
Which is More Important: DisplayPort or HDMI?
I’d say both are equally important. Each of them is good for a certain purpose, and you’ll end up needing both anyway, especially if you’re going for HDR content.
Does the Gaming Monitor Make a Difference?
Yes. The gaming monitor you choose can affect your entire experience. Monitors are especially important if you’re a gamer or a graphic designer. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a visually-pleasing monitors gaming experience if you aren’t either!
Now that we’re done with our review of the best monitors under $150, I hope you’ve finally made your decision. If you’re still torn between the choices, let me give you a little recap of these gaming monitor.
If you’re looking for the best budget monitors choice in general, the BenQ ZOWIE RL2455S is the one you should opt for. It secures an excellent combination of performance, specs, and decent visuals, even though it’s a TN panel. Also, it comes with nice additions and a decent connectivity range.
If you’re looking for an excellent value for your money gaming monitor, you should check out the Acer Nitro VG240Y. Like all Acer monitors, this one incorporates plenty of technologies to enhance the performance of the device and give the user a better experience.
The AOC C24G1 would make an incredible gaming monitor choice for those who are looking for an immersive experience. It offers excellent performance and visuals, which is pretty easy for it with its VN panel. Not to mention, this gaming monitor comes with a curved design that fully immerses you into your work, game, or movie.