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The Best Monitors To Upgrade Your Workstation, Ranked From Least to Most Expensive

It’s challenging to be efficient and productive at home when navigating numerous programs, tabs and documents on a single screen. But a quality computer monitor is an easy way to upgrade your office setup. You can even double up and get two for a proper dual-monitor situation.

But with hundreds of potential monitors to choose from, how do you pick the best monitor for your workstation? SPY’s tech team has gathered the best computer monitors for every purpose, from premium curved gaming monitors to low-cost cheap monitors. To make your search easier, we’ve ranked these devices from least to most expensive, with options starting at just $120.

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How We Chose the Best Monitors

We used several different factors to determine the best monitors in 2022. Size, how you plan to use the monitor and price all are important criteria we used to curate our list. Here are a few other things you should consider when narrowing down your choices for a monitor:

  • 1080p resolution: While we love the sharpness of 1440p and 4K monitors, they still cost considerably more. Still, if you can afford it, we’d recommend splurging on the extra pixels.
  • A 27-Inch screen: You can go bigger or smaller depending on preference, but 27 inches is a nice balance between having plenty of screen space and not having your monitor dominate your desk.
  • IPS Panel: For general usage, an IPS panel is superior to VA and TN panels as colors pop more and blacks are deeper. This may come at the expense of viewing angles and/or input lag, but for most people, that won’t matter.
  • High refresh rates and low input lag: Monitors with these characteristics are better suited for those who like to game when they aren’t working. High refresh rates reduce jittery or jumpy screens when visuals move quickly across the screen.

Below, you’ll find a few portable options that are not 27 inches. These portable displays are great for creating a workstation anywhere you need them. You should strongly consider a portable display if you travel a lot for work or miss your extra screens while working from your home office.

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If you are a creative, a gamer or want something a little more premium in your home office, we have options for you too.

Stop trying to fit 10 different windows onto your tiny laptop screen. You can be as productive at home as at work when you add one of the best monitors to your home office. We’ve rounded up the best options, ranked by cheapest to most expensive.

  

Best Monitors Under $300

1. Sceptre Ultra Thin 1080p Monitor

With two HDMI ports and VGA connectivity, you can connect multiple devices to the Sceptre without switching the HDMI cable from one laptop to another. The thin 24-inch monitor even sports a pair of speakers when you can’t find your wireless headphones right before your Zoom meeting. But the best part — this 1080p monitor with plenty of connectivity is not only ultra-thin but also ultra-affordable.

This budget monitor is ideal for professionals who need more screen space but not necessarily top-notch visuals. With more than 19,000 reviews and an overall 4.6-star rating from Amazon customers, this is a great second monitor for when you need to boost productivity.

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2. HP Pavilion 22CWA 21.5-Inch 1080p Monitor

The HP Pavilion 22CWA provides a reliable and affordable option for people who want a quality monitor. The VGA and HDMI port setup is limited, but most people don’t need anything more than that. And if you have limited space in your home office, the 21.5-inch screen is just big enough. It even has over 10,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. Not bad for a monitor that only costs a bit over a Benjamin.

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3. HP 24mh FHD Monitor

SOLID BUDGET OPTION

We get it, it can be difficult dropping over $200 on a monitor. With the HP 24mh, you don’t have to, yet you still great an excellent computer monitor with great color and high contrast for a vibrant image. It even has built-in speakers, a display port, HDMI, and VGA connectors if needed. And it can pivot, tilt as well as have the height adjusted. This is an overall solid monitor at a reasonable price point.

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4. BenQ – GW2780 – 27″ IPS Monitor

Though they’re not as well known as Dell or Samsung, BenQ has proven itself over the nearly 40 years it’s been in business. This simple and sleek 27″ monitor has smart features like built-in cable and eye-care management to reduce strain. Though it’s not primarily a gaming monitor, the 60Hz refresh rate and 5ms response time are great for casual gaming.

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5. Viewsonic VX2485-MHU 24-Inch 1080p Monitor

Even a 27-inch monitor is more screen than some people need, and in that case, the Viewsonic VX2485-MHU is the best monitor on the smaller side. This affordable, 24-inch 1080p monitor offers solid performance and can charge your laptop through its USB-C port. That means you’ll have one less wire mucking up your workspace, and while that may sound minor, it’s more convenient than you think.

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6. Lenovo ThinkVision M14 Portable Monitor

For some of us, anywhere we can sit down can turn into our workspace. For those on the go, the Lenovo ThinkVision M14 provides an extra monitor that can be extraordinarily helpful and more productive. Its 14-inch panel is compact, lightweight and can tilt plenty so you can get comfortable. It even comes with a protective sleeve to keep it from getting banged up while you’re on the move. We wish it had more than USB connectivity, but this monitor could be a road warrior’s best friend.

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7. Acer Nitro XV272 LVbmiiprx 27-inch

If you like to get your game on when you punch out for the day, why not get a computer monitor that can do both? The Acer Nitro boasts a 1080p display with a fast 165Hz refresh rate that keeps the lag low and the visuals jitter-free. The only real knock on the display is the big circular base that projects forward a bit and takes up a little more desk real estate than we’d like. But all things considered, if that’s the biggest qualm, this is a pretty darn good monitor.

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8. BenQ EX3203R 31.5-Inch Curved Gaming Monitor

This is a great monitor for those who prefer a little more screen space and a curved screen. It has a similar resolution and peak refresh rate as the Razer Raptor, but it provides more display real estate for sharp and radiant visual content. It’s not nearly as heavy as the Razer, but it has a heftier price tag. Whether you plan on using it as a gaming monitor or for work, it’s a solid investment.

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9. Asus Zenscreen Go 15.6-Inch Portable Monitor

When looking for the best monitors for your home office, you may be thinking of the standing monitors you use at the office. However, portable monitors are having a moment. This lightweight one from Asus is a great way to turn any area in your home or apartment into a readymade office. The 15.6-inch anti-glare display connects quickly to your laptop via micro-HDMI or USB Type-C connection, making it compatible with Macs and PCs. The Smart Cover can even hold the monitor in landscape and portrait orientation to fulfill your secondary monitor needs.

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10. Alienware 240Hz Gaming Monitor

We’ve primarily focused on monitors for your home office, but getting a gaming-specific monitor is essential if you’re a gamer. Alienware’s entire focus is on gaming monitors, and this option has a comfortable 27-inch size. It has a 240Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. Advanced IPS technology allows this monitor to be viewed from any angle and offers vibrant colors. Plus, the lighting on the back of the monitor looks like an alien ship.

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Best Computer Monitors Under $500

11. Samsung 32-Inch Smart Monitor M7

The Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is not only a 32-inch monitor but also a full-fledged 4K TV, complete with Samsung’s Tizen-based Smart TV interface. While you could probably connect a TV streamer like a Roku to your monitor, you likely won’t have the convenience of built-in speakers, and this is almost certain to be cheaper than most 4K monitors out there.

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12. Dell P2418HT 23.8-Inch Touchscreen Monitor

Touchscreens are more common in tablets and two-in-one laptops, but this is the best monitor for those who prefer a hands-on approach to work. Dell makes some of the best laptops for professionals, so it’s no surprise that the computer giant also makes some of the best second monitors. Its stand allows it to be folded in unique positions, giving you an array of orientation options. It’s also affordable, albeit a little older, but it’s a reliable 1080p touch screen that provides excellent utility.

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13. Philips Brilliance 279P1 27-Inch Frameless Monitor

The Philips Brilliance 279P1 is a great secondary monitor to help you be more productive. Starting with the 27-inch panel, it provides plenty of real estate, and the Philips has excellent coloration and a UHD display for sharp and, well, brilliant picture quality (so it’s not just a clever name). Beyond the incredible display, it has its own port hub boasting four USB 3.2 ports and two HDMI ports. And for good measure, there are also built-in speakers. You get a lot for the money with this computer monitor.

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14. Dell 32″ LED Curved QHD FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Dell makes some impressive gaming monitors, and this option is understated enough to take you from work to play without skipping a beat. The 32″ monitor has a curved screen for a more immersive viewing experience. AMD FreeSync technology ensures the best possible frame rate for your graphics card.

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The Best Computer Monitors Over $500

15. Dell Ultrasharp U2720QM 27-Inch 4K Monitor

Those looking to splurge on a monitor that offers 4K resolution while still providing wide color coverage should look no further than the Dell Ultrasharp U2720Q, which comes out of the box providing 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space and 99% coverage of the SRGB color space. This is important for those in creative fields who rely on a certain degree of color accuracy or want to ensure they’re looking at a quality display. Furthermore, this is an incredibly ergonomic display, with the ability to tilt, rotate and pivot to your heart’s content. You can even change the orientation from landscape to portrait. And while vertical screens may be pointless fluff for consuming most internet content, it is excellent for programmers who need extra vertical real estate.

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16. Samsung Odyssey G7 Series 32-Inch Monitor

Great for work and equally great for gaming, the Samsung Odyssey G7 is an excellent option for your secondary monitor. There’s no need to calibrate the color — it looks great and displays accurate color right out the box. For gamers and those who prefer seamless scrolling, the  240Hz refresh rate creates low input lag and smooth sailing when scrolling. Not to mention the 2560-by-1440 display looks fantastic. And it has a sizable 32-inch screen.

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17. ViewSonic ELITE

This may look like your run-of-the-mill computer monitor, but it’s much more. With the speedy refresh rate and low input lag combined with the 1440p display, this monitor is great for everything from editing photos and video to gaming. Beyond the visuals, it sports plenty of connectivity with three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI and a display port. It’s a bit pricey but plenty worth the loot.

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18. Razer Raptor 27-Inch Gaming Monitor

Great color and refresh rate are exactly what a gamer wants from a monitor. The Razer Raptor 27 delivers on both fronts. This 27-inch monitor sports 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and a peak 144Hz refresh rate, which is extremely impressive and makes for ultra-smooth gameplay. It’s a beastly monitor, though, weighing around 25 pounds, so make sure you have a sturdy desk for all that visual goodness.

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19. Samsung CJ791 34-Inch Ultrawide Curved Monitor

Many companies are moving away from the dual-screen monitor setup and providing one ultrawide monitor instead. And why not — monitors like the Samsung Ultrawide provide 34 inches of QHD real estate, so there is no need to deal with dual-monitor stands. Its high refresh rate of 100Hz is gaming worthy, too. If you’re looking for a streamlined solution to get your home office work-from-home ready, it’s hard to beat this ultrawide curved monitor.

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Why Trust SPY When Buying a Monitor

We understand that a secondary monitor is not only an integral piece of your office workspace, but it’s also a significant buying decision. We’ve done a lot of homework in the computer monitor space, whether it’s finding the best 4K gaming monitors or the best dual-monitor stands. We take our tech seriously, and we want you to feel confident that we wouldn’t recommend a monitor, or any other piece of tech, that we wouldn’t spend money on ourselves.

  

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