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Best Monitor Under $200 in 2014

Updated on December 25, 2013
aa lite profile image

aa lite is a self-confessed geek and gamer fanatic who has put together her own gaming rigs for the past 15 years.

Monitor on a budget
Monitor on a budget | Source

Choose the Best Monitor on a Budget for Your Needs

If you are thinking of buying a new monitor then this is a great time to do it. Prices on LCDs have been in serious downfall over the past couple of years, and now you can pick a very good screen for under $200. Even if you are on a budget, you don't need to compromise on quality.

New technologies are also becoming available. LED is increasingly replacing the old cold cathode fluorescence (CCFL) backlighting, so thinner, more energy efficient screens are becoming common. New screen technologies, such as IPS produce monitors with better, more vibrant colours, and full HD displays are now standard.

The type of screen which you should choose will depend largely on how you use your computer. Different types of monitors suit gamers, photographers, or people who spend most of their time reading text. But whatever your needs, you can easily find an excellent monitor to suit you for under $200.

Time to get a new monitor?
Time to get a new monitor? | Source

Factors to Consider When Choosing A Monitor

Below are some of the factors you need to be aware of to know what to look for when choosing a display for your computer.

  • The size of the monitor is the most obvious consideration. The diagonal size of the screen is generally measured in inches. The most popular screens range from 22" to 27". Obviously bigger is better, although some people prefer a dual display setup, with two smaller monitors rather than one large one.
  • The resolution of the screen used to be a big issue, but now full high definition screens with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels are standard. They are also the best for watching HD movies.
  • Contrast ratios are important for producing sharp, crystal clear pictures. However there are several different ways of measuring this, and manufacturers often report dynamic contrast ratios, which may not be achievable during everyday use.
  • Response time is important for gaming. Screens with a high response time will have ghosting effects during high speed action. Input lag refers to the lag between moving the mouse and seeing the result on the screen. Again this is mostly important for gamers.
  • Backligh refers to the technology used to illuminate the screen. CCTF is increasingly being replaced by LED. Although it doesn't have much effect on the quality of the image, LED screens are more energy efficient, so kind to your electricity bill and the environment. They are also thinner than older monitors.
  • Screen technology IPS screens produce much better colours than TNT screens and have wider viewing angles. They are also more expensive, but recently some IPS monitors under $200 have become available. IPS screens are a must if you are a photographer, or do a lot of photo editing, but they are not ideal for PC games because they have long response times. An IPS display for gamers has been developed, but unfortunately it is more expensive than the monitors considered here.

ASUS VS247H-P 23.6- Inch Full HD 1920x1080 2ms HDMI DVI VGA Monitor
ASUS VS247H-P 23.6- Inch Full HD 1920x1080 2ms HDMI DVI VGA Monitor

Response Time: 2 ms (Gray to Gray)

1920x1080 full HD resolution and a sharp picture for a very reasonable price.

Matte

#1 bestseller on Amazon

 

Best 24" Monitor for Gamers on a Budget

This full HD Asus is the best selling monitor on Amazon, and justifiably so. It is particularly good for those wishing to play computer games, with a 2ms response time there is no danger of ghosting, even during rapid on screen action.

The monitor has an excellent contrast ratios and sharp images. The colours are also very bright, which is remarkable since this is a matte display. Generally glossy screens give better colours, but can suffer from annoying reflections in bright rooms.

Dell S2340M 23-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor
Dell S2340M 23-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor

IPS screen at 1920x1080 native resolution. Very glossy resulting in great colours. Does have some ghosting with games.

 

If you care about faithful colour reproduction, for photo editing, or just to enjoy really bright colours, you will be glad to know that it is now possible to buy an in-plane-switching (IPS) screen fro under $200. This 23" Dell monitor also has a native resolution of 1920x1080 and displays fantastic colours.

As is true of most IPS displays you might experience some ghosting in games, because their response times are slower than TNT screens. It is also a very glossy screen, which helps keep the colours very bright, but might make it difficult to see in bright sunlight because of the reflections.

Find Cheap Refurbished Monitors on Ebay

One way of getting a normally more expensive monitor for under $200 is to bid for refurbished screens on Ebay.

It is obviously more risky than buying a new display, however, manufacturer refurbished screens often work as well as new ones, and if you buy from a highly rated seller, who offers some guarantee, you lessen the risk. One of the problems people experience with refurbished monitors, is a certain amount of backlight "bleed" usually in the corners.

You can decrease the risk of buying a refurbished screen by only buying from top rated sellers, and bidding for items with a warranty.

People do pick up amazing bargains on Ebay, so if you don't mind putting in an extra bit of work in bidding for items, you could get a large, excellent monitor on a budget.

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    • aa lite profile image
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      aa lite 4 years ago from London

      Thanks Carly. What really amazes me is how cheap some electronics have become.

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 4 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Good information you got here! My husband always does research to purchase items like a computer monitor. This would come in handy for many people who do the same. Voted +