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The best 4K monitors you can get on a budget
4K monitors have gone from an almost out-of-reach luxury to a relatively affordable option in just a few years. Granted, the display resolution isn’t the only feature that determines the price of a monitor, and some still cost thousands of dollars. The good news is that some excellent alternatives are available for a budget-friendly price. Here’s a roundup of some of the best cheap 4K monitors you can get.
Buying the best cheap 4K monitor
4K monitors are still the high-end norm in the market. This means you can’t be too picky when on a budget, because most budget 4K monitors will share similar features.
The resolution is standard here — 3,840 x 2,160. The next thing to look for would be the panel type. While IPS panels are generally considered the best, many budget options may use VA or TN panels. TN panels generally have worse color reproduction and bad viewing angles but are available at rather low prices, and offer high refresh rates. VA panels struggle with response times but offer better colors than TN.
IPS panels offer a solid balance but may offer lower response times, especially on budget 4K monitors. The key is to prioritize what features are more important for your usage and pick accordingly.
See also: Display specs and terms explained — Resolution, contrast, color gamut, and more
Refresh rates are generally something to consider, but when it comes to budget 4K monitors, you’re likely to be stuck with 60Hz or lower, so don’t expect to get 120Hz or even 144Hz. Higher refresh rate 4K monitors still cost quite a lot. Color accuracy won’t be the best on a cheap 4K monitor, but some offer great coverage for the price. Connectivity options are also something else to consider. Most budget 4K monitors will have HDMI 2.0, which supports 4K at 60Hz, but make sure to check the connectivity options compatible with your setup before you buy a monitor. Of course, you can’t expect much else in terms of connectivity. You can forget about fancy features like multiple ports, USB-C support, wireless capabilities, and such.
Lastly is the design. Most budget 4K monitors have the traditional plain design, with thick bezels. However, a few options come with more modern designs, so you might want to pick accordingly if the design is a priority.
You may also be wondering what a “budget monitor” really is. Well, since we’re dealing with 4K resolution, there is only so much you can do to save cash. That said, we believe anything under about $350 is considered affordable for a 4K monitor. We’ll try to stay below that number.
The best cheap 4K monitors to buy
- Dell S2721QS — The best overall budget 4K monitor
- Sceptre U279W-4000R — The best super affordable budget 4K monitor
- LG 24UD58-B — The best LG budget 4K monitor
- ViewSonic VX3276-4K-MHD — The best-looking budget 4K monitor
- Samsung S80A — The best Samsung budget 4K monitor
- AOC U2790VQ — The best low-key budget 4K monitor
- Lenovo L28u-30 — The best Lenovo budget 4K monitor
- ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A — The best budget 4K gaming monitor
- Dell S3221QS — The best budget 4K monitor with a curved display
Editor’s note: We will continue to update this list of the best cheap 4K monitors as more are released.
Dell S2721QS: The best overall budget 4K monitor
The Dell S2721QS is a great monitor for productivity, and it’s not lacking in specs and features. The 27-inch IPS display has a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, accurate color reproduction, a 60Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync compatibility, and a 4ms response time. It also covers 99% of the sRGB color spectrum, which is outstanding.
You get two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort. It’s beautifully designed, too, with a small, compact base, a near-borderless frame, and built-in speakers. The stand is also tilt and swivel-friendly. It’s among the more expensive options on this list of cheap 4K monitors, but the extra money may be worth it if you’re focused on productivity.
It even comes with some included features you otherwise wouldn’t see in a 4K monitor of this price. These include dual speakers (3W), the ability to use picture-in-picture to view two sources simultaneously, and a gorgeous design that will look great in any office.
Sceptre U279W-4000R: The best super affordable budget 4K monitor
This 4K monitor costs just under $200, making it the most affordable option on this list. It also happens to look great and performs pretty well for the price point. The Sceptre U279W-4000R has a 27-inch 4K display with a 70Hz refresh rate. It has an IPS panel with a 5ms response time.
And if that wasn’t enough, the color reproduction covers 100% of the sRGB spectrum, as well as 80% DCI-P3. Throw in the fact that it comes with built-in speakers, and we’re sure you won’t find a better deal.
LG 24UD58-B: The best LG budget 4K monitor
This 4K monitor by LG will be a great option for those looking for a smaller and more affordable screen. The 24-inch IPS monitor offers true-to-life color reproduction and a 60Hz refresh rate with FreeSync compatibility. As far as ports are concerned, you get two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort.
You can also enjoy three game modes for different types of titles. Not to mention the screen split features, which can make you more productive despite the screen’s smaller size. It has thick bezels, but it still provides solid value for money. The smaller size also means the pixel density is higher than the average for 4K monitors.
ViewSonic VX3276-4K-MHD: The best-looking budget 4K monitor
If you really care about looks, the ViewSonic VX3276 is one of the best cheap 4K monitors to get. It’s pretty hard to beat its design. The profile is super slim, it has very thin bezels and the stand is made of metal.
Other specs aren’t as impressive, but the screen does a good job overall. For starters, it’s one of the larger screens on this list of the best cheap 4K monitors at 32 inches. It also has a pretty good 3ms response time and a 60Hz refresh rate. There are a couple of 2W speakers integrated, and you get a pretty good set of ports, including a couple of HDMI ports, Mini DP, and DisplayPort.
Samsung S80A: The best Samsung budget 4K monitor
Samsung sure knows how to make TVs, and though they aren’t as popular in the monitor world, this is one hell of a viewer. Of course, it features a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, but the fun doesn’t end there. The 27-inch IPS panel has a 60Hz refresh rate and a 5ms response time.
This monitor also has plenty of bells and whistles for such a low-priced screen. It supports HDR10, has built-in speakers, auto source switching, and color reproduction covers 99% of the sRGB spectrum. And unlike most other monitors in this list, this one does support USB-C! It also has HDMI and DisplayPort entries.
AOC U2790VQ: The best low-key budget 4K monitor
If you want a cheap 4K monitor with a clean and low-key design, the AOC U2790VQ is the way to go. It has a 27-inch 60Hz IPS panel that goes up to 350 nits of brightness. It’s also a 10-bit panel with a 5ms response time. You get one HDMI 1.4 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, and one DisplayPort 1.2 port.
The monitor has great looks for the price, with the three-sided bezel-less design. The design is pretty understated, though, and the stand has a classic look. The AOC U2790VQ blends in and provides a solid set of specifications for the price.
Lenovo L28u-30: The best Lenovo budget 4K monitor
Lenovo has fewer offerings when it comes to monitors, but it makes some nice ones. The Lenovo L28u-30 is a great example and a solid cheap 4K monitor. There’s much to like here. The 28-inch monitor comes with an IPS panel running at 60Hz, and color accuracy of 99% in the sRGB gamut and 90% in the DCI-P3 color gamut.
You also get in-built low-blue light technology and AMD FreeSync support with a 4ms response time. The monitor is also elegantly designed, with a three-sided bezel-less design and a rather no-nonsense stand. If you like Lenovo’s products, you can’t go wrong with this one.
ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A: The best budget 4K gaming monitor
ASUS has quite a few affordable 4K monitors, but the one that unmistakably makes the cut is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q1A. It has a 28-inch IPS panel that covers 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. It has a refresh rate of 60Hz, but that’s acceptable given the monitor’s price. You also get AMD FreeSync support.
ASUS also boasts support for HDR10, with the maximum brightness going up to 350nits. On the side of aesthetics, this monitor gets a nice design with a three-sided bezel-less look. The stand is a classic-looking and sturdy two-pronged unit, which adds some gamer aesthetic but doesn’t look tacky.
Dell S3221QS – The best budget 4K monitor with a curved display
You know things are getting better when you start seeing budget 4K monitors with a curved display. This one is one of the most expensive options on the list, but it only goes over our $350 threshold by a bit. We thought it was worth including if you want to splurge a bit on something a bit fancier.
The Dell S3221QS is larger at 32 inches and still has a 4K resolution. What’s special is its 1800R curvature, which creates a more immersive experience. It also includes a couple of 5W speakers, AMD FreeSync technology, and a wider variety of ports. These include two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, an audio line out, and plenty of USB ports.
Other frequently asked questions
4K monitors range from under $300 to over $1,500. Prices depend on what kind of 4K monitor you’re looking for. Budget 4K monitors are available between the $250-$450 mark.
Budget 4K monitors offer a more limited feature set, especially color accuracy, refresh rate, and even inputs. Expensive 4K monitors are generally better in those areas.
It depends on your usage. If you’re using the monitor primarily for gaming, you might want to opt for a higher-refresh-rate 1440p monitor over a 4K one. If you’re going to be mostly doing productivity tasks that includes looking at a lot of text on your monitor, then a 4K monitor will give you a better experience.
4K monitors offer the best value in the budget range. While the more expensive models offer better features, they cost quite a bit more. Cheap 4K monitors are usually worth it, provided you pick the right one.
4K resolution makes for a lot of pixels, so you can get by with bigger screen sizes while still getting a sharp image. The best size for a 4K monitor would be between 27″ to 32″, striking a solid balance between screen size and pixel density.