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The best 4K monitors you can get on a budget

Why break the bank on a 4K monitor when there are plenty of affordable versions around?
By
April 21, 2022
budget monitor featured image

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.

Also: The best monitors for work and play

Buying the best cheap 4K monitor

4K monitors are still the high-end norm in the market. This means that 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. Higher refresh rate 4K monitors still cost quite a lot. Colour accuracy won’t be the best on a cheap 4K monitor, but some offer great coverage for the price. Connectivity options are also something 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.

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.

The best cheap 4K monitors to buy

Editor’s note: We will continue to update this list of the best cheap 4K monitors as more are released.

Dell S2721Q: The best overall budget 4K monitor

Dell S2721Q

The Dell S2721Q is a great monitor for productivity, and it’s not lacking in specs and features. The 27-inch IPS display comes with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, accurate color reproduction, a 60Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync compatibility, and 8ms 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.

LG 24UD58-B: The best super affordable budget 4K monitor

LG 24UD58 B Best cheap 4k monitors

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.

LG 27UN850-W: The best LG budget 4K monitor

LG 27UN850 W best cheap 4k monitors

A much larger display usually costs significantly more. Still, this one costs just a bit more than the LG monitor listed above, and it is definitely one of the best cheap 4K monitors available. The LG 27UN850-W comes with a 27-inch IPS panel. It’s also not bad, as it covers 99% of the sRGB spectrum.

Throw in HDR10 and AMD FreeSync technology, and you have yourself a sweet offer. There’s also VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification onboard. The design of this monitor is also rather good-looking. You get the classic three-sided bezel-less look that many LG monitors have. The stand comes in silver and provides a nice contrast to the design while holding the monitor sturdy.

Philips 276E8VJSB: The best-looking budget 4K monitor

Philips 276E8VJSB

If you really want one of the best cheap 4K monitors, you can’t get much more affordable than the Philips 276E8VJSB. It’s nothing out of this world, but for the money, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Not just that, it also has the best looks among all the cheap 4K monitors on this list.

The screen features 10-bit colors and IPS technology. The response time isn’t bad at 5ms, and the 60Hz refresh rate is understandable for the price. In terms of ports, you get a DisplayPort 1.2, a couple of HDMI 2.0, and HDMI audio out. All in all, a solid package with a neat and clean design.

Samsung UJ59: The best Samsung budget 4K monitor

Samsung UJ59 budget 4K monitor
Amazon

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 31.5-inch VA panel has a 60Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time.

This monitor also features AMD FreeSync for improved graphics with compatible video cards. There’s also a game mode that optimizes screen contrast. A picture-by-picture mode lets you display two sources simultaneously in a split-view, making this a very productivity-friendly choice. And let’s not forget this is one of the best looking cheap 4K monitors.

AOC U2790VQ: The best low-key budget 4K monitor

AOC U2790VQ budget 4K monitor
Amazon

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 L28u 30 budget 4K monitor
Amazon

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 TUF Gaming VG289Q1A
Amazon

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.

Other frequently asked questions

Q: How much does a 4K monitor cost?
A: 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.

Q: What’s the difference between cheap 4K monitors and expensive 4K monitors?
A: 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.

Q: Should you get a 4K monitor or a 1440p monitor?
A: 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.

Q: Is a cheap 4K monitor worth it?
A: 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.

Q: What size monitor is best for 4K?
A: 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.