Cheap Monitor Showdown – Fall 2016

This post is for my friend Tami. Tami contacted me recently because her Windows PC made all the noises, sounds, and did the things computers do, but nothing showed up on the screen. She was able to determine that her monitor died. She asked me if there was anything to look out for when buying a cheap monitor. So in this post we’ll explore some cheap monitor options.

A cheap monitor will come with compromises, but there’s a few things that Tami needs that can’t be compromised: The monitor needs to be at least 20″, must to get good reviews, and have a VGA connector. Here are three cheap monitors I’ve chosen that will do the needful. They range from about $80 to just over $100, and represent the playing field in cheap monitors in the Fall of 2016

Budget Monitor #1: ViewSonic VA20555SA, 20″ LED

Cheap Monitor: ViewSonic VA20555SAIf budget is an all out concern, this ViewSonic 20″ LED monitor will fit the bill (pun intended). It’s available from most outlets for around $80. It’s 1080p, so you get full resolution when watching HD video or playing video games. There are no built in speakers (which are usually not very good anyway), but it has the needed VGA connector. The downside here is that it only has a VGA connector- no DVI or HDMI for future upgrades. But as I said, there’s always a compromise at this price point. This monitor gets great reviews and it’s a ViewSonic. ViewSonic a brand known for high quality displays since the 1990’s. Click Here to get current pricing and availability.


Budget Monitor #2: AOC e2425SWD 24″ LED

Cheap Monitor: AOC e2425SWD 24" LED

AOC is a brand associated with being budget friendly but also reliable. I’m using an AOC 23″ monitor that’s about 6 years old as I write this. So, I trust the brand. This 24″ monitor has both VGA and DVI connections, and includes speakers for casual use. The 1080p resolution is just right, and it’ll work great for almost any application. This cheap monitor gets great reviews, and can be found for about $100. It has all the features you’d need except for HDMI inputs. For the price, the only thing better than one of these monitors would be two of them! Click Here to get current pricing and availability.


Budget Monitor #3 AOC I2267FW 22″ IPS Slim Bezel

Cheap Monitor: AOC I2267FW 22" IPS At just a little over $100, this AOC monitor tends to make compromises of a different kind. At 22″, size is sacrificed, but it’s an IPS display, so the colors are brighter and more accurate, and the viewing angle is much better than the equivalent LED display. It also has a super slim bezel, and so if you wanted to put two of these next to each other, the gap between screens would be much less than most monitors. It’s 1080p and has VGA and DVI inputs only. There are no integrated speakers. Click Here to get current pricing and availability.

So, which cheap monitor should you buy?

The AOC e2425SWD 24″ LED monitor is the clear winner. At 24″, and at $100, it has the size you want and will work great for almost every application. You could save a few bucks and get the Budget Monitor #1, the 20″ ViewSonic, but it’s a lot less monitor. If you’re doing heavy graphics work (editing, photography etc) then the IPS display would be worth the trade in size for the AOC 22″ display. Happy shopping!

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Updated: October 31, 2016 — 3:56 pm

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