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CNET reviews: The best monitors for $200 or less

Quick refresh rates and response times makes Dell's

Quick refresh rates and response times makes Dell's 27-inch model a good monitor for gaming. Credit: CBS Interactive

If you're in need of a new monitor but you're on a tight budget, it's not as easy to find one as it used to be. With a huge number of people working from home, pricing on monitors have been rising due to the pandemic-driven shipping delays and component shortages. Now even a 'meh' 24-inch monitor to meet your needs for work or school can run you over $150.

Here are three of the best monitors that can be had for a couple of Benjamins.

WHAT Samsung T35F 27-inch FHD IPS monitor

THE COST $202.28


If you are looking for budget gaming monitors, this budget full high-definition monitor from Samsung's 75-Hertz refresh gives you a little latitude for gaming and has an in-plane switching panel for better color and viewing angle. It's also an attractive model with thin bezels and a stand that's less clunky-looking than some others.

An HDMI cable is included and it has a 100x100 VESA mount. There are some drawbacks, such as some backlight bleed that buyers have noticed and the stand only allows the screen to tilt, not raise or lower.

WHAT Dell S2721H 27-Inch full HD FreeSync IPS monitor

THE COST $194.99


Along with the screen size, design and a pair of stereo speakers, with the Dell you're getting a 75-Hertz refresh rate, 4-millisecond response time and FreeSync support, which makes this a bit better for gaming and fast-moving video than your average office monitor.

On the other hand, unexciting color performance and seemingly lower-than-spec brightness undercut it solely for that use. It's fine for mixed use even if it doesn't excel in any area.

WHAT LG 24ML600M-B 24-inch FreeSync monitor

THE COST $169.99


The LG is a solid, attractive general-purpose choice with some gaming perks. Though it would be hard to call this a gaming monitor, it has features for a good gaming experience, such as AMD FreeSync support, the ability to overdrive the response time, a 1-millisecond motion-blur reduction mode and an optional center crosshair. It's slightly brighter than most monitors, and there's a Photo mode that seems to improve the color accuracy.

It's also got a VGA connector in addition to the two HDMIs (though that's not uncommon in this price range) if you've got a really old device to connect. The 24-inch is a smaller version of the 27-inch monitor CNET tested which has since been discontinued (though still available in places at a much higher price).

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: senior editors Joshua Goldman and Lori Grunin and copy editor Jim Hoffman. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit

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