The best cheap 4K monitors

A cheap 4K monitor showing an image of a sci-fi landscape
(Image credit: ASUS)

There are a number of great cheap 4K monitor out there, offering stunning visuals and sharp details at a fraction of the cost of other monitors. So whether you're a gamer, designer, or just someone who loves to use a computer and watch movies and TV in high quality, check out our list of cheap 4K monitor deals below.

We've got years of expertise in using, testing and reviewing monitors, and we've put that knowledge and experience to good use in compiling this list. We've assessed these monitors in terms of their specifications, along with our own testing, reviews from our sister sites and customer reviews on the web, to ensure these really are the best low-cost 4K monitors around right now.

If you have more to spend and want to consider premium options, we also have a more general guide to the best 4K monitors. Also see our roundups of the best monitors for video editing and the best monitors for photo editing.

The best cheap 4K monitor for gaming

Product shot of the Asus TUF VG289Q monitorCB

(Image credit: Asus)

01. Asus TUF VG289Q

The best cheap 4K monitor for gamers.

Screen size: 28-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: 10-bit

Great price
Flexible viewing positions
Top colour reproduction
Not a great looker

This Asus monitor is squarely aimed at gamers, although its great combination of specs and low price make it a good choice for other uses too. This IPS panel delivers a 90% DCI-P3 colour gamut and 1000:1 contrast ratio, along with a 178 degree viewing angle, and you can connect to it with either HDMI or DisplayPort. There are better-looking monitors around, sure, but this one gives very decent performance for not much money.

The best 4K monitor for photo editing

Product shot of the Philips 276E8VJSB monitorCB endorsed

(Image credit: Philips)

02. Philips 276E8VJSB

The best 4K monitor for photo editing.

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m² | Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion

Excellent value for money
Good colour coverage
Max 60Hz refresh rate
No FreeSync

This isn’t only one of the best cheap 4K monitors, it’s also one of the best for photo editing at this price point. With accurate, consistent and vibrant colours, it displays your images as you need to see them. It’s got 1.07 billion colours in its arsenal, and a 178-degree viewing angle that ensures they won’t shift if you’re looking at the screen from a different perspective. 

Having a flicker-free display is handy for long stints spent editing at your computer, and while the 27-inch display is on the smaller side, you probably don’t need any more than this for images. The maximum refresh rate of 60Hz and the lack of FreeSync means this isn’t one for gaming, but as an affordable 4K tool for getting immersed in editing your photos, it’s an ideal choice. 

The best 4K monitor at a mid-range price

Product shot of the BenQ PD2700U monitorCB endorsed

(Image credit: BenQ)

03. BenQ PD2700U

The best 4K monitor at a mid-range price.

Screen size: 27-inch | Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 | Brightness: 350 cd/m2 | Contrast ratio: 1,300:1 | Color support: 1.07 billion

Excellent colour accuracy
Inoffensive design
You might prefer a bigger option
No USB-C

If you have a little more to spend, here's one to consider at more of a mid-range price. With as many colours as the Philips above, this BenQ is a great option for a 27-inch cheap 4K monitor that boasts excellent colour accuracy.  We wish it had USB-C on board, and it's a little light on the bells and whistles which make some displays truly compelling. But if you just need it for work rather than gaming or entertainment, it's an excellent choice.

The best cheap, curved 4K monitor

Product shot of a Dell 4K S3221QS, one of the best 4K monitors

(Image credit: Dell)

04. Dell S3221QS 4K Curved Monitor

The best cheap 4K monitor with a curved screen.

Screen size: 31.5-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel tech: IPS | Inputs: 2x HDMI 2.0 ports, 1xDisplayPort 1.2 | USB: USB 3.0: 2x downstream, 1x upstream

Great value
Good quality display
Multitasking features such as PiP
No USB-C

Dell monitors aren't known exactly known for their sleek looks, but the curved S3221QS is a lot more elegant than its name, standing out from all those black and grey business monitors with its white back and base. With a contrast ratio of 3,000:1, support for 1.07 billion colours, a response time of up to 4ms and a 178/178 viewing angle it offers crisp and vibrant visuals. 

There's no USB-C,  and there's no true HDR either, but there are some multitasking features that we found useful, like Picture in Picture, picture by picture and EasyArrange, which lets you organise apps and tabs. If you can live without a USB-C port and true HDR, this affordable 4K monitor is a steal.

The cheap 4K monitor with 3:2

Product shot of the Huawei Mateview monitor, one of the best 4K monitors:

(Image credit: Huawei)

05. Huawei MateView

The best cheap 4K monitor with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

Screen size: 28.2-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2560 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel tech: IPS | Inputs: 1x HDMI, 1x Mini Displayport | USB: 2 x USB 3.0

Superb brightness and colours
Excellent value for money
Brightness uniformity issues
Few display inputs

Most displays are 16:9 or 16:10 format, so the 3:2 Huawei Mateview immediately got our attention when we tested it out. This slightly squarer format is good for viewing certain types of content – viewing images and documents in portrait format is easier, and a picture taken on a standard camera can be displayed full bleed. Of course, the flip side is that widescreen video will have big black bars on the top and bottom – so it’s probably not the best choice for movie-watching

The MateView is firmly pitched at working creatives. Its IPS panel is capable of displaying 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, and 98 per cent of the DCI-P3 video colour space. It also has a maximum brightness level of 500 nits, and a 1200:1 contrast ratio. The sleek, slim-bezel design is a nice addition too, and we found the touch-sensitive smart bar to be an ergonomic way to control the monitor. For more details, see our in-depth Huawei Mateview review.

The cheap 4K monitor that doubles as a TV

A Samsung M8 monitor, one of the best 4K monitors, on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

06. Samsung M8

This best cheap 4K monitor that doubles as a TV.

Screen size: 32-inch | Resolution: 4096 x 2160 | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Panel technology: VA | Inputs: 1x micro-HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Type C, 1x USB-C hub | USB: 1x USB Type C, 1x USB-C hub

Great colour accuracy after calibration
Detailed picture quality
Lots of extra features, including some productivity and entertainment tasks without a PC
Mount doesn’t offer full articulation
Speakers are mediocre

The Samsung M8 is quite novel, because the monitor can perform some tasks without a PC attached, including browsing, emails, gaming and Smart TV streaming. 

The Smart TV functionality could save your from buying a TV: it comes with a remote and all major streaming apps already come preinstalled and work like you'd expect on a Samsung TV. You can do quick tasks like send an email or use Microsoft 365 without booting up your PC, saving a bit of time, and you can play games via the Xbox Game Pass if you don't have gaming-capable PC. 

As for screen quality, its peak brightness is only 400 nits but we found that the dynamic HDR10+ works well to recover detail in dark and light areas. The contrast ratio as stated is 3,000:1, though the highest we measured was 2,530:1. But based on our test results, the screen offers 100% sRGB, 89% AdobeRGB, and 94% DCI-P3 colour gamuts – pretty good for creative work, although pro video editors and digital artists will be better served with one of the pro-level monitors above. See our full Samsung M8 review for more details.

How to choose a cheap 4K monitor

4K monitors offer a high quality picture, but they can still be quite expensive. There are some cheap ones, the best ones we've listed above, but you still need to make sure you're buying the right model for your needs. Here are some of the most important factors to take into account. 

Firstly, consider how big a screen you want. 4K monitors come in a variety of sizes, with most ranging from 27 inches to 32 inches.  A smaller monitor will generally be cheaper, as well as taking up less space.

As for picture quality, IPS panels offer the best viewing angles and color accuracy, so they're a good choice for most users. TN panels have narrower viewing angles and less accurate colors, but they are also cheaper.

Another factor is refresh rate: the number of times per second the monitor can update the image. A higher refresh rate will result in smoother motion and less blur. For most users, a 60Hz refresh rate is sufficient. However, if you're a gamer or you plan on watching a lot of high-action video content, you may need 120Hz or 144Hz.

Also consider contrast ratio: the difference between the brightest and darkest shades of colour that the monitor can display. A higher contrast ratio will result in more vibrant and realistic images. For most people, a contrast ratio of 3,000:1 or higher is sufficient.

Color accuracy is important for users who work with graphics, video, or photography. If you need accurate colors, you'll want to look for a monitor that has been calibrated and has a wide color gamut. Finally, some 4K monitors come with additional features, such as built-in speakers, USB ports, and VESA mounts. 

FAQs

What is 4K resolution?

4K resolution is a picture resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This means that a 4K monitor has four times as many pixels as a Full HD (1920 x 1080) monitor, hence the name. 

What are the benefits of a 4K monitor?

The main benefit of a 4K monitors is that they have four times as many pixels as Full HD monitors, so they can display images with much greater detail and sharpness. 4K monitors typically also display video at high frame rates, resulting in smoother motion and less blur, and have wide viewing angles, so you can see the image clearly from any angle. These things make 4K monitors a good choice for gaming, watching video content, and editing photos and videos.

What are the downsides of a 4K monitor?

The main drawbacks of 4K monitors is that they're typically more expensive than lower resolution monitors. If you're using them for gaming, 4K monitors may also require a more powerful graphics card and CPU to get the full benefits of the higher resolutions.

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Matt Hanson

Matt has been a technology journalist for over 15 years, writing for publications such as T3, MacFormat and Creative Bloq. He's a managing editor of TechRadar, Creative Bloq's sister site, where he can be found writing about and reviewing laptops, computers, monitors and more. He often writes for Creative Bloq, helping creatives find their perfect laptop or PC.

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