Are you a photo editor looking to get a monitor with super-accurate colors and high-quality video? You have come to the right place if you want to buy the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars.
It is always a brilliant investment to buy the best monitor for photo editing. It can help you improve your skills in addition to bolstering your confidence as a photo editor. However, buying a good monitor would mean spending more than a 1000 dollars in the past. Obviously, not everyone could afford these expensive monitors. Things have changed in the last couple of years. Nowadays, the monitors available for less than $500 can match high-end monitors in terms of color accuracy and image quality. But, finding the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars is never easy.
In this post, we will discuss some of the best monitors in the under $500 category and what they have to offer to video editors. These monitors should meet all the requirements of the photo as well as video editors in my opinion. In the end, we will also announce the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars.
The Best Monitor for Photo Editing Under 500 Dollars
Our Research experts choose the best affordable monitors for video editing from the following fantastic monitors from some of the top brands in the world.
Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2415
Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2718Q 27”
ASUS PB278Q 27”
Acer SB220Q bi 21.5” Full HD
HP 23.8-inch FHD IPS Monitor
BenQ PD2700Q DesignVue 27-inch
ASUS VS239H-P 23” Full HD
BenQ Proprietary Eye
Care 24 inch
Lepow 15.6” Full HD
USB Type Portable Monitor
LG 27UD58-B 27-Inch
4K UHD IPS
- Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2415: The best monitor for photo editing under 300
- Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2718Q 27”: best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars
- ASUS PB278Q 27”: An excellent choice for every use
- Acer SB220Q bi 21.5” Full HD: The best monitor for photo editing under 200
- HP 23.8-inch FHD IPS Monitor: Brilliant performance at reasonable price
- BenQ PD2700Q DesignVue 27-inch: Designed for photo editors
- ASUS VS239H-P 23” Full HD: Best monitor for photo editing on a budget
- BenQ Proprietary Eye Care 24 inch: Best affordable 24 inch in monitor
- Lepow 15.6” Full HD USB Type Portable Monitor: Best portable monitor with a USB-C connection
- LG 27UD58-B 27-Inch 4K UHD IPS: Stunning entry-level 27” monitor
1. Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2415: The best monitor for photo editing under 300
You cannot get a great picture if you simply buy an IPS monitor without panel quality or correct features. Calibration can do the job for you, but you most probably don’t have the necessary skills or the budget for professional calibration.
You can solve this problem by purchasing the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 LED Monitor. It comes with better calibration right from the factory as compared to other models in the same price category. Furthermore, the monitor has 99% sRGB coverage as well.
Connectivity is not an issue with U2415 as it features 1 USB 3.0 port upstream and 5 USB 3.0 ports downstream. It further has 1 audio line out, 1 mini display port each for in and out, and 2 HDMI connectors. It lacks a DVI output, which can be a problem for people using older graphic cards.
You can place the monitor just above anywhere you want thanks to VESA 100mm holes for mounting. It also exudes a seamless look due to the built-in cable management system.
Picture and Panel
The best photo monitor has a 1900 x 1200 resolution, offering you more vertical screen real estate to work with, especially with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The Dell Ultrasharp U2415 comes with better factory calibration as compared to its previous version, the Dell U2412M. It also has much improved touch-sensitive controls, MHL, USB 3.0, and a thinner and more attractive bezel. The monitor features LG’s AH-IPS panel with a light anti-glare coating on the front. The panel can also produce up to 16.78 million colors.
The Dell U2415 can meet the color requirements of most people. However, people should opt for costlier options if they want true 8-bit accuracy. The monitor has a better factory calibration and offers great value for your money.
Note: the Dell U2415 is also a great monitor for people who mostly play video games or watch videos.
2. Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2718Q: Best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars
The Dell Computer Ultrasharp U2718 is the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars. It offers additional real estate to users as well as HDR support, which can be quite beneficial for photo editors. It is indeed a pretty solid monitor as it provides a coverage of 99% sRGB.
When it comes to color quality, the Ultrasharp U2718Q gives tough time to machines like MacBook Pro 13. More importantly, it eliminates the monitor sleeping issue with its plug and play feature. However, the monitor lacks 5K which is its only major drawback.
All the monitors in the Dell Ultrasharp series, including the U2718Q have a similar design. The monitor gives you tilt adjustment, pivot, and height. The design is nearly bezel-free, which makes it easier for a photo editor to work. The monitor is fairly thin from the sides, but the stand and all the connectivity options give a bit of bulk of it as well. As far as connectivity is concerned, it has similar connectivity options as Dell Ultrasharp U2415.
Having a 27” panel, the U2718Q is the best size monitor for photo editing and almost every other use. It always upscales to its native 4k. It has 2USB BC1.2 fast charging ports. You can also use it as a USB hub. However, it lacks a DisplayPort and therefore, it doesn’t support daisy-chaining multiple monitors.
It is easy to adjust the monitor in the perfect position because of its exceptionally good ergonomic adjustments. It is very easy to adjust the tilt and height. You can also rotate it to portrait orientation if you want to.
The picture quality of the Dell Ultrasharp U2718Q is quite good. It has excellent color volume and SDR coverage. On the other hand, the HDR color gamut is pretty limited. The vertical viewing angle is simply great, whereas the horizontal viewing angle is not that bad either.
The monitor has decent color and white balance accuracy out of the box. “The standard” picture mode gives the best colors, but “Custom color” and “Multimedia” modes are as accurate. Similarly, it has a better gradient reproduction than all the other monitors on this list. Color bleed is also nonexistent, which is perfect for graphic artists and photo editors.
The monitor also has great response time performance and lag input, also making it the best monitor for gaming and photo editing.
3. ASUS PB278Q 27”: An excellent choice for every use
The Asus PB27Q 27” falls somewhere in between the spectrum of extreme definition monitors. It possesses a high-end panel, which is quite useful for photo editors. , but, it also has some unnecessary frills. The PBQ27 targets professionals who are looking for wide-gamut PLS Panels and factory-preset color accuracy. Similarly, the super-detailed 2560×1440 resolution and low latency make it an ideal monitor for gamers.
The monitor has a variety of customization features at about the same price as another brilliant monitor, the HP ZR2740W. However, the PB278Q is no match for the Dell U2713MH, which is $100 more expensive. It also lacks an assortment of presets and USB ports, which Dell offers, but it is a $100 cheaper than U2713MH and a its great low price alternative. You don’t need to look any further as it is the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars.
The ASUS PB278Q features a plane-to line switching panel (PLS). It is also very light for a 27” monitor as it weighs only 19.4 pounds. The 2.6” deep chassis is fairly thin and houses a white LED backlight. The stand, which is also the most striking feature of the monitor, measures 11” by 8.6”. The monitor does wobble slightly when knocked from the side. It can pivot 90 degrees, tilt back 20 degrees and can swivel both ways. You can also adjust screen height by 4.5 inches as well.
There are only audio and video connectors on the monitor’s back. If you want to connect a vlogging camera or any other device, you would use HDMI, DVI, dual-link, or the DisplayPort. VGA is also there as a backup. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm line input.
The monitor has one custom and four preset modes, the best of which is sRGB preset straight out of the box. The screen brightness, color temperature, and overall color accuracy in this mode are excellent. The standard preset also does a good job. However, the Scenery and Theater modes are far from acceptable.
There is also no difference between the DisplayPort and DVI’s input when you run the monitor at its native 2560×1440 pixel, 60Hz, 16:9 ratio resolution. HDMI does no support the monitor’s native resolution. 1920×1080 pixels at 60Hz is the best you will get with HDMI.
You will get nearly perfect color accuracy and brightness after a few minutes of use. It is an ideal situation for gamers and photo editors who actually want the best possible viewing angle and color accurate material to work with. All you have to do is to spend some time to calibrate the monitor.
The anti-glare coating is also excellent. You can constantly see every pixel even if you view it closely as there is no sparkling and speckling.
The excellent design, color accuracy, and plenty of features make PB278Q an excellent choice for every use. The PSL panel and the stand are its two outstanding features. It comes with calibration friendly display, an integrated speaker and a better stand.
4. Acer SB220Q bi 21.5” Full HD: The best monitor for photo editing under 200
The Acer SB220Q bi 21.5” bi is a worthy alternative to the more expensive Acer Predator XB271HK if you want to buy an affordable monitor, which also supports ant-tearing technology. With a 70Hz refresh rate, 4ms pixel response time, and equipped with AMD’s FreeSync anti-glare technology, the monitor offers artifact-free and smooth gaming experience.
The monitor gives a clear 1920 x 1080 FHD picture with the help of its 21.5 inches In-Plane Switching (ISP) Panel. The viewing angle and the grayscale performance is average. The monitor also lacks VESA mount capability, a fully adjustable stand, USB ports, and many other features, but this is what you expect from a cheap monitor.
The monitor supports an ultra-thin zero frame design. The frameless design and glossy black cabinet make it a suitable monitor for casual gaming and office desk use. However, photo editors with a tight budget will also find it quite a reasonable monitor to use as well. The stand offers 15” backward and 5” forward tilt, but there is no pivot, swivel and height adjustment. The IPS panel has an antiglare, non-reflective coating. It further has a 72% sRGB coverage and 16:9 aspect ratio.
One VGA and one HDMI are the two video input options. There is no headphone input and the monitor has no built-in speakers as well. The cabinet also houses a couple of buttons, one each for navigating the settings menu and powering up the monitor.
If you use SB220Q for casual media and gaming, it will exceed all your expectations, considering it is a sub $200 monitor. The refresh rate is pretty good and the pixel response is speedy. You also won’t notice any ghosting or blurring while playing midrange games, provided your computer has higher specifications. The picture is smooth and devoid of screen tearing when the FreeSync is enabled.
The monitor has comparatively higher lag time (26 milliseconds) for a gaming monitor. However, the SB220Q isn’t meant for pro-gaming. It is just a preliminary monitor for professional photo editors and pro gamers before they upgrade to a high-end monitor.
The monitor has reasonable out of the box color accuracy. The picture does not appear over-saturated. In fact, you can adjust the colors accordingly.
All in all, Acer SB220Q is the best monitor for photo editing on a budget. It also ticks all the right boxes for novice gamers or anyone looking for an affordable monitor for general use.
5. HP 23.8-inch FHD IPS Monitor: Brilliant performance at reasonable price
Hewlett Packard is arguably the biggest and most respected manufacturer of computer gears. Its monitors have been offering stellar performance for everyone, including photo and video editors for years. The HP VH240a successfully continues the trend. The monitor is aesthetically beautiful, but this is only the start. The frame is bezel-free, which also encloses a pair of speakers.
You will get spectacular Full-High Definition (FHD) picture thanks to the monitor’s 60Hz IPS panel. It lacks advanced color adjustments and a USB port, but it does have an HDMI port.
The monitor has a minimalist look because of the ultra-slim 1.5-inch cabinet and a thin bezel, which is perfect for multi-monitor rigs. A black, rectangular stand with a short mounting arm carries the 15-pound cabinet. You can adjust and pivot the panel, which you can also tilt by 30 degrees.
The input/output ports include a VGA port and an HDMI port. It is difficult to connect to mobile devices, storage devices, and other peripherals as there are no USB ports. There are also four function buttons, including the power and settings buttons on the lower side of the monitor’s back.
The monitor has a 5ms pixel response, which is pretty fast. As a result, you will not experience any blur even if you are viewing the fastest of motions. In fact, you will get a crisp, fluid picture when you couple the fast response time with 60Hz display.
Furthermore, the monitor has a peak brightness of 250 cd/m2 and a 72% sRGB coverage. The maximum resolution is 1920×1080 with the contrast ratio of 1000:1.
The VH240 delivers extremely accurate colors right out of the box. The colors appear well saturated and uniform, making it the best monitor for gaming and photo editing in this price range. The viewing angles are pretty wide. No matter you view the monitor from left, right, top or bottom, there is no noticeable loss of luminance or color shifting. It is also an energy-efficient monitor supporting a low-voltage halogen design and mercury-free LED backlighting.
The VH240a offers brilliant performance at a reasonable price. It is a great choice for photo editors, photographers, and designers looking for an affordable monitor, which also delivers solid grayscale performance and accurate colors.
6. BenQ PD2700Q DesignVue 27-inch: Designed for photo editors
BenQ PD2700Q has especially been created for photo editors, CAD/CAM users, and content creators. The monitor delivers a solid viewing-angle and grayscale performance using an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. It displays 100% sRGB color gamut and Rec. 709 (HDTV). You will also get a wide range of picture presets as well as decent color accuracy and overall features.
The monitor houses its 27” IPS panel on a basic-black cabinet. A 0.75” bezel edges the non-reflective screen. The monitor has a maximum (WQHD) resolution of 2560×1440.
The rectangular stand with short mounting arm supports the cabinet and also provides pivot, height, swivel, and tilt adjustments. You can also mount the monitor on the wall using the four VESA mounting holes. There are plenty of input/output ports around the back, including an HDMI port, three USB 2.0 ports, audio input, and two DisplayPort inputs. Then there are two built-in speakers as well, which offer adequate sound for light duty.
The BenQ PD2700Q also enables you to adjust saturation and hue levels. There are no advanced 6-axis color settings, which is a major shortcoming, considering the monitor especially targets photo editing professionals. A generous selection of presets, however, compensates for this glaring omission.
Unfortunately, the monitor’s color accuracy is far from ideal. There is no tinting or over-saturation, but you should go for more color-accurate monitors such as BenQ SW2700PT if colors are critical for your work.
The monitor offers excellent grayscale performance. The viewing angles are wide and nice and there is no loss of luminance and visible color shifting when viewed from each angle.
As the input lag is fairly long at 34ms, the PD2700Q is not perfect for gaming. Power consumption is moderate with the monitor consuming 35 watts and 28 watts while operating in standard and ECO mode respectively.
In general, the BenQ 2700Q is the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars because of its wide selection of picture presets and excellent grayscale and viewing-angle performance.
7. ASUS VS239H-P 23” Full HD: Best monitor for photo editing on a budget
If you are looking for color accuracy and stunning picture without spending a lot of money, you should choose the ASUS VS239H-P. It is an IPS monitor, which delivers the ASUS’s brilliant brightness level and contrast. It gives stunning and crisp picture, much to the satisfaction of casual gamers, photo editors, professional designers, and almost everyone else.
The monitor has a slim design with a mercury-free LED backlighting. The matte finish also eliminates all types of reflections. There is no external power brick, which can be annoying for people who like the feel of actual buttons while tweaking monitor’s settings. The monitor has a nice looking stand, but it is highly prone to wobbling. The glossy bezel also imparts a nice glow to the black frame, which adds to the external beauty of the monitor.
When it comes to ergonomics, the ASUS VS239H-P has some shortcomings. You can title the screen by 25 degrees and this the only ergonomic feature the monitor has. However, it is easy to mount the monitor on the wall as it is VESA mount compatible. The connectivity options include the usual VGA, DVI-D, HDMI, and D-Sub interfaces.
ASUS VS239H-P 23” is a 60HJz monitor with a screen resolution of 1920×1080 at the aspect rate of 16:9. It has a peak brightness rating of 250cd/m2 and the high dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1.
The In-Plane Switching panel offers the horizontal and vertical viewing angle of 178 degrees, which means the colors will not lose their tint. As a result, photo editors and designers will enjoy working on this monitor. The IPS panel also has minimum backlight bleed visible in the totally black background only. On the other hand, the image will be crisp, sharp, and clearly visible even in the darkest of backgrounds thanks to the Asus Smart Contrast Ratio (ASCR). You can further improve the image quality by adjusting the luminance of backlight ASCR.
The color accuracy is excellent, which makes it the best for photo editing on a budget.
8. BenQ Proprietary Eye Care 24”: Best affordable 24 inch monitor
The Acer Predator XB241H is the best 24” monitor in the world. However, not everyone has $400 to spend on a monitor. Fortunately, there are many 24” monitors, which cost much less than that and BenQ Proprietary Care/GW2480 is best of the lot. Available at about $150, it is also a much simpler yet highly effective monitor, which can fulfill most of your requirements.
The monitor features a thin bezel, which is a chief characteristic of all the modern monitors. The premium textured finish imparts a beautiful look to the monitor. It has a brilliant cable management system. You can actually conceal the cables by removing a part of the stand. You can also VESA mount the monitor. However, you can only tilt the stand by -5 degrees/20 degrees.
Connectivity options include a VGA port and an HDMI port. Another port, which you don’t normally get at this price is DisplayPort 1.2. There are also two 1 watt built-in speakers and a headphone jack you can use to connect all types of earphones and headphones.
The monitor has a 60HZ refresh rate and it uses LG’s Advanced High Performance – In-Plane Switching (AH-IPS) panel. It has a peak brightness rate of 250 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1000:1.
The BenQ Proprietary Eye Care offers the basic sRGB color gamut. It also employees dithering (6-bit + 2bit FRC) to support 8-bit color. The colors are considerably better and much richer than TV panels available at this price.
Details provided by the monitor are vivid and clear because of the Full HD (1920×1080) resolution. The pixel density is acceptable, which also means you will have a reasonable amount of screen space available as well.
The BenQ Proprietary filters all the harmful blue lights to protect your eyes. The backlighting is flicker-free and there is no noticeable delay between commands and results because of the low input lag time of 10ms.
The monitor also has a quick response time, eliminating visible tailing of moving objects and ghosting. You can slightly boost the motion clarity by overlocking the monitor up to 75Gz. The unique Brightness Intelligence Technology automatically adjusts the screen brightness according to the room lighting.
The BenQ GW2480 offers brilliant image quality, an assortment of features, and affordable price, making it the best budget monitor for everyone.
9. Lepow 15.6” Full HD USB Type Portable Monitor: Best portable monitor with a USB-C connection
As the name suggests, the Lepow 15.6” is a portable display, which uses the USB-C cable to connect with mobile devices and laptops. The display looks like a tablet/slab and you will use the case instead of the stand to place it on the table. The smart case also protects the screen when it is not in use. You can also customize the viewing angle via grooves in the case.
There are speaker vents and ports on both sides of the display. The left side houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB-C port, and a mini HDMI port. There is an additional speaker outlet, a PD USB-C port, and a power button on the other side. A dark-gray case encloses the matte screen with a slim bezel. Unfortunately, the screen is not a touchscreen.
The monitor requires an external power source as it does not have an integrated battery, which is also the best thing about it. Some of the power options include laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It powers up as soon as you connect it with the power source.
You can connect the monitor both with a laptop and a smartphone, which allows video out through USB-C. In fact, the monitor provides you with a full-screen experience by turning your smartphone into a full-fledged computer.
As far as image quality is concerned, the viewing angles are pretty decent and images are crisp and clear when you use the monitor for tasks like photo editing, working on documents and spreadsheets, and watching movies. The Lepow 15.6” monitor also has an adequate resolution (1920×1080) for a portable display.
There is one problem with the monitor, however. It automatically falls to 30% brightness and there is no way to save changes to any type of settings. Therefore, your computer’s brightness will default back to 30% whenever you wake your monitor up from an idle state. Similarly, the video quality of the built-in speakers is not very good either.
Overall, this particular portable monitor has a lot of great features such as USB-C connection. It also has an excellent screen with clear and vivid colors. The text is crisp and the device is light enough to be carried along wherever you go.
10. LG 27UD58-B 27-Inch 4K UHD IPS: Stunning entry-level 27” monitor
The LG 27UD58-B is a fantastic entry-level 27” monitor, which easily beats most 4K monitors in this category. It provides vivid and clear colors as it features AMD’s FreeSync technology and an Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. It also offers a myriad of features such as a display port and two HDMI ports. You can use a single cable to deliver 4K video from both these ports. In addition, it also features On-Screen Control with Screen Split. You should give this monitor a chance if you want the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars.
LG 27UD58-B is an aesthetically pleasing monitor. A black cabinet with a grayish trim encloses the IPS panel with a resolution of 3840×2160. A curved stand further supports the cabinet. The stand also provides tilt and height adjustments, but no pivot or swivel. You can also mount the monitor on the wall using the optional mounting kit and the four VESA mount holes.
The monitor has a 10-bit panel with a peak brightness of 250 cd/m2. The SRGB coverage stands at 72%, whereas the aspect ratio and the refresh rate are 16:9 and 60Hz respectively. The pixel response is 5ms gray-to-gray (GTG).
The monitor does not have a USB port, which is a blatant design fault. However, it has on-screen controls, just like a regular TV, for adjusting the settings.
The LG 27UD58-B is the best monitor for gaming and photo editing in this price category. It delivers vibrant colors, whereas AMD’s FreeSync eliminates all the visible blurs on the screen. You can significantly enhance the playback via black stabilizer feature as well.
The special Game Mode makes the gaming experience even more exciting and smoother. You can also customize the display using Screen Split 2.0, both for work and play.
The 4K images and videos are also of the highest quality with all the shadow lights remaining crisp and sharp in this mode. You will get accurate shades of gray with the IPS panel as well. Even if you view the image or videos from the tight angles, you will get the rich color tone and bright pictures.
LG 27UD58-B fits the bill if you are looking for an affordable monitor with plenty of features. It is not only the best monitor for photo editing, but it delivers exceptional performance even when you are playing games, watching videos, or doing any other stuff.
With this, we conclude our list of the best monitors for photo editing and gaming. Do let us know what the best monitor for photo editing under 500 dollars is from this list or any other list you have read.
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