What's the best monitor for good color for ~200 USD?

Title really says it all- I’ve spent a long time researching different monitors and I’ve come to the conclusion that 99% of the information out there is just marketing mumbo-jumbo. I am almost positive an IPS monitor is the way to go, but there’s so many different ones with so many different metrics that I can’t tell which one is the one. I’m looking for recommendations from you guys for good monitors with rich colors that are around 200 USD.

Additional qualifiers:

  • I don’t care about 4K or higher. Good color is more important to me. I’ve worked on 1920x1080 my whole life and while I know there’s better, I’m totally fine with it. I could go up to UHD or something like that, I just would rather spend my money on color than pixels.
  • Ditto on response rate. I don’t do much PC gaming, I use my monitors for Blender and web browsing. 60hz is good enough for me.
  • I’m not opposed to curved monitors, but I personally don’t get the hype. They also seem to be more expensive, which isn’t what I’m going for.
  • I think 24" - 32" is the perfect range of size. 32" is almost too big, anything bigger than that is too big. 27" is perfect.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

Currently, my main monitor is an LG 27mp500, which says it has IPS, but it doesn’t seem like I’m getting the level of color information out of it I should be. Compared to my XP Pen Artist Pro 13, the colors seem a lot more clipped and flat, a result I also observe comparing it to my wife’s 2021 iMac screen. Of course, the iMac screen has all kinds of fancy stuff going on, but I still feel like my monitor is nowhere near where “IPS” is supposed to be

After some light googling, I came across this. Might be pretty good.

https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/hp-24mh-238-inch-display

Alternately, if you’re willing to spend a little bit more, you can’t go wrong with Dell’s Ultrasharps.

Oh, and another thing to consider, is your current monitor’s screen glossy or matte? If it’s the latter, that does tend to dull colors a good bit, though it has the added advantage of being more glare resistant. Apple’s screens are almost always glossy simply because they do look better, even in situations where they have no other advantage.

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For another 150 you could get a wacom one, which has great color, and is also a drawing tablet.

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Thanks for the reply :slight_smile: I’ve seen that one, and I have the same problem with it as with them all, where I can’t tell if it’s actually better than my current monitor or not. It has all the fancy marketing buzzwords, but at the end of the day, so does my current monitor, and it doesn’t seem like they mean much all things considered.

I’m hoping that someone has anecdotal experience with a good monitor, I’ve read enough reviews and listings that I’m at the point where I consider them all worthless. I trust someone here saying “this is what I have, it’s amazing!” a lot more than “I’m getting affiliate clicks for every product in this article!” :sweat_smile:

Thanks for the reply :slight_smile: I could, but I already have a drawing tablet I love, and I don’t really need another one. That’s the idea though- I want something with color comparable to a drawing tablet, that’s just a normal monitor

It seems that you’re split between technical accuracy, and how good the display looks to you personally.

For that, I’d say combine the differences. Read a review for a monitor you find interesting. If the specs sound good, then check out the nits, and see if it’s sporting a glossy screen.

Even the crappiest monitor can look great if it’s bright and shiny enough. According to this, your screen is 250 nits with a matte screen, which will look pretty muted even if it’s otherwise color accurate.

…which it may suffer from a bit on that front, since it’s using 6-bit FRC instead of true 8-bit. I don’t know how much accuracy you’re losing through that, but it usually gets the color snob’s hackles up.

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Oh that is such helpful information, thank you!! Finally I understand why my monitor doesn’t look as vibrant as I think it should in simple terms. You are the best!

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I’ll set up a patreon account, and you can send me money as thanks. :stuck_out_tongue:

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It depends where you live, but if have you have a decent refurbished IT retailer nearby chances are you could get an excellent, if slightly old, high end monitor for very little money. Anything ex-business stock from Dell or HP at around $200 USD should be excellent.

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That is a really good point! I’m not exactly sure how to find something like that- searching for “refurbished IT retailer” just gave me Micro Center and Best Buy

Unfortunately, my experience is only from Australian sellers and that search term shows the retailer I most often use.

That’d be US right? Try these on newegg.

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Excellent point, thank you. It looks like there’s some good options on there for sure. I’d rather not dive back into the research quagmire but seems like that might be my best bet for now :slight_smile:

Sitting in front of a good monitor can make you cry…
Seeing the actual price can make you laugh…
Sometimes people sell good monitors because having better energy level A++ instead A, but its actually using more power :laughing: or they just want to get a bigger one (24’’ vs 27’’) or a 4K… using it in HD…
:rofl:
So maybe you can make a good bargain.

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I am using 23" Viewsonic VX2363SMHL-W. A little old monitor but good monitor.

  • 2 ms
  • 95% sRGB
  • 178/178 degree view angle
  • 1000:1 static, 50.000.000:1 dynamic contrast

And colors not based only monitor, also your graphic card important.

So, if your monitor not TRUE 100% sRGB, then your color range must be YUV range: 16-235

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For ~200 bucks you could get an 31.5’’ 2560x1440p 10-Bit IPS Panel with 75hz.
I have this monitor, except that my slightly older model doesn’t have the 10bit panel:

I am sure there are other manufacturers who offer similar deals.
I would recommend to get a monitor with these features, especially IPS with 10bit.

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Says it has 200 nits which is basically a disaster. You should get at minimum 300nits

Asus Pro Art or GIGABYTE M27Q 27" are a bit too expensive for you, but you can follow those specs and see if there is something cheaper similar.
More convenience; it rotates 90º to be in vertical and other perks.

Slight better image quality:

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More excellent information, thank you three for those recommendations :smiley:

This article offers an interesting insight into monitor manufacturing and may even answer your question. At the very least, it should provide insight into just how much/little difference there is between monitors at any given price point… which is likely not much.

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The difference is very wide. I notice difference between a 250nits to a 300nits monitor or color accuity… To not talk about 600 nits and other values.

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It seems like I’m looking for 300 nits, not a matte panel, IPS, 8 or 10 bit instead of 6 bit… am I missing anything? I think I have a better idea of what I’m looking for technically now