Choosing the right monitor is not the easiest thing to do, there are currently dozens of monitors available for less than 100 dollars. With different screen sizes, panel technologies and manufacturers. In the past you could only get a TN panel monitor for under $100, but prices of IPS monitors have gone down in recent years. Currently there are 10+ different models with IPS panel to choose from. But what is the difference between IPS, TN and VA panels? Generally IPS panels have best viewing angels and colors. VA panels have the best contrast, but are the slowest. TN panels have lowest response times, but poorest viewing angles and colors. Hopefully this comparison chart makes it easier to choose the best IPS monitor under $100.
|Approximate price||Monitor model||Size||Resolution||Response time||Refresh rate||Anti-glare||Tilt||Connectors||VESA mount||Height adjust||Pivot||USB ports||Speakers|
|$99.00||Acer G227HQL Abi 21.5-Inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||4 ms GTG||60Hz||yes||-5°/+15°||VGA, HDMI||no||no||no||no||no|
|$99.99||Acer H236HL Bid 23-inch||23-inch||1920 x 1080||5 ms GTG||60Hz||no, glossy||-5°/+15°||HDMI, DVI, VGA||no||no||no||no||no|
|$89.99||Acer HA220Q bi 21.5-inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||4 ms GTG||60Hz||yes||-5°/+15°||VGA, HDMI||no||no||no||no||no|
|$90.33||Acer R221Q bid 21.5-inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||4 ms GTG||60Hz||yes||-5°/+15°||HDMI, DVI, VGA||no||no||no||no||no|
|$89.99||Acer SB220Q bi 21.5-inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||4 ms||75Hz + FreeSync||???||???||VGA, HDMI||no||no||no||no||no|
|$85.99||Acer V206WQL bd 19.5-inch||19.5-inch||1440 x 900||5 ms||60Hz||yes||-5°/+25°||DVI, VGA||yes||no||no||no||no|
|$99.99||AOC I2267FW||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||5 ms||60Hz||yes||-5°/+15°||DVI, VGA||no||no||no||no||no|
|$79.99||AOC I2279VWHE 21.5-inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||5 ms||60Hz||yes||-3.5°/+21.5°||VGA, HDMI||no||no||no||no||no|
|$90.99||ASUS VS229H-P||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||5ms||60Hz||yes||-5°/+20°||DVI, VGA, HDMI, headphones||yes||no||no||no||no|
|$99.99||Dell E2318Hx||23-inch||1920 x 1080||5 ms GTG||60Hz||yes||-5°/+21°||VGA, HDMI||yes||no||no||no||no|
|$89.99||HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch||21.5-inch||1920 x 1080||7 ms with overdrive||60Hz||yes||-2°/+25°||VGA, HDMI||no||no||no||no||no|
Most under $100 IPS monitors have 21.5 inch screens, only two monitors are equipped with a 23 inch diameter panel. Cheapest 23.6-24 inch IPS monitors don’t cost much more, cheapest start from only around $110 dollars. Don’t get anything smaller than 21.5 inches, it’s not usually worth it, unless you don’t have room for larger.
All monitors in this roundup have 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution displays, except the 19.5 inch Acer V206WQL bd. 1080p is the minimum you should get in 2018, it is also the most popular resolution for 21.5 – 23 inch monitors. If you want something better, then you would have to pay over $200 for a 1440p or 2160p resolution IPS monitor. In this case you will also need better hardware to run games smoothly at that high resolutions.
60hz is the typical refresh rate for cheap IPS monitors, only the new Acer SB220Q bi has better (75hz) refresh rate and also FreeSync support. Higher refresh rate means smoother and more responsive experience, which is especially important for gamers. But high refresh rate monitors cost much more, to get a 144hz IPS gaming monitor you need to spend 200 dollars or more. There are some high end gaming models that are $1000+.
The screen surface type of a monitor is a matter of preference. Some people don’t care, but there are people who have a strong preference. Matte screens improve visibility in strong light, but some don’t like the non-reflective surface, because it can look grainy or dirty. If you hate seeing your reflection then a matte display is a must, although glossy monitors have better vibrancy. It seems glossy monitors are not very popular at the moment, almost all models use anti glare coating in our under $100 IPS monitor roundup.
Under $100 IPS monitors are usually pretty basic with little extra features. For example, none of them have built in speakers or USB ports. Connectivity options are also lacking for most models, majority have only two different display connections. There are no monitors with DisplayPort, curved display or touchscreen.
To keep price of the monitor low, manufacturers have to make sacrifices. Therefore you can’t expect other adjustment options besides tilt in this price range. There are currently no IPS displays for under $100 that have height adjustment or pivot. You can buy a $120 HP VH240a 23.8 inch from Amazon that has these features.
Having a VESA mount is necessary if you want to mount your monitor on to a wall or a different (multi monitor) stand. Or if you need to install a mini PC behind your display. Most under $100 IPS monitors have no VESA support natively, although some monitors have third party adapters. There are also universal adapters.