Back in 2013 when the first 4K monitor was introduced to the consumer market, no one would’ve thought that this expensive, high-end piece of technology would be a common, household device by the end of the decade. Well, here we are. 4K monitors are now more abundant than ever. They’re also cheaper than ever before. They come boasting a 4K resolution, which has about 4 times the pixels of a Full HD screen. That’s a ton of detail which adds quality and immersiveness to whatever you put up on your display, whether it’s a movie, a TV show, a game, a video that you’re editing for work, or an artwork you’re creating. 4K monitors are worth the money that they cost, now more so than ever since they’re much cheaper than they used to be.
Nowadays you can expect to find an exquisite 4K monitor in about $500, which is great for consumers of all kinds, whether they’re avid gamers, movie geeks, content creators, video editors or graphic designers. One query that is common with buyers is what size of a 4K monitor is best. It all comes down to preference in the end, however, my personal opinion is that 27 and 32 inch monitors provide the best quality for value. Especially when considering cheap 4K monitors, 27 inch and 32 inch monitors give ample pixel density with sufficient screen real estate. You can definitely notice the difference between a 27 inch Full HD monitor and a 27 inch 4K monitor.
Since there’s a wide array of 4K monitors available, we’ve selected 5 of the best cheap 4K monitors available right now, mentioning their pros, cons and specifications for the ease of our readers so they can get the perfect monitor for their setup.
We’re starting off our list with the monitor with the lowest price tag. The AOC U2790VQ is a sleek, 27 inch 4K monitor providing great colors with its 10-bit color depth and a ton of detail through its 3840×2160 resolution screen. It has an IPS panel which supports a wide range of visibility. The design is one of the biggest plus points of the monitor. It has an almost border-less three sided frame, with a slight chin on the bottom. The stand supports versatile movement and adjustability as well. The only features that one may consider lacking is the absence of HDR, which doesn’t make the colors pop out as much when watching movies or playing games. However, the U2790VQ provides great value for the price tag it comes with.
The IPS panel this monitor comes equipped with provides 178/178 degree viewing, so you don’t need to worry about any color shifting when not viewing the monitor head on. The display provides a great amount of detail due to the high resolution. It also boasts accurate colors with good depth. There’s no HDR as an additional feature that some users may like, but for office workers and graphic designing professionals, this shouldn’t be much of a concern. It does have a 1000:1 contrast ratio which is more than adequate, as well as a satisfactory 350 nits brightness rating. The monitor also has a flicker-free backlight as well as a low blue light mode so users don’t develop headaches and eye strain after long hours of use.
The U2790VQ has a modern, almost border-less design with less than a millimeter thick frames on 3 sides and a small chin on the bottom. The gun-metallic colored plastic stand has quite a lot of maneuverability options. You can tilt, swivel and raise the screen to adjust it to your liking. It can also be rotated 90 degrees to put it into portrait mode. It also comes with built-in speakers which are a slight plus.The 27 inch IPS panel has a 5 ms response time and a 60 Hz refresh rate, so it’s not built for competitive gamers. However, it displays consistently great images for gamers who prefer quality over high refresh rates.
All in all, the AOC U2790VQ is a fantastic 4K monitor with a great 27 inch IPS panel for users of all kinds. It provides great value considering its image quality, design and features. Unless you’re a gamer who wants instantaneous response times and high refresh rates, this monitor is one of the best options available, at an extremely affordable price.
2. BenQ EL2870U
Screen Size: 28 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 1 ms | Panel: TN | Brightness: 300 nits | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Last Update on 2020-06-11 using Amazon Product Advertising API
Speaking of monitors for gamers, the BenQ EL2870U is a great, cheap, 4K monitor which is perfect for gamers. It’s slightly pricier than the AOC U2790VQ but it’s still much cheaper than other monitors providing the same specifications and features. It supports HDR so colors pop out on the screen to provide a vivid display. Due to the FreeSync feature enabled, the display runs quite smoothly, without any screen-tearing whatsoever. The 28 inch TN panel has a fast response time of 1 ms and a 60 Hz refresh rate. However, as is common with a TN panel monitor, the EL2780U has low viewing angles which causes color shifting when viewing the monitor off-center, which may be bothersome for some users.
This monitor comes equipped with a TN panel, which has its pros and cons. The pros are that it boasts a fast response time, which, combined with FreeSync, provides screen-tearing free, fast paced gaming without any ghosting. The cons are that it doesn’t have as great a color reproduction and high viewing angles as IPS panels do. This is slightly made up for by the HDR support, which helps colors pop out a bit and makes the display sharp and vivid.
The EL2870U also has a peak brightness of 300 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. It provides decent image quality, with good color reproduction when HDR is enabled. It isn’t as good as other IPS panels but considering the high, 4K resolution, it does the job quite well. It has a tilt-only stand which is disappointing at its price tag. It has two built-in 2W speakers which provide adequate sound for casual use. The monitor also features HDCP 2.2, which allows users to stream native 4K resolution content directly from Netflix and other streaming services. This makes the monitor a great pick for both gamers and casual users.
Overall, the BenQ EL2870U is a fantastic choice for gamers who want smooth 4K gameplay without any screen-tearing and ghosting. Considering its price tag, it’s also great for users who dabble in casual gameplay and work as graphic designers or simply watch a lot of 4K content. All in all, this monitor deserves the number two spot on this list due to its extensive features and more than adequate specifications which give it a great value rating.
3. Philips 276E8VJSB
Screen Size: 27 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 5 ms | Panel: IPS | Brightness: 350 nits | Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Last Update on 2020-06-11 using Amazon Product Advertising API
The Philips 276E8VJSB is a 27 inch 4K monitor with a 109% sRGB color gamut, 10-bit color depth and an IPS panel. It displays vibrant colors with great depth and warmth. The 3840×2160 resolution screen has a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch, providing unmatched detail and clarity. The monitor does have a few limitations though. It has a tilt-only stand, which isn’t a big deal with other monitors, but the 276E8VJSB isn’t VESA mount compatible either, so you can’t use third-party mounting devices with this monitor to achieve an ergonomic setup. However, the IPS panel provides wide viewing angles which can fix this issue for most users.
This monitor in particular is about the image quality and price value. It’s one of the cheapest monitors on this list and it provides highly vibrant, accurate, and detailed image quality. The increased sRGB color gamut combined with the 10-bit color depth gives a more lifelike, saturated look to the images the monitor produces. The IPS panel provides great color accuracy and quality, along with wide viewing angles of 178/178 degrees. For users who stare at the screen for hours on end, the monitor features a low blue light mode t
However, the monitor isn’t suitable for avid gamers who would be disappointed by the slight ghosting they’ll face when playing fast paced games. The monitor features a 5 ms response time and a 60 Hz refresh rate. It doesn’t have a variable refresh rate feature, like AMD’s FreeSync or NVIDIA’s G-Sync, so there’s some screen-tearing when gaming. This makes it a less convincing choice for gamers. On the other hand, the image quality and the price tag make it a great choice for casual users, movie lovers and professional graphic designers and video editors.
All in all, the Philips 276E8VJSB is a great choice for a cheap, 4K monitor. It provides fantastic image quality with great detail and vibrancy. The IPS panel offers wide viewing angles and accurate color reproduction. In conclusion, the monitor, despite its lack of versatility of the stand and the VESA compatibility, is a great choice for any user looking for a cheap 4K monitor with great image quality.
The ASUS VP28UQG is another 28 inch, cheap 4K monitor that is built for gamers. It comes with a TN panel which provides a 1 ms response time and a 60 Hz refresh rate, along with FreeSync. This makes it quite suitable for gamers. It provides crisp image quality with a ton of detail in the 3840×2160 resolution. However, it doesn’t have HDR, which means colors don’t pop out and seem as vibrant as they might on other monitors. The stand is tilt-only and doesn’t allow much versatility in terms of adjustment. That can be solved by using a third-party ergonomic stand or wall mount, though.
The ASUS VP28UQG is a direct competitor with BenQ’s EL2870U. The only major difference between them is the lack of HDR support on the ASUS monitor. However, it still provides great image reproduction and color quality with its 157 pixels per inch screen and 10-bit color depth. The TN panel has limited viewing angles, at 170/160 degrees, which may not be ideal for some users as color shift occurs when viewed from a skewed angle. For gamers, however, it isn’t much of an issue since they’ll almost always be viewing it head-on.
It also has flicker free backlight and an integrated low blue light filter, which most gamers who spend hours at a time staring at the screen would benefit from. They’d also benefit from the FreeSync support as well as the 1 ms response time, enabling users to experience 4K gaming without any ghosting or screen tearing.
Overall, the VP28UQG is a great choice for gamers and users who want a smooth flowing 4K display, with crisp image quality and an affordable price tag.
5. Philips 328E1CA
Large & Affordable
Screen Size: 31.5 inches | Resolution: 3840x2160 | Refresh Rate: 60 Hz | Response Time: 4 ms | Panel: VA | Brightness: 250 nits | Contrast Ratio: 2500:1
Last Update on 2020-06-11 using Amazon Product Advertising API
The largest monitor in our list, the Philips 328E1CA is a 32 inch 4K monitor with a VA panel. It covers all the basics well. It has a vibrant VA panel with high contrast, adaptive sync technology to remove any screen-tearing, decent 4 ms response time to ensure there’s no ghosting, and an aesthetically pleasing curved design. All of that in a shockingly low price is the reason why we’ve chosen this monitor to be the last addition in our list. One drawback that’s common across VA panels is that there’s slight backlight bleeding in the corners of their displays. It’s not easily noticeable, or bothersome but it is worth mentioning for an honest review.
The 328E1CA provides a high 2500:1 contrast ratio which makes the display look vibrant. The colors pop and combined with the 1500r curved screen, the overall visual experience is quite immersive. With its 4 ms response time and adaptive sync features, gaming is an enjoyable experience. There’s little to no motion blur and ghosting even when playing moderately fast paced games. The 4K resolution provides extensive detail and sharpness to the display. Whether you’re watching a movie or playing your favorite game, it’ll look stunning. Its 32 inch screen size gives users more screen real estate and eliminates any scaling issues other, smaller 4K monitors may have.
The color reproduction is quite accurate, with 100% sRGB gamut coverage. The brightness rating at 250 nits is slightly on the lower end of the spectrum but there are no viewing problems even in brightly lit rooms. The 328E1CA also has a pair of 3W speakers in its chassis which add value, providing adequate sound for casual usage. It also has a low blue light filter which helps reduce eye strain and headaches after prolonged usage for viewers.
Overall, this cheap 32 inch 4K monitor from Philips cuts a few corners in terms of additive features such as extensive connectivity, but it covers all its basics quite well. The backlight bleeding in the corners of the display panel is almost unnoticeable. Besides that, the display is fantastic and provides great detail with rich, vivid colors and sharp details. All in all, the 328E1CA is a terrific purchase if you’re in the market looking for a large, cheap 4K monitor.