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Best Budget 21-Inch Monitors for Windows 10 PCs

Why the HP 22er is the best affordable 21-inch monitor

The first thing you'll notice about the 22er by HP is the lack of bezel encircling the display. And because this is an IPS panel, it boasts some of the best viewing angles available on the market. While it's only at 1080p, it's ideal if you own a less powerful graphics card and need to do a little light gaming on the side.

At just $124.99, it's also not incredibly expensive. Ports are restricted to a single HDMI and VGA, but attach an HDMI splitter and you could have more than one device hooked up without having to switch cables. And you will enjoy the crisp quality and solid colors.

If you need a monitor that doesn't look like all other similarly priced options, you'll struggle to find better at this size than the 22er.

Conclusion

Picking up a 21-inch monitor is rather easy these days as most screens are similarly priced with almost identical specifications. That said, it is possible to find some unique options, which we've highlighted in this guide. You can go down the route of touch, enjoy AMD FreeSync, save some money or even go for gorgeous design. Overall, the HP 22er is our top pick for a budget 21-inch monitor.

Updated on July 05, 2018: We refreshed this list to ensure we're still offering you the best 21-inch monitors on the market.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

35 Comments
  • Today only I was looking for a monitor. YES! HP's 22er or 22es(in India), did made it in my list too, along with that AOC one. Now I'm more than assured to buy either of the two to use continuum & code as well on Windows 10!
    Ppl if you've got something more to add up lemme know
  • Any monitor for Windows 7?
  • Any 1366x768 monitor would be ideal for Windows 7, as that was the most common resolution back then. Above that you'll run into potential display scaling issues or tiny text. For high resolution displays you should be considering a modern OS designed for higher resolutions. Windows 10 at launch is designed to scale well all the way up to 8K as far as I'm aware
  • No
  • Lol no monitor is "for Windows 10", a monitor is just a monitor :P
  • That's what I'm thinking, monitors doesn't need a special compatibility, it never have. Replace that "Windows 10" with PC, that would be good to go.
  • What is up with the quality of the articles today? Is there nothing better to report on?
  • Its the 4th of July, nothing is happening but BBQs and enjoying the day off :)
  • what's so special about July 4th. It's just like any other Wednesday.
  • Amazon ads as usual.
  • Handy roundup, but I'm looking to future proof with a touchscreen monitor. I do need to draw a little as well. Thus far my thinkpad x20t is still handling it. I don't need wacom support but something that'd work with a surface pen would be awesome! (headsup Microsoft!) didn't I read MSFT and wacom were working on something? Anyways a $2000 cintiq is out of the price range. Other ideas anyone?
  • I have a Dell S2240L monitor.
  • Surprised there isn't an EIZO listed, I can not fault mine
  • I haven't known anyone who would go smaller than 24" in a long time.  It seems like smaller screens are mostly for business uses.
  • And I'm srill rocking old 16:10 19" LG. Not that I wouldn't like a bigger one...
  • Anything 22" or smaller at my employer is tagged for replacement with 24" as we're able to get stock in.
  • They seem too small these days. I have a 24" screen and still want a bigger one.
  • Dell S2216H(Indian Model) has IPS and technically very thin Bezel which makes to look nice, has vga and hdmi input, has a speaker inbuilt, response time is 6ms..But it doesn't has VESA mounting but it is not a big deal for a 21.5" monitor ..
  • I have a pair of these and they are awesome. Highly recommended. These are very good for dual screen work. On the plus side, the in built speakers are soothing enough for a workable multimedia experience. Not that I wanted them I'm happy that they are there. 
  • What are the best mini projectors for continuum?
  • Any Win10 monitor should be touchscreen. This is 2016, not 2007.  If I wanted a non touchscreen I would just buy a cheap LED TV with HDMI.  My grampaw still uses Windows 7!
  • Depends. Maybe you like Windows 10 am gaming. And would like to use a 27-48" monitor/TV as a monitor. Touch wouldn't be important then.
  • While I find touch very useful on a laptop, I find it just about useless on a desktop, which is what we're presumably talking about when it comes to purchasing monitors. 
  • I disagree. I need touch on everything. It's second nature now. There is always a time I can use it and just not having it is not an option for me. Same as the Surface Laptop. Thank god they gave it pen and touch.
  • I stopped reading after "AOC is a solid brand." AOC is total garbage. If you need to buy anything on this list get a better job or something. Seriously.
  • excuse the folks that need to consider AOC as a brand because they can't afford the premium stuff you can... jeez have some decency
  • LOL. Buying AOC because you can't afford premium monitors is the equivalent of eating dirt because you can't afford steak. There are plenty of decent options that won't break the bank either.
  • Exactly. Any search on newegg or amazon will give you plenty of options that are far better than AOC. it is terrible.....actually all of these options are meh choices....except for the HP. But even then there are similar of 24' monitors  which are better choices...
  • Sorry. These days, I'd say a 24 inch is the generic floor for large scale purchases of monitors (businesses/etc) and they're available for just barely over $100.  21 inches is like late 90s/early 2000s office spaces (ok, 17-19 inch was late 90s/early 2000s, but 21 isn't far off). 
  • Yes, I have been spoiled by 24" monitors at work that smaller ones look silly to me even if it is just 2" smaller.
  • 1080 looks way better on a 21 than on a 24. I prefer it that way and it seems some too. On a 24/25 I would rather have 1440 which again people consume it on 27. meh. doesn't look good. on 27 would rather have the 4k already. satisfied?
  • Good luck with your eyesight with a 24 inch monitor. I think some things you learn only when you suffer !
  • Care to explain your statement? I've been using 24" monitors and my eyesight has not changed. Literally, I'm using the same perscription I have been for more than 20 years.
  • Strangely, Nobody here mentioned square monitors. I have two square 19 inch Sharp monitors and I ain't going back to widescreen anytime soon.
  • So you have a big black gap in the middle because you put two square monitors together? No thanks.