Best overall

HP 22er

HP 22er

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The HP 22er ($126.46), also available in 23-, 25- and 27-inch variations, is an attractive white display with a minimal bezel on the front to offer a premium viewing experience. We'll let off the fact there's no VESA mount due to the thin design, but these things would look rather stunning mounted on a bracket. (Come on, HP, make it happen.)

The ports on the rear, which include both VGA and HDMI, are easily accessible, and with IPS you'll be able to take advantage of great viewing angles. Response time for viewing media clocks in at seven milliseconds so it's not really built for gaming. The company has also coated the display with antiglare to ensure that reflections and glare don't ruin on-screen content.

Bottom line: It's a gorgeous 21-inch display that won't destroy your PC budget.

One more thing: This thing is super thin.

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

Sporting a super-thin design and a gorgeous panel, this monitor by HP is a stunning purchase for any PC setup.

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 $126.46, it's also not incredibly expensive. Ports are restricted to a single HDMI and VGA, but attach a 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.

Best budget

AOC e2050Swd

AOC E2050SWD

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AOC is a solid brand, though it isn't as popular as the more well-known manufacturers in this list. The e2228swdn ($79.99) is an affordable 21.5-inch screen with a narrow bezel, which comes with VESA mounting options that allow you to take full advantage of stands and clamps. With a latency rate of five milliseconds, it is ideal for not only work and productivity but some gaming on the side, too.

There's a slight downside to this particular model, and that's the omission of an HDMI port; it offers VGA and DVI inputs, which should allow you to connect your PC up just fine.

Bottom line: There's no HDMI, but this is one affordable display.

One more thing: It's not Full HD, sporting a resolution of just 1600 x 900.

Best touch

Dell S2240T

Dell S2240T

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This display from Dell sports edge-to-edge glass with a sleek and clean design. Offering a 1080p experience with optional touch support, the 2240T ($291.86) is a slightly more premium (and expensive) option compared to what we've looked at thus far.

Luckily, there's HDMI as well as VGA and DVI-D to hook up your PC and other devices, and there's also VESA mount support. Response time for the S2240T sits at 25 milliseconds (12 milliseconds with overdrive), and it's a glossy screen, so you may wish to position on your desk to optimize your viewing experience with ambient light sources.

Bottom line: It's a great screen to take advantage of touch controls in Windows 10.

One more thing: The slow response time is no good for gaming.

Best curved

Samsung CF390

Samsung CF390

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Curved displays aren't really sought after at this size, but should you wish to pick up two of these and throw them onto a mounting arm, you'll be able to create a rather immersive setup.

Samsung's CF390 ($129.99) has only a slight bend in the display, which allows two or more of them to wrap around the viewer.

Bottom line: This is a stunning, curved monitor that can be used for both work and play.

One more thing: This display packs AMD FreeSync support for enhanced gaming.

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.

Best overall

HP 22er

HP 22er

See at Amazon

The HP 22er ($126.46), also available in 23-, 25- and 27-inch variations, is an attractive white display with a minimal bezel on the front to offer a premium viewing experience. We'll let off the fact there's no VESA mount due to the thin design, but these things would look rather stunning mounted on a bracket. (Come on, HP, make it happen.)

The ports on the rear, which include both VGA and HDMI, are easily accessible, and with IPS you'll be able to take advantage of great viewing angles. Response time for viewing media clocks in at seven milliseconds so it's not really built for gaming. The company has also coated the display with antiglare to ensure that reflections and glare don't ruin on-screen content.

Bottom line: It's a gorgeous 21-inch display that won't destroy your PC budget.

One more thing: This thing is super thin.

Updated on September 12, 2017: We refreshed this list to ensure we're still offering you the best 21-inch monitors on the market.