Best Small Computer Monitors – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

The most common uses of computer monitors these days are for multimedia, gaming, or operating design software programs.

The feature requirement differs in each case; gamers look for bigger screens altogether while people who just want to use Netflix only need a good display. 

Regardless, the variety of options in the market can make it confusing to choose the right option, which is why we have laid out a guide for you below.

Our Top Picks for Small Computer Monitors

  • Compatible with all OS
  • Clear, bright view
  • Wide view
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  • Wide view
  • Quick response time
  • Variety of inputs
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  • Best for the Money
  • High resolution screen
  • Convertible ports
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Comparison of the Best Small Computer Monitors

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with plug and play for full compatibility
  • Comes with a high brightness and wide contrast range
  • Has a high 178 degrees positional view
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  • Has a wide 19.2 inch screen included
  • Very quick response time for the monitor
  • Comes with input signals for DVI and VGA
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  • Best for the Money
  • Comes with a high 1600 by 900 resolution
  • HDMI ports can be converted to DVI
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  • Best Small Portable Computer Monitor
  • It is powered by USB cable
  • Has a slim and lightweight design
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  • Best Small Computer Monitor with HDMI
  • Comes with a full HD widescreen IPS display
  • Has a zero-frame design for a larger viewing area
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  • Best Small HD Computer Monitor
  • It is equipped with the VESA mounting feature
  • Comes with VGA HDMI and HDCP connectivity support
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  • Best Small LCD Computer Monitor
  • Can be used in CCTV systems as well as for PC monitor
  • It comes with a clear and colorful display output
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What Size is Considered a Small Monitor?

A small monitor is usually between 19 and 30 inches, measured diagonally. The former option is more sought-after as it gives sufficient display at the right price point. They easily fit into any space and have good connectivity with tablets, mobiles, and larger screens. 

Some smaller monitors do not have a bezel; this gives a more expansive display for the user but can also add to the price. Smaller monitors also have a good resolution and performance speed. Users can get the best of the color clarity with smaller monitors, and they also prove to be perfectly sufficient for multipurpose everyday use. 

What to Look For When Buying a Small Computer Monitor

Many features come in handy in a small computer monitor and add to the performance and overall user experience. Knowing the capability of key features can help you make the right purchasing decision. Here are some features you can keep an eye out for; 

Resolution

The standard resolution is 1080p and pretty good for everyday use. However, if you are looking for something more affordable, you can opt for 1440p, which is preferred by gamers for its high refresh rate. For a more detailed display, 4K works best with a good graphics card. 

Brightness

High-quality monitors use a brightness setting of about 300 candelas per square meter, which is sufficient for most unless you are looking to use the monitor in a highly lit environment. However, extra brightness can put a strain on the eyes, so it is better to go for monitors with blue filters for added comfort. 

Response Time

This is indicative of how quickly the monitor can display image transitions. It is measured in milliseconds, and a low response time works sufficiently for action videos and small gameplays.

Panel Type

If you are looking to use your monitor for multimedia use, you would want to make sure that you can view it from any corner of your space. This is where panel type comes in; a TN panel is affordable but does not offer good viewing angles. On the other hand, IPS panels have better colors and viewing angles.

Quick Take - Best Small Computer Monitors

Just looking for the three best small computer monitors? Here they are:

  1. HP Pavilion 21.5" Monitor T4Q59AA
  2. Acer K202HQL
  3. Sceptre E205W-16003R

Review of the Best Small Computer Monitors

Opting for the perfect monitor is never easy as many features have to go hand in hand to provide the right results. To help you with the technical knowledge required for the right purchase, we have laid out an elaborate review for some of the best small computer monitors below. 

HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-Inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor, Tilt, VGA and HDMI (T4Q59AA) - Black

PROS

  • Offers wide viewing angles
  • Compatible with other monitors
  • Comes at a good value for money
  • Has a sleek design which can fit into any space
  • Promises good overall performance in terms of refresh rate

CONS

  • Has a tilt-only stand
  • Does not have a USB port

What Recent Buyers Report

This 21.5-inch HP Pavilion LED-monitor is adored by most for its sleek design that goes remarkably with ultra-thin cabinets. Apart from its aesthetics, most users have boosted its wide viewing angles and solid image quality thanks to the IPS panel, and that too at a very good price point.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Using a bezel-less screen, HP has really topped up its design game with this one; the screen looks wider than standard 21-inch competitor monitors. The only bezel is at the bottom in matte black and houses the functional buttons.

It offers more control to the user by featuring noise reduction at three levels. The screen can be a bit reflective at times, but it works very well in dimly lit areas. The body is plastic, which gives it the lightweight nature, and users get two outward-facing video ports; HDMI and VGA. It does not have external speakers or a webcam, but it is still a pretty sweet deal at this price point.

Bottom Line

For those looking to get a good deal with all the high-performance features, this HP Pavilion monitor is the best option. It is a good medium-screen monitor that combines the best of aesthetics and performance to deliver the ultimate display.

Runner-up:
Acer K202HQL

Acer K202HQL bd 20” (19.5' viewable) (1600 x 900) Monitor (DVI & VGA Ports)

PROS

  • Has a good display for everyday use
  • High image quality for multimedia usage
  • Offers a very interactive and user-friendly interface
  • Comes with various connection ports for added compatibility with other devices

CONS

  • Does not have in-built speakers

What Recent Buyers Report

Known for its excellent performance for everyday usage, the Acer K2 Series monitor has an exceptionally good image quality and blue light filter for a more comfortable viewing experience. Users also find its multiple connection ports and adjustable stand to be very useful features at this value.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With its 19.5 inches LED-backlit display and tendency to produce detailed images at a high resolution, this Acer monitor has beaten others of the same value very easily. It features a good contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1, which allows for better revelation of dimly lit imagery.

It has a response rate of five milliseconds, which is one the highest achieved as of yet. This offers clarity and delivers outstanding colors using its in-built ‘Adaptive Contrast Management.’ It also has ComfyView to reduce any eye strain because of reflection for those who have a lot of monitor time in their routine.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is the best ergonomic and environment-friendly option from the list, which has great viewing angles. It provides comfort through its LED backlighting in dim settings. It has inbuilt patented technology that makes use of arsenic-free display glass, and users get to recycling its packaging.

Best for the Money:
Sceptre E205W-16003R

Sceptre 20' 1600x900 75Hz Ultra Thin LED Monitor 2x HDMI VGA Built-in Speakers, Machine Black Wide Viewing Angle 170° (Horizontal) / 160° (Vertical)

PROS

  • Very reasonably priced
  • Offers a very good grayscale performance
  • Has a good image quality and color accuracy
  • A very good fit for compact work or living spaces
  • Uses auto-sharpness and brightness feature to deliver the best multimedia results

CONS

  • Does not have any USB ports
  • Maximum resolution is 1600 x 900, not the best at this price point

What Recent Buyers Report

This Sceptre monitor is a breath of fresh air for those who have to operate in small spaces and have a limited budget but require high performing features. Many have reported its active-matrix technology to have proven useful in delivering accurate colors and good grayscale performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It has a bezel-free cabinet that allows for a multi-monitor setup. It offers 20 degrees of tilt at the maximum and is VESA compatible. It has a non-reflective coating, which means users can operate it in a highly lit environment. It has a high refresh rate of five milliseconds and consists of HDMI inputs and a VGA port for compatibility with other devices.

One thing that makes this Sceptre monitor stand out from the rest is the good-quality built-in speakers along with a headphone jack. These speakers work alongside the flexible viewing angles to deliver the ultimate viewing experience. The whole screen is well-lit from the middle of the screen down to every corner and can produce good images from darker scenes.

Bottom Line

If solid performance is the key feature you have in mind at a very reasonable price, this bezel-free monitor will suit you the best. Not only does it have the ability to display accurate colors, but it also has a good refresh rate, which can work well for most, even gamers.

Best Small Portable Computer Monitor:
 AOC e1659Fwu 15.6" Ultra Slim

AOC e1659Fwu 15.6-Inch Ultra Slim 1366x768 Res 200 cd/m2 Brightness USB 3.0-Powered Portable LED Monitor w/ Case

PROS

  • A budget-friendly monitor
  • Offers sharp image quality
  • Has a USB 3.0 port for better transfer rates
  • Body of the monitor is sleek for easier portability
  • Features an anti-glare coating for a comfortable vision

CONS

  • Sometimes the color accuracy is skewed
  • Reflective screen can be bothersome in highly-lit spaces

What Recent Buyers Report

While its shiny black finish and light-weight body attract most, this monitor is also known for being one step ahead of its competitor models thanks to its 3.0 USB port and anti-glare coat. Most users like both these features, as it is not easy to get them at this price point.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is the first time AOC introduced a VESA compatible monitor. This model differs because of its adjustability features; it can fold in the cabinet when not active. It also has an auto-pivot feature that involuntarily alters the image direction when the panel is flipped.

It is also the only compact monitor till now with a USB 3.0 port, which has proved useful in getting transfers done a lot faster. The brightness can be adjusted using ‘DisplayLink’ in the control panel. It also offers compatibility with most laptops and other devices.

Bottom Line

To sum it up, The AOC E1659Fwu is the best portable option from this list. The 15.6-inch screen is sufficient for the monitor to house good refresh rates and deliver good color accuracy and sharpness for good viewer experience.

Best Small Computer Monitor with HDMI:
 Acer SB220Q 21.5" Ultra Thin

Acer SB220Q bi 21.5 Inches Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor (HDMI & VGA port),Black

PROS

  • Offers full HD resolution
  • IPS display gives good viewing angles
  • Has super-thin bezels which make the screen look bigger
  • Comes with AMD FreeSync for a smooth user experience
  • Refresh rate is of 75Hz, which is sufficient for even gaming

CONS

  • Has a tilt-only design
  • Not VESA compatible therefore a VESA adapter will be required to connect it

What Recent Buyers Report

Even though this unit was introduced as a small high-performance monitor, it is now more known for its flexibility option, such as the 20 degrees of tilt and the anti-glare coating, both of which combine to promise a great gaming experience. Users have also reported the HDMI and VGA ports to be useful for connecting their laptops.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Acer monitor is the best option for gamers, especially for those who cannot do easily with undue screen tearing in the middle of games. It can be equally bothersome while watching movies, and this monitor has the perfect solution: AMD’s FreeSync anti-tearing technology.

It not only takes away any hindrances, but it offers a four ms pixel response along with a 70Hz refresh to offer a seamless gaming experience.

Its best feature is its IPS panel, which complements the bezel-free design to offer great viewing angles. Even though it does not have VESA mount capability or USB ports, it has unmatched performance specs.

Bottom Line

As a budget monitor, the Acer SB220Q checks all the boxes for compact and lightweight hardware specifications and combines it efficiently with a 70Hz refresh rate to prevent any motion blur for a seamless user experience.

Best Small HD Computer Monitor:
HP VH240A

HP VH240a 23.8-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor with Built-in Speakers and VESA Mounting, Rotating Portrait & Landscape, Tilt, and HDMI & VGA Ports (1KL30AA) - Black

PROS

  • Has a very sleek design
  • Produces sharp HD pictures
  • Features a bezel-free cabinet
  • Offered at good value for money
  • Comes with a fully adjustable stand

CONS

  • Built-in speakers are of average quality
  • Users may experience some minor blurs in fast-paced videos

What Recent Buyers Report

Apart from its detailed display and evenly saturated colors, users are in awe of its IPS display. Most users like the deep color shades that the screen shows and consider it to be at par for casual gaming. It is also found to be ergonomic, thus making it comfortable for prolonged usage.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The HP VH240a offers wide viewing angles to its users, along with good brightness and contrast ratio, which is needed for a great video watching experience. Its five ms response rate contributes to good performance for bigger games.

The imagery is also quite balanced at a resolution of 1920 × 1080, and the screen size of 23.8 inches allows comfortable gaming. The interface is also quite user-friendly, and there have been no reported lagging so far thanks to its high-end specs.

Users also get to choose from the various viewing modes features, which allows for low-blue light emission. This makes the monitor’s usage more comfortable in dim light.

Bottom Line

All in all, the HP VH240a is not only ergonomic, but it is also the one-stop solution for your gaming and multimedia needs. If you are tight on budget and need a small computer monitor that is great for home use, don’t look elsewhere.

Best Small LCD Computer Monitor:
Eyoyo 12" TFT LCD Monitor

Eyoyo 12' Inch TFT LCD Monitor with AV HDMI BNC VGA Input 1366x768 Portable Mini HD Color Screen Display with Built-in Speaker

PROS

  • LCD display allows for great viewing angles
  • Has a high dynamic contrast ratio and response time
  • Features a contemporary design which can fit any space
  • Offers good color clarity using HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Equipped with multiple ports (HDMI, VGA, AV, BNC, USB) for compatibility with all devices

CONS

  • Mount is not VESA compatible
  • Not offered at the best value for money

What Recent Buyers Report

Owing to its good viewing angle and clear display, most users have found it to be quite effective for CCTV systems or indoor security. It is also liked for its LCD display, which helps in delivering good-quality images.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Employing TFT technology, the Eyoyo monitor has managed to achieve addressability in the images, which is why it is so fit to be used for security purposes. Because of its size, it might not be the best choice for playing games or watching videos, but its compact nature allows portability and space-saving.

Though most likely to be used for security purposes, this also has interference reduction features that can help get good signals. Users can benefit from the quick VGA input and the LCD for the ultimate safety.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is a really good investment for home security and a great addition to the indoor security systems. You can get the most out of it as its 11-inch screen can be housed anywhere, and you get the sharpest image possible with the best color accuracy.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Small Computer Monitors

Small computer monitors can be installed easily at home or workstations and can come in handy for multipurpose usages such as video watching, programming or gaming. Like everything, they come with their own pros and cons. Let’s see both aspects in more detail:

Advantages

Let’s first have a look at the pros:

Lightweight

Even though portability is not the most important aspect of small computer monitors, their size allows them to be lightweight. This gives two main benefits; it is easier to adjust them per the user’s need, and their sleek nature adds to the aesthetic of the space they are installed in.

Multi-Functionality 

While big computer monitors are specially made for pro-gaming or programming and laptops for everyday use, small computer monitors offer the best of both worlds by combining high-end specs in a powerful engine. This allows the user to carry out varied tasks at the same time without worrying about the device getting overheated. 

Affordable

Owing to their size, small computer monitors don’t cost an arm and a leg and can offer all the performance-related specifications present in high-end, bigger monitors. 

Disadvantages

On the other hand, one of the drawbacks is:

Less Visibility 

Some users may experience strain on eyes or squinting when they have important tasks to carry out, such as programming. The small size may affect readability on the screen, thus making the overall user experience uncomfortable. 

Small Monitor vs Small TV for Computer - Comparison Overview

A small monitor and a small TV do not have major differences in appearance, but the feature availability is where they hold their uniqueness. If you are confused between purchasing the two for gaming and video watching, this comparison below will help you sort things out; 

Screen Size

Most people have this as their top priority, as it directly relates to image quality. Even though resolution and panel type matter a lot, the screen size is what brings out the ultimate viewing experience. If you are in for that, go for 4K Ultra HD resolution, which is supported by both a monitor and a TV. 

Screen Resolution

A television currently only comes in full HD and 4K UHD resolutions while small monitors offer QHD containing 2560×1440 pixels. The pixel density helps produce better-quality images, so if you want a more detailed image on the screen, a small monitor would be a better option without any blurriness. 

HDR (High Dynamic Range)

High-end TVs offer 4K and also sustain HDR, resulting in the screen looking brighter and producing more vibrant images. HDR is popular amongst TVs, but now HDR small monitors are showing up, which puts them on the same level in this particular aspect.

Can a Small TV Be Used As a Computer Monitor?

For those looking to use a small TV as a computer monitor, there is an easy solution; all you need is HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) or DP (display port) cable. First, you will need to connect the cable to both the devices and then ensure that the resolution settings match. You can find the resolution settings in the ‘Display Adapter Properties’ in ‘Settings.’ 

Conclusion

Small computer monitors can come in handy, especially if they have add-on features such as ports or speakers. The small computer monitors mentioned above in the review all have something unique to offer. So before deciding on one, look out for the additional features it has to offer along with the key features as purchasing them separately can end up costing more than you might have predicted. 

People Also Ask

Regardless of what you decide to go for, you are bound to get stuck in the technicalities or usage aspects of small computer monitors. To make your experience worthwhile and less time-consuming, we have answered some frequently asked questions below; 

Can You Use a Tablet as a Monitor?

Tablets can be used as monitors if a second monitor app is installed on it and the computer monitor. Once connected using a USB cable or Wi-Fi, it will sync the data. There are also third-party apps available online that can give the same result without having to connect the devices together, such as SpaceDesk.

Can a Small Monitor Handle Newer Games?

There is no reason why a small monitor cannot handle newer games. Just make sure that your software requirement meets those of the game. The size does not matter much unless you are a pro gamer; in that case, a 24-inch monitor at 1080p resolution should be used at the minimum, which still falls under the category of small computer monitors. 

Is Resolution Lower on a Small Monitor?

The resolution will always be lower on a small monitor as the display's size stands in direct relation to the resolution. However, there may be more clarity because the pixels would not be as spread out as they would be on a larger monitor.