With the current financial year drawing to a close, retail stores everywhere are hoisting up signs proclaiming their massive savings. For astute buyers, this is the perfect time to buy PC components — and you're guaranteed to find savings. We take some of the hard work out of nabbing a bargain with our roundup of the ten best 22in and 24in monitors we've tested. Plus we reveal some of the bargains prices you can expect if you shop around.
HP's mid-range 22in offering provides a good image for average home use. No DVI connection may deter some users, but its VGA and HDMI inputs are easily adaptable to fit a DVI setup. HP's signature gloss black design will fit most modern computer setups. Expect a $600 price mark in most retail stores, but you'll be able to find it as low as $564.64. Check out what we liked about it here.
What's Hot: Brightview glare panel produces a great image.
The L2245W provides a compelling alternative to the w2207h, offering greater adjustability, connectivity and colour for a similar price. The screen's ability to rotate into portrait mode is a fantastic addition for business users and non-gamers. Expect a $599 price tag at some of the larger retailers, but keener buyers will be able to find it for $562. Check out our full review.
What's Hot: Great colour, excellent contrast, no noise, screen can be rotated.
Lenovo's relatively high price point reflects its aim of producing a quality high-definition picture. With little adjustment necessary to achieve fantastic colour, the L220X is aimed at those who require premium quality and are willing to pay for it. While there is no HDMI input to take advantage of the monitor's HD resolutions from conventional devices, the monitor's DVI input is easily adaptable and will get the task done. Lenovo's suggested price tag of $999 is largely honoured by retail stores, but it is possible to find it with a $955.56 price tag. See what we thought about it here.
What's Hot: Easy to set-up, OSD buttons clearly labelled, displayed deep and rich colours
A slightly cheaper alternative to Lenovo's offering, Philips provides slightly better connectivity with the addition of HDCP-capable DVI and HDMI ports. A gloss black bezel and glossy screen accentuate the monitor's great colours, and colour calibration is easy. The 220XW has an RRP of $899, but snoop around and grab a great deal at $432. Our full run-down here.
What's Hot: Has an HDMI port, 16:10 aspect ratio comes in handy, excellent contrast
An honourable mention, Dell's prototype crystal design may not be a contender for mainstream monitor buyers, but for those who need to make a fashion statement this monitor will certainly provide one. Great contrast and built-in speakers mean this monitor will suit any PC enthusiast's setup, but the glass bezel has some negative side effects. Dell is currently selling the monitor through its online store for $1599. Head here to see how the monitor performed.
What's Hot: Stylish design, built-in webcam speakers and microphone, good contrast
Samsung SyncMaster 245T
In an extremely competitive market, Samsung provides competitive products, and the 245T is a great example. With extensive input options, picture-in-picture display and an integrated USB hub, there's little to fault with this monitor. Given the versatility of the device, expect a slight premium. It has a current RRP of $1199, but astute buyers will be able to find it for $726. Our full review gives you the whole picture.
What's Hot: Plethora of inputs, picture-in-picture
Samsung SyncMaster 245T
Samsung's other 24in contender is the 2493HM, a monitor more suited for gaming and movies rather than general use. This monitor improves on the 245T with slightly better response times and a 10 000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, but at the cost of less connections. Most stores ask for $620 for the monitor, but we managed to find it for $595. Find out what else we liked here.
What's Hot: Good image quality, nice design
Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP
Dell is often the first port of call for many when looking to buy large monitors at reasonable prices. The 2408WFP is a remarkable monitor that provides great colour quality and temperature. Get in quick to grab the monitor for a bargain at $799, down from its regular price of $999. Get the full story from our review.
What's Hot: Sharp images, great colours, impressive blacks, incredible contrast
The 2490WUXi specifications may not seem incredible in comparison to its current competitors, but in the real world it has exceptional colour reproduction. As is usual with NEC products, users have extensive adjustability options, allowing them to calibrate the monitor to suit their needs. At $2179, this monitor isn't priced for the average buyer. Those who need the quality will be able to find it for $1399. Check out our full review to see if it's worth the price for you.
What's Hot: Good colour reproduction, Sharp pictures, Extensive calibration options
LG's L246WH monitor proves a great display for general tasks and some movie watching. With great colour quality and conventional home entertainment inputs available, including HDMI and component, LG offers a monitor that can do more than simply act as a display for your PC. While $999 is its standard retail price, you can buy it for less than half that these days, with some stores selling it for $425. Head here to see how the monitor performs overall.
What's Hot: Deep blacks, rich colours, HDMI and component connections