Back to school 2015: all the best tech supplies for the year ahead

Back to school

A crisp, new computer screen can be yours for less than the price of an old biology textbook. Budget monitors by companies like Samsung, LG, Acer and Viewsonic offer beautiful viewing experiences without the hefty price tags typically associated with computer displays.

For about $200 (or about £128, AU$270), you can enjoy 4K images, touch interfaces, ultra-wide viewing angles – all of which is ideally suited for endless nights of PC gaming – err, studying. Of course, there are more luxurious options on the market, like Acer's S277HK 4K UHD, which is better suited for design and photography majors who need precise colors and plenty of ports and connectors.

Regardless of what you're after, this list has something ideally suited for you at a price you can totally afford.

Back to School

Acer S277HK

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The most bang for your buck

There's a lot to like about Acer's 4K display. The S277HK offers uncompromised performance in an elegant package.

With a super quick refresh rate at maximum resolution, the S277HK is a versatile monitor that could be used for productivity and play. Picture-in-picture mode, side-by-side screen mode and a bezel-less design give you plenty of multitasking options with a single-display setup or with multiple panels.

Read the full review: Acer S277HK

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Viewsonic VX2363Smhl

The ideal budget-friendly option

This 23-inch, 1080p display is geared toward entertainment and gaming. That doesn't mean you can't get a ton of work done on it as well.

Built-in MHL, HDMI and VGA ports make it super-easy to connect to your PC and other devices. What you'll get on screen is a 50 million to 1 contrast ratio that sits inside of a sharp, bezel-less glass design.

Read the full review: Viewsonic VX2363Smhl

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LG 25UM57-P

A gamer's dream come true

This gaming-geared desktop monitor boasts a 2,560 x 1,080 resolution housed within a 21:9, ultrawide-format bezel. Its response time isn't market leading, but it's fast enough to help you shoot the zombies before they take a bite out of you.

Although this display is built for play, its dynamic color accuracy and four-screen split should help designers and photographers get tons of work done between games.

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Samsung U28D590D

4K for gamers and designers to love

You don't need to break the bank to buy a luxury 4K monitor that's perfect for gaming and design work. This Samsung unit will allow you to perfectly transition from a media project to a frag session without sacrificing quality on either end.

With a 1 millisecond response time that is among the best-in-class, this unit also touts a stylish, minimal design that boosts the appearance of any dorm room.

Read the full review: Samsung U28D590D

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Acer UT220HQL

Touch it to believe it

The younger readers out there might never have experienced a computer that didn't have touch functionality. Why should their monitors be any different?

The Acer UTO features an ultra-wide, 21:9 viewing format that is interactive with all Windows 8 applications. You can also use this monitor as a faux tablet by simply laying it on its back and swiping away.

Read the full review: Acer UT220HQL

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