The 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice offers eye-catching color on a budget, but it’s not flawless. However, despite the concessions made to keep it at such a low price, it offers good value for money. You won’t find many 1080p monitors for less, but it might still be worth the wait until it goes on sale.
Price When Revised
Best prices today: 24-inch MonoPrice Crystal Pro 44029
Monitors sold under $150 make sacrifices to hit their tempting price tag. The new 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice is no exception, but its solid color performance puts it a step ahead of some alternatives.
Note: This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best monitors. Head there for more information on competing products, what to look for in a monitor, and purchase recommendations.
24-inch Monoprice CrystalPro: the specs
Monoprice’s 24-inch CrystalPro 44029 has rudimentary specs. It offers 1080p resolution and has an IPS display panel. The refresh rate is increased to 75Hz from 60Hz, but Adaptive Sync support is not announced. The monitor also lacks DisplayPort.
Screen Size: 23.8 inches
Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh rate: 75Hz
Ports: 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x VGA
Stand Adjustment: Tilt
VESA Mount: 100x100mm
Price: $149.99 ($134.99 at post)
Simple specifications are justified by the low price. The 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice isn’t the cheapest 24-inch 1080p monitor available, but it’s close.
24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice: Design
The 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice monitor offers a slim bezel look with small bezels on the top and sides, plus a larger (but still small) chin. It’s a modern, minimalist look that should work on any desk.
The build quality is meager, but it avoids any notable pitfalls. The panel plastics are thin and slightly creaky, but do not allow for any unusual bending or deformation when handled. It looks as good as many monitors in the $200-$400 price range.
Monoprice attaches to a simple, snap-in stand that only adjusts to tilt and doesn’t lift the monitor away from a table. This is a problem for tall owners as the monitor sits too low and there is no built-in height adjustment. I placed the monitor on a pile of hardcover books.
A 100x100m VESA mount is available for use with third-party monitor mounts and arms, although strangely, it only has two of the four normally provided mounting locations. This isn’t ideal, but doable given the monitor’s small size and minimal weight.
24-inch Monoprice CrystalPro: Features and Menu
The 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice’s connectivity includes just two ports: one HDMI 1.4 and VGA. It’s an odd selection for a modern monitor, as it means there’s a single input usable with most modern computers. The 24-inch CrystalPro isn’t a good choice if you want to connect a PC and another device, like a game console or a streaming stick.
A set of buttons on the right chin of the monitor provides adjustments. They’re less intuitive than a joystick control, but they offer a nice tactile feel that makes them easy to use in a dark or dark room.
Monoprice’s menu system strikes again with confusing and poorly optimized controls. The direction in which the buttons took me through the menus was usually not what I expected, and some features (like brightness) took a long time. Monoprice clearly doesn’t consider the menu system a priority, but some basic layout improvements would go a long way.
Despite this, a good range of image quality options are available. There’s brightness and contrast, of course, plus a good range of preset modes, some color temperature presets, and three-way RGB color adjustment. The monitor also offers some gaming features such as a black equalizer to enhance the dark areas of gaming. These options, while basic, are acceptable for the price.
24-inch Monoprice CrystalPro: SDR image quality
The 24-inch CrystalPro Monoprice’s specs look pretty basic. It has a 23.8-inch IPS panel, 1080p, with a refresh rate of 75Hz. Aside from the slight increase in refresh rate, this is as simple as a modern 24-inch monitor can get. However, the monitor has its strengths.
The brightness reaches a maximum of 261 nits. This isn’t a high level of brightness, but it’s not too dark either, and will be usable in most situations. I only found the glare unimpressive when I opened all my windows on a sunny summer day – and it was acceptable, nonetheless.
Still, if you want shine, look elsewhere. There are many alternatives that provide a higher level of shine and some, like the 24-inch Monoprice Dark Matter, are just a hair’s breadth more expensive.
The contrast ratio comes in at a moderate 890:1. This isn’t an excellent level of contrast for a modern IPS monitor, but it’s not bad either, and about what I’d expect for the price.
The 24-inch CrystalPro offers a decent sense of depth and dimensionality when used in a darkened room. When used in a dark room, however, the monitor’s high black levels and hazy “IPS brightness” take away from the experience. Shadow detail is missing and areas that should appear dark appear gray.
The color gamut reaches 98% of sRGB and only 76% of DCI-P3. This is a far cry from the widest color gamut available on a mid-range monitor, but again, fine for an extremely expensive monitor.
The limited color gamut will lead to accuracy issues and more noticeable color banding for photo and video editors, but this is not the monitor’s intended use.
The 24-inch CrystalPro advances color accuracy, delivering far better accuracy than the competitive monitor set. It’s remarkable, really, to see a monitor in this price range do so well. High precision makes the most of the monitor’s limited color gamut. The scenes look realistic and convincing.
This is most notable when viewing videos or photos, but is also good for general use, as budget monitors tend to struggle with certain common tones (like the bright, vivid reds that many brands, including PCWorld, use on their web pages. ).
With that said, the budget monitor’s focus is found on gamma and color temperature. The gamma curve of 2.3 is a little off target of 2.2, so the content tends to look darker than it should. The default color temperature has reached 7400K, which is noticeably cooler than the 6500K target. The image may seem a little sterile and hostile. Finally, the monitor suffers from some vignetting, meaning the extreme edges are noticeably a little darker than the middle.
The monitor’s 1080p resolution is not sharp. Small fonts can appear pixelated or become difficult to read, video is often smooth, and games can show aliasing and shimmer along fine details. That said, monitor sharpness is as good as can be expected for the resolution, as the monitor avoids sub-pixel and dot-pitch issues that can degrade clarity.
Overall, the 24-inch CrystalPro performs well for its price. It’s not amazing, but it’s good enough that if I’m somehow forced to wear it every day for the rest of my life, I’d be fine. That’s high praise for a screen currently sold under $150.
24-inch Monoprice CrystalPro: Motion clarity
The 24-inch CrystalPro has a 75Hz refresh rate, but it doesn’t have anything to appeal to gamers. This includes support for adaptive sync (including FreeSync and G-Sync).
Motion clarity isn’t great on default settings. Fast camera pans and fast-moving objects introduce large blur that will make it difficult to identify details. if you are playing DOTA 2for example, an enemy hero’s size and color are discernible while scrolling, but the name and health bar are impossible to read.
There are two improved response times settings that improve things a little, but only a little. They also cause overshoot artifacts that are noticeable as bright rings, halos, or patterns behind high-contrast objects.
In short, it’s not a great monitor for fast gaming. A monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and adaptive sync will be more expensive, but it’s worth the premium if you can afford it.
The 24-inch Monoprice CrystalPro 44029 is a good budget option if you want a no-frills monitor with acceptable image quality. Just be sure to check prices, as budget monitors are often on sale: our top budget monitor, Acer’s very similar K242HYL, is even cheaper.