Unless you’ve discovered the technology to plug a computer directly into your brain, you’re going to need a monitor to actually see what you’re doing. And if you’re a gamer, you’ll want to get a monitor that shows off all the fancy graphical goodness your computer can produce. That means you need crisp, vivid colors, good resolution, and a fast response time. For most players, the sweet spot for meeting these criteria at an affordable price seems to be a 24″ diagonal screen size. It offers plenty of real estate without crossing over into the 27″ range, where larger size and higher resolutions typically mean exponentially increasing costs.
These three monitors represent some of the best values money can buy when it comes to gaming monitors.
|Model||Resolution||Response||Contrast||Panel Type||Inputs||Brightness||Buy It|
|1920 x 1080||1 ms||12,000,000:1||TN||VGA|
|1920 x 1080||2 ms||50,000,000:1||IPS||VGA|
|1920 x 1080||5 ms||"Mega Infinity"||PLS||VGA|
BenQ Gaming RL2455HM
This monitor is perfectly suited to fast-paced gaming thanks to its lightning-fast 1 ms GTG response time, the fastest of any monitor on this list. That response time means that no matter how fast the action is moving on screen, you’ll enjoy a blur-free and delay-free experience. This applies not only to games, but movies as well. That said, this monitor was designed for gaming first, and it shows clearly in the feature set. For example, there are two RTS modes that adjust your settings to the perfect presets for either Starcraft II or DOTA II. Furthermore, with Gaming-Comfort ZeroFlicker Technology, developed in collaboration with pro gamers, you’ll avoid eye strain and fatigue even after long hours of nonstop gaming. Even if you don’t play games all the time, flicker-induced fatigue can affect you while doing any type of task on your computer.
The BenQ RL2455HM is a fantastic monitor, but it does have one glaring shortcoming: it’s a TN panel. TN (Twisted Nematic) is the most common type of display in consumer monitors because it is the least expensive to produce. The tradeoff is that TN panels have limited viewing angles. If you look at your monitor straight on, you’ll get fairly accurate colors, but if the screen is positioned above or below eye level, you’ll notice significant distortion in color. In fact, if you’re very close to your monitor, you might even be able to see the change looking from the top of the screen to the bottom. As long as you don’t plan on using this for a multi-monitor setup and keep the screen an appropriate distance away from you, however, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Clearly designed with gamers in mind, this monitor is wildly popular due to its 1 ms response time and ZeroFlicker technology. Of course, none of that would matter if it didn’t have exceptional picture quality. With an average 4.6/5 star review (659 total reviews) on Amazon, if you’re searching for a gaming monitor under $200, start here.
The Asus VS248H-P has a 2 ms GTG response time, which—though not as fast as the BenQ—is plenty quick for gaming. And with a dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1 (thanks to LED technology), you’ll get better detail in dark dungeons while maintaining the eye-popping visuals of some of gaming’s most picturesque vistas. Thanks to an IPS panel (as opposed to TN), the Asus offers terrific color reproduction no matter your viewing angle. That makes it ideally suited for multi-monitor setups, which is great because this monitor is VESA compatible. If you’re really looking for that “wow” factor, take three of these and mount them turned 90° (using a mount like this) for a giant 3240 x 1920 resolution setup. You can even move each arm separately to make a subtle curve, really putting you in the middle of the action. Check first to make sure your desk can accommodate all those screens, however.
It’s hard to find a real negative with this screen, but the one thing we’ll point out is that it has a matte finish. For some (especially those in rooms with lots of sunlight), that’s a positive, but for others, a glossy screen makes colors pop just a little bit more, meaning this panel might not look quite as “sexy” as some others at first. Still, with LED backlighting providing plenty of brightness, you’d be hard pressed to feel like colors are washed out at all on this monitor.
A quality screen with just about everything you could ask for from a gaming monitor, the Asus VS248H-P is a terrific choice whether you’re working on kill streaks or spreadsheets. It’s also a great value, considering it’s the cheapest monitor of the three we’ve listed ($149.99 after rebate at the time of this writing). With a 4.4/5 star average review (4,698 total reviews) on Amazon, it seems buyers are in agreement as well. A versatile choice for any gamer: click below to see more.
This Samsung monitor has unbeatable picture quality, as many users compare it to the much more expensive Dell Ultrasharp line of monitors, which many consider the gold standard in clarity and color reproduction. This is thanks in part to this screen’s Mega DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio) and PLS technology. PLS is Samsung’s proprietary answer to IPS, allowing all the same advantages when it comes to color reproduction at wide viewing angles. Just like the Asus monitor, the Samsung S24D390HL is well-suited for multi-monitor usage. Especially with such a thin bezel, you can line up two or three of these in a row and have a near-seamless experience across displays.
If you’re looking to mount this monitor, however, you’ll run into trouble. Samsung is all about having its own proprietary standards, and unfortunately this monitor isn’t VESA compatible. Additionally, while 5 ms is far from slow, it’s more than double the delay of the Asus (and quintuple that of the BenQ monitor). While neither of these are dealbreakers (especially if you plan on using this as your only monitor), they’re worth considering when you’re spending nearly $200 on a monitor.
Fantastic image quality, but a half step behind its competitors when it comes to gaming, this monitor would be an excellent choice for the gamer who also wants to watch cinematic movies with perfect contrast and color. The “Touch of Color” is neat, but purely for aesthetic purposes. The Samsung S24D390HL has an average 4.2/5 star review (197 total reviews) on Amazon. See more by clicking the button below.