To be a professional gamer you don’t necessarily need expensive peripherals. There are some great cheap monitors which can get the job done just as well as higher-end monitors. To help you find what i am talking about, i decided to review the 5 best cheap gaming monitors that you can buy right now. Let’s take a look at them.
1. ASUS VG248QE
Just like with every list we have about gaming monitors, the VG248QE takes the #1 spot in this best cheap gaming monitors list. ASUS VG248QE is the oldest model in our list and still tops it. It may have fallen behind the more modern screens with 8-bit color and flicker-free backlighting. However, it is still up there and is a keeper. It makes a decent budget buy with 144Hz refresh rate and a 3D Vision compatibility and mindboggling responsiveness. Of course it has some cons like every other product, but it is the cheapest option for a gaming monitor.
ASUS VG248QE features a 24-inch 1080p TN panel that has a native refresh rate of 144Hz and a response time of 1ms. To add to all of that the contrast ratio is 1000:1. It is one of the first monitors to achieve a native 144Hz in the market, combined with amazing responsiveness and crisp clarity.
Of course, the colour reproduction is not as good as the newer models, but it is difficult to find anything better at colour reproduction and accuracy. It reproduces 93% of the sRGB colour gamut. The pretty decent number for a TN monitor, but back when it first was launched the ASUS VG248QE had the best colours in the market. The panel excels in contrast. Right out of the box it has achieved 1080:1 at 80 per cent brightness. With a little fine-tuning and playing in a good lit environment the blacks will be as good as in a $1200 monitor.
The input lag in the monitor averaged around 3.2ms which is perfect for competitive gaming. Anything more than 5ms results in a frame delay. But avid gamers tend to notice these details and want to get every advantage that they can get.
The ASUS VG248QE uses pulse width modulation for backlight dimming control, a pretty old technology, that is very tiring for people with sensitive eyes. You also won’t find AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync because this was created before the VRR tech era. The Lightboost feature of this monitor is used to eliminate motion blur from your gaming sessions.
Despite its age and flaws, the ASUS VG248QE is still one of the cheapest and better options you can find if you need a gaming monitor.
2. BenQ XL2411P
BenQ has not been a household name with gamers for years, but since the Zowie series, it has started to become a respected brand in the gaming community, with a variety of picks. One of those examples is BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P with its 144hz monitor with a relatively low price point. It is a nice option for those who want to get in competitive gaming without breaking the bank.
In the design depart BenQ seems to have not put in a lot of effort, however, this does not translate into a bad thing. It does not seem to fall into a fit with the over detailing of gaming monitors. A matte plastic case is all that covers the panel, does a good anti-reflective job keeping the focus on the task at hand.
The neck is round and cylindrical also following suit with its simplistic design. The neck attaches to the base which is rectangular and does a great job of stabilizing the monitor. It allows for adjustments to happen to the extremes, you can adjust the monitor to any angle, height or tilt that you feel comfortable with. A great feature for people who tend to stay long hours on their desks.
With a frequency of 144hz, the 1920×1080 panel is guaranteed to keep you satisfied with its smooth gaming experience. BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P has an input lag that of only close to 4ms, combined with 1ms response time speed and 144hz refresh rate will take your fast-paced gaming to another level. There is also an ‘Instant Mode’ feature which you can set to allow the display to eliminate some image processing to ensure the minimal input lag.
BenQ’s ZOWIE series are known for their motion blur reduction technology. Also in the OSD menu, you can find the ‘Blurr Reduction’ option which strobes the backlight and reduces the motion blur and ghosting, however, when this mode is activated the screens maximum brightness will be reduced.
One of the favourite features with gamers is the Black eQualizer feature which increases visibility in darker screens, ensuring you will see everything appearing in your screen. With a countless list of features, BenQ ZOWIE XL2411P is the best budget monitor.
3. MSI MAG24C
MSI MAG24C is a monitor with 144Hz refresh rate with VA panel that gives you the closest Esports experience without paying the top dollars. Together with its aesthetics and tons of features and functionalities makes it a very competitive option, if you are on the market for a gaming monitor with high framerates and quick response times.
The new MSI MAG24C design-wise it is very aggressive and daring. The previous MSI monitors were somewhat more simplistic and elegant, safer designs. But the designers of the MSI MAG24C have done an amazing job.
The curve is not very noticeable but it helps the experience of very slim bezels. The black matte body with angular and aggressive lines and the red LED strips. It is rather surprising seeing an entry-level model with a striking design, most manufacturers choose to go with bland and boring designs.
The build quality is also very good and durable, built with premium materials. The base and stand compliment the overall design and are very stable and functional. You can adjust the monitor however you want it the possibilities are endless. Connectivity options are decent.
The 24-inch curved VA panel with a 1920×1080 resolution, refresh rate of 144Hz and an MPRT boosted response time of 1ms. The contrast ratio is very high at 3000:1 resulting in insanely deep blacks combined with the 250cd/m2 backlight. And the VA screen shows its quality with deep blacks, exceptional vibrancy and proper grayscale performance. Testing the display it reproduces 110% of the sRGB colour gamut. The colours really pop amazingly. However, they are not as accurate for professional work.
The display portrays everything uniformly across its curved surface. There is no backlight leakage in the corners, something apparent in most curved displays. No blurring and ghosting and solid Esports grade frame rate and response time. Input lag average is 6ms brilliant number, any less isn’t noticeable for the human eye.
Due to its reasonable pricing and extraordinary performance the MSI MAG24C is an amazing monitor. It is not as accurate on colours as other models but if you get it for gaming and general use you won’t find better.
4. Acer XFA240
With the 144Hz becoming more affordable every day, offering everybody a higher refresh rate, a feature that was reserved for high-end monitors. While the best ones are still expensive, more affordable options have started to emerge, and they are pretty good. Acer XFA240 is a 24-inch Full HD 1080p monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It is pretty cheap, and very good.
Aesthetic wise the Acer XFA240 rocks a simple and minimalistic design. It is the elementary version of its Predator cousin. The utilitarian design works well with the Acer XFA240 and keeps the prices low. It has a matte black finish all around, and it feels nice to touch. The bezels are thin, and the whole design makes this monitor a great choice of those who want to stay away from the gaming monitor look. And it is sturdy and durable as well.
However, the ports are limited on this product, disappointing not a deal-breaker though. The base of the stand is circular and has a red band like accent around its neck. The stand is very stable and adjustable, you can tilt it, swivel it, adjust its height and so much more.
The 24-inch TN panel with a refresh rate of 144Hz, 1ms response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio. Very strong specs for an entry-level gaming monitor. These are numbers that you can find on high-end models, but Acer has found a way to implement all of this in this monitor. A lot of buyers have reported that out of the box the monitor was very bight and colours very washed-out. But after some calibration and adjustment, the image became significantly better. Up to par with ‘better’ models.
When reaching near 144Hz colours become faded and washed out. You can simply avoid this by limiting the frame rate to 120Hz, you will not notice the difference between 120Hz and 144Hz. In today’s saturated market, finding a cheap and quality monitor is not easy. But Acer has always provided with quality products even at lower prices.
The Acer XFA240 is one of the best 144Hz monitors you can buy through-out all price ranges.
5. Viewsonic XG2401
The XG2401 is Viewsonic’s first attempt at making a gaming monitor. And to our good luck, an amazing gaming monitor has emerged. It has a 24-inch screen that will suit your gaming needs with crazy-fast response times, different preset modes for different genres and its AMD FreeSync support just pushes this monitor to another level.
The Viewsonic XG2401 has a plain black build, it is very boring looking, to be honest. The red stripes added for enhancing the gaming look around the base and stand looks very out of place and forced. Not the most aesthetic choice you will wind on the market. However, what it lacks in looks it makes up in practicality and adjustability.
The monitor is VESA-mountable if you feel the need to change the stand, but the stand is highly adjustable on its own. You can raise or lower it, tilt it, and swivel it up to 90 degrees.
It has a various number of ports, acceptable for an entry-level gaming monitor. The interface is pretty intuitive and refreshingly simple. You can go in-depth pretty easily and select preset genre-specific settings. You can tweak anything to your liking, as well as activate the AMD FreeSynd and the Low Input Lag.
This 24-inch 1080p monitor has a refresh rate of 144Hz, which is awesome for gaming. It had two shooters presets which I personally tried and they both felt well thought and designed for a purpose. In Dota 2 everything looked so lively and colours were popping without being distracting. When choosing RTS or MOBA modes in the monitor the sharpness is exceptional, however, the image is not as vibrant.
The AMD FreeSync works perfectly if you have an AMD graphics card in your PC. No screen tear at all with FreeSync in use. But most users reported even in standard mode the monitor performed close to FreeSync mode.
The monitor has a SmartSync technology that automatically selects the best refresh rate and response time for the game you are playing. Although not as accurate for specific genres it is a good addition, but most gamers will choose to tune the settings themselves. The best entry-level monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. Definitely one of the best cheap gaming monitors out there.