Review of the Top 10 Best Gaming Monitors Under $200: An In-Depth Buying Guide
When it comes to certain computer accessories, like mice and keyboards, choosing the right set can largely come down to the individual user’s personal preference. But when it comes to monitors, it’s not so simple.
Although some gaming monitors are without a doubt better than some of their competitors – boasting much better technical aspects such as high-resolution, better color-depth and accuracy, as well as faster refresh rates – finding the perfect one for you isn’t an easy task.
Monitors, whether primarily used for gaming or not, tend to last upwards of five years, and depending on your jobs or hobbies, can be the thing you spend most of your life looking at. It’s this that makes choosing the best monitor under 200 something you definitely don’t want to get wrong.
But with the sheer amount of options available – brands, features, specs, sizes, etc. – making that choice is often overwhelming for the average person. Because of this, we decided to put together this detailed guide, giving you an insight into how to make the all-important decision yourself, ultimately showing you the best gaming monitors under 200.
Obviously one of the best ways to test the best computer monitors under 200 – like most other things – is to use them. Although this doesn’t always give you an insight on the more technical aspects, it’s a great way for you to discover what types of specific technology they’re taking advantage of, as well as the native resolution and functioning aspect ratio.
One of the most common ways of doing this is through side-by-side comparative testing. Seeing both screens in action can really outline some of the subtle or obvious differences between each display.
Like testing out a pair of headphones, or checking the difference between two similar colors of paint – when tested on their own, it’s easy to become blind to what advantages or disadvantages they may have over their competitors, but testing them together provides you with a direct comparison, and allows you to draw parallels and difference between each model.
Testing things in a more objective manner – i.e. looking at the more technical and quantitative aspects of gaming monitors – is a far more difficult process, as in order to run these tests for things like latency and color accuracy, you need specific types of hardware, something most gamers don’t have easy access to.
But there are other ways to do this, such as testing through the LCD calibration, where certain websites offer test screens that can be used to make reliable assessments.
Having said this, the time for having retail space for this kind of thing seems to have passed even though the best alternative is to view a screen in-person and, connecting it to a laptop or other device, running it through some Lagom test images.
Things to Look for When Shopping for the Best Gaming Monitor Under 200
Before you start looking into the best gaming monitor out there, there are various things you’ll need to keep in mind before making final decisions on which model should be the one to make you part with your cash.
Familiarizing yourself with popular specifications and terms will help you make sure that you’re picking up, not only a great gaming monitor for the price but one that suits your needs and requirements the most. It should also ensure that you won’t be forking out later down the line for some additional features or accessories.
One of the most crucial things to look for when purchasing a gaming monitor is the size of the display itself. As you could probably expect, larger gaming monitors come with higher price tags than their small counterparts, but bigger isn’t always better.
Smaller monitors can be better for people with restricted space, or those with seating arrangements that mean you have to sit closer to the screen. Having said that, larger monitors are often able to incorporate a more immersive gaming experience – so if you’ve got the space and the budget, bigger is probably better.
Resolution is another crucial factor when it comes to finding the best gaming monitor. When it comes to resolution, it’s simple – the higher the number of pixels, the sharper the display.
However, when it comes to running games at certain resolutions, it’s not so simple, as anything over Full HD (1080×1920) is likely to require a high-end graphics card in order for your system to even process and produce a display of this detail.
As for resolutions like WQHD (2,560×1,400) and 4K (3,840×2,160), you’ll really want to make sure that the rest of your system can cope, before going out and buying the monitor itself.
The refresh rate is something to bear in mind if you’re a fan of fast-paced shooters like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six Siege, as it’s what gives the display a more fluid and smooth appearance. Higher refresh rates produce higher FPS (frames per second) – i.e. the number of times the screen refreshes itself in a given second.
Modern monitors boast refresh rates of 144Hz, and even up to 200Hz. A 60Hz refresh rate is still the most common around, although the desire for higher refresh rates is on the rise.
The aspect ratio refers to the ratio between the height and width of the display. Older monitors tend to have a 4:3 aspect ratio which, although wider than they are in height, often have a square-like appearance. Nowadays though, monitors tend to go with a wider display, with 16:9 being the most common aspect ratio.
In even more recent times, however, monitors with an aspect ratio of 21:9, also known as ultra-wide monitors, have seen an increase in popularity, as they offer a more cinematic-style view, with a wider and more landscape visual experience. Because of this, our pick of the best gaming monitors in 2019 contains various ultra-wide monitors.
Response time is what allows you that fast-paced action with little or no input lag, with the best gaming monitors offering the fastest response times. When playing competitively the fast response time can give you the upper hand, as it gets rid of any latency and allows you to execute your actions at high speed.
Although IPS monitors have response times of around 4 milliseconds, TN monitors are able to produce response times of as little as 1 millisecond.
Viewing angles determine at what angles you can view the monitor from, whilst still being able to see a clear image. The closer a viewing angle is to 180, the better viewing experience you’ll have as you’ll be able to view the monitor – not only from directly in front – but from either side and even from above or below.
Another factor in determining the response time and image clarity of a gaming monitor is the type of panel it uses. In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels can display great viewing angles and accurately reproduce colors, whilst having higher response times, whereas Twisted Nematic (TN) panels tend to have slower response times, but don’t often have great viewing angles.
Vertical alignment (VA) panels lie between the two but aren’t too popular in the gaming world because of their slow response times.
High Dynamic Range is what generates a wide ‘color gamut’, as well as creating a high contrast between the light and dark parts of an image.
Although the number of HDR-capable monitors is on the rise, most of the ones available aren’t actually capable of hitting the peak brightness that makes this feature worthwhile. So, choosing a monitor that’s able to hit stringent standards like HDR10 may be enough for you.
G-Sync and FreeSync
G-Sync or FreeSync technology is something that many of the best gaming monitors in 2019 incorporate, with some even choosing to integrate both. This technology helps the monitor maintain a smooth FPS rate, whilst minimizing input lag and preventing screen tearing. But as this tech is integrated within the monitor itself, it can often drive up the price tag.
G-Sync was developed by Nvidia and therefore can only be run by using NVIDIA GPU. As for FreeSync, however, this has been created by AMD and is available to all manufacturers, meaning that the monitors that use this don’t always come with a high price tag.
It’s important that a gaming monitor comes equipped with various inputs and features, allowing you to stay connected to multiple consoles or PCs. Having two HDMI ports is most ideal, since all major games consoles use HDMI as their video output, and most high-end graphics cards also output through HDMI – as well as DisplayPort and DVI.
Multiple USB ports are also important, as this allows a whole host of peripherals like controllers, mice, thumb drives, headsets, and more, as well as allow you to charge your devices, such as phones, tablets and power banks. Having side-mounted USB ports allows you to plug in these accessories easier than on the back of the monitor.
You can even consider things like speakers, as some modern monitors even incorporate speaker systems with built-in subwoofers, enhancing your gaming experience whilst conserving space on your desk.
Another feature of various modern monitors is their stands, with many allowing you to adjust the monitor height, as well as tilt and swivel it at different angles, putting it in the perfect position for you.
4K vs. 1080p Monitors
1080p monitors are usually enough for moderately-powerful PC systems, or for those who spend most of their time gaming on standard current-gen consoles. As for the top-end current-gen consoles, such as the Xbox One X or the PS4 Pro, both of these systems are capable of gaming in 4K resolution.
This means that in order to get the most out of these systems, you’ll need to have an ultra-HD display. On the other hand, if you have a higher-end gaming PC that’s capable of playing games at their highest – or ‘max’ – settings, there are a range of 4K and quad-HD monitors that are suitable for you too.
Depending on the system you have, it may be a balancing act between choosing a higher-resolution, and choosing a smoother overall experience, as refresh rate and response times can often be compromised when trying to output a 4K resolution. So if your priority is a high frame-rate, you may be better off sticking to 1080p, but if you’re willing to sacrifice extremely smooth gameplay, try 4K instead.
Why Are Panel Types, G-Sync and HDR Important?
Twisted Nematic (TN) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) are the two common types of panels for gaming monitors. TN panels produce consistent refresh rates and response times but sometimes suffer from color reproduction and accuracy, as well as limited viewing angles.
IPS panels tend to offer a higher range of colors and contrasts, but not good response rate. They also come with a higher price tag. When it comes to competitive gaming, TN panels are often the better choice, whilst immersive story-based experiences can favor IPS panels.
Before choosing for good, you’ll also want to make sure your monitor supports NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD FreeSync, which allow your screen to synchronize with your graphics card for a smoother overall performance.
You may also want to consider a model that features High Dynamic Range (HDR), as this helps produce better color and brightness, and is supported by various PC graphics cards, as well as most major consoles, including all versions of the PS4, as well as the Xbox One S and Xbox One.
What is the Best Gaming Monitor Under 200?
So, having gone through all of the know-how, and going over the various specs, features and monitor types to look out for, here are our top 10 choices for the best gaming monitor under 200:
1 – MSI Full HD Non-Glare Gaming Curved Monitor – Good FHD High Resolution with True-Colors Technology
The MSI Optix MAG241C comes with a 1920x1080p resolution, as well as a 144hz refresh rate and a super-fast response time of just 1ms, ideal for the competitive gamer looking for the upper hand over their opponents. And with its FreeSync technology, it can even synchronize the refresh rate with that of your GPU, resulting in an extremely smooth gameplay experience.
The monitor stand that comes included is solid and stable, also allowing you to adjust the monitor screen by moving it up or down. The screen’s curved design does also offer a more immersive experience, despite being a subtle feature that often goes unnoticed.
Many gamers have noticed this monitor provides a smooth gameplay experience, with no tearing or stuttering. All in all, an impressive display, that definitely makes this a contender for the best gaming monitor under 200.
Super-fast response time – 1ms
High refresh rate – 144 hertz
Often sold out, so buy it when you see available stock
2 – Samsung 23.5″ FHD Curved LED-Lit FreeSync Monitor – Best Affordable Gaming Monitor from a Well-known Brand
The Samsung CF397 monitor provides an excellent viewing experience, due to the 1800R curvature of its screen, helping immerse you into its display, and allowing you to soak in its range of bold, and bright views – whether used for gaming or not.
Users are provided with smooth images, thanks to its use of AMD FreeSync technology, which synchronizes the screen’s refresh rate with the frame rate produced by your PC or console, in order to reduce image tearing, stuttering and input latency whilst mid-game.
And with a response time of just 4ms, you’ll be able to see fast on-screen motion boldly and clearly, giving gamers and other types of users a consistently pleasant visual experience.
To top it off, its sleek and ultra-slim design means that the monitor measures less than 0.5-inch thick, despite being 24″ in screen size. This coupled with a circular-shaped stand provides the Samsung CF397 with a modest and modern look that’s perfect for your space.
Modern and sleek design
Fast 4ms response time
Decent 60hz refresh rate
Some might not like the new curved style
3 – ASUS VN279Q HDMI VGA Eye Care Monitor – Special Technology to Reduce Eye fatigue
The ASUS VN279QL is a great choice when it comes to gaming, watching films or videos, as well as general everyday use. Although its price tag may be a little higher than more common Full HD monitors, it still boasts various interesting features and vivid picture quality, making it most suited to be a good gaming monitor under 200.
This monitor incorporates ASUS Smart Contract Ratio – which the user can manually enable or disable, allowing it to provide a dynamic range of 100,000,000:1. The technology integrated within this monitor also uses presets that balance the dynamic contrast, sharpness, brightness, resulting in the best viewing quality.
This will be in accordance with whatever images are displayed on the screen – examples of these presents are Standard, Night View, Game, and Theatre. Having said that, despite the ASUS VN279QL featuring a true 8-bit panel, it doesn’t produce colors as precisely or consistently as certain IPS panel monitors.
Sleek design due to narrow bezel
Full HD display
Features eye care technology
75hz refresh rate
The ViewSonic XG2401 is a monitor best suited for those who take gaming a bit more seriously, due to its fast response times, adjustable stand for optimal viewing, and use of FreeSync technology for a smoother all-round performance. Not only that, but with a high refresh rate of 144Hz and an ultra-fast response time of 1ms, this monitor is perfect for any gamer. For what it offers, it really is fantastic value for money.
The design itself isn’t anything out of the ordinary, and aesthetically it’s a fairly standard looking monitor. Having said that, the stand included is of a higher quality than most, allowing you to adjust the height. You can swivel the screen left, right, and even forwards and backward.
Not only this, but the stand also features a headset hook at the top as well as some cable managing at the back, just to keep things neat and tidy. All in all, ViewSonic has really done a good job with this one – both in performance and design.
VESA mount for flexible viewing angle
Incorporates FreeSync technology
Fast refresh rate – 144Hz
Highly responsive display
The AOC C27G1 is their latest 144Hz gaming monitor, primarily aimed at gamers looking for a responsive panel that still maintains a good picture quality.
With a 1800R curvature and a unique three-side ‘borderless’ design, and a bold red-and-black color school, it looks the part too. With such thin bezels, it takes up a little less space than other 27-inch panels. If space-saving and sleek design is your priority, this is the best gaming monitor under 300.
It has a triangular-shaped stand that allows the display to be raised up to 130mm as well as various tilt and swivel adjustments. It can also be mounted to a VESA compatible stand, for those who want an ultra-personalized setup.
Using the buttons on the lower-right side, users can access its on-screen display where they can adjust the color profile and response time, as well as enable AOC’s interested ‘Bright Frame’ feature. This allows you to adjust the brightness and the contrast of different parts of the screen.
Unique 3-sided design
1080p HD resolution
Super-fast response time – 1ms
Curved monitor for ideal viewing
The curved design might not be suitable for everyone
The BenQ Zowie RL2455S is a great addition, with a 24-inch TN panel, lightning-fast response time, and virtually no input lag, making it the ideal choice for someone looking to enjoy fast-paced and competitive shooter games. BenQ is known for making monitors with incredible versatility, and this gaming model isn’t any different in this sense.
The range of options that the monitor has on offer is also impressive, as users can connect a console as well as a PC, allowing a much wider range of entertainment, not to mention its built-in speakers, saving you the hassle and time of buying them separately.
Even thou it’s not quite up to scratch with BenQ Zowie’s faster model, the XL2420G 144Hz monitor, it’s excellent build quality and materials, along with its specs, means that for the price it definitely packs a punch.
Although it boasts a more understated design that some other models, it stands proudly on any desk. Featuring a quality build, its aesthetic doesn’t reflect its lower price point. Definitely one of the best affordable gaming monitors.
1080p HD resolution
Super-fast 1ms response time
Has an optimized display
The brand is not that well-known in North-America
7 – Dell 27 LED-backlit LCD Monitor – Cheapest Gaming Monitor from a World-wide Famous Brand
The Dell S2719H holds many similarities to Dell’s other models, such as the narrow-look bezels and Dell logo at the bottom, as well as on the back – a look that you’ve come to expect.
There are a few differences in build quality with this one, as the stand is made from plastic-covered metal, unlike the usual aluminum that the more expensive models go for.
Despite this, it’s still a similar weight and feels to the more expensive models, and can be moved around with ease. This gaming monitor’s use of its input and output ports also differs from similar Dell models.
Its two HDMI ports, power port, and AUX port are all located under a lip on the monitor. As well as this, the adjustment buttons have been placed on the bottom right of the display, allowing the user to adjust the colors and brightness, as well as activate certain presets.
Quick response time – 8 ms response time
An LCD monitor with LED backlight
1080p HD resolution
Good 60Hz refresh rate
We couldn’t find any
8 – Acer SB220Q Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Monitor – Ultra-Thin Design for an Incredible Low-Price
The Acer SB220Q monitor has an IPS panel allowing it to produce accurate and vivid colors, creating a more immersive experience for both games and movies, especially in comparison to TN panels you’re able to find at this price.
Not only this but with 178-degree viewing angles, both vertically and horizontally, this ensures a consistent picture that stays true in color and contrast, whichever way you view it from. When it comes to viewing angles, this is the best gaming monitor under 100.
It also boasts a fantastic response time of just 4ms, which, although isn’t there best out there, is still enough to give you the edge when playing fast-paced competitive titles. And despite this model being a bit smaller in size to other 24-inch models, a smaller screen often results in a denser pixel count, creating a clearer picture with even more detail.
With this model, you can run with the confidence that its speed and reliability certainly won’t let you down.
Convenient 16:9 aspect ratio
Fast response time – 4ms
Great refresh rate – 75Hz
1080p HD display
Various viewing angles
The Sceptre C248W monitor has a fantastic looking curved display, allowing you to have a really immersive experience, and soak in all the detail it displays. And with a huge range of features, it’s a great pick for both casual or hardcore gamers alike.
Having said this, it’s this very curved design that narrows its viewing angles, especially in comparison to other competitors’ models. With an integrated FreeSync and a high refresh rate of 75Hz, this monitor creates a smooth experience with no lag.
And with such a consistent and reliable response rate, being a VA panel monitor allows it to compete with IPS displays in a similar price bracket, especially when it comes to colors. It also incorporates an anti-flicker feature to prevent the backlight from flickering occasionally.
When it comes to its aesthetic appearance, apart from the curvature on the screen, this monitor has no stand-out design features. It hosts a sort of minimalist approach, making it appealing for those looking for a more modern look on their desk. The monitor’s stand is pretty standard and matches the design of the monitor in style.
VESA mount compatible
Features the FreeSync technology
Good refresh rate – 75Hz
Immersive curved display
Not G-Sync Compatible
10 – Asus VG245H Gaming Monitor – Energy Star Complaint with 1ms Response Time
Many consider the Asus VG245H a top-of-the-range monitor, especially when it comes to being within budget – and for less than $200 it offers excellent value.
It has a 24-inch TN display with a super-fast response rate of just 1ms and coupled with a refresh rate of 75Hz, it’s ideal for highly competitive online gaming and online multiplayer matches – especially as it’s also compatible with AMD FreeSync.
If you’re impressed with this design but are able to go above the $200 price tag, consider buying the 144Hz version instead. But only if your GPU is able to handle that sort of output. It comes with two HDMI ports allowing you to connect two compatible devices at once, so there’s no need to constantly change connections if you’re looking to multi-task throughout the day.
It also has built-in speakers, adding some more overall value, although they’re fairly standard, and don’t do much to immerse you more into the experience. This monitor comes with an adjustable stand, but like other TN monitors, only has a small range of viewing angles.
So if you’re looking for something with a wider range of viewing angles, it might be worth to consider an IPS monitor instead. Having said that, if your priority is minimal input lag and low response times, we consider this the best full HD budget monitor available right now.
Fantastic response time – 1ms
Not the best refresh rate
Other Gadgets Required for Best Gaming Experience
Most proficient gamers will confess to the fact that just having the best gaming monitor under 200 will not provide an adequate edge over other players. It is obvious one needs a laptop or a good desktop computer. Other necessary gadgets for both beginner and professional gamers are:
So all in all, our pick for the best gaming monitor under 200 has to be the Asus VG245H. Although not the best monitor out there, it certainly is the best for the price.
This is thanks to its lightning-fast response rate, 24-inch vivid display, and FreeSynce compatibility – this is a great addition to any casual gamer looking for a new world to explore, as well as hardcore shooter fans looking for the competitive edge against their opponents.
Gaming is fast becoming the ideal way for people to relax, pass time and even compete for cash prizes. If you’ve got a higher budget then you can also look for the best gaming monitor under 300!
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