The next generation of games is right around the corner. We should expect games to look better, play better, and maybe even sound better. However, if previous trends are anything to go by, graphics will take the center stage of attention again. So whether you are someone new to gaming or just getting started, it is an exciting time to be a gamer.
With that said, it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves. The thought of having next-gen games on our hands is exciting, but you’ll want to get the full experience. One of the ways you can do so is by getting a decent monitor. Unlike in recent years, you don’t have to overspend this time around. You can get a very good gaming monitor for less than $300.
So, that’s what we’ll be taking a look at today. If you’re not aware, the gaming monitor space is more diverse than ever these days. There’s always something that can be the right fit for you. With all of that through, here are some of the best gaming monitors in 2021.
240Hz monitors are not anything new or revolutionary. In reality, they’ve been around since 2017, and they’ve only been growing in popularity since then. They were usually reserved for higher-end setups for the most part. However, prices have been slashes considerably and they are more accessible to a wider audience. The Acer XF250Q is the prime example of that.
The styling and look of this monitor are quite subtle. No flashy RGB or giant logos here, instead, this is a monitor that could easily fit into an office. Furthermore, the bezels are quite nice and thin, and they sit almost flush with the panel itself. The stand is a thin black pole, however, it is very adjustable. It has height, tilt, unlimited swivel, and pivot adjustments.
I/O is also standouts on this monitor, thanks to the two HDMI ports, DP 1.4, and four USB 3.0 ports. Two of these ports are on the side for easier access. Viewing angles and color accuracy is quite good for a TN panel, especially a 240Hz one. There is a bit of color shift, but not bad at all for such a fast monitor.
Combine the 240Hz refresh rate with the 1ms response time, and we have ourselves a winner. This monitor is perfect for ESports. It has Freesync as well, and it also Gsync supported thanks to Nvidia’s drivers. The only downside is that you might want to calibrate colors out of the box. Apart from that, it’s an easy recommendation.
2. Viewsonic XG2405 Frameless IPS Gaming Monitor
Best 144Hz Monitor
- Good color reproduction
- Excellent viewing angles
- Easy to drive for ESports
- Ergonomic and sturdy stand
- Hard to reach OSD controls
Screen Size: 24-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Panel Type: IPS | Response Time: 1ms
Viewsonic has been very successful in the past with their 144Hz monitors. Especially in the budget department. Well, they are back again with the Viewsonic XG2405. This is a monitor that is already impressive on paper. With a sharp IPS panel, Freesync, and high refresh rate, it was a no-brainer to include this monitor.
If you are looking for the perfect ESports monitor on a budget, this is a strong one to consider. Despite that, it doesn’t have a flashy design as you’d expect. The base feels sturdy, and the stand has height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments. Ergonomics should not be an issue here.
On top of that, minimal bezels are a nice touch and make this monitor look great for the price. This 24-inch monitor rocks a 1080p resolution, so it should be fairly easy to drive at 144Hz. It also has a 1ms typical grey to grey response time. There is an audio jack at the back, two HDMI 1.4 ports, and one DisplayPort 1.2. It also has 2W speakers, which are not all that impressive.
The IPS panel means that this display has good color reproduction and incredible viewing angles. At 144Hz along with Freesync, this monitor is the perfect match for ESports gamers. There is no noticeable ghosting or screen tearing.
We wish the OSD controls at the back were easier to reach. However, putting all of it into a perspective, that’s honestly nitpicking. This is a great monitor for the money.
3. Sceptre 30-inch Curved Gaming Monitor
Best Ultrawide Option
- Excellent value for money
- Fast and immersive experience
- Decent viewing angles
- Short monitor stand
- 5ms response time
Screen Size: 30-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1080 | Refresh Rate: 200Hz | Panel Type: VA | Response Time: 5ms
Next on our list is a very unique monitor. You could even say it is one of a kind since technically, it is. The Sceptre 30-inch Curved 21:9 monitor is the only ultrawide that has a 200Hz refresh rate at this price. It stands out on this list as the most unique monitor. However, considering the price, it’s more practical than you might initially think.
Ultrawide monitors are known to help with productivity thanks to their wide aspect ratio. 21:9 looks superb on this 30-inch display. The resolution is 2560 x 1080, which is a good choice. 3440 x 1440 would look sharper, but that resolution would be incredibly difficult to power with a mid-range setup. While you lose a bit of sharpness, you gain a lot of performance.
It’s surprising how good this monitor is for competitive gaming. Mostly Ultrawide displays are fine-tuned for immersion, not for racking up kills. This monitor can do both and do it comfortably. All of that is thanks to the 200Hz refresh rate and AMD Freesync. It does have a 5ms response time, but you can rarely notice that at the refresh rate. Still, something to keep in mind.
The speakers are not bad either, which isn’t’ something you usually say for a monitor. Colors are good enough, but not exactly mind-blowing. It is a VA panel, so viewing angles are better than TN. I wouldn’t use it for video editing, but the colors are spot-on for gaming.
The only disappointing thing here is the stand. It has no height adjustment and the monitor looks shorter than it is because of it. That doesn’t affect our recommendation, however, as this is a solid monitor.
4. Samsung 27-inch CJG56 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor
Best 27-inch Option
- Immersive curved panel
- Impreccable fit and finish
- High contrast ratio
- Average color reproduction
- Non-adjustable stand
Screen Size: 27-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Refresh Rate: 144Hz | Panel Type: VA | Response Time: 4ms
Let’s say you are someone who is used to big displays and higher resolutions. If you want to find a high refresh rate monitor like that under $300, your options are a bit limited. Don’t panic, as the Samsung 27-Inch CJG56 just might be the monitor for you. It’s one of the few 27-inch, 1440p, and 144Hz monitors that come in just under our price limit.
In terms of design and construction, Samsung has nailed everything about this monitor. It has a 1800R curvature, and when paired with the slim bezels and aluminum construction, it is a looker. We are surprised to see a curved 1440p monitor at this price. It uses a VA panel with a 3000:1 contrast ratio. The dynamic contrast adds to the experience.
However, the colors aren’t exactly the greatest thing in the world. We’ve seen better stuff from much cheaper IPS panels, so this was a bit disappointing. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the stand has little to no adjustability.
Thankfully, everything else here is solid. This monitor has a 4ms response time, but it’s to be expected from a VA panel at this price. The 144Hz refresh rate and AMD Freesync ties the experience together quite well. If you want a 27-inch 1440p monitor, this should be on your list.
5. ASUS VP28UQG 28-inch 4K Monitor
4K On A Budget
- Sharp UHD resolution
- Surprisingly color accurate
- 1ms response time
- Poor viewing angles
- Requires a beefy rig
- OSD controls are frustrating
Screen Size: 28-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Refresh Rate: 60Hz | Panel Type: TN | Response Time: 1ms
Last but not least, we have a sharp 4K monitor to end this roundup. This one is from ASUS and they certainly know a thing or two about making great displays. The ASUS VP28UQG is a great 4K monitor for the price, but you’ll have to sacrifice a few things here and there.
First off let’s talk about image quality. At 28 inches, 4K looks spectacular. Text is sharp and easy to read, games look incredibly detailed, and movies are pure bliss at this resolution. The color accuracy is surprisingly good, which we didn’t expect at this price point. It even has low input lag and a 1ms response time.
So, you can use it for competitive games if you want. Viewing angles aren’t all that great, but that’s to be expected from a TN panel. A slight annoying design choice is placing the OSD joystick at the back. It’s hard to reach and not user friendly.
However, the bigger issue is if you want to play games at 4K/60Fps. You’ll need a pretty beefy machine. Also, chances are if you can afford a high-end machine, you can afford a bigger 4K monitor, that too with IPS. Still, if you absolutely need a 4K monitor under $300, you could do a lot worse than the ASUS VP28UQG.