Purchasing a dedicated monitor for gaming can really boost both your performance and your overall experience, when looking for the best gaming monitor there are a couple of criteria to consider.
A dedicated monitor can help you notice minute details in the visuals of games, and it can help you perform better due to instant responses between your input and what shows up on the screen.
There are many gaming monitors available in the market, but many are simply ordinary ones under the guise of gaming equipment. Thus, you need to be aware of what to keep an eye out for.
That is why we have put together this guide and review to help you make an informed decision.
What To Look At When Choosing The Best Gaming Monitor
1. Screen Quality
The most important part of purchasing a monitor is understanding its resolution. The typical screen qualities that you can purchase are High Definition (HD), Full High Definition (Full HD), and Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD). Essentially, these simply refer to the resolution that you will get on the monitor. High Definition monitors offer around 720p, and the pixels only go up from there.
Some monitors also have something called In-Plane Switching (IPS). This feature typically adds some price to a product, but it is incredibly useful for gamers. What this means is that you can view the monitor from almost any angle without any issue, and it will be just as clear as it would be if you were staring straight into it.
Usually, the higher the resolution, the more expensive the monitor, so knowing what you need out of your screen quality can help you budget your purchase.
2. Response Time
Response time is important when you are a gamer, as you want to have minimal lag between your input and the visual feedback you receive from your monitor. Response time, in a nutshell, measures how quickly the pixels on a monitor can change from black to white, or from one shade to another. As you can image, this means that a lower response time is more favorable.
5ms is a pretty standard response time for a majority of normal monitors, although some gaming monitors have 1ms response time for extra-quick feedback. If you purchase an IPS monitor, then you will need to expect a slightly slower response time – around 4ms – even in a more expensive model. Non-IPS monitors – or twisted nematic field effect (TN) monitors – can be expected to move faster and respond quicker. This is great for improving your performance.
3. Contrast Ratio
For better immersion, you need a gaming monitor with a great contrast ratio. This is essentially defined as the ratio between the brightest color and the darkest color that the monitor can produce. As such, a higher contrast ratio is more desirable, as it will help you in game areas with low-light, allowing you to see a ton of details in spite of the dark setting.
A high contrast ration also allows for sharper and crisper images as well as more vibrant colors, so they can bring your games to life in such a way that you will feel as though you are actually within the game. 8,000,000:1 is a pretty standard contrast ratio that will provide an attractive image, but some gaming monitors go up to 50 Million:1 or even 100 Million:1!
4. Image Enhancing Features
Any extra features and technology that a gaming monitor utilizes to help improve your gameplay experience is always worth taking note of. Anti-glare, anti-ghosting, anti-smeer, and anti-bleeding effects are all fantastic for ensuring a clear, undisturbed picture. LED backlighting is also a pretty cool feature that will allow your monitor’s visual images to appear brighter, clearer, and overall, better.
VESA mountable monitors are well-known in the gaming world, as you can install them on a wall for better viewing. Special built-in modes on a monitor for different situations, as well as buttons for customization, can also help you to get the exact experience that suits your preferences.
It is important that you are able to connect your monitor to numerous devices – like mobile and multimedia devices, other monitors if you want a multi-monitor setup, and consoles. Most gaming monitors should therefore come with a variety of input ports, including but not limited to HDMI, D-sub, DVI and/or VGA.
A few examples of what other gamers would consider to be the best gaming monitor
|ASUS VS278Q-P||Built In 2W X 2 Speaker||27" and Smaller||D-Sub, 2xHDMI and DisplayPort||1ms||4.5/5|
|HP Pavilion 22cwa||In-Plane Switching (IPS)||21.5"||VGA and HDMI||7mms||4/5|
|Acer G257HU smidpx||Very Wide 2560 x 1440||25"||1 x DVI (w/HDCP), 1 X HDMI & 1 x Display Port||4ms||4/5|
|BenQ||Black eQualizer (For consoles also)||24"||D-sub, DVI-DL (Dual Link), HDMI x2, Headphone Jack, Line in||1ms||4.5/5|
|ViewSonic VX2252MH||Built-In 2w x 2 stereo speakers||21.5" and Bigger||HDMI input with VESA mount||2ms||4/5|
ASUS VS278Q-P 27-Inch Gaming Monitor
This full HD monitor with 1920×1080 resolution is meant to optimized for high-quality images and color. Although this review is for the 27” monitor, the product can also be purchased in 21.5-inch, 23-inch, and 24-inch dimensions, and you can opt to purchase either the monitor alone, a monitor with a single arm mount, or two monitors with a dual arm mount.
- This gaming monitor was the winner of the PC Mag’s Reader’s Choice Award.
- The product has an extremely quick response time of 1ms, making it perfect for gamers who require precise timing. It is adept for those with fast reflexes who need to see immediate results in a pinch during gameplay.
- This monitor makes use of Splendid Video Intelligence Technology that automatically optimizes the quality of the image you see on the screen. Some features covered by this technology are intelligent color, brightness, contrast, and sharpness.
- In addition, the monitor is equipped with six preset video modes – scenery, theater, game, night view, sRGB, and standard – so you can choose the mode that best suits your current needs.
- The sharp image on the screen is further enhanced by ASUS’ 80,000,000:1 Smart Contrast Ratio. This ratio makes images onscreen appear even more lifelike, improving your immersion in the games you play.
- An energy-saving backlit display compliments the smooth visual playback, which makes for a brighter picture.
- A QuickFit features is built into the monitor, and it allows for real-size document and photo-viewing, as well as a grid mode on top of the operating windows.
- There is an abundance of inputs on the monitor, including D-Sib, two HDMI ports, and a DisplayPort. Hence, the monitor can be connected to multiple devices at once, including PCs, consoles, and media players.
- Two speakers are built into the monitor for an optimum audio experience.
- This monitor is designed to have a slim profile with a sturdy stand in the form of a vortex-pattern pedestal to ensure stability and durability on top of aesthetically pleasing style.
- The monitor’s back is fitted with fingerprint-proof embossment.
- It is VESA mount compatible for walls or monitor arms.
- The product makes use of Kensington Lock Security.
- The VS monitors of Asus were the first monitors to ever be featured in the Corporate Stable Model programs, which is a testament to their quality.
- This monitor is certified by EPEAT Gold and ENERGY STAR as one that reduces environmental impact and saves energy, making it more inexpensive to use.
- A three-year warranty is included with all ASUS monitors, as well as a Rapid Replacement service that gives you free 2-way cross-shipping to exchange a defective monitor easily and without excess charges.
- Multiple different companies manufacture this monitor under the ASUS brand, so you will have to be careful when purchasing to ensure that you buy a monitor from the original company and not a bootleg.
- Purchasing a bootleg or a monitor manufactured by the wrong company can lead to washed out colors and light bleeding from the corners of the monitor.
- Viewing darker images may result in light bleeding in the edges of the screen.
- Customer service is difficult to deal with and may lead to difficulties with warranty-related inquiries.
- The built-in speakers are not particularly strong.
- The monitor does not come with any HDMI cables, so you will have to pick up your own to use the HDMI port.
- If you use a small or lightweight desk that is easy to move, you may find that the monitor wobbles or is not perfectly stable.
HP Pavilion 22cwa 21.5-inch IPS LED Backlit Monitor
This monitor measures 21.5” in diameter and is a full HD monitor with 1920×1080 resolution. IT has a 16:9 aspect ratio, and you can choose to purchase the monitor alone or buy it with a thunderbolt adapter.
- There is no bezel around the display screen, giving an ultra-wide effect to your images and games. This also makes a multi-monitor setup more convenient.
- High-color fidelity is consistent and sharable with In-Plane Switching technology, making for a stunning view for anyone from almost all angles – 178° vertically and horizontally – so you and your friends can enjoy watching the monitor without any problem.
- This monitor has a tilt function that allows for versatile viewing, with the tilt allowing you adjust your viewing angles up to -2° forwards and +25° backwards.
- An anti-glare treatment reduces the effects of ambient light as it hits the surface of your screen, so you can enjoy clear visuals in a well-lit room without having to deal with glare.
- The HP Enhance+ feature functions as an advanced noise filter that amplifies your visual feedback for crisper images, improving gameplay immersion and reducing overexposure.
- There are preset modes that have specific sharpness, temp, and contrast for the best experience; these modes that you can choose between are gaming, multimedia, and text.
- LED backlighting improves screen performance for a bright image.
- The monitor is equipped with a quick 7 mms response time, allowing you to get quick feedback during intense, life-or-death gameplay situations.
- The 8,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio makes for incredibly bright and clear images and visual feedback with vivid coloring.
- This monitor has VGA and HDMI ports with HDCP support for higher connectivity, which are conveniently accessible via an open WEDGE stand design.
- All button controls are easily reached underneath the screen, allowing you to reach menu, display, and power controls easily.
- Meant to combine a modern style with accessibility, the thin profile and design of the monitor is complimented by black and silver so that you look good while playing games. The slim design also allows for space-saving.
- The product is certified to be environmentally conscious and resource-savvy by ENERGY STAR.
- This monitor is inexpensive and great for those on a budget.
- It is protected by a one-year or three-year HP limited warranty, the duration of which varies depending on your region.
- Due to its budget status, the monitor has lower specs than others in the market. However, this doesn’t significantly affect its performance.
- The monitor doesn’t allow for very low brightness, so setting the brightness to low may not give you the dark look you are hoping to achieve.
- While the screen is wide, there are thin black bars and a slim plastic case material on either side with a gap where they meet. This looks fine and presentable, but may collect dust later on.
- The power LED on the back of the monitor remains on every if you turn the screen off, which may bother certain people.
- The screen smudges easily.
- The monitor is slightly wobbly and unstable due to the slim form of the pedestal.
- There are no mounting options for the monitor.
- The wires on the back of the monitor stick straight out, so it cannot be pushed flat against a wall.
Acer G257HU smidpx 25-Inch WQHD (2560 x 1440) Widescreen Monitor
This monitor has a resolution of 2560×1440. Although this review is for the 25” In-Plane Switching (IPS) Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD) monitor, there are different options to choose from based on your budget and requirements. You can choose between High Definition (HD) in 19.5”, Full High Definition (FHD) in 21.5”, 23”, 24”, and 27”, and IPS FHD in 21.5”, 23”, 24”, 25”, and 27”.
- A rapid 4ms response time gives you quick, high-quality visual feedback so that graphics and moving images respond fast and well during gameplay.
- This monitor’s display is adjustable via Acer eColor Management which allows you to customize and adjust its settings easily. You can then fix the contrast options as you see fit with Acer Adaptive Contrast Management.
- The color quality is excellent on this monitor, with even the black levels being up to a high standard.
- A 100 Million:1 contrast ratio makes for the most crisp, sharp, and defined images that you can possibly achieve on a monitor.
- No image distortion is present on the wide screen, not is any image ghosting, regardless of the angle that the monitor is viewed from. This is thanks to the IPS features. In addition, there is very minimal light bleeding.
- White LED backlighting makes the images and visuals brighter and more clearly defined.
- The vibrancy and clarity of the visual feedback on the monitor is great for immersion during gameplay.
- The monitor comes with DVI, HDMI, and MHL port inputs, allowing for easy connectivity to game consoles, mobile devices, and media players.
- The super-slim, space-saving profile of this monitor allows it to be used in areas with limited free space. Meanwhile, an X-shaped stand ensures stability.
- There are speakers built into the monitor.
- All monitors in the G6 series – like this one – are compliant with RoHS environment conservation rules and meet the requirements of ENERGY STAR. In addition, Acer’s
- EcoDisplay technology allows for up to 68% in power savings and the LED backlighting is entirely mercury free. The packaging is also made from recyclable materials, so you can rest at ease if you are concerned about the environment.
- For the quality and specs, this product can be considered affordable and very reasonable prices.
- The tilt function is not easy to access, as you will have to adjust the screw on the stand of the monitor, and it feels slightly flimsy when adjusted to tilt. The stand itself does not necessarily feel the most stable either.
- The built-in speakers are not of a great quality, so if you are looking for stellar audio, you are better off opting for separate speakers or a pair of headphones.
- There are no VESA mounts or any other mounting functions in this monitor.
- If you are a heavy gamer, it is worth noting that the higher the resolution, the lower the FPS that you may receive on your monitor’s display, depending on the graphics card that you use.
- You will need to be careful when you first turn on the monitor, as it is defaulted to maximum brightness, and that setting is almost blindingly bright.
- Setting up a fully custom experience for your monitor’s colors, brightness, and so on can be a complicated process.
- The placement of the control buttons on the monitor might feel unusual or unnatural to some, making them difficult to reach and adjust quickly.
BenQ 24-Inch Gaming Monitor
This LED 1080p High Definition Monitor was discontinued by the manufacturer, but it is still available for sale in certain stores and by some online vendors, which is great as the monitor is a dedicated gaming one! BenQ has done its own research to come up with a wide selection of monitors suited for gaming.
- The monitor has a 1ms response time for a smooth, easy, and rapid gaming experience. No smearing or ghosting will occur during the quickly paced action or transitions, allowing you to enjoy your games without sacrificing immersion.
- Display Mode and Smart Scaling allow you to quickly adjust screen size to suit your needs. You can also customize your monitor’s settings based on your individual viewing preferences with a modern OSD, thanks to an Intuitive UI function meant for easy navigation.
- A black equalizer provides a clear picture even in darker visual feedback, while preventing overexposure of bright areas even in low-light scenes. This level of control allows for better visibility.
- The monitor makes use of ZeroFlicker technology to reduce the strain and fatigue on your eyes, so you can game longer while still feeling comfortable.
- Connectivity is made easy and accessible via D-sub, DVI-DL (Dual Link), two HDMI ports, a headphone jack, and line-in inputs.
- The monitor is fitted with built-in speakers.
- It is equipped with a tilt stand so that you can view it at varying angles.
- The monitor also comes with a VESA mount.
- The bezel around the display of the monitor are thin and don’t get in the way of your experience.
- The full HD monitor has an RTS that was developed by professional gamers, so you know your best gaming interests are well-kept. This RTS mode is meant to make it easier for you to see enemies more easily, even in dark areas full of distractions, giving you better visibility and fine-tuning that gives you an optimum gaming experience. RTS 1 Mode is optimized for StarCraft II, and RTS 2 is meant for Dota II, but you can play any games with these modes easily.
- It was originally designed to set a standard for console eSports gaming monitors, and as such, every detail is designed for a good gaming experience.
- Setup is easy and straightforward.
- The speakers in the monitor are not of a very high quality, and as such, you may need to purchase headphones or speakers of your own for a good audio experience.
- The monitor is optimized for Windows 7, so you will need to adjust to settings to have the monitor function at peak condition if you use a different operating system.
- If you change your viewing angle or view from the side, you may encounter a glare as the screen is not IPS. As such, if you are viewing it at an angle that the monitor isn’t designed for, you may find that the picture leaves much to be desire.
- Due to the extremely high brightness levels, playing on maximum brightness may cause headaches or eye strain, especially when you first start using the monitor.
- If you have more than one device plugged into the monitor, you might find that changing between them is a tedious and long process, which can be a bit of a hassle.
ViewSonic VX2252MH 22″ 2ms 1080p Gaming Monitor
This Full HD LED monitor has a 1920×1080 resolution. It is also available in 24” and 27” measurements, and you can choose to purchase it simply in is 1080p form, or add on AMD FreeSync features.
- The monitor is equipped with 2ms response time thanks to ClearMotiv II technology, allowing for fast feedback with minimal to no blurring, ghosting, streaking, or bleeding. These full-motion graphics are great for gamers who need quick responses during intense moments of gameplay.
- The screen also has an anti-glare appearance.
- The pixel-by-pixel image performance is designed to be outstanding, so that you can catch every single detail of your game easily.
- A 50 Million:1 contrast ratio ensures an ultra-high dynamic viewing experience with crispness and rich, sharp colors, which improves immersion during gameplay.
- The product comes with ViewSonic’s Game Mode, which provides extra attention to detail even in darker scenes. This can simply be activated with the press of a button on the bezel, and it promises great color performance so your game runs flawlessly and you can be at the top of your abilities.
- Connectivity is possible via HDMI, D-sub, and DVI ports so that you can connect to multimedia devices and gaming consoles easily.
- Two built-in stereo speakers are included with the monitor and are designed for clear sound.
- There is some tilt function in this monitor, so you can adjust it to move backwards and forwards for your viewing pleasure.
- The product comes with a VESA mount.
- This monitor has LED backlighting to enhance display while providing an intricate color range.
- A slim design allows for a space-saving monitor that comfortably fits into any area easily.
- The LED backlighting is mercury-free, and the monitor has been certified by ENERGY STAR. It conserves up to 25% more energy than a typical monitor.
- Environmental consciousness is pushed further with ViewSonic’s proprietary Eco-mode function, which allows you to choose between 85% and 75% Optimize and Conserve modes based on your current needs. It can also be used to adjust brightness and reduce eye strain in lower light conditions. These modes will then prolong the lamp-life of your monitor.
- The product comes with a three-year limited warranty as well as one of the industry’s very best pixel performance policies, making for great insurance on your investment.
- This monitor is quite affordable and is suitable if you are on a budget.
- The stand is slightly flimsy and is not very sturdy.
- Possible image adjustments are quite limited on this monitor, so if you like customization, this may not be the right choice for you.
- The vertical viewing angles can be quite poor depending on where you happen to be viewing the monitor from, and the lack of IPS really shows here.
- The monitor is extremely bright, and even lower brightness settings may still leave it a little blinding on the eyes. This makes darker images not as clear as you may like them to be, leaving you to miss details during gameplay.
- Colors may be inaccurate and washed-out, which automatically makes this monitor a lot less desirable for gamers.
- There is no built-in USB hub.
- The power light cannot be disabled and will remain on every after you turn the monitor off, which can be slightly annoying to some.
- Slight fade may appear around the edges of the screen.
In choosing the best gaming monitor, you have to be well aware of the technical side of the specs of each product in order to choose one that will best suit your personal needs and improve your gameplay performance. For this reason, out of all the monitors reviewed, we simply must give an encore to the ASUS VS278Q-P 27-Inch Gaming Monitor.
The monitor is not only award winning, but is also well-known for being an excellent gaming choice. They are held to a high standard and have a high-quality that make visuals stunning in terms of color, sharpness, and other specs. The fast response time makes it the perfect gaming monitor, with the vibrant images ensuring that not a single detail does unnoticed. It is also VESA mountable and has numerous features that aid in gameplay, making for a better and more immersive gaming experience at your peak performance. On top of all that, the monitor has extra features that make it a great one all around, not just for gaming, like the real-size document viewing.
We hope that this guide has helped you narrow down your choices, or at least given you a good idea of what you should be looking out for in a gaming monitor! Play on!