You don’t need to spend a ton on a gaming monitor. You can find lots of cheap gaming monitors that’ll satisfy every need you have.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best budget gaming monitors. After that, we put together a few important things to consider when shopping for your next computer monitor. Don’t let the low prices fool you, each of these monitors are beasts in their own right.
Here are our picks for the best budget gaming monitors under $200.
The Asus VG245H is a 24-inch TN monitor that boasts an ultra-fast 1ms response time. This makes it ideal for competitive online multiplayer matches. It supports AMD FreeSync and has a 75Hz refresh rate. For an optimal visual experience, make sure that you have the right GPU for the job. If you own a high-end GPU capable of handling more, you can go for the 144Hz version instead, which comes with an above-$200 price tag.
It comes with a sturdy and adjustable stand, but like other TN monitors, it suffers from bad viewing angles. If you want a gaming monitor with excellent viewing angles and more accurate colors, you can check out IPS monitors instead. But if you’re all about low response times and minimal input lag, the Asus VG245H is the best 1080p full HD budget monitor available right now.
With two HDMI ports on board, the Asus VG245H can connect to two compatible devices at the same time. No need to constantly change connections if you own more than one gaming system. The built-in speakers also add to the overall value, though we recommend buying external speakers if you want a more immersive audio experience.
You can’t really go wrong with this budget gaming monitor. For less than 200 bucks, you get a monitor with fast response times, a smooth picture quality, an excellent refresh rate, and a sturdy build.
Featuring a full HD resolution at 1920 x 1080, the HP Pavilion 22cwa is a 21.5-inch budget gaming monitor that comes with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. It produces impressive visuals and picture quality with sharp and vibrant colors all around. It has a maximum viewing angle of 178 degrees – feel free to tinker with an angle that suits you best.
The unit is well-built, as expected from an HP product, though it feels a bit wobbly when mounted on a VESA adapter (sold separately). It features a VGA port and, more importantly, an HDMI port. This means you can directly connect to a PS4 or Xbox One. The bad news is that it doesn’t come with a built-in audio, so external speakers are necessary unless you want to play games in absolute silence.
The HP Pavilion 22cwa isn’t exactly a hardware heavyweight when it comes to gaming monitors. For one, it only comes with a 7ms response time and a 60Hz refresh rate, numbers that certainly won’t impress hardcore gamers. Some might even find the screen size lacking when it comes to producing a truly immersive experience.
If you mainly play competitive online multiplayer games, we suggest looking at other models as that 7ms response time could hurt you a lot. But if you simply want a good gaming monitor that offers excellent value for an incredibly cheap price, you won’t find anything better than the HP Pavilion 22cwa. That below-$100 price tag is really hard to top.
But unlike the HP Pavilion 22cwa, the Acer R240HY boasts more juice for gaming. The response time is at 4ms, an impressive number when you consider the price point. The low response time makes this monitor ideal for online multiplayer games like Overwatch. But if you play games for a living, you might want a TN monitor that offers an even lower response time. The refresh rate comes out at 60Hz by default, though you can overclock it to a more gamer-friendly 75Hz.
The Acer R240HY offers a maximum viewing angle of 178 degrees and comes with a sturdy stand that can be tilted from -5 degrees to 15 degrees. And as expected from an IPS monitor, it does not disappoint in delivering accurate and gorgeous visuals. Games look stunningly vivid on the monitor. With 2017 home to a number of visually impressive new games (read: Persona 5), you’ll be in for a treat if you have this budget gaming monitor.
If you fancy a dual-monitor gaming setup, the Acer R240HY also makes a good candidate, courtesy of the extremely thin bezel (around 0.25 inches). It comes with an HDMI port as well, along with a VGA port and a DVI port. The only main issue with this IPS monitor is the very noticeable light bleeding, which might turn off some gamers. But other than that, the Acer R240HY is a solid choice for a budget gaming monitor.
The BenQ GL2460HM has no trouble producing vibrant and sharp colors. Games like Battlefield 1 and Horizon Zero Dawn look amazing on it, with the solid blacks making the colors stand out more. The picture quality lags behind IPS monitors, of course. And like most other TN monitors, this monitor suffers from narrow viewing angles, though you’re probably already aware of that if you’re in the market for TN monitors.
Let’s go over some of the downsides. The built-in speakers are a turn-off. The BenQ GL2460HM comes with 1-watt speakers that simply don’t cut it for gaming purposes. Buying external speakers for audio output is really recommended. The bezel thickness also makes this monitor not suitable for a dual-monitor setup. The Acer R240HY is a much better option for that.
Overall, you get the feeling that BenQ chose to be stingy with the features in order to slap this TN monitor with a friendly price tag. It doesn’t even have USB ports, and the flexibility of the stand leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re looking for a good starter gaming monitor, the BenQ GL2460HM is worth the buy: It has fast response times, good picture quality, and a price tag perfect for budget PC gaming builds.
The LG 25UM57 is a budget-friendly IPS monitor that produces stunning images viewable from all angles. The colors are accurately represented, with deep blacks that further enhance color vibrancy. The refresh rate checks in at 60Hz and the response time is 5ms (gray-to-gray), which is right in line with other cheap IPS monitors in the market. The screen is also coated with anti-glare and the monitor can be tilted back up to 30 degrees.
The main issue with the LG 25UM57 is that it’s short on features. For one, it only features two inputs – and both of them are HDMI ports. Yes, VGA and DVI connections are not supported by this monitor. But aside from that, this IPS monitor doesn’t really have any other pressing issues.
Despite being light in regard to features, the LG 25UM57 offers great value. A good 2560 x 1080 ultra-wide monitor with a below-$200 price is hard to come by these days. Plus, it’s excellent for work as well, thanks to the screen-split support which makes switching tabs less frequent.
The Asus VS228H-P is a wide-screen monitor with a 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution and a standard aspect ratio of 16:9. At 21.5 inches, the monitor easily fits on a crowded table or gaming space. If you want to go bigger, the monitor is also available in several other sizes (which come with different model numbers). All of which are under $200.
The Asus VS228H-P supports HDMI, VGA, and DVI connections and is VESA-compatible right out of the box. Response time is at 5ms, which should be good enough for regular gaming. But for twitch-heavy competitive games, a TN monitor with a much lower response time is recommended for a smoother experience. The viewing angle is limited, which isn’t surprising for a non-IPS monitor. If you can spare a few more bucks, you can go for the VS229H-P, the IPS version that comes with a 178-degree maximum viewing angle.
Like many other Asus monitors, the Asus VS228H-P delivers an excellent performance. It produces nothing but crystal-clear and vibrant images, making action-packed games a total eye candy. And the Splendid Video Intelligence Technology feature only serves to optimize the visual experience. The Asus VS228H-P is definitely one of the best budget gaming monitors available right now. If you get lucky, you can even get it for less than $100, which is a total steal.
The AOC i2367Fh features a 1920 x 1080 true HD resolution and the usual color accuracy that comes with IPS monitors. The colors look vibrant and alive and the blacks do an excellent job of making the colors pop even more. Fast-paced and action-heavy games look extremely smooth on the screen, courtesy of the 5ms response time and the 60Hz refresh rate. The former is an impressive number, considering IPS monitors usually come with higher response times.
This budget gaming monitor comes with a VGA input and two HDMI inputs, making it a great pick-up for those who own more than one gaming machine. It doesn’t have a USB port, though, so you need to buy a separate adapter if you want to connect a USB-powered device. Like the BenQ GL2460HM and the Asus VG245H, this monitor also comes with built-in speakers. The audio output is much better than those two, but we still recommend picking up external speakers for more immersion.
The AOC i2367Fh has limited adjustability: The panel only tilts forward or backward up to a certain degree. But it does boast a 178-degree maximum viewing angle, a common feature among IPS monitors. The color accuracy won’t suffer a drop-off when viewing from awkward angles, which can’t be said for TN monitors.
For a budget gaming monitor under $200, the AOC i2367Fh offers great value. Images look vibrant and smooth. Fast response times. Excellent viewing angle. And did we mention that it has a very stylish look? A solid buy through and through.
The Dell SE2416HX comes equipped with a sturdy stand and supports both VGA and HDMI connection. It doesn’t have a lot of features included and is primarily marketed to people who don’t really dive too much into technical details. The design is straightforward and the setup is easily manageable even for newbies just starting to dip their toes into the world of gaming.
Like other IPS monitors, the Dell SE2416HX effortlessly produces top-notch image quality with deep blacks and vibrant colors. Playing visually stunning games on this monitor is a real treat, though the 6ms gray-to-gray response time might turn away hardcore gamers. And like all the other IPS monitors in this product list, the Dell SE2416HX has a maximum viewing angle of 178 degrees (horizontal and vertical).
If you’re looking for a highly affordable IPS gaming monitor that offers excellent value, the Dell SE2416HX is a great pick-up. It has a high-quality build, a stylish finish, fast response times for an IPS monitor, and offers an undeniably immersive visual experience.
The Asus VG245H is our top choice for the best budget gaming monitor under $200. It has unparalleled value at this price point, with an ultra-fast response time, AMD FreeSync support, and great picture quality. If you mainly play competitive online multiplayer games, the Asus VG245H is a no-brainer. But if you don’t spend a lot of time in competitive gaming, the other monitors in this product list are all excellent choices. Just go with the monitor that matches your needs and budget.
Things to know
IPS vs. TN
Modern monitors are filtered into two categories: in-plane switching (IPS) panel monitors and twisted nematic (TN) panel monitors. IPS monitors are more expensive and have higher response times (more on this below). But in exchange, they have an extremely wide viewing angle and have better color accuracy and contrast.
TN monitors are the opposite. They are less expensive and have ultra-fast response times, which is perfect for gaming. The trade-off is that they suffer from terrible viewing angles. Choosing which panel type to go for usually comes down to whether or not you play a lot of online multiplayer games. In competitive gaming, especially in esports, lower response times are critical.
But what the heck is response time? Response time is a measure of how fast an individual pixel changes from one color to another. If it takes too long for pixels to change colors, it produces a graphical anomaly called “ghosting” which blurs images and makes it more difficult for players to react on time in fast-paced games. The lower the response time, the better.
Refresh rate is how fast a monitor refreshes or redraws the image on the screen. Budget monitors usually have a refresh rate of 60Hz, though many can be overclocked to perform beyond that. The higher the refresh rate, the better.
However, the GPU also plays an important role when it comes to refresh rates. The GPU needs to be in sync with the monitor refresh rate to produce smooth and flawless image reproduction. If the GPU and the refresh rate are not in sync, “screen tearing” might occur, which could spell trouble for players in competitive online multiplayer games.
Basically, for gaming purposes, you need a monitor that offers a low response time and a high refresh rate for the smoothest visual experience, especially in action-packed games.