Best 144hz Monitors Under $200 in 2021 – Ultimate Buying Guide

Best 144hz Monitor Under 200 for gaming

When you think about it it becomes apparent that a monitor is the most important gaming peripheral that can help you achieve that next level in your performance. Many people undermine the importance of a great monitor and we will go as far as to say that a good high refresh rate gaming monitor can give you a slight edge in that all-important duel.

The problem when people do decide to upgrade their monitor it is hard to pick the best one for their needs because the gaming monitor space has become so saturated with the influx of very high-quality monitors from lesser-known brands.

In this article, we have taken upon ourselves to compile a list of the best 144hz monitors under $200 because this is where the market is highly competitive making it possible to snag a great value for money product that will last you a while.

Just a little side note that for the sake of diversity this article will not only focus on the 144hz gaming monitors under $200 but also on higher-resolution or ultrawide monitors which unfortunately at this price do not feature a fully-fledged 144hz panel.

Before we dive into the list let us address a vague perception that sub $200 monitors cannot be good. This has been thrown around a lot and it’s time that we address this based on today’s market.

In a Hurry? A Quick Look at the Best 144hz Monitors Under $200


Best Overall

1. AOC 24G2

AOC 24G2

This monitor came at a time when high refresh rate IPS panels were maturing and becoming more mainstream. This was the first mainstream monitor that had IPS panel technology with fast response times and refresh rate. AOC also did other things with this monitor and now even with other similar monitors this still reigns supreme and therefore earns itself the title of our best gaming monitor under 200$.


Reasons to Buy

  • Clean design in minimal borders
  • Good build quality
  • Height, tilt, and swivel adjustability
  • Good color accuracy
  • Good gaming performance
  • Good motion handling

Reasons to Avoid

  • The cumbersome button navigation needs to go away
  • Low peak brightness compared to rivals
  • Mediocre contrast

Design and Build Quality

AOC made sure that this monitor appeased consumers so they went with a modern borderless design that is easily likable. The side and the top bezel of this monitor are very thin providing a near borderless experience. The bottom bezel is also decently sized and contains an AOC branding. The use of subtle red trim along with the bottom bezel and the base breaks up the black monotone body and looks quite pleasing.

Speaking of the stand it is quite sturdy and sticks well to the surface providing the monitor a firm grip. The feet of the stand are but elongated which can interfere with the other peripherals and especially if you have a small desk so keep that in mind. The stand also has full adjustment meaning this monitor can be adjusted for height, tilt, and swivel. Placing the monitor in an upright position is also possible so programmers out there rejoice.

We could not find any flaw in the build quality as well and being AOC the quality control should also be fine. The sturdy stand together with the rigid body eliminates any flex or wobble in the chassis. Overall, a very solidly build product.

Features and Connectivity

If you have owned any recent AOC monitor you will right at home here because the on-screen display setting menu is the same which is a good thing because AOC has well-organized menu screens with easy navigation. This is all good but the use of buttons for navigation is not intuitive at all. Having joystick control is much more convenient and easy. What is present in the menus is of greater significance and AOC generally has a lot of modes and options.

The most useful features that you are going to use frequently include shadow control, low-blue light filter, frame counter, low-input lag mode, and the different pre-calibrated color profiles. Everything is self-explanatory except shadow control which basically illuminates the darker areas of the screen. This is useful when playing games that require enemy spotting in dark environments. Besides this, there are HDR effect modes that artificially simulate HDR.

Lastly, the four keys used for navigation can be used as hotkeys and you can apply certain profiles to them to change the behavior of the monitor on the fly. Moving away from the on-screen display menu to the actual back of the monitor and the ports that you will find here include two HDMI 1.4 ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, a VGA which is rather surprising as well welcoming, and a 3.5mm headphone out. So basically you are covered completely and even VGA is included which many monitors nowadays are omitting.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Being IPS one expects good picture quality and fortunately, this monitor does not let you down. The out of the box color calibration is very accurate and with the deep blacks of the IPS panel, the image on the screen pops. The peak brightness of 250nits is a bit low so if you plan on using this monitor in a well-lit room chances are you will be disappointed. The contrast ratio of 1000:1 is also decent and in line with other monitors using IPS panels but there are some which are better in this regard.

Moving back onto the positives and the gaming performance is one the best selling point of this monitor. The 144hz refresh rate together with the adaptive sync which has the variable refresh rate range of 48-144hz makes this monitor excellent for fast-paced competitive gaming like CSGO, Valorant, etc. People abstain from using IPS panels when playing competitive games due to their response time but this panel together with the AOC overdrive has a 1ms response time which is on par with the popular TN panels in the gaming scene.

The biggest point of this monitor is its motion handling ability. To reduce the smearing and ghosting to the minimum which monitor has 5 different overdrive settings and with the strongest setting, the clarity of a moving object is commendable. To even reduce ghosting users can turn on the reduce motion blur mode which also has various levels of intensity. This somewhat enhances the clarity but it comes at the cost of fixed brightness a little subpar picture quality. Overall, the level of refinement in this monitor will please most diehard gamers out there.

Conclusion

It is understandable now why this product was among the best-selling monitor of 2020. AOC has delivered a product that does not have any major issues. There are some minor problems with this monitor and it is not perfect by any means but still, they are not big enough for people to not justify the purchase of a monitor that for $200 offers an IPS panel, 144hz refresh rate, adaptive sync, good design and build, and above all good gaming performance. AOC with this 24G2 has also impressed us therefore this monitor scores the throne in our list as the best 144hz gaming monitor under $200.

2. MSI Optix G241

MSI Optix G241 Review

MSI with their fresh lineup has come up with some fantastic monitors and this G241 being one of them. It features the same specs as the aforementioned AOC 24G2 and can compete toe to toe with the former hence being on our list as the runner-up.


Reasons to Buy

  • Clean frameless design
  • Good build quality
  • Fantastic color accuracy
  • Good contrast ratio
  • High peak brightness

Reasons to Avoid

  • Non-height and swivel adjustable stand
  • Mediocre motion performance

Design and Build Quality

MSI’s design language with their recent monitor has changed for the better. The newer monitors like this Optix G241 support a more industrial design with subtle flashy accents which is a positive change. On the front of this monitor, there is no trim that gives it away as being a gaming monitor. You have a generic branding along the bottom and talking of bezels they are quite slim giving the monitor that frameless look that many monitors now aim for.

This monitor has a long elongated stand like the ones that you find on consumer TVs. This although provides great stability to the chassis but can be a bit of a nuisance if you are limited space or like to keep the keyboard pitched right up to the monitor. Another downside of this stand is the lack of adjustability. Unlike the AOC previously mentioned this monitor only has tilt adjustment therefore getting this monitor to position perfectly according to your liking is not possible unless the default height is perfectly adequate for you.

How often have we seen cheaply build monitors under $200 but it is not the case with MSI. This monitor boasts proper build quality and has solid construction. The fit and the finish of the chassis are also very good. The brushed finish and the red-painted joystick on the back of the monitor give it a very upmarket feel. The screen is also very rigid and does not flex even when clamped firmly.

Features and Connectivity

In this generation of monitors, MSI has played very safe when it comes to feature. They have not introduced any new feature that isn’t seen before in this class of monitors. Though what they have done is refine the on-screen display menu and also the different modes that they provide.

Upon opening the on-screen display menu you have greeted with a very simple yet a little blingy window that gives it a gamery touch. All the menus are nicely organized and nothing seems out of place. Everything subsetting is under the correct setting menu and the user interface is also clean and intuitive. Here you have full-color controls and can change the color temperature along with the contrast, sharpness, brightness, etc.

You also a set of preconfigured profiles for different gaming genres like FPS, RTS, etc. One good feature that we liked is the night vision mode. This mode enhances the visibility of darker areas of the screen by pumping brightness into those areas. This enables you to see more detail in dark areas and can be beneficial when traversing through the night in survival games or spotting campers in shooting games. There is also an included motion blur reduction mode but more on that in the gaming performance segment.

As far as the connectivity is concerned you won’t encounter any issues here. The monitor is equipped with two HDMI 1.4b ports and one DisplayPort 1.2. There is also a 3.5mm headphone so basically, you are covered on all fronts.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

If a single best thing is to be told about this monitor it would surely be its picture quality. MSI has nailed in in this segment and the panel they have used and calibrated from the factory is amazing. MSI G241 supports a wide color gamut panel and is rated for 128% of sRGB and 95% of DCI-P3 color gamut coverage. For the professionals out there who need accurate colors, MSI has also included an sRGB mode that dials back the sRGB coverage to 99%.

Besides the color gamut coverage, this monitor also has upwards of 300nits of peak brightness which is more than the aforementioned AOC. The contrast is also better than the former coming in at nearly 1500:1. These are great numbers for an IPS panel and the contrast ratio is in the same ballpark as the lower end VA panel. The uniformity of the panel is good but we cannot give a firm comment on that because this varies from panel to panel.

This monitor pretty much performs better than the AOC in terms of picture quality so why it is not the best 144hz gaming monitor under $200. You see AOC narrowly beats this out in terms of gaming performance but that is not to say it performs badly. The 144hz refresh rate together with the adaptive sync provides an experience similar to the AOC. The VRR of 48-144hz is also similar but where this monitor falls apart is the motion performance. This monitor has very acceptable motion performance and the clarity of moving objects is good than previous generation IPS panels but it cannot beat the excellent motion performance of the AOC.

Even about AOC 24G2 let talk more about this monitor. The motion reduction mode in this monitor which is another name for backlight strobing also exhibits a mediocre performance. When this mode is turned on the clarity of moving objects increases but at the expense of inverse ghosting which leaves a trail of the object. Also with this mode enabled, you sacrifice your brightness controls and also the Freesync which might be too good to trade to make for some people.

This does not mean that MSI G241 is a bad performer by any means. It provides a very immersive gaming experience party due to the picture quality and is miles better than the low-end IPS monitor but it still cannot match with the very best of IPS panels. Still for work you are getting here is absolutely amazing and worth praise.

Conclusion

MSI G241 straddles a fine line between high-end IPS monitors and low-end IPS monitors. The picture of this monitor is top-notch better than most IPS 1080p monitor but then the motion performance is mediocre. The build quality is excellent but then it lacks proper adjustment. There are certainly a few compromises that you have to make with this monitor but none of them is a deal-breaker. Therefore we see this as the alternative to the AOC 24G2 which let’s be honest is out of stock or priced higher than MSRP most of the time, therefore, making this monitor a no-brainer in most circumstances.

Esports Pick

3. Asus VG248QG

Asus VG248QG Review

Asus is one of the brands that is heavily invested in the professional esports scene and they also make some excellent peripherals that some professional teams use. This Asus VG248QG is a monitor that although not being up to professional standard is still the best esports monitor you can get for under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Good build quality
  • Fully adjustable stand with height, tilt, and swivel
  • Plenty of useful features
  • 165hz with official G-sync certification
  • Good brightness for a TN panel
  • Good motion handling

Reasons to Avoid

  • Prominent bezels all around
  • Tiny 2W speakers
  • Mediocre color accuracy
  • Narrow viewing angles

Design and Build Quality

The design of Asus VG248QG can be summed up in two words that being clean and minimalist. The bezels have equal proportion all around the screen and despite not being a frameless monitor it still looks good due to the relatively narrow bezels. Besides the red accent on the base on the base of the stand, you cannot distinguish this to be a gaming-oriented monitor so this monitor will be safe if you want to use it in a more formal space.

Speaking of the stand and with this monitor, you are indeed getting a high-quality stable, and sturdy stand. The stand also has a full suite of adjustability options i.e height, tilt, and swivel. Each adjustment also has a great range of motion enabling you to fully fine-tune the monitor position according to your setup and build. Another thing that is simple yet effective is the cable management channel. Most manufacturers do not implement this in their monitor design and yet this simple cutout can make the wiring situation so much better.

When it comes to the build and construction Asus always puts out solid monitors and this is no exception. There are no creeks or rattles here in the chassis whatsoever and the wobble is also minimal. Only when it is shaken violently that it exhibits some wobble. The finish of the plastic material is also smooth and feels plucked out of a more expensive monitor.

Features and Connectivity

This Asus VG248QG gets the premium treatment when it comes to features. It has most of the features that Asus offers in their entire lineup the premium models included. The distinguishing feature of this monitor when compared with similarly priced monitors is the game plus menu Asus offers. This menu is accessible via the 4 quick action buttons found beneath the navigation joystick and contains beneficial features like an FPS counter, different crosshairs, and a timer.

The other prominent features of this monitor are present in its OSD menu. Right of the bat, the first setting present in this menu is of picture quality and here you can fully adjust the color temperature, contrast, brightness, etc. You have also some preconfigured picture modes that tackle different situations like gaming, movies, reading, etc.

Do not know whether to call the next one a proper feature or not but we are going to list it anyway and this is the inclusion of 2W speakers. Truth be told these speakers are barely useable but they can provide some value when in dire need of audio and headphones or speakers are not quickly accessible.

Asus VG248QG also fares well in terms of connectivity. With this monitor, you get a full array of ports albeit the HDMI ports use the 1.4 outdated standard which we would like to see replaced with the better 2.0 standard which can deliver much more bandwidth. Regardless, you can use the HDMI for gaming but it is better to use the included DisplayPort 1.2 connection for the complete 165hz goodness. Along with the HDMI and the DisplayPort, you also get a Dual Link DVI connection and a 3.5mm headphone out. 

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Let us be real here you most likely are not buying this monitor for picture quality because TN monitors are known for their response time and not picture quality. Still, for this monitor, I can confidently say that it is one of the better TN monitors in regards to picture quality. Don’t get me wrong it cannot compete with IPS or VA but what you get here is impressive.

This monitor has a peak brightness of 350nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 so we are already starting on positive terms. The uniformity and black level of the monitor are also decent but this is where the good things end and the inherent flaws of the TN panels start to surface. Starting of the color accuracy is not good at all while this problem can be sorted out with calibration the next one cannot and that is an issue with the viewing angles.

Being TN the viewing angles are narrow and the offset at which the colors fade is very aggressive. This is no surprise because most TN monitors have this problem but since the IPS panels with somewhat similar response times are available now so this small inconvenience becomes a very prominent issue because why would you buy a TN panel when you can get a similar specced IPS panel with better viewing angles. To find out let us proceed to the gaming performance of this monitor.

The gaming performance is the very reason why you will be tempted to buy this monitor because it is that good. This monitor takes the usual 1ms response time up or in this case down a notch by having a 0.5ms response although it is only using the extreme overdrive setting on the monitor. The monitor also has a 165hz refresh which is a leg up on other 144hz monitors. This model is also official G-Sync certified while other monitors in this segment lack an official certification.

The good things do not end here and this monitor also has excellent motion performance. With the trace-free mode which is a fancy name for overdrive that Asus uses the motion clarity is amazing. If you still are not satisfied you can use the Asus ELMB mode which by introducing backlight strobing improves motion clarity. Though here like other monitors with backlight strobing you can sacrifice brightness control and G-Sync. Nevertheless, ELMB mode offers industry-leading performance and this monitor, in general, is one the best performing gaming monitor under $200.

Conclusion

Asus VG248QG is one of those monitors that prioritizes gaming above anything else. The 165hz refresh rate with 0.5ms response time and official Nivida G-Sync makes it class-leading. In the sub $200 monitor category it is hard to find a monitor that performs this good let alone has official G-Sync certification. It is of course not perfect and you have to make sacrifices especially the lackluster picture quality here for the gaming performance but if you are an aspiring professional in any esports game that requires micro finesse then get this monitor because it is the best esports gaming monitor under $200.

Curved Pick

4. MSI Optix G24C4

MSI Optix G24C4 Review - The Best Curved Gaming Monitor Under 200

MSI is a household name in the gaming industry synonymous with its high-quality products. They also make some great monitors and one such example is the G24C4 that for the very reason is on our list as the best curved gaming monitor under $200 that can be bought.


Reasons to Buy

  • Slim bezels provide a striking design
  • Good build quality
  • 1500R Curvature
  • 144hz refresh rate with Adaptive Sync
  • Good picture quality
  • Good motion clarity and response time

Reasons to Avoid

  • The screen has flickering issues when using adaptive sync under 100fps
  • No height adjustment or rotation

Design and Build Quality

Despite this monitor being on the budget end of the spectrum as far as curved monitors go MSI has provided it with a very sleek and upscale design. The first thing that catches you is how slim the bezels are. It is almost be identified as frameless but that is not applicable because of the very narrow bezels. The bottom bezel that’s hosts the MSI logo is also quite slim when compared with other monitors in the same price range.

MSI G24C4 has a 1500R Curved screen which is quite pleasing. The curve here is not that aggressive so even people sensitive to curved screens will not find this to be uncomfortable. A metal stand holds this amazing panel in place. Being metal the stand is very sturdy and it does not wobble around aimlessly when you are playing in a heated moment.

But this sturdiness comes at a cost and in this monitor that being adjustable because here the screen only has the tilt option. The option of height adjustment, rotation, and pivot are not available on this monitor so before you buy check if the default height is suitable for your setup.

What we can fully commend MSI on is the build quality and the feel of this unit. It is rare to find a monitor that has a metal stand in this price range and on top of that the feel of the plastic is also nicer when compared to other monitors in the same segment.

Features and Connectivity

All the features of this monitor are embedded in the on-screen display settings. This setting menu is triggered by clicking on the joystick found on the back of the monitor in the bottom right position. Before we go on the features let’s take a moment to appreciate the simplicity of this menu. All the tiles are well laid out and the menus are exactly where they should be making navigating through the settings very convenient for the user.

In terms of features, this monitor supports adaptive Sync and it works on both AMD and Nvidia without any issues. But when using this monitor for Gsync it introduces some flickering below 100fps which can be annoying so keep that in mind. There is also a reduced motion blur that drastically improves motion clarity at the expense of fixed brightness and it also cannot work in tandem with adaptive sync. It also introduces inverse ghosting so use this option as you please.

There is also a slew of gaming modes packed into the menu and in the on-screen display settings, you can also change the color temperature of the monitor. One such feature that caught our eye was the reading mode that introduces warmth to the color so using the monitor at night is easier on the eye.

This monitor also fares well in the connectivity department and has a good port selection. For connecting to Pc or console it has two HDMI ports and one display port. There is also a 3.5mm headphone that can come in handy and one excellent aspect of this monitor is that it uses the barrel type of corrector like older generation laptops. It does not require the 3 pin plug hence one less thing to worry about when doing cable management.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

MSI G24C4 comes equipped with a VA panel and we are happy to report that the panel used here is a rather good one. It has a good contrast ratio and deep black levels. Not only that but also the uniformity is very satisfactory for a VA panel which further accentuates the black colors. As far as colors go with covered 98% of the SRGB spectrum, 84% adobe RGB spectrum and, 87% DCI-P3 color spectrum. These are very respectable numbers for a curved gaming monitor under $200.

It is not all good though and there is one aspect which lacking. That aspect is the brightness of the panel and this monitor only clocks about 230 nits of peak brightness which is not the best and not on par with the competition so if you use your monitor in a well-lit room then you might consider something else.

If your main consideration is about gaming performance then you are in for a delight. The 144hz refresh rate is a game-changer when it comes to the smoothness of the display. Coupled that with a response time of 1ms and you have a recipe for greatness on your hand. Also surprisingly the input lag for this particular VA panel is fantastic. The only negative about this panel is the flickering issue below 100fps when in adaptive sync mode but as long as you keep the fps stable and over 100 then it is fine.

That all said and done the main highlighting aspect of this monitor in terms of gaming performance is its stellar motion handling. MSI G24C4 offers some of the best overdrive in the business for a curved VA panel, especially at a higher refresh rate. At 144hz its motion clarity rivals some more expensive monitors and is way ahead of its competing rivals. Though the overdrive here is not compatible with the adaptive sync mode so you have to choose one or the other.

Conclusion

MSI G24C4 is one of the rare monitors that has a good balance between the features and the quality of the monitor. The panel used in this monitor is a high-tier VA panel that performs exceptionally well. This monitor also comes with good colors out of the box and the motion clarity, response time, and input lag are class-leading. The only aspect holding back this monitor is its adaptive sync performance with GSYNC enabled but that too is not a deal-breaker. Therefore because this monitors offers so much for the money with just a handful of drawbacks it earns our recommendation for the best curved gaming monitor under $200.

5. Acer XFA240

Acer XFA240 Review

TN panels have always been the preferred choice for many gamers due to their fast response time and low input lag and the newer generation panels like the one found on this Acer XFA240 have also set out to rectify some of the inherent issues of the earlier technology. Among the sea of newer generation monitors, this Acer XFA240 really stands out because of its panel hence earning the spot in our list as the best TN gaming monitor under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Good Build Quality
  • Understated and clean design
  • Fully Ergonomic with height, tilt, and swivel adjustment
  • Good color accuracy
  • G-Sync certification and FreeSync compatibility
  • Good motion handling

Reasons to Avoid

  • Thick bezels
  • Lackluster speakers
  • Low pixel density

Design and Build Quality

Acer has gone away with their gamery styling in this model, therefore, giving the monitor a very industrial and classy design. Besides the red ring insert on the base of the stand, there is not a single element in the design that can obstruct its enterprise appearance. The bezels around the screen also contribute to that factor because they are wide and chunky like you will find in generic monitors.

This monitor is so simple that Acer did not try to hide the placement of the on-screen buttons. They are placed directly on the chin on the monitor, unlike other manufacturers that place them on the bottom of the side of the monitor for a cleaner unobtrusive look. That is not to say that Acer in any way cheaped on the design rather to the contrary despite having a boring design this monitor feels upmarket. This is mainly due to the finish of the plastic as well as the solid stand that the monitor sits on.

Speaking of the stand it is also fully ergonomic and features height, tilt, and swivel adjustments. If you do not want to use the stand this monitor also supports a 100mm VESA mount. But be vary when placing this monitor on a mount because it is heavy due to the solid construction and the use of high-quality materials.

Features and Connectivity

There is a stark contrast between the on-screen display menu and the exterior design of the monitor. While the former present a tame and industrial look the latter wanders completely in the opposite direction with a gamery theme. Regardless, whatever the theme maybe you are getting the complete feature package bundled into this OSD menu.

Your usual calibrations which include the color and the picture are presented in a well laid out menu. You granularly adjust each to tailer the monitor to your liking. Precalibrated picture modes are also included for you to tinker with. The blue light mode which is quite handy when binging games or videos all night is also available in this menu.

Like other manufacturers, Acer has also hopped on the train of providing real-time gaming features like an external crosshair and an FPS counter. You can also save your complete settings in a profile and load it up instantly with the on-screen buttons which are fantastic as gamers need different color profiles because those damn enemies are just too good at hiding sometimes.

Apart from these software features you also get 2W speakers which frankly like most monitors are present there just for the namesake. You do although get a 3.5mm headphone out which is quite convenient and the other ports that you will find here include an HDMI, a DVI, and a DisplayPort. The 144hz refresh is only accessible via the DisplayPort while the others are capped at 120hz.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Do not be disappointed by the fact that this is a TN panel because unlike any other TN monitor this Acer XFA240 has very good color accuracy. The colors are also vibrant and not washed like other TN panels which is a big plus in our books because before this monitor you had to give up picture quality in favor of faster response time and we are glad now that it is possible to get both out a TN panel.

The picture characteristics are also very favorable with this monitor clocking a peak brightness of 350 nits and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. This placed the monitor on the upper end of the TN monitor chart. The only negative with this display is the low pixel density coming in at just 92 pixels per inch. This is fine as long as you sit at a slight distance from the monitor but if you have a habit of using the monitor very close to your eyes then it can become a bit of a problem. 

Gaming performance has always been a strong suit of TN panel so went into this monitor with a bit of expectation and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint. The response time is in line with the upper-end of TN panels coming in at 1ms with also a minimal input lag. Since this is an officially certified G-Sync monitor there is no need to manually turn the G-Sync on making the experience flawless. This monitor is also compatible with FreeSync and the VRR for the G-Sync and the FreeSync comes in at 48-144hz.

The motion performance is also reminiscent of other good TN panels meaning that it can handle fast-moving objects with good clarity. You also get a couple of modes to play with to reduce motion blur and overall nothing but good things to say about this panel when it comes to gaming performance.

Conclusion

Acer XFA240 greatly benefits from the aggressive price Acer has set it to. It matches the more expensive Asus monitors like the one listed above but with providing similar or more features. The picture quality is also another area where this leaves other similar TN monitors in the dust. Somehow this monitor manages to rectify most of the inherent problems with the TN panel and although this monitor is not perfect and has a couple of flaws. Still, they are minor enough to be overlooked and hence this monitor comes in as our best TN gaming monitor under $200.

6. AOC C24G1

AOC C24G1 Review

It is rare to find a monitor that can cover both the casual movie watching aspect as well as the gaming aspect in a single package and that too at a pocket-friendly price. Well, AOC has done just that with this C24G1 VA curved monitor. This perfect infusion of both the characteristics earns this monitor a spot in our list as the best VA gaming monitor under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Good build quality
  • Premium design
  • 1500R screen curvature
  • Loaded with useful features
  • Good color accuracy
  • Great contrast ratio
  • Good motion clarity

Reasons to Avoid

  • Low pixel density
  • Low brightness

Design and Build Quality

This monitor speakers more premium to you than its price would suggest. This is partly due to the frameless design which narrows down the top and the side bezels to just bare millimeters.

The contour of the curvature of the display is also very smooth and well rounded off. You also get a cable routing cutout in the stand for seamless cable management.

Red trims are also scattered in various parts of the monitor to add some flare to the otherwise matte black design. All these little touches provide that perception of higher quality and premiumness.

This monitor shares a similar stand as that of the AOC 24G2 (our best gaming monitor) so you are guaranteed good quality here as well. The stand is also ergonomic and features height, tilt, and swivel adjustment. The base and the legs are also very stable and it is highly unlikely that this monitor will topple over.

This all also goes to show the high standard of the build quality of this monitor. Acer fortunately has not cheaped on the build and has made a durable and tough curved chassis where the screen can peacefully rest.

Features and Connectivity

AOC has a record of not skimping on features in their monitors regardless of the price bracket so you can expect this monitor to come with the full suite of AOC features as well. Rightfully so you won’t be left disappointed when you purchase this monitor because it not only has all the features you will need but also some other neat inclusions as well.

Firstly, let us all take a moment to appreciate AOC on the well-polished and refined OSD settings. All the menus are organized and the different modes are present in their respective setting tab making the navigation of this OSD very easy and intuitive. As for what you get here in the first tab you have your display settings followed by the color and the game settings. The display and color give the user granular control over every aspect and enable them to customize the picture quality of the monitor exactly according to their preference.

Under the game setting tab, you will find some really handy features like the MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) which has 20 levels of adjustment. This is also where you can access your overdrive mode with 4 levels of adjustment. Other useful features present here include the black level equalizer as well as the blue level filter. The icing on the cake is the ability to save the custom settings in a profile that can be accessed with a hotkey.

The ports available in this monitor are what you expect from a newer generation monitor with dual HDMI, a DisplayPort, and a 3.5mm headphone out with just one port being an exception to that. AOC has still retained the legacy VGA port on this monitor which is a rare choice but still a rather appreciative one because there are instances when having a VGA port holds merit.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

What made us choose this monitor as the best VA panel was its stellar picture quality along with the top-notch gaming performance. Getting straight into business this monitor boasts a contrast ratio of 3060:1. This is on par with the very best VA panels in the industry and this high contrast leads to deep blacks with rich colors. It is especially noticeable when you pitch this monitor against any TN monitor or a slightly lower grade IPS monitor. The blacks on this monitor will be much deeper than the aforementioned monitors.

The brightness is also satisfactory coming in at 250 nits which is adequate for a dimly lit room but can pose issues in bright environments. The out of the box color accuracy is also surprisingly good with Delta E of just 2.5. The only negative aspect of this display is its pixel density which comes in at a measly 93ppi. Of course like other monitors of this class you won’t have any trouble when viewing content at a distance but if you like to sit close to your monitor then the screen quickly deteriorates to being choppy.

Let’s start the gaming performance with the biggest underlying problem of the VA panel which is the motion handling attribute of the technology. But to our great surprise, this monitor actually has fantastic motion clarity and can even be used in competitive gaming. With the right setting that being the overdrive set to the third most extreme or the MBR set to 10, the clarity was on par with lower-end TN and IPS panels. The blacklight smearing is also surprisingly controlled in this monitor making the overall competitive experience a joy.

AOC C24G1 also comes with official G-Sync certification with it being compatible with FreeSync as well. The VRR for the Sync range is between 48-144hz and with low input lag and fast response times this monitor is a great choice for competitive as well as casual gaming that being due to its amazing picture quality.

Conclusion

AOC has done a great job with this curved monitor. The AOC C24G1 not only has stellar looks but also the performance that is needed to back them up. The fast response times and 144hz refresh rate along with great picture quality make this monitor capable of handling any sort of game you throw at it. Due to the curved display, the monitor also provides a more immersive media consumption experience. The few shortcomings also make this monitor a more mainstream choice that everyone can get use out of therefore we have no problem in recommending this as our best VA gaming monitor under $200.

7. Sceptre E248B-FPT168

Sceptre E248B-FPT168 Review

Only once in a while, you get to experience a product that punches way above its weight and matches the performance of more expensive products. This product in our experience was Sceptre E248-FPT168 which had us in an awe of disbelief because it offered an IPS panel with a 165hz refresh rate and 1ms response time for just under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Good build quality
  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Impressive port selection
  • 165hz IPS panel with FreeSync and G-Sync
  • High brightness
  • Good viewing angles

Reasons to Avoid

  • No height, swivel, and pivot adjustment
  • Visible backlight bleed but that might vary from monitor to monitor

Design and Build Quality

The design is reminiscent of the latest Sceptre models with all of them sharing the common frameless design with toned down and muted color scheme. This monitor is enterprise-ready because it has no flare in its design. The body is clean with just the Sceptre name spelled out on the bottom screen bezel and the back. This is either a love or hate scenario because on one end you will love it. After all, it has a minimalist and clean vibe to it but it can also get too boring too quickly for a gaming monitor.

The stand you get with this monitor is also very generic with three protruding legs from the base that support the weight of the chassis. These stands are pretty common because of their great stability but this stability comes at the expense of adjustability. In this monitor, you only get tilt adjustment, and height, swivel, and pivot adjustments are absent.

The tough theme continues with the build quality as well with the body of the monitor being rigid and free from any unnecessary flex. This monitor is definitely made to last you a while and can withstand some harsh use over time as well.

Features and Connectivity

This monitor shares the same features as other newer monitors and truth be told there is much separating monitor based on features today because most of the features are not brand specific but rather mainstream. All the features of this Sceptre E248-FPT168 are buried in the OSD menu and upon first opening the menu you will realize how easy and intuitive the interface is.

As for the features, this monitor has a blue light filter, and that together with the flicker-free technology causes less eye strain and fatigue. You also get your full suit on color adjustment allowing you to tailor the picture quality of this monitor right down to your preference. If that seems quite a hassle then there are predefined modes for different games that you can select which adjust the picture quality according to the need of that specific game genre.

This monitor also has all the blur-reducing options that are contained in the separate gaming menu. To enjoy the full refresh rate this monitor supports 165hz on both the HDMI ports as well as the DisplayPort. If you are going to run this monitor via HDMI we recommend using the HDMI 2.0 labeled port because that is the newer standard of HDMI and can carry more bandwidth. For power with this Sceptre, you also don’t have to worry about a chunky power plug because it supports a barrel-type power connection and you also get a 3.5mm audio out.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Sceptre E248B-FPT168 has a good-quality IPS panel and IPS panels are known for this picture quality and viewing angles. This monitor is no exception to the rule and it has rich colors with deep blacks that make the content on the screen pop. This IPS panel also has a 100% sRGB color gamut coverage making it very good for content consumption.

The brightness is also on the higher side when compared with a similarly priced monitor coming in at 350nits and the contrast being 1000:1 is not sloppy either. The viewing angles are also wide and there is minimal fade even at extreme angles. All this is great but the IPS monitor has a problem with backlight bleed and this monitor is no different. This factor also heavily varies from monitor to monitor so be cautious of that before you buy the monitor.

This monitor really impressed us with its performance. Granted it is not the fastest with TN monitor edging it out when it comes to raw input lag and response time but still being able to enjoy good picture quality and more than adequate gaming performance is a trade most of us are willing to make.

Sceptre E248B-FPT168 also has a refresh rate of 165hz which is a tad higher than the usual 144hz that other monitors offer. The FreeSync and the G-Sync experience are also flawless despite this monitor not coming with an official G-Sync.

The cherry on the cake is the motion handling of this monitor which is also quite decent for an IPS and slots in nicely with other similar priced monitors. The overdrive modes you get here are effective in eliminating any ghosting.

Conclusion

Sceptre has been consistently putting out amazing products for a while now and it’s a shame they do not get the recognition they deserve due to the brand not being very mainstream. It is hard to fault this Sceptre E248B-FPT168 except maybe for this name because adding all the extra bits is unnecessary. That being said this monitor does have some slight issues but none of them matter when you look at the positive attributes of this monitor therefore we have selected this monitor as our best IPS gaming monitor under $200.

8. AOC G2490VXS

AOC G2490VXS Review

AOC has been on a roll lately putting out amazing new products in their already vast catalog. The recently release AOC G2490VXS is the model we have selected here as our best frameless gaming monitor under $200 because the price to performance ratio of this monitor is brilliant and it is a hard one to beat at that.


Reasons to Buy

  • Borderless design
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent color accuracy
  • Good contrast ratio
  • HDR
  • 144hz with adaptive sync

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of height and swivel adjustment
  • Subpar motion handling leads to ghosting

Design and Build Quality

Since we are putting great emphasis on the borderless design of this monitor then I guess it is important to start with that. We have put frameless in it the title not borderless because this monitor does not have a visible frame on three sides but it has a minuscule bezel on the sides and the top which is not noticeable at all when consuming media or playing games. On the bottom chin this there is some visible frame but then again this is the case with most borderless monitors so we cannot fault AOC here.

Moving down from the screen and onto the stand and here we find a very simple offering from AOC. In this monitor, the stand is finished in brushed silver which is a good department from the glossy black because this does not scratch as easily and also is not a fingerprint magnet. One negative aspect that keeps on repeating in monitors of this price point is also present here and that is the adjustability or rather lack of any adjustability. This monitor only has tilt functionality while lacking the height and swivel adjustment.

One area where this monitor gets a resounding yes is the build quality. AOC has made this thing to last period. We were not expecting a monitor at this price point to be as well built as this is. The frame of this monitor is rock solid and the stability is also great. There is also no wobble in the chassis which is all great and overall everything seems exceptionally well-sorted in the construction of this monitor.

Features and Connectivity

This monitor comes with all the features you would expect from a high refresh rate gaming monitor and then there are extra features that when enabled can enhance the experience of the user. The typical feature set includes predefined calibrations for different gaming genres as well as the choice of custom profiles. Then there are all the color settings that you can fiddle with to set the most optimal color according to your preference.

The interesting features include three different HDR modes. Yea you read it right this sub $200 monitor has HDR although granted it has the most inferior HDR certification but having something is still better than nothing. This monitor also has a flicker-free backlight which is good for long sessions because it causes less eye strain. There is also the backlight strobing option available kind of surprising that this monitor has it but more on that later in the gaming performance segment. This monitor also has a real-time frame counter which can also be enabled from this settings menu.

To top it all off AOC has finally moved to a joystick navigation system which is much more convenient than using buttons to navigate through the on-screen display. Speaking of which the OSD of this monitor is intuitive and easy. Features do not matter if a monitor has limited connectivity options and fortunately, enough AOC has taken that into consideration and provided the full suite of options that include an HDMI 1.4, a DisplayPort 1.2, and an audio out port.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance 

This monitor uses an advanced VA panel that delivers an excellent contrast of 4000:1. This number is not only better than other VA panels which are already known for delivering good contrast but also beat out TN and IPS panels. The color accuracy is also rated at 126% for sRGB and 93% for DCI-P3 color gamut respectively. Though you can cap the sRGB value at 99% to provide more real-life unsaturated colors if you so prefer.

The brightness of the panel is also very good for a VA panel coming in at 350nits. Most monitors cap out at 300nits in this price range so this 50nits is a welcome addition. The viewing angles are also adequate. They are certainly not IPS sharp but it is to be expected and for a monitor of its class it performs really well. Overall, you get a very crisp picture quality with deep blacks and vibrant colors which in the end is all we aim for so well done AOC on this front.

Due to the excellent picture quality, this monitor provides a very satisfying gaming experience. The visual quality is great and makes graphics-heavy games a joy to play. But being a VA panel this monitor struggles when dealing with fast-paced games that are motion-sensitive. You see VA panels are not the best when it comes to motion handling and it shows in this monitor. The 144hz refresh rate and the adaptive sync can rectify this issue somewhat but still, this monitor should not be your first choice for fast-paced competitive gaming.

This is because the panel has a response time of 5ms and while you do get several overdrive modes but none of them works optimally because each mode has either the ghosting problem or the inverse ghosting problem. You can also use the motion blur reduction mode and while that works well but it comes at the expense of lower brightness and contrast. 

Conclusion

AOC G2490VXS is a good-looking borderless monitor that is not all show. This also has decent performance and excellent picture quality. Playing story-driven games on this monitor is an immersive and casual gaming experience with 144hz adaptive sync is also excellent. The only major issue of this monitor stems from its lack of decent motion handling. You can get by fine if you want to play some esports title with a friend or two but if you are an aspiring professional skip on this monitor. Still, regardless for most people, this is a no-brainer and therefore earns a place in our list as the best frameless gaming monitor under $200.

Ultrawide Pick

9. LG 25UM58-P

LG 25UM58-P Review

LG is one of the big players when it comes to monitors and they even make their own in-house display panels. This gives the brand great leverage and is one of the reasons behind LG’s success in the mainstream ultrawide monitor space. Out of the entire lineup, the monitor worthy to be on our list as the best ultrawide gaming monitor under $200 is none other than the highly praised LG 25UM58-P.


Reasons to Buy

  • 21:9 aspect ratio provides more screen real estate for the same size
  • The split-screen feature enhances multitasking
  • Good viewing angles
  • 99% coverage of SRGB color gamut
  • 75hz refresh rate

Reasons to Avoid

  • The glossy black material is a fingerprint magnet and scratches easily
  • No height or swivel adjustment
  • No display port
  • Lack of FreeSync or Gsync

Design and Build Quality

Upon the first gaze, two immediate things are very noticeable. The first is the height of the monitor because the panel here is only 17″ height. This is because the screen size is measured diagonally so the added horizontal real estate of an ultrawide monitor is at the cost of its vertical one.

The other noticeable thing is the use of the piano glossy black plastic for the case finish. Aesthetics aside this finish is very vulnerable to scratches and fingerprints. The dust also accumulates easily on this surface when compared to a matte surface.

Coming to the actual design of this monitor and despite being a tad older model this monitor still holds up fine and fits in nicely with the current generation of ultrawide monitors. The physical bezel of the screen is very tiny but there is a slight black bar surrounding the display. This side profile of the monitor is not as slim as other current generation monitors but it is acceptable.

One thing that is not acceptable though and which is also common on most monitors under $200 is lack of height or swivel adjustability. The tilt functionality also acts at a very acute set of angles which is also not ideal.

What we cannot fault about this monitor though is the build quality. LG has a high standard in this regard and it shows in their products. This monitor also a good treatment and the fit and finish and the overall construction of the monitor is solid.  No creeks or rattles are present in the chassis and the monitor is also very stable on its feet. It sticks well to the surface and does not wobble around even with a slight nudge.

Features and Connectivity

LG is typically ahead of the curve when it comes to on-screen display settings on monitors. This monitor follows suit with LG’s other offerings and has a feature-packed on-screen display that is also intuitive and user-friendly. Among the different settings, few noticeable ones include black level stabilization that provides improved clarity in darker patches on the screen and dynamic action sync which reduces input lag therefore it can be beneficial for competitive games.

There are also precalibrated modes baked in for the different game genres and the option of custom profiles is also available. This monitor also makes the most use of its ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio by implementing a split-screen mode. This mode acts exactly as the name suggests by dividing the screen into two sections. This greatly enhances the screen real estate therefore increasing the multitasking aspect of the screen.

The area where this monitor completely disappoints is its connectivity. Owing to a dated model this monitor only has dual HDMI 1.4 ports. No HDMI 2.0 ports are available here but rather surprisingly this monitor also does not include a display port. This greatly affects the versatility of this monitor and if you plan to run this as the sole centerpiece of your computer setup then make sure the ports here fulfill your needs.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

It is very important for manufacturers to nail down the picture quality aspect of ultrawide monitors because most buyers of these monitors use them for productivity tasks and we are happy to report that this monitor fares quite well in that regard. The panels incorporated in this monitor uses IPS technology. Being IPS this monitor boasts a 99% coverage of the SRGB color gamut. The out of the box colors are also very accurate with deep blacks and a good contrast ratio.

The smaller vertical screen size also works in the favour of this monitor as it has a pixel density of 111 pixels per inch. This is relatively higher than other standard 25monitors. The only negative thing about this IPS panel is its subpar peak brightness coming in at only 250 nits. This can cause viewing issues in brightly lit rooms so keep that in mind. Another minor gripe is the lack of optimal scaling for some games but that isn’t to blame LG because it is an inherent problem with all ultrawide monitors.

Every facet of a product cannot be class-leading and in this product gaming performance is the one that takes the hit. Being an older IPS monitor this has a response time of 5ms which is not ideal for competitive gaming. This is some salvation with the 75hz refresh rate but the lack of FreeSync or Gsync is another omission that leaves many gamers wanting more from this panel.

Sure you can rack up a couple of hours of casual CSGO or play single players games which actually look amazing but for high refresh rate gaming which monitor is a no go but then again it is not made for that purpose. Media consumption, productivity, and casual single-player gaming are the main focus of this monitor and it delivers well on that front.

Conclusion

As far as ultrawide monitors are concerned most of them are not used for competitive gaming. These monitors are at their best when it comes to productivity or single-player gaming and this monitor nails both of those aspects. The lack of FreeSync, therefore, is not a deal-breaker if you are buying this monitor for its intended use. Needless to say, the amount of product you get for the price is terrific. There isn’t anything as of now in the market that can replace this monitor therefore it earns the spot in our list as the best ultrawide gaming monitor under $200.

10. LG 29UM59-A

LG 29UM59-A Review

Large-sized monitors especially in the ultrawide form factor are highly sought after because of their expansive screen real estate. In this large monitor category, LG has always reigned supreme and the one we have selected here from their vast lineup provides the most screen real estate for the price hence entitled with the best large gaming monitor under the $200 tag.


Reasons to Buy

  • Good build quality
  • 29-Inch
  • Plenty of useful features
  • Good color accuracy
  • 75hz refresh rate with adaptive sync

Reasons to Avoid

  • Chunky bezels all around
  • Glossy plastic scratches easily
  • Lack of display port
  • No height and swivel adjustment

Design and Build Quality

The design is typical LG with a very clean and minimal chassis. There are no added gamery elements in the design of this monitor making it very understated and professional which is a good thing. This is an older generation monitor mind you so the bezels are not the slimmest. It has around 1-2 inches of bezel on each side.

The other flaw with this design is the use of glossy black plastic. Granted this finish looks quite good initially upon the first impression but it is a fingerprint magnet. Worst of all it scratches easily and being gloss the scratches easily reflect upon catching the light so if you have any plan of keeping this monitor for the long term be extra careful with the handling of this monitor.

Moving onto the build quality and right of the bat you can pick up the robustness of the chassis. The plastic used in the construction is of good quality and despite being 29” this monitor exhibits great stability partly owing to the solid and high quality stand it comes with. But like we have previously mentioned this stability comes at the cost of adjustability and like some other products on this list this monitor also lacks height or swivel adjustment.

Features and Connectivity

To appease the consumer and fulfill his needs LG has loaded this monitor with plenty of useful features. Some of the features included here greatly enhance the user experience of this monitor. The best feature that takes advantage of the 21:9 screen ratio is the split-screen mode. This allows the user to split the screen and use each side for a specific task. This is great if you stream games and need an extra tab open therefore eliminating the need for dual-screen setups for these simpler tasks.

This feature is also perfectly complemented by the eye comfort modes LG provides to reduce eye strain and fatigue, especially during long continuous sessions. All of these modes are accessed via the on-screen display of the monitor. This monitor contains the updated display so navigation within the different is a breeze and the interface is intuitive and easy to interact with. This setting menu also allows the user to change the color profile of the monitor and a custom color option is also available.

This is all good and we can see how beneficial this monitor is for not only gaming but also productivity. Unfortunately, there is a little caveat here as well and that being the connectivity of the monitor. In favor of a Dual HDMI, this monitor does not contain any DisplayPort. While this might not be a big of an issue for some people but still the omission of a display port is a bit disappointing. Nonetheless, in place of the display port, you get a USB-C which is good if you want to connect this monitor to a laptop.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

This is a casual gaming and productivity-centric monitor so it needs to perform well in the picture quality segment to capture both ends of the market. LG completely understood this and incorporated a good IPS panel in this monitor. This IPS panel has good color accuracy and being IPS it has a deeper black level when compared to other VA and TN panels. The viewing angle is also better than VA or TN monitors.

This all translates to a vibrant screen which is amazing if you are playing a casual game or doing productivity tasks. The color accuracy also makes this monitor viable for light photo editing and video editing. To top everything off the wider viewing angles provide a more immersive and laid-back experience for all of those tasks.

As far as the gaming performance is concerned this monitor has a 75hz refresh rate with adaptive sync ranging from 45-75hz. The response time of this panel is around 4-5ms which is not ideal for competitive gaming but then again you don’t buy an ultrawide monitor for competitive gaming. The adaptive sync with the 75hz refresh rate makes this monitor perfect for casual laid back gaming and the superior colors will make the graphics of your game more beautiful.

Conclusion

LG 29UM59 has pretty nailed down the causal gaming as well as the productivity aspects by implementing features that take advantage of the widescreen which is the most important part of an ultrawide monitor. To further reinforce its case this monitor combines good picture quality with a satisfactory gaming performance making it ideal for a gaming enthusiast turned professional. There is also not much wrong with this monitor and LG has cut costs at the right places, therefore, making it the best large size gaming monitor under $200.

Best Value

11. Sceptre E255B-1658A

Sceptre E255B-1658A Review

Let’s be real Sceptre is not the manufacturer that comes to mind when you think of gaming monitors but a slight look at their inventory and you will be surprised by the vast catalog they offer. Their monitors are also very competent and fairly priced for what they offer. This is the exact reason Sceptre E255B comes in as our best value for money gaming monitor under $200 because honestly for that price point you are getting so much value out of this monitor.


Reasons to Buy

  • Sleek near borderless design
  • Good build quality
  • Good colors for a TN panel
  • Fast 165Hz refresh rate
  • Good motion handling and gaming performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • Bland and lackluster user interface
  • Lack of height and swivel adjustment
  • 2W speakers lack any proper audio

Design and Build Quality

This monitor right of the bat tends to surprise you due to its nearly borderless design that oozes premiumness despite the budget price tag. On close inspection, there is a tiny trim around the edges but it is minimal owing to a very sleek and modern look. The bottom bezel is more in line with the other monitors and also has Sceptre spelled on it as a part of the branding. Overall, the front of the monitor is very upscale and premium.

Looking at the back of the monitor and it is pleasantly surprising how slim the panel is with just a slight bulge on the bottom where all the electric components for the monitor are housed. The surprises do not end here and the stand of the monitor is yet another piece of upscaled equipment. It is made entirely of metal which in itself is a rare sight in this budget but also has indentations for the rubber inserts that keep the monitor locked in place.

This solution is very effective in not allowing to monitor to slide around all over the place even on slippery desks. This is all well and good but due to its stand, the monitor suffers in terms of adjustability. Only tilt adjustment is to be found here and the others are just completely thrown out of the window in favor of a more stable base.

The build quality for this particular unit is quite good. All the materials used for the construction are particularly good and none of them feel cheap. The problem is with the refinement of the materials. Using good materials is one thing but properly tailoring them for the specific unit is another. It won’t be wrong to say that we are nitpicking here but if Sceptre had gone the extra mile with the refinement of this monitor it would have set a new benchmark for this segment.

Features and Connectivity

If top-of-the-line features are your thing then you will be left pretty disappointed here. This monitor is pretty barebones when it features and the user interface itself feels the last generation when compared with other similar monitors. The UI has an old-school red and gray color pallet to it which is not pleasing to look at and the menus themselves are cluttered. Still, you are getting all your basic monitor calibration stuff packed in here.

This monitor allows complete control over RGB values and each individual pallet can be set to any value you desire. There are also preset modes to choose from like FPS or RTS that implement the best setting for the selected genre. There is also an option to place a fixed crosshair on the screen that can offer assistance in some FPS games. The navigation buttons used to transverse this user interface menu also double as hotkeys when the menu is not active.

As previously mentioned this is a rather slim monitor but despite that Sceptre managed to sneak in 2W speakers in this body. Granted these speakers are shallow and tiny but still, they can be very useful in a pinch so props to Sceptre on making the effort to include these. In terms of connectivity, this monitor also fares well. It lacks some newer generation stuff but covers all the basics here as well.

All the ports are located at the back of the monitor and they consist of an HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphone jack. In this day and age, we would have liked to see the latest HDMI protocol used for both ports. Regardless of the 165hz refresh rate, you can use either the display port or the HDMI 2.0. HDMI 1.4 does not have 165hz so do not use that. Overall, this connectivity is perfectly adequate for single PC setups but can pose a problem if you want to use this monitor on multiple systems simultaneously.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

This is a gaming-oriented monitor and we are working with a Tn panel here so before we go into the picture quality let us adjust our expectations here. Let’s start with the contrast and brightness of the display and we are pleased to report that this monitor has a newer generation TN panel, therefore, delivering a contrast ratio of somewhere in the 1000:1 with a peak brightness of 300 nits. There are good numbers for a TN panel and this display will be adequate for all sorts of situations.

The color accuracy out of the box is decent though and this panel has adequate color gamut coverage. It is not washed out as other older generation TN panels but still, it cannot compete with the VA panels or IPS panels because of their sheer superiority in this regard. The color uniformity is also good but that can vary from panel to panel so be wary of that. 

In terms of actual gaming performance, this monitor performs spectacularly for a TN panel. The fast 165hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time makes it ideal for fast-paced gaming. The motion performance is good not on par with some high-end monitors but still, it is more than adequate for most people. Sceptre has also provided backlight dimming to reduce any screen flicker that can occur during the steep variation in the frames per second of the game.

Sceptre E255-1658A also hosts AMD Freesync capability up to 165hz. The variable refresh rate which accounts for the frame rate at which Freesync works effectively is between 60-165hz. In some monitors, this compensation starts from 30hz but 60hz is also fine as long as you have a capable system that can run at over 60fps consistently.

For the motion control of the display, you have two overdrive modes, and when the overdrive is applied the ghosting is reduced to a minimum but this setting introduces some inverse ghosting. Inverse ghosting is the polar opposite of ghosting and happens when the transition of the pixels is so fast that the display cannot keep up. Overall, the panel used here is among the very TN panels and the actual gaming experience with the most optimal settings is pretty amazing.

Conclusion

Sceptre E255B-1658A is the best value for money monitor under $200 period. It packs in so many features and tech for the price that you will be hard-pressed to believe that this thing costs under $200. Unlike other monitors who try to follow the same course, this Sceptre monitor has decent build quality and designs the two areas where other similar monitors fall flat. There isn’t much wrong with this monitor other than the lack of adjustability that can be a bit annoying if the dimension of this monitor is not suited for your setup. Still, regardless this is a great value-for-money product and you cannot go wrong with it.

12. Pixio PX248 Prime

Pixio PX248 Prime Review

Pixio is another one of those companies that often get overlooked because they do not fall under the tier 1 brand umbrella. It is rather disappointing because they make some amazing products for the price and this PX248 Prime monitor perfectly portrays that. The high specifications with a budget-friendly price tag earn this a spot on our list as the best high refresh rate gaming monitor for consoles under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Frameless design
  • Inclusion of speakers in a thin chassis
  • HDMI 2.0 connectivity
  • IPS panel with 144hz refresh rate and adaptive sync
  • High brightness and good contrast ratio
  • Good gaming performance

Reasons to Avoid

  • No height, swivel, and pivot adjustment
  • Mediocre build quality
  • Color accuracy is a bit off

Design and Build Quality

The design of the pixio px248 is fairly standard and in line with other newer-generation monitors available in the market. It has thin top and sides bezels with just a hair larger bottom bezel. The matte black finish of the monitor provides it a clean and minimalist. This simplicity also extends to the stand of the monitor and this too has a matte black finish with no added frills.

One thing to note here is that the stand looks tiny in proportion to the screen and partly due to this to add stability you do not get the height, swivel, or pivot adjustment with this monitor. The build quality of the monitor is also nothing special. It feels adequately strong in its construction and can pass on as a decently build monitor.

Features and Connectivity

Endless customization is the need of the hour and pixio has done well to provide that in this monitor. It just takes a glance to see how structured the OSD menu is with well-organized sections. Picture, color, and game settings all have separate tabs and contain a plethora of adjustments you can play with to set up the monitor to your liking.

This monitor also has a crosshair, a timer, and an FPS counter. Not a while ago these features were only reserved for high-end monitors seeing them trickle down to the mainstream market is encouraging. Pixio PX248 also includes 2W speakers while the sound of these tiny speakers is nothing to write home about but for a quick gaming 2Wsession, they can be useful.

What propelled us to put this monitor as the best high refresh console gaming monitor under $200 is its use of HDMI 2.0. With the next generation of consoles being more powerful than ever this HDMI 2.0 ensures that you get the full high refresh rate at the best possible resolution. This monitor also has a DisplayPort 1.2 and a 3.5mm headphone out for added convenience.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Right of the bat, the display metrics of this monitor are very good and comparable with more expensive 1080p 144hz IPS monitors. It has a contrast ratio of 1000:1 with a peak brightness of 400nits. The color gamut coverage also comes in at 105% of sRGB and 70% of DCI-P3. But this does not tell the whole story because the dE value of this monitor is over 5 before any calibration.

This translates into colors that lean towards over-saturation rather than being natural. Now, this is not a bad thing because some games can utilize oversaturation to make the image more vibrant but for any color-graded work, this monitor does not bode well. Apart from the colors, being IPS this monitor provides great viewing angles which is great because most of the time as console gamers we want a chill laid gaming session.

Speaking of which the gaming performance of this monitor is very good. This 24” IPS panel supports a refresh rate of 144hz with a 1ms response time and adaptive sync. Adaptive Sync makes this monitor both FreeSync and G-Sync compatible. The input lag is also minimal placing this monitor in the fast IPS category.

The overdrive and MPRT which basically is a fancy name for backlight strobing also work adequately. This monitor without any mode applied has decent motion clarity and with the medium overdrive, the clarity improves but beware to not use extreme overdrive settings because they introduce trailing effect or inverse ghosting like it is said.

Conclusion

Pixio PX248 Prime really needs to deserve some attention from the masses because what we have here on our hand is one of the best specced-out monitors for a fraction of the price. Of course, it is not the best in any given attribute but as a whole package, it is a very capable machine. It does have some flaws there is no denying that but still, we would recommend this monitor as the best high refresh rate gaming monitor for console under $200 for any gamer wanting to upgrade from a 60hz monitor to future proof his next-generation console.

Console Pick

13. BenQ EW2780

BenQ EW2780 Review

Yes, finally a console gaming monitor that justifies its price point. Before this model, an older BenQ model was the best 75hz console monitor under $200 and with this new EW2780 they have taken it up a notch.


Reasons to Buy

  • The frameless design with the solid build quality
  • Eye care eliminates any unwanted eye strain
  • 2.5W speakers sound decent
  • IPS HDR panel
  • 75hz refresh rate with FreeSync
  • Good viewing angles

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of height, swivel, and pivot adjustability
  • Low peak brightness

Design and Build Quality

BenQ is regarded as a tier 1 monitor brand because they don’t follow the mainstream industry and do their own thing most of the time and with this monitor, they have come up with a stand that is unique to this BenQ EW2780 model range. Speaking of which it is a brick-shaped stand but with a hollow middle section. The stand also seamlessly connects to the screen via thumbscrews and this effortless process is something to applaud about.

Riding on top of the stand is a frameless 27″ IPS screen. BenQ has kept the overall design of this monitor very industrial and bland making it perfect for versatile work at day and game at night monitor. Like always to achieve this design adjustability of the monitor was compromised and this monitor only has tilt functionality.

No height, swivel, or pivot adjustment is to be found here.  One good thing that stems from this lack of adjustability is the strong chassis and the solid construction of this monitor. The plastic material used also feels high quality.

Features and Connectivity

The biggest and the most highlight-worthy feature of this monitor is the HDRi support. Granted HDRi certification is the lowest end certification for HDR panels but still having proper HDR in a sub $200 monitor is quite remarkable. Similarly, this monitor takes complete advantage of its HDR and has a couple of HDR dedicated modes in the OSD setting menu that optimize the picture quality for a better visual experience.

The other features of this monitor are also found in its OSD menu. BenQ has a dedicated tab for eye care settings and opening this up reveals some handy blue light filters based on different activities and also some other modes that really help to eliminate any strain of the eyes. This is one of the best implementations of eye strain reducing settings we have found on a sub $200 monitor.

Besides these two you get your usual picture and color presets with precalibrated and as well as user-customizable modes. One aspect of the monitor that surprised us was the clarity of its 2.5W speakers. Generally, monitor speakers are there for namesake but these actually are usable so props to BenQ for the effort at least of putting half-decent speakers.

Being targeted more as multimedia to it all monitor this BenQ has 3 HDMI inputs so you can simultaneously connect this monitor to multiple sources. The other ports available here include a 3.5mm headphone out and a barrel-type DC-in power plug.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Not much needs to be said in the picture quality segment because this monitor has a good overall picture quality like just a few minor niggles. Starting of the color accuracy of the monitor is very good and being IPS the colors are rich and vibrant with deep blacks and true whites. The contrast ratio of 1000:1 is also inline with other IPS panels and the HDR mode adds some extra flair to the picture making it pop more.

The issues arise when it comes to the brightness of this monitor which is rated at just 250nits. Frankly speaking, 250nits is fine if you are using the monitor in a studio or a gaming room with controlled lighting but if this monitor is to be used in a well-lit room with a lot of natural sunlight then the screen can look a bit dull and washed out.

You might be wondering we picked this monitor as the best console gaming monitor under $200. Well, it is because of the sheer gaming performance of this IPS panel. Right of the bat, you get a 75hz refresh rate with FreeSync and a 5ms response time which is adequate for gaming. The input of this monitor is also low and the motion performance is also decent. When you combine this decent gaming performance with the good picture this monitor suddenly turns into a casual gaming powerhouse.

Conclusion

BenQ EW2780 is a great all-rounder that can cover up everything and provide you with a satisfactory experience at the end of the day regardless of the task you are doing. The eye-care technology makes this monitor great for extended usage sessions. This monitor pretty much does most things right. It has good build quality, good picture quality, decent gaming performance, and the size is also perfect for casual as well as competitive gaming therefore based on these attributes we recommend this monitor as the best console gaming monitor under $200.

1440p Pick

14. VIOTEK FI24D

VIOTEK FI24D Review

If you are in the market for a 1440p gaming monitor you would know that these things can get really expensive. Well lucky for you this Viotek F124D is a true 1440p gaming monitor that does not break the bank, therefore, making it on the list as our best 1440p gaming monitor under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Thin top and side bezels
  • 1440 IPS panel with 75hz refresh rate
  • FreeSync compatibility
  • Good picture quality

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of height, swivel, and pivot adjustment
  • Mediocre build quality
  • Low peak brightness

Design and Build Quality

Viotek F124D is definitely a looker with slim bezels. The design of this monitor is also very clean with no visible blingy elements. The matte black flow of the body is only interrupted by the Viotek branding on the bottom chin of the monitor. This monitor can easily be mistaken for an enterprise monitor which is the main goal as Viotek wanted a monitor that can be used for work as well gaming.

The stand is also basic at best but provides a strong base for the monitor to sit on. What we do not like though is the lack of adjustability. If you targeting a more mature professional buyer then adjustability should be included at least the monitor should have height adjustment. The build quality is also not impressive but rather mediocre but that is what you get with a budget gaming monitor with upmarket specifications.

Features and Connectivity

As far as the basic features like display and color customization are concerned they are present here. There are also basic gaming features like FreeSync settings and overdrive present here but do not expect a large pool of features here because honestly, it does not need to have a crazy amount of features because of the nature of the product. You do however get a crosshair which is quite handy and a neat addition overall.

Another neat little feature is the blue-light filter which can really reduce eye strain if properly utilized. Features aside fortunately enough Viotek has not skimped down on the ports and this monitor provides the full suite of connectivity options that include two HDMI 1.4 ports, a DisplayPort 1.2, and a 3.5mm headphone out.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

Picture quality was the aspect that Viotek had to get right and fortunately they did a good job. With a 1440p resolution and the IPS panel technology, you get vibrant colors with deep blacks. The gamut coverage for the sRGB color range is 92% which is not the best but for this price, it is easy to pass at least. The color accuracy is good though and the content looks true to life on this panel.

It is not all good though and the relatively low peak brightness with just 220nits is not ideal for use in a well-lit environment. This monitor is only suitable for studio or gaming setups in controlled lighting. A casual gaming setting is really where this monitor shines and also has wide viewing perfectly complementing the laid-back aspect of casual gaming.

Speaking of gaming and this monitor is surprisingly adequate for even some fast-paced competitive gaming due to the 6ms response and 75hz refresh rate with FreeSync. Take note that the 6ms response time is only applicable on overdrive mode and without it this monitor has a much higher response time.

The motion clarity is also not too shabby either. Of course, it cannot compete with high refresh rate gaming monitors but as for the demographic it is aimed at it is perfectly adequate. That being said we still consider this monitor a casual gaming monitor and serious competitive gaming will be a bit of a stretch.

Conclusion

Viotek F124D is a gaming monitor most mainstream folks have been waiting for. It has a 1440p IPS panel with a 75hz refresh rate and FreeSync. While this combination is nothing new but Viotek provides these specifications for a fraction of the price of its competitors, therefore, making it the best 1440p gaming monitor under $200.

15. Philips 246E9QDSB

Philips 246E9QDSB Review

Philips is no stranger in the display industry and they make some fantastic color-accurate TVs as well as monitors. The one featured on this list is the 246E model from their E9 lineup which includes a more productivity-oriented monitor but this monitor contains some gaming elements and that combined experience compelled us to put this monitor on our list as the best color-accurate gaming monitor under $200.


Reasons to Buy

  • Clean and minimalist design
  • Good build quality
  • Semi-professional color accuracy
  • 75hz refresh rate with FreeSync

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lack of adjustability
  • Low peak brightness

Design and Build Quality

Being a Philips monitor the design of this monitor is kept simple and elegant. The glossy black chassis provides a premium look and reminds you of some high-quality Asus monitors. The bezels are also kept relatively thin to provide that frameless look everybody now craves for. The Philips branding is also tastefully done with it not being too overly bold and catching unnecessary attention.

One major flaw with the design is the lack of height, swivel, or pivot adjustability. Being a more productivity-centric monitor we would have liked to see a fully ergonomic design but at least for that, you do get a 75*75mm VESA mount. The build quality is exactly like you would expect from a Philips with this monitor being solid, robust, and sturdy.

Features and Connectivity

With this monitor, you only get a handful of features but all of them are rather useful. Upon opening the OSD menu the first setting you are greeted with is the low blue mode that filters out the blue light to eliminate any eye strain. As you move along the other features also start to emerge with the notable ones being SmartImage and SmartResponse.

SmartImage is basically a fancy name for precalibrated presets that implement the best optimization for the given scenario while SmartResponse is the overdrive setting of this monitor. As far as the connectivity at least you get the full treatment here with a DVI, HMDI, VGA, and a headphone out port.

Picture Quality and Gaming Performance

The picture quality of this monitor to simply put is stellar. The IPS panel used here covers 129% of sRGB color space and 108% of the NTSC color gamut. There are some professional level figures and on top of this Philips provided an sRGB mode that basically scaled back the sRGB coverage for more natural colors. The contrast of the panel is also good coming in at 1000:1.

Being IPS viewing angles are also not a concern whatsoever and the only negative we found with this display is 250 nits of peak brightness. Like we have said previously 250nits is adequate but can cause some issues in well-lit rooms so keep that in mind.

The aspect which propels this panel into the casual gaming monitors territory is the inclusion of a 75hz refresh rate with FreeSync. While not having official Nvidia certification this monitor also works with G-Sync so no complaints there as well. It also has a decent response time of 4ms.

Numbers aside for an IPS color-accurate panel this monitor has decent motion clarity especially with the faster overdrive setting. Of course, this is still a casual gaming monitor and will not be as pleasant as a high refresh rate monitor for fast-paced gaming but still, it can hold some ground when it comes to competitive gaming.

Conclusion

Philips was really made a gem of a monitor at such a low price. The IPS panel they are using in this 246E9QDSB delivers some of the best in class color accuracy. The great picture quality of this monitor is combined with a 75hz refresh rate and FreeSync turning this monitor into a fantastic all-rounder. With the time of writing this monitor is priced under $150 and for this price, it is hard to beat therefore we can wholeheartedly recommend this monitor as the best color accurate gaming under $200.


How to Choose the Best Gaming Monitor Under $200 – The Buying Guide

Before we proceed with the actual list there are some attributes associated with them that can greatly vary depending on a monitor to monitor. To get the best possible monitor for your need it is important to get a grip on what is right or wrong.

Resolution and Size

The two most obvious and important things to get right in the first place but you would be surprised by how many people end up picking the monitor with the wrong size or resolution. The most common mistake that people make is that they choose a large size monitor with low resolution. This is a recipe for disaster because this leads to the screen being choppy and grainy.

What you should be doing is to follow the golden rule that is to get a smaller-sized monitor especially at 1080p or lesser resolution with some exceptions. You can venture and explore larger-sized monitors with 1440p resolution because at that resolution the increase in pixel count can make up for the large screen real estate. Of course, if you do need a larger monitor at a lower resolution then you can remedy this situation somewhat by sitting further away from the monitor. 

Panel Type and Response Time

There are three different types of panel technologies used in gaming monitors. The use of the type of panel in a monitor is dependant on the demographic of the buyers and also on what the monitor is trying to achieve. With that said the main benefits and drawbacks of these different panels are as follows:

TN Panel: These panels have the best response time and least input lag out of the three. This is why they are highly desirable by competitive games and therefore used in esports monitors. The drawback of this panel technology stems from its lack of accurate color reproduction which leads to a washed picture quality.

IPS Panel: This panel has the best color accuracy and picture quality out of the bunch at the expense of inferior response time and high input lag. But now the technology is progressing at a rapid pace with newer generation IPS panels having TN-like response time and input lag. The panels are used in productivity as well as with the introduction of newer generation panels they are also making their way into fast gaming monitors.

VA Panels: This panel occupies the middle ground between TN and IPS and it provides both good picture quality and low response times. The drawback of this panel is that it handles motion poorly and you see a lot more smearing on fast-moving objects than comparable TN and IPS counterparts.

Based on this information you should get your next monitor with the panel that goes well with your daily use case.

Refresh Rate and FreeSync/G-Sync

Gaming monitors tend to favor higher refresh rates. In case you don’t know what refresh rate means it basically the measure of how many times a screen refreshes every second. Therefore a higher refresh rate monitor can update the content of the screen at smaller intervals than conventional 60hz monitors. If you are any serious about gaming then get yourself a high refresh rate monitor because the split-second refresh can be the difference between a round won or lost.

FreeSync (AMD) and G-Sync(Nvidia) are different names for the same technology. When this is enabled it synchronizes the frames outputted by the GPU to the refresh rate of the monitor. This is important because if the frame and the refresh rate are out of sync it can lead to screen tearing and jarring. Different monitors have different variable refresh rates for this synchronization of frames but the industry standard today is from 48hz to the maximum refresh rate of the monitor.

Gaming Features and Salient Features

Manufacturers add some really useful features to make their products stand out among the competitors and these features can either be in the form of gaming features or salient ones. Some features can without a doubt enhance your experience and provide you with a more enjoyable time of owning that monitor while other features can be total and utter waste.

So before you your next gaming monitor check the features it has and try to find an alternative as well because that might have more features that you value. Do not rush for more features rather strive for features that you see yourself using. These were some of the characteristics that we reckon you should understand before you buy your monitor so with that said let us dive straight into the list.

Are Gaming Monitors Under $200 Worth it?

The simple answer to this question would be a resounding yes. As for why because sub $200 is the category where you will find the most competition because due to the high demand manufacturers want to edge out their competitors and make the next bestseller.

This is also a sweet spot where you can find a monitor of several categories. You can get everything ranging from a high refresh rate competitive gaming monitor to a curved entertainment monitor to even a semi-professional color grade monitor.

This category is also not puddled by low-tier manufacturers but to the contrary, some of the best sellers in this category come from the likes AOC, BenQ, Acer, or Asus. In the sub $200 category you can get a monitor that provides a fantastic experience without the need of breaking the bank. All in all, you get your money’s worth with the sub $200 monitor.

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Closing Thoughts

This puts an end to our list for the best 144hz gaming monitors under $200 and we have worked on this list in a way that it contains something for someone to enjoy therefore we restrained from adding two very similar monitors that had the same price tag.

One thing to note here is that due to the volatile situation of the market these monitors tend to go out of stock immediately and especially with the low supply chain and high demand. This is the reason often you find have a higher price tag but wait because eventually, they will return to their rightful price, and then you can pull the plug on the one you like.

We hope that this list was useful for you because we have put in a ton of effort to compile this together and to close the article we would like to again emphasize the importance of getting the right monitor for your needs. Do not fall into the spec trap because if the monitor is not suited for you chances are you will quickly get bored from it.

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