Best Gaming Monitor under $200 in 2018

If you’re a PC Gamer then at one point or another you’ve almost certainly considered getting yourself a monitor specifically designed for gaming.

Although there is considerable debate as to whether gaming monitors offer any real advantage over normal monitors. You will find that the vast majority of hard-core gamers, do find there is a real difference.

Everyone knows that split seconds can make all the difference when gaming at a high level.

Sale
ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor...
  • 1ms response time featuring ASUS GameFast Input Technology and dual HDMI ports...
  • ASUS Eye Care technology with flicker-free and blue light filter to minimize...
  • Ergonomic stand with full height/tilt/swivel/pivot adjustments to accommodate...

Therefore the higher response times, and high quality picture offered by gaming monitors can make all the difference when you’re neck and neck with the enemy.

With this in mind, we’ve recently been looking at a large number of different gaming monitors. We were interested to find out which was the best we could get for under $200.

After careful research, and a great deal of testing. We’ve come to the conclusion that the best Gaming Monitor currently available for less than $200 is the ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor.

This article will discuss why we were so impressed with the ASUS. We’ll also talk about the other monitors we looked at too.

How we chose the Best Gaming Monitor

To choose the best gaming monitor under $200, we had to do a couple of things.

Firstly, we had to survey groups of hard-core gamers. We did this to work out the things they thought were most important in a gaming monitor.

What would they, with all their experience, consider the most important features and what would they be less bothered about?

From what they said, and from their recommendations, we were able to draw up a list of affordable gaming monitors that met the criteria they were talking about.

The features they gave us are listed below:

  • Play Quality
  • How good is the picture?
  • Size
  • Reliability
  • Look
  • We determined this final list by then bringing all the monitors that met the criteria into our office so we could test them out ourselves.

    It was exhausting work.

    We played hours of games, paying particular attention to how well the screens held up under intense play.

    The 5 monitors that performed the best overall made it onto our list.

    The five Best Gaming Monitors under $200

    Here’s a list of the five Best Gaming Monitors under $200:

    The most important consideration when choosing the Best Gaming Monitor is Play Quality

    Play quality is something that serious gamers are very, very concerned about.

    They rate it as the most important single consideration.

    But what exactly is it?

    It’s very simple.

    When people talk about play quality, all they mean is how well does the monitor run games.

    Whether it does this well or badly comes down to a load of different factors.

    For instance, if the frames per second (FPS) is low on any particular monitor, then actually playing on it will be choppy and the play quality will be much lower than it could be.

    Equally if the monitor’s response times are slow, then things won’t show up on screen as quickly as they should, and you’ll be a few tenths of a second slower than your opponents.

    Which is easily the difference between winning and losing.

    Although there are a bunch of different specs that contribute to how good a monitor’s play quality is, the fact is that none of these tell the full story.

    If you really want to know how well a monitor plays, you have to play on it.
    Or have someone else play on it, compare it to others, and tell you how it performs.

    This is what we did. So you don’t have to spend the next 2 weeks or so buying and then returning and ton of monitors, just to work out which plays the best.

    Almost all of the monitors we look at here have an extremely high play quality.

    Some are definitely better than others though, and we’ll discuss that when we review each specific monitor.

    Other considerations when choosing the Best Gaming Monitor under $200

    Picture Quality

    This is another thing our gamers regarded as being extremely important.

    Although they didn’t think it was quite as important as how the monitor actually handles games.

    If you’re less of a gamer, and more of a movie watcher, then you might disagree.

    But there’s no need to worry, because we’ll let you know which monitors have an excellent picture as well. So even if you’re only watching films on your monitor, you’ll still get an excellent viewing experience.

    Picture quality is widely regarded as being the same thing as pixel resolution. So people tend to think that a 2560×1440 monitor is always better than a 1920×1080 one.

    This isn’t necessarily the case.

    I’ve seen high resolution monitors where the colors seem washed out and the images grainy. And I’ve seen monitors at 1920×1080 that produce beautiful crystal-clear images.

    It basically just comes down to quality, and again you can only really know how good a monitor’s picture is going to be, by actually using it.

    Because we have used all of these monitors, we know which are the clearest and which are not.

    Our product reviews will talk about the picture quality of the monitors. We’ll let you know which ones are the best, and which are worth avoiding.

    Reliability

    Monitors aren’t cheap.

    Even though we’re only discussing monitors under $200 here, it’s still a fair bit of money to spend on a screen.

    Therefore, you want to know that anything you buy will last you a while.

    There’s nothing more annoying than buying a new piece of technology, having it all work fine for a couple of weeks. Only for it to start going wrong shortly after that.

    Obviously plenty of products are covered by a warranty nowadays.
    So in most cases you can just take it back and get a replacement.

    But it’s just extra effort and hassle that you shouldn’t have been put through in the first place.

    Testing the reliability of the monitors we looked at wasn’t as easy as testing the other features was.

    That’s because reliability is a long-term thing, and we haven’t had years of time spent using these monitors.

    To solve this problem we needed to get hold of some people who have.

    So we checked around online, as well as putting in a call to some gaming enthusiasts we know who go through a lot of monitors.

    We wanted to know what the long-term reputation of the models we were looking at was.

    Do they tend to be reliable? Are they durable? What is the customer service like?

    We got these questions answered and we removed any monitors where we didn’t get a ‘yes’ answer.

    So all the models we recommend here are both reliable and durable. Whichever one you get it should last you a while.

    Size

    Size of the monitors was something that our gamers were either very interested in, or not so bothered about at all.

    It all came down to how exactly they gamed.

    Some of them liked to game on a slightly smaller screen, because they wanted to be able to see everything that was happening without having to look around too much. For them, just over 20 inches was fine.

    But some of our gamers much preferred having a large screen that they could enjoy looking at. They would not have been happy with a 20 inch screen.

    To solve this issue we went somewhere down the middle. Most of the screens we look at here are in the mid 20 inch range. Any bigger and they start getting out of our $200 price range.

    However, a good number of them come in a range of sizes. So if you’re interested in having a slightly bigger screen to play on, you’ve got that option.

    Look

    This feature again divided our gamers.

    Some weren’t really concerned about how their monitors looked themselves, they just wanted something they could play on.

    Others regarded how a monitor looks as being an essential part of the package. If it looks bad then, no dice.

    Like us, you’re probably somewhere in the middle.

    We want our monitors to look good, but aren’t particular bothered about any ‘artistic’ touches or anything like that. Just make it look decent.

    We like the way all the models here looked.

    Unless your tastes are wildly different to ours, you’ll probably like them too.

    The Best Monitor Gaming for under $200

    The best gaming monitor we looked at was the ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor.

    The FreeSync is a relatively new model, but despite this we were extremely impressed with it. ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor

    We thought it was so good because it performed especially well in each of the categories we looked at above.

    This model has a lightning fast 1ms response time and a 75Hz refresh speed. These are very impressive stats.

    Like we talked about before though, often stats don’t tell the full story.

    I have gamed on monitors with very similar specs and have been disappointed to find the screens clunky and slow to respond. This is incredibly frustrating.

    Fortunately, this is absolutely not the case here.

    The ASUS is a joy to game on. Everyone in the office had a go playing on it and we all found it to be smooth and the response times very fast.

    It’s great fun.

    The picture quality is also excellent. Its 1920×1080 resolution is more than good enough for a 24 inch screen and you’d have no problem watching movies on it in your downtime.

    In terms of reliability, we’ve only ever heard good things about this product. ASUS are also a very reputable brand, and have a great customer service, so even if something was to go wrong, you’d be able to get it sorted out quickly.

    The size of the unit is 24 inches, which we found to be a great size for gaming.

    If you’re interested in a larger screen you might disagree, but everyone in the office enjoyed playing on it and we felt it was a good compromise between being able to see things in detail, and actually enjoying the images from the game.

    Although it’s not going to win any awards for beauty. The ASUS certainly isn’t bad-looking either.

    It’s a simple, black, flat screen and is very easy to adjust in height and angle, so whether you’re mounting it on the wall, or leaving it on its stand, you can adjust it perfectly.

    Sale
    ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor...
    • 1ms response time featuring ASUS GameFast Input Technology and dual HDMI ports...
    • ASUS Eye Care technology with flicker-free and blue light filter to minimize...
    • Ergonomic stand with full height/tilt/swivel/pivot adjustments to accommodate...

    The four other Monitors we tested

    ASUS VS228H-P

    This is another excellent model from ASUS. We really liked it, but it’s not quite as good for gaming as the FreeSync. ASUS VS228H-P 21.5" Full HD 1920x1080 HDMI DVI VGA Back-lit LED Monitor

    The resolution on the VS228H-P is 1920×1080. This makes the picture quality excellent, and when watching T.V. the image is very clear.

    So 10/10 for that.

    When gaming, we also found the play quality to be very good.

    However, we didn’t think it was quite as smooth as the FreeSync. So while we really liked it, we did have to mark it down slightly when compared.

    One of the nice things about this model is the range of sizes that it comes in. While we had the 21.5 inch model and thought it was just a little small, you can get this monitor in as large as 27 inches if you want.

    So you’ve got a good amount of choice there.

    All this makes it an excellent option, but it wasn’t quite good enough to take the number 1 spot.

    ASUS VS228H-P 21.5" Full HD 1920x1080 HDMI DVI VGA...
    • Slim Design 21.5-inch Full HD Wide Screen LED display and Quick 5 ms response...
    • Aspect Control function allows users to select a preferred display mode among...
    • Smart View Technology can adjust color parameters to deliver the same image...

    ViewSonic VX2257-MHD

    We really liked the ViewSonic as well, which somewhat surprised us, as it’s not nearly as well-known a brand as ASUS. ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22" 2ms 1080p FreeSync Gaming Monitor

    Even so, it had excellent picture quality, with a 1920×1080 display, and played pretty smoothly as well, so we were very impressed.

    Like the VS228H-P, this model is available in a range of sizes. It goes from 22 inches up to 27.

    We had the 27 inch version and thought it was a great-looking screen.

    We were a little concerned that because ViewSonic aren’t a particularly well-known brand, that the VX2257 might have had some issues with reliability.

    Thankfully this wasn’t the case. Both our own research and conversations with our gaming experts confirmed that the MHD is known for being pretty reliable.

    We personally didn’t think it looked as good as either of the ASUS models. But that’s just personal preference and you may well disagree.

    Sale
    ViewSonic VX2257-MHD 22" 2ms 1080p FreeSync...
    • 22-Inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) 16:9 LED Computer Monitor with HDMI,...
    • With 2ms response time, AMD FreeSync tear-free technology, Full HD 1080p, game...
    • Modern design with black glossy finish, adjustable forward/back tilt, and...

    Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS

    If this was a list of the 5 best looking monitors, the Acer would win hands down. Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Monitor

    But even though it’s the prettiest of the bunch, it doesn’t come out on top in the other features.

    The play quality on the R240HY is pretty good.

    It’s not the best we’ve looked at here, but it’s still very respectable, and most of you probably wouldn’t notice the difference.

    The picture quality is also very nice and the 1920×1080 screen produces some genuinely gorgeous graphics, we really enjoyed playing on it.

    Unfortunately, the Acer is only available in one size, but it’s a good playing size, so that’s not necessarily a huge downside.

    We really liked it, but can’t rate it as the best monitor here.

    Sale
    Acer R240HY bidx 23.8-Inch IPS HDMI DVI VGA (1920...
    • No Built-in Mount; NOTE: Check User Manual in Technical specification before use

    LG Electronics UM57

    If you’re just looking at the specs, then this is the best monitor of the lot. LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor

    The thing is that the specs often don’t tell the whole story.

    The LG comes with an impressive 2560×1080 resolution on a 25 inch screen.

    As you’d expect, this produces a really great picture, so for watching T.V. or something like that, it’s brilliant.

    I don’t personally think it’s quite as good for gaming though.

    Our issue came when we were playing fast-paced games like Call of Duty. It quickly became apparent that the UM57 just wasn’t as smooth as the previous monitors we’d looked at.

    Although it didn’t happen all the time, in intense play it would just seem to run a touch slower. For films this wouldn’t be an issue, but seeing as we’re talking about ‘Gaming’ Monitors, it did mean we couldn’t place this any higher than number 5.

    LG Electronics UM57 25UM57 25-Inch Screen LED-lit...
    • Resolution: 2560 x 1080 Resolution (WFHD)
    • Brightness: 250 cd/m2 Brightness
    • Includes IPS Panel, Dual Controller, and Screen Split

    The bottom line

    We had a great time testing out all these monitors. To be honest any one of them would be fine if you were just going to watch T.V. or something like that.

    But for gaming, you do need something a little smoother.

    For that, the ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor was definitely the best. Although any of them would do the job, except perhaps the LG model.

    Sale
    ASUS 24-inch Full HD FreeSync Gaming Monitor...
    • 1ms response time featuring ASUS GameFast Input Technology and dual HDMI ports...
    • ASUS Eye Care technology with flicker-free and blue light filter to minimize...
    • Ergonomic stand with full height/tilt/swivel/pivot adjustments to accommodate...

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