While new monitors with higher resolutions and faster refresh rates are continuously being released and announced left and right, their prices are jumping up accordingly as well.
Luckily, this also signifies that older technology is becoming more affordable!
As a result, for just $200 – $250, you can nowadays get a fast 240Hz monitor for competitive gaming, a 4K display for amazing detail clarity, or a 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor for a good mix of both.
4 Best Gaming Monitors Under 250 USD For 2020
|25”||TN||1920×1080||240Hz||FreeSync (G-SYNC Compatible)|
|27”||VA||2560×1440||144Hz||FreeSync (G-SYNC Unstable)|
|29”||IPS||2560×1080||75Hz||FreeSync (G-SYNC Stable)|
As you can see, you can get a pretty awesome gaming monitor at this price range!
If you’re looking for something more modest such as a 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor, make sure to visit our best gaming monitor under 200 USD buyer’s guide.
In case you can afford something pricier, check out our ultimate best gaming monitor guide.
Acer XF250Q - 240Hz Under $250!
About the Monitor
Want a gaming monitor with the highest refresh rate, lowest input lag, and fastest pixel response time under $250? Look no further than the Acer XF250Q!
Now, TN panels have inferior image quality and viewing angles in comparison to IPS (In-Plane Switching) and VA (Vertical Alignment) panels, but if you want the best performance in competitive games, that’s a trade-off you’ll have to make, at least at this price range.
There are 240Hz displays with IPS panels, but they cost nearly twice as much while the VA-panel 240Hz models don’t have suitably fast pixel response time for such high refresh rate.
The picture quality isn’t awful. In comparison to an IPS display, the colors seem a bit washed out and blacks appear grayish compared to deep blacks of VA displays, but the image quality is generally fine. It’s much better than that of previous-generation TN monitors.
Further, the viewing angles are 160° vertically and 170° horizontally meaning that the image will degrade when you look at the screen at an angle, but as long as you’re sitting directly in front of the screen, this won’t be an issue.
Moving on, the Acer XF250Q offers plenty of additional gaming features.
It supports AMD FreeSync which can entirely remove screen tearing and stuttering within the 48-240Hz/FPS (Frames Per Second) variable refresh rate (VRR) range of the monitor.
The monitor is also certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA meaning that you’ll be able to use FreeSync with select NVIDIA cards (GTX 10-series or newer) without any issues.
Other useful features include ‘Black Boost’ for better visibility in shadows in video games and ‘Aim Point’ crosshair overlays. For more information, visit our detailed Acer XF250Q review.
Design & Connectivity
The design of the monitor is also very good considering its price.
Naturally, Acer had to cut corners somewhere as the build consists of cheap plastics, but at least you get full ergonomic support including up to 150mm of height adjustment, -5°/35° tilt, +/- 60° swivel, 90° rotate, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options include one of each: HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2 in addition to two audio jacks: one for headphones and one for the integrated speakers.
FreeSync is supported over both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort up to 240Hz.
In case the Acer XF250Q is not available or if it’s overpriced in your country, check out the Acer KG251Q (the 240Hz model) as an alternative.
However, if you can spend over $250, we highly recommend investing in the Acer XF252Q.
- Quick response time and low input lag
- AMD FreeSync up to 240Hz
- Fully ergonomic design
- Narrow viewing angles
- Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels
AOC CQ27G1 - 1440p & 144Hz Under $250!
About the Monitor
The AOC CQ27G1 combines responsiveness of 144Hz and detail clarity of the QHD resolution for the perfect balance between performance and image quality, and it does so for a tempting price!
Based on a VA panel, the AOC CQ27G1 monitor delivers the highest static contrast ratio of 3,000:1 as opposed to the 1,000:1 contrast ratio of IPS and TN panels.
This allows it to deliver much deeper blacks, brighter whites, and an overall stronger relation between the darkest and the brightest shades.
The colors are rich with a wide 122% sRGB gamut; they’re much better than that of TN panels, but they’re still not quite as vibrant nor accurate as what you can find on IPS displays.
What’s more, you get wide 178° viewing angles, so the image will remain perfect no matter the angle you’re looking at the screen.
Finally, 1440p results in a rich pixel density of roughly 108 pixels per inch on 27″ sized monitors which makes for sharp details and plenty of screen space without any scaling necessary.
The biggest disadvantage of this panel technology is the pixel response time speed.
Keep in mind that response time isn’t the same as input lag. The input lag of the CQ27G1 is impeccable meaning that you won’t be able to notice or feel any delays.
The response time speed refers to the speed at which pixels can transition from one pixel to another.
In particularly dark scenes where dark pixels are predominant, VA panels have trouble pushing those pixels to change in time with the monitor’s 144Hz refresh rate.
So, you may notice some trailing and smearing behind fast-moving objects. Overall, the amount of smearing is tolerable given the performance and image quality you get for the price, however, competitive gamers may find it distracting.
For all other purposes including watching movies, working, and playing more graphically-oriented games, the AOC CQ27G1 is absolutely great.
Naturally, you will also be able to enjoy first-person shooters and other competitive multiplayer games if you’re more of a casual gamer than a hardcore FPS player.
The AOC CQ27G1 supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-144Hz VRR range and although it’s not officially certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA, it works with compatible NVIDIA GPUs.
Unfortunately, some units of the AOC CQ27G1 (and most other monitors based on Samsung’s VA panels) are affected by the brightness flickering issue when FreeSync is enabled.
This brightness flickering is mostly visible when your FPS fluctuates a lot or when it gets below 48FPS and triggers LFC. It doesn’t affect all units of the monitor and it’s not visible in all video games.
Other features include Shadow Control for better visibility in dark parts of video games, Game Color (color saturation), and MBR (Motion Blur Reduction).
It’s not as smooth as the 1ms GtG response time of TN panels, but it certainly helps. However, MBR cannot be active at the same time as FreeSync and it lowers the monitor’s maximum brightness while active.
For more information, visit our AOC CQ27G1 review.
Design & Connectivity
The design of the AOC CQ27G1 is impressive considering its price!
You get a subtle 1800R curved screen and a sturdy stand with height adjustment up to 130mm, +/- 35° swivel, -4°/22° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, and a headphones jack. FreeSync works over both HDMI and DisplayPort up to 144Hz.
The AOC CQ27G1 also supports 120Hz at 1440p for the Xbox One X!
In case the AOC CQ27G1 is not available or overpriced in your country, consider the Samsung C27JG50/56.
There’s also a newer model of the CQ27G1, the AOC CQ27G2 with all the same specs and a more aggressive 1500R curvature.
The difference in screen curvature isn’t particularly noticeable and since the image quality and performance are basically identical, you can just choose whichever is available or cheaper.
As far as the TN variants go, there are models available under $250 such as the AOC AG241QX and the Viotek GFT27DB, but they don’t have nearly as good image quality as the CQ27G1 and for the best results in competitive games, the Acer XF250Q would be a better choice at this price range anyway.
- Affordable 1440p 144Hz display
- High contrast ratio, rich colors, and vivid details
- Plenty of gaming features including 1ms MPRT and FreeSync
- Sturdy and ergonomic design
- Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes
LG 29WK600 - Best UltraWide Monitor
About the Monitor
The LG 29WK600 is the best budget monitor for productivity work, content creation, and casual gaming!
Ultrawide monitors have an aspect ratio of 21:9 as opposed to the standard 16:9 widescreen ratio.
This provides you with extra horizontal space which translates to a wider field of view in video games and more workspace for office-related tasks.
Most movies are shot at an aspect ratio that’s close to 21:9, so you’ll get a more cinematic viewing experience too!
Now, content that doesn’t support 21:9 natively will have to be zoomed/cropped or stretched to fill the screen, or you can just play it with black borders at the sides.
Luckily, most newer content including video games supports 21:9.
Moving on, the 2560×1080 resolution displayed on the 29″ sized screen of the monitor results in a decent pixel density of roughly 95 pixels per inch.
So, you’ll get a crisper image quality than the standard 1080p on 24″ (91 pixels per inch), but still not quite as sharp as 1440p on 27″.
The LG 29WK600 has an IPS panel, it’s factory-calibrated, and it covers 99% of the sRGB color space; the colors are precise, accurate, and vibrant allowing you to even do some entry-level color-critical work.
Plus, the ultrawide aspect ratio is great for video/audio editing as you get a better preview of your interface, horizontal timelines, and the like.
Just like the previous two monitors, the LG 29WK600 supports AMD FreeSync (works well with compatible NVIDIA cards), but with a more limited VRR range of 40-75Hz/FPS.
Its response time speed amounts to 5ms GtG which is more than enough for 75Hz. You won’t get any noticeable trailing of fast-moving objects, but 75Hz will feel a bit choppy in comparison to 144Hz.
Naturally, if your FPS rate doesn’t exceed 75FPS in games that you play (or if they are locked to 60FPS), you won’t lose anything by not getting a higher refresh rate display.
Other gaming features include crosshair overlays and Black Stabilizer for better visibility in darker games. The monitor also supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), but due to the lack of localized dimming, wide color gamut, and strong peak brightness, you can just ignore it.
Design & Connectivity
The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but you can detach it and mount the screen on a third-party stand via the 100x100mm VESA pattern.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input, a headphones jack, and dual 5W integrated speakers.
Note that because this 29-inch monitor is wider, it’s also shorter than a 16:9 display of the same diagonal size. The LG 29WK600 flat-screen monitor is as tall as a regular 23″ 16:9 display which may take some time getting used to, especially if you’re accustomed to bigger monitors.
If you want an ultrawide display with a higher refresh rate, we recommend the Sceptre C305B-200UN. It has a curved VA panel with a 200Hz refresh rate!
This monitor is usually sold for $300, but it goes below $250 when it’s on sale, so make sure to check it out or consider saving up for it!
Visit our dedicated best ultrawide monitors buyer’s guide for more information and more models, but for $250, you won’t be able to find a better 21:9 display than the LG 29WK600.
- Precise and accurate colors
- Immersive image quality
- AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz
- Tilt-only stand
Philips 276E8VJSB - Best 4K Monitor
About the Monitor
The Philips 276E8VJSB is one of the most affordable 4K monitors available yet it offers an impressive image quality!
Based on an IPS panel, the Philips 276E8VJSB offers accurate and consistent colors just like the LG 29WK600. However, this 4K monitor also brings support for 10-bit color depth (1.07 billion colors) as well as a slightly wider color gamut of 109% sRGB.
So, you’ll get more saturated and lifelike colors, but you can also limit the gamut to 100% sRGB if you need to do some color-critical work.
Further, 4K UHD resolution results in a rich pixel density of ~163 pixels per inch on 27″ sized screens. While this makes small items such as text unreadable, you can scale up your interface and increase the size as well as the sharpness of text.
Unfortunately, the Philips 276E8VJSB 4K monitor doesn’t support AMD FreeSync, so tearing and stuttering will be visible in video games.
So, if you are sensitive to screen tearing, you should consider investing in a 4K monitor with FreeSync such as the LG 27UL500 which can be found for around $300.
In addition, 4K is very demanding to drive, even at 60Hz, so unless you have a high-end PC system, we suggest getting a lower resolution display for PC gaming.
As many console games are limited to 30FPS or 60FPS, the Philips 276E8VJSB is a great monitor for the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X.
It’s also a good choice for those who need a monitor mainly for work, content creation, and watching videos with some light gaming on the side. Just make sure that your PC will be able to handle your favorite games at 4K with decent frame rates in this case!
Visit our Philips 276E8VJSB review for more information.
Design & Connectivity
Alas, in order to make this 4K IPS monitor so affordable, Philips had to skimp on the design a bit as the stand is tilt-only and the screen is not VESA mount compatible.
Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 input, and a headphones jack.
All connectors support HDCP 2.2, so you’ll be able to stream content from Netflix and other streaming apps in the native 4K UHD resolution.
Update: This monitor is now available with a VESA mount compatible design as the Philips 278E1A. All other specs and features are identical.
Overall, the Philips 276E8VJSB and the 278E1A are the only 4K monitors worth considering under $250.
If you can afford something pricier, visit our best 4K monitor buyer’s guide for more information.
- Affordable 4K IPS monitor
- Precise and accurate colors
- High pixel density
- Tilt-only stand and no VESA mount
- No AMD FreeSync
And that’s that! These are the best monitors for gaming under 250 USD you can get your hands on right now!
We will update this article as soon as any better deals come up. In the meantime, feel free to leave us a comment below if you need any help picking your next monitor.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with the Acer XF250Q if you’re a competitive player. In case you’re more of a casual gamer, the AOC CQ27G1 offers incredible image quality and performance for the price.
The LG 29WK600 is great for mixed use and if you have a bit weaker PC system while the Philips 276E8VJSB will certainly appeal to console gamers and aspiring content creators on a budget.