The Best Gaming Monitors Under 250 USD (2021 Reviews)

Looking for the best gaming monitor under $250? Check out the best models available in the $200 - $250 range and all you need to know about them.

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, an ultrawide screen for extra immersion, or a 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor for mixed use.

MonitorSizePanelResolutionRefresh RateVRR 
25”IPS1920x1080240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
27”VA2560x1440144HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
29”IPS2560x108075HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
29”VA2560x1080120HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
27”IPS3840x216060HzN/A
best value

Dell S2522HG

Dell S2522HG Monitor
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Fast response time speed
  • Accurate colors
best overall

AOC CQ27G2

aoc cq27g2
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 1440p resolution
  • High contrast ratio
premium pick

Viotek GNV29CB

Viotek GNV29CB Monitor
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 2560×1080 ultrawide resolution
  • High contrast ratio

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.

If you want to view our changelogs for this particular buying guide, you can do so at the end of this article.

The Pros:

  • Quick response time, low input lag
  • AMD FreeSync up to 240Hz
  • Accurate colors, wide viewing angles
  • Fully ergonomic design, USB hub
  • Inexpensive

The Cons:

  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

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 Dell S2522HG!

Now, this monitor usually goes for $280, but it’s often available for $250 on sale – it’s worth the price either way as 240Hz IPS models usually go for ~$330 yet the S2522HG is just as good.

If you can’t find it on sale or are strictly limited to $250, there are a few alternatives mentioned down below, but you’ll have to downgrade to a 240Hz TN panel or a lower refresh rate IPS monitor.

Image Quality

This display is based on a 24.5″ IPS panel with a rapid 1ms GtG response time speed that’s needed to eliminate motion blur and trailing behind fast-moving objects.

What’s more, it’s capable of doing that without sacrificing color accuracy or viewing angles as the TN panels do!

So, you’ll get precise, consistent and rich colors, while the image remains perfect regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen!

Further, the monitor has a 400-nit peak brightness, which is more than enough even in rooms with strong lighting. The contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, which is standard for both IPS and TN panels.

Black depth isn’t quite as good as it’s on VA panels with ~3,000:1 contrast ratio, but VA monitors at this price range have other issues, such as narrower viewing angles and notably slower response time that causes smearing in fast-paced games.

Features

freesync and gsync

Moving on, the Dell S2522HG 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 ‘Dark Stabilizer’ for better visibility in shadows in video games and various picture presets.

Design & Connectivity

Dell S2522HG Monitor Design

The design of the monitor is also very good considering its price.

You get full ergonomic support including up to 130mm of height adjustment, -5°/21° tilt, +/- 45° swivel, 90° pivot and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and even a quad-USB 3.0 hub (1 upstream + 4 upstream ports).

FreeSync is supported over both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort up to 240Hz.

Alternatives

If the Dell S2522HG is not on sale and you can’t afford $280, check out the Acer XF250Q. It’s a 25″ 1080p 240Hz monitor with a TN panel, so the image quality and viewing angles won’t be as good, but you still get a fast 1ms response time speed and FreeSync.

Alternatively, consider going with a 1080p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, such as the BenQ EX2510 or the LG 24GN650.

The Pros:

  • 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

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

About The Monitor

The AOC CQ27G2 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!

Image Quality

Based on a VA panel, the AOC CQ27G2 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 consistent as what you can find on IPS displays as there are some minor gamma/contrast shifts; Unless you plan on doing serious color-critical work, this won’t bother you.

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 most significant 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 CQ27G2 is impeccable, meaning that you won’t be able to notice or feel any delays.

The response time speed refers to the rate 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 CQ27G2 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.

Features

aoc cq27g1 osd menu layout

The AOC CQ27G2 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 CQ27G2 (and most other monitors based on VA panels) are affected by the flickering brightness 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).

The MBR technology reduces the amount of perceived motion blur by backlight strobing, providing you with 1ms MPRT (Moving Picture Response Time) for better motion clarity.

It’s not as smooth as the 1ms GtG response time speed, 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 CQ27G2 review.

Design & Connectivity

aoc cq27g1 monitor back

The design of the AOC CQ27G2 is impressive considering its price!

You get a 1500R 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 CQ27G2 also supports 120Hz at 1440p for the compatible Xbox consoles!

Alternatives

In case the AOC CQ27G2 is not available or overpriced in your country, consider the Samsung C27JG50/52 or the older CQ27G1 model with 1800R curvature.

The difference in screen curvature between the G1 and G2 isn’t particularly noticeable, and since the image quality and performance are basically identical, you can just choose whichever is available or cheaper.

If you want a faster pixel response time speed and smoother VRR performance, you’ll have to invest ~$300 for a 1440p IPS model such as the Gigabyte G27Q.

The Pros:

  • Factory-calibrated
  • Precise and accurate colors
  • Immersive image quality
  • AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)

About The Monitor

The LG 29WK600 is the best budget monitor for productivity work, content creation, and casual gaming!

Image Quality

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 broader 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 even to do some entry-level color-critical work.

Plus, the ultrawide aspect ratio is great for video/audio editing as you get a better view of your interface, horizontal timelines, etc.

Features

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 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 frame 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

lg 29wk600 back

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.

The Pros:

  • Affordable 120Hz ultrawide display
  • High contrast ratio, rich colors, and vivid details
  • Plenty of gaming features including 1ms MPRT and FreeSync
  • Sturdy and ergonomic design

The Cons:

  • Moderate ghosting in fast-paced games, mainly in darker scenes

About The Monitor

If you want a curved ultrawide monitor with a higher refresh rate, the Viotek GNV29CB is the best model availble under $250!

Image Quality

The monitor is based on a 1200R curved VA panel with a high 3,000:1 contrast ratio, a decent 280-nit peak brightness, and 107% sRGB gamut coverage for vivid colors.

It has a high 120Hz refresh rate, which provides a significant boost in motion clarity as opposed to the previously-mentioned 75Hz ultrawide monitor.

As expected from a VA panel at this price range, some smearing will be noticeable in fast-paced games, but mainly in darker scenes. So, unless you’re particularly competitive or sensitive to smearing, it will be tolerable or even negligible.

Features

The Viotek GNV29CB supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-120Hz VRR range and it works with compatible NVIDIA GPUs. However, some units might exhibit brightness flickering with flucutating frame rates.

Other useful features include Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture, various picture presets and crosshair overlays.

Design & Connectivity

Viotek GNV29CB Monitor Design

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but you can detach it and mount the screen via the 75x75mm VESA pattern.

Connectivity options include HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 and a headphone jack.

Alternatives

If you want an ultrawide display with a higher refresh rate, we recommend the Sceptre C305B-200UN. It has a curved VA panel with 200Hz, but it goes for ~$300.

Visit our dedicated best ultrawide monitors buyer’s guide for more information and more models.

The Pros:

  • Affordable 4K IPS monitor
  • Precise and accurate colors
  • High pixel density

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • No AMD FreeSync

About The Monitor

The Philips 278E1A is one of the most affordable 4K monitors available yet it offers an impressive image quality!

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Philips 278E1A 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.

4k scaling

Features

Unfortunately, the Philips 278E1A 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 ASUS VG289Q, 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 278E1A 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!

Design & Connectivity

philips 278e1a monitor back

The design of the monitor features thin bezels and VESA mount compatibility, but the stand is tilt-only.

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.

Alternatives

There’s also the older version of this monitor, the Philips 276E8VJSB, with the same specifications, but different design without VESA mount compatibility.

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.

Conclusion

And that’s that! These are the best monitors for gaming under 250 USD that 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 Dell S2522HG if you’re a competitive player.

In case you’re more of a casual gamer, the both AOC CQ27G2 and the Viotek GNV29CB offer 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 278E1A will certainly appeal to console gamers and aspiring content creators on a budget.

Updates +

  • August 19, 2021:
    – Replaced the Acer XF250Q with the Dell S2522HG.
    – Removed the BenQ EX2510.
    – Added the Viotek GNV29CB.

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.