The Best Gaming Monitors Under 250 USD (2022 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.

Note that some of these monitors are under $250 only when they’re on sale, but these sales are frequent. So, if the monitor you’re interested in goes for over $250, consider waiting for it to go on sale, check out our recommended alternatives, or visit our best monitors under $200 guide.

MonitorSizePanelResolutionRefresh RateVRR 
25”IPS1920x1080240HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Compatible)
27”VA2560x1440165HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
27”IPS2560x1440170HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
29”IPS2560x1080100HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Stable)
29”VA2560x1080120HzFreeSync
(G-SYNC Unstable)
27”IPS3840x216060HzN/A
budget pick

Dell S2522HG

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

Acer XV272UV

Acer XV272UV
  • 170Hz refresh rate
  • 1440p resolution
  • Wide color gamut

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 lower refresh rate 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 a ~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, at least at this price range.

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 to buy it for $280, consider going with a 1080p 144Hz IPS gaming monitor, such as the LG 24GN650.

The Dell AW2521H 1080p 240Hz IPS gaming monitor is also sometimes on sale for under $250, as well as LG’s 27″ models, the LG 27GP750 and 27GN750.

The Pros:

  • Affordable 1440p 165Hz 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
  • Some units prone to VRR brightness flickering

About The Monitor

The AOC CQ27G3S combines the responsiveness of 165Hz 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 CQ27G3S 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 118% 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 CQ27G3S 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 165Hz 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 CQ27G3S 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 and aren’t too sensitive to ghosting.

Features

aoc cq27g1 osd menu layout

The AOC CQ27G3S supports AMD FreeSync with a 48-165Hz 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 CQ27G3S (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.

Design & Connectivity

AOC CQ27G3S Design

The design of the AOC CQ27G3S is impressive considering its price!

You get a 1000R curved screen and a sturdy stand with height adjustment up to 130mm, +/- 40° swivel, -5°/23° tilt, and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.2 input and a headphone jack

The AOC CQ27G3S also supports 120Hz at 1440p for the Xbox One/Series S/X and the PS5.

Alternatives

In case the AOC CQ27G3S is not available, consider the older CQ27G2 model with a more subtle 1500R screen curvature.

The Samsung Odyssey G5 C27G55T also has a steep 1000R curvature, but it doesn’t have as wide color gamut.

The Pros:

  • Quick response time, low input lag
  • FreeSync & MBR up to 170Hz
  • Wide color gamut
  • Fully ergonomic design

The Cons:

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

About The Monitor

If you don’t want to deal with ghosting in dark scenes and/or VRR brightness flickering, you’ll have to invest in an IPS display; the Acer Nitro XV272U V is often on sale for under $250!

Image Quality

The XV272UV is based on an IPS panel with a wide 95% DCI-P3 color gamut, which results in vibrant and saturated colors for a more lifelike picture. There’s also an sRGB emulation mode in case you want to view accurate sRGB colors.

Further, it has a strong peak brightness of 400-nits, while the contrast ratio is 1,000:1, as expected from IPS technology. So, you won’t get as deep blacks as that of the AOC CQ27G3S.

On the other hand, thanks to the 178° wide viewing angles and Delta E < 2 factory calibration, the XV272UV is fit for professional color-critical work right out of the box!

Moreover, it has a fast pixel response time speed for virtually no ghosting in fast-paced games.

Finally, you get buttery-smooth VRR performance with stable G-SYNC performance. Other features include MBR, crosshair overlays and Black Boost.

Design & Connectivity

Acer XV272UV Review

The stand offers full ergonomic support with up to 110mm height adjustment, -5°/25° tilt, 90° pivot, +/- 180° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.2, a headphone jack and dual 2W integrated speakers.

Alternatives

  • HP X27q – A 27″ 1440p 165Hz IPS gaming monitor that also sometimes goes on sale for ~$250, but it doesn’t have quite as wide color gamut.

The Pros:

  • recise and accurate colors
  • Immersive image quality
  • FreeSync up to 100Hz

The Cons:

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

About The Monitor

The LG 29WQ500 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 29WQ500 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 monitors, the LG 29WQ500 supports AMD FreeSync (works well with compatible NVIDIA cards) with a VRR range of 40-100Hz/FPS.

It has a quick enough response time speed for its 100Hz refresh rate, so there’s no noticeable ghosting in fast-paced games.

Further, we find that going to 100Hz from 60Hz/75Hz is more noticeable than the difference between 100Hz and 144Hz. So, you get buttery-smooth gameplay even with 100Hz.

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 29WQ500 Design

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 HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2 and a headphone jack.

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 29WQ500 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.

Alternatives

  • LG 29WQ600 – the same monitor with integrated speakers and a USB-C port (DP Alt Mode, but no power delivery). It’s more expensive, but can be found on sale for ~$250

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 high refresh rate, the Viotek GNV29CB is the best model available for 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 60Hz/75Hz.

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 fluctuating 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

In case the Viotek GNV29CB is not available, check out the Sceptre C305W-2560UN, though it has a lower 85Hz refresh rate.

If you want an ultrawide display with a higher refresh rate, we recommend the Sceptre C305B-200UN with 200Hz and a curved VA panel or the MSI MAG301RF with 200Hz and a flat-screen IPS panel. Both models can be found on sale for ~$250.

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 Sceptre U275W-UPT is the most affordable 4K monitors available yet it offers an impressive image quality!

Image Quality

Based on an IPS panel, the Sceptre U275W offers accurate and consistent colors, just like the LG 29WQ500.

However, its 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.

1080p monitor vs 4K (Scaling)

Features

Unfortunately, the Sceptre U275W-UPT 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 70Hz, 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 Sceptre U275W-UPT 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

Sceptre U275W UPT Monitor Design

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

Connectivity options include HDMI 2.0 (4K 60Hz), DisplayPort 1.2 (4K 70Hz), two HDMI 1.4 ports (4K 30Hz) and a headphone jack.

Alternatives

In case the Sceptre U275W is not available, check out the Philips 278E1A. 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, we recommend the Acer XV272UV – and the AOC CQ27G3S or the Viotek GNV29CB if you’re not sensitive to ghosting and tearing.

The LG 29WQ500 is great for mixed-use and if you have a bit weaker PC system, while the Sceptre U275W will certainly appeal to console gamers and aspiring content creators on a budget.

Updates +

  • November 22, 2022:
    – Checked up on the guide to ensure that our picks are still the best options available.
  • November 14, 2022:
    – Replaced the LG 29WP60G with the LG 29WQ500, the Philips 278E1A with the Sceptre U275W, the AOC CQ27G2 with the AOC CQ27G3S and the HP X27q with the Acer XV272UV.
  • February 11, 2022:
    – Added the Acer XV272U.
    – Replaced the LG 29WK600 with the newer 29WP60G model.
  • November 26, 2021:
    – Checked up on the guide to ensure that our picks are still the best options available.
  • August 19, 2021:
    – Replaced the Acer XF250Q with the Dell S2522HG.
    – Removed the BenQ EX2510.
    – Added the Viotek GNV29CB.

Related Reads

Best 4K Monitors
The Best 4K Monitors (2022 Reviews)
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.