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Sceptre C248B-144RN Review: Cheapest 144Hz Gaming Monitor

Sceptre C248b 144rn Review 2019

Introduction

The Sceptre C248B-144RN is the cheapest 144Hz gaming monitor available yet it offers plenty of cool features including an ultra-slim curved design, AMD FreeSync, and an exceptional contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel.

In this review, we’ll see how it compares to the more expensive alternatives and whether it’s worth it.

Image Quality

The monitor is based on a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel with a superior static contrast ratio of 3,000:1.

In comparison to other panel technologies such as IPS and TN which have a contrast ratio of up to 1,000:1, the Sceptre C248B-144RN delivers deeper blacks and an overall better relation between the darkest and the brightest colors.

Further, the Sceptre C248B-144RN display supports true 8-bit color depth and offers wide 178-degree viewing angles.

Although the colors aren’t as accurate and consistent as that of IPS panels, they are notably better than what you may find on some more expensive TN models.

The maximum brightness amounts to 250-nits which is sufficient for an enjoyable viewing experience under normal lighting conditions.

Lastly, 1080p resolution provides a decent amount of screen space and detail clarity while not being too demanding on your CPU/GPU when it comes to reaching high frame rates.

Performance

Play Video

Moving on, the Sceptre C248B-144RN input lag amounts to ~4ms at 144Hz which makes for imperceptible delay between your actions and the result on the screen, even if you’re a hardcore gamer.

The response time speed, on the other hand, is not as quick. Sceptre specifies a response time speed of 3ms (GtG) though that implies rather specific testing conditions and using strong overdrive which introduces overshoot in most cases.

In reality, trailing of fast-moving objects is noticeable, more so when dark pixels are predominant in the picture, but it’s certainly tolerable considering the price and image quality of the monitor.

Now, if you mainly play competitive FPS games, you should look for a 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor with a TN panel and a 1ms response time speed instead.

These gaming monitors may have narrower viewing angles and inferior color quality and contrast, but if you care more about performance than picture quality, it’s a necessary trade-off, at least at this price range.

In case you prefer better graphics and play fast-paced games more casually, the Sceptre C248B-144RN monitor will suit you better.

Features

Sceptre C248b 144r Review

The Sceptre C248B-144RN supports AMD FreeSync over both HDMI and DisplayPort with a 48-144Hz variable refresh rate (VRR) range.

If you have a compatible graphics card, you can enable FreeSync which will synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with GPU’s frame rates and in turn, eliminate screen tearing and stuttering within the VRR range with virtually no input lag penalty.

The monitor is not certified as G-SYNC compatible by NVIDIA. Some users report stable performance when using FreeSync with compatible NVIDIA GPUs while others report various issues.

In our case, there was a bit of flickering visible, mainly when the FPS rate drops below the lower 48FPS VRR range and triggers LFC, but the performance overall is stable. Keep in mind that this will vary between individual units of the monitor. In case you experience certain issues when using FreeSync, you can try out these steps.

Other features include pre-calibrated picture presets (FPS, RTS, Movie, Eco, Standard, and User), Blue Light Shift (low-blue light filter), flicker-free backlight, and the standard picture adjustments such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, color temperature – plus the advanced gamma and hue/saturation settings.

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre C248b Review

The Sceptre C248B-144RN has a very slim design with ultra-thin bezels. Note that the image is not edge-to-edge as there’s a thin black border around the screen which is the case with all ‘bezel-less’ and ‘frame-less’ designs, at least for now.

You can tilt the screen of the monitor by -5°/15° and remove the stand in case you want to mount the screen using the 75x75mm VESA pattern. The screen has a matte anti-glare coating which eliminates reflections.

Connectivity options include HDMI 1.4 (max 120Hz), HDMI 2.0 (144Hz), DisplayPort 1.2 (144Hz), and a headphones jack.

The monitor has a 1800R screen curvature which slightly increases immersion and depth; it’s no game changer, but it’s a nice touch.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Sceptre C248B-144RN price is only ~$160 which makes it the most affordable 144Hz gaming monitor.

The previous model of this monitor, the Sceptre C248B-144R, is available as well. It has built-in speakers and a DVI-D port, but it’s more expensive and has a less appealing design.

Both monitors are available as 27″ variants as well: the Sceptre C275B-144R and the Sceptre C275B-144RN. However, we recommend the 24″ models due to the higher pixel-per-inch ratio.

Now, if you’re a competitive gamer, we suggest you have a look at the Sceptre E255B-1658A which is a similarly priced 1080p 144Hz gaming monitor with a 1ms TN panel.

Alternatively, you should consider the Acer XFA240 and the AOC G2590FX models.

As far as curved VA-panel alternatives are concerned, make sure to check out the AOC C24G1 and the MSI MAG241C.

These will cost you ~$40 extra than the Sceptre C248B, but they are worth the extra cost if you can afford it since, after all – a new monitor should last you at least a few years which is why you shouldn’t skimp on it.

Both the AOC C24G1 and the MSI MAG241C offer a motion blur reduction technology which further decreases ghosting by backlight strobing.

The MAG241C also offers extra USB ports and more saturated colors whereas the C24G1 offers a better motion blur reduction implementation and an ergonomic design.

Conclusion

All in all, the Sceptre C248B-144RN is an exceptional gaming monitor for the price. But, unless you’re on a really limited budget, we suggest saving up for a higher quality display.

Sceptre C248B-144RN Specifications

Screen Size23.6-inch
Screen Curvature1800R
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time3ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-144Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (true 8-bit)
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros

  • High contrast ratio for deep blacks
  • Smooth performance thanks to 144Hz
  • Cheapest 144Hz monitor
  • AMD FreeSync over both HDMI and DP

The Cons

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Visible ghosting in fast-paced games, especially in darker scenes
  • No backlight strobing feature
Sceptre C248B-144RN Review
  • 8.6/10
    Design - 8.6/10
  • 8.5/10
    Display - 8.5/10
  • 8.2/10
    Performance - 8.2/10
  • 9/10
    Price/Value - 9/10
8.6/10

Summary

The Sceptre C248B-144RN is the cheapest 144Hz gaming monitor you can find. In case you’re on a really limited budget, it’s a great buy. Otherwise, consider investing in the more expensive alternatives we’ve mentioned in the review.

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