Sceptre E205W-16003R Review: Budget 1600×900 Monitor

The Sceptre E205W-16003R is one of the cheapest monitors available. Find out why you should invest a bit extra for a much better monitor though.

Bottom Line

The Sceptre E205W-16003R is an overall good monitor for the price thanks to its decent pixel density, VESA mount compatibility, good connectivity options, and AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz. However, there are many newer models available nowadays that offer a lot better image quality and performance for only a slightly higher price.


The Sceptre E205W-16003R is one of the most economical monitors available at the time of this writing! So, let’s see what exactly do you get with it, and what you’re missing out on.

Image Quality

The monitor has a 20″ screen (19.5″ viewable) with a resolution of 1600×900 pixels.

While this resolution is rather low by today’s standards, it looks great on the Sceptre E205W-16003R monitor due to its small screen size. You get a pixel density of 94.14 PPI (pixels per inch).

So, in terms of detail clarity and screen space, you’re getting a similar experience as 1920×1080 on 24″ sized monitors. 

The 1600×900 resolution is also less demanding to drive than 1920×1080, so even if you’ve got an old graphics card, you’ll be able to get a decent frame rate in many games.

Now, the Sceptre E205W-16003R is based on a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel. This panel technology suffers from poor viewing angles (170° horizontally and 160° vertically).

So, when looking at the screen off-axis, the image will shift in color, contrast, and brightness. As long as you’re directly in front of the screen though, this won’t be an issue.

TN panels also have inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels. The colors won’t be as vivid or consistent as they are on IPS monitors while the blacks won’t be as deep as that of the VA technology.

Other panel-related specifications include a 250-nit peak brightness, a static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, and 8-bit color depth support for 16.7 million colors which is standard for all monitors at this price range.


Moving on, the Sceptre E205W-16003R input lag amounts to only ~10ms. This is the measured delay between your actions and the time the monitor takes to react and display your commands – there’s no visible delay.

The response time speed amounts to 5ms (GtG – gray to gray pixel transition), which translates to no prominent trailing behind fast-moving objects.

For the best pixel response time performance, make sure that the Overdrive setting in the monitor’s OSD (On-Screen Display) menu is enabled.

Furthermore, the monitor’s 75Hz refresh rate provides a subtle but noticeable boost in motion clarity in comparison to the standard 60Hz.

The Sceptre E205W-16003R is completely flicker-free as it doesn’t use PWM to regulate brightness. What’s more, it has an integrated low-blue light filter that prevents eye fatigue when using the monitor for extended periods of time.


Amd Freesync

AMD FreeSync is supported over the two HDMI ports on the monitor.

This technology allows the monitor to change its refresh rate according to GPU’s frame rates as long as your FPS (Frames Per Second) is between 48 and 75.

Within this variable refresh rate range, FreeSync will eliminate all screen tearing and stuttering. Below 48FPS, it stops working until your FPS recovers. You will also need a compatible AMD GPU.

Other features include pre-calibrated picture presets (Movie, FPS, RTS, ECO, Standard, and User) and the standard image adjustment tools such as contrast, brightness, sharpness, and color temperature.

You will also find advanced adjustments such as gamma and 6-axis hue/saturation.

The OSD menu is simple and easy to navigate by using the four hotkeys placed at the back of the monitor.

Design & Connectivity

sceptre e205w 16003r monitor back

The stand of the monitor is tilt-only, but you can mount the screen on a third-party stand using the 75x75mm VESA pattern. A screwdriver and other mounting tools are provided with the monitor, too!

Connectivity options include two HDMI ports, a VGA port, a headphones jack, and audio line-in for the dual 2W integrated speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Sceptre E205W-16003R goes for around $75. There are a few more popular 20″ – 22″ budget monitors by Sceptre:

Sceptre MonitorPanelBrightnessFreeSync

You can nowadays find 100Hz displays for under $100, so we highly recommend getting a model from our best monitors under $100 buyer’s guide.

For gaming, you should definitely invest in a 144Hz display. Check out our best monitors under $150 for more information.


While the Sceptre E205W-16003R is an overall good monitor for the price, there are a lot better models available nowadays that are only a tad more expensive.


Screen Size19.5-inch
Resolution1600×900 (HD+)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate75Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-75Hz)
Ports2x HDMI 1.4, VGA
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness250 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros:

  • Good pixel density
  • AMD FreeSync up to 75Hz
  • Built-in speakers
  • VESA mount compatibility

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels

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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.