Sceptre E255B-1658A Review: Budget 1080p 165Hz 1ms FreeSync Gaming Monitor

The Sceptre E255B-1658A is an affordable yet excellent display for competitive gaming. It supports FreeSync and goes up to 165Hz.

Bottom Line

The Sceptre E255B-1658A is the best budget monitor for eSports gaming.

It’s not as good as some of the alternatives when it comes to overall use, but for competitive fast-paced games, it’s exceptionally good considering its price.

Design:
(3.0)
Display:
(3.9)
Performance:
(4.8)
Price/Value:
(3.0)
3.7

If you’re on a tight budget but want a great monitor for eSports gaming, the Sceptre E255B-1658A is definitely worth considering. Here’s what you need to know about this 25″ 1080p 165Hz 1ms gaming monitor by Sceptre.

Image Quality

The Sceptre E255B is based on a newer-generation 24.5″ TN panel, so it has better colors and slightly wider viewing angles than the older 24″ TN models.

All in all, you get an excellent image quality for the price. It’s not as good as that of some less expensive IPS and VA models, but it’s actually better than that of some more expensive TN variants!

It offers dithered 8-bit color support for 16.7 million colors, a static contrast ratio of 1,000:1, and a peak brightness of 300-nits.

Now, the 25″ 1080p 144Hz 1ms gaming monitors by more popular brands such as ASUS, Acer, HP, etc. do have a bit higher peak luminance of 400-nits, but the Sceptre E255B-1658A is sufficiently bright anyway.

In fact, you’ll most likely want to decrease the maximum brightness out of the box from 100% to around 70% or less.

Since 1080p resolution is not demanding on your PC rig, it will allow you to reach high frame rates and take full advantage of the monitor’s 165Hz refresh rate.

What’s more, it will provide you with a fair amount of screen space and detail clarity thanks to the solid pixel density of roughly 90 pixels per inch.

Note that the Sceptre E255B-1658A 165Hz gaming monitor has DC backlight dimming, meaning that it’s flicker-free, and it has a low blue light filter allowing you to enjoy gaming for hours without straining your eyes.

Performance

Moving on, the Sceptre E255B-1658A input lag is on par with the high-end gaming displays with only ~5ms of imperceptible delay while the rapid 1ms response time speed efficiently eliminates trailing of fast-moving objects.

There are only two response time overdrive options: on and off. For minimal ghosting, you should put the Overdrive option to ‘On.’ However, this can introduce pixel overshoot (inverse ghosting) at lower frame rates.

So, when playing more demanding games where your FPS sits around 60FPS, you should set the overdrive option to ‘Off.’

Of course, then you won’t have a fast response time speed, so you’ll have to see what works best for you; it will vary between different games.

In eSports games, you should be able to maintain a high frame rate – in which case this won’t be a problem, just make sure Overdrive is enabled.

Thanks to the AMD FreeSync technology, you can synchronize the monitor’s refresh rate with your GPU’s frame rate, which results in a variable refresh rate (VRR) that eliminates all screen tearing and stuttering without introducing input lag.

The Sceptre E255B-1658A FreeSync range is 60-165Hz, meaning that LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) is supported. So, you won’t get any tearing or stuttering as long as your frame rate is within the VRR range, or below it.

FreeSync works with compatible NVIDIA cards (GTX 10-series or newer) as well without any issues.

To set the monitor to 165Hz, all you have to do is change the display settings, no overclocking is necessary.

The difference between 144Hz and 165Hz isn’t all that big, but to a hardcore gamer whom every millisecond is vital, the 21Hz higher refresh rate is definitely helpful.

Features

Sceptre E255b 1658a Review 2019

The OSD (On-Screen Display) menu of the Sceptre E255B-1658A display is a bit outdated, and it’s missing certain gaming features that you can find on the more popular models, such as Black Equalizer, on-screen timers, motion blur reduction, etc.

You will, however, find pre-calibrated picture presets for FPS and RTS games.

The monitor also offers advanced picture adjustments, including tint/saturation, gamma, and color temperature (manual RGB value input) settings, so you’ll be able to calibrate the display with ease.

There are five monitor hotkeys placed at the back of the monitor at the right side, which you can use to navigate through the OSD menu.

When the menu is not open, the buttons can be used as shortcuts for cycling between the picture presets (FPS, RTS, Movie, ECO, Standard, User) and to place a fixed crosshair on the screen. 

Design & Connectivity

Sceptre E255b Review

While the Sceptre E255B-1658A has a tilt-only stand (-5°/15°), it is VESA mount compatible with a 75x75mm pattern.

The stand is made of metal, and it’s quite sturdy while the screen is slim and has ultra-thin bezels. Overall, it’s a surprisingly good design considering the monitor’s price.

Connectivity options include HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and a headphone jack. For 1080p 165Hz and FreeSync, you can use either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. There are also two 2W built-in speakers.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Sceptre E255B-1658A price ranges from $200 to $250.

It used to be one of the most affordable 165Hz gaming monitors, but now you can buy a 25″ 1080p 144Hz IPS monitor for around the same price, such as the BenQ EX2510. It’s just as fast, but also offers a much better image quality.

To learn more about monitors and ensure you’re getting the model most suited for your personal preference, visit our comprehensive and always up-to-date best gaming monitor buyer’s guide.

Conclusion

Overall, the Sceptre E255B-1658A is a solid budget gaming monitor, but there are better alternatives around this price range.

Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate165Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (60Hz-165Hz)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (75x75mm)

The Pros:

  • Quick response time and low input lag
  • FreeSync up to 165Hz
  • Decent image quality for a TN panel

The Cons:

  • Tilt-only stand
  • Narrow FreeSync range
  • Bad overdrive implementation

Related Reads

BenQ MOBIUZ EX2510 Review
BenQ EX2510 Review: 1080p 144Hz IPS FreeSync Gaming Monitor
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.