We understand your dilemma: You love gaming, and need a new gaming monitor badly, but one look at all those high prices sends you running. A couple hundred dollars though – preferably below that – and you might be willing to consider. That’s why we’ve tested the best gaming monitors under $200 and shortlisted can-do screens that can still surprise you with their features and potential with their features and quality.
We went out and purchased the top 25 gaming monitors under $200 so we could find the best options for you deal seekers out there. Now, we fully admit that we’re gaming enthusiasts around here, so we set our standard high while recognizing that monitors under $200 aren’t going to offer the most premium of gaming features. That being said, we still measured image quality, adaptive sync availability and overall response times and refresh rates while we played our favorite games. Of all the monitors we tested, we found that the Asus VG245H offers the best overall experience. With a blazing fast response time, AMD FreeSync technology and ergonomic Eye Care feature, this gaming display will keep you playing for hours with ease. Keep reading to learn more about the Asus monitor and our other top picks. You can also look for monitors for Xbox One X to be at the top of your game!
Top 5 Best Gaming Monitors under $200 Compared
#1 Asus VG245H – Top Pick/Best ErgonomicWHY WE LIKE IT: The Asus VG245H is super responsive and fast-performing gaming monitor under $200 with low input lag. When we consider these features along with such an affordable price, it’s easy to make this Asus gaming monitor our top pick.
When you stick to a sub-$200 price tag for your new gaming monitor, you likely understand that you’ll make a few sacrifices when it comes to features and functionality. Fortunately, the sacrifices are few and far between with the Asus VG245H. The monitor isn’t as bright as we would have liked, but the 1080p resolution and super-fast 1ms response time more than make up for that. It also features excellent AMD FreeSync functionality for an extra immersive gaming experience.
One of our favorite features about the Asus V245H is its proprietary ergonomic ASUS Eye Care technology, which keeps the monitor flicker free and filters the blue light so your eyes don’t get overworked. Add this feature to the easy user interface and menu and you’ve got yourself one of the most user friendly gaming monitors you can get under $200. It was easy to calibrate and customize, making for a much better experience for newcomers. Pair all of this with gaming PCs that have excellent graphics cards and you’ve got yourself a truly supreme gaming experience. Also check out the best gaming monitor for PS4.
#2 Acer ED273 – Honorable Mention/Best 27 InchWHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for more real estate to play on your gaming PC, then you can’t pass up the Acer ED273 gaming monitor. With 27 inches of gaming display and a super-fast refresh rate, this monitor is perfect for games that require a bit more immersion than usual.
There’s one thing to be said about the Acer ED273: it sure packs a bunch of premium features into a much more affordable package than you might expect. With an impressive 27 inches of screen size, this curve monitor is perfect for more immersion into your gaming experience. Combine that with a full 144Hz refresh rate, excellent color accuracy and good color uniformity, and you have a premium gaming monitor at a budget price.
Unfortunately, you don’t get any USB connectivity with the Acer ED273, which we didn’t find to be too much of a problem during our testing, especially since you still get both DisplayPort and HDMI port options. The overall design of the Acer monitor isn’t anything that will turn heads, it’s easy to use and learn, making it perfect for both beginners and advanced gamers. Read about the best 144Hz gaming monitor to learn more.
#3 Lepow Portable Monitor – Best PortabilityWHY WE LIKE IT: The Lepow portable monitor is one of the most unique options we tested, but it’s that unique design that earned it a spot on our list. This monitor is completely portable so you can take your gaming with you without encumbering yourself too much.
If you need more portability and versatility out of your gaming monitor, then the Lepow portable monitor might be the best choice for you. This gaming monitor acts almost like a tablet in the sense that you can take it with you anywhere and plug in your any of your game consoles, including your PS4, Xbox or Nintendo Switch. You can even hook it up to a gaming PC, if you so choose. It pulls its power directly from the console instead of a dedicated power source, which can get tricky at times. We would have preferred it had a built-in battery, but we were just so impressed with the overall portability that we didn’t have a problem with it in the end.
The Lepow offers a full HD display with 1080p resolution and really great color reproduction. You won’t get any kind of premium gaming features here, though, like adaptive sync technologies. But this is to be expected because of the portability aspect. We’ve never tested anything like the Lepow portable gaming monitor before, so we were pleasantly surprised at its overall performance and convenience. It’s a must have for gamers on the go. Check out the best G Sync monitors for more info.
#4 Sceptre E255B-1658A – Best Value/Best Refresh RateWHY WE LIKE IT: The Sceptre brand is well known for its budget performance in the gaming community, and the Sceptre E255B-1658A lives up to that reputation. With a blazing fast 1ms response time and ultra-high refresh rate, you can game without motion blur or ghosting.
The Sceptre E255B-1658A gaming monitor offers speed, quality and performance for a sub-$200 price, easily earning it a spot on our list of top picks. It features a response time of 1ms, which is incredible for a monitor at this price point. And when you combine this with the stellar 165Hz refresh rate, you’re all but guaranteed a blur-free gaming experience. What more can you ask from the best gaming monitor?
Another important feature to note on this monitor is its AMD FreeSync capabilities, something you typically only get on high-priced monitors and a high-end gaming PC. FreeSync works to eliminate input lag and screen stuttering. Unfortunately, you don’t get as many input ports as we would like to see for an ultimate gaming setup, but you still get a DisplayPort and two HDMI ports, plenty for a single console or PC tower. The only other thing we’d recommend is purchasing a set of external speakers since the Sceptre’s onboard speakers don’t offer the best performance.
#5 Sceptre C248W-1920RN – Best Budget/Best CurvedWHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re shopping for monitors under $200, you already understand the importance of saving money, but the Sceptre C248W-1920RN can help you take it an extra step into affordability. This is the best curve monitor you can buy at the lowest price without sacrificing too many features.
When shopping the budget end of already budget gaming monitors, you should expect to lose out on some functionality. Fortunately, the Sceptre C248W-1920RN curved LED monitor doesn’t skip out on too much. Sure, you won’t get adaptive sync functionality, but you still get excellent color reproduction and low input lag. Plus, add in the curved design and you’ll feel like you’re playing on a high-end gaming monitor in no time.
Perhaps the thing we were most disappointed about with the Sceptre C248W is the lack of input ports. With just individual HDMI, VGA and PC ports, you might find yourself limited in your gaming set up. However, if you don’t have a ton of peripherals or multiple consoles to hook into your monitor, you won’t have any problems at all. Sceptre emulates simplicity with this monitor, so if it’s simplicity that you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with this option.
What to Look for in the Best Gaming Monitors Under $200
- Size: Monitor size and price have a pretty strong correlation – you’ll have to pay more for larger screens. That’s why it’s such a great find when you see an inexpensive LED monitor that still provide a large enough screen for good game immersion. We prefer 25 to 27-inch monitors for gaming, but if these are a bit too large for you, our picks include smaller versions that may be a better fit. It’s also smart to ask yourself if you are using this screen only for games, or for other tasks as well. This could impact your decisions about size.
- Resolution: Is resolution a big deal to you? For some games and powerful gaming machines, it really can make a difference, as long as you have the GPU to back it up. For other gaming experiences it really doesn’t matter much – at least not yet. We favor higher resolution simply because it’s good preparation for the future, but most of the best gaming monitors under $200 are strictly 1080p monitors … which is fine!
- Brightness: Brightness can be a very important feature for gaming monitors, and it may be a spot where these less expensive monitors skimp a little to lower the price. Take a look at brightness ratings and options and make sure they are robust. Our top LG pick, for example, has a 250 cd/m2 brightness rating, which is enough for any game.
- The Right Ports: Another spot where these budget monitors cut costs is with ports. Always match the ports you need with the ports you buy. If you need HDMI for a particular connection, you have to have that port. The same is true of any other display connection.
- Refresh Rate: The higher the refresh rate of your gaming display, the smoother your gameplay will be. As an absolute minimum, you should only consider monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate. 60Hz monitors are good, but many of our options offer much higher refresh rates than that.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Focusing On the Lingo: This is a danger primarily for new buyers. Monitors use a lot of made-up words to describe what they do, like “dynamic action link” and “Splendid Video Intelligence Technology” and “Smart Contrast Ratio.” As we like to tell shoppers, try to ignore all of this. They are just made up phrases that don’t tell you anything useful. Contrast ratio, for example, is based largely on in-house manufacturer tests that can be created to say whatever the brand wants. Instead of looking at the lingo, drill down and study what a monitor actually does. It’s less exciting, but far better for making a smart purchase.
- Caring Too Much About Aspect Ratio: Aspect ratio is nice, but you need games that offer compatibility for a specific aspect ratio before it’s of any use. Look at other things first.
- Ignoring Ports: Don’t assume all the ports will naturally work with your PC! There’s no guarantee unless you actually look at the connection options.
- Thinking Only About One Monitor: A couple of our top gaming monitors under $200, such as the LG model support easy linking to spread images across more than one screen. This can be useful for both work and gaming, and is an alternative option worth considering.
- Not Watching the Price: IPS gaming monitors like the ones we reviewed at a sub-$200 price point are often fluctuating in price. If you aren’t ready to purchase just yet, we recommend you constantly check price on Amazon or other online retailers for sales and deals.
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