10 Best Gaming Monitors

You’ve bought the best game. You’ve invested in the highest quality computer for the fastest speed. You even have a comfortable chair for your gaming experience. So, what could you possibly be forgetting?

The monitor.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

The monitor? What does the monitor have to do with anything?

My answer: everything.

Too many people spend all their time and money on the other parts of their gaming experience. In doing this, they forget about the visual interface that allows it all to happen. What’s the solution?

The solution is to shop for your monitor the same way you would the rest of your gaming equipment. Not sure how to get started?

Then, I’m really glad you’re here. Sit back, and get ready to read. This list of the top 10 gaming monitors will teach you everything you need to know. Learn about the technical specifications and the real differences that can make or break your time gaming.

Catering for any budget, this review gives you 10 of the best 2017 gaming monitors:

10 Best Gaming Monitors Comparison Table

Compare the specs of our reviewed monitors using this handy table:

Model Rank Price Screen Size in Inches Resolution Aspect Ratio Panel Refresh Rate Response Time (GTG) Video Ports
#1 LG 38UC99-W Check price at Amazon  38 3840 x 1600 (UWQHD+) 21:9 IPS 60Hz – 75Hz 5ms (1ms with blur reduction) 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.2
#2 Acer Predator X34 Check price at Amazon  34 3440 x 1440 (UWQHD) 21:9 IPS 60Hz / 100Hz 4ms 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DP 1.2
#3 Samsung U28E590D Check price at Amazon  28 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 16:9 TN 60Hz 1ms 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.2
#4 Asus ROG Swift PG279Q Check price at Amazon  27 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) 16:9 IPS 165Hz 4ms 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DP 1.2
#5 LG 27UD68-P Check price at Amazon  27 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 16:9 IPS 60 Hz 5ms 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DP 1.2
#6 ViewSonic XG2700-4K Check price at Amazon  27 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) 16:9 IPS 60Hz 5ms 1 x DP, 1 x miniDP, 2 x HDMI/MHL, 1 x HDMI 2.0
#7 BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 Check price at Amazon  27 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) 16:9 TN 144Hz 1ms 1 x VGA, 1 x DVI-DL, 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DP 1.2
#8 Dell S2417DG Check price at Amazon  24 2560 x 1440 (WQHD) 16:9 TN 144Hz (165Hz o/c) 1ms 1 x DP 1.2, 1 x HDMI 1.4
#9 ASUS VG245H Check price at Amazon  24 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) 16:9 TN 75Hz 1ms 2 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x VGA
#10 Acer G247HYL bmidx Check price at Amazon  24 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) 16:9 IPS 60Hz 4ms 1 x HDMI 1.4, 1 x DVI, 1 x VGA
 

#1: LG 38UC99-W – Best Ultra-Wide All-Rounder

Unashamedly expensive, the LG 38UC99-W is not meant specifically for gamers, but offers one of the most immersive gaming and multimedia experiences around.

Looks & Ergonomics

The subtly curving panel of this LG monitor makes game playing and movie watching superbly engaging. How? It brings the edges of the screen—normally defocused when you gaze into the center of a flat screen—into sharp focus. You’ll get an impression of how remarkably wide the screen is by looking at this full set of pictures .

Unlike some TN monitors, you can move about in front of this IPS screen without any shift in contrast or color. This is useful in a curving screen, but it’s also ideal for photo editing. When you’re not gaming, the sheer space available for work is great, with ample room for photos, tool palettes and multiple window panes all at the same time. It’s like having two monitors in one.

Complementing the curving LG screen is an elegantly curved metal stand. This allows 20° of tilt adjustment and a height adjustment of 4.3 inches. A joystick button at the bottom of the monitor gives access to adjustment menus.

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Technology

Back to that 37.5” screen: it covers 99% of the sRGB color gamut. The monitor supports 10-bit color depth (1.07 billion colors), though in reality this is 8-bit color depth + FRC dithering. (FRC simulates the colors that the monitor doesn’t natively produce.)

Remember that you won’t benefit from 10-bit color depth unless your OS, GPU, video cable and game or computer program also support it. This isn’t a point against the monitor, since it’s effectively “10-bit ready” and delivers great picture quality through an 8-bit pipeline regardless.

Resolution in this 21:9 LG monitor is 3800 x 1600 pixels (UWQHD+), which is about 3 times the number of pixels found in a Full HD 1920 x 1080 monitor.

A selection of picture modes and aspect ratios is available in the LG 38UC99-W to help optimize your gaming or movie-watching enjoyment. If you’re a photographer, you’ll like that this monitor is factory calibrated to a very high standard, delivering accurate colors right out of the box.

Helping you capitalize on this monitor’s outrageously roomy screen is LG’s built-in Screen Split 2.0 feature. This lets you divide your screen up in various ways so that you can have 2, 3 or 4 windows in a choice of proportions. You also get 4 different picture-in-picture (PIP) options.

Sound

Two built-in 10W speakers provide decent sound quality with LG’s Rich Bass function. The speakers are Bluetooth enabled so that you can play music wirelessly from a mobile device. A USB Bluetooth dongle is provided.

Refresh Rate

The LG 38UC99-W has a native refresh rate of 60Hz, which can be ramped up to 75Hz in graphics card settings.

This display supports AMD FreeSync technology. You’ll need a compatible AMD Radeon GPU to benefit from it. FreeSync greatly reduces problems with tearing and stuttering, which occur when the GPU frame rate and monitor refresh rate are out of sync.

Response time

The 5ms GTG fastest response time of the LG 38UC99-W is achieved using overdrive (RTC). However, the monitor also includes a 1ms Motion Blur Reduction feature. This effectively cuts the response time to 1ms by strobing the LED backlight on and off in sync with the refresh rate. Problems such as blurring and ghosting in fast-paced games are radically reduced with this feature activated.

Note that a strobed backlight always reduces the luminance (brightness) of a monitor by an appreciable amount, though available luminance is still more than sufficient in this case. Motion Blur Reduction is only available at the 75Hz refresh rate, possibly because the strobing would be visible at 60Hz. This feature works separately to FreeSync technology, so it’s available to Nvidia gamers, too.

Connectivity

You get 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports and 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 with this monitor so that you can hook up DVD players or gaming consoles as well as a PC.

A USB-C upstream connector is also present and there are two accompanying USB 3.0 downstream ports (one of which is a quick charge port). A headphone jack is also provided.

In the box

The following items are normally found in the LG 38UC99-W box:

  • LG 38UC99-W 38″ 21:9 4K WQHD+ Curved IPS Monitor
  • Power cord
  • Stand
  • DisplayPort, HDMI and USB type A to C & type-C to C cables
  • Cable holder
  • USB Bluetooth dongle
  • Limited 1-year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here’s what’s good and not so good about the LG 38UC99-W UltraWide Monitor :

Pros 

  • Huge 37.5” curved screen offers incredibly immersive gaming experience
  • Excellent factory calibration with accurate colors out of the box
  • AMD FreeSync Support to eliminate stuttering and tearing
  • Motion Blur Reduction cuts out blur and ghosting and works with AMD or Nvidia GPUs
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Good choice in connectivity
  • Acceptably low input lag
  • Anti-glare coating for improved clarity

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • OSD controls laborious to use

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Summary

If money is no object, the LG 38UC99-W UltraWide Curved Monitor   delivers a breathtaking gaming experience that few other products can match.

Editor Rating (Best Ultra-Wide All-Rounder)

 

Value for money 7.5
Design 9.0
Picture quality 9.4
Gaming features 8.5
Performance 9.0
Total 43.4

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#2: Acer Predator X34 – Best Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor

The Predator X34 is Acer’s flagship curved gaming monitor, boasting stunning good looks and a remarkable set of desirable gaming specs.

Looks & Ergonomics

Partly justifying the price of the Predator X34 gaming monitor is the ultra-wide, gently curving 34” IPS screen that you can see here.   This yields an immersive gaming experience without distorting the image. The screen has a 1.1-inch lower bezel with five control buttons on its right underside. Each button triggers an onscreen icon and adjustment menu.

The IPS panel of the Predator X34 has a light anti-glare coating to help reduce reflections. An array of LEDs beneath the screen light up your keyboard and mouse during hours of darkness. These can be set in a variety of pleasing colors and even allow stylish special effects such as side-to-side ripple.

A sturdy cast aluminum stand supports the X34 and allows a useful 40° of tilt (+5° to -35°) as well as 5 inches of height adjustability. Four VESA mounting holes offer wall mounting potential.

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Technology

Let’s look closely at the X34 screen. Made by LG, its AH-IPS panel has a 21:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels (UW-QHD). It displays over 100% of the sRGB color gamut and has a 10-bit color depth (8-bit + FRC dithering) that displays up to 1.07 billion colors.

Corner-to-corner uniformity is exceptional in the Predator X34 and its vibrant colors are complemented by deep, rich blacks made pristine by the absence of any noticeable backlight bleeding. An integrated blue-light filter reduces eye-strain over prolonged periods of use.

When you look at the center of a flat panel, you’ll see in your outlying vision that the edges are blurred. A curved screen brings those edges into sharper relief, resulting in a more engaging gaming experience. Reflections are less distracting on a curved screen, too, since they are more widely dispersed than in a flat screen.

Sound

Built into the rear cabinet of the Acer Predator X34   is a pair of 7W speakers (14W total) with loaded DTS technology. The inbuilt speakers offer an acceptable standard of audio for out-of-the-box enjoyment, though discerning users are likely to seek sound from elsewhere.

Refresh Rate

The Acer Predator X34 has a native 60Hz refresh rate, which can be overclocked up to 100Hz in 5Hz increments for smoother performance with fast-moving games. This setting requires a reboot, and since it’s an intrinsic feature of the monitor has no adverse effect on the warranty.

Nvidia G-Sync technology is supported by the X34, meaning it houses a G-Sync module and needs a compatible Nvidia G-Sync GPU for use. G-Sync cuts out tearing artifacts caused by differences between the GPU frame delivery rate and the refresh rate of the screen.

Response Time

Since this monitor uses an IPS panel, it doesn’t boast the same response times of a TN equivalent. All the same, Acer quotes a fast 4ms G2G response time for the Predator X34. RTC technology is used to enhance the response time, and this is adjustable with “off”, “normal” and “extreme” settings.

Keep in mind that the fastest overdrive setting cuts response times markedly, but also increases the likelihood of “overshoot” artifacts like ghosting. You’ll want to experiment with this control for optimum performance.

With overdrive set to “normal”, response times are easily fast enough to support the maximum 100fps overclocked performance of the monitor. Despite its IPS panel, which has other decided benefits, this Acer monitor delivers a fluid gaming performance with ample potential for tweaking.

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Connectivity

The Acer Predator X34 includes 1 x DisplayPort and 1 x HDMI video inputs. There are 4 downstream USB ports for hooking up peripherals and 1 upstream port for connecting to a PC.

In the box

Typically included in the substantial Acer Predator X34 box are the following:

  • Predator X34 Monitor
  • Power adapter and cable
  • Stand
  • Guide
  • DisplayPort, HDMI & USB 3.0 cables
  • 100 x 100 VESA mounting plate

Pros and Cons

Here is a quick look at what is good and not quite so good in the Acer Predator X34:

Pros 

  • Wide, curved IPS panel for immersive gaming and movie-watching experience
  • Lots of screen space ideal for working as well as gaming
  • 10-bit color support (8-bit + FRC dithering)
  • Up to 100Hz overclocked refresh rate in adjustable 5Hz increments
  • Very fast response times for IPS technology
  • Built-in G-Sync support to eliminate tearing

Cons 

  • Limited on video ports for such a high-end monitor
  • OSD controls a little awkward to use

Summary

A lot of cash buys a lot of performance from the Acer Predator X34.  Equipped with a superb quality ultra-wide IPS panel, it’s a delight to look at whether you’re gaming, movie-watching or working.

Editor Rating (Best Ultra-Wide Gaming Monitor)

Value for money 7.8
Design 9.0
Picture quality 9.5
Gaming features 8.5
Performance 9.2
Total 44

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#3: Samsung U28E590D 28″ – Best Value 4K Monitor

Offering a great set of specs at an attractive price, the Samsung U28E590D is worthy of a place on any gaming monitor shortlist.

Looks & Ergonomics

The Samsung U28E590D UHD Monitor is sturdily constructed and stylish, too, with a slim 12mm bezel and a minimalistic plastic and steel base. There is 22° of tilt adjustment available, but no height adjustment. The screen has an anti-glare coating for picture clarity, resulting in a matte finish.

You’ll find the rear of the monitor is just as cleanly designed as the front and has a pleasing brushed finish,as seen in this set of pictures.    The contemporary look of the monitor is pleasing to the eye.

A joystick OSD control on the monitor’s rear brings up the onscreen menu when pressed. This is easily reachable and more intuitive than fumbling around with several buttons to find the adjustment you need.

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Technology

Much cheaper than the ultra-wide gaming monitors we’ve reviewed, the Samsung U28E590D still offers a spacious 28” screen. Into that screen is packed 3840 x 2160 pixels of 4K resolution, which gives it a pixel density of 157.35 PPI. This equals the pixel density of a 14” Full HD Notebook, which is impressive on a screen 4 times the size. A razor-sharp picture is the reward.

With its native 10-bit color depth, this monitor can display 1.07 billion colors, though this is only possible if your GPU and game or software supports it. Nonetheless, this is superior to the common 6-bit color depth (plus dithering) found in many other TN monitors.

The usual problems with viewing angles in TN monitors are counteracted in this Samsung monitor by MagicAngle technology. If you want to view the screen from any place other than directly in front, you can set it to lean back mode, standing mode or group view.

Other top features of the U28E590D include Eye Saver Mode, which reduces blue light emission to relieve eye fatigue; Flicker Free technology for more comfortable viewing; PIP and PBP dual modes; and MagicBright picture modes.

Refresh Rate

This monitor supports a 60Hz refresh rate at a maximum 4K resolution over its DisplayPort 1.2 or HDMI 2.0 connections. AMD FreeSync technology is also supported, which eliminates the tearing artifacts associated with a poorly synced GPU frame rate and monitor refresh rate. You need a compatible AMD GPU to benefit from this feature.

Response Time

The TN panel of the Samsung U28E590D delivers a maximum 1ms GTG response time. This is achieved using the monitor’s “fastest” response time setting, which controls overdrive (RTC) technology in the monitor. At this setting, there is a risk of overshoot artifacts such as ghosting, so it’s worth playing with the slower “standard” (no overdrive) and “faster” settings for optimum results.

Connectivity

The Acer Samsung U28E590D  includes 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI 2.0 and 1 x HDMI 1.4 video inputs. Of these, only the first two can run the screen at its full resolution and maximum refresh rate, but this is still a decent selection of modern inputs. Less impressive is the total absence of USB ports.

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In the box

Usually included in the Samsung U28E590D box are the following:

  • Samsung U28E590D Monitor
  • HDMI Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • Installation CD
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here’s a summary of what’s good and not so good in this monitor:

Pros 

  • Attractive, uncluttered design with intuitive rear joystick control
  • Affordable entry into big-screen 4K gaming
  • Native 10-bit color (future-ready and superior to typical 6-bit + FRC)
  • Improved off-center TN viewing with MagicAngle feature
  • Fast maximum response time with speed (overdrive) adjustment
  • AMD FreeSync support for smoother gaming
  • Four times the resolution of Full HD
  • High pixel density achieves sharpness more often seen in smaller screens

 Cons 

  • No USB ports
  • No VESA mount

 

If you can tolerate a smaller screen with the same resolution—which makes the picture appear sharper—Samsung produces the U28E590D 4k Monitor.  This is a good choice if you value superior viewing angles, since it uses a PLS panel (akin to IPS) instead of TN.

Summary

The Samsung U28E590D offers great value as one of the more competitively priced 4K UHD monitors on the market. Its crisp picture and fluid performance makes for an enticing package.

Editor Rating (Best Value 4K Monitor)

 

Value for money 9.4
Design 8.8
Picture quality 9.2
Gaming features 8.0
Gaming performance 8.2
Total 43.5

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#4: Asus ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ – Best 1440p All-Round Monitor

From the Asus “Republic of Gamers” series comes this superb 27-inch gaming monitor, which offers a high-end spec worthy of the most serious players.

Looks & Ergonomics

Packed with desirable gaming features, the ROG Swift PG279Q is an attractive monitor inside and out. The super-slim bezel is a mere third of an inch wide at the sides, which is ideal for anyone thinking of using multiple screens. A light anti-glare coating disperses distracting reflections.

Supplied with the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q monitor is a sturdy stand. A neat feature of the stand, practical issues aside, is its red-glowing ring around the stem and red-lighted ROG logo. You can admire its good looks in this picture set.  If you don’t like this fancy touch, it can be switched off via the “Light in Motion” OSD control.

From a more functional point of view, the stand allows tilt (25 ), swivel (180°) and height (0-120mm) adjustments. At the lower right-hand edge of the monitor there are four adjustment keys and a 5-way OSD navigation joystick.

Solidly put together, the ROG Swift PG279Q looks every inch the gaming monitor with its sharp angles, red lights and distinctive cut-outs.

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Technology

The ROG Swift PG279Q has an IPS panel with a WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution and a pixel density of 109 PPI. Compared to a 1080p screen of the same size, this 16:9 aspect ratio monitor gives you a sharper picture and up to 77% more desktop space because of its fine 0.233mm pixel pitch. A light anti-glare screen coating combats reflections without harming clarity.

Thanks to its use of an IPS panel, this Asus monitor offers excellent 178° horizontal and vertical viewing angles. In an IPS monitor, these figures are closer to the truth than the 170/160° specs quoted in TN monitors. The ROG Swift panel supports 100% of the sRGB gamut for rich, accurate color. Genuine 8-bit color depth (i.e. without dithering) helps ensure smooth tonal transitions and minimizes banding.

Asus’s proprietary GamePlus technology is also featured in the ROG Swift PG279Q. This comprises a selection of in-game enhancements such as four different crosshair overlays, an onscreen timer so you can keep tabs on elapsed gaming time, and a frames-per-second counter that lets you know how fluidly the game is running.

Refresh Rate

A standout feature of this monitor is its exceptional 165Hz top refresh rate. For serious gamers, that means smooth gaming with no discernible motion blur or lag. You can toggle between 60, 120 and 165Hz refresh rates on the fly to avoid overworking your GPU. Note that the 165Hz refresh rate only works at full 1440p resolution through a DisplayPort connection. You’ll also need a suitably high-end GPU to support this level of performance (e.g. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or above).

This Asus monitor supports G-Sync variable refresh rate technology, which must be channeled through its DisplayPort connector. G-Sync eliminates tearing artifacts and stuttering by matching the monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the GPU. The net result is a smooth gaming free of distracting glitches.

Response Time

The maximum response time of this monitor is quoted at 4ms. In common with most monitors, this is achieved using the fastest built-in overdrive (RTC) setting, which can cause “overshoot” problems such as haloes and ghosting. Using a medium setting (“normal” in this case) might yield better results and is worth experimenting with.

Connectivity

The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q   includes 1 x DisplayPort and 1 x HDMI 1.4 video inputs. Typical of G-Sync monitors, it’s a little limited in the connectivity it offers out of the box, but it does at least provide an HDMI option (early generation G-Sync monitors did not).

You get 2 x USB 3.0 downstream ports on the rear of this monitor for connecting peripherals and 1 x upstream USB port for hooking up to the host device.

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In the box

Usually found in the Asus ROG Swift box are the following:

  • ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q 27″ Widescreen Gaming Monitor
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • Power Cord & Adaptor
  • USB 3.0 Cable
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pluses and minuses of the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q:

Pros 

  • Stylishly designed with thin bezel ideal for multiscreen configurations
  • Fine pixel pitch ensures a sharp image and ample desktop space
  • IPS panel allows high color accuracy and excellent viewing angles
  • High 165Hz refresh rate enables smooth gameplay
  • Built-in G-Sync support for tear-free performance
  • Intuitive OSD joystick controller
  • GamePlus technology increases gaming enjoyment
  • Relatively long 3-year warranty

Cons 

  • Limited video connectivity

Summary

 

The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q  offers a blisteringly fast gaming performance in a top-quality IPS monitor. You pay a little extra for Nvidia G-Sync than you would for AMD FreeSync, but this screen looks great and performs superbly well.

Editor Rating (Best 1440p All-Round Monitor)

 

Value for money 8.5
Design 9.4
Picture quality 9.2
Gaming features 9.4
Gaming performance 9.5
Total 46

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#5: LG 27UD68P 27” Ultra HD 4K – Highly Recommended

The mid-priced LG 27UD68P IPS monitor produces a tremendously sharp image thanks to its high pixel density and is great for gaming when paired with the right GPU.

Looks & Ergonomics

Attractively designed, the LG 27UD68P IPS Monitor has a slim bezel that looks good and is ideal for joining twin monitors: a set-up that is also helped by the built-in Dual Controller feature. Holding up the screen is an elegantly curved stand, as seen here,   which allows 25° of tilt adjustment and up to 110mm of height adjustment.

The screen of the LG 27UD68P has an anti-glare 3H coating, which isn’t to everyone’s taste but does eliminate distracting reflections. Such coatings give panels a matte finish and, when overdone, take an edge off sharpness. Anti-glare (AG) coatings are typical among standalone monitors, whereas gloss screens are more frequent among laptops, notebooks and Apple monitors.

A joystick control underneath the center of the LG 27UD68P switches the monitor on and off and allows intuitive OSD adjustments, letting you easily navigate the monitor’s menu. Also available is a feature called Onscreen Control, which allows screen adjustments via the mouse.

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Technology

The IPS panel of the LG 27UD68P enables excellent color accuracy and wide viewing angles. A mighty UHD 3840 x 2160-pixel 4K resolution is jammed into its 27-inch space, which makes for an extremely sharp picture with a tight 163 PPI pixel density.

Boasting 10-bit color support (8-bit + FRC dithering), this monitor can produce up to 1.07 billion colors. You can enjoy this if your PC system also supports 10-bit color throughout (i.e. OS, GPU, game/software and video connection). A few games, such as Alien: Isolation, are playable in 10-bit. The more bit depth you have, the fewer banding problems you’ll theoretically encounter.

Covering 99% of the sRGB gamut, this monitor doesn’t stretch color depth as much as a wide gamut monitor would, which also helps to ensure a smooth image with the good tonal transition. Colors will be more vibrant than they are in a typical laptop, incidentally.

This monitor’s Black Stabilizer feature lights up darker areas of a picture so you can easily see enemies lurking in the shadows. To complement this, Dynamic Action Sync cuts lag time so you can quickly eliminate the foe.

Aside from its gaming modes, the 27UD68P offers Reader, Cinema, Photo, sRGB, and Color Weakness modes. The Color Weakness mode is for anyone that struggles to distinguish between reds and greens.

Refresh Rate

The LG 27UD68P has a maximum 60Hz refresh rate, which works perfectly for most games. Any higher at this resolution would impose a heavy workload on the GPU, though 4K 120Hz monitors are just starting to emerge for those with unlimited funds (e.g. Dell UP3017Q).

AMD FreeSync technology is supported by this LG monitor and eliminates the tearing problems that occur when GPU frame rates are out of sync with the monitor refresh rate.

Response Time

LG specifies a 5ms gray-to-gray response time for the 27UD68P, which is par for the course in a modern IPS panel. The fastest response times quoted for monitors are typically measured at the highest overdrive settings (response time adjustment settings), often at the cost of introducing overshoot artifacts.

You’ll want to experiment with response time settings in this LG monitor to achieve the best results. Found in the Picture>Game Adjust menu, the choices are off, low, middle and high.

Connectivity

The LG 27UD68P offers three video ports capable of running UHD 4K resolution at 60Hz: 2 x HDMI 2.0 and 1 x DisplayPort 1.2a. This is a generous selection, more typically found in FreeSync monitors than G-Sync. On the minus side, there are no USB ports at all in this monitor.

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In the box

You should find the following in the 27UD68P box:

  • LG 27UD68-P 27 
  • Power Cord & Adaptor
  • CD Owner’s Manual
  • HDMI Cable
  • DisplayPort Cable
  • Stand
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here’s a roundup of the good and bad in this monitor:

Pros

  • Stylishly designed with thin bezel
  • Intuitive joystick and mouse-controlled OSD menu adjustments
  • UHD 4K resolution in a 27” screen yields a remarkably sharp picture with high pixel density
  • 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) colour depth can display 1.07 billion colors with 10-bit GPU & game
  • IPS panel enables superior viewing angles to TN monitors
  • Useful selection of gaming features and split-screen modes
  • Dynamic Action Sync cuts input lag for instant responses in RTS games
  • Relatively affordable for such high spec
  • Three video ports capable of 4K 60Hz performance

Cons 

  • No USB ports
  • Stand a little on the flimsy side

Summary

The stylish LG 27UD68P   represents great value as a 4K UHD monitor with an IPS panel. It’s energy efficient, too, using around 20% fewer watts than the ViewSonic XG2700-4K up next.

Editor Rating (Highly Recommended)

 

Value for money 9.0
Design 9.3
Picture quality 9.2
Gaming features 9.2
Gaming performance 9.0
Total 45.7

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#6: ViewSonic XG2700-4K 27″ – Best 4K IPS Gaming Monitor

The much-praised ViewSonic XG2700-4K offers breathtaking high-res imagery for gamers as well as outstanding color accuracy worthy of a pro photographer.

Looks & Ergonomics

Unlike some monitors, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K does not feature an ultra-slim bezel, but instead looks sturdy and workmanlike. The panel has a matte finish thanks to its 3H anti-glare coating, but when you switch on you’ll find the image doesn’t suffer from any ill effects because of it. You’ll get an impression of the monitor’s good looks by clicking here for pictures and an XG-series video. 

Supporting this revered monitor is a solid stand with 25° of tilt and 175° of swivel adjustment. Height adjustment goes to a maximum 120mm. Decorated nicely with red accents, the stand allows you to alter the position of the screen with confidence and stays firmly in position.

Small OSD keys at the lower front-right of the monitor look neat enough and are intuitive to use. The

ViewSonic XG2700-4K does not join the recent trend for joystick control. Somehow, the simple design of the monitor is reassuring, knowing that the performance doesn’t need dressing up.

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Technology

Boasting four times the resolution of a 1080p monitor, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K displays a remarkable 8 million pixels. A 3840 x 2160 resolution in a 27” panel makes for a very sharp picture – sharper than in many smaller HD screens. Gamers that value seeing their world in pin-sharp detail will love this monitor, whereas those hooked on fast refresh rates and minimal motion blur might look elsewhere. Stunning image quality is difficult to argue against, however.

The 10-bit IPS panel of the ViewSonic XG2700-4K can theoretically display 1.07 billion colors, as opposed to the 16.78 million colors of an 8-bit panel. For this to come about, you need an OS, GPU, cable and game or software that also supports 10 bit, but this is certainly possible. A minority of games and photo-editing programs like Photoshop do support 10-bit color.

Covering almost 100% of the sRGB color gamut, the ViewSonic XG2700-4K is not a wide-gamut monitor (as most aren’t), but it is factory calibrated to what is essentially a pro-level graphics standard. Unlike most monitors, you can trust the color on the ViewSonic right out of the box.

One of the useful gaming features of this monitor is Black Stabilization, which brightens dark areas of a picture so you can see undesirables lurking in the shadows. You’ll be able to react quickly and eliminate the foe. Other features include a blue light filter for reduced eye strain and multi-picture PBP and PIP modes.

Refresh Rate

Input lag is inevitably slightly more pronounced in a 4K 60Hz monitor than it is in one with fewer pixels and a higher refresh rate. That’s the compromise that serious gamers must consider. Still, motion blur and input lag are both extremely well controlled in this unit, so there’s a fabulous gaming experience to be had.

Response Time

The ViewSonic XG2700-4K is specified with a response time of 5ms. It includes overdrive and low-input-lag settings so you can find the sweet spot for fluid, responsive gaming without blurring or ghosting. AMD FreeSync support is available to reduce tearing, which occurs when the GPU frame rate and monitor refresh rate are out of sync.

Like any 4K gaming monitor, you’ll need a powerful graphics solution to get the best from this monitor, particularly with more demanding games.

Connectivity

The ViewSonic XG2700-4K is not short on connectivity options, with the inclusion of 1 x HDMI 2.0 port, 2 x HDMI/MHL ports (for connecting phones and other mobile devices), 1 x Mini DisplayPort, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x USB 3.0 upstream port, and a total of 4 x USB 3.0 downstream ports for peripherals. A headphone jack is also available.

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In the box

The ViewSonic XG2700-4K box includes the following items:

  • ViewSonic XG2700-4K 27 
  • Power Cable & Adaptor
  • Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable
  • USB 3.0 cable
  • Quick start guide
  • ViewSonic CD: user guide, INF/ICM files, registration information, additional software (optional)
  • Limited 3-year warranty

Pros and Cons

Here are this monitor’s plus and minus points:

Pros

  • UHD 4K resolution gives stunning image quality with fine pixel pitch
  • Superb color accuracy makes this a viable monitor for pro graphics work
  • IPS panel allows much better viewing angles than most TN monitors
  • Displays 1.07 billion colors when supported by 10-bit GPU and software
  • Low input lag and overdrive controls help deliver a smooth gaming experience
  • Anti-glare coating cuts out reflections while allowing great image clarity
  • Solid stand allows firm tilt, swivel and height adjustments
  • Attractively priced given its high-end performance and versatility
  • Good level of connectivity

Cons 

  • A little less stylish than some rivals (including the LG 27UD68P in the previous review)

Summary

The ViewSonic XG2700-4K   gives you stunning picture quality and an immersive gaming experience, while its amazing color accuracy gives it a professional edge over many rival products. Other versions of this monitor are available, including a pricier G-Sync XG2703 model with a 165Hz refresh rate. 

Editor Rating (Best 4K IPS Gaming Monitor)

 

Value for money 9.4
Design 9.2
Picture quality 9.6
Gaming features 9.2
Gaming performance 9.0
Total 46.4

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#7: BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 27” – Highly Recommended

There’s no huge resolution to boast about with the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720, but you do get a feature-packed monitor with blistering pro gaming performance.

Looks & Ergonomics 

Attractively designed, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 features a thin bezel about three-quarters of an inch wide all the way round. Its all-black design is only broken by the red trim of the cable management void and the rear headphone hook. The monitor looks stylish, as we think you’ll agree looking at these pictures.   Supplied with the monitor is the “S-Switch” (more about that in a moment), which sits within easy reach at the end of the horizontal base.

A great ergonomic feature of this monitor is the ability to effortlessly adjust the monitor’s angle with only one finger, so you can quickly find the most comfortable position. Being VESA 100 compliant, you can also remove the stand and mount the screen on a wall if you wish. The stand allows a 45° left and right swivel adjustment, a -5 to 20° tilt adjustment and a 5.51″ (140 mm) height adjustment.

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 has its classy Touch-sensitive OSD controls lined up down the bottom-right front of the screen. These access an extensive menu of display and performance adjustments, while that S-Switch control we mentioned allows easy on-the-fly switching between saved gaming presets.

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Technology

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 is made with a TN panel, so viewing angles are inherently poorer than they are in IPS, PLS or VA monitors. This is a trade-off that gamers often make in favor of the faster native response times in a TN monitor. With its 8-bit color depth support (6-bit + FRC dithering), the monitor displays 16.78 million colors within an approximate sRGB color space.

BenQ calls this an “eSports monitor” to reflect its competitive gaming specification and popular use in professional eSports leagues and tournaments. Some of its features are health-related, such as ZeroFlicker and Low Blue Light technologies to help reduce eyestrain and eyesight degradation. Serious gamers can put in long practice hours without ill effects. XL-series monitors also have a special frame that reduces distracting light reflections from the screen itself.

Like other purposeful gaming monitors, the ZOWIE XL2720 has a feature that lights up dark areas in scenes so you can spot lurking enemies. BenQ calls this “Black eQualizer”, and it works very effectively without burning out the brightest areas of the image. Smart Scaling and Display Mode features let you adjust effective screen size and aspect ratio. You might use this to simulate a competitive in-game experience during practice.

Refresh Rate

One of this monitor’s selling points is its super-fast 144Hz maximum refresh rate, which helps to eliminate motion blur. This is not an unusual feature in a full-on TN gaming monitor, but it’s desirable nonetheless.

Response Times

Specified with a typical 1ms maximum response time, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720  includes an AMA (Advanced Motion Acceleration) function to adjust and optimize response times. This is an RTC overdrive control with three settings: Off, High and Premium. As with most monitors, you might find the medium option to be best, since it boosts response times with less risk of overshoot problems.

This monitor also has a Motion Blur Reduction feature, which works by strobing the backlight to effectively reduce the response time for less blurring. Bear in mind that the fastest response time quoted by manufacturers is usually extreme-case scenario using maximum overdrive, typically introducing overshoot problems. Thus, Motion Blue Reduction is useful even in a TN monitor.

A utility was offered by blurbusters.com for the previous version of this monitor (the XL2720Z) and may soon be available for this rebranded ZOWIE model. This utility allowed further adjustment of BenQ Motion Blur Reduction settings and was authorized by BenQ. Note that the Blur Reduction feature disables the ZeroFlicker function of the monitor and reduces brightness a little.

Connectivity

Thanks to its relatively modest 1080p resolution, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 offers a wide selection of video connections: 1 x D-Sub (VGA), 1 x DVI-DL, 2 x HDMI (1.4), 1 x DisplayPort (1.2).

You also get 3 x downstream USB 2.0 ports for peripherals and 1 x upstream USB 3.0 for PC connectivity. Plus, there’s a 3.5mm audio out jack.

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In the box

Inside the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 box you should find the following:

  • BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 27 
  • Stand and base
  • Power cord and adaptor
  • S-Switch
  • Quick start guide
  • CD ROM
  • USB cable
  • D-Sub (VGA) cable
  • DVI-D Dual Link Cable
  • Protective cover

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the benefits and downsides of the BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 Monitor:

Pros

  • Great gaming spec with fast 144Hz refresh rate, low response times and negligible input lag
  • Blur reduction feature works well and has potential for 3rd party tweaking
  • Eye health care with ZeroFlicker and Low Blue Light technologies
  • Versatile stand with plenty of available adjustment
  • Three customizable screen modes available instantly with the S-Switch
  • Option of downloading game modes from BenQ website
  • Good range of connectivity

Cons 

  • Typical TN viewing angles are inferior to other technologies
  • No HDMI or DisplayPort cable supplied

Summary

If you favor pro-level speed over huge resolutions and wide viewing angles, you’ll get ahead of the competition with the lightning-fast BenQ ZOWIE XL2720 sSports Gaming Monitor.

Editor Rating (Highly Recommended)

 

Value for money 9.0
Design 9.4
Picture quality 8.8
Gaming features 9.3
Gaming performance 9.4
Total 45.9

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 #8: Dell S2417DG 24″ – Best Value 1440p Gaming Monitor

Relatively new to gaming monitors, Dell delivers a mighty gaming experience with the S2417DG, thanks largely to speedy performance and a pixel-packed screen.

Looks & Ergonomics

An ultra-slim bezel makes the Dell S2417DG 24-inch 165Hz Gaming Monitor ideal for multi-screen setups. You’ll get an idea of how modern and stylish it looks from these pictures.  The panel has a 3H anti-glare coating that wards off reflections without harming picture quality. Typically for Dell, everything is put together nicely, inspiring confidence from first glance in the monitor’s build quality.

OSD controls are easy to reach on the Dell S2417DG, with buttons situated on the forward-slanted right underside of the screen. The white LED on/off button glows a steady white during operation and pulsates slowly in sleep mode. At the rear of the monitor is a pair of discreetly tucked away speakers, plus a VESA mount should you wish to abandon the stand and fit the screen to a wall.

Talking of the stand, it allows a maximum 130mm (5.11 inches) height adjustment, a tilt adjustment of -5° to 21°, a swivel adjustment of -45° to 45°, and a pivot adjustment of -90° to 90°. That last spec means you can turn the monitor on its side for viewing vertical images. The stand allows for firm adjustments, so there’s no need to go third-party and replace it.

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Technology

Made by AUO, the TN panel used in the Dell S2417DG isn’t the best for viewing angles compared to other technologies, but does allow a blistering gaming performance at a relatively affordable price. If you’re looking for a pure gaming monitor and don’t jig about much in front of the screen, this is one of the finest on the market.

This Dell monitor boasts a QHD 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution. Since that’s loaded into a 23.8-inch screen, you’ll enjoy a beautifully crisp picture with a 123 PPI pixel density. “QHD” gets its “Quad HD” status for displaying four times the number of pixels as a 720p screen. The monitor has almost twice as many pixels as a 1080p equivalent, too, which is reflected in the sharpness of the picture.

The monitor uses WLED (white LED) backlighting and has a standard gamut approximately covering the sRGB color space. Its 8-bit color depth produces 16.7 million colors and helps to ensure smooth tonality without banding. Generally, the more bit-depth you have on a monitor the better, though 10-bit color depth is only currently supported by a minority of games and apps.

Refresh Rate

Truly defining the S2417DG as a fast gaming monitor is its 165Hz overclocked refresh rate. The net result of this is silky smooth motion and no discernible input lag. With this kind of monitor performance, the only limit to gaming is the quality of the GPU and the gamer.

Nvidia G-Sync technology is installed in the Dell S2417DG and matches the monitor’s refresh rate to the frame rate of the GPU, thus eliminating tearing and stuttering problems.

Response Times

A standard 1ms response time is specified for the Dell S2417DG, and that’s typical in a modern TN panel monitor. The monitor’s fastest response time is achieved by ramping up overdrive settings to the max, and this causes its own problems such as ghosting. With the fast refresh rate of this Dell, the response time becomes a secondary consideration and you won’t necessarily need to lower the response time (i.e. use its “fast” overdrive setting).

All that said, the monitor still offers a ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) function, which strobes the backlight to effectively reduce the response time and cut out motion blur. The downside of this is that you must disable Nvidia G-Sync to use it and it appreciably reduces brightness. You may find you don’t need the ULMB feature, given the monitor’s stellar motion picture performance.

Connectivity

With the Dell S2417DG you get 1 x DisplayPort 1.2 and 1 x HDMI 1.4 video ports. Of these, only the DisplayPort supports the full resolution of the monitor at maximum refresh rate. The HDMI port can drive the QHD resolution at 60Hz, but lets you hook up other devices such as gaming consoles.

A generous 4 x downstream USB 3.0 ports are available on the side and underside of the monitor, and there’s a single USB 3.0 upstream port for PC connection. As well, a 3.5mm audio jack is provided.

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In the box

You’ll find the following in the S2417DG box:

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the good and not-so-good things about the Dell S2417DG 165Hz Gaming Monitor:

Pros

  • Rapid refresh rate enables superb fluidity and immersive gaming experience
  • G-Sync support eliminates tearing or stuttering artifacts
  • QHD resolution in a 23.8” screen creates sharp picture
  • Slim 6mm side bezel is convenient for multiscreen gaming setups
  • High-quality stand allows plenty of adjustment
  • ULMB available for reduced motion blur if needed
  • Relatively affordable – few rivals at this price point with this spec

Cons 

  • Poor viewing angles compared to most IPS or VA panels
  • No Low Blue Light function for eyestrain reduction

Summary

A big resolution in a 24” screen promises a crisp picture from the Dell S2417DG.  Moving pictures look fantastic, too, thanks to the fast refresh rate and G-Sync support.

Editor Rating (Best Value 1440p Gaming Monitor)

 

Value for money 9.2
Design 9.4
Picture quality 9.0
Gaming features 9.2
Gaming performance 9.6
Total 46.4

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#9: Asus VG245H 24″ – Best Budget Gaming Monitor

A sub-$200 monitor doesn’t have to mean a below-par gaming experience, which is proved by the capable performance of the Asus VG245H.

Looks & Ergonomics

Stylish with its matte black finish and blue accents, the Asus VG245H makes an agreeable first impression. The square-shaped stand features integrated cable management to help avoid tangled cables around your gaming area. This is especially useful if you hook up a gaming console. Solidly built, the monitor doesn’t look low-budget by any means, as we think you’ll agree if you look at these pictures. 

The VG245H offers a 5-way OSD joystick for menu navigation, and there’re four additional buttons for accessing GameVisual picture modes and GamePlus functions. The buttons are situated at the rear lower right of the monitor and correspond with icons on the front to make operation easier.

Plenty of adjustment is possible with the stand, including about +33° to -5° of tilt, -90° to +90° of swivel and -90° to +90° of pivot. Height goes up to a maximum 130mm, and there’s a 100 x 100mm VESA wall mounting option available if space is limited. A Kensington security slot lets you safeguard your monitor against casual theft, in case that’s a possibility.

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Technology

The TN panel used in the 1080p Asus VG245H helps keep its price down while also enabling a fast response time. Viewing angles are not as good as in other technologies (e.g. IPS), but this is less of an issue in a smaller screen. Uniformity in this monitor is excellent. It also offers native 8-bit color depth, which is notionally preferable to the 6-bit + 2-bit FRC dithering offered in many rival products.

GamePlus technology is included in the Asus VG245H and offers four different functions: crosshair, timer, FPS counter and display alignment. There are four crosshair overlays, too, so you can select one that best suits your game. Display alignment helps you join pictures up perfectly in multi-monitor set-ups.

With Asus’s GameVisual technology, you get six picture modes to enhance your gaming or multimedia experience: Scenery, Racing, Cinema, RTS/RPG, FPS, and sRGB. The native gamut of this monitor is roughly sRGB, but the sRGB mode truncates the native gamut if necessary to synchronize it as closely as possible with sRGB photos and graphics.

For the health of your eyes, the Asus VG245H includes flicker-free and ultra-low blue light technologies. These are missing on some more expensive monitors, so it’s good to see them included here. The two technologies are tested and certified independently by TÜV Rheinland laboratories, which inspires confidence.

Sound

This monitor includes built-in 2W stereo speakers (4W RMS total).

Refresh Rate

The 75Hz refresh rate of the Asus VG245H isn’t as fast as in more expensive gaming monitors. Does this really matter? All but the most demanding gamers will love the performance of this monitor, especially at the price. It offers fantastic value for money.

In the Asus VG245H, FreeSync can only run between a 40-75Hz refresh rate. Straying outside this will cause the monitor to revert to V-Sync, inviting stuttering issues. AMD’s LFC (Low Framerate Compensation) feature does not kick in, since it needs the maximum refresh rate to be at least 2.5 times greater than the minimum. A reasonably powered, modern GPU should cancel out any problems linked with this.

Response Times

Like most TN monitors, the Asus VG245H quotes a 1ms fastest response time. This is quick, obviously, but you’ll want to adjust the monitor’s “Trace Free” response time (aka overdrive) setting to achieve optimum performance. Too low or high and you’ll see undesirable effects like motion blur or ghosting. A medium setting will give you the sweet spot.

Connectivity

Connectivity in the Asus VG245H includes: 2 x HDMI 1.4 ports (useful for console + PC) and 1 x D-Sub (VGA) video ports. A D-Sub port is a slightly outmoded analog connection for emergency situations only. There are no USB ports provided in this monitor. You do get earphone and audio jacks, so you have other sound possibilities beyond the built-in speakers.

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In the box

You’ll find the following items in the VG245H box (subject to variation):

  • ASUS VG245H 24  
  • Monitor base
  • Quick start guide
  • Power adapter
  • Power cord
  • VGA cable (optional)
  • Audio cable (optional)
  • HDMI cable (optional)
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the finer and less fine features of the Asus VG245H Gaming Monitor:

Pros

  • Impressive build quality for price
  • Ideal for budget to mid-range PC systems
  • Good selection of menu options (to be used advisedly)
  • OSD joystick for intuitive adjustments
  • Minimal input lag for all but the most demanding users
  • Motion blur well controlled, despite modest 75Hz refresh rate
  • Eyecare features: flicker-free backlighting and blue light filter
  • Built-in speakers
  • Attractively priced

Cons 

  • Color accuracy not the best out of the box – good in sRGB mode. Discernible improvements possible by custom calibrating and profiling the default “Racing Mode” (native gamut)
  • No USB connectivity

Summary

A capable performer with low input lag and AMD FreeSync support, the Asus VG245H Gaming Monitor    offers outstanding value for money.

Editor Rating (Best Budget Gaming Monitor)

 

Value for money 9.4
Design 9.0
Picture quality 8.6
Gaming features 9.0
Gaming performance 8.8
Total 44.8

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#10: Acer G247HYL bmidx 23.8” – Best Budget All-Rounder

While not marketed as a gaming monitor, the Acer G247HYL bmidx has a great spec for the price and has attracted a legion of budget-conscious gamers with its performance.

Looks & Ergonomics

The elegant Acer G247HYL bmidx features the manufacturer’s Zero Frame design to ensure a seamless side-by-side picture, which is handy if you’re planning multiple monitors. You’ll see just how thin the bezel is from the pictures here. 

A simple but attractive X-shaped stand props the Acer screen up and allows a -5° to 15° tilt adjustment for comfortable viewing. There is no swivel or height adjustment in this model. An anti-glare coating disperses reflected light to ensure a clear picture.

The monitor’s OSD buttons are placed on the right underside of the screen and aren’t as intuitive to use as recent joystick controls. Still, they’re usable enough and help keep the front bezel looking uncluttered. The high-gloss black bezel is easily marked by fingers, but looks good when clean.

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Technology

One of the best things about the Acer G247HYL bmidx at this price point is its IPS panel. It offers superior viewing angles to TN monitors and yet has sufficiently quick refresh rates and response times. The 1080p Full HD resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal for widescreen gaming.

The Acer G247HYL bmidx offers 8-bit color depth (6-bit + FRC dithering), which can display 16.7 million distinct colors. Like all gaming monitors, this is a standard-gamut monitor roughly equivalent to the sRGB color space in the output.

There is an absence of gaming extras at this price point, but you do get the following modes by pressing the Empowering Key: User Mode, ECO mode, Standard Mode, Graphic Mode, and Movie Mode. Note that Standard Mode is best for calibrating and profiling the monitor, should you want to achieve the best possible color accuracy.

Under the Picture Menu of this monitor you can filter out blue light in 10% increments to avoid eye fatigue and premature eyesight degradation. This is useful for long gaming sessions as well as healthy sleep patterns, since blue-white light keeps us all unnaturally awake by simulating daylight.

This “Acer EcoDisplay” monitor is also very energy efficient, consuming only 25W of power and boasting an A-rating for energy.

Sound

The Acer G247HYL bmidx comes with built-in speakers, though you might want an external audio solution for better, more powerful sound.

Refresh Rate

As you’ll probably have guessed, the refresh rate of this monitor is a standard 60Hz. While this theoretically means less fluidity than you’ll see in a 120Hz monitor, in practice you won’t necessarily notice this. If you’re not a pro gamer looking for uncompromising spec, why not join the many users enjoying trouble-free, immersive gaming with this monitor?

Response Times

Quoting a 4ms pixel response time, the Acer G247HYL bmidx does a good job of displaying fast-moving images without ghosting or blurring. There’s also very little discernible input lag. Most day-to-day gamers would be satisfied with this monitor’s speedy performance, and indeed are, even without any overdrive settings to tweak.

Connectivity

Connectivity options in the Acer G247HYL bmidx   include 1 x DVI port, 1 x HDMI port and 1 x D-Sub (VGA) port. The D-Sub transmits an analog video signal and should only be used in the absence of a digital cable (none supplied). You’ll normally see a crisper picture through a digital video connector. There are no USB ports on this monitor.

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In the box

You should find the following items in the Acer box:

  • Acer G247HYL bmidx8″ 16:9 IPS Monitor
  • Power Cord and Adaptor
  • 1 x VGA Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited 3-Year Warranty

Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of the Acer G247HYL bmidx 1080p Monitor:

Pros 

  • Good 1080p picture quality ideal for widescreen gaming and movies
  • Fast response times and low input lag
  • Rich, reasonably accurate colors out of the box
  • Excellent viewing angles superior to TN monitors
  • Zero Frame Design ideal for multi-screen setups
  • A good all-round performance for work and gaming
  • Attractively priced

Cons

  • Limited adjustability in the stand
  • No digital video cables included
  • No USB ports

Summary

The Acer G247HYL bmidx IPS Monitor   offers great all-round performance for less than $150 and proves that immersive gaming can be enjoyed at low price points.

Editor Rating (Best Budget All-Rounder)

 

Value for money 9.5
Design 8.5
Picture quality 8.8
Gaming features 6.5
Gaming performance 9.0
Total 42.3

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Which one do I use myself?

I own 2  ASUS PB287Q 28 inch. 4K/UHD   monitors.

It comes with a 3840 x 2160 Resolution 60Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.

 (Click into the image to enlarge)

I had 2 ,21″ 1080p LG monitors but now it is like having 8 of those (talking about screen real estate).

I am casual gamer  and I bought those mainly for my day job and screen real estate (web design, graphic design and stock watching)

I am very happy with their performance.

Gaming Monitor Buying Guide

Whether you’re a serious or casual gamer like me, you’ll appreciate a good monitor. The good news is, there are some great screens out there at every price point. Sure, you’ll accept a few compromises at the budget end of the scale, but you won’t be thinking about that when you’re deep into your favorite game.

Ideally, you need a monitor that can deliver on the promise of your graphics processor. Without that, your gaming experience will suffer from image blurring, flickering, tearing and other typical display problems. Without further ado, let’s discuss what you should be looking for in a gaming monitor.

Screen Size and Resolution

For an immersive gaming experience, a big screen is nearly always better. Today, that probably means one that measures at least 27 inches diagonally, but there’s no need to overstretch your budget if you can’t “go large.” Smaller screens still have plenty to offer.Just as important as screen size is the resolution.

Think about this: the sharpest digital image most people are likely to see is the one on their smartphone.

Why is that?

Because there are lots of pixels crammed into a small area. The resolution of the phone is no more than that of an average PC monitor, but it looks sharper because the pixels are finer and more densely packed.

Pixel pitch & pixel density

This brings us to a specification called “pixel pitch” (aka “dot pitch”), which is one way of comparing sharpness between two monitors. Pixel pitch is a measurement of the distance between pixels and gives a direct indication of how sharp a screen image will look. A smaller pixel pitch is preferable since it indicates a higher pixel density.

You can use a pixel pitch calculator like this one to determine the pixel pitch and density of any monitor. The bigger the PPI figure is (pixel density), the sharper an image you’re likely to see, all other things being equal.

Let’s try it on some of the screens we’ve reviewed:

The 38-inch LG 38UC99-W monitor has a 3840 x 1600-pixel resolution, which gives a pixel density of 109.47 PPI (pixels per inch). That’s very good in such a large, wide screen.

By way of comparison, the 24-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) monitors we’ve reviewed have a 91.79 PPI pixel density. From this, you’ll deduce that the more expensive monitor is likely to be appreciably sharper, though not by a huge margin.

Our 3840 x 2160 4K monitors have a notably higher pixel density than the others, but are still not nearly as sharp as Apple Retina screens. Sharpness, of course, is not everything. You only really need a monitor to be sharp enough.

Viewing distance

Pixel density gives a good indication of screen sharpness, but it doesn’t take viewing distance into account. One reason a large gaming monitor must have a bigger resolution out of necessity is that users will typically be positioned closer to it than they would be a television. The closer you are to any LCD screen, the less sharp it looks.

Viewing distance is related to pixel density: a high pixel density (PPI) withstands closer scrutiny.

Panel Technology

Monitor screens, which are more technically known as “panels”, come in three main types:

  • In-Plane Switching (IPS)
  • Twisted Nematic (TN)
  • Vertical Alignment (VA)

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each type:

IPS monitors are far superior to TN monitors regarding viewing angles, allowing the user to move almost 180° horizontally or vertically without any appreciable change in color or contrast.

An IPS monitor also typically has a genuine 8-bit color depth as a minimum, which means less likelihood of problems such as banding in areas of smooth tonal transition.

The downside of IPS monitors for gaming is that their response time (discussed shortly) is generally slower, so there’s more likelihood of problems such as ghosting in fast-moving games.In some models, built-in software compensates for this.

IPS monitors are also sub-divided into several different types, with Super IPS models (S-IPS) offering wide viewing angles as well as a fast response time.

Twisted Nematic (TN) monitors are rarely better than “okay” for viewing angles. The quoted specs for this are always misleading (typically claiming 170/160° horizontal and vertical viewing angles) since they’re based on a lenient contrast test.

A minor movement by the user is quite likely to result in a change of color or contrast on the screen. A definite benefit of the TN panel for gamers is its fast pixel response time, which is often quoted at 1ms. That means less likelihood of ghosting than in other monitors.

Colour depth in TN panels is sometimes wrongly specified as 8-bit, which often really means 6-bit with dithering (aka 6-bit with FRC). This is theoretically less desirable than the genuine 8-bit color depth typically found in IPS or VA panels, since it leaves the monitor more prone to banding (posterisation). However, it does enable the faster response time that gamers want and is a non-issue in better TN monitors.

Vertical Alignment (VA) monitors lie somewhere between TN and IPS monitors for their viewing angle performance and are generally expected to give better shadow detail than other monitor types.

Like the IPS monitor, a VA monitor is more likely than a TN to exhibit problems with motion blur and ghosting. These monitors are relatively rare by comparison to IPS and TN, and there are none featured in our reviews.

Refresh Rate & Response Time

High-speed gaming places considerable demands on your GPU (graphics processing unit) and the monitor alike. Unless the two are in sync, you are likely to encounter ghosting or tearing problems with the picture. Here’s a brief explanation of each:

  • Ghosting: when the previous image frame remains visible after the current one has displayed, causing a haloed visual effect.
  • Tearing: refers to an effect where multiple frames are visible in the same screen draw, giving the impression of a rip in the picture.

Now, let’s have a closer look at the refresh rate and response time and see how they affect monitor performance.

Refresh Rate

The refresh rate is the frequency or rate at which a monitor displays discrete frames of information. It is measured in a 1-second cycle called a “hertz” (Hz), and a typical monitor has a 60Hz refresh rate. That means it displays 60 unique frames every second to create the illusion of a moving picture. To achieve this rate, a time gap of 16.67 milliseconds exists between each frame.

Some monitors have a higher refresh rate than average, such as 120Hz or 144Hz. In those cases, each frame is refreshing at twice the speed or more of a regular monitor, resulting in a smoother, more fluid gaming effect with reduced input lag (the time it takes for user input to reach the screen). A higher refresh rate is, therefore, a desirable feature, improving the “feel” of a game for many users.

Problems can occur when the rate at which frames are sent from the GPU differs from the monitor’s refresh rate, causing undesirable effects such as tearing.

To remedy potential display problems caused by these frequency differences, GPU manufacturers use technologies such as V-Sync, G-Sync (Nvidia) and FreeSync (AMD).

What are these?

V-Sync prevents the GPU from sending frames to the monitor before it’s ready, thus reducing tearing. This feature can cause its own problems, however. Since it effectively holds frames back from the monitor, it tends to increase input lag and sometimes causes stuttering (where the GPU falls behind in frequency and sends the same frame to the monitor twice). Many gamers switch this feature off because of these side effects.

Nvidia G-Sync improves communication so that the refresh rate of the monitor is matched to the GPU in real time. In doing this, it cuts out the stuttering and input lag problems associated with V-Sync as well as tearing. To use this technology, both the graphics processor and the monitor must be compatible, so it’s a monitor feature worth looking out for.

AMD FreeSync is AMD’s answer to Nvidia G-Sync, and offers the benefit of being available in cheaper compatible monitors than its rival (or higher spec models at the same price). This is because the Nvidia solution needs extra hardware and adapted monitor designs for implementation.

If you want variable refresh rate technology in a monitor, you must opt for either Nvidia or AMD compatibility at the time of purchase and make sure your GPU supports it.

A point in favor of the Nvidia solution is that the G-Sync module offloads work from the GPU, so it works with lower-end graphics units. G-Sync was said to handle low frame rates better than FreeSync, but a relatively new feature of FreeSync monitors is Low Framerate Compensation (LFC), which promises smooth gaming down to 30 FPS or less.

Response Time

A fast response time helps prevent problems such as blurring and ghosting and improves the gaming experience.

So, what is the response time?

We’ve already noted that, on a 60Hz monitor, the time gap between each frame is 16.67 milliseconds. At the beginning of this brief window of time, a new frame is drawn and held in place for the remainder of the 16.67ms. The time it takes for this frame to be drawn is the response time.

In practice, the actual response time varies according to the tone (lightness or darkness) of each pixel. This is generally quoted as the “gray to gray” response time or transition time. The color of the pixel has no role in this. Manufacturers quote the fastest response time recorded in specifications, which is of limited use when judging real-world performance.

Most modern LCD monitors use a technology called “Response Time Compensation” (RTC) or “overdrive” to accelerate the response time. This works by pushing the pixels with a voltage surge, but can create problems of its own if the surge is too aggressive (“RTC Overshoot”). These problems show themselves in the form of halos or ghosting and are likely to appear if response time settings are switched to maximum.

For many years, gaming monitors were made almost exclusively with TN panels, and these have a fastest response time of around 1ms. IPS and VA panels have a slower best response time of about 5ms or more.

Contrast Ratio

Contrast ratio measures the difference between the monitor’s darkest and brightest pixels. For example, the brightest white in 1000:1 contrast ratio is a thousand times brighter than the darkest black. The most reliable specification you should look for is the static or native contrast ratio, which makes this measurement from a single image.

A dynamic contrast ratio is not derived from a single image and is therefore not comparable to static contrast. Dynamic contrast is also an inherently less reliable specification, since no standardized method of measuring it exists.

A typical LCD monitor has a static contrast ratio of 1000:1, although VA monitors usually exceed this by some margin. All our reviewed monitors have a quoted 1000:1 static contrast ratio. A high figure is desirable for picture quality during gaming or movie-watching.

Connectivity

When buying a gaming monitor, your choice should take connectivity into account. You’ll want to note the various video ports available in the monitor and how they compare to the video outputs of your GPU or gaming console. The main question is: can your existing graphics solution handle the resolution of the monitor(s)? You’ll be able to tell this by the video connections it supports.

So, what types of video ports exist?

HDMI ports are the standard connection in modern TVs, since they carry uncompressed digital audio as well as video. HDMI connections exist in most monitors and graphics cards, too, but you’ll need the HDMI 2.0 standard if you want to run a 4K resolution screen (3840 x 2160) at a 60Hz refresh rate. The earlier HDMI 1.4 has a lower maximum bandwidth, but is compatible with most existing monitors.

DVI ports carry a digital video signal and offer the same picture quality as HDMI. There are several different types of DVI connection. The more pins the connector has, the higher a bandwidth it can carry. The best-case scenario is the DVI-I Dual Link connection, which can support up to 2560 x 1600 pixels of resolution. If you’re buying a monitor with higher resolution than this, you’ll need HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort connections in your GPU.

DisplayPort connectors come in 1.2 and 1.3 standards. The former can handle 4K resolutions, just as HDMI 2.0 does, whereas DisplayPort 1.3 is a future-proof standard that can handle huge resolutions (e.g. 7680 x 4320 pixels – 8K). One advantage of a DisplayPort connection over others is that you can daisy chain multiple monitors from the same port. Since this splits the maximum bandwidth available to each monitor, the 1.3 standard can drive two 4K displays at once.

VGA (aka RGB or D-Sub) ports are outmoded analog connections that invariably cause some image degradation in high-res screens. If you switch between this and any digital connector, you’ll likely see the difference. Although it can technically handle a 1920 x 1080 Full HD picture, any of the other listed connectors should be preferred. Use a VGA port only in emergencies.

USB ports are a useful feature to look out for in a monitor. Type-A USB downstream ports allow you to connect peripherals such as gaming controllers and mice, whereas a Type-B USB upstream port hooks the monitor up to your PC. The upstream connection drives the monitor’s Type-A USB hub.