Best Gaming Monitor under $400

Ac loser look at the market's best monitors within the $400 price range

WEPC best monitor alienware Featured image 01

Gaming monitors have become increasingly important in gamers’ setups over the years. A poor monitor can quite literally be the difference between winning and losing, especially if you start dicing with monitors equipped with low refresh rates, slow response times, and poor input lag.

Fortunately, finding a decent gaming monitor for under $400 is actually quite reasonable right now – mainly because new technology has come in and reduced the price of aging alternatives.

For that reason, we’ll be scouring the web to find only the best gaming monitors for $400 – comparing price, performance, build quality, and aesthetics as we go.

So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!

Our Top Picks

01
Editor's Pick
Best Gaming Monitor Under $400
02
Runner Up
A great all-round gaming monitor for under $400
03
Ultrawide pick
Best Ultrawide Gaming monitor under $400

Best Gaming Monitor Under $400: First Look

01
Editor's Pick
Best Gaming Monitor Under $400
Alienware AW2521HF

Alienware AW2521HF Gaming Monitor

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming
4.6/5
Responsiveness
4.8/5
Immersion
4/5
Value
4.3/5

If you’re looking for the best gaming monitor under $400, look no further – Alienware has you covered. The 24.5″ offers up a tonne of features and benefits which are all geared towards making your gaming experience that much better.

The Alienware AW2521HF is one of the quickest monitors in this guide, providing a lightning-quick 240Hz refresh rate for silky smooth gameplay. Alongside this, users can expect a ‘true’ 1ms response time, good colors, and fantastic aesthetics too.

02
Runner Up
A great all-round gaming monitor for under $400
LG 27GL83A B

LG 27GL83A-B 27 gaming monitor

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming
2.6/5
Responsiveness
4.5/5
Immersion
4.4/5
Value
4.5/5

The LG 27GL83-A lends itself nicely to the all-round user – equipped with a careful balance of specifications that are great for casual gamers and productivity users alike.

On another day, this could have easily got the top spot in this guide. It has better image quality than our top pick thanks to a 1440p IPS panel it comes equipped with. It offers the same 1ms response time but doesn’t offer the same speedy refresh rate – only boasting 144Hz.

That being said, this is still a very efficient gaming monitor providing more versatility than our top pick.

03
Ultrawide pick
Best Ultrawide Gaming monitor under $400
ACER Nitro XV340CK

Acer Nitro XV340CK

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming
4.5/5
Responsiveness
4.2/5
Immersion
4.8/5
Value
4.3/5

The Acer Nitro XV340CK is an excellent example of the quality available within the Nitro lineup of monitors. This 34″ ultrawide monitor impressed me during testing, offering up a good gaming experience that is aided by its fast response and decent input lag.

The XV340CK is part of the Nitro lineup and showcases all the pros you’d expect from this particular family of monitors. The 3440 x 1440p monitor comes with an impressive 144Hz refresh rate, quick 1ms (VRB) response time, and FreeSync support too – helping to eradicate any annoying screen tearing issues you may encounter.

All in all, if you want an ultrawide for under $400, you can’t go wrong with the XV340CK.

04
Esports Pick
Best Esports gaming monitor under $400
71vH6F0tVML. AC SL1080

ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming
4.8/5
Responsiveness
4.9/5
Immersion
4.4/5
Value
4.3/5

If you’re looking for lightning-quick speeds, then look no further – the ASUS VG259QM is an esports-tailored gaming panel that prioritizes responsiveness.

The 24.5″ IPs IPS monitor from ASUS offers up a blistering 280Hz refresh rate alongside a 1ms response time. It also comes equipped with DisplayHDR400 certification, G-Sync support, and a bunch of gaming features that help create the perfect gaming experience.

05
4K Pick
Best 4K Monitor Under $400
ASUS VG289Q

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

0 /5
Editor's Rating
Gaming
4/5
Responsivenes
3.6/5
Immersion
4.5/5
Value
4.6/5

Our final pick in this guide falls to yet another ASUS monitor, this time it’s the TUF Gaming VG289Q – a very efficient 4K monitor that offers decent performance for gamers or productivity users alike.

The 28-inch panel comes equipped with a stunning UHD screen resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and 5ms response time. Whilst this isn’t the best for competitive play, casual players of single-players should worry not – a 60Hz refresh rate still offers a smooth gaming experience.

How We Test And Choose

Whether it’s a best-of guide or a single product review, we ensure every monitor we recommend has been through a strict testing process. We don’t just search Amazon for the top sellers, we hand-pick the market’s best monitors, and each one is tested with the same meticulous care and attention as the last. This ensures that we can present you with the best products the market has to offer, and gives our readers confidence that they can trust any monitor we do recommend as having been through the same impartial review process.

As part of the monitor review process, we like to test each for color accuracy, responsiveness, panel uniformity, build quality, and overall gaming performance. We use a number of specifically designed tools to capture the data for each monitor, ensuring only the highest levels of accuracy are recorded during testing. This process allows us to hand-select the best monitors from both a performance and value standpoint, whilst also enabling us to compare the latest models with last season’s best sellers. Click here if you want to see our in-depth explanation of how we test each and every monitor.

Realistic Expectations Of A Gaming Monitor Under $400

Buying the best gaming monitor for under $400 does come with a number of expectations. For example, you can’t expect to buy a 4K 144Hz  monitor for $350 – those specifications usually yield a much higher price tag. Unlike the best gaming monitor for under $200 though, you don’t have to make as many sacrifices when doubling your budget to $400.

That said, and for those that aren’t up to date on the latest monitor technology, below are some of the main expectations of buying a monitor in this particular price range:

Refresh Rate

Putting it simply, refresh rates are one of – if not the – most important specifications you can consider when purchasing a monitor for competitive gaming. Refresh rate refers to the number of times your panel refreshes itself – with panels ranging from 60hz up to 360hz. Unfortunately, buying a monitor within the $400 price spectrum will limit the refresh rate you can go for.

360Hz monitors are the latest to arrive on shelves, most of which retail for well above $400. That said, you can still get a decent competitive gaming monitor (240Hz) for this price point – as you’ll soon see.

Screen size

Screen size is often considered an expensive premium to have in a monitor, so don’t be expecting to buy a 49″ gaming monitor for under $400. That said, there are still plenty of options available for individuals that want that ‘larger screen’ gaming experience. For example, there are several decent 34″ gaming monitors available today that fall well below the $400 price zone.

Resolution

Resolution is a slightly different story. If you want that gorgeous 4K gaming experience with silky smooth gameplay, chances are, you’ll need to fork out a little bit more for your monitor. However, if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t require lightning-quick refresh rates, there may be a couple of UHD options available.

HDR

Pretty much every monitor under the sun can now lay claim to VESA DisplayHDR400. However, that is the entry-level standard and doesn’t really offer any of the benefits that HDR bring to the table. The higher end of the HDR spectrum (600-1400) will likely see the price of the monitor surpass $400 – as this standard is saved for manufacturers’ premium offerings.

Are Gaming Monitors Under $400 Good?

Is short, yes! In today’s market, there are a tonne of monitors that currently retail for under $400 – many of which offer great specifications and gaming performance.

Simply put, new technology has arrived that has naturally knocked the price of “aging” tech down – leaving budget-restricted individuals in a sea of great gaming monitors.

Whether you’re looking for a 1440p 144Hz monitor for gaming or something more immersive-based, the under $400 price category should have something for everyone.

Best Gaming Monitor Under $400

01
Editor's Pick
Alienware AW2521HF
Alienware Logo

Alienware AW2521HF Gaming Monitor

Refresh Rate

240Hz (DisplayPort)

Response time

1ms

Screen size

25"

Resolution

1920 x 1080

02
Runner Up
LG 27GL83A B

LG 27GL83A-B 27 gaming monitor

Size

27”

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response Time

1ms

Panel Type

IPS

Maximum Resolution

1440p

03
Ultrawide pick
ACER Nitro XV340CK
Acer Logo

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

1ms (VRB)

Screen size

34"

Resolution

3440 x 1440

Panel Type

IPS

04
Esports Pick
71vH6F0tVML. AC SL1080

ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM

Size

24.5"

Refresh Rate

280Hz

Response Time

1ms

Panel

IPS

Maximum Resolution

1920 x 1080

05
4K Pick
ASUS VG289Q
Asus Logo

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Response Time

5ms

Size

28"

Maximum Resolution

3840 x 2160

Panel

IPS

In-depth Review

01
Editor's Pick
Alienware AW2521HF
Alienware Logo

Alienware AW2521HF Gaming Monitor

Refresh Rate

240Hz (DisplayPort)

Response time

1ms

Screen size

25"

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Pros

Quick refresh rate

'True' 1ms response time

IPS color accuracy and viewing angles

Fantastic design

Cons

Only 1080p

Alienware are no strangers when it comes to designing some of the bet monitor’s the market has to offer. This is one of their smaller offerings, equipped with all the high-end specifications you might expect from one of their more premium offerings.

The AW2521HF has a brilliant design that makes use of the new Alienware branding. The stand offers good ergonomics and viewing angles shouldn’t be a problem thanks to that speedy IPS panel that sits at the heart of this monitor.

Despite this monitor only offering a 24.5″ screen size, it’s still incredibly immersive to use. Thanks to the 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and low input lag, you get a connected feel with your gameplay which is hard to replicate. This monitor is absolutely ideal for individuals that want to get the edge over their competition. It will offer a smooth gaming experience with little to no ghosting. Halong can be a little problematic, as can gaming in bright rooms. But apart from that, this monitor doesn’t really put a foot wrong.

02
Runner Up
LG 27GL83A B

LG 27GL83A-B 27 gaming monitor

Size

27”

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response Time

1ms

Panel Type

IPS

Maximum Resolution

1440p

Pros

IPS Color accuracy and picture quality

1440p screen resolution

144hz refresh rate

Excellent value for money

Cons

Doesn't perform great in bright rooms

Unlike our top pick (which is more geared towards the competitive player) the LG 27GL83A has a more balanced mix of specifications – making it ideal for the everyday gamer.

The LG offers a stylish design that is accentuated by subtle curves and a red-on-black color theme. Build quality of the 27GL83A monitor is pretty good – usually the case with most LG offerings.

Looking at specifications, LG has equipped this monitor with a careful balance of responsiveness and picture quality. At it’s heart, users will find an impressive ISP monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms (GTG) response time, and 99% sRGB color coverage. It offers variable refresh rate technology in the shape of both G-Sync and FreeSync – with the former only being to a ‘compatible’ standard.

Overall, there’s a lot to like about this monitor. Whilst it may not be as fast as our top pick, it does offer better picture quality and greater screen real-estate – factors some users prioritize over raw speed.

03
Ultrawide pick
ACER Nitro XV340CK
Acer Logo

Acer Nitro XV340CK

Refresh Rate

144Hz

Response time

1ms (VRB)

Screen size

34"

Resolution

3440 x 1440

Panel Type

IPS

Pros

1440p screen resolution

144Hz refresh rate

1ms (VRB) response time

IPS Panel

Cons

Poor bright room performance

I haven’t always been a huge fan of Acer’s Nitro lineup of monitors – however, their latest arrivals have surprised me in both value and performance. Despite it not being the best monitor in this guide, it is the most well-rounded in terms of performance and price.

As far as aesthetics go, the XV340CK does look pretty nice. It comes with a wide 34″ panel that contrasts nicely against the cylindrical stand. Speaking of the stand, I incredibly happy with the way this one performed – offering very little wobble during our robustness tests. The same can be said for the general build quality of this monitor though.

Looking at specifications, this monitor really does offer you an excellent experience – especially when you consider the price of it. At its heart, the XV340CK comes equipped with an IPS panel offering a 144Hz refresh rate and low 1ms response time (when VRB is enabled). Furthermore, the 1440p screen resolution helps with image clarity and general gameplay – albeit with a knock-on effect on your internal hardware.

Overall, the XV340CK is a nice balance between gaming and everyday performance.

04
Esports Pick
71vH6F0tVML. AC SL1080

ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM

Size

24.5"

Refresh Rate

280Hz

Response Time

1ms

Panel

IPS

Maximum Resolution

1920 x 1080

Pros

Lightning-quick 280Hz refresh rate

1ms GTG response time

Esports-tailored 24.5" panel

IPS viewing angles and color accuracy

Cons

HDR performance is poor

Low peak brightness

For the esports enthusiast out there, the VG259QM seems like the perfect fit – providing quick response alongside a well-optimized 24.5″ IPS panel. The VG259QM falls within the TUF Gaming family, a lineup of ASUS monitors that is well known for its excellent value for money. This is the smaller version of the VG279QM – a top-tier monitor that got our Editor’s Pick for best gaming monitor under $500.

Aesthetically, the VG259QM looks pretty much identical to most other monitors within the TUF Gaming range – literally. A fairly uncharacteristic panel offers medium single-stage bezels, anti-glare matte coating, and solid viewing angles. The base is identical to other monitors in this range, offering good stability and robustness – albeit basic. The stand provides excellent versatility and strength, giving users height, tilt, swivel, and pivot functionality.

Performance-wise, it’s hard to knock this monitor from a response standpoint. ASUS have equipped the VG259QM with a fast IPS panel that showcases a 280Hz refresh rate (via overclock), 1ms GTG response time, and very good input lag. The monitor supports G-Sync compatibility, helping to reduce any annoying screen tear problems that may occur during usage. Gaming features include ASUS’ ELMB feature, a tonne of game presets, and a low blue light filter.

If you’re into esports titles, this monitor will most certainly serve you well. The small screen size will allow you to visualize the battlefield in its entirety, pinpointing enemies with relative ease. Furthermore, the 1080p screen resolution isn’t too taxing on your system – allowing you to comfortably reach the higher end of the 280hz refresh rate.

05
4K Pick
ASUS VG289Q
Asus Logo

ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q

Refresh Rate

60Hz

Response Time

5ms

Size

28"

Maximum Resolution

3840 x 2160

Panel

IPS

Pros

Excellent 4K picture quality

Great color accuracy

IPS panel that offers 100% sRGB

Good value for money

Cons

Poor 60hz refresh rate

5ms response isn't ideal for competitive play

Last, but not least, is the ASUS TUF Gaming VG289Q – a decent 4K gaming monitor that isn’t going to break the bank.

The TUF Gaming laptop looks almost identical to every other monitor within the lineup, offering a subtle design that could fit into both gaming or office spaces.

Aesthetics aside, the VG289Q is an excellent all-round 4K monitor that will serve players of story-based immersive titles well. The 60hz refresh rate is more than enough to achieve a smooth gaming experience, with the 5ms response time offering only minimal smearing or ghosting. The 4K screen resolution provides stunning image clarity, helping to immerse you in any virtual universe. It also pairs nicely with productivity-type users, resulting in a tonne of desktop real-estate which is great for multitasking scenarios.

The VG289Q also offers a 100% sRGB color gamut, 350 nits peak brightness, and IPS color accuracy and viewing angles.

Final Word

So, there you have it, our comprehensive breakdown of the best gaming monitors for under $400 this 2021. Whilst compromises do need to be made at this price point, $400 is still more than enough to get yourself a very efficient gaming monitor. We’ve tried to select monitors that suit a variety of categories, including 4K, esports, and ultrawide options.

If you still find $400 a little too steep, why not check out some of our other budget-tailored monitor guides:

You can also check out our category-specific guides, such as:

If you have any questions regarding the panels we’ve chosen, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Monitor & PC Product Specialist
at
WePC
For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO – a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast – dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD’s Ryzen 3600X.

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