Best Gaming Monitor Under $200: 2018 Top Picks & Reviews

best gaming monitor under 200

Our process for finding the best gaming monitor under $200 may not have been easy, but we wanted to save the work for any prospective searchers. Now that you’re here, there’s no more work: just read this article, weigh the options we’ve provided and go with whichever one best suits your needs and your budget.

Due to the long product names of these monitors, we’ve provided each of them with a unique nickname, presented alongside their sections in the Contenders section. We also like to have a little fun with our choices of nickname, and we hope you enjoy that bit of personality, too.

With no further ado, let’s hop right into it!

The Best Gaming Monitor Under $200: Breakdown

Details Our Rating
Bulky SpeedsterASUS S278Q-P Gaming Monitor

ASUS S278Q-P Gaming Monitor

  • screen size and resolution: 27-Inch at 1080p
  • refresh rate and response time: 75hz (OC required) and 1ms
  • ips: No
4.5/5
The ScoutASUS VG245H Gaming Monitor

ASUS VG245H Gaming Monitor

  • screen size and resolution: 24-Inch at 1080p
  • refresh rate and response time: 75hz and 1ms
  • ips: No
4.5/5
The HeavyLG 25UM58-P Ultrawide Monitor

LG 25UM58-P Ultrawide Monitor

  • screen size and resolution: 25-Inch Ultrawide at 1080p
  • refresh rate and response time: 75hz (OC required) and 5ms
  • ips: Yes
4.3/5
Better Budget Beauty (BBB)LG Q Series 27MP58VQ-P Monitor

LG Q Series 27MP58VQ-P Monitor

  • screen size and resolution: 27-Inch at 1080p
  • refresh rate and response time: 60hz and 5ms
  • ips: Yes
3.5/5
Keeping It One Hundred-ishLG Q Series 24M47VQ Monitor

LG Q Series 24M47VQ Monitor

  • screen size and resolution: 24-Inch at 1080p
  • refresh rate and response time: 60hz and 2ms
  • ips: No
3/5
#1

ASUS S278Q-P Gaming Monitor

The Bulky Speedster is as its nickname implies: a monitor providing a smooth gaming experience, but at a larger size.

27 inches may be considered big for a 1080p display, but if you sit farther from your monitor or simply like larger screens, opting for a 27 inch monitor with these underlying specs isn’t a bad idea.

Like The Scout before it, this monitor is one of our top picks for best gaming monitor under $200. This is because of its high refresh rate and minimal response time, in addition to the boost in screen size and overall build quality over most of its competitors.

The only real problems with this monitor are what it doesn’t offer. But if you’re a competitively-oriented gamer, than sacrificing IPS’ benefits for a competitive advantage probably isn’t an issue for you.

#2

ASUS VG245H Gaming Monitor

The ASUS VG245H Gaming Monitor is one of our top picks on this list, and thanks to its compact size and focus on speed, we’ve nicknamed it The Scout. Like The Heavy before it, this monitor is also affectionately named after a certain class from Team Fortress 2.

The Scout offers everything you should want in a sub-$200 gaming monitor. A rapid 1ms response time, alongside a 75hz refresh rate, ensures that you’ll be getting the smoothest-possible gaming experience for displays within this price range.

In addition to good base specs, this monitor also supports FreeSync. If you happen to use an AMD GPU, you can use FreeSync for a VSync alternative that won’t cause input lag and ensure your game always looks as smooth as possible, even when it isn’t running at a full 60 FPS.

Even without FreeSync, however, The Scout is one of our top picks for best gaming monitor under $200. It’ll cost you a bit closer to that than other options, but it won’t disappoint you, either.

#3

LG 25UM58-P Ultrawide Monitor

The LG 25UM58-P Ultrawide Monitor is a large IPS display that offers a wider, more cinematic viewing experience for content. It also allows much more screen real estate than your typical monitor, thanks to its 21:9 aspect ratio.

While most 1080p monitors maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio at 1920x1080, this 1080p ultrawide monitor maintains a 21:9 aspect ratio with a 2560x1080 resolution. In layman’s terms, this means it still has the same pixel density as a normal 1080p monitor, but widens the screen and the resolution for its aspect ratio.

We’ve named it The Heavy, after the class in Team Fortress 2. The Heavy may be bulky, but thanks to its IPS panel it offers amazing color reproduction and viewing angles, in addition to its Ultrawide field of view.

Surprisingly for an IPS panel, this monitor is also overclockable to 75hz at its native resolution. Doing this should somewhat offset the high 5ms response time typical of IPS monitors, and provide you with a smoother gaming experience than you would get otherwise.

While The Heavy still isn’t our top pick for competitive gamers, it is certainly a better option than most IPS displays out there.

For productivity enthusiasts, single-player gamers and content consumers, it’s also a pretty good one overall.

#4

LG Q Series 27MP58VQ-P Monitor

The LG Q Series 27MP58VQ-P Monitor is one of the best options for entry-level IPS out there, and because of that we’ve nicknamed it the Better Budget Beauty, or BBB for short.

At just around $155 at the time of writing, it comes roughly in between the $100-$200 price range that we’re operating in with this article. It’s a big monitor, too, coming in at 27 inches, making it ideal for media consumption.

The only real downsides of this monitor are what you give up by opting for IPS.

You receive better color reproduction and viewing angles at the expense of a slower response time and a lower refresh rate.

This means that if you’re a competitively-oriented gamer, you probably shouldn’t buy this one, since it will put you at a slight disadvantage. If you’re more casual, or prefer single-player titles, than this monitor should still serve you fine.

#5

LG Q Series 24M47VQ Monitor

First up is our cheapest option.

LG Q Series 24M47VQ Monitor comes in at about $117 at the time of writing. Or, in other words, a hundred-ish.

To indicate its level of pricing and status as a budget pick, we’ll refer to it now as Hundred-ish for the sake of easier flow in reading and writing.

The Hundred-ish is a budget, gaming-oriented 1080p monitor. With a low, but not perfect response time of 2ms, it’s far better than the 5ms typical of sub-$100 monitors priced just below it.

This is arguably one of the first monitors you can buy out there, right now, that are suitable for a serious gaming experience. 2ms isn’t perfect, by any means, but it’s a lot better than 5ms.

Unfortunately, due to its low price, it still suffers when compared to the other monitors on this list. It does not have the budget to offer 75hz or IPS, two technologies which greatly increase a monitor’s usability and viewability.

Because of this, it’s our lowest pick on the list.

Selection Criteria

Resolution and Size

All of the monitors in this price range are 1080p, displaying a full HD image. What may change between them, however, is the size of the displays that this resolution is scaled on.

For most people, 24 inches is considered a perfect size for a 1080p monitor. You aren’t going to notice any pixelation, and all but the tiniest details should look sharp on your monitor at that size and resolution.

Going smaller than 24 inches while maintaining the same resolution would make the image seem even sharper, since more pixels are being crammed into a smaller surface area.

The reverse applies for going larger than 24 inches as well. This is likely to result in a less-fine image, and if made large enough and observed close enough, may start bringing pixels to light.

For the most part, the monitors on this list avoid that. Additionally, the ultrawide monitor maintains the pixel density of 1080p Full HD, but actually has a much wider resolution because of its 21:9 aspect ratio.

Refresh Rate and Response Time

The refresh rate of a monitor measures the number of times the image changes, or refreshes, in the span of a single second. The higher the number, the more smooth and responsive using your PC will feel.

60hz is the standard for most displays, and probably what most of you are used to using. It’s generally fine, but isn’t quite fast enough to pass as real motion to our eyes.

144hz is a high-end standard common in gaming monitors, but none that are under $200. That train doesn’t start until you go above this price point.

144hz boosts the refresh rate so much that people who use it report great improvements to their reaction time and overall user experience. This is because, thanks to being closer to real motion, your reflexes are effectively being given twice the time to take in information versus a player with a 60hz monitor.

While we can’t quite afford 144hz yet, we can afford 75hz in a few of these monitors. It may not be a night-and-day difference, but it is still a difference, and we recommend gaming at 75 hz in this price range if you can afford it.

Response time, meanwhile, determines how quickly your monitor responds to inputs. The lower, the better.

IPS vs TN Panels

IPS panels offer significantly better color reproduction and viewing angles than their typical TN counterparts. However, they aren’t always better than just buying a normal TN panel, and for one key reason:

Response time.

Response time is higher on IPS monitors, and much harder to bring down below 5ms, which is considered relatively standard but still high by gaming enthusiast standards. IPS is more expensive, so getting a high refresh-rate IPS display with low response time will cost you way more than buying a TN counterpart.

While this is an unfortunate downside of buying IPS, which one you go with ultimately depends on your needs. If you’re interested in competitive multiplayer, go with a 75hz TN panel.

But if you don’t mind slight lag and play a lot of single-player games, you’re welcome to play on one of the IPS monitors instead,.

On Monitor Overclocking

While much less nerve-wracking or difficult as GPU/CPU overclocking, monitor overclocking is a regular practice to push displays to their fullest potential.

In the case of some monitors on this list, you’ll need to apply some overclocking tweaks to allow it to run at 1080p 75hz. This can be done through tools like the Custom Resolution Utility or your GPU manufacturer’s Control Panel.

All of the 75hz monitors on this list have been shown to be able to run at 1080p 75hz through these methods. If you don’t want to go through the extra step, you can also opt for the VG24SH, which doesn’t require overclocking for 1080p/75hz.

Making Your Choice

To sum everything up?

Go for one of the 1ms, 75 hz monitors if you want the best competitive experience you can get in this price range.

You can also opt for one of the IPS monitors if that doesn’t matter too much for you, and you’d just like a better viewing experience for your movies and single-player games.

If neither of those things matter much to you and you just need a good budget option, choosing one of the first two monitors we provided above should serve you well.

Overall, there’s an interesting variety in choices available in the sub-$200 price range for gaming monitors. If you’d like to see even better monitors- 144hz included- check out our article on best gaming monitors under $300 and Top 20 Best Gaming Monitors 2018

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