If you’re really into gaming, you’ve probably carved out your own space in your home for the perfect setup. You’ve picked out the perfect chair, you’ve got the perfect control setup and your audio setup is perfect. Well, we’re here to walk you through the next step, getting the perfect monitor. A lot of monitors come with framerates greater than the standard 60Hz, meaning your game looks and feels smoother and more lifelike, but these generally cost a lot of money. If you’re looking for the best budget gaming monitor, it’s all about the response time, and we’ve factored this into our recommendations.
You’re probably wanting to do a little research right now but look no further. We’ve researched and evaluated some of the latest monitors to see which one really is the best gaming monitor under $150. Here are the best gaming monitors under 150 USD.
These are all great monitors in their own right, but each has their own strengths and weaknesses, so let’s take a more in-depth look at each, starting with the Asus VC239H. We just want to clarify that the prices of these monitors always fluctuate and some of them or all of them may, therefore, have increased to over $150 by the time you click on the link above, although it is very unlikely.
The Asus VC239H is a low-cost monitor that punches well above its weight for the price. It boasts a slim design that’ll look at home on any modern desktop, and the stand allows you to tilt the screen forwards or backward to fit the height of your chair. The screen has a matte finish which helps to block out reflections from the light in your room and keep you focused on what’s onscreen.
The picture quality on this monitor is exceptional, producing a gorgeous range of colors above and beyond the standard sRGB color set. It also has a good screen uniformity, with only slight variations in brightness that will be undetectable unless you’re really looking for them. Thanks to its IPS panel (don’t worry, we’ll cover this in detail later) it provides a wide range of viewing angles without distorting the colors onscreen like less expensive monitors do.
The VC239H has a gray to gray response time of 5ms, which means it’s great for gaming on, since there’s minimal ghosting, although the monitor comes with a few great tools built in that can help you reduce any pixel latency that you do encounter.
The inputs are hidden on the sides and back of the monitor, and the control buttons are concealed on the underside of the screen itself. We liked that this freed up space and helped keep the front of the monitor clutter-free, although with inputs plugged in the wires tended to cluster together behind the monitor, which made the desk look untidy and felt counterintuitive to the professional look Asus were going for. We’d recommend spending a dollar or so on some cable ties to help reduce this and keep your workspace clear.
The only downsides to this monitor are the lack of any height adjustment and the fact that since the screen bezel is glossy and black, it attracts fingerprints.
Overall, this monitor is perfect for someone who works a lot with colours like a graphic designer, or even just someone who wants the best picture quality possible on a budget. The Asus VC239H is a strong contender, and worth every penny.
If you’re the sort of person who likes your desk to be just perfect, neat, and tidy with everything in its place, this is the monitor for you. The design is sleek and professional looking and helps accentuate a well-organised workspace. Additionally, the bezel around the screen is minimal, meaning more of the screen is actually usable, which is great news.
This monitor provides a good range of colors, and whilst it wouldn’t be up to the task of intensive design work, games or videos come across sharp and lifelike, with deep blacks and little to no light bleeding. The screen comes with a hard anti-glare coating, which means that unlike other panels which have been treated and can look oily at very close ranges, this monitor looks crisp even when up close.
All inputs are hidden on the back of the monitor, meaning that the cables can easily be tucked down the back of your desk, which really helps reduce clutter and keep things organized, the way you like them.
The response time of this monitor is 6ms, meaning there’s little ghosting even when gaming, although again, there are built-in screen optimization tools to help reduce this even further.
The main disadvantage of this monitor is that it lacks any HDMI input, instead it is having VGA and DVI inputs. Whilst DVI has the same picture quality as HDMI, it depends on your video card whether it can transmit audio as well as video, and if not you’ll need some sort of converter to handle this for you. Another downside is that the built-in options are minimal at best, offering only an auto optimization and brightness/contrast tweaks.
Overall, this monitor is perfect for the aesthetically minded buyer. It’s sleek and clean looking with a lot of usable screen space which makes it perfect for playing media, and its low response times make it a great monitor for gaming, however, we’d have preferred to have an HDMI input since these are usually included nowadays, given the prevalence of HDMI out devices.
Say you’ve cleared a space on your desk, and you have a “go big or go home” mindset. You take one look at this list and notice a pattern: all of our top picks are around 23”, and you want something bigger. No problem, here’s a monitor that’s perfect for you.
The AOC e2752She is larger than other monitors around the same price, sure, but other than that, what’s good about it? Well, firstly, dark colors are fantastic on this monitor, appearing rich and deep with little banding even when the screen is extremely dark. Secondly, the pixel response rate is only 2ms on this monitor. This is fantastic, especially if you like to play fast paced, twitchy games like Call of Duty since the amount of lag is undetectable without using specialized testing tools.
However, all of these benefits come at a cost. The default color palette is cooler than expected, and although you can tweak your operating system’s settings to counteract this, some kind of built-in palette changer would have been nice to have. Secondly, whilst this monitor features two HDMI ports and a VGA port, it has no DVI port. The HDMI ports are great to have but to cater to a greater range of devices, DVI would be a good addition. It should be noted that if you only have DVI or VGA outputs on your device, it may be time for an upgrade.
The bezel around the screen is chunkier than we would have liked, but it doesn’t distract too much, and the screen has a matte finish which reduces glare and increases immersion, making it a great centerpiece for your gaming station.
All things considered, if you want a big screen on a budget, this is a great monitor. Whilst lacking in built-in features, it provides a good range of colour and great dark definition, whilst being 27” for under $150. If you can look past its flaws, this is perfect for the gamer with a lot of free desk space.
Let’s say you like to game, but your budget is even less than $150, and you’ve resigned yourself to buying some no-name monitor knowing full well it’ll break in a month and you’ll spend hours trying in vain to get through to customer services. Wait! Read this first! The HP Pavilion 22CWA is smaller than the others on this list, but it’s also cheaper and doesn’t actually fare too badly in comparison.
Take the display for example. You still get an IPS panel with 1920×1080 output. That’s a full HD, backlit monitor with a wide viewing angle for under $100. That alone is worth the price, but the advantages don’t stop there. This monitor also has a response time of only 7ms. It’s borderline, but still low enough to avoid the majority of ghosting issues you’d normally experience on a super low-cost monitor. You also get the anti-glare coating, which is a plus.
Like with the AOC e2752Sh, you don’t get a DVI input, but you do get HDMI and VGA, which cover the majority of inputs you’ll encounter. The darks aren’t as deep as other monitors, but they’re deep enough to do the job, and the color range is similarly middle of the road, but what can you expect for such a low price?
The 22CWA comes with pre-set image quality adjustments and the HP Enhance+ filter which increases image sharpness, making it the perfect budget monitor for image editing, assuming you can make do with a slightly lower range of colors.
Aesthetically, aside from the slightly smaller screen size, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this monitor costs under a hundred dollars. The design is modern and stylish with an attractive stand which makes room for cables or even just a desk ornament if that’s your thing.
This monitor is perfect for someone who wants good picture quality but doesn’t really want to spend a lot of money (most people). It comes with a lot of the features offered by higher priced models and minimal downsides, the biggest of which is the screen size and slightly thicker bezel. This is definitely the best gaming monitor under 100 USD around, and we can’t stress that enough.
Has most of the features of more expensive monitors
The BenQ GL2460HM is a great all round gaming monitor, and here’s why. Firstly, it has a gray to gray response time of only 2ms, meaning its lag is absolutely minimal and therefore perfect for fast paced gaming. Next, the blacks provided by this monitor are exceptionally deep, which helps make the colors burst into life when watching a film or gaming. Thirdly, this monitor uses a minuscule amount of power, only 15 watts when on the standard settings. This makes it a low-cost option at purchase time, and in the future.
It includes HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs, so it can deal with anything reasonably new, and you probably won’t need to buy any kind of converter to make it happen. And get this: you might have read about the effect of blue light from computer screens having a negative effect on sleeping patterns or contributing to eye strain. This monitor comes with a reduced blue light function that can reduce it by up to 70%. This makes it fantastic for gaming late at night (uh… not that we do that), or for someone who works on a PC for long stretches of time.
This monitor also has built-in speakers, although they aren’t amazing, they’ll do in a pinch or until you buy a better set. If you only use the computer for work and Youtube, you’ll probably be alright, but for consuming media, you’ll want something a bit more powerful.
As with any piece of hardware, this monitor does have its downsides, namely that the glossy bezel attracts fingerprints and since it’s a twisted nematic (TN) panel, not IPS, it does suffer from limited viewing angles.
Also, whilst dark colors have great depth to them, very light colors appear slightly washed out, leading to a lack of definition in very bright scenes. This isn’t a huge deal since these sort of scenes rarely show up, but it’s something to bear in mind.
Overall, this is a strong contender whether you plan to use it for work or play. The rich and vibrant colors and deep, dark shadows make it great for games or movies, and the added screen space can only be a good thing.
Super low power consumption
Deep, dark blacks
Very low response time
Blue light reduction
Slightly lack of definition in very bright scenes
Limited viewing angles
There are some important factors to look at when considering a monitor, and we’ll walk you through these below to help get you up to speed and set your mind at ease.
Arguably the first specification that you should check, resolution refers to the number of pixels a screen can display. It’s measured as horizontal pixels X vertical pixels, like 1920×1080. Higher resolution means a sharper image and higher overall image quality. This applies on every screen, so always pay attention to this number.
Response time is the amount of time it takes for each pixel to change from black to white, or one shade of gray to another. It’s measured in milliseconds, and lower is better (especially for gamers), since if a monitor has too high a response time, you can get “ghosting” where images on screen momentarily blur when moving since the pixels take too long to change shade. For gamers, we’d suggest a maximum response time of 8ms.
Bigger is better, right? Not always, especially for a budget model. If you’ve found a 32” monitor for the same price as a 21”, ask yourself what they’ve left out to reduce costs. Most of the time, you’ll find that the colors aren’t as vibrant or the viewing angles are narrower. Make sure the monitor will actually fit your desk, and that it’s sensible. Even if you get that huge screen on your desk, is it possible to move your chair to the center of it? Will you have to sit further back? Can you reach the keyboard from all the way back there? If not, try downsizing.
There are three main types of panels in monitors these days. The first is twisted nematic (TN), which are cheap and have low response times. The decrease in price comes at the cost of color depth and narrowing of viewing angles. The second type is vertical alignment panels. These excel at displaying deep dark colors like shadows, but again, have narrow viewing angles and cost a bit more than TN panels. Lastly, we have In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels. These usually display vibrant colors and have wide viewing angles, but they can’t display anything above 60Hz and sometimes have higher response times than the alternatives. For more information about these different panel types, take a look at https://www.scan.co.uk/tekspek/monitors/display-panel-types.
Here’s another big part of your monitor. The refresh rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and is how many times per second that your monitor can redraw every pixel on the screen. Standard monitors refresh at 60Hz, although gamers have recently been upgrading to 120Hz or 144Hz monitors for smoother gameplay. These higher monitors are often double what you’d pay for a 60Hz monitor, though, so factor this into your purchase decision.
So there you have it, we’ve compared the best of the best, weighed their pros and cons and whilst every monitor in this list is fantastic in its own way, we’ve come to the decision that the best gaming monitor under 150 USD has to be the Asus VC239H. Display wise, it provides gorgeous picture quality and enough built-in options to tweak your picture until it’s just right, and with the right cable management, it won’t even look messy behind it.
As ever, we hope this list has been helpful to you and with a bit of luck, by now you’ve come to a decision on which monitor is right for you. Rest assured, our research was thorough and in depth, so we’re confident that the perfect monitor for you is somewhere in this list. Thanks for reading, and happy gaming. If you are willing to spend a bit more, here are the best gaming monitors under $200 or do you want do double-down your budget and buy the best monitor under $300 perhaps?