So like with the PC parts, we’re going to break this down into different categories, the first will be “budget monitors”, the second will be “I have a bit more cash to spend but I’m not loaded” and finally the third is “I have seen these ultrawide things and I NEED ONE NOW! – But I am still on a normal-ish budget”. So let’s jump in and get started now!
So before we start this off, let’s just go over a couple of things.
Refresh rates, what are they? Well basically, it’s how many times the picture on your screen refreshes each second so the more the better! Most monitors are at least 60Hz so that means you can see up to 60fps on that screen. The biggest, well, most noticeable jump is from 60 to 75Hz, trust me, it’s like a whole new world of smoothness when you see it. These refresh rates can go all the way up to 240Hz (although having a graphics card which can pump out 240fps the whole time is required to benefit from it) these are normally used for competitive gaming. Having around 75 to 100Hz is now becoming more mainstream.
Screen technology is what I want to talk about next, what are the panels and what is the best one for you?
TN – Great response times but suffers with less accurate black reproduction and has smaller viewing angles but can boast huge refresh rates.
VA – Hybrid between TN and IPS with better blacks and colour reproduction than TN, faster response times than IPS but slower than TN, they also have decent viewing angles and usually higher refresh rates than IPS.
IPS – Best colour and black reproduction, best viewing angles but slower response times and lower refresh rates than what’s possible on VA and TN.
So to summarise that, if you want the best performance and you don’t care about colour and black reproduction, TN is the choice of esport and competitive gamers. If you don’t want to spend the max but want something almost as good as IPS for colours and blacks, VA is a great choice but if you are one of those people like me, who doesn’t even notice the difference between 1 and 5ms response time and wants perfect colours and blacks, IPS is the best hands down.
So to start things off in the budget category we have the AOC G2460VQ6. It’s a good looking very gamer style monitor in black with a stylish red bar at the bottom. This like all the monitors in this section is 24 inches and 1920×1080. The panel or screen technology is TN and has a brightness of 250 cd/m2, supports 16.7M colours and has a 1ms response time – so minimal delay between you doing something and it happening on the screen. This, again like all the monitors here is equipped with freesync technology which means IF you have an AMD gpu, there’s no need to use Vsync to keep your image stutter and tear free. You get 1x VGA, 1x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort on the monitor so there’s no shortage of connections here. The monitor is our cheapest today and comes in at a very competitive – You see what I did there? 1ms for COMPETITIVE… Nevermind, $129.99 – as always, that price is now, at the time of filming.
Next up is the very modern looking Samsung IT LC24F390FHNXZA… Are you serious!? We’ll call this the Samsung F390 to keep things easier. It’s a 24 inch 1920×1080 monitor with a 250 cd/m2 brightness, like the AOC but this one has a CURVE… Ooooo Curve. Having a curved screen ready does immerse you more when gaming and used to be something that only crazy priced monitors had so it’s great to be able to include one in this budget section. The Samsung has FreeSync which we covered a minute ago but does only have 60Hz which to be honest should be fine for most. Back to that curve for a second, it’s an 1800R curve which basically means it’s not too aggressive so does just enough to add immersion without looking silly. The housing is glossy black which does upset some people but to be honest, I think looks nice – you just need to be prepared to dust it frequently. The panel is a VA panel with a 4ms response time and supports 16.7M colours. You get 1x HDMI and 1x VGA so no DisplayPort on this one. This one comes in at a decent $149.99 at the time of filming.
So these are the best two monitors I could find on Amazon at this price point and they’re quite different and will appeal to different people so let me know which one you prefer – Are you more into the response time of the AOC or the visual look and immersion of the curved Samsung?
So onto our next category: I have a bit more cash to spend but I’m not loaded
These monitors will be 27” panels for this one so let’s jump on in and start with the Asus VG278Q which boasts a 144Hz refresh rate and that competitive 1ms response time (and something they’re calling ELMB which basically smooths out the graphics when the image is moving quickly) thanks to it’s 1920×1080 TN panel which of course has FreeSync. It does have an impressive brightness of 400 cd/m2 and displays 16.7M colours. The connectivity ticks all the boxes with Dual Link DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI and also comes mount on a height adjustable stand. This monitor can be yours for $288 which isn’t too bad at all!
The second monitor is this section is another curved Samsung only this time, you get a 27” 1920×1080 VA panel with 1ms response time. The Samsung 27″ CFG70 boasts Quantom Dot Technology for a wider range of more realistic colours, 16.7M to be precise and also has a 144Hz refresh rate with AMD Freesync included – Wow, I’m getting bored of saying that! The brightness is 350 cd/m2 and that screen curve is once again at 1800R and it really is a great looking monitor with a dual-hinge arm for precision screen positioning. The connectivity consists of 2 HDMI ports and one DisplayPort. This one comes in at $339.99.
So once again, these two monitors at this price point stood out to me so do you think the Samsung with its curve and Quantom Dot Technology VA panel is worth the extra bucks over the Asus?
Now we head into our final category: I have seen these ultrawide things and I NEED ONE NOW! – But I am still on a normal-ish budget.
Let’s kick off the 21:9 ultrawides with the LG 29UM58-P. This is a 29” 2560×1080 IPS, yes, our first IPS panel. Now before we go on, for size, a 29” ultrawide panel is about as high as a 24” widescreen monitor so imagine one of those but with extra width. The monitor has 16.7 millions colours to show and a brightness of 250 cd/m2 with a respectable 75Hz refresh rate. There are only 2 HDMI ports on this monitor so no DisplayPort present. This monitor of course features FreeSy… Wait, no, my word we have found one that doesn’t, so, no FreeSync on this one guys, looks like you’re stuck with Vsync here. Now the most impressive feature this monitor has is it’s price, you can order this right now (at the time of filming) for just $243!! It’s a great monitor at this price point and that IPS screen means it’s going to look stunning!
Now the second monitor in this category and the final one we will be looking at today is something quite nice. It’s the Viotek GN35LD… Who? Wait who? Who is Viotek? Well, it’s not one I am familiar with but it does look good and the reviews and feedback on this monitor are all glowing. You get a 2560×1080 Samsung VA panel which is a huge 35 inches! Yes 35 inches! Now like I said with the last one, this monitor’s height is comparable to a 27” widescreen but with that all important extra width. One other quick thing… It has a 144Hz refresh rate, not enough? Okay, it has an 1800R curve! Want more? How about some LEDS on the back with 8 colour choices? It has all the connectivity you’d want or need with DVI, DisplayPort and indeed HDMI. Freesync is of course included… As always and with 16.7M colours and a contrast ratio of… Erm… You know what? I don’t know, they don’t actually tell you anywhere but it’s going to be around 350 cd/m2 so no worries there. This is the most expensive monitor in our lineup but you do get a lot of bang for your buck here, it comes in at $474.99.
So there we have it guys, which one is the one for you? Would you consider buying any of the monitors I have told you about today or have I missed one you know and love? Let me know down in the comments.
For me, the Viotek is the winner here. I know it’s the most expensive on the list but wow do you get a lot for your money. As far as non ultrawide goes, I think a shout out to the AOC has to be in order, for the price it’s a really decent monitor but let me know what you think.
AOC G2460VQ6: https://amzn.to/2uCTvcv
Samsung LC24F390: https://amzn.to/2O5Tmq5
ASUS VG278Q: https://amzn.to/2NA8vz9
Samsung 27″ CFG70: https://amzn.to/2LfXDK8
LG 29UM58-P: https://amzn.to/2L9VvTX
Viotek GN35LD: https://amzn.to/2zYZHkq