Ask Gizmodo: What Cheap Gaming Monitor Should I Buy For My Console?

Hi Gizmodo, I need a new monitor that I can use to play console games — Xbox One and PlayStation 4. I want it to be around 26 to 32 inches, and I don't want to pay more than about $300. Thanks, Mark.

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Hey Mark — as luck would have it, you're looking right at the sweet spot of size, price and quality. If you want to buy a half-decent monitor at an affordable price these days, you'll want something around 24 to 27 inches, with 1920x1080p resolution, and with an IPS, PLS or TN panel. That suits console gaming very well.

What you don't need is a 1440p or 4K screen, any fancy G-Sync or FreeSync PC-specific dynamic refresh rate tech or 144Hz, or any high-res connectors like DisplayPort or MHL. You do probably want speakers, but at the bare minimum you'll want a screen that can output audio from its HDMI input through a 3.5mm headphone jack.

For gaming, especially on console where you're (usually) locked to 60Hz and 60fps frame rates, you absolutely want something with the lowest possible input lag — this is one thing that you can't change too much in menu settings, short of a Game picture mode that cuts out the majority of image processing. This is the domain of high-speed TN panels and newer IPS screens.

If you look at the DisplayLag database — which hasn't been updated in 2016, but still gives you a good guide to what screen technologies and brands to look at initially — BenQ and Asus generally sit at the top of the pile, but Samsung's PLS monitors are also very well regarded.

My initial inkling was to suggest a 27-inch Dell UltraSharp to you, but Dell's cheapest 27-inch model is nearly $600 and way out of your price range. Instead, you should be perfectly happy with any of these choices below. I've linked to Victorian PC store Scorptec for all these, but you might be able to find a better price on StaticIce.

BenQ GL2760H — for $300 you get a 27-inch 1080p monitor with a 2ms TN panel, HDMI input and headphone jack. This is a barebones, straightforward TN monitor — no input lag, but not as pretty as a IPS or PLS screen.

Samsung S27D590P — $380 gets you a 27-inch 1080p monitor with a 5ms PLS panel, two HDMI inputs and headphone jack. PLS is very similar to IPS, and has excellent viewing angles, decent response times and great blacks.

BenQ RL2755M — this $350 "built for gaming" 27-inch monitor is a 1080p one, with a crazy low 1ms TN response time, dual HDMI, and inbuilt speakers as well as a headphone jack. This is your jack-of-all-trades choice.

Asus VC279H — $350 gets you an IPS panel and 1920x1080p resolution, 5ms response times, and speakers in a really nice nearly frameless design. IPS has great viewing angles and this is one of the newest you can get.

If it was up to me, out of this list, I'd probably get the BenQ RL2755M for high-speed gaming — it has speakers, excellent response time, and you can plug in both consoles (or a console and a PC) at once. If beautiful contrast is your number one deciding factor, the Samsung S27D590P probably takes that crown in this list.

Do you have another suggestion? Let us all know in the comments below.


Comments

    Consider a TV as well. What you lose in some areas (eg redraw and refresh) you make up for in others, such as expanded functionality, more connections, etc.

    Wont be for everyone, but it can work out well. Personally, I had this similar issue not long ago when my monitor of ~10 years finally died (think it was the power brick, ah well), and in the end I grabbed a cheap 41.5 inch tele from Dick Smith. And its worked great so far.

    If you just want to game, then a monitor is the best option, but if you can combine more capability, why not?

    27 inch ? That's way too small. I game using my 60 inch TV. Anything less would ruin gaming.

      But big TVs tend to have awful display lag. What is the display lag on your 60inch TV?

        I dunno. All I know it works fine playing battlefield so that's all I care about.

          I think you'll realise how bad the input lag is if you ever switch and use a gaming monitor. You are playing at a disadvantage in a PvP game like BF if you are using a big TV.

            I'll take size over lag any day but when I buy another TV in the future, I'll do some research about refresh rates, but the next one will be 65 inch. I always go up a size with every TV I get.

              It's not refresh rate that's the issue, because as mentioned, you're limited to 60Hz on consoles (if you're lucky), but rather the input lag. This is the time taken between the display receiving the frame, and actually displaying it to you.

              Not to be confused with screen response time (mentioned as being ~2-5ms with these displays), which affects input lag, but is only part of the issue. Image processing is a major part of the delay with these tv's.

              Expect a good gaming monitor to have an input lag of about 4 or 5ms, while a tv would be more on the order of 40ms. If you're playing online, you're playing with a handicap.

                Hey thanks for the info. I'll look into it in the future. Quick question, are there any TVs that don't have lag ?

                  All displays will have input lag, however some are much better than others.
                  IIRC the Sony KDL50W800 had quite low input lag, but there are many different options, and probably something that is available in a size closer to what you desire.
                  There are plenty of websites that will compare input lag like the one mentioned in the article.

    The article should actually quote display lag numbers rather than vague descriptions.

    Giz should actually do the tests and measure the display lags.

    Consoles basically only support TV and basic VESA modes. Console games are optimised for 60hz, and sometimes have some tuning for 50hz (force 60hz in the settings is best). Save your self some aggravation and buy 28" Samsung FullHD TV - the speakers will be better than a monitor - say a UA28J4100AW.

    Console can't do 1920x1080 or 60fps. Your probably better or saving for a monitor and a PC as your console can't push a high enough quality to justify a gaming monitor.

    Seriously?

    The reader question asked for monitor suggestions UNDER $300

    You made suggetions of one monitor at exactly $300 and four OVER $300, including one nearly 3x the asking budget.

    You did the exact same thing a couple months back;
    http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2016/02/ask-lh-what-thin-cheap-tv-should-i-buy/

    I mean if you arn't going to even answer the question being asked, why make an article about that question?

    Last edited 30/03/16 10:08 pm

      Seriously! The guy asked for suggestions around $300, and I gave one. I also gave some with a higher price, and justifications for doing so, and said you could likely find them cheaper by shopping around.

      P.S This Mark is our Kotaku editor and I spoke to him extensively outside of the couple of sentences at the top of this article.

    Who in their right mind would use anything less than a 70". If you want to game right, people listen up, go buy yourself a 1080P projector (floor to ceiling), with a 7.2 surround sound system with plenty of bass.

    You will definitely hear and feel that rocket launcher passing you by, and that sniper shot will bring tears to your eyes... Literally.

    "BenQ RL2755M this $350 “built for gaming” 27-inch monitor is a 1080p one, with a crazy low 1ms TN response time, dual HDMI, and inbuilt speakers as well as a headphone jack. This is your jack-of-all-trades choice."i use my 59 inch tv but i did get this one for in the bedroom where i look after my sick wife and this one is a beauty and i highly recommend it.

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