We understand your dilemma: You love gaming, and need a new gaming monitor badly, but one look at all those high prices sends you running. A couple hundred dollars though – preferably below that – and you might be willing to consider.
That’s why we’ve tested the best gaming monitors under $200 and shortlisted can-do screens that can still surprise you with their features and potential with their features and quality. Think you can only get ultra HD resolutions or high-quality backlighting if you’re willing to pay the big bucks? Think again! Upgrade your screen while still saving money with our favorite low-cost gaming monitor deals. You can also look for monitors for Xbox One X to be at the top of your game!
- 1 Top Gaming Monitors Comparison
- 2 Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 LG 25UM57 – Editor’s Pick/Best Resolution for a Small Budget
- 3 Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 Acer H226HQL – Best Budget Monitor for Tough Connections
- 4 Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 Asus VS239H-P – Best Automated Display Filters
Top Gaming Monitors Comparison
|LG 25UM57||Acer H226HQL||Asus VS239H-P|
|Ranking||#1 - Editor's Pick/Best Resolution for a Small Budget||#2 - Best Budget Monitor for Tough Connections||#3 - Best Automated Display Filters|
|Resolution||2560 x 1080||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 LG 25UM57 – Editor’s Pick/Best Resolution for a Small Budget
Retail Price: $165.99 | Resolution: 2560 x 1080 | Features: 25-inch, IPS LED panel, 5ms response time, 21:9 aspect ratio
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Ultra HD resolution and plenty of gaming customization make this the top model for gamers on a budget.
LG’s affordable monitor is the exhibit A for how you can get a powerful gaming monitor with everything you need for under $200. This gaming screen comes with exactly what you need for the best gaming experience, and nothing more. The ultra HD resolution is primarily due to the large aspect ratio, but it still guarantees HD graphics when you need them most. There’s also 3 different gaming modes, two first-person shooter modes, a separate pre-set mode for customization, and automatic color shifting for extra-dark environments so you can see more clearly. Add in the high-quality IPS screen and that 21:9 aspect ratio (ideal for pinpoint FPS accuracy and awareness), and you have all the monitor you need. Note that ports include two HDMI, but no DisplayPort.
Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 Acer H226HQL – Best Budget Monitor for Tough Connections
Retail Price: $105 | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Features: 21-inch, IPS LCD, 5ms response time
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Extra-affordable price tag with a variety of ports.
Sometimes simple is best: This Acer model brings the price way down to only $130 with a 21-inch screen that’s great if you are a little short on room and don’t need a lot of screen real estate for your gaming. While there aren’t too many extra features with this full HD model, we were impressed by the assortment of port options, which includes HDMI, DVI, and VGA. This is nice if you like to hook up older systems or screens to your monitor for vintage gaming or more complex setups that need more than the traditional HDMI. There are plenty of mounting options for this monitor too, particularly if you buy an Acer Vespa mount. Also take a look at the 23-inch and 27-inch models. They’re more expensive, but if you have the room a large screen will definitely improve your gaming experience.
Best Gaming Monitors Under $200 Asus VS239H-P – Best Automated Display Filters
Retail Price: $131 | Resolution: | Features: 23-inch, IPS LED, 5ms response time
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Plenty of automatic optimization features plus a reliable display equals a monitor worth saving on.
This Asus model has slightly large screen than our Acer pick, and notably strong display features. This includes plenty of automatic optimization, which basically means that the monitor will adjust color, brightness and more to try and give you a better picture – ideal for those who would rather not mess around with different modes and settings. However, note that this monitor doesn’t have HDMI ports, although it does come with D-Sub, DVO, and HDCP support for those interested in this particular arrangement (perhaps more ideal for switching between a TV input and games if you only have one screen in the room).
What to Look for in the Best Gaming Monitors Under $200
- Size: Size and price have a pretty strong correlation – you’ll have to pay more for larger screens. That’s why it’s such a great find when you see an inexpensive monitor that still provide a large enough screen for good game immersion. We prefer 25 to 27-inch monitors for gaming, but if these are a bit too large for you, our picks include smaller versions that may be a better fit. It’s also smart to ask yourself if you are using this screen only for games, or for other tasks as well. This could impact your decisions about size.
- Resolution: Is resolution a big deal to you? For some games and powerful gaming machines, it really can make a difference, as long as you have the GPU to back it up. For other gaming experiences it really doesn’t matter much – at least not yet. We favor higher resolution simply because it’s good preparation for the future, but most of the best gaming monitors under $200 are strictly in the full HD category…which is fine!
- Brightness: Brightness can be a very important feature for gaming monitors, and it may be a spot where these less expensive monitors skimp a little to lower the price. Take a look at brightness ratings and options and make sure they are robust. Our top LG pick, for example, has a 250 cd/m2 brightness rating, which is enough for any game.
- The Right Ports: Another spot where these budget monitors cut costs is with ports. Always match the ports you need with the ports you buy. If you need HDMI for a particular connection, you have to have that port. The same is true of any other display connection.
Mistakes to Avoid
- Focusing On the Lingo: This is a danger primarily for new buyers. Monitors use a lot of made-up words to describe what they do, like “dynamic action link” and “Splendid Video Intelligence Technology” and “Smart Contrast Ratio.” As we like to tell shoppers, try to ignore all of this. They are just made up phrases that don’t tell you anything useful. Contrast ratio, for example, is based largely on in-house manufacturer tests that can be created to say whatever the brand wants. Instead of looking at the lingo, drill down and study what a monitor actually does. It’s less exciting, but far better for making a smart purchase.
- Caring Too Much About Aspect Ratio: Aspect ratio is nice, but you need games that offer compatibility for a specific aspect ratio before it’s of any use. Look at other things first.
- Ignoring Ports: Don’t assume all the ports will naturally work with your PC! There’s no guarantee unless you actually look at the connection options.
- Thinking Only About One Monitor: A couple of our top gaming monitors under $200, such as the LG model support easy linking to spread images across more than one screen. This can be useful for both work and gaming, and is an alternative option worth considering.
Which Gaming Monitor Under $200 is for You?
We’ll come out and say it: Get the LG 25UM57. It’s only around $50 more than the other two options, and offers features far beyond them. There’s no competing with that screen, aspect ratio, and all those customization options (the only exception may be if such a long monitor just won’t fit on your desk). You can wait a bit and save up $50 for a monitor that’s far superior, right? If you absolutely can’t, then choose the Acer model if you need HDMI, and the Asus model if you don’t.