What Cheap Gaming Monitor Should I Buy For My Console?

What Cheap Gaming Monitor Should I Buy For My Console?

The other day my esteemed boss, Mark, popped the question: he needed a new monitor that he could plug his console into. Not a TV — he’s got one of those. Just a monitor. It had to be around 26 to 32 inches, and he didn’t want to break the bank to get his gaming fix.

Fortunately, one of our colleagues came up with an incredibly helpful reply — one that you might find very useful if you’re in a similar position.

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.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo Australia


  • I’ll say the same thing I said when this was posted on Giz. Dont count out a TV. What you lose with refresh isnt as much as you think, and you can get a good TV in that size range with plenty of features.

    My monitor died not long ago, and I decided to replace my tele at the same time. Second one in the bedroom thats a pretty early model, I figured I could at least test it out as a monitor and if it didnt work, get a monitor anyhow.

    It wasnt anything special, I took a risk with a DSE branded tele in their firesale, but its doing a bang up job so far. And its disturbingly easy to get used to a 41.5″ monitor…

    To put it a different way, if you’re gaming with a rig that NEEDS a 1ms redraw, you shouldnt be worried about the cost anyway. If you’re using a midrange system a 10ms redraw is fine, and in the size range being considered, thats pretty common.

  • IMO 1080p is too low pixel density for a 27″ monitor.
    I use to have a 27″ 1080p and felt the individual pixels were to large on that size monitor. They were most noticeable in red.
    I’ve since upgraded to a 34″ ultrawide 3440×1440 monitor. I can’t believe how crisp everything looks (4K must be insane).

    As the monitor you’re looking for is for a console, basically forget everything I said (console don’t support higher than 1080p or ultrawide, and you’ll most likely be sitting further from the screen than me, so pixel density won’t be a problem).

    • Heh, I must be a weirdo. I’ve been using a 1080p TV that’s like… 23″ I think, as my secondary monitor for ages while my primary is a 1680×1050 22″. At one point last year my dad found a 27″ 1080p screen and I thought wow this is great, everything doesn’t feel so compressed and tiny! But then it had this weird issue where it would just white out on super dark screens so I couldn’t keep it 🙁

      It also bugs me that 16:10 screens seem to be pretty much dead now. Humbug.

  • Pay extra for those IPS viewing angles, you’ll regret it if you don’t. The better colour accuracy is nice too, but the viewing angles are the most annoying thing on my cheap TN.

    • If it’s a monitor just for gaming then when are you going to need a large viewing angle? If you wanted something for couch gaming you’d be getting a bigger TV, not a monitor.

      • if you slouch or shift your position you get minor colour shifting and if you ever watch a movie or even a long cutscene on it these small issues really pull you out of the experience. I’m not saying this as an owner of an IPS panel, I didn’t think it would matter to me either, but it really does and paying around $50 extra in my case would have been thoroughly worth it, I totally regret cheaping out on my monitor and going for the TN option.

    • This so much. I upgraded to an IPS panel way back when they were first becoming widely available and I couldn’t go back.

      IMO @markserrels would be best served by spending a bit extra for a good monitor that can be used for a PC and consoles. A good one will last for years and years.

  • i managed to find a kogan 144hz 24 inch gaming monitor on ebay for about 400, its been amazing and never let me down (1920×1080) trouble is, i can never go back to 60hz it just looks disgusting

  • I need a decently sized (at least 27″) LED monitor that has a native resolution of 1280 x 720.

    Weak eyesight is the reason here, and I’m sick of constantly having to configure larger texts, magnified etc, every single time I use a new application or game. Scaling down to 1280 x 720 on a non-native monitor looks TERRIBLE, so I’m on the lookout for this monitor, which I honestly doubt exists.

    • One of your problems will be that gaming monitors focus on 1920×1080 as a default these days, so you wont see anything of that size with 720 as a default. Even the cheap $209 Kogan monitors are 1080

      As I said above though, consider a TV in your options as well. Sizes down around what you’re looking for (I looked up to 32″) are typically 1366×768, which is the TV equivalent of 1280×720, so will do the job you want.

      • Considering TVs are meant to be viewed from afar, would an LED TV would be safe to stare at, point blank?

        • TV’s and monitors are essentially the same thing, the difference in witchcraft is what the stuff inside is doing – monitors dont need to interpret TV signals for example, so they have tech doing other stuffs, while TV’s dont need the redraw a typical monitor puts out. The main difference is that monitors have a better redraw, handy for gaming to reduce blur, while TV’s simply do more. The screen is the same though.

          But TV’s have been used for consoles for generations, so I wouldnt worry about near or far. If you need to use a monitor up close because of your eyesight, it shouldnt make a drastic difference if you use one or the other.

  • I have the BenQ RL good stuff. I’m using the stock speakers but you can plug better ones in.

  • I have like a 45inch or so Sony television i do all my ps4 gaming with, have never really experienced any issues like input lag or whatever.

    Is there that much of a difference using a monitor for it? I’d take my 144hz gaming monitor on my PC any day of the week of course, but for gaming on a console with a controller i’m curious to how much better a pc monitor would be for it

  • @campbellsimpson You should really measure the display lag of the monitors you are testing and reviewing. I’m sure Kotaku AU can afford to buy a display lag meter. Or make your own, you can even write up an article on making one!

    Or you can do an el cheapo way that I used measure the display lag on my Samsung TV.

    Get a tablet with HDMI-out. Download a stopwatch app with millisecond display.

    Connect the tablet to the TV or monitor with HDMI and start up the stopwatch so that both the tablet and the TV show the app.

    Take multiple photographs of both the tablet and the TV. Hopefully, some of the photos will turn out and show the stopwatch clearly on both the tablet and TV at the same time and you can see the display lag. Take average of the lag from multiple photos.

    Very crude, but you get a useable number. My Samsung measured approx 60ms of display lag, with Game Mode turned on, every thing turned off.

    Compare that to my sub 10ms BenQ, that’s like 50ms of difference. A game running at 60fps, 50ms is like 3 frames of lag. And that’s a huge disadvantage.

  • I have a pair of the little brothers (24″) of that Samsung one, same panel type and all that. Great screens for the price. The colour you get out of them, hnng. I think I’ll struggle to ever go back to TN.

  • I use the BenQ 27inch personally with my PS4 – I think its the best bang for buck having their own speakers just in case you need it, cheap but reputable brand and has lasted me a good 3years of solid gaming so far 🙂 down side I suppose is the overall look if you can get past that.

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