If you want to get your game on without going broke, there are plenty of options, especially for monitors. While you may have to give up the extra-large 4K monitors of your dreams, you can still get a very capable gaming display for under $150 to play hot games such as Fallout 76 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. And at these prices, you can even splurge and set up that multimonitor battlestation you've been dreaming about.
What to expect for less than $150
In this price range, we found several monitors between 22 and 25 inches with full-HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Most of these monitors offer quick response times, 60-Hz refresh rates, HDMI connectivity and good brightness.
What you won't get is size. The largest sub-$150 monitor we could find that offers gaming-class response times had a 25-inch wide screen. Nor will you get some of the fancier features, like curved screens or Nvidia's G-Sync adaptive sync technology, but you will find a few monitors under $150 that offer AMD FreeSync as well as in-plane switching (IPS) panels for better viewing angles and richer colors.
The LG 24MP59G-P stands out from most low-cost gaming displays by offering an IPS panel, great brightness (246 nits) and one of the best lag times we saw (9.7 milliseconds). Color quality is OK, with a limited color gamut (93.3 percent) but decent accuracy (Delta-E 0.74). One standout feature is the addition of AMD FreeSync support, which helps eliminate tearing by syncing the refresh rate to your AMD graphics card.
Unlike many of the inexpensive gaming monitors we looked at, the LG 24MP59G-P has some visual flair, thanks to a two-toned red-and-black color scheme that will make it look right at home in your battlestation. The construction is stylish and sturdy, and a small four-direction joystick set into the bottom edge of the display cabinet lets you navigate menus quickly and also doubles as a power button.
Brightness: 246 nits
Color Gamut: 93.3 percent
Lag Time: 9.7 milliseconds
The 24-inch BenQ GL2460HM looks much like the other full-HD gaming monitors we reviewed, with a TN panel and a 60-Hz refresh rate. Unlike most competing monitors, however, it boasts connections for DVI as well as HDMI and VGA, and has some of the best brightness and color we saw in our testing, with a 268-nit backlight and 99.2-percent color gamut.
The monitor is well-made, with a pedestal stand that snaps together without needing screws or tools. The molded plastic chassis has easy-to-use buttons for navigating settings menus, and there's a pair of 1-watt speakers inside. BenQ covers the GL2460HM with a three-year warranty.
Brightness: 268.6 nits
Color Gamut: 99.2 percent
Lag Time: 10.2 milliseconds
In many respects, the ViewSonic VX2457-MHD is a close sibling to the ViewSonic VX2452MH, but with two crucial differences: The ViewSonic VX2457-MHD offers DisplayPort connectivity and includes AMD FreeSync, for tear-free gaming when used with an AMD graphics card.
The monitor is otherwise quite standard, with middle-of-the-road performance. The brightness (211 nits) could be better, but the display offers good-enough color gamut (97.2 percent) and accuracy (Delta-E 0.83). A pair of 2-watt speakers provides decent sound, and the accompanying stand can be assembled without a screwdriver thanks to a thumbscrew. ViewSonic covers the VX2457-MHD with a three-year warranty.
Brightness: 211.4 nits
Color Gamut: 97.2 percent
Lag Time: 10.6 milliseconds
The Acer KG221Q stands out among other inexpensive gaming monitors thanks to a combination of performance and features. The monitor's aesthetic will be at home in any gamer's battlestation, with an angular stand that can be assembled without tools. The KG221Q has solid color reproduction, producing 99.8 percent of the sRGB gamut — the best of the cheap gaming monitors we tested.
A pair of 2-watt speakers offers great sound, and the 75-Hz panel includes AMD FreeSync for gaming without stuttering or tearing. We just wish it were a little bigger.
Brightness: 222.4 nits
Color Gamut: 99.8 percent
Lag Time: 10.7 milliseconds
The Asus VX238H is a decent gaming monitor for those on a budget, offering a basic 23-inch monitor with a 75-Hz refresh rate. The performance is adequate, reproducing 95.7 percent of the sRGB color gamut and offering a Delta-E accuracy rating of 0.83. (Lower numbers are better.) The screen brightness could be better; at 188 nits, it was the only monitor we tested to come in under the 200-nit mark. But despite its weak points, the monitor does have decent audio from the pair of 1.5-watt speakers.
Included with the monitor is a power cable, a VGA cable and an HDMI-to-DVI connector. If your PC outputs to HDMI, you will need to provide your own cable. The overall construction is a bit disappointing, with big gaps around the HDMI and VGA connectors that make it difficult to conveniently plug in a cable. However, Asus covers the monitor with a three-year warranty, so you can rest easy knowing that you're covered three times as long as the usual warranty period.
Brightness: 188.8 nits
Color Gamut: 95.7 percent
Lag Time: 10.8 milliseconds
The ViewSonic VX2452MH sits right in the middle of our rankings because of its no-frills design and middle-of-the-road performance. The monitor has good, but not great, color reproduction (96.4 percent of the sRGB gamut), acceptable accuracy (Delta-E 0.87) and brightness (223 nits), and no standout features.
With connections for HDMI, DVI and VGA, the monitor has a good selection of ports, and a pair of 2-watt speakers provides very good audio. The included stand attaches with a thumbscrew, so no tools are needed. One great aspect of the VX2452MH is that ViewSonic covers the monitor with a three-year warranty.
Brightness: 223 nits
Color Gamut: 96.4 percent
Lag Time: 10.7 milliseconds
The Dell SE2417HG is one of the least-expensive gaming monitors we reviewed, but it still has plenty worth recommending. The 24-inch TN panel has the expected 60-Hz refresh rate, a decent 2-millisecond response time and good color accuracy (Delta-E rating 0.68), but it's held back by low brightness (210 nits) and a limited color gamut (94.6 percent).
The monitor has two HDMI inputs and a VGA connection but no other connectivity options or audio support. The two-peice stand has a square base and a standard pedestal neck that offers some angle adjustment. Tool-free assembly lets you snap the pieces together as soon as you pull them out of the box.
Brightness: 210 nits
Color Gamut: 94.6 percent
Lag Time: 10.8 milliseconds