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|ASUS VG 248QE Wide Screen 24”|
|Acer XF240 24 Inch|
|BenQ Zowie 24-inch|
|Acer GN246 24inch FHD|
|Acer 251 Q FHD|
Those of you of a certain age – and I count myself among you – will remember the days when the home computer first became ‘a thing’. In relative terms, it was not that long ago, and yet these days they are ubiquitous. It’s interesting to note that the mobile phone I have in my pocket has far, far more capability than my first computer (it was a Commodore Amiga, I bypassed the Sinclair craze) and is also far more powerful than the phone I used just ten years ago, a then state of the art Nokia. This is the age of technology and miniaturisation – the Digital Age as it is often called.
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It’s also interesting that, in those early days – for the record, the came to being in 1987 to give you a time scale – there was little actual practical use for a computer in the home. Legend has it that the boss of IBM once declared that the world market was for ‘five computers’. In actual fact it’s true, but when you consider he said it in 1943, when a computer was about the size of your average house, he was right. He could not have envisaged the desktop computer – or even smartphone or tablet – that you are reading this on. So, with no real practical use, the market for the likes of the Commodore Amiga was for playing games, and much fun it was.
Gaming is, of course, a massive market for both hardware and software manufacturers today, which is why the review is going to look at 144Hz monitors. Why this particular type of monitor? Before we go on to give you the top 10 to choose from, a bit more about this type of monitor and why it is favourable for gaming.
The Top 10
1: ASUS VG 248QE Wide Screen 24”
As you are clearly a gamer with an interest in these monitors you are going to be reading about a lot of the same features, and also looking at products from brands you will be well aware of. Our first choice is from ASUS, an established brand in the world of computer equipment, and one that has some very fine products. This is a 24” wide screen monitor – that will appeal to our friend The Gamer above – and is nicely made as expected.
It has a very rapid refresh rate and a 1millisecond response time – enough to keep any user happy – and it comes with an ASUS Smart Contrast Ratio for better and clearer viewing. This one can be tilted and swivelled, it has a GamePlus hot key, and it can be used on 100 to 240volt systems. It has 3D compatibility should you need it and is a very nice monitor all-round, and a good starting place for us. It’s also a very attractive price.
2: Acer XF240 24 Inch
Some of the full names of these monitors are baffling to say the least, and in this case we’ve chosen to abridge it for simplicity (if you do want to see it, click the link)! Not to be confused with the brand above, this model is from Acer – another giant of the mid-range computer hardware market, with a reputation for quality goods at sensible prices. This is also a 24-inch model, is neat and slim so won’t take up much space, and offers excellent refresh and response times.
In fact, it does everything a gamer wants – use reviews are very favourable – and features a height adjustable stand, which is a nice touch, and the in-house technology is designed to make life much more beautiful and comfortable for the user, especially in fast-paced gaming environments. It can be tilted, swivelled and pivoted, too, so gives you all the angles you need, and you may be very pleasantly surprised at the price.
3: BenQ Zowie 24-inch
Not a household name as the two above brands are, BenQ is a specialist developer and manufacturer of computer equipment aimed at the gaming market – and it is a market that is well worth getting a foot into if you can. Indeed, the Zowie range of monitors is used by professional eGamers, so you have some merit to take from that. It’s a nicely designed, 24inch monitor with very quick refresh and response, and what else?
Well, It has a height adjustable stand and can be tilted and swivelled, and it also comes with the BenQ Black eQualizer technology, which enhances the dark areas when needed without over-exposing the white. This is welcomed by gamers. It has excellent colour enhancement, so you get a true feel for the image as it should be, and is very nicely made. This one is a touch more costly than those above, but not by enough that you shouldn’t consider it.
4: Acer GN246 24inch FHD
Take into account what we said about baffling names a couple of reviews above, and we’ve cut this one short too – it’s all there in the link if you want to see what we mean. However, there’s one but that does mean something, and that’s ‘FHD’: to you, that is Full High Definition. This is definitely what gamers want, especially if there are 3D games to be played, and this one does it nicely and at what can only be described as a sensible price.
Acer is a giant in this field so it’s no surprise this is their second entry on this list, and with very fast response rates, a fully adjustable stand with tilt, swivel and pivot, plus the benefit of HD, this is a monitor that is going to go high on any shortlist. It comes with technological advances in light and colour portrayal, is very slim and easy to use, and is certainly a contender at the price – check it out further if you want a very cheap full HD 3D compatible monitor.
5: Acer 251 Q FHD
If it seems that Acer is dominating this list – and we’re bit finished with them yet – there is a good reason: this is a brand that has concentrated on the mid-priced area of what is a very competitive market. Its products are good yet not brilliant – in fact many dedicated gamers will turn their noses up at an Acer monitor, but at the price you really should not – and this is a list of budget monitors, so it belongs here.
You get it all; 24.5inch monitor, full HD, 3D compatibility, the usual black enhancement and colour enhancement, fast response and refresh rate, and more. It has a space saving adjustable stand, it comes with AMD FreeSync – this will synchronise the frame rate to the video card – and it has a screen that is virtually frameless for better looks. All of this with a decent warranty comes for little more than £200, which we reckon is a good deal.
6: Samsung C24FG70
If you haven’t heard of Samsung you must have been living on another planet lately, for this is one of the biggest electronics and technology brands in the world. Samsung has its finger in every imaginable pie, and this monitor is typical of the quality of the brand. Compared to the others here it is similar in size and spec – 24inch screen, full HD, 3D compatible and more – and yet it comes with the cache of being from a very well-established and trusted brand.
Where this one differs is that it is the only curved monitor that offers the 1ms response time. Samsung has developed the curved screen over the years, and it is very impressive technology. This one features ‘Quantum Dot’ technology for superbly enhanced colour, is fully calibrated and optimised for games, and is fully adjustable however you want. Put simply, it’s got to be among the best here, and you can get it for a price far below that you are thinking of.
7: AOC G2460PF 24 inch
AOC may not be as well-known a brand as Samsung or even Acer, but it specialises in quality monitors that appeal to gamers primarily. They also like to use names and numbers to describe their product that are largely impenetrable, so we have given you a short version. This is a nice monitor that comes at a very decent price, has all the features you could want – more on that in a minute – and is slim and easy to use.
You get it all; 24.inch monitor, full HD, 3D compatibility, the usual black enhancement and colour enhancement, fast response and refresh rate, and more. It has a space saving adjustable stand, it comes with AMD FreeSync – this will synchronise the frame rate to the video card – and it has a screen that is virtually frameless for better looks. All of this with a decent warranty comes for less than £180, so it must be worth considering.
8: Acer KG271
Our final entry from Acer, and it’s a very nice one, is this rather clever and appealing 27-inch monitor – that’s by far the largest screen so far and rather an impressive sight with fast moving games – which has a three-pronged stand for space saving. This monitor is fully adjustable in all directions, has the Acer Zero frame which gives a full screen look, and is very nice indeed.
The basic specs are a very large 27inch monitor, full HD, 3D compatibility, the usual black enhancement and colour enhancement, fast response and refresh rate, and more. It has a space saving adjustable stand, it comes with AMD FreeSync – this will synchronise the frame rate to the video card – and it has a screen that is virtually frameless for better looks. If you are willing to pay a little more thanks to the size of the screen, and you want a bigger monitor, this is not expensive at all.
9: AOC G2790PX
The second to feature from the AOC brand, and this is the 27inch version of the one we have already talked about, so is a nice big screen like the Acer above. It comes with all the adjustments you could wish for so you can angle it how you like, is very stable and easy to set up, and gives great colour and resolution, and you get all the usual connectivity methods – as you do on every one of these – too.
So, what’s the low-down? The key selling point is the very large 27inch monitor, it offers full HD quality, 3D compatibility, the usual black enhancement and colour enhancement, fast response and refresh rate, and is nicely made. It comes with AMD FreeSync – this will synchronise the frame rate to the video card – and it has a screen that is virtually frameless for better looks. This is the most expensive so far but just by a fraction from the one above, but you should expect to pay more for a bigger screen.
10: BenQ XL2430
= BenQ is a specialist developer and manufacturer of computer equipment aimed at the gaming market – and it is a market that is well worth getting a foot into if you can – so we felt it right to include another of their products on this list. BenQ monitors is used by professional eGamers, so you have some merit to take from that. It’s a nicely designed, 24inch monitor with very quick refresh and response, and what else?
Well, It has a height adjustable stand and can be tilted and swivelled, and it also comes with the BenQ Black eQualizer technology, which enhances the dark areas when needed without over-exposing the white. This is welcomed by gamers. It has excellent colour enhancement, so you get a true feel for the image as it should be, and is very nicely made. All we will say is that while very good, this one is the most expensive at just under £300, so you really have to want it if you choose it over others here.
That’s our list of the top 10 budget 144Hz monitors so is there one here for you? Before we try and give you a verdict, let’s recap some of the factors to look for.
Important Features to Consider
You know what you want from your gaming monitor, so here’s a few pointers to making a valid comparison:
Screen Size – the choice here comes down to 24 inch – the standard – or 27 inch, with the latter being a touch more expensive.
Brand – if you are someone who likes the assurance of a known brand name there are plenty here including giants such as Acer and Samsung, and specialist makers such as BenQ, so you can construct your shortlist as you wish!
HD – all of these are full HD, and 3D compatible, so no problem there.
Response Rate – each of the monitors featured will provide a 1ms response rate.
Stand – some have a stand that adjusts in every way, while other can swivel, tilt and pivot, but cannot be adjusted for height.
Cost – the price of those on our list ranges from around £170 to £300, so that’s quite a gap to consider.
That’s about it for our list of things to look for – the specification of these is, after all, pretty much the same – so is there one we can recommend?
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How It Works
So, you’re a gamer, and you’re in the market for a new 144Hz monitor – why don’t you tell us what it’s all about? Ok: “Hi. I’m a gamer, and I really like to play multi-player games. I like using a 144Hz monitor best because it has a faster refresh rate than, for example, a 60Hz, and it provides you with a clearer picture, so you can really keep on top of what is going on. When playing multi-player games that’s important, as you don’t want your opponents to get on top of you.
The only problem is that a 144Hz monitor, as it is more technically advanced, tends to be more expensive that the others, so I – the gamer – can’t afford one!” Well, Mr or Mrs Gamer, we have news for you, because – and thanks for that very neat description and explanation – we have put together a list of the top 10 budget 144Hz monitors, and we reckon there’s a few here you can afford.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
So, you want a gaming 144Hz monitor, and you have looked at our list – does any one stand out? For us, there is one we would go for straight away: the Samsung with the curved screen. It is an excellent all-round monitor that just has that little edge for us.
If you want a 27inch screen, however, choose from either number 8 or 9 as they are very similar in spec and price, and if you are truly on a budget, there is no reason why the Acer model at No.2 should not do the job.
So take your pick, and have fun with your gaming on your new monitor!