It’s easy sometimes to get caught up in the technicalities of the inside of your computer, for example, and spend all your money trying to make it. Still, all that will be a waste of money if your monitor for gaming sucks and proceeds to give a 1950’s black and white film display. Don’t get me wrong, spending 90% of your budget on a gaming monitor isn’t a good idea either. It is actually possible to get the best gaming monitor under 100 dollars, but you’ve really got to do a lot of digging through the dirt, some monitors may seem reasonable on the surface, but they may just actually end up burning out after a couple of months of hard gaming. Also, keep note that the refresh rate is really going to suck at this budget. With that out of the way, this guide will help you avoid those problems and let you save some money at the same time.
- 1 Why a Cheap Gaming Monitor and Not an Ordinary TV
- 2 Which are the best gaming monitor under $100?
- 3 1. Asus VS228H-P/VS228
- 4 2. Acer G226HQL
- 5 3. ViewSonic VA2246M
- 6 4. Sceptre E
- 7 5. Dell E1916HV
- 8 6. HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch
- 9 Optimizing Your Gaming Monitor to Get the Most Out of it
- 10 Things To Consider While Choosing the Best Gaming Monitor under $100
- 11 What Will You Get In This Price
- 12 Consider Refurbished Monitors
- 13 How to Clean a Gaming Monitor
- 14 Conclusion
Why a Cheap Gaming Monitor and Not an Ordinary TV
Getting a budget gaming monitor under 100 might still prove to be an expensive option compared to an ordinary TV. Ideally, even the cheapest monitors in this category are made with optimized gaming features, thus making them a bit pricey than ordinary TV displays. However, a TV or projector might be adequate for display in the gaming world. Therefore, the display type goes down to personal preference in as much as gaming features are a priority.
Here are a few reasons why cheap gaming monitors under 100 are better gaming displays:
1. Better Picture Quality:
The best gaming monitors under 100 tend to offer image quality with a higher density of pixels, leading to full HD resolution. This image quality translates to a more detailed and sharper gaming experience full of color. In addition, the best monitors in this category also offer a high contrast ratio for a balanced luminance, thus clear image quality.
Also, there is a significant resolution gap, with the best gaming monitors under 100 having slightly flexible resolutions. Conversely, TVs come with fixed resolution sets with no in-between ranges, biased to less dense pixels.
2. Versatile Connectivity:
Monitors built for gaming purposes come with a wide range of connectivity options through different ports you cannot find in an ordinary TV. In particular, you are highly likely to find a DP (DisplayPort) connector in a budget monitor meant for computer gaming than in a TV.
3. Faster Response Features:
Ideally, top gaming monitors under 100 come with low response time, meaning they are faster than ordinary TVs even when handling fast-paced games. In most cases, you can find a budget monitor meant for gaming with a response time of 1-4ms. Not to worry, we will cover this gaming display aspect.
Even as we discuss the benefits of the best gaming monitors with respect to games, you can be sure it will still offer the same as any other visual output. As such, you can enjoy the high image quality while watching videos.
Even so, with a budget of $100 and below, you can still opt for a TV. Accordingly, here are some of the amazing features you will enjoy while using a TV for gaming:
1. Larger Display
Usually, a TV is larger than a cheap monitor. Therefore, you can play from a couch without having to be close to the screen. Unlike monitors, TVs come in a variety of large displays. In the end, a TV offers more comfortable gaming periods.
2. Better Multi-Player Display
Especially with bigger TVs, you can enjoy playing split-screen modes. As such, you will have company to make gaming sessions more fun and adrenaline-packed.
In comparison, investing in an affordable monitor is better for additional gaming features that you will not find in a TV. Fortunately, the same features used in gaming displays can be used for other visual outputs for top-notch image quality overall. As such, here are options for the best gaming monitor under 100.
Which are the best gaming monitor under $100?
1. Asus VS228H-P/VS228
- Slim Design 21.5 inch Full HD Wide Screen LED display and Quick 5 ms response...
- Aspect Control function allows users to select a preferred display mode among...
- Smart View Technology can adjust color parameters to deliver the same image...
- Splendid Video Intelligence Technology optimizes video performance and image...
This LED gaming monitor has a 50,000,000:1 high contrast ratio and an HDMI 1080 port, ensuring that you get a crisp high definition playback for all of your games. Another good feature with this Asus gaming monitor is that you get to use “Smart View Technology,” which is a very clever feature that allows you to adjust the color parameters to ensure you get a good image quality if you are lying down or sitting on a chair. The gaming monitor is 21.5 inches in size, and if you want a monitor that can mount on a wall, then you will be able to do that with this Asus VS228H. The one bad thing about this monitor is that it is not often in stock due to the low price, making it a popular option for gamers around the globe.
2. Acer G226HQL
- The G-Series 21.5" LED is designed for High-Definition with a stunning 1920 x...
- Rapid 5ms response time reduces deviations in transition time to deliver...
- The DVI-D input with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) allows for...
- Signal Inputs: 1 x DVI w/HDCP & 1 X VGA. Dimensions(H x W x D): 12.28 x 20.08 x...
I would describe this Acer gaming monitor as a smart little ecological powerhouse. It is very sleek and slim and overall is an extremely great bang for your buck. The backlight is non-mercury LED like most other good gaming monitors under 100, and its color support is 16.7 million, which really does a good job of bringing out and highlighting the colors in whatever game you are playing. If you buy this gaming monitor, then you always get the peace of mind that you are helping the environment. This G226HQL monitor is also RoHS certified and, as mentioned earlier, does not include white mercury lighting like many other gaming monitors. If you don’t really care about the environment, then all the eco-warrior stuff might still be a bonus for you as this monitor is built to deliver up to 68% power savings. With over hundreds of hours of gaming can really save you a bit of money, not to mention the fact this monitor is already going to save you money due to the low price. If you want other low-priced tech products, you can read our gaming headset under 100 guide for budget quality headsets.
3. ViewSonic VA2246M
- GREAT FOR HOME AND OFFICE: An ideal all-around display for desktop, or laptop
- SEE THE DIFFERENCE: Razor-sharp clarity and detail with Full HD (1920x1080p)...
- ENHANCED VIEWING COMFORT: Flicker-Free technology and Blue Light Filter for...
- FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: The VA2246MH-LED supports laptops, PCs, Macs, and POS...
I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it, Don’t always pass off a smaller brand that you’ve never heard of and automatically go for the big brand that has spent all their money on advertising. Unlike some of the other budget gaming monitors under 100 in this guide, the ViewSonic monitors are nearly always well kept in stock, have super support and rave reviews and let me tell you why. The 22-inch version of this gaming monitor currently comes in under our desired budget and boasts a full HD 1920x 1080p display, built-in speakers, 10 million to 1 contrast ratio. This all makes sure that you get an excellent display, perfect for gamers. In addition, it is compatible with both Windows and Mac gamers and is very easy to swivel around so that you can get the best views of whatever game you are playing. The one thing I would mention about this is that in my personal opinion, the plastic material on this model feels quite cheap, but I would say that is to be expected at this price range.
4. Sceptre E
- Metallic Ultra slim design. Os compatibility- Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7,...
- Ultra slim profile contemporary sleek metal design slim bezel with thin chassis...
- 3.5mm mini-jack Audio out. Dimensions without stand (inch, W x H x D): 21.45 x...
- Hdmi and VGA up to 75Hz refresh rate. Brightness: 230 cd/M2, colors: 16.7M...
If you are lucky enough to get this Scepter 24 inch gaming monitor during a sale, you are no doubt going to get yourself a great bargain. This great gaming monitor has a 5 million to 1 dynamic contrast ratio, which gives it great color and, of course, HDMI inputs. If it didn’t then have either, I would not have put it in this guide. There is nothing worse than buying a new monitor and forgetting to buy speakers. So the good thing about this monitor is its built-in speakers. They may not produce the highest quality sound imaginable, but they are a great feature, in my opinion. Spectre E is a great company, and they are clearly experts in what they do, which is backed up by the support they provide to customers, which is something bigger brands sometimes forget to do. I really like this monitor and would absolutely recommend it to my gaming buddies on a budget.
5. Dell E1916HV
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I am going to be honest, this isn’t the best monitor on this list, but I thought I would add it just to keep things varied and in case someone is a massive fan of Dell products. You can get this gaming monitor in either 19 or 20 inches for under one hundred bucks, and it also goes up to 24 inches. However, that does increase the price, and if you want to pay more, you should just get a better monitor anyway. This Dell monitor unfortunately only comes with VGA input so HDMI is not an option, as well as that the screen resolution isn't great either but does have 16.7 million color support. The reality is, though, the quality on this monitor really isn't that great, and it looks pretty bad. I’m not sure why that is exactly, the response time is pretty fast at 5 milliseconds, but I think one of the issues might be the viewing angles that this gaming monitor gives you. It is quite awkward and makes it hard to see the screen, and there are no adjustable settings.
6. HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch
- Monitor: 21.5-inch diagonal Full HD (1920x1080) IPS; Enjoy vibrant images with...
- Resolution and aspect ratio: Full HD and 16:9; 2 million pixels for...
- Response time: 7ms with overdrive; Get a smooth picture that looks crisp and...
- Ports: VGA, HDMI, and HDCP support help you stay connected;Power Consumption: 20...
In my opinion, this wouldn’t be an excellent budget gaming monitor guide without including an HP monitor. I might not be a fan of some HP products, but I really can’t fault their monitors. This gaming monitor is up to date and, of course, offers full 1920 x 1080p high-quality HD playback, it’s also 16:9 and has about 2 million pixels which allow the colors in your gaming to shine to their full capacity. If you ever had a monitor that looks like it blurs or lags, then you might have blamed it on something like your CPU, but it actually could have been due to your poor-quality monitor. This HP monitor has a 7 millisecond response time which is quite fast, and makes sure that if the rest of your setup is good, then the monitor won’t let you down by giving you motion blur. Keep in mind that there are other monitors in this guide that have a faster response time. If you are a health-conscious gamer, note that this monitor was built without mercury and arsenic materials so that you can game 24 hours a day with optimal peace of mind. The one fault I would give with this gaming monitor is that I wouldn’t exactly call it long-lasting, and you should be very careful not to give it any knocks. At such a low price, it looks like cheaper materials might have had to be used.
Optimizing Your Gaming Monitor to Get the Most Out of it
You can easily calibrate your gaming monitor under $100 for optimal gaming features. Ideally, there are three techniques you can use for the best monitor calibration.
To start with, you can find a hardware calibrator at a reasonable price, which you will then place on your monitor's screen and run the corresponding software. As such, the calibrator will give a monitor report on the luminance balance of colors and other aspects that affect image quality. Fortunately, most calibrators will have an auto-save function on the best fitting custom display for your monitor. However, even as we speak of calibrators being available at reasonable prices, some might find them a bit pricey.
This second method is the easiest and the quickest, and it involves gamma correction of the built-in operating system. For example, you can correct the gamma setting of your macOS or Windows operating system. As such, gamma is a display aspect that impacts the color ratios, color levels, contrast and brightness. Adding to its ease of calibration, this technique is also free and less intuitive with the help of a simple guide.
For more IT-oriented individuals, like graphic designers, you can tweak with a monitor display by adjusting the color display. This third method involves downloading a fitting color profile for your display. You can use color information in UI elements and files to choose the best color profile for the best image quality.
Some of the color profiles you can try for a start include Adobe RGB and SRGB. You can also check out other profiles that are popular among designers and photographers. If you are a professional with more insight into this technique, you can go ahead and customize your profile for more accurate colors. In the end, you will have your gaming monitor under $100 performing at full HD resolution with top-of-the-class image quality.
Things To Consider While Choosing the Best Gaming Monitor under $100
Buying a monitor under $100 shouldn't be treated lightly. Accordingly, it is important to understand the underlying functional aspects that make gaming features stand out in such monitors. As per the previous section on calibration, if you can optimize the different monitor aspects, you can optimize your gaming experience. Read on to identify the factors that will make you spend your $100 wisely on the best monitors for gaming.
1. Refresh Rates
A monitor's refresh rate refers to the frequency at which a screen refreshes or changes the image per second. The higher and faster the refresh rate of a monitor is, the smoother the images are since it can keep up with the fast game movements. At most times, this feature is at the heart of the success of competitive gamers. Refresh rate is also accompanied by advanced features such as adaptive sync technology in some models.
Ideally, refresh rates are measured in Hertz, which range from 60-240Hz. Hertz as an abbreviation refers to the frequency at which displayed frames change per second. Therefore, when we talk about 60 Hz, we imply 60 frames displayed per second. The risk of lower Hertz is obtaining poor and blurry image quality.
A refresh rate of 60Hz is mostly common among monitors below $100 meant for gaming purposes. Notably, this limit of 60Hz is adequate for competitive gaming while working within a budget and when enjoying single-player games. However, without limiting the Hz you go for within the $100 budget, you can look for more Hertz, such as 100 or more, which are more suitable for fast-paced games.
2. Screen Resolution
Still, in line with the image quality of a budget gaming monitor, you should also check for the screen resolution feature. Again, this characteristic directly impacts the image quality, with a monitor under $100 likely to feature 1080p. As such, 1080p full HD monitors are probably the best, you will find in this category, considering that 4K and 1440p might probably be very expensive.
However, if your gaming PC has a capacity beyond 1080p, we recommend saving more money to get a monitor with better resolution for better image quality. Therefore, in conjunction with the screen refresh rate, resolution works to produce the best images for gaming.
Also, as a product of resolution, amazing picture quality depends on the display colors. As a result, a budget monitor with a full 16.7 million color set guarantees clear and sharp images for the best gaming experience.
3. Panel Types
Different gaming monitors also come with different panel technologies. Considerably, most modern models come with TFT-LCD technology, which is highly responsive with better color reproduction. In light of this aspect, you can find the following versions: TN panel, VA panel, and IPS panel. In full, these terms refer to Twisted Nematic (TN panel), In-Panel Switching (IPS panel) and Vertical alignment (VA panel).
The TN panels offer the best refresh rate and response time but are dull when viewed from the side. On the other hand, the Vertical Alignment panels offer the best contrast ratio and deliver robust and deeper colors. However, the VA panels have ghosting effects which are not ideal for gaming.
When it comes to an IPS monitor, it offers broader viewing angles with excellent color quality. However, an IPS panel has lower pixel quality than TN panels. Therefore, now you have adequate information on the type of panels you can choose for your select monitor within the budget range of $100.
4. Response time
Another imaging feature that is closely related to the refresh rate is the response time. Whenever you are looking for the best monitor, even under the budget of $100, you should ensure that its response time is less than 5 ms. Anything more than that leads to input lags meaning your gaming sessions will be full of glitches. In particular, the response time matters a lot to competitive gamers.
Ideally, response time affects the time spent to change colors by pixels. As a result, response time affects the accuracy and clarity at which game movements are displayed on your screen. To some extent, you might have thought that such a feature is determined by the size of your screen, but now you understand, response time is at the heart of smoother and clearer output.
Fortunately, even with newer monitor models, you can get the best response times of even 1 ms, especially for the TN panels. While going for the IPS panel, you should expect a response time of 4 ms, which is still adequate while working with a budget. The advantage of going for an IPS monitor is that it also produces better color. However, at all times, if you can, we recommend going for a lesser response time.
5. Connectivity Ports
A quality gaming monitor in this category should have versatile connectivity options. Even more, modern models come with a number of connectivity options, including VGA, DisplayPort, USB and HDMI. Each of these connectivity options has its purposes, and the more they are, the better your monitor will be at supporting different connections.
For instance, versatile input and output ports can accommodate multi-monitor setups for a competitive game. Just like the multi-monitor setup, your monitor will also be able to support any kind of video and connection to diverse consoles such as PS4 and Xbox. It would also help to have a USB port (s) for synchronizing gaming controllers under multi-monitor setups.
Additionally, you can have a monitor that supports graphics cards such as the AMD graphics card for better picture quality. In this case, you should also check for compatibility with different graphics cards for optimal functionality. Eventually, modern monitors offer a sleek and stylish design for the additional connectivity ports with minimum obstruction and maximum accommodation of output connections.
6. Aspect ratio
The best gaming monitors should also offer the best aspect ratio, which is a balance between the width and height of the monitor display. Notably, most monitors in this category come with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Considerably, this display technology is ideal for gaming and other display tasks at a budget of less than $100.
7. Customer Feedback
If it's your first time shopping for a gaming monitor, it always helps to review feedback from previous customers to avoid making mistakes that have been made before. Luckily, customer feedback is available across different online retail platforms.
Therefore, reading customer reviews help identify the true capability of monitors. In the end, this will ensure you obtain the best out of your $100 or less.
8. Screen size
Lastly, a budget monitor below $100 should also have a reasonable size for enjoyable gaming. Ideally, a gaming screen size should neither be too big nor too small. For example, a big screen might make it difficult to track different gaming parts, while a small one might be too cramped.
For monitors in this category, a size of 24 inches is workable. Fortunately, you can have a sleek and stylish addition when it comes to the screen size, with some coming with curved features. Accordingly, the screen size works with the refresh rate and response time to offer the best image experience.
What Will You Get In This Price
Having looked at the factors to consider and prioritize for an affordable gaming monitor, it is evident you can still get the best within this budget range. Therefore, here's what you can get from the best gaming monitor within a budget of $100 and below:
1. High Resolution
With $100, you can get 1080p which is ideal for a small screen size like 21 or 24 inches which are within reach with this budget. However, you can rarely get 24 inches at this price, with the most viable option being 21 inches. As a result, you will obtain sharp and clear images for an immersed gaming experience. Even so, always avoid anything below 1080p.
2. Refresh Rate
The best gaming monitor in this category will offer a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which is adequate for gaming within this budget. If you are lucky enough, you can also find a better refresh rate between 75- 100 Hz with a budget of $100. However, such a refresh rate range might not be adequate for fast-paced gaming since they may cause screen tearing.
3. Panel type
At a budget of $100, you can get an IPS panel that produces high image qualities. However, the most realistic targets with $100 are TN panels with a better pixel response and refresh rate than IPS panels. However, the TN panels are poor in color and viewing angles compared to the IPS panels. Take advantage of offers and discounts to get the best panels, such as IPS panels, for the ultimate gaming experience.
4. Response time
Last but not least, budget monitors under $100 also offer high response time. In particular, the best budget gaming monitors come with a response time of 1-2 ms. Not to worry, with most budget monitors, you can work with a range of up to 5 ms for the optimal gaming experience. You can also get ample response time when working with a multiple monitor setup within this budget.
Consider Refurbished Monitors
In some cases, the best budget gaming monitors within the range of $100 and below might not have adequate gaming features. However, this doesn't mean settling for less. There is also the option of refurbished monitors with better gaming specs. Refurbished computer products have a higher chance of good service only if the previous owners took great care of them.
For instance, you can find a refurbished monitor with a higher refresh rate and resolution than new ones within a range of $100 and below. You can check different retail physical and online stores for refurbished monitors. As alternatives to new budget monitors, refurbished monitors within the same price range come with different issues and faults. Some of the issues to look out for in refurbished monitors include:
- Dead pixels, which can mostly be ignored.
- Mild cosmetic stains, which can be cleaned or ignored
- Flickers. This issue is most common with used CRT monitors and can be very annoying both in th short and long term.
- Backlight bleeding. These issues can be particularly noticed in dark rooms. Depending on the severity, you can avoid this or go for a monitor with this defect.
- Major screen damage like cracks. Please avoid any refurbished display with cracks or loose power connections.
How to Clean a Gaming Monitor
Whether your gaming monitor is within the very affordable range or most expensive, it requires optimal care. One of the ways of care and maintenance of gaming displays is frequent cleaning. Notably, monitors meant for gaming gather dust, leading to streaks and smudges. Also, monitors gather stains since they're prone to touch.
Dust and stains don't immediately affect the same features we have covered in the preceding sections, but over time they may hamper the overall performance of your display. So, across any type of gaming display monitor, here's an elaborate approach to cleaning:
- First, you can use readily available materials in homes such as mild dishwashing detergent, warm water and lint-free cloths.
- Then start with a dry wipe using a dry cloth to remove dust and less stubborn stains.
- If the dry wipe is not adequate, you can proceed to make a mild soap solution with warm water. Remember, you don't need much detergent, just a drop or so.
- When the solution is ready, use another cloth to gently wipe your monitor. Again, ensure it's damp and not dripping water.
- After this, you can rinse with a cloth dipped in clean water to remove any soap residue. This process should also be done gently.
- Eventually, use a dry cloth to dry the wetness and get rid of any streaks.
Sounds easy, right? However, at all times, you should remember that your monitor is an electronic gadget that does not thrive under any kind of wetness. Also, you should be careful that the water doesn't come into contact with any naked wires or connections. Therefore, we recommend switching off your gaming station entirely before proceeding with this simple cleaning process.
In closing, it is possible to obtain a quality gaming monitor under $100. While at this, the best gaming monitor in this range should offer quality image features that are able to match the fast rate frame changing in gaming. As a result, your choice of a gaming monitor should be reliable and highly responsive.
Therefore, the best gaming monitors within the $100 and below budget are available in the market but with limited gaming capabilities. Nonetheless, these options are ideal for entry-level gamers since they offer a higher refresh rate. Even so, you still have the option of investing in refurbished monitors, which might offer even better gaming specs within the same budget.