We often hear about individuals who put so much effort into picking out their gaming rig. They went through the trouble of finding the ideal processor, ram kit, graphics card, hard drives and sound card, but they forgot to budget enough money to get a really nice monitor. Now you may want to save some money and upgrade your monitor in the coming six to twelve months, but for the time being you may have to make do with a monitor that is $100 or below. And the good news is that you do have some options where sub-$100 monitors are concerned.
- HP Pavilion 21.5-Inch IPS LED HDMI VGA Monitor
The HP Pavilion series of monitors are great for a number of reasons. The first positive that we have to note is the wonderful design. It is really sleek and modern, which ensures that you are going to really love the monitor as it is put down on your gaming desk. The only downside that we can see is the size. A 21.5-inch monitor is not terrible by any means, but it may be a little small for some. However, you are getting a full HD resolution, a 60 Hz refresh rate and excellent color contrasts. So even though it is a slightly smaller screen than you may have wanted, it is going to look stunning.
When you set up the monitor through your graphics card’s HDMI port, you are going to get a full HD resolution of 1920 by 1080p. The aspect ratio comes in at 16:9, which is the same for almost all budget gaming monitors, and you get an impressive dynamic contrast ratio of 8,000,000 to 1. Whether you are looking at pictures, watching television shows or movies, or playing games, every image is going to look vibrant and absolutely gorgeous on this monitor.
The monitor also has a fairly low value for input lag, which means you are not going to get any issues regarding input delay when you are playing games. All in all, it is a very solid gaming monitor that you can get online for less than $100.
- ViewSonic VA2246M-LED 22-Inch LED-Lit LCD Monitor
ViewSonic is not a company that has the same reputation as HP, Sony, LG or some of the other bigger names in the tech world, but they are known for producing some fantastic gaming monitors. The great thing about their products is how they are always priced on the low end, even if you are getting some excellent features. At 22 inches diagonally, the ViewSonic LCD monitor is not huge by any means, but it is a fairly solid size if you are looking to get a quality gaming monitor on a budget.
Again, you are getting a full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on your screen, while you are also getting very good response times. So you will be able to play your favorite first person shooter games without experiencing any type of input delay or lag. Another fantastic feature that comes with this monitor is the built-in speaker. If you have a gaming system and you did not get yourself dedicated speakers, you can use the built-in ones for the time being. Even though they do not sound incredible, they get the job done until you can afford a new set of speakers.
One of the cons that we have to talk about with respect to this monitor is the lack of a HDMI port. There are VGA and DVI ports, but there is no DVI cable in the bundle when you purchase the monitor. So if your graphics card did not come with at least one DVI cable, you may want to get one for under $10 when you place your order at an online retailer. The downside to no HDMI is not a major issue for someone who only uses the monitor for their gaming rig, but it does mean you will have a hard time connecting Rokus and other such devices to your monitor. It also means that you need to run a separate sound cable from your PC to the monitor if you want to use the built-in speakers. The sound cable does come with the monitor.
- ASUS VS228T-P
In many ways, the ASUS VS228T-P is the best gaming monitor that you are going to get for under $100. It is slightly smaller than the ViewSonic monitor, with its 21.5-inch screen, but you are getting a ton of other features that make up for the half inch of screen size loss. For instance, this ASUS monitor comes with the best color contrast ratio on the list, which means your images, videos and games are going to look better on the ASUS monitor as compared to the HP and ViewSonic monitors. You also get a full HD resolution, while the response time of the monitor is only 5 milliseconds, which is sensational for anyone who plays first person shooter games on a regular basis.
There are no frills and crazy features attached to this monitor. It looks incredibly plain on first glance, but the design is really simple and elegant. It will fit very nicely on your desk, even if you have a slightly smaller space, and you will not have any issues adjusting the monitor’s angle either. Unlike the ViewSonic monitor, you are getting a HDMI connection that you can use for your gaming rig or any other device you want to hook up to the screen. But there are no built-in speakers, which means you will need to get sound from another source.
Choosing the Right Monitor
Making a final decision between these three is not easy, but we can break it down for you. If you are concerned about having built-in speakers in your monitor, and you want the largest screen size that you can get for under $100, the ViewSonic monitor is the right one for you. Images look great on it, and you are getting these added features that are not present in the other monitors. But if you already have speakers, and a 21.5-inch screen is no issue for you, the ASUS monitor is a fantastic product as well.
Summary: Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of full HD monitors that you can get for $100 or less. These monitors may not have all the high end features such as a 144 Hz refresh rate or a 1440p resolution, but they will get the job done for you in a pinch!