You don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get a decent gaming monitor. There are some very good picks available on a budget, great for dorms or for casual gamers. Cheaper monitors are typically less versatile, with smaller screens and slower response times, but you can still expect a decent gaming experience on most of them.
We've reviewed 15 monitors that are under $300, and below are our recommendations for the best ones available for purchase in 2018.
The ViewSonic XG2402 is the best gaming monitor under $300 that we have tested so far. It has great gaming performance, with a lightning fast 144 Hz refresh rate and support for AMD's FreeSync VRR (variable refresh rate) technology, ensuring a smooth, tear-free gaming experience. These features are also great for Xbox One S/X gamers.
The XG2402 delivers very good peak brightness, and it has great reflections handling, so it looks great even in a bright dorm or office space. It has outstanding motion handling, thanks to an incredibly fast response time, and it has great low input lag at any resolution.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look great in a dark room, as blacks look gray and there is noticeable clouding throughout the screen. It is also best viewed from directly in front, as the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Some people might also be disappointed by the limited 1080p resolution, but overall it is a decent monitor that should please most people.
If off-angle viewing is important to you, the Dell P2417H is a good IPS alternative to the ViewSonic XG2402. The P2417H is a decent IPS monitor that offers good gaming performance. It is limited to a 60 Hz refresh rate, which may be disappointing to some, and it doesn't support FreeSync.
If you prefer a widescreen monitor for a more immersive gaming experience, check out the LG 29UM69G-B. It is a decent ultrawide IPS monitor, with good gaming performance, including AMD FreeSync VRR support for a tear-free gaming experience.
Unfortunately, the 29UM69G-B doesn't look as good in a dark room, due to the mediocre contrast ratio and terrible black uniformity. It also isn't very bright, which could be an issue if you have a bright office. Overall, it is a decent monitor for most uses.
If you want a more versatile monitor with very good gaming performance, check out the Dell U2518D. It is a good 1440p IPS monitor with wide viewing angles and a great stand. It can get very bright and has good reflection handling, as well as a great stand, so it is a good choice for almost any room.
Unfortunately, it doesn't support VRR, and some people may be disappointed by the 60 Hz refresh rate. It supports HDR, which is very surprising at this price point, but there isn't much advantage to this, as it doesn't have a wide color gamut, and can't get very bright in HDR.
The Dell U2518D has great low input lag and a fast response time. It has great versatility, as the wide viewing angles and great resolution make it great for multitasking.
If you want the best 4k gaming monitor under $300, check out the LG 27UD58-B. It is a decent 27" 4k gaming monitor with very low input lag, good uniformity, and great screen real-estate.
The LG 27UD58-B is a good gaming monitor. It has a great 4k resolution, perfect for PC gaming or even for console gaming with a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. Some gamers might be disappointed by the limited 60 Hz refresh rate and lack of FreeSync support. Despite these flaws, the 27UD58 is still able to deliver low input lag and a fast response time.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look as good in a dark room, as blacks appear gray and blotchy. It also has poor black uniformity, and there is noticeable backlight bleed. Overall, it is a decent IPS monitor with good gaming performance that should please most people.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are the best gaming monitors currently available for under $300. They are adapted to be valid for most people. Rating is based on our review, factoring in price and feedback from our visitors.
If you would prefer to make your own decision, here is the list of all of our monitor reviews under $300. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. Most monitors are good enough to please most people, and the things we fault monitors on are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.