A buyer’s guide to PC monitors – May 2017 edition

by Goh De No
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I have been looking around for a monitor because for some weird reason I had the impression I needed to upgrade to either a 75hz or 144 hz monitor, or one with higher resolution and still remain at 60hz.

Currently I use a BenQ GL2460. It has 1ms response time, its 24-inches, can do full HD and does 60 frames per second. In short, it’s a good monitor, does everything that I could possibly want.

Also to cut to the chase, I didn’t end up buying a monitor, because anything worth upgrading to was too expensive and way out of my budget.

I did however do a lot of research on monitors which were available in town, and would like to share with everyone.

Best Buy – Acer R271

Flat out, if you’re in the market for a monitor right now and you want something that isn’t too costly, and is big, with decent specs, it has got to be the Acer R271.

This B$328 monitor has a 27-inch screen, with 16:9 aspect ratio with a 4ms response time and a good contrast ratio of 100,000,000:1.

Most importantly it is an LED panel with IPS (In Plane Switching) technology that improves your viewing angles. Also important is the design on the R271, which is quite close to being bezel-less.

With three different ports – DVI, HDMI and VGA – you can connect almost anything to this, and ultimately, if you are trying to do a three screen setup, you can get three 27-inch monitors for just over B$1,000 which is great.

Budget Gaming – BenQ ZOEWIE RL2455

Budget in my definition is B$250, which is what I really wanted to spend, and I was very close to picking up this BenQ ZOWIE RL2455 Console e-Sports Monitor. I found it lying around retailing for B$280 and it has some pretty good specs for gaming.

For the price of course it is a 24-inch, full HD 1080p, 60Hz monitor. The dynamic contrast ration is 12,000,000:1 and it has a 1ms Grey to Grey (GtG) response time.  The GtG response time means the time it takes for a pixel to move from one state or value to another, so 1ms is fast and it is the fastest response time for a monitor that I know of.

The RL2455 also has built in 2Wx2 speakers, which you will probably never use, but doesn’t hurt to have in case you sometimes want to take of your gaming headset and just be on the speakers for a while.

Because it’s a gaming monitor, BenQ is calling it a “specially designed frame” which minimises visual distractions so that there are no edges protruding as “distractions”.

The monitor is optimised for consoles (hence the name) so that there is no lag in visual response time as a television that may be as high as 14 or 16 ms.

There’s also a feature called Black eQualizer, which helps with overexposure of bright areas so that you don’t lose out on spotting the enemy who’s been hiding inside a dark window!

Also Worth Considering – Dell SE2417HG

If you’re sceptical about BenQ (hey, I’ve been there before), there’s also the Dell 24-inch gaming monitor for B$299.

The SE2417HG has a slower 2ms GtG, lower contrast of 8,000,000:1 but is also a full HD 60 hertz monitor. Why it’s worth considering is because of the matte screen they’ve slapped on this LED panel and has dual-HDMI ports which lets you switch effortlessly between devices.

It also has an audio out port which allows you to connect your devices without reaching for the PC, not something many monitors will give you.

Best Gaming – Acer KG240

The Acer KG240 is B$365 and gives you a 24-inch full HD monitor but with 144 frames per second. So this is probably the best gaming monitor at the perfect size right now.

It has a 1ms GtG respose time and 100,000,000:1 contrast ratio with a tiltable stand.

The monitor is also equipped with AMD’s FreeSync technology, which integrates the use of an AMD brand graphics card that supports a dynamic refresh rate aimed at reducing screen tearing.  The FreeSync is similar to Nvidia’s G-Sync, so if you use an Nvidia graphics card, you’ll want the G-Sync models.

The KG240 also has Acer EyeProtect that reduces stress on your eyes with a Blue-Light Filter, Flicker-Free technology and ComfyView which are all Acer monitor jargon that helps you look at the monitor for longer periods of times without your eyes hurting.

Budget Budget – Dell E2316H

At B$199, you really can’t ask for too much, but Dell’s 23-inch monitor is a full HD with VESA-mount compatibility which lets you mount the monitor flat on the wall, and when used on a stand it has a tilting option! I love having able to tilt my monitors especially when looking at it for hours a day.
This Dell monitor also has energy-saving and power efficient features built in, making it an ideal budget buy.

The monitor has a 5ms response time and is also built with a anti-glare screen with an LED technology. With Dell monitors, they usually never fail on you. So if you’re looking for a budget option, this one is almost a no brainer.

Also Consider – Acer RKA241

For B$198, its larger than the Dell above, but you also get a 5ms response time, full HD and an LED panel. You do not get a matte finish on the screen, but it does tilt 30 degrees backwards, which is nice to have.

Best 27-inch – Asus MX27AQ

The B$899 Asus 2K monitor has an IPS panel with 178-degrees of viewing angle. It also has a stereo 3-watt speaker that has an immersive audio system with Asus’ “SonicMaster” technology which the company claims is co-developed with Bang & Olufsen.

Asus also has its line of Eye Care, Blue Light filters and flicker free certifications on backlighting which reduces sye strain.
The monitor is eye catching and is frameless, also making it ideal to connect multiple monitors together should you have the need to.

The monitor comes with multiple user modes and the built in AudioWizard allows you to tailor suit your audio settings to suit the task at hand.

On the back there are three HDMI ports, a display port and and earphone jack, making this more of a multi-media device than a gaming device.

The response time on this monitor is 5ms and has a handy QuickFit virtual scale software built in, meaning you can preview whatever image or document in the actual size that it is on the monitor.

When Money Is No Issue – Acer Predator X34 & Acer Predator XB321HK

So the X34 is going to set you back a cool B$1,708. It’s a 34-inch monitor with a wide 21:9 aspect ratio and has a beautiful curved screen so that you can fully immerse yourself in that beautiful 3440 x 1440 resolution.

This monitor has the Acer “ZeroFrame” design which is literal in the sense that there’s close to no bezels on the monitor.

Acer has also equipped this with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology which will go great with your high-end Nvidia 1080 cards. Best of all, you can boost your refresh rate up to 100 hz.

If you’re going for Ultra HD (4K), the Acer XB321HK at B$1,748 will do just that. It has an LED IPS screen with a response time of 4ms and gives you a tilting angle of 30 degrees movement.

The refresh rate of the 4K display is only at 60hertz though and also has Nvidia’s G-Sync. So right now you still have to choose between one or the other!

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