BenQ’s EX2510R is the best value on our list. It has a 144Hz refresh rate and image quality that’s only a hair behind the best monitors, but its low price makes it obtainable for most gamers.
Alienware’s AW2521H combines a class-leading 360 Hz refresh rate with good image quality and premium design. It’s an expensive monitor that’s worth every cent, but its price tag will send some gamers elsewhere.
The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN is the most affordable monitor we tested to offer a 360 Hz refresh rate. It also has a good contrast ratio and solid color accuracy. The monitor’s corkscrew stand design is distinct but won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
A 24-inch gaming monitor is a great choice for gamers who want to make the most of their cash. Though they lack the obvious “wow” factor of a big screen or TV, 24-inch monitors usually have great image quality and smooth gameplay at a much more affordable price than their large-scale cousins.
Our top 24-inch pick is the Acer XB253Q GW(available at Amazon for $368.63). Its image quality is fantastic and it has a refresh rate of up to 280 Hz for smooth gameplay. These gaming-centric features are supported by a sturdy build and a highly adjustable, ergonomic stand. If you're on a tight budget and still want great image quality, BenQ's Mobiuz EX2510R (available at Amazon) is an excellent pick at its low price point. We also have several other solid choices to consider, so you can find the perfect compact monitor for your next session.
These are the best 24-inch gaming monitors we tested:
Acer Predator XB253Q
BenQ Mobiuz EX2510R
MSI Oculux NXG253R
Asus ROG Swift PG259QN
Acer Nitro XV252Q
Asus ProArt PA248QV
Acer Predator XB253Q Gwbmiiprzx
Acer’s Predator XB253Q is an excellent 24-inch gaming monitor that will please any gamer. It combines the high refresh rate of competitive gaming monitors with top-notch image quality.
Let’s talk competitive gaming first. This monitor has a 240Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 280Hz. That’s not as fast as the best 360Hz monitors, but it’s close and will look identical to all but the most critical eye. The monitor has minimal ghosting and looks crystal clear in motion. It supports G-Sync for smooth, stutter-free gameplay with Nvidia graphics cards.
Gamers who care more about visuals than performance, on the other hand, will be pleased by its great color accuracy and realistic image quality. It’s not a wide color gamut monitor, so the colors in flashy games might look more subdued, but what you see will be close to what the game’s artists intended.
This monitor is among the brightest 24-inch monitors we tested, yet has a solid contrast ratio for an IPS panel, so it works well in both dark and bright rooms. The monitor can accept an HDR signal and is bright enough to provide some extra wow-factor in the most brilliant scenes, though it’s no match for a great HDR television.
It’s also sturdy and has plenty of ergonomic adjustment. The design is a bit garish, but that’s ok—you won’t spend much time looking at the monitor’s rear. Throw in a mid-range price, and the result is a superb 24-inch gaming monitor.
BenQ’s EX2510R is not the best 24-inch gaming monitor available, but it’s arguably the best for the money.
This monitor’s image quality can rival those sold for hundreds more. It nearly matched our top pick in color accuracy, gamut, and contrast ratio. The results are vibrant, bright images that look great in most games. The monitor will accept an HDR signal but lacks the brightness to provide an advantage over SDR.
The EX2510R has an IPS panel with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. This specification is what separates the BenQ EX2510R from more expensive competitors. The EX2510R still looks great in motion but can’t match the clarity of a 240Hz or 360Hz monitor. It supports AMD FreeSync for smooth gameplay on AMD video cards.
Build quality is fine for the price. Though not quite as refined as Alienware’s gorgeous AW2521H, the BenQ EX2510R is a good-looking display. The ergonomically adjustable stand looks great but feels less balanced than more expensive alternatives. On a tight budget, you'll have a very hard time beating this sweet ride.
Matthew S. Smith is a technology journalist, reviewer, and editor with 14 years of experience. He’s tested over 600 laptop and desktop displays over the past decade, keeping a log of his results for future reference. In addition to evaluating monitors, laptops, and other gear for Reviewed, you can find his monitor reviews published at Insider, IGN, and Digital Trends.
Image quality is our top priority when evaluating a gaming monitor. Modern games are crammed with outstanding visuals that can easily be spoiled by a bad display. We look for great color accuracy, a solid color gamut, and a decent contrast ratio. Good HDR performance is a plus, but even the best 24-inch monitors remain weak in this area.
Gaming monitors must do more than deliver great visuals, however. Fast-paced games should also look good in motion. While this doesn’t matter to every gamer, those who play esports or other fast-paced titles will benefit from a high refresh rate, great motion clarity, and low input lag.
Our testing was conducted with Datacolor’s SpyderX Elite. This calibration tool offers detailed tests that gauge how a monitor’s color gamut, color accuracy, gamma curve, luminance uniformity, and color temperature compared to industry standards. If this all sounds a bit technical to you, don’t worry about it. There’s no need to sweat the details. Just know our judgment is based on objective testing that’s as free of bias as we can make it.
We also use each monitor to play our favorite games for at least several days. This subjective evaluation lets us identify small problems and inconsistencies that don’t show up in objective, instrumented tests. Our latest round of testing revealed no major surprises—all the monitors performed as our objective tests hinted they would.
Tips For Buying 24-Inch Gaming Monitors
What Resolution Should I Buy?
Most 24-inch gaming monitors stick to 1080p resolution. This might not sound impressive in today’s work of 4K displays, and it does lead to some problems. You may notice fine edges and small fonts look fuzzy or pixelated. However, this is a sacrifice you’ll have to live with when purchasing a 24-inch gaming monitor. Few 24-inch monitors exceed 1080p resolution and those that do lack features that appeal to gamers.
What is Refresh Rate, and Why Does it Matter?
A gaming monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times it can refresh the on-screen image in one second. Most monitors refresh at 60Hz, or 60 times each second, but gaming monitors can refresh at up to 360Hz, or 360 times each second. Most monitors on this list have a refresh rate of at least 144Hz.
Higher refresh rates lead to lower input lag and better motion clarity. The monitor will feel more responsive and appear sharper in motion. You’ll clearly pick out details that look smeared or blurred on a monitor with a normal 60Hz refresh rate. But while a high refresh rate can improve clarity, there is a catch. Your computer must be powerful enough to play a game at a framerate close to the monitor’s refresh rate.
That means a game will need to render at up 360 frames per second to make proper use of a 360Hz gaming monitor. It will still look fine and feel smooth at a lesser framerate, but you won’t be using the monitor to its full potential. The most expensive 24-inch monitors are best when paired with the most expensive video cards.
However, there’s also nothing wrong with a 60Hz monitor. Gamers who play titles with minimal motion, like Civilization VI or Crusader Kings 3, will see less benefit from higher refresh rates. This is worth remembering, as high refresh monitors carry a serious price premium. Several monitors on this list have a low refresh rate but great image quality, making them a solid pick for strategy, puzzle, and adventure games.
What is AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync?
AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are adaptive sync standards that let a monitor’s refresh rate match the framerate of the game you’re playing. This eliminates stuttering or tearing artifacts that can occur when the timing of a game’s framerate aligns poorly with a monitor’s refresh rate. It’s an important feature for most gamers, and fortunately, it’s widely available.
As the naming implies, AMD FreeSync is designed to work with AMD graphics cards, while Nvidia G-Sync is designed to work with Nvidia video cards. The standards are actually more fluid than this: monitors that handle one standard can often handle the other. This is not guaranteed, however, so we recommend you buy a monitor that supports the adaptive sync standard that matches your PC’s graphics card.
While AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync are important, they’re not essential. Players who lean heavily towards genres with a slower pace of gameplay, like strategy or adventure, might not need this feature. The improvement is less noticeable in games that focus on static menus or slow-moving objects.
The Three LCD Panel Types: IPS, VA, and TN
A monitor creates a picture by pairing an LCD display panel with LED backlights that sit behind it. The type of LCD panel a monitor uses will impact the monitor’s quality. Three distinct types of panel technology can be found in gaming monitors.
IPS: IPS stands for “in-plane switching.” They lean towards a bright, vibrant image with minimal ghosting and excellent motion clarity when combined with a high refresh rate. However, they tend to have a low contrast ratio and poor performance in dark, shadowy scenes. IPS panels can suffer “IPS glow,” a hazy look in dark areas that is most noticeable at a wide viewing angle. Despite this, most high-end gaming monitors choose an IPS panel for its superior motion performance.
VA: VA stands for “vertical alignment.” This panel type can serve up a great contrast ratio and better performance in dark, shadowy scenes. Though often a bit dimmer than IPS panels, the best VA panels look vivid and offer a wide, accurate color gamut. Viewing angles are not good compared to IPS, so you’ll want to sit directly in front of the display. VA panels can also struggle with motion clarity, so they’re rare in monitors with a refresh rate above 144 Hz.
TN: TN stands for “twisted nematic.” This is an older panel type that generally lacks the color accuracy, gamut, contrast, and viewing angles of ISP and VA panels. It’s inexpensive to produce and can support a high refresh rate, so gamers on a tight budget might want to consider a TN panel.
MSI’s Oculux NXG253R is a great 24-inch gaming monitor for competitive gamers. It has a 360Hz refresh rate and supports Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay on Nvidia video cards. Boosting the refresh rate to 360Hz provides excellent motion clarity in a wide variety of games and keeps input lag to a minimum.
This monitor has excellent color accuracy, a high maximum brightness, and a good contrast ratio for a monitor in this category. It doesn’t leave its peers in the dust (all 360Hz monitors we’ve tested have similar image quality), but the MSI eeks out wins in brightness and contrast ratio.
Build quality is great, with a thick, sturdy chassis that feels as durable as the Alienware AW2521H. The monitor also has an adjustable stand. MSI’s style may prove more divisive, however. The rear of the monitor includes a glossy black dragon and a prominent Nvidia G-Sync 360 badge.
The MSI Oculux NXG253R is a good value, with a much lower than many alternatives, and doesn’t compromise quality to achieve it.
The Alienware AW2521H is a premium 24-inch gaming monitor that targets competitive gamers with its 360 Hz refresh rate. It supports Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay on Nvidia graphics cards.
Gamers who care about style should love the monitor’s unique, sci-fi-inspired exterior. Available in black or white and boasting a ring of LED lights on its rear, the Alienware AW2521H will stand out on any desk. It feels extremely durable and has a beefy ergonomic stand that keeps the display planted in place.
The image quality is good. The monitor has an okay contrast ratio, solid color gamut, and respectable color accuracy. It doesn’t score extremely well in any one area (aside from the refresh rate) but also lacks any major flaw, making it a good choice for most games.
The Alienware AW2521H is generally more expensive than the competition. However, the monitor is frequently on sale, so it’s especially a great deal during those times.
Asus’ ROG Swift PG259QN is a high-end 24-inch gaming monitor that targets competitive players with a 360Hz refresh rate. It supports Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay with Nvidia video cards.
The ROG Swift PG259QN is a well-rounded monitor with just a few small flaws. It serves up solid image quality with good color accuracy, a decent contrast ratio, and a robust color gamut. Our test unit looked overly warm and reddish at its default settings, which didn’t look right in some games. However, we were able to adjust this by switching to a different color temperature preset in the monitor’s menu.
We think the monitor’s corkscrew design, while striking, is divisive. It will look at home on a desk loaded with other flashy gaming gear but doesn’t fit in with a less garish setup. Looks aside, the monitor is well built and has a sturdy, ergonomic stand.
The monitor’s best trait is its MSRP, which is high for casual players, but regularly beats alternative 360Hz monitors from Alienware and Acer. However, sale pricing can sometimes drop the Alienware and Acer below the Asus.
Acer’s Nitro XV252Q is an affordable take on our favorite monitors. The Nitro makes a few cuts to reduce the price while retaining excellent motion clarity.
The Nitro XV252Q has a 240Hz refresh rate and can overclock to 280Hz. This is the same as the impressive Acer Predator XB253Q, and we saw no difference in motion clarity between the two monitors. The Nitro supports AMD FreeSync, however, while the Predator supports Nvidia G-Sync.
Image quality is almost identical between the two monitors, which is good news for the Nitro XV252Q. It offers excellent color accuracy, a good contrast ratio for an IPS display panel, and a decent color gamut. The Nitro falls behind in just one area: brightness. A very bright room can wash out the display, making the visuals hard to see and, although it can accept an HDR signal, it does not do HDR games justice.
Build quality is another Nitro XV252Q weakness. The monitor’s ergonomically adjustable stand works well enough but is far less robust than those found on more expensive monitors. It also can’t match the more affordable BenQ EX2510R there.
At first glance, the Asus ProArt PA248QV might seem an odd choice for a gaming monitor. This 24-inch display is marketed to creative professionals, not gamers, and has an unusual 16:10 aspect ratio that is more square than other monitors.
Yet there’s good reason to recommend the PA248QV. This monitor is affordably priced and delivers solid all-around image quality. It’s bright, has a good contrast ratio, and offers good color accuracy. The monitor’s odd aspect ratio means it has a resolution of 1920 x 1200. Gamers who love strategy games may prefer this because it squeezes in more vertical space for displaying a map or critical information.
The PA248QV supports AMD FreeSync for smooth gameplay on AMD video cards. It also has a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz. Motion clarity is not noticeably better than a 60Hz display, but the inclusion of FreeSync means stutter-free play is possible.
It’s a quality-built, attractive display with a highly adjustable ergonomic stand that easily defeats most budget gaming monitors. You’ll also find two USB ports on the monitor’s left flank, a feature affordable gaming monitors often skip. This is useful for connecting wired gaming peripherals.
The Samsung C24F390 is a budget monitor that targets general use, but it’s also a great option for gamers on a very tight budget.
This monitor has a VA panel with a contrast ratio that exceeds that of nearly every other monitor on this list, including those that sell for several times the price. This provides a sense of depth and good detail in dark scenes. The monitor’s color performance is just ok, but acceptable for the price and better than Acer’s XFA240.
This monitor has a 60Hz refresh rate, so it’s not a great choice for competitive gaming. It is FreeSync compatible for smooth gameplay on AMD graphics cards. The included stand is flimsy and only adjusts for tilt.
The C24F390 is the specific model we tested, but Samsung offers several variations on this monitor with slightly different product names such as the C24F391 and C24F392. These should offer similar features and performance.
The Acer XFA240 is an entry-level gaming monitor that offers a 144Hz refresh rate at a low price. It’s also compatible with Nvidia G-Sync for smooth gameplay on an Nvidia graphics card. These traits are common among 24-inch gaming monitors, but the XFA240 undercuts the competition.
It achieves this by using a TN display panel that doesn’t score well in most image quality tests. The XFA240’s color accuracy, color gamut, and contrast ratio fall at the bottom of monitors on this list. It tends to look dull and flat when compared to other 24-inch monitors.
The XFA240’s build quality is better than you’d expect for the price and similar to Acer’s more expensive Nitro XV252Q. It has a simple plastic exterior that doesn’t stand out but does the job, which is all you can ask for at this price. The monitor also has an ergonomically adjustable stand to help you find a comfortable gaming position.
Matthew S. Smith is a veteran tech journalist and general-purpose PC hardware nerd. Formerly the Lead Editor of Reviews at Digital Trends, he has over a decade of experience covering PC hardware. Matt often flies the virtual skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator and is on a quest to grow the perfect heirloom tomato.
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