January is prime time to update your gaming setup in any way. It’ll provide you with a nice and shiny, new bit of tech in a month that’s often gray and dull. Plus, with some new year sales seemingly ever present in January, you’ll often find major discounts on monitors right across the spectrum, resulting in some of the best cheap gaming monitor deals of the entire year.
While the monitor market keeps developing and growing, there remains a traditional trade off that every potential purchaser needs to address; between picture quality and refresh rate (and sometimes response time too). IPS screens offer more vibrant colors and much better viewing angles, but come with slower refresh rates; while the more affordable and faster TN panels give fast refresh speeds of up to 144Hz (sometimes higher with overclocking). However, while this can still be a factor, there are now monitors that pair an IPS screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. The bonus is that these are becoming more affordable so, particularly with prices being slashed from time to time, there’s hope for picking up one that ticks both boxes—see our list of best gaming monitors for more info and examples of some of the best in the business.
However, an added element to now throw in the mix is that of the more premium 4K HDR displays—check out our take on the best 4K monitors for gaming here. These 4K screens offer beautiful displays at a terrific resolution but are demanding, and one also has to address the tradeoff with refresh rates—refreshing a 4K monitor (with or without HDR) lightning quick is a tough ask.
With the increase in new tech and a filled-to-the-brim market, there are plenty of deals to be had, so whatever you’re after, be it the latest 4K or just a plain 1080p monitor bargain there should be something here for you to make it a straightforward buy.
The best cheap gaming monitor deals this week
Acer Predator XB321HK 32" | IPS | 60Hz G-Sync | 4K | $876.90 at Amazon (save $223.09)
Yes, it's refresh rate is at the lower end of the scale, but this is a great quality 4K monitor that's not incredibly costly (particularly with this excellent discount) and represents pretty good value.View Deal
Acer Predator X27 27" | IPS | 144Hz G-Sync + HDR | 4K | $1799 at Amazon (Save $200.99)
This is still the most expensive monitor around, but with good reason: it's the highest of the high end, with HDR added to the list of features along with high refresh rate, G-Sync, and 4K resolution.View Deal
ViewSonic XG2700-4K 27" | TN | 60Hz FreeSync | 4K | $494.87 at Amazon (save 10%)
A more budget 4K monitor for those who want to take the leap into 4K-resolution gaming and don't mind the drop down in refresh rate.View Deal
Acer XR382CQK 37.5" | IPS | 75Hz FreeSync | 1600p | $899.99 at Amazon ($100 off)
Our favourite curved-screen monitor, this offers a lightning fast response time of 1ms along with a gorgeous and massive wide-screen display.View Deal
BenQ PD3200U 32" | IPS | 60Hz | 4K | $539 at Amazon (save $270)
This is not designed as a gaming monitor per se, and it shows this with a 60Hz refresh rate and 4ms response time, but such is the quality of the picture you get, it's well worth considering.View Deal
ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ 27" | IPS | 144Hz | 4K | $1898.99 at Amazon (save $100.01)
This is as good as it gets in a monitor. The 4K resolution is crisp, and the HDR technology ensure your eyes are presented with the best pictures going. It maintains a fast refresh rate, too.View Deal
ASUS VG248QE 24" | TN | 144Hz | 1080p | $246 at Amazon (save 12%)
Our favourite 1080p gaming monitor, this is made super attractive by its low price point. If you're not too fussed about the latest tech and capabilities and are looking for a reliable display, this is it.View Deal
Our favorite gaming monitors
1. ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q
The best gaming monitor with G-Sync
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz (overclocks to 165Hz) | Weight: 15.4 lbs
In our eyes, the top gaming monitor out there right now is the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q. This 27-inch monitor has a 2560x1440 resolution—which we currently consider the sweet spot for high-end gaming—and it offers substantially more pixels than 1080p without being as demanding as a 4K panel. This results in games looking super sharp at 27 inches but the display won’t bring a good GPU down. In addition to this, higher than 60Hz refresh rates are still doable—something not possible on the current crop of 4K displays.
Much like its main competition—the Acer Predator XB271HU—the PG279Q is an IPS panel with a refresh rate that can be boosted to 165Hz. (It's worth noting, though that the difference between 144Hz and 165Hz is negligible.) Inputs include one HDMI 1.4 and one DisplayPort 1.2a and the monitor also features Nvidia's G-Sync technology for variable refresh rates (assuming you're using an Nvidia graphics card). If you're an AMD user, however, you won't benefit from G-Sync and should probably consider FreeSync monitor.
Unfortunately, and a bit predictably, the biggest drawback to this great monitor is its price and while you can find it below the $800/£700 mark, its not by much currently. However, we consider a monitor a fine investment in your PC setup and you never want to buy something you'll have to replace in two years; you want to buy a terrific monitor that will still be going strong in five or so years, ideally. There are 144Hz IPS monitors similar to Asus’s offering, but with FreeSync instead of G-Sync. The Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, however, is the best choice and all its bang will be worth every one of your bucks.
2. Acer Predator X27
The best HDR gaming monitor
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz (overclocks to 144Hz) | Weight: 27.12 lbs
The Acer Predator X27 is an absolutely fantastic monitor that pumps out a crisp 4K resolution, splendid HDR displays, and comes with G-Sync, and a high refresh rate. Marrying an IPS panel to a refresh rate of up to 144Hz when overclocked, the Acer Predator X27 is a breathtaking sight. However, its VisionCare technology, Acer declares, will help to prevent eye strain during longer play sessions. G-Sync allows the monitor to refresh at a variable rate instead of being locked to its max (in this case, 144Hz) and it syncs to your in-game framerate, removing any microstutter or screen tearing when the framerate doesn't quite match up perfectly to that high 144Hz demand.
The Acer Predator X27 welcomes a number of connectivity ports on its left and rear: two USB 3.0 ports on the side; and two USB 3.0 ports as well as HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 out on the back. So, despite the high asking price, the X27 is absolutely worth considering, particularly if it ever receives extra reduction in the holiday sales.
3. ASUS MG279Q
The best Freesync gaming monitor
Screen size: 27-inch | Panel type: IPS | Aspect ratio: 16:9 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Response time: 4ms | Refresh rate: 144Hz | Weight: 15.9 lbs
For those AMD users who want a FreeSync dispay, there is no better monitor than the Asus MG279Q. It's a 1440p IPS screen that can refresh up to 144Hz, but because it uses the open FreeSync technology instead of G-Sync, it's not as pricey.
The base design makes for a sturdy monitor while also allowing for plenty of tilting, pivoting, and height adjustments, and the bezel is pretty thin, which is good for a 27-inch monitor that already takes up a bit of space. It also has a light anti-gloss coating: —something that some older IPS displays went too heavy on which resulted in affecting the image quality, but it works very well on the MG279Q.
Due to the great IPS screen, colors look fabulous even from off-angles and the contrast ratio is really fantastic too. Elsewhere, the ability to support multiple inputs offers great flexibility, particularly to those who might want to add a second system like a console. This is thanks to the presence of the internal scaler—one of the main differences between G-Sync and FreeSync. With no other IPS FreeSync displays that can match the MG279Q on specs, this is a terrific monitor and easily the best choice for those that have an AMD graphics card.
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