The Viewsonic XG2401 may not have a catchy name or come from the most well known brand but does that mean that we should discount it before even trying it? Of course it doesn’t and I’m glad I didn’t because I think I’ve found the best gaming monitor for under £250. For the purposes of this test I am going to review it purely as a gaming monitor rather than an all rounder because it wouldn’t pass as a graphic design monitor. There’s not enough pixels and inaccuracies in the RGB colour spectrum (for those tech nerds among you it covers roughly 98-99% of the Adobe RGB colourspace) but for a good design monitor you would pay 4 times the price and wouldn’t necessarily opt for a monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz. Therefore this review is purely from the point of view of people who will buy it… Gamers.
The first thing that you notice about the monitor is both good and bad. When you assemble it you might be mistaken for thinking that it feels cheap. It has a kind of scratchy plastic feel to it but to look at you wouldn’t realise that. In fact it looks pretty damn good. The dark grey contrasts really smartly with the touches of red on the stand and arm making you realise that Viewsonic did put time into making it look like an expensive gaming monitor to rival the acer, BenQ and Samsungs of this world. On of the nice touches is that you can assemble it without the need to use any tools. It uses only one screw which comes equipped with a little tab so that you can tighten it by hand. However, even after saying that the plastic feels cheap, it’s very strong. There is literally zero flex in any of the body work which on a 24″ screen is quite difficult to do.
The buttons are located at the bottom of the monitor (in the center) and although they also have kind of a cheap plastic feel to them, they also feel sturdy enough to last the test of time. The screen is able to move in all of the typical directions that you need it to. It has a vertical movement of roughly 15 cm. You can also rotate the screen 90 degrees to make it vertical if you’re one of those sadistic types. The stand also comes with 27 degrees of tilt (22 backwards and 5 forwards) but what really impressed me was the viewing angle, obviously it isn’t a Retina display but the coverage is really impressive.
The nerdy stuff
Out of the box, the XG2401’s screen comes equipped with a 144Hz refresh rate for seamless game play. I played CS:GO, Witcher 3, Mass Effect Andromeda and Assetto Corsa and I didn’t experience any motion blur, no matter how much I turned my mouse sensitivity up and ‘went to town’. Unfortunately however, it’s resolution is your typical 1920 x 1080 Full HD rather than a 1440p or 4K like a lot of the newest gaming monitors come equipped with. Although if you can find a 4K monitor for the same price as the XG2401 then the chances are it’s been stolen at some point in its life.
Moving on to the colours and the XG2401 has quite a few of them. 16.3 million of them to be accurate. It also has tremendous brightness and sharp contrast to make games look as true to life as possible. The colours look incredibly crisp and coupled with the 24″ anti-glare screen I didn’t have many vision issues even when what was on the screen was incredibly dark. What impressed me the most however was the screens response time, it really is exceptional.
In terms of connections you have the choice of a couple of HDMI 1.4 slots or, more importantly, a display port 1.2! For transferring large amounts of data, display port is a must have (unless you’re lucky enough to have a thunderbolt connection that is). There are also a couple of USB 3.0 ports for any charging needs.
Finally, we move on to sound. The XG2401 comes with some hidden speakers which whilst kind of redundant to gamers who tend to opt for a set of headphones, they are surprisingly good. A little low in the bass department but the sound was always crystal clear in the brief moments when I actually used it.
I have already glossed over this but this monitor costs less than £250. For £250 what else can you get? Other than one similar Acer not a lot else. There are some monitors listed as having a 144Hz refresh rate and even some that boast 1440p but neither of them some with display port inputs meaning that data is just going to bottleneck and either make the monitor work overtime and burn it out quicker or it will result in a drop in performance.
The Viewsonic XG2401 may not be the most cutting edge revolution in gaming monitors but for the price, you’ll certainly not beat it. That’s why I think it is the best gaming monitor for under £250.