If you’re shopping for a new gaming monitor in 2021, there are quite a few options to consider, with different resolutions, refresh rates, panel types, aspect ratios, etc.
However, if you’re the kind of person who prioritizes performance over everything else, chances are you are looking for nothing but the fastest gaming monitors whose high refresh rates could give you an edge in competitive multiplayer games.
If that’s the case, you’d probably want to consider a 240 Hz monitor, as they can offer unmatched responsiveness and fluidity that would make a regular 60 Hz display seem downright sluggish in comparison.
Without further ado, here is our selection of what we feel are some of the best 240Hz gaming monitors that you can buy in 2021.
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- Excellent response times
- Good color accuracy for a TN panel
- Fully adjustable stand
- Poor viewing angles
- Bad contrast and black uniformity
- Underwhelming HDR
First up, we have a simple but effective monitor coming from Acer – the XF252Q. While it boasts a fairly simple design that doesn’t exactly scream “gaming”, this monitor has all of the important bases covered if you’re after a performance-oriented solution.
It features a TN panel, as most of the more budget-friendly performance-oriented monitors do. That said, not only does it pack a 240 Hz refresh rate, but it also offers extremely fast response times. Needless to say, the monitor offers some of the best performance that you can find today, and at about $350, it’s a very good deal.
But of course, no monitor is perfect, and so the Acer XF252Q also comes with its share of flaws. While the color accuracy is surprisingly good for a TN panel, the viewing angles are quite narrow and the limited contrast leads to very poor black uniformity with some very profound backlight bleed that can be very distracting during dark scenes, especially if you mainly play in a dimly-lit room. On top of that, the monitor comes with HDR support, but as you might expect given its underwhelming contrast, it’s far from the best HDR that you can find.
So, all in all, the Acer XF252Q is obviously meant to appeal to people who are after a 240 Hz monitor but aren’t willing or are unable to spend too much money on one. It’s a full package as far as performance is concerned – as mentioned above, it has very fast response times with no distracting motion blur, plus it comes with FreeSync Premium and a fully-adjustable VESA stand.
- 280 Hz overclocked refresh rate
- Very fast response time for an IPS panel
- Good color accuracy and viewing angles
- Sleek exterior design
- FreeSync Premium/G-Sync compatible
- Unimpressive HDR performance
The next monitor on the list comes from Asus, and it’s their excellent VG259QM that comes with a panel that can be overclocked to 280 Hz, making it one of the fastest gaming monitors currently available. It features a sharp, angular design with a small but effective red highlight at the base of the stand, all of which makes this monitor come across as a serious, high-quality gaming product.
As far as the specs are concerned, the VG259QM features an IPS panel, meaning that it delivers great color accuracy, along with markedly better viewing angles and solid contrast. Moreover, while the majority of IPS panels’ response times are around 4ms, the one found here can easily match most TN monitors, as it has a gray-to-gray response time of only 2ms, and this can be lowered to 1ms with a few settings tweaks. As before, the monitor also comes with HDR support, though much like the Acer XF252Q, it cannot really deliver on that front due to the contrast being too limited and because it lacks wide color gamut.
This monitor also comes with ELMB, which stands for “Extreme Low Motion Blur”, and as you might have guessed, it’s there to minimize motion blur, something that it achieves with the help of backlight strobing. However, one thing that makes it stand out compared to most other MBR technologies is that it can be used simultaneously with VRR. Of course, the monitor comes with FreeSync Premium and it is officially certified as G-Sync Compatible.
In any case, all things considered, the Asus VG259QM is a good-looking monitor that has all of the most notable features that you’d expect to find in a 240 Hz gaming monitor at this price point, so if you’re after a budget-friendly monitor that packs great performance together with solid visuals, then this might be the right pick for you.
- Very low response times for an IPS panel
- Excellent balance between visuals and performance
- Unusual but appealing design
- Adjustable stand
- FreeSync Premium/G-Sync compatible
- Somewhat low pixel density
- Disappointing HDR
The third monitor on the list comes from none other than ViewSonic. The specific product in question is the ViewSonic XG270, and this one really stands out at first glance. It features a somewhat unusual design with very thin bezels and complete with RGB lighting on the back, which is always a great addition for RGB enthusiasts.
Much like the above monitor from Asus, the XG270 uses an IPS panel, so you pretty much know what to expect, as it offers accurate, vibrant colors and good viewing angles. As before, it comes with HDR support, but sadly lacks the capability to really deliver a proper HDR experience due to limited contrast and the lack of wide color gamut. Something else that’s worth noting about the display is the fact that its pixel density is a bit lower than that of the former two, as 1080p doesn’t look quite as good on a 27-inch screen as it does on a 24/25-inch one.
On the performance front, much like the Asus VG259QM, the XG270 offers an impressive 1ms gray-to-gray response time and it eliminates motion blur with the help of ViewSonic’s PureXP technology that manages to significantly reduce motion blur using backlight strobing, and it does so without sacrificing as much brightness as most other technologies of this kind do. Sadly, though, it cannot be used in tandem with FreeSync or G-Sync, although it still fares better than Asus’ ELMB in practice.
In any case, the ViewSonic XG270 is easily one of the best 240 Hz gaming monitors that you’ll find on the market right now, as not only does it manage to offer excellent response times on par with a TN panel, but it does so while striking a great balance between performance and visuals.
- Superb response times and performance
- Solid colors for a TN panel
- 1440p looks great on a 27-inch screen
- FreeSync Premium Pro/G-Sync compatible
- No swivel or pivot adjustment
- Poor HDR performance
- Limited contrast and viewing angles
The fourth and final entry on the list is the HP Omen X 27, and it’s yet another superb gaming monitor with a very elegant, sleek design with subtle red decals that add some of that particular gaming flair to the product without being too aggressive or too over-the-top.
When it comes to the actual display, the Omen X 27 uses a TN panel, which might be either a good or a bad thing, depending on your preferences. As with most TN panels, the viewing angles, the contrast, and the black uniformity are all quite underwhelming and the HDR really feels like a superficial addition to the monitor’s feature set. However, much like the Acer XF252Q, the colors are surprisingly accurate, but not quite as vibrant as what you’d get with an IPS or a VA panel.
Naturally, the performance is where this monitor truly shines, as it is extremely responsive with no major motion blur. Now, something that makes this particular model stand out against the competition is that it’s a 1440p 240 Hz monitor, which means that it can provide not only great performance but also a sharper image, all thanks to the increased pixel density. Of course, 1440p is also more demanding on the hardware than 1080p is, so as great as it may look, it will take a bit more hardware power to truly take advantage of the monitor’s refresh rate in some of the more demanding games.
All in all, the HP Omen X 27 is yet another excellent 240 Hz monitor that will definitely appeal to those who want to get a 240 Hz refresh rate and a 1440p resolution in a single package, though the inherent limitations of TN panels do hold it back somewhat. In any case, this is unlikely to discourage anyone who places performance before visuals.
Apart from that, a minor but notable downside to this monitor is that the stock stand can only be adjusted for height and tilt, as there is no swivel or pivot adjustment. While it’s not that big of a flaw, we’d still expect to see a more ergonomic stand in a monitor such as this one, as it is by far the most expensive one on the list.
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How To Pick The Best Monitor For Your Needs
Now that we have gone over what we feel are several of the best 240 Hz monitors currently available, let’s briefly go over the things that you should keep in mind when deciding on which of these would be the best fit for you.
One of the first things that gamers look for in monitors today is the display resolution. After all, a higher resolution means more pixels, and more pixels means a sharper, better-looking image that can provide a greater sense of depth and immersion. And while 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p are all viable options today, we’ll be focusing specifically on the first two here, as the article currently includes only 1080p and 1440p monitors.
So, which is resolution is better for a 240 Hz monitor – 1080p or 1440p?
Well, 1080p (or Full HD) has been the standard for gaming for a while now, though 1440p is now becoming more preferable, as hardware is getting more powerful and games simply look better in a higher resolution. However, 1080p is still dominant when it comes to 240 Hz monitors, for one obvious reason – if you’re thinking about getting a 240 Hz monitor, you’re going to be prioritizing performance, and games will always perform better in 1080p than they would in 1440p.
In addition to it being easier to push the more demanding games to triple-digit framerates in 1080p, 1080p 240 Hz monitors are also a fair bit cheaper than their 1440p counterparts right now, making them the better choice for those who are working with a limited budget or just don’t want to spend too much money on a monitor.
With that said, we’d say that 1080p is probably the best way to go if it is a 240 Hz panel you’re after, as not only would it be easier to take full advantage of such a high refresh rate in 1080p, but it would also be substantially cheaper.
Granted, 1440p obviously has its merits, as it simply looks better, but if you’re looking to make the jump to 1440p, then perhaps a 144 Hz 1440p monitor would be a better choice, as it would likely provide a better balance between visuals, performance, and price.
Obviously, gaming monitors come in a variety of sizes these days, most of them ranging from 24 to 27 inches in 2021, though you’ll often see monitors with even larger 32+ inch diagonals when it comes to ultrawide solutions.
As far as our current selection is concerned, the monitors we’ve listed range from about 24 to 27 inches. While 3 inches don’t make that much of a difference when it comes to the overall size of the screen, it can affect image clarity as pixel density decreases.
Most people agree that 24 and 27-inch displays are both quite comfortable to view up close at a desk, but many also find that 1080p just doesn’t look as good on a 27-inch monitor due to the lower pixel density, as we’ve already mentioned in the article.
As such, it might be a good idea to stick to 24 inches if you’re going with a 1080p model, though as usual, this is up to personal preference.
The pixel response time, expressed in milliseconds (ms), is usually the second most important thing in performance-oriented monitors, right after the refresh rate. A faster pixel response time leads to less motion blur and contributes to how responsive the game feels, so it’s understandable why many gamers deem it to be important for fast-paced action games.
Most gaming monitors these days don’t go above 4-5 ms, and the difference between a 5ms and a 1ms response time is usually too small for the average gamer to notice. However, if you’re used to a 1ms panel, chances are you’ll probably be able to tell the difference, no matter how small it is.
Today, TN panels are the fastest ones on the market when it comes to response times, though IPS panels are catching up. On top of that, many monitors today also use various MBR (Motion Blur Reduction) technologies to further reduce motion blur using backlight strobing, although this does come at the expense of brightness, as motion blur reduction inevitably involves the dimming of the backlight to a certain extent.
In any case, all 240 Hz monitors come with very low response times and the exact response time will vary from model to model, but the differences are bound to be too small to notice in any case. So, as long as you’re focusing specifically on performance-oriented 240 Hz monitors, there’s little use in worrying about the minor variations in response time.
HDR (high dynamic range) is becoming a staple for most TVs and monitors in 2021. What HDR does is it makes the image more realistic by making the bright areas of the image brighter and the dark areas darker, creating stark contrast, and making the colors and lighting come across as more natural.
That said, brightness and contrast are both important for HDR, so can you expect a good HDR experience from any the monitors listed here?
In short, no, and for several reasons.
First and foremost, HDR requires a powerful, bright backlight, and while all of the monitors here can achieve good levels of brightness if we’re talking about SDR, they simply aren’t bright enough to really make the picture “pop” when HDR is turned on.
Then, there’s also the contrast, and the monitors listed here don’t handle that well either. Many LCD displays use local dimming to achieve better contrast by lowering the brightness of the backlight in specific areas, but unfortunately, the feature is either completely missing or is not implemented well enough in the monitors listed in this article.
That said, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, so while all the monitors we’ve mentioned here support HDR, they can hardly match the kind of HDR experience offered by high-quality IPS or VA panel-equipped monitors or TVs. So, if you want good HDR, you’ll have to go with something else.
Most of us know how frustrating trying to set your monitor up “just right” can be, especially if we’re talking about a monitor with narrow viewing angles. Thankfully, many gaming monitors today come with an extra degree of flexibility in this department, as they commonly feature VESA stands that allow for tilt, height, swivel, and pivot adjustments.
All of the monitors listed here come with VESA stands and are VESA-compatible, meaning that you can easily replace the stand in the case that you don’t like the one that ships with the monitor, for whatever reason. Most of the monitors listed here are highly adjustable, and you likely won’t find anything to complain about in either the ergonomics or the aesthetics department.
Conclusion – The Best 240 Hz Gaming Monitors
As is usually the case with any gaming product, it’s impossible to pick out the single best option for everyone, as different people have different tastes, preferences, and budget constraints.
Overall, we’d say that the ViewSonic XG270 offers the best overall value for your money if you’re going with a 240 Hz monitor. As mentioned before, it is remarkably fast for an IPS panel and it strikes a good balance between performance and visuals, it supports FreeSync and is G-Sync compatible, plus the stand is highly ergonomic and the monitor boasts a rather appealing design.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to spend more, we feel that the HP Omen X 27 might be a better choice, as 1440p simply looks great on a 27-inch screen. Of course, the monitor is still fast, responsive, and the picture quality is very good for a TN panel, so we feel that it’s a great pick for those who want the best performance that they can get while sacrificing as little visual fidelity as possible.
Of course, the other two monitors listed here would also make good picks, so long as you keep your preferences and their capabilities in mind.