When gaming consoles were first invented, they were designed to plug into ordinary televisions. Indeed, many gamers today use a standard television for their gaming consoles, but if you want a dedicated monitor for your gaming console fun then it’s important to find the right one for you.
A monitor that’s ideal for gaming consoles will allow you to optimize the gaming experience, seeing the action unfold onscreen smoothly, with no interruptions, lags, jerkiness, and responsive enough so that you never miss a single millisecond of the action. When used with gaming consoles, the right monitor will have better color reproduction, better image quality, and lightning-fast responsiveness to every button push that a television simply can’t handle.
After carefully reviewing all of the monitors on the market today, we have prepared the following guide to make sure that you get the very best out of your gaming console experience.
Console Gaming Monitor Buyer’s Guide
Before selecting the right monitor for your console gaming needs, it’s important to understand a few terms. Depending on your budget, the set-up of your game room/desk, type of games you primarily play, and your console, there are different factors to consider when choosing the right console gaming monitor for you.
The screen size refers to the size of the screen as measured from corner to corner, not horizontally, usually listed in inches. The size of the screen that you need is mostly dependent on your budget. You can get a perfectly good gaming experience out of a quality monitor that is 21.5 or 22 inches across, however, for optimal gaming you probably want a screen that’s at least 24 inches in size.
Remember, the other factor that’s important to consider when deciding which monitor to buy is how far away you’ll be sitting from it during game play. If you’re fairly close to the screen, the size won’t matter nearly as much than if you plan on sitting further back, perhaps playing with friends.
If portable gaming is important to you, consider special gaming monitors that can attach directly to your console. Although portable monitors are smaller, they are ideal for gamers who travel a lot or want the ability to enjoy some game play when on the go.
The resolution refers to the amount of pixels per square inch. These measurements are either described by letter like “FHD” (full high definition), by a number and letter combo (1080p) or as two numbers together (1920×1080) therefore it’s important to know that they all mean the same thing (there are 1920 pixels across and 1080 down per square inch of monitor screen space). FHD is the same as 1080p and the same as 1920×1080.
Almost every game made for the most popular consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One use 1080p resolution (i.e. FHD or 1920×1080) maximum and most of them are actually 900p resolution. Therefore, there’s no need to invest in a higher resolution monitor unless it’s very large (in terms of screen size) and you plan on using it for watching television and movies.
The aspect ratio of any screen refers to a fraction describing how wide it is versus how tall it is. For console games, always get a monitor with a 16:9 aspect ratio (the screen is 1.8 times wider than it is tall) and never, ever choose the larger, wraparound style monitors with a 21:9 aspect ratio as those are only ideally suited for special PC games.
The refresh rate refers to how often the image on the monitor screen is redrawn, usually measured in hertz (Hz) which means “times per second”. Most console games send new images to the monitor at a rate of 60Hz (or 60 times per second)or less, so any monitor with a refresh rate of 60Hz or higher will definitely be good enough.
Some PC gamers use high-end monitors that have refresh rates that are much higher like 144 Hz (144 times per second). There’s little benefit in buying one of these monitors if you plan on also using it with a PC for your game play. Indeed, if the monitor’s rate is too fast but the input device (i.e. your console) is sending images too slowly, it can possibly make the game play experience look flat and slow, something you definitely don’t want.
In a nutshell, a 60 Hz monitor is perfectly suited to console game play. Only invest in a 144Hz monitor if you plan on doing some high-end gaming with your PC.
The response time refers to the amount of delay between when a button is pushed on your controller and when the monitor will display the effect of that button push. Response times are measured in milliseconds (ms). It’s fairly easy to get a TN panel (see panel types below) monitor with a response time between 1 and 4 ms at a very affordable price.
It goes without saying that you can’t use a monitor with your gaming console unless you can connect the two together. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE (as well as earlier versions of the Xbox) use an HDMI cable to connect to the monitor.
If you plan on using your monitor with other peripherals like a computer, be sure to invest in a monitor with multiple input ports that can allow you to connect everything and not have to unplug and plug in cables every time you want to switch between devices.
There are different technologies out there for determining how the individual LEDs are controlled in today’s modern monitors. These are usually referred to as the type of panel.
The most popular type of panel for fast-paced console games on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE are known as “TN” panels, short for “twisted nematic”. Right now, TN is the fastest panel type out there which is why these panel types are most suitable for fast-moving games like FPS and racing games.
The other popular panel type is known as IPS (In-Plane Switching). Although IPS allows for deeper color displays and slightly sharper images, the screen responds slightly more slowly. While you can still get a good gaming experience with a monitor that uses an IPS panel, you’ll probably want to avoid these for use with console games unless you’re primarily interested in visually-rich, more slowly moving games like RPGs.
Many manufacturers of gaming monitors have added additional features to their products to cater to the unique needs of gamers. Understanding that many of the most popular games involve hours of intense concentration on the screen, manufacturers have added special features like anti-flicker technology, blue light filters, and color equalizers to make sure that you never miss even the slightest visual detail of your game.
The Best Gaming Monitors for Console Gamers
With a large 27-inch screen size and 1 ms response time, the BenQ RL2755HM is an outstanding gaming console monitor. Special color vibrance settings allow for optimal visuals while the company’s proprietary Black eQualizer technology makes even dark scenes crystal clear. With two HDMI input ports, 1 DVI input port, and 1 D-Sub audio input port for added connectivity, the BenQ RL2755HM has a FHD (1920×1080) display that uses Smart Scaling to create the ideal viewing experience with every game. The low blue light filter and ZeroFlicker technology dramatically reduces eye fatigue for extended game play. The BenQ RL2755HM has adjustable pre-set RTS modes to make it easy to get the right visual settings for your favorite games as well as two built-in 2-Watt speakers.
If you enjoy head-to-head console gaming, the BenQ RL2460HT is ideal as it features a 24-inch screen and ultra fast 1 ms response time. The stand can be adjusted for height and the IPS Panel and FHD (1920×1080) resolution allow for crystal clear viewing with every type of game. The BenQ RL2460HT comes with 1 HDMI output for lag-free screen mirroring and the screen can be rotated a full 90 degrees for games that work better with portrait mode. The BenQ RL2460HT can be connected online to download special calibration presets designed by some of the top gamers in the world while the built-in Black eQualizer technology illuminates dark areas without washing out vital details. The BenQ RL2460HT comes with 1 D-Sub audio input, 2 HDMI inputs, and 1 DVI inputs for maximum connectivity and a blue light filter protects gamers against eye strain during lengthier game play sessions.
The BenQ XL2411Z features a blindingly fast 144 Hz refresh rate and special FPS mode for automatic calibration of the monitor to get the most out of any gaming experience whether a gaming console or a high-end gaming PC. Connect the BenQ XL2411Z to the peripheral of your choice with 2 HDMI (version 1.4) ports, 1 DisplayPort, 1 DVI port, 1 VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports and inputs for headphones (standard 3.5mm) and a microphone (3.5mm). The BenQ XL2411Z measures 24 inches in size and has a 1 ms response time for buttery smooth gaming experiences even with RTS, MOBA and FPS games. The special low blue light filter and flicker-free technologies allow for long game play with minimal eyestrain while special Motion Blue Reduction technologies keep the screen image looking sharp and stutter free. With a full HD (1920×1080) display, and Black eQualizer color engine technology, the BenQ XL2411Z ensures that game play with both consoles and PCs is crisp and clear.
The BenQ RL2455HM has a blindingly fast 1 ms response time, 60 Hz refresh rate and uses a TN panel for super fast and responsive game play. Two special RTS modes designed by professional gamers allows you to identify objects of interest even in darker or image-dense areas of the screen, especially useful for games like Dota II and StarCraft II. The BenQ RL2455HM has one D-Sub and one headphone input and two HDMI and one DVI-DL (Dual Link) video inputs for maximum connectivity to your peripherals.
The company’s special Black eQualizer optimizes dark scenes for full clarity while the 24-inch screen and FHD 1920×1080 resolution allows you to see every image with sharpness and full color depth. The BenQ RL2455HM features smart scaling and adjustable display modes to change the viewing size to an ideal mode for every game. A new on-screen display design allows for easy adjustments to the monitor’s settings with an intuitive slide-out menu.
The only full-size IPS panel monitor on this list, the Acer R240HY measures 23.8 inches in size and features a FHD 1920×1080 widescreen display. With a fast 4 ms response time and three visual input ports, 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, and 1 DVI (with HDCP support), the Acer R240HY can easily be connected to a number of different peripherals. Weighing just 6.38 pounds, the Acer R240HY has a brilliant 100 million to one contrast ratio for ideal image display across the board, including console gaming, for use with PCs, or browsing photos and videos on the internet. The Acer R240HY can be tilted between -5 and 15 degrees to get the ideal viewing angle and comes with special blue-light filters and flicker-less technology to make extended gaming sessions more comfortable.
With a stylish yellow and black frame design, the BenQ RL2240HE has a 22-inch screen that relies on the company’s proprietary Black eQualizer image-enhancing technology to produce crisp images during dark scenes. The ultra-fast 1 ms response time ensures silky smooth game play even with the most intense games. Special smart scaling and display mode features allow for the BenQ RL2240HE to automatically adjust to the console’s output requirements so that your game always looks its best. The BenQ RL2240HE weighs just over 7 pounds and features a FHD 1920×1080 resolution with a 60 Hz refresh rate. The BenQ RL2240HE features ZeroFlicker technology for extended game play and comes with a special RTS mode that helps identify objects on the screen in dark and image-dense areas. The BenQ RL2240HE comes with 1 D-sub audio input port and 1 DVI and two HDMI input ports.
The smallest monitor on this list with just a 11.6-inch screen, the HORI is ideal for gamers on the go who want additional portability. Officially licensed by SCEA, the HORI fits securely on the PlayStation 4 with a clip and offers FHD 1080p screen resolution with two built-in speakers and two audio output ports. The HORI has two HDMI slots so it can be used with another system and is fully compatible with the Xbox ONE as well. Using an IPS panel to produce vibrant colors and sharp images, the HORI has a very fast response time with little to no ghosting, screen tearing, or image latency.
The ASUS VX238H measures 23 inches across and features an ultra-fast 1 ms response time for smooth game play even during fast-paced action. With an incredibly detailed 80 million to 1 contrast ratio and FHD (1920×1080) screen resolution, you’ll always see very detailed and sharp colors with the ASUS VX238H. The ASUS VX238H has two HDMI ports so it can be connected to two different peripherals and has a special anti-flicker technology to reduce eye fatigue. With multiple screen presets, you can quickly get the right color and visual settings for all of your favorite games. The ASUS VX238H also comes with a built-in speaker. With a very attractive design and a super sturdy yet sleek stand, the ASUS VX238H is an ideal multi-use monitor that is ideally suited for console gaming.
Whatever your budget, there’s definitely the right monitor out there for you to make sure you get the most out of your gaming console experience. A quality monitor will free up your television for more mundane uses like watching television and movies, and will allow you to optimize every aspect of game play like fast response times to the action onscreen and show every color and image as the game developers intended without causing eyestrain during extended game play sessions.
Carefully consider your needs, your budget, and the type of game play experience you want to have before choosing the right gaming console monitor for you. Beyond the technical specifications, make sure to consider whether you want to buy a monitor exclusively for gaming console use or you plan on putting it to use with multiple peripherals.
Whether you want a large, ultra-sharp monitor solely dedicated to console game play, a fully-adjustable monitor for multiple uses, or a small but high-definition monitor for portable console game playing, there’s definitely an affordable monitor on the market for your needs.