Serious gamers try to get an edge over the competition wherever possible, and specialized hardware can grant that extra advantage. The market is flooded with gaming monitors, and you can spend a couple hundred dollars all the way up into four digits for a quality display. ViewSonic's XG2402 is on the cheaper end of the spectrum at about $220, but it has a lot going for it, including 144 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and excellent color reproduction. I've been using this monitor for a couple of weeks to determine whether or not it's worth the price, and whether or not it's the right monitor for you.
Budget gaming monitor
Bottom line: This 24-inch monitor has a lot of gaming features and a great display, but it remains relatively affordable.
- 144 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time
- AMD FreeSync technology
- Plenty of ports
- Relatively affordable price
- Average built-in speakers
What you'll love about the ViewSonic XG2402 gaming monitor
Despite the gaming functions, the ViewSonic XG2402 keeps a relatively low-key design. There's an "XG" logo on the bottom-right corner of the heavy base and a red stripe up the stand, but from the front that's about it. Otherwise, you get a uniform bezel around the top and sides, with a bit of extra space along the bottom to hold the six control buttons. Bezel is larger here than you'll get with more expensive options, but once the display is humming you'll hardly notice it.
|Resolution||1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)|
|Refresh rate||144 Hz|
|Response time||1 ms|
|Ports||Two USB-A 3.0
Two HDMI 1.4
3.5 mm audio
|Speakers||Dual 2 W internal|
The back of the display has a bit more gaming flair, with dual red chevrons pointing in toward the middle. By default they're unlit, but you can turn on a backlight for a bit of red glow if you'd like to show off. The monitor won't be recognized as the thinnest out there, but it's still nothing egregious; it slims out along the edges, and along the bottom there's a sizeable ledge with plenty of room for ports. Two USB-A 3.0 and USB-B 3.0 give you a couple of close peripheral hookups, and two HDMI 1.4 and a DisplayPort give you options for a connection from your graphics card.
The TN panel helps keep the price low and response time down to just 1 ms for a bit of an advantage. Pixels are able to switch from active to inactive and back to active again about as quickly as possible, meaning less ghosting and clearer picture. The monitor also has a 144 Hz refresh rate, which means that the image is refreshed 144 times per second, only adding to the smooth picture. AMD FreeSync tech is also available here, so if you have an AMD GPU, you can take advantage of further reduced screen tearing and stuttering.
Thanks to the 24-inch size, the 1,920 x 1,080 (FHD) resolution doesn't seem too low. A higher 1440p is often preferred these days, but those extra pixels reduce performance from your GPU. A lot of gamers stick with 1080p for a perfect balance of performance and picture quality, and if you include yourself in that group, this monitor will serve well.
Precise color reproduction, 144 Hz refresh rate, and 1 ms response time make this budget gaming monitor a steal.
In general use, the monitor's picture looks great. Contrast is right on, it gets plenty bright (and it helped by the anti-glare coating), and colors look surprisingly full considering this is a TN panel. Testing color reproduction, I got back 100 percent sRGB and 79 percent AdobeRGB, which are both very respectable results.
There are a bunch of picture presets available through the menu system — choose based on the type of game or task you're sitting down for — and you can fine-tune each detail if the picture isn't quite right. I stare at screens all day for work, so I appreciate the built-in adjustable blue light filter that helps cut down on eye strain when I embark on a gaming marathon after hours.
The sturdy stand allows for height, swivel, pivot, and tilt adjustment, and all moving parts are tight yet allow for easy adjustment. For multi-monitor setups, you can use the display vertically, and VESA compatibility also allows for easy mounting on a wall. The XG2402 comes with a three-year warranty for the LED backlight, parts, and labor, plus extended warranties are available if you're worried about longevity.
What you'll dislike about the ViewSonic XG2402 gaming monitor
Considering the price and features that come stock with the ViewSonic XG2402, there's really not much to dislike. To nitpick, the monitor's built-in dual 2-watt speakers are about as good as you'd expect monitor speakers to be — not too loud, not too clear — so don't plan on using them for immersive gaming. They're good in a pinch, but alternative audio hardware should be used for best experience. There's a 3.5 mm audio jack available on the back of the monitor, but no input for a microphone.
The three-year warranty here doesn't kick in until you see five bright pixels, five dark pixels, or a combination of five faulty pixels. This isn't as low of a threshold as some monitors come with, so you might want to take this into consideration if you're worried about staring at a couple of dead pixels with no way to fix them. After about three weeks of use, the review unit I have does not have any issues.
Should you buy the ViewSonic XG2402 gaming monitor?
I've used gaming monitors in the past that cost about the same amount as the ViewSonic XG2402, but none came close to offering the same set of features and the same build quality found here. You get a sturdy, versatile stand, VESA compatibility, and some neat red chevrons that can glow if you wish.
The 24-inch display tops out at 1,920 x 1,080 to balance performance and picture quality, and sRGB color reproduction is perfect for a full picture. A 144 Hz refresh rate and 1 ms response time are the specs most people shoot for in a gaming display, and considering you can get them for about $220 here, the XG2402 should remain near the top of your list of budget gaming monitors. The addition of AMD FreeSync tech only adds to the package for anyone with an AMD GPU.
Budget gaming monitor
144 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time, and a budget price.
ViewSonic's XG2402 brings high-end specs and a quality build to your desk without breaking your bank. The 1080p picture is bright and colorful, the stand allows for easy and thorough adjustments, and there's a ton of settings you can tweak to get the picture perfect if you don't find a suitable preset.
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