Buying a gaming monitor as a student for school is a great idea. Not only do nice monitors help with productivity, having the right monitor can be a huge benefit for having friends over, playing games alone for R&R, and making your work significantly easier and more appealing.
There are a few factors to consider when buying a monitor. The most important is resolution. How much detail do you need? While 1080p is fine for watching from a distance, having multiple documents on a screen at once is much easier on the eyes with a more high resolution monitor, such as 4K. That said, if you are using your monitor as a second display, perhaps as one connected to your laptop, then 1080p may be enough.
Another factor to consider for gamers is refresh rate. If your monitor does not refresh enough, playing high-speed games can be glitchy. If you’re serious about first person shooters (FPS) and other fast games, then one should opt for a monitor with high hertz (refreshes per second). This factor also plays into two popular monitor technologies: AMD Freesync and G-Sync. Each help games run as smoothly as possible on monitors. G-Sync is praised as the superior technology, however, G-Sync monitors are generally more expensive, and this is only needed for serious gamers who need the best possible performance. Read more about the difference between G-Sync and FreeSync here.
A final factor is size. Size is important to consider because bigger isn’t always better, especially for work. 27 inches is the best size for working, BUT a 27 inch monitor with only 1080p resolution won’t be very sharp. Therefore, it’s key to find the right mix. If you want the best possible value for students who are casual gamers, be sure to check out the editor’s choice on our list. If not, read on, and you will surely find the perfect monitor for you or your student’s needs.
Also, if you’re looking for a whole new PC, be sure to check out the best Desktops PCs for students, a perfect complement to a high quality monitor.
1. HP 21.5″
Size 21.5″ | Resolution 1920 x 1080 | Hz 76hz | Sync None | Ports VGA (Cable included), HDMI | Response Time 7ms |
If you only need the basics, this monitor will do fine. Priced at an affordable $89.99, it boasts solid hertz (76) and will be great for casual first person shooter gamers and most any other game. It’s also a nice looking monitor and will be fine for students looking to do simple video editing, photo editing, or text-based homework. It’s not particularly fancy in terms of features, but if you need a stylish monitor that gets the job done, this will do fine.
Price: $89.99 (10 percent off MSRP)
- Praised as having vivid colors
- Said to be a great second display for a laptop
- Easy setup
- OK gaming monitor for RTS and slower games
- Great budget pick for those who just need a basic monitor
- Almost no bezel
- Not for FPS or other high frame rate games
- Some users found color poor
2. Asus 24″
Size 24″ | Resolution 1920 x 1080 | Hz 75hz | Sync AMD Freesync | Ports Dual HDMI | Response Time 1ms |
For those who need a little more from their monitor, this ASUS 24″ not only boasts a great size, solid resolution, but pivotally, ASUS’ FreeSync technology, which means your games are less likely to ghost, flicker, or have any issues. At 75hz it should be fast enough for most FPS gamers and the like, but if you’re serious about gaming, you’ll probably want to spend more. For more casual student use, this monitor should suffice, but it’s not particularly great for screen real estate. It’s a solid second monitor and an acceptable gaming monitor.
Price: $181.88 (9 percent off MSRP)
- One of the cheapest monitors with AMD Freesync
- Pivot, tilt, and swivel ability
- ASUS eye care helps with marathon gaming sessions
- Praised as great price; easy to use interface
- Color is solid
- Most affordable 1080P monitor for fast-paced gaming and practical use
- Some found color to be a bit bland
- One user had issue with hz, claiming it only reached 60
3. Samsung Curved 27″ Monitor
Size 27 inch | Resolution 1920 x 1080 | Hz 60hz | Sync AMD Freesync | Ports Built-in speakers, HDMI, display port, D-sub | Response Time 4ms |
For movie fans and those who want a monitor that’s a bit bigger, this curved widescreen display offers an attractive appearance, great color, and solid gaming option. Boasting AMD Freesync technology and a solid response time, it should be good for all but serious gamers. Note that even though this screen is larger than the others, it has the same resolution. Therefore, it’s simply a more multi-functional screen, better for watching movies from a distance, for instance. That said, since it has no additional pixels, it won’t necessarily allow for more applications on screen.
Price: $299.99 (14 percent off MSRP)
- Great quality for gaming
- Praised as sharp and gorgeous
- One user said it increased his productivity
- Vibrant colors
- Attractive curve
- One of the most affordable curved monitors
- Monitor speakers aren’t good
- 60hz isn’t that much for some games
4. LG 24″ (Editor’s Choice)
Size 24″ | Resolution 3840 x 2160 | Hz 60hz | Sync AMD Freesync | Ports 2 HDMI, 1 Displayport | Response Time 5ms |
For most users, this LG 24″ is where value and price meet flawlessly. While it’s not the best gamers’ monitor, it should more than suffice. It has 60FPS, and a snappy response time. 4K makes a huge difference for workstation applications which will make doing one’s homework with multiple browser windows open an absolutely breeze. Switching to 4K is basically like having four 1080p monitors in terms of resolution, and this makes a huge impact on productivity. It also helps with the overall attractiveness of one’s computer as a media player and working device. In short, it makes using your PC fun. Stop reading here unless you want a more exotic display or are a serious gamer. This monitor offers excellent quality for the vast majority of users at a great price.
- Great, accurate color
- Contrast is praised, brightness is excellent
- Called a bargain
- Preferred to Retina display
- One user had to configure monitor to get quick response time
- A few users had issues with the brightness
- User interface is not that helpful
- One user had a major issue with backlight bleed
5. ASUS Swift 24″
Size 24 inch | Resolution 1920 x 1080 | Hz 180hz | Sync G-Sync | Ports DisplayPort 2.1, HDMI, USB 3.0 | Response Time 1ms |
As a workstation monitor, this is a great second monitor or additional display, but at 1080P, it’s not going to change your productivity game. You might be asking why, then, is it so pricey? This is for serious gamers who need the utmost in performance from their monitor. It boasts NVidia’s G-Sync technology which prevents screen flicker and other problems that can bother gamers who need to execute their matches flawlessly. 180hz is a ridiculous number for your average human, but if you need top of the line responsiveness (1ms) and essentially, a pro gamer’s monitor that can also open your Word docs, this is the one for you.
Price: $415.95 (7 percent off MSRP)
- Includes ASUS eye care technology, allowing for easier marathons with less eye strain
- Superb ergonomics allow for panning, tilting, swiveling, and height adjustments
- Praised as best monitor one has ever owned
- Very bright monitor
- Colors and contrast that absolutely pop
- G-Sync works only with Displayport
- HDMI maxes out at 60hz
- Light bleed was an issue for a small percentage of users
6. Asus FreeSync Gaming Monitor 28″
Size 28 inch | Resolution 3840 x 2160 | Hz 4K at 60hz | Sync AMD Freesync | Ports HDMI, DisplayPort, USB 3.0 | Response Time 1ms |
For the gamer who needs 4K, this monitor is very tough to beat. It boasts lightning fast response time (1ms) and has a great size for watching movies, getting work done, and of course, playing games. Included AMD Freesync support is a nice benefit as well. This screen has excellent color and contrast and is praised as easy to set-up. If you want a large monitor that can do it all at 1ms, this is the way to go.
- Praised as great quality for games and workstation
- Excellent brightness, color, and massive screen real estate
- Pure blacks and bright whites
- Easy to setup
- Audio can switch to screen output, annoyed one user
- Can lag on older cards such as GTX 960
7. BenQ Zowie 27″
Size 27″ | Resolution 2560 x 1440 | Hz 144hz | Sync No sync | Ports DVI-DL, HDMI x2, DPI 1.2, Headphone Jack | Response Time 1ms |
For those who want a large monitor, but where 60hz just won’t do, this Zowie is a doozie. Boasting 1440P resolution, it’s not bad for a workstation monitor, and needless to say, if you need 144hz, this monitor will meet your expectations. It doesn’t have GSync or Freesync, but most users says when your monitor refreshes this fast, it’s not an issue. For those playing fast twitch games like CS:Go, this monitor offers solid resolution and insane speed at a big size.
Price: $499 (9 percent off MSRP)
- For PCs that can output huge FPS, this monitor is extremely smooth
- Solid resolution for gaming and work
- CS:Go repeatedly mentioned as excellent title to play on this monitor
- Praised as superb quality for the price
- Excellent brightness
- Required configuration for some users
- One user had issues with 1080Ti, claiming it’s not comptaible
- Controlling monitor settings a bit difficult
8. BenQ 35″
Size 35″ // 21:9 ratio | Resolution 2560 x 1080 | Hz 144hz | Sync None | Ports HDMI 1.4 x 2, DisplayPort 1.2, Mini DisplayPort | Response Time 4ms |
Another 144hz monitor, but this one has a bit of an added perk: 21:9 aspect ratio. For those who subscribe to the PC Master Race school of thought, one of the unique benefits of PC games is the ability to play at this ridiculous ratio. Note that it’s not supported by all games, but for those that it is (view list here), users say it’s impossible to go back. Needless to say, at this speed and response time, it’s more than suitable for most PC gamers needs. It’s also great to watch movies on. That said, as a workstation monitor, it’s not all that great. If you’ll be using your computer primarily to do homework, then a 4K monitor will offer more productivity bang for one’s buck.
- No blacklight bleed
- Insanely responsive
- Not the highest resolution, but color, contrast, and sharpness is great
- Praised as great for productivity and gaming
- Said to be better than a traditional dual monitor setup
- No speakers
- No height adjustment
9. Samsung Curved 34″
Size 34 inch / 21:9 ratio | Resolution 3440 x 1440 | Hz 100hz | Sync AMD Freesync | Ports Speakers, HDMI, Displayport, 2 USB ports | Response Time 4ms |
For 21:9 monitors, 3440 x 1440 is as high as the resolution gets. Boasting FreeSync and 100hz, this is simply an amazing screen. While it has ~40% less pixels than 4K, at this resolution, one can easily have multiple browsers open next to each, they just won’t be quite as sharp as on a 4K screen. Still, for all other purposes, this monitor is a beast. If you need the best of the best for gaming and media, plus a solid workstation monitor to boot, this is an awesome choice. That said, if gaming and media isn’t all that important, 4K is more productive, though it won’t make that big of a difference and no one will be as mind blown as they will when they see you have this screen.
Price: $799.99 (16 percent off MSRP)
- Curve described as immersive
- Bezel praised as narrow
- 1500R praised as ideal curve bend for immersive gameplay, slightly distorted for other uses however
- Deep blacks
- Some configuration required, but Blu-Rays and other films can be watched in 21:9 format
- Great image reproduction, quantum dot technology for unreal contrast
- One user felt the stand wasn’t great
- Not the most accurate monitor in terms of color
- Curvature can be distraction for some applications
10. Acer Predator 34″
Size 34″ 21:9 ratio | Resolution 3440 x 1440 | Hz 60hz | Sync G-Sync | Ports 2 speakers, 5 total ports: USB 3.0, DisplayPort HDMI | Response Time 4ms |
For those who need the top of the line and have an Nvidia card with G-Sync, this monitor is the way to go. It’s got more than fast enough response time, full G-sync compatiblity, plenty of ports, and superb build quality. This monitor cannot be beat for gaming and like the one above, is more than large enough with great resolution as a workstation. If you want the brightest, highest image quality for gaming and media, this monitor will meet and exceed your expectations. It’s developed quite a loyal following (along with other monitors of its type) over on Reddit’s r/UltraWideMasterRace where users post “ascensions,” a term for buying one of these wide monitors and posting it. They are undeniably stunning and the X34 has all of the necessary features for cutting edge gaming.
Price: $1079.99 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Stand adjusts height and tilt
- Sturdy, solid base
- Great speed, response time, and G-sync means no frame skipping
- For gaming, praised as huge upgrade from 4K 60hz monitor
- Great colors and contrast
- No remote control
- On monitor menu sysytem is cumbersome
- Some background glow
Still looking for the right gaming monitor? Browse more top-rated gaming monitors on Amazon.