ViewSonic Elite XG240R
HOW MUCH ARE you willing to sacrifice for the best possible gaming experience? Resolution? Viewing angles? Stick both on the list, along with color accuracy— they’re all going to take a hit if you go for the new ViewSonic Elite XG240R.
That’s not necessarily a problem. The XG240R is nothing if not unapologetic. It’s all about gaming. And not just any old gaming, but specifically esports. Consequently, its 24-inch LCD not only uses TN as opposed to IPS or VA panel tech, but it sports a mere 1920x1080 native res. But factor the sub-$300 price into the gaming remit, and those are positive choices rather than compromises.
The TN tech makes for fast responses; ViewSonic rates the XG240R good for 1ms with overdrive enabled. As ever, claimed pixel response specs are best treated with a healthy skepticism, but it is indicative of a quick panel. The better to support the pacey 144Hz refresh rate. Similarly, the mere 1080p native resolution is a good fit for a gaming monitor at this price. It minimizes the load on the graphics subsystem, enabling higher in-game frame rates.
There are also plenty of extras to sweeten the deal. First up is Elite RGB, which involves a pair of RGB lighting zones on the rear of the panel enclosure. They’re compatible with the RGB lighting in peripherals from the likes of Razer, Thermaltake, and Cooler Master, so you can sync the whole shebang together in a unified lighting show, if that’s your thing.
There’s also a low input lag mode and AMD FreeSync support. Regarding the latter, the XG240R hasn’t made Nvidia’s preferred list of G-Sync compatible monitors, so you’ll have to force G-Sync on with Nvidia graphics cards.
On paper, it’s a promising package. And so it mostly proves in practice. Subjective response is excellent, and the 144Hz does what it says it does. This is a very quick and responsive gaming panel. Our main reservation from a gaming perspective is the extent to which some of the image adjustment options are tied to presets—it would be nice to be able to adjust the pixel overdrive setting, regardless of preset.
Move away from gaming, and the results are more mixed. For a TN panel, the colors are actually pretty punchy, but there’s no disguising those limited TN viewing angles. Some compression is visible in brighter tones, too, and overall contrast levels are simply not on a par with more expensive panel technologies.
Arguably more of an issue for general duties is the 1080p native resolution. If you’re accustomed to 1440p or 4K, 1920x1080 feels constraining. Likewise, that resolution on a 24-inch display works out to a fairly tragic 92 ppi. Not exactly the stuff of precision-rendered fonts. The integrated speakers are also the most feeble by far we have ever encountered.
But do the pathetic speakers, fat pixel pitch, and mediocre viewing angles matter, given the gaming remit? If you want a gaming monitor that combines a high-quality IPS panel with 144Hz-plus refresh, you’d have to pay far more. For us, this ViewSonic gives up too much in general computing terms. For the money, you can have far more and higher quality pixels, and even a larger panel. This is low-end 4K territory. We’d trade the high refresh and low response times for that. But if you’re a single-minded gamer on a fairly tight budget, the XG240R is worthy of a spot on your shortlist.
Plus: Quick panel; fast refresh; lots of gaming-friendly features.
Minus: Limited native resolution;mediocre image quality.
Panel Size: 24 inches
Native Resolution: 1920x1080
Pixel Density: 92 ppi
Panel Type: TN
Maximum Refresh: 144Hz
Display Inputs: DisplayPort, 2x HDMI
Connectivity: 2x USB 3.0
VESA Mount: 100 x 100mm
Warranty: Three years