Gaming is becoming a rather huge industry lately, especially since the International 2014 Dota 2 tournament that managed to garner up a prize reward of over $10 million. Hardly any other online games have even come close to awarding that kind of prize money for being good in them. With this, it seems that a whole lot more attention will be given to gaming as a form of sports itself much like football or badminton. In fact, plenty of enthusiasts are already naming it e-sports, which basically stands for electronic sports. A lot of technology titans are also beginning to invest heavily into designing and manufacturing their own line of gaming products, including monitors, keyboards, headsets and more. It would seem that after so many years of dominating the gaming industry, Razer, Logitech, BenQ and a couple of other mega corporations are beginning to see competition here.
For instance, Dell has always been well known for the build quality of their products but lately they’ve been producing a ton of monitors, both high-end and low-end to suit all types of gamers. One of their flagship models is the Dell Ultrasharp, which comes in multiple versions. The Dell U2412M for example, has a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is rather peculiar since most games only support a 16:9 ratio (PS3 or XBOX games come to mind), yet hardware enthusiasts have been snatching these monitors off the shelves. For gaming, the Dell Ultrasharp performs rather well, but it’s certainly not the best compared to juggernauts like BenQ’s latest XL2420Z or its 27 inch version, the XL2720Z.
While you might argue that it’s unfair to compare the best gaming monitors from BenQ to Dell’s (you can make the comparisons here) simply because BenQ is known for manufacturing products that are geared specifically towards gamers, it is really entirely dependent on the personal preferences of the user. What do I mean by that exactly? Well, let’s just say that not everyone is able to appreciate a boost from the conventional 60 Hz refresh rate to a 120 Hz or higher. Sure, for us seasoned gamers, an extra 60 FPS will suddenly make everything seem twice as fluid in the games that we’re playing. For casual users however, they’ll barely be able to tell the difference. Under these circumstances, it might be better for casual gamers to settle for an IPS panel (equivalent of VA/PLS or whatever other abbreviations that are given to similar panels these days) since they can enjoy the higher image quality that would stem from a panel like that. The only drawback is that such monitors would display a slightly inaccurate color base or even pixels that are less concentrated (we call this dot pitch). Despite what resolution a monitor might be advertised as having (1080p, 1440p etc), this particular factor matters a great deal in determining the overall image quality that you’ll see being displayed on your monitor.
This is even more noticeable in a gaming monitor because gamers are always looking for the best graphics quality in order to enhance their gaming experience. A gamer will easily pick on the smallest or seemingly negligible issues such as backlight bleeding, dead pixels, washed out colors, reflections and more. In that regard, you’ll want to ensure that your gaming monitor has the ability to support the most basic of cable connections, which in the current day and age means at least 1 HDMI port, along with DVI or even a DisplayPort for the purposes of convenience. ASUS seems to be the only company that has gotten this right so far (the Asus VS238H-P has almost all the ports that you’ll need to play your PC games or even your PS4). Nonetheless, it seems like the other gaming companies aren’t far behind when it comes to monitors and soon we’ll be able to purchase larger sized monitors for lower prices. I, personally, am going to keep my fingers crossed until then.