At this time a year ago, IPS/QHD gaming monitors were practically non-existent. We saw plenty of choices in TN screens but users made it clear that they wanted better tech. Today, premium displays are more common but they aren't cheap by any means. $600 is a lot to pay for a 27-inch monitor but once you've had a taste of adaptive refresh, of either the G-Sync or FreeSync variety, it's hard to go back.
Thanks to FreeSync we have some less-expensive choices. And panel manufacturers continue to crank out TN panels to keep prices in check. It may seem like they're relying on old technology to get the job done but in our experience, the newest products are distinctly better than their predecessors, especially in the areas of color accuracy and screen uniformity.
If value is to be the top priority, as it is for most of us, one should consider the merits of a display like the XG2401. It offers the best contrast we've measured outside of a VA panel. It has superb color accuracy; good enough to burn through graphics tasks if need be. And it's just as fast and responsive as more expensive monitors. The only real flaw we found was in its gamma tracking. But that's not sufficient reason to pass it over. We think it has excellent image quality.
While many users are waiting for larger QHD displays to drop below $300, 24-inch FHD screens can offer a comparable gaming experience while saving you at least $200. One might put that leftover cash towards a faster video card, in fact. In our experience, gaming detail, especially in fast-moving fps titles, is pretty much the same perceptively whether you see it on a 27-inch QHD panel or a 24-inch FHD one. The difference in pixel density is, after all, only 17ppi.
If you can forgo features like blur reduction or a larger FreeSync range, the XG might be for you. Its 24-inch size means viewing angles aren't a big factor and FHD resolution is far easier for a budget video card to deal with. And you won't have to calibrate it to see a vivid picture with lots of depth and contrast.
That depth proved to be a boon in our favorite games. Not only is the image bright and vivid, motion quality is as good as any premium monitor we've played on. When detail is set to high levels, we can't honestly say we missed the greater resolution. You really won't be giving up that much if you choose to save money on a monitor like this.
For solid build quality, excellent contrast and color accuracy, we're giving the ViewSonic XG2401 our Tom's Editor Approved Award.