It’s clear that the market is embracing these 25” 240Hz gaming monitors despite their FHD resolution, TN panels, and relatively high cost. It’s hard to convince buyers with specs alone, but once you’ve actually played a game on one, it’s hard to go back to the lower framerate of a high-resolution screen. And it’s not just about smoothness. Response is a key element in the gaming experience. Even casual players like us can tell the difference between 23 and 63 milliseconds of input lag.
The ViewSonic XG2530 represents the category extremely well. It is price competitive, well built, and loaded with every conceivable feature and adjustment a user could want. And it offers AMD fans ultimate performance for their FreeSync-based systems. For those gamers, it’s just this or the AOC AG251FZ for now.
If you’re looking for ultimate image quality, irrespective of motion processing and response, a monitor like this is not for you. We’ve seen enough comments deriding the FHD resolution and TN panel used in the XG2530 and its competitors. What these screens offer is speed above all else. If competitive gaming is your thing, there is no better choice than a 240Hz screen with adaptive refresh.
Still, contrast and color performance are not all that different from a similarly-equipped IPS display. We’re seeing decent color accuracy, good grayscale and gamma tracking, and comparable contrast. Of course, that last one is also the most important of all. The XG2530 underperformed its competitors in that particular test.
But ultimately, there isn’t a lot of image depth available in an LCD monitor until you go with a VA panel or zone dimming, or preferably both. We haven’t seen either technology coupled with super high refresh rates yet, but its arrival is inevitable. Features like HDR and extended color demand better hardware and we know that sooner or later the industry will deliver.
Right now though, the XG2530 and other displays like it are the top choice for competitive gaming. And FreeSync means the price is closer to $400 rather than the over $500 you’ll pay for G-Sync.
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