Best gaming monitors of CES 2019

CES 2019 has been a bumper year for PC gamers, with plenty of new product announcements. It can be tricky to keep track of everything yourself, so we’ve rounded up all of the biggest headlines into dedicated articles – including this one, which looks at the most exciting gaming monitors to have been revealed at this year’s show.

Our selections include Razer’s first-ever gaming monitor, a trio of exciting ROG Strix displays from Asus, the first Big Format Gaming Display and two clever displays from ViewSonic’s new Elite brand.

We’ve yet to go hands-on with any of the monitors on this list, but rest assured that we’ll be pressing our PR contacts for samples so that we can evaluate how these new arrivals stack up against the current best gaming monitors on the market. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know.

Razer Raptor

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Razer has entered yet another product category at CES 2019 with its announcement of the Razer Raptor, the company’s first gaming monitor. As far as specifications go, Razer has selected a very common configuration: a 27-inch IPS display at 2560 x 1440 with a refresh rate of 144Hz. That’s a step up in both resolution and refresh rate over the de facto 1080p 60Hz standard, so it’s a nice choice for many users.

The monitor supports FreeSync, adheres to the entry-level HDR400 specification and can even mirror a Razer Phone 2 via USB-C, but it really looks to stand out with its design. Razer has incorporated a Chroma-compatible RGB light strip on the front, provided cables in their typical neon green on the back and mounted the monitor on a stylish stand that reminds me of an open laptop. The Raptor will be available in North America later this year at $700.

Asus ROG Strix XG438Q, XG49VQ and XG32VQ

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Asus announced three ROG Strix monitors at CES this year, all of which sport VA displays with excellent contrast and support the FreeSync 2 and DisplayHDR standards.

The first is the XG438Q, which is a 43-inch 4K monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz. That makes it one of the few 4K monitors we’ve seen to operate at a refresh rate higher than 60Hz. It also hits the medium-strength DisplayHDR 600 specification and accurately reproduces 90 per cent of the DCI P3 colour gamut. The monitor will be released this spring, but there’s no specific date or price announced thus far.

If you’d prefer an ultra-wide display, Asus has you covered with the XG49VQ. This is a 49-inch monitor with the same 32:9 aspect ratio and 3840 x 1080 resolution as the Samsung CHG90 we recently added to our best gaming monitors list. However, Samsung (and other companies) have since announced successors with a higher resolution of 5120 x 1440, making the Asus monitor an easier-to-drive but less sharp alternative. The XG49GVQ runs at 144Hz and also supports the nominal HDR of the DisplayHDR400 and FreeSync 2 HDR standards. Like the first monitor on our list, its VA panel provides 90 per cent of the DCI P3 gamut, but unlike it, the XG49VQ will be released later this month at an unannounced price.

Finally, the XG32VQ is a 31.5-inch 1440p monitor that operates at 144Hz, making it a larger alternative to the Razer Raptor we looked at earlier. It meets the DisplayHDR 400 standard but manages 94% of the DCI P3 colour gamut. It too will be released later in January, with no pricing information available as of yet.

HP Omen X 65 Emperium

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The Omen X Emperium is the first Big Format Gaming Display (BFGD) to be available for pre-order, following their announcement by Nvidia at last year’s CES event. To recap, the BFGD specification calls for a 65-inch screen at 4K resolution with a 144Hz refresh rate and full G-Sync HDR support. The Omen X Emperium comes with a Nvidia Shield built in, allowing access to Android apps and the Google Assistant, and some models will arrive with an integrated soundbar as well.

However, you will be spending a lot to get the ultimate big-screen gaming display, with the Omen X Emperium arriving in February for $5000 and similar BFGDs from Acer and Asus expected to cost similar amounts. It’ll be interesting to see how these screens compare to LG’s 2019 OLEDs, which should also boast low input lag and a high refresh rate (albeit 120Hz instead of 144Hz). They’ll also come with FreeSync support that could work with Nvidia GeForce graphics cards, thanks to Nvidia’s recent G-Sync Compatible announcement.

ViewSonic Elite XG240R and XG350R-C

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ViewSonic announced its new Elite gaming sub-brand at CES, including two new models at wildly different price points. The XG240R is intended as a strong budget option, with a 24-inch 1080p TN display supporting 144Hz FreeSync. The Elite features a more “gamer” look than previous ViewSonic products, as well as support for RGB synchronisation with Thermaltake, Razer Chroma and Cooler Master products. The Elite XG240R is available now for $273.

On the other side of the spectrum is the XG350R-C, a 35-inch 3440 x 1440 curved ultrawide VA display. The FreeSync display also supports the relatively demanding HDR10 standard, which could make it a good choice for fans of HDR gaming or video. The XG350R-C has a refresh rate of 100Hz, which is typical for a monitor of this size and resolution and still provides a solid upgrade over 60Hz gaming. The XG350R-C will be available later this month for $789.

We’ll continue updating this article as and when new monitors are announced; if you spot any inaccuracies or omissions then let us know.

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