When it comes to buying a PC gaming or not, adding in all of the extras above and beyond the base unit can make it a pricey purchase. You can go budget, however, this can sometimes end up with poor performance. And quite frankly you can lose out on a lot of features that higher-end products provide.
Price And Performance!
So the question for me is – Can you get an all-rounder monitor on a budget? Let us take a look at the MSI PRO MP242 series to see if they can offer this experience.
MSI PRO MP242 Series Monitors
This range of monitors from MSI fall within the “budget” price range, each offering something more than the last as you go up in price. The spec changes involve various elements, from screen and panel types to adjustability. They however have a lot in common. For example, when it comes to audio, they all have an inbuilt 2W speaker, they are all 1920 x 1080p screens and they all have a 75hz refresh rate. Let’s take a look at some of the differences.
First, let’s take a look at the MSI PRO 242C. This is the lowest spec of the three but boasts a good quality 1500r curved screen. This model also brings a smaller screen of 23.6″. This is also a VA panel-type screen and comes with an external power adaptor. As you could expect this was the one that performed the poorest out of the three. However, despite it not having the deepest of blacks and not the best contrasting colours. It still performed extremely well for its price point.
Secondly, we have the MSI PRO MP242. It has an IPS panel-type screen but the biggest difference at this stage is the screen size and the build quality of the monitor base/stand. The monitor stand that comes with this model has a more premium feel which is screwed in, whereas on the previous it is all pushing to fit. This also makes it a much sturdier monitor on the desk. The screen size as mentioned is also slightly larger at 23.8″. Not a whole lot of difference but you do notice the difference when it’s all setup.
Lastly, The MSI PRO MP242P is a very similar spec to the previous. The one thing that stands out on this monitor is the base and it’s one of the reasons it came out on top for me. It has a tilt-adjustable and height-adjustable stand so you can set it at the perfect height. Not only this, as it has such a great display for text, it’s a perfect second screen for those who do not want to shell out on another expensive screen. I say this as it’s also rotatable.
What About Gaming?
As these monitors are at the lower end of the market, you have to go into this with an open mind. These are not going to perform as well as their gaming counterparts either. To start off with they all only come with a 75hz refresh rate and only go up to 1920×1080. However, there was a time when this level of specification was acceptable for gaming.
I tested all three models out on my Playstation 5/Xbox and PC for as much comparison as possible. Also to see if there were any compatibility issues present as well. Safe to say there were non. However, when playing titles such as Fortnite, Minecraft and many of the indie titles that aren’t heavily loaded with graphics, they actually performed ok. The MP242C didn’t look as good as the other two as the colours felt slightly washed out at times compared. However, the games still looked ok and played perfectly fine. As mentioned earlier these monitors have a 2W speaker inbuilt, this was not good enough for games but for day-to-day Youtube (vlogs, blogs etc) it will be ok.
When I took the monitors to the PC for testing I found pretty much the same thing when it came to similar titles. However, the only drawback was on titles that have a lot of movement e.g Souls-like titles. When you dodged and rolled it didn’t handle movement all that well, it felt a little rough around the edge. However, this is probably due to me being used to a higher-specification monitor and noticing little things like this. But overall I was happy, it could handle the games that are my go-to titles on a regular basis when gaming solo.
The question I asked myself at the beginning was – Can you get an all-around monitor on a budget? The answer is most certainly yes. Not everyone can go out and put £200-£300+ on a monitor. However, The MSI MP242 range provides a good level of spec in the £120-£140 price bracket. Don’t get me wrong, if you are a hardcore gamer, these monitors do not offer the MSI MPG/MAG/MEG etc experiences. But what they do, is make owning a PC more attainable due to their price points.
For me, the MSI PRO MP242P came out on top. The feature that makes it stand out over the others is the ability to rotate and adjust the screen to the right height. I don’t think I could personally go back to a monitor that sat really low on my desk.
Let us know what you think in the comments below, how do you rate budget monitors?
Disclaimer: Samples were received in order to write this review.