The Sceptre C248W-1920RN is for you, if you’re on a budget but need a monitor that can be used for both work and play, but looks more premium than it costs. It comes with enough that you need for casual gaming and productivity, including bonuses like a vibrant curved screen and a 75Hz refresh rate.
- Excellent color and grayscale performance
- Stylish no-bezel design
- Good value for money
- Slow pixel response
- Stand allows for tilt adjustment only
The Sceptre C248W-1920RN 24-inch monitor shows rich and reasonably true colors for both video and photos. And, it gets premium looks but costs much less than competitors like the Acer XFA240 bmjdpr and the Asus VG248QZ, but remains a good choice for dual-monitor setup. However, it lacks the kind of gaming-centric features you’d find on a typical gaming monitor, such as AMD FreeSync adaptive-sync technology and higher-than-ordinary refresh rate, and it doesn’t support HDR.
Those features beside the point, the C248W is a good choice for enthusiast gamers and pros looking for a mid-size business or entertainment monitor that handles colors well.
A matte-black 24-inch (measured diagonally) monitor, the Sceptre C248W-1920RN measures 15.94 by 21.34 by 7.95 inches (HWD), but it lacks most ergonomic adjustments – it can only be tilted from 5 degrees to 23 degrees upward. The base is circular-shaped base with a cylindrical arm that connects to the back of the monitor. The panel’s bottom bezel is 0.6-inch-tall; the side panels are so thin that you can think the C248W is frameless, making it a good candidate for multi-monitor setup.
The Sceptre C248W panel has a native FHD resolution (1,920 by 1,080), which works out to a 21:9 aspect ratio. Other features include a 5-microsecond gray-to-gray (G-to-G) response time, 250cd/m2 peak brightness, 75Hz refresh rate, and a 3M:1 contrast ratio; all common in the sub-$250 price point. Its pixel density is a bit low as compared to the ViewSonic VP2785-4K monitor (163ppi), which features a 4K monitor. Generally, the higher the pixel density, the sharper the image, but the C248W does a good job displaying clear visuals.
The panel has 1800R curvature, meaning that if its curve were to continue around to form a full circle, it would have a radius of 1,800mm, or 1.8 meters. This is the tightest curvature we have seen on a budget monitor not geared exclusively for gaming. As typical with VA panels, the C248W has very wide viewing angles (rated at 178 degrees), which combine with the deep curvature to produce an immersive experience.
Inputs and Presets
Around the back, there are rear facing ports including an HDMI port, a VGA, a headphone jack and a DC connector. Unlike most of its peers in this category, this one gets four VESA mount holes that you can use to hang the monitor on a wall, or a custom stand for a dual-monitor setup. Still on the back, there are five small function buttons on the left side (if you’re looking at them from the back).
The On-screen menu offers a decent selection of settings, even though it doesn’t include the usual advanced six color adjustments that you get in more expensive gaming monitors like the Asus ROG Swift PG258Q. Still, the available options give you a platform to adjust your picture to the best level possible, but you will benefit from the Standard setting, since the rest of the options are either too dark or overly bright.
While billed as a gaming monitor, the C248W-1920RN’s 75Hz refresh rate and lack of adaptive-sync technology make it more of a productivity monitor that can be occasionally used for gaming. For gaming, you’ll need a monitor that will stand up to Nvidia’s latest RTX 20-Series graphics cards, and that requires a 144Hz resolution at the minimum for butter-smooth gameplay. For pro-gamers, Asus offers the 35-inch ROG Strix XG35VQ (3440 x 1440 resolution), and AOC CQ32G1 (2560 x 1440 resolution) is equally excellent for pro-gaming, but boasting 144Hz refresh rates and short 1ms response rates and adaptive sync technology support.
On the other hand, casual gamers looking for something stylish and capable will find some value in the Sceptre C248W-1920RN. It performs well on casual games that don’t require the fastest refresh rates, displays 1080p video and other content at 5ms refresh rate. The VA panel technology produces vibrant colors, the viewing angles are decent (not the best, though) for a 24-inch monitor, with minimal color shifting when viewing from any angle.
In fact, you can get away with fast-moving items, but you’ll likely encounter some lag in modern AAA titles played at very high settings. Input lag (the amount of time it takes for the monitor to react to a controller command) came in at an impressive 13.7 milliseconds, which is not far-apart from the competition.
The 24-inch Sceptre C248W is for you, if you’re on a budget but need a curved monitor that can be used for both work and play, but looks more premium than it costs. It comes with enough that you need for casual gaming and productivity, including bonuses like a vibrant curved screen and a 75Hz refresh rate. Throw in a sleek design, and you’ve got one of the best-looking mid-size monitors around.
Is there a better alternative?
With the right money, you can’t miss alternatives in the gaming monitors category. For a few dollars more, Sceptre’s own 24-inch C248B-144RN offers better gaming performance with a 144Hz refresh rate, supports AMD FreeSync and looks a lot better over the 2018-model we’re reviewing. Still, you have the sweet 1800R curve and the panel’s output quality looks a lot better.
In case you want to play modern titles at very high settings, alternatives like the ViewSonic XG2402 and AOC CQ32G1 (2560 x 1440 resolution) will cost more but they are worth every penny you spend. With these, you’re getting higher resolutions, short refresh rates and even better picture and ergonomic adjustments.
Should you buy it?
Maybe. If you’re on a tight budget, the 2018-released Sceptre C248W-1920RN is an excellent buy. However, with a few more dollars, the company is offering the 2019 version of the same model, the 24-inch Sceptre C248B-144RN, which now gets a higher 144Hz refresh rate, includes AMD FreeSync technology for fast-paced games and enhanced productivity.