When it comes to gaming monitors, there’s a laundry list of specs and features that you may want. The Sceptre E258B-1658A is one of those budget monitors you may want to check out. It seems to tick most of the boxes, thanks to a bright 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution screen, FreeSync support, a fistful of optimized gaming modes and solid color reproduction hat will make your games look excellent.
You’ll miss out some more premium features, like HDR support and curved screen, but at its price, the E258B-1658A is one of the most affordable gaming monitors you can buy.
The Sceptre E258B’s black design is pretty plain like its predecessor, the Sceptre E225W-19203R, though the monitor’s stand and circular base sport just enough brushed silver accents to remind you that this is a gaming peripheral.
What the display lacks in flashiness, however, it makes up for in practicality. Sceptre’s monitor doesn’t offer much in adjustments, no height, no swivel, just tilt (5 degrees forward, 22 degrees back).
The monitor is also VESA-mountable, should you want to forgo the stand altogether and attach it right to your wall. The Sceptre E258B-1658A packs enough connections for your PC or console, with two HDMI inputs as well as a DisplayPort (the latter of which is required to use the monitor’s FreeSync mode). Others include a 3.5mm audio jack and a pair of built-in speakers.
The monitor’s interface is refreshingly simple and easy to navigate for a gaming monitor. It comes with multiple color modes for different occasions: Preset Picture Mode (Standard, User, Movie, ECO); Preset Game Mode – RTS (Real Time Strategy), FPS (First Person Shooter and Eye Saver Mode which is aligned to Blue light shift to prevent eye strain, alongside adjustable gamma settings.
When it comes to gaming, having a monitor that can render the signal from your PC source is ever crucial and one with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time like the Sceptre E258B-1658A offers better prospects. When tested on Battlefield 1 (PC Version), the monitor puts a strong showing without any visible screen tearing, or ghosting that you’d experience with low-end screen.
All this is made possible by a fast refresh rate, short gray-to-gray response time, and more importantly AMD’s FreeSync technology that enhances playability and delivers crisp pixels across the board.
The panel’s 10.9 milliseconds input lag isn’t far off the competition, and you won’t even notice it during gameplay. So far, the BenQ SW2700PT is the fastest monitor we’ve had with an input lag of 9.5 milliseconds. The ability to display very deep blacks helps enhance the colors, although color accuracy is slightly skewed. Ideally, for budget monitors, skewed colors aren’t uncommon, including here, since the monitors aren’t designed for color-critical tasks.
With excellent color performance, fast 1ms response time, FreeSync for tear-free gaming and a sleek, adjustable stand, the Sceptre E258B-1658A is easily one of the best entry-level gaming monitors on the market. It’s also one of the more affordable ones, given its feature sets, particularly among those with a 165-refresh rate.
However, it’s not perfect. It lacks USB ports and the lacks of ergonomic adjustments glaring omissions in an otherwise stellar monitor. The 27-inch Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ offers a 4K resolution and touts Nvidia G-Sync, which is arguably a better version of adaptive frame-rate technology and the only option for anyone using Nvidia graphics cards.
All that said, the Sceptre E258B-1658A is still a superb choice for any gamer and is exceptionally more affordable than both the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ and our Editors’ Choice gaming monitor, the Alienware AW3418DW. If you especially want short response time and high refresh rate in action, this is the gaming monitor for you.