THE BOTTOM LINE
The Sceptre C328B-144KN is a budget gaming monitor that offers luxuries like a curved viewing experience, useful port, sharp images and AMD's FreeSync technology.
THE GOOD: Good gaming performance. Speedy refresh rate. AMD FreeSync enabled.
THE BAD: Narrow viewing angles. Only three ports.
With a pronounced curve and gamer-friendly features, the Sceptre C328B-144KN $399.99 at Amazon not only delivers a better gaming experience than its flat-screen counterparts, but does so for much less. It includes a chock-full of features, including adaptive video inputs, multiple gaming modes (FPS and RTS) and a speedy 144Hz refresh rate.
While its viewing angle performance is slightly middling, this 32-inch gaming monitor uses AMD’s FreeSync anti-tearing technology to deliver smooth gaming performance. For a few dollars more, the AOC C3583FQ, our top pick for large screen gaming monitors is a better deal. But if your budget is strictly limited, the Sceptre C328B is worth a look.
The C328B’ bezel-free cabinet, black -and-silver finish, and metallic chrome trim offer a pleasing aesthetic. It is a panel with Vertical Alignment (VA) that has a 1,800R curvature, which isn’t as pronounced as the 34-inch Samsung CF791’s 1,500R curvature, but is awesomely curvier than the Acer Predator X34 bmiphz $1,199.99 at Amazon (3800R). For starters, a screen’s curvature is measured in R figures, and for a fixed screen, the larger R number corresponds to less curvature. What is striking is the LED RGB strips on the back of the monitor, which is a bonus for a value system.
It has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, a 3,000:1 contrast ratio, a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 250 cd/m2 peak brightness, and a 3-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response. There are no function buttons visible on the cabinet to break the smooth aesthetics; instead, there are touch-spots on the right bottom panel that are used to navigate the on-screen menus and settings values. A pair of speakers is built into the bottom back of the speakers – loud enough to fill a midsize room.
Inputs and Presets
For connectivity, there’s an array of video inputs that can be found around the back facing downward. They include: one HDMI, one DisplayPort (DP) and one DVI port, which is quite mean, but acceptable considering how much you’re paying for the system. Missing re the USB 3.0 ports that you get with the Samsung CF791.
The cabinet is supported by a V-shaped stand that provides 15 degrees backwards and 5 degrees forward, alongside the detachable neck and base. It lacks pivot, swivel and height adjustments, though. 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.
The Sceptre C328B performs impressively in Battlefield 1 (PC) and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Sony PlayStation 4) gaming tests. The usual motion artifacts were absent and there isn’t any visible screen tearing, thanks to AMD’s FreeSync technology. Across the board, gameplay was smooth, there wasn’t any stutter or ghosting, and the curved screen enhances peripheral vision, taking you closer to the action.
The panel’s 11.9 milliseconds input lag isn’t far off the competition, and you won’t even notice it during gameplay. So far, the BenQ SW2700PT $599.00 at Amazon 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. Still, the offset colors do not result in misaligned colors or tinting.
The panel consumes 57 watts of power while operating in Standard mode, and switching to ECO mode only reduces consumption to 52 watts. The Samsung CFG791 $749.99 at Amazon consumes 45 watts in standard mode, and 36 watts with ECO Saving Plus Mode.
The Bottom Line
Not always do you find a budget gaming monitor with smooth motion handling and a curved 32-inch screen like the Sceptre C328B-144KN $399.99 at Amazon . It is a prime choice for users looking for a monitor that offers more detailed, immersive gaming experience that you can’t find on traditional flat-screen monitors. Its 1,800R curvature helps it deliver aplomb in gaming, and its design with LED strips enhances the experience. In addition, the AMD FreeSync technology boosts the gaming experience, pushing the Sceptre C328B to a deserved top spot in your shopping list.