The Sceptre E series E205W-1600 V1 is a 20-inch monitor that is reasonably priced, but delivers vivid colors and nicely rendered gray-scale performance. If you are on a tight budget but need a monitor for day-to-day productivity, the V1 offers value that’s hard to pass.
PROS: Quite inexpensive. Solid color output. Energy efficient.
CONS: Stand isn’t fully adjustable. Lacks DisplayPort input and USB ports.
When we reviewed the Sceptre E165W-1600HC monitor back in 2017, we were impressed by its reasonable pricing and solid color output, but the 720p picture and grayscale performance left a lot to be desired. With the new E205W-1600 V1, Sceptre $65.73 at Amazon have resolved the viewing angle issue by outfitting the display with a 20-inch LED-lit panel that delivers better colors and wide viewing angles. Still, it suffers from inky blacks and Full HD resolution would be better, over the native HD+ resolution. Regardless, it remains insanely affordable and I among our top picks for budget monitors.
The Sceptre E205W-1600 V1 shares the same design with the other models in the E Series. Its 20-inch panel is housed in a glossy-black cabinet, with a black curved stand supporting it in landscape mode. At 5.36 pounds and measuring 13.58 by 18.35 by 7.17 inches, the V1 about the right size for a small desk, and will fit on most surfaces at home and office. The stand allows for tilt adjustments (back and forth), but lacks height, pivot or swivel adjustment. On the back are VESA mounting holes, in case you need to hook it up to a wall.
Installing the E205W-1600 is easy. Simply plug in an HDMI or VGA cable into the back of the monitor and connect it to your PC or laptop, then connect the included power adapter to the mains and you’re set. When connected, the monitor will power up, and Windows will install drivers, that simple. The monitor supports Windows 10 and when installed, it will be listed as an extended display in your Graphics control panel. At this point you can choose to have it act as a primary display, have it mirror your original display, or have it remain as an extended display.
It doesn’t have a USB port, DisplayPort or speakers, but we expected that for a low-budget monitor. Picture settings are basic and include Brightness, Contrast, and Blue Light adjustments, along with the usual analog (Position, Focus, and Clock) settings. You won’t find any advanced settings, such as the 6-Axis-Color and Gamma settings that you get with most high-end monitors.
The Sceptre E series E205W-1600’s color accuracy is good, but not the best. If you go into details, you’ll realize that red and green color may be somewhat misaligned with their ideal coordinates, that when using a display rendering software, but for the plain eye it looks just OK. Nevertheless, the panel produces rich, well-saturated colors, and in testing it displayed scenes from Damien Chazelle’s La La Land on Blu-ray nicely. Gray-scale performance is also good; although it doesn’t manage the same detail that you’ll get from high-end IPS panels, such as the one used on the BenQ EW277HDR.
Viewing-angles are good for a 20-inch monitor, with little color shifting when viewed from any angle. It has a 1600 by 900 resolution and a 5,000,000:1 contrast ration, which is good for a monitor in this category. The panel does a good job at displaying fast-moving items, though you’ll get some lag in modern games at high resolutions. 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 fastest we’ve had so far is 9.5 milliseconds from the Benq SW2700PT.
A Monitor for Value Hunters
If all you’re looking for is a fairly affordable, well-designed 20-inch monitor, then the Sceptre E205W-1600 passes as a good choice. Granted, you’re not expecting tons of features including USB ports, and Displayport inputs, and it also comes short of a fully adjustable stand. Still, it does a good job in delivering solid colors and nicely rendered gray-scale performance, and it easily fits into your budget. If you need a monitor that will deliver content at higher resolution, consider the ViewSonic VP2771, but if budget is an issue, our Editors’ Choice the HP Pavilion 22cwa offers accurate colors, sports a great design at a nice price.