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My thoughts on the Sceptre 20’ Ultra Thin LED Monitor (HDMI VGA) (2024)

My thoughts on how Sceptre’s 20’ LED Monitor balances size, performance, and affordability for everyday computing.
Jim Grendler

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 3, 2023


I recently picked up the Sceptre 20” E205W-16003R monitor and have been using it for a variety of everyday tasks. Whether I’m wrapping up work projects, browsing the web, or enjoying some light gaming, this monitor’s performance has been noteworthy given its price point.


Property Value Property Value
Screen Size 20 Inches Display Resolution Maximum 1600 x 900 Pixels
Brand Sceptre Special Feature Wall Mountable, Flicker-Free, Built-In Speakers
Refresh Rate 60 Hz


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Optimal Screen Size and Resolution for Everyday Use

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When it comes to selecting a monitor for day-to-day use, various aspects come into play – screen size, resolution, and ergonomics. Ideally, you want a display that is large enough for comfortable viewing without overwhelming your desk space. With the Sceptre 20’ E205W-16003R, I’ve found a size that doesn’t skimp on screen real estate while still fitting perfectly into a more compact workspace.

For everyday tasks such as browsing, document editing, and casual gaming, the 1600 x 900 resolution seems to hit a sweet spot. It provides sufficient clarity without the graphical demands of a 1080p screen, making it easier on lower-end graphics hardware. I’ve noticed that colors appear vibrant and text is sharp enough for comfortable reading.

However, it’s important to recognize the drawbacks. While the resolution works well for everyday tasks, it might not suffice for high-end graphic design or for users who are accustomed to the crispness of a full HD or 4K display.

Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts:


  • Optimal size for small desks or limited spaces.

  • Good resolution for regular office work and casual media consumption.

  • Affordable pricing for budget-conscious buyers.


  • Not suitable for high-resolution graphics work.

  • In some high-motion scenes or gaming, a higher resolution might be preferred.

Looking at it from a personal perspective, I often juggle between work tasks and indulging in media on the same screen. This monitor provides a comfortable middle ground without breaking the bank. I’ve noticed that my eyes don’t tire as quickly thanks to the flicker-free tech. The built-in speakers also save desk space, even if they won’t win any awards for audio quality – it’s a decent feature for notifications or background music.

Mounting the monitor is straightforward with the VESA 75mm x 75mm pattern, although I would have appreciated a tool-free stand attachment. It’s more convenient, especially if you plan to move the monitor between locations.

While it might seem a minor detail, having a 5ms response time is quite beneficial. It minimizes ghosting in everyday use, and while hardcore gamers may seek faster times, the casual gamer in me hasn’t found this to be a sticking point.

Ultimately, this Sceptre monitor blends practicality with value. It’s not going to be the centerpiece of a high-end gaming setup, but for document work, light gaming, and media it ticks many of the right boxes. If you’re looking for an affordable, no-frills monitor that gets the job done, this could very well be your best bet.

Connectivity and Compatibility: A Diverse Array of Ports

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When looking for a monitor, the variety and flexibility of its connectivity options are crucial. I appreciate a device that can handle the numerous gadgets I want to hook up without having to juggle with adapters and cables all the time. Let’s break down how the Sceptre E205W-16003R stands up in this department:

  • 2 x HDMI ports (convertible to DVI) – This is fantastic when I want to switch between my gaming console and work laptop smoothly. The advantage of having multiple HDMI ports can’t be overstated, especially when they double as DVI ports with an adapter.

  • VGA input – It’s a bit dated, but for anyone rocking a legacy PC or other devices, this can be a lifesaver. However, I have to acknowledge that VGA won’t deliver the sharpness you get with HDMI.

  • Built-in speakers – They’re not going to rock your world, but they’re there if you need them. Ideal for simple system sounds or the occasional conference call, but I wouldn’t rely on them for a deep multimedia experience.

  • VESA mount compatibility (75mm x 75mm) – A handy feature, especially if you’re like me and like to keep your workspace clean and organized. Wall mounting or attaching to a stand just brings that additional ease and sophistication to my setup.

It’s evident that Sceptre has aimed for versatility, which is commendable. However, there is a downside to this. While HDMI supports higher refresh rates, and VGA is a useful legacy feature, the absence of a DisplayPort might be a letdown for some. DisplayPort is common on modern devices and offers better bandwidth, but thankfully, with HDMI, this isn’t a deal-breaker for me.

The Adaptive Sync technology is another huge plus, bridging the graphics card and monitor refresh rates – it’s essential for me when I’m in the throes of intense gaming sessions. It delivers a seamless viewing experience that could easily be overlooked if you’re not into fast-paced visuals, but once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back.

To sum it up, the E205W-16003R offers:

  • Generous HDMI and VGA options for versatile connections

  • Unexpected, albeit basic, in-built speakers

  • VESA mount ready for that sleek setup

  • Adaptive Sync for smoother gameplay

Though it may miss the boat with no DisplayPort and superior speaker quality – it’s a solid monitor for its price range. The blend of old and new connectivity, including essentials like Adaptive Sync, makes this monitor a smart pick, particularly if you’re operating on a budget and need a workhorse that can handle a variety of tasks.

Performance and Display Quality: Refresh Rates and Color Fidelity

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When assessing the Sceptre 20” Ultra Thin LED Monitor (E205W-16003R), the performance and display quality hinge on a few key features that are both impressive and critical for daily use. The refresh rate and color fidelity, for instance, stand out for a monitor of this calibre.

Starting with the refresh rate, at 75Hz, the images are noticeably smoother than on standard 60Hz monitors, which is a small but appreciated step up — it reduces the ghosting and tearing that can distract during high-paced games or videos. It’s not top-tier — gaming enthusiasts might look for 144Hz or greater — but for casual play or work, it’s more than sufficient.

In terms of color fidelity, with sRGB 99% color support, the colors across the screen appear vibrant and true-to-life. This makes the viewing experience in general, whether it’s for gaming or watching videos, quite enjoyable. However, there’s a caveat regarding viewing angles and consistency; the color uniformity and brightness can vary depending on your perspective, which might not make it the best choice for professional photo editing.

Let’s break it down a bit:


  • 75Hz refresh rate for smoother imaging

  • sRGB 99% for good color reproduction

  • 3,000:1 Contrast Ratio delivers deep blacks and bright whites


  • Some uniformity issues with brightness and color at different angles

  • Built-in speakers are functional but lack depth

  • 1600 x 900 resolution might be a step down for users accustomed to Full HD

While the 1600 x 900 resolution might not be as crisp as the now-standard 1080p, the difference is often negligible for general computing tasks and for those who prioritize a sleek design and desk space over pixel density. Yet, the lower resolution contributes to the monitor’s affordability, making it a strategic compromise for budget-conscious consumers.

Adaptive Sync technology is a notable addition, closing the gap between the graphics card’s and the monitor’s refresh rates, a boon for gamers who value synchronicity in their gameplay. It works well enough to make a difference, though its effectiveness may not match that of more premium monitors.

The drawbacks are few but worth mentioning — the built-in speakers, for instance, suit basic needs but they’re not cut out for audiophiles or immersive gaming sessions. For better sound quality, external speakers or headphones would be necessary.

In short, the Sceptre 20” monitor finds its strength in offering a decent refresh rate and sound color performance for its price bracket, though it might not satisfy the needs of power users or professionals. For everyday tasks, light gaming, and entertainment, it’s a capable companion that won’t break the bank.

In-Built Features and Overall Value for Price

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When it comes to monitors, especially for those of us on a budget, finding the right blend of features and value can be a daunting mission. The Sceptre E205W-16003R monitor has been a mixed bag of goodies and minor gripes, but by a large margin, the positives have outweighed the negatives.

Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve noted about its in-built features:

  • VESA wall mount: a big plus for space-saving and custom setups.

  • Built-in speakers: convenient for casual listening, though not the highest fidelity.

  • Adaptive Sync: helps smooth out gameplay and reduce screen tearing.

  • 75Hz refresh rate: a nice step up from the standard 60Hz, aiding in smoother visuals.

On a personal level, I found the VESA wall mount ready feature quite handy, allowing me to free up precious desk space. The fact it’s ready for 75Hz refresh rate is great for anyone looking to edge a bit more fluidity in their screen without breaking the bank. Granted, it’s not a gaming powerhouse monitor, but it’s a solid performer for everyday tasks and light gaming.

One notable inclusion is the Adaptive Sync technology. While it’s not cutting-edge, it definitely shows Sceptre’s commitment to providing value-oriented options that cater to gamers on a budget. This tech did help reduce some image tearing without any fuss.

The built-in speakers struck me as a bit of a mixed blessing. For quick video calls or listening to background music, they’re incredibly convenient and help maintain a clutter-free workspace without external speakers. But don’t expect them to light up your room with high-quality sound – they do what they need to do and nothing more.

Now, on the flip side, the monitor isn’t without its drawbacks. For instance, the monitor’s color representation and angles aren’t the best I’ve seen. If I lean back or view the screen from the side while lounging, things quickly become less visible. This isn’t surprising given its price point, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re picky about viewing angles.

The 1600 x 900 resolution is serviceable, providing a clear and crisp display, but it’s certainly not the sharpest on the market. Also, being a larger resolution, working from home on this monitor feels like I’m experiencing a ‘big screen’ without overwhelming my limited space.

After heavy use, I’ve noticed that the fast response time does keep up, minimizing the blur in fast-paced scenes. While we’re not entering high-end gaming territory, for most of my needs, including casual gaming sessions, it’s been more than sufficient.

In conclusion, for anyone who needs a cost-effective yet capable monitor, the Sceptre E205W-16003R is a strong contender. Yes, its viewing angles and built-in speakers aren’t going to set the world on fire, but the trade-offs are reasonable given its price point. It’s a reliable workhorse for day-to-day use, whether for work, watching content, or casual gaming. To put it candidly, it’s a monitor that goes above and beyond what I’d expect from something so affordable, and I’m pleasantly satisfied with the value it delivers.