Sceptre C305W-2560UN Review

7.5 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN is gorgeous gaming monitor that offers great screen quality, a solid curved design with good features, and AMD FreeSync – all for less than its competitors. It’s an exceptional option if you’re after a wide-screen, curved gaming panel but can’t afford the market’s expensive models.

PROS
  • Excellent image quality
  • Curved 21:9 screen design
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Tilt adjustment
CONS
  • Lesser resolution than rivals
  • Ineffective gaming modes

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN Gaming Monitor doesn’t settle the question of whether you need a 30-inch monitor. However, it’s a good argument that there’s value in this proposition. This bright, colorful, curved monitor is a worthwhile accessory for any PC with a quad HD output. Provided you have enough space on your desk to accommodate it – and the money to afford it, but it isn’t costly after all.  

Its 30-inch diagonal is huge, and it elevates its gaming credentials with a gentle curve. That’s not its only attractive attribute. It’s got AMD FreeSync, and the panel runs on VA technology – the same used on the BenQ EW3270U gaming monitor. It also cost several hundred dollars less than many of its rivals.

Sceptre C305W-2560UN Specs

  • Monitor Class: Multimedia, Gaming, Business
  • Screen size: 34-inches
  • Native resolution: 2,560 x 1,080
  • Aspect ratio: 21:9
  • Refresh rate: 85Hz
  • Panel Type: VA
  • Response time: 8ms
  • Viewing angle: 178°
  • Brightness: 250cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2
  • Built-in speakers: YES
  • Dimensions: 27.8 in x 9.2 in x 16.1 in – with stand
  • Weight: 10.7 pounds

Design and Features

Screens like this always look disarming at first. The 30-inch diagonal is wide, sprawling across the desk, and the curve draws your eye. However, once you move closer, the wide and curved screens make loads of sense. The 1,800mm radius makes a gentle arc, so there’s no image distortion – instead, the sides tilt the screen toward the user. It’s discreet, not distracting.

You’ll find the 21:9 aspect ratio arguably more useful than taller 4K screens too: the extra width is better for films, and it provides the much-needed extra screen real estate for working, even though Sceptre bills it as a gaming monitor. Yes, it’s great for gaming: racing titles get more immersion as scenery flashes past, you have room to maneuver in FPS titles, and RTS and MOBA games really benefit.

Sceptre C305W-2560UN screen

The Sceptre’s price means that this 21:9 panel has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,080. That’s lower than rival screens – both the LG 34WN80C-B and Dell S3422DWG use 3,440 x 1,440 – but they cost hundreds more than the C305W-2560UN.

The lesser resolution has its pros and cons though. The Sceptre’s pixel density of 82ppi (pixels per inch) isn’t particularly high – pixels are visible when you’re very close, and 3,440 x 1,440 screens have a sharper density measurement of 110ppi. Games on those screens look more fluid than on the Sceptre.

On the upside, though, it is easier to play games on this screen – the lesser pixel count means you really don’t need a ridiculous GPU to get games running smoothly, and it also means that there’s more chance to take advantage of the Sceptre’s 85Hz refresh rate.

The inclusion of AMD FreeSync is welcome. It runs at a low figure of 40Hz and a high of 85Hz, meaning that you’ll benefit when games run between 50fps and 85Hz. All in all, you’ll need a beefy CPU to push modern titles to those frame rates.

Sceptre C305W-2560UN back

As always, high is better: the closer you get to anything above 100fps, the more GPU frames you’ll be able to synchronize with the monitor’s refresh rate – so the smoother games will look, and that’s what you get with both the both the LG 34WN80C-B and Dell S3422DWG monitors with Nvidia G-Sync.

The panel behind all of this technology is VA unit. Vertically Aligned (VA) panels are something of a compromise between TN and IPS panels, offering the best contrast rations, which is why most manufacturers use them on budget displays. Again, they offer high contrast ratios and are free of IPS glow issues.

Gaming performance

As mentioned, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN uses a VA panel with good contrast levels. Its brightness level of 250 cd/m² is a little better than Sceptre’s quoted figure, and is bolstered by good black levels.

The monitor having high contrast ratio is important. It means colors are vibrant, and it helps the C305W-2560UN deliver a wide range of different shades – even closely-matched tones will be easier to differentiate. And the excellent black levels help dark shares to really pop – most gaming monitors (even pricier ones) aren’t this good when it comes to showing inkier tones.

Those attributes are pretty vital for a gaming monitor and for movies – so they’re important for a panel like this, the price notwithstanding.

sceptre c305w-2560un

The Sceptre C305W-2560UN gaming monitor works well enough in some games, and beautifully with others. You can run modern games such as Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (beta), Doom Eternal, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy XIV at high settings in 1440p, and the frame rate will remain smooth (up to 80 frame per second).

Depending on your machine’s graphics card, you can take advantage of the monitor’s AMD FreeSync capabilities to get 60+ frame rates. In fact, gamers with powerful AMD machines shouldn’t have any trouble taking advantage of both. The C305W-2560UN also offers a couple of presets for genres like FPS and RTS, all of which look quite good in-game, adding to the monitor’s brilliant gaming credentials.

Verdict

In the most important aspects, screen quality and price, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN delivers: it’s affordable but offers great contrast ratio and black levels alongside vibrant, accurate colors, and it maintains good uniformity and viewing angles despite the screen’s curve and width. With 1ms Moving Picture Response Time (MPRT), the ever-present issues of ghosting and blurring are reduced so you can enjoy gaming with clarity and precision.

The price is good, undercutting the competition without compromising on too many features. The resolution would be better or close to rivals, for instance, but it’s fine – better for cheaper graphics cards and for AMD FreeSync compatibility. Adjustability and build quality are good – it even has built in speakers.

Overall, the Sceptre C305W-2560UN is gorgeous gaming monitor that offers great screen quality, a solid curved design with good features, and AMD FreeSync – all for less than its competitors. It’s an exceptional option if you’re after a wide-screen, curved gaming panel but can’t afford the market’s expensive models.

OUR PICK

Sceptre Curved 30" 21:9 Gaming LED Monitor 2560x1080p UltraWide Ultra Slim HDMI DisplayPort Up to 85Hz MPRT 1ms FPS-RTS Build-in Speakers, Machine Black (C305W-2560UN)

$249.97  in stock
7 new from $249.97
2 used from $488.88
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as of July 1, 2022 9:57 am
Sceptre C305W-2560UN Review
Sceptre C305W-2560UN Review
$249.97
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