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How I turned a cheap gaming monitor into the ultimate productivity tool

The Titan Army gaming monitor​ is a reliable, no-frills monitor with solid specs and the ability to swap from horizontal to vertical with a simple twist.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Titan Army 27" gaming monitor.
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Titan Army 27" gaming monitor is available on Amazon for $200. There's also a $10-off coupon to apply, which is ZDNET27IPS.
  • This monitor makes it easy to switch between horizontal and portrait mode and goes a long way to prevent eye fatigue.
  • When in portrait mode, the monitor's menu doesn't adjust to the position, which means you'll have to tilt your head.

For me, gaming is relegated to my Nintendo Switch. I spend so much time in front of a computer screen at work, that I don't want to add to it with games. With my Switch, I can go anywhere and enjoy a few minutes of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom.

So when I receive a monitor for review that's tagged for gaming, I already know it's going to perform well on that front; I'm interested in putting it through more uncommon use cases as a standard monitor, especially when it comes to productivity.

Also: Everything you need for the ultimate gaming setup

That doesn't mean the Titan Army 27" gaming monitor isn't suitable for games. Quite the opposite. It has a refresh rate capable of preventing screen tearing and stuttering, an anti-glare display, and a host of preset modes to easily change color profiles between games or media. But for me, there are two standout features that make this monitor a winner (more on that in a bit).

View at Amazon

Titan Army 27" gaming monitor tech specs

  • 27" Fast IPS QHD at 2560 X 1440p
  • 180 Hz 1ms GTG (how long it takes for a pixel to go from one gray level to the next) refresh rate
  • Adaptive Sync to prevent tearing (compatible with both AMD and Intel)
  • Anti-glare, flicker-free, and low blue mode to minimize eye strain
  • Preset modes include Movie, Game, FPS, and RTS
  • Different parameters for different games (including a built-in cross hair for faster targeting in applicable games)
  • Stand easily switches from horizontal to portrait mode
  • Tilt angle -l -5-20 degrees
  • Rotate left & right - 20 degrees
  • Height adjustment - 125 mm
  • Pivot angle - 90 degrees

After assembling the stand (which is easy enough that it can be done by anyone), I quickly discovered one of this monitor's best features: the ability to quickly switch from horizontal to portrait mode with just a twist of the display.

I'd been wanting to test a secondary monitor in portrait mode for some time, because I use my secondary monitor for smaller apps, such as Slack, my email client, and the Linux terminal. To that end, I placed the monitor on my desk (aside my Dell monitor), plugged it in (via Displayport), and turned it 90 degrees to the right into portrait mode.

It took me just a few seconds to appreciate this setup. Previously, I was using a small 15" monitor as my secondary display, and although it worked fine, it was limited by size. Using the Titan Army in portrait mode gives me way more options. Not only could I have several smaller apps open, I could also open a word processor or CMS and get a much longer reading pane than when in horizontal mode. This really pays off with a CMS, where you have to do far less scrolling to edit a piece.

Beyond the portrait mode, there's one feature that really pays off for me. Between my Dell monitor (which cost me $1k when I bought it nearly 10 years ago), the Titan Army monitor is less taxing on the eyes. When I switch between them, there's a noticeable difference. I can stare at the Titan Army without suffering eye fatigue, whereas a few hours in front of the Dell and my eyes want to curl up and take a nap behind their lids. That feature alone is worth the price of entry for me.

Also: The best gaming PCs you can buy

Another standout feature is the menu control, which can often be confusing with other monitors. The Titan Army monitor uses a small joystick to open and navigate the menu, which makes for a seamless user experience. The only caveat to the menu is that it doesn't adjust to the monitor's portrait position, so if you use your monitor in portrait mode, be prepared to have to tilt your head to read the menu.

ZDNET's buying advice

If you're looking to replace your aging monitor or add a secondary, the Titan Army 27" gaming monitor is a great option. It might not be the fastest monitor on the market, but the affordable $200 price tag gives you a device that can easily rotate between horizontal and portrait mode and is easy on the eyes, something that more than makes up for its price over time.

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