Nixeus NX-VUE27P 1440P IPS Monitor Review
As LCD monitor technology matures and continues to grow in capacity, options that were once well outside the average buyer's budget have suddenly started to become a real possibility. One only needs look back to 2014 to see the radical change in the marketplace. Back then we reviewed numerous 8-bit IPS-based 27-inch monitors that were oriented towards the enthusiast and/or professional demographic. However, with a price tags well north of eight hundred dollars, few buyers were able to justify their asking price.
Now through 2016 and the early months of 2017 buyers can get a monitor with very similar specifications but a wildly different price. The refreshed Nixeus NX-VUE27P is a good example of this shift as it offers buyers 27-inches of real estate, a "10-bit" IPS-based panel, and an ultra-deep color pallet that is capable of recreating over 1 billion colors. Most importantly, with an MSRP of only $399 USD (or less in some cases!), no one will have to wait for a major sale before a high end panel comes within reach.
Nixeus may not be a household name but they're quickly making inroads within North America and abroad as they endeavor to offer low cost solutions to high value products. Back in 2015 we looked at one of their first flagship products, the VUE24A, and came away from that experience quite impressed so expectations are high this time around.
How Nixeus was able to offer so much for so little comes down to a few salient facts. First and foremost, this is not a true 10-bit panel. Rather, this monitor offers an 8-bit LG manufactured panel that comes with 2-bit A-FRC (Advanced Frame-Rate-Control) or what is sometimes called temporal dithering.
This means the 8-bit panel can punch above its weight and 'create' more colors than it is technically capable of. To do this the panel will quickly "flash" or interpose two colors in quick succession to create the illusion of a third color the panel does not natively support. Considering that most IPS-based monitors in this price range are 6-bit and use 2-bit A-FRC to achieve 8-bit color reproduction, few will care that the Nixeus isn't true 10-bit as it still is better than most.
The next cost-cutting measure is the chassis and components. No one will ever accuse this thing of being as robust or as capable as an $800 monitor, but it's 'good enough' that it should satisfy the majority of people. For something that will spend the majority of its life sitting on your desk, extreme build quality isn't really needed. Meanwhile, while the Nixeus also relies on less robust internals, as long as you are not living in a sweatbox the difference will not matter in the short to mid-term, and only after years and years of usage will it become a potential liability.
The same holds true of the stand, which only offers 15-degress of tilt, zero height adjustment abilities, nor any swivel for portrait mode. Put another way, the stand itself is adequate but it is not in the same league as high-end alternatives. Only you can decide if a stand is worth a hundred of dollars or more to you.
Another cost cutting measure is the rather thick bezel, which may be a touch jarring to some in the era of 'edgeless' designs. Having said that, we have yet to see a worthwhile professional-grade monitor actually come with an edgeless design. Having a bezel that is nearly an 1.5-inches thick will only impact users looking for multiple monitor setups.
On a more unfortunate note Nixeus hasn't equipped the NX-VUE27P with any FreeSync abilities – let alone G-Sync – but this will not impact the average user one iota. Instead, a resolution of 2560x1440 with a refresh rate of 60Hz (6ms GtG) will satisfy most needs more than adequately.
The last money-saving tweak that Nixeus have done is to reduce the input options. While still very good, and still covering all of the bases nicely, offering only one DisplayPort, one HDMI, one DVI-D, and one VGA is a less than what is offered on the typical 'professional' monitor. This input selection is more the adequate for the average user, but for professionals used to multiple DP and even daisy chaining capabilities it will seem a bit lackluster.
Also missing are any USB 3.0 ports, though few will ever notice this missing connectivity. On the positive side, unlike the majority of monitors in this price range, the NX-VUE27P is adorned with real physical buttons and not finicky touch-based sensors. This will make setup and configuration a lot easier than usual.
Obviously, Nixeus have cut corners, but on the surface it does appear to get they have the successfully balanced the delicate act of being inexpensive without being cheap.
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