Introduction, Design, and OSD

The price model for 27” IPS displays has been turned on its head recently by imported models from Korea that you can buy on eBay. Selling for as little as $350, these are stripped down models that lack inputs beyond DVI, have no OSD, have very minimal stands, and often have very little in the way of support. They also use A- grade panels where tolerances for stuck pixels and uniformity errors might not be as high as they are with A or A+ panels that are used in most displays.

However, these panels offer a large amount of value for people that want a high-resolution display and can’t afford the $650 and up that the cheapest US model, the HP ZR2740w, typically costs online. Nixeus has come out to change that with their $500, 27” NX-VUE27 monitor. (Note: When it first went on sale, the price was $430, so we may see pricing drop over the coming months.) Using a Grade-A panel with an OSD and a wider variety of inputs that the Korean imports, the Nixeus is priced to compete with both the Korean imports as well as existing US models. Does it offer performance that competes with the higher priced US models by shaving costs in other areas, or does performance also suffer because of these cuts?

Despite all of the comments about the Korean panels, I’ve never been one to recommend them as the lack of a real warranty or support always turned me off. Thankfully the Nixeus has a warranty, support, and a dead-pixel policy, as you would expect it to. From the outside of the box, the Nixeus looks like any other display that has been showing up at my door recently, but once you open it up you can see where they started to cut costs.

Inside of the box the LCD panel is held between a pair of Styrofoam blocks, and all the included parts are housed in cardboard boxes that are both glued and taped shut. It lacks the elegance of recent Dell monitor packaging, but everything you need is included. Parts are distributed in the boxes in small bags, with paper labels letting you know what the screws are for. On that note, I wish they would have used different screws for attaching the support column to the display than they did for the base, to make it easier to differentiate. I also wish that a single page, unpacking, and assembly sheet was at the top of the box. The included manual covers it, but it also covers the OSD and other areas and is hidden away in a box.

Removed from the box the monitor is finished in a glossy, black plastic and covered with protective film to make sure it arrives in good condition. I did notice some cosmetic flaws on the rear of my display, though the stand or a VESA mount will hide them. It also appears that the protective film is added before panel assembly is finished, so parts were stuck at the plastic joint where the bezel is assembled and it took some work to get all of the film out. Once assembled the base is sturdy and allows for multiple adjustments, though the tilt adjustment was hard as the joint was very tight. There is an external power brick for the display, which seems to be something we have to accept at this price point. The screen finish is glossy as well, not the more common anti-glare you find on other 27" models.

Unlike the imported displays, the Nixeus has an OSD that allows you to control Brightness and Contrast, image modes, as well as a user mode with adjustable color temperature, input selection, and volume control for an integrated pair of speakers. The OSD was certainly functional and let me adjust the settings, know my current brightness level, and adjust the color temperature to get it more accurate, but it was a pain to navigate with the way the buttons are laid out, and so I wanted to avoid it as much as possible once it was configured. Another issue is that when brightness drops below 19, the screen goes completely black as the backlight it disabled. For someone that doesn’t know the menu system, they could get stuck with the light disabled and no way to see the menu to correct it, which is a big deal I think.

For the color modes, I found the "Standard" setting works the best for initial testing. There is a dynamic backlight mode that certainly makes a noticeable change in images, but it was so overly strong that I disabled it quickly. It crushed all highlights in images and also disables all brightness and contrast settings, so just leave it disabled and you'll be happier. For most testing I used the DVI-DL input using a StarTech MiniDP to DVI-DL adapter on my MacBook Air, as recent experience with a monitor showed that MiniDP on the Mac could lead to inconsistent results. I also noticed the DisplayPort connector is reversed from most displays, so the release button on the cable is facing the monitor, making it harder to disconnect.

Viewing angles are as you expect them to be on an IPS panel, with some contrast shifting at the extremes but no serious color shifting. There is some backlight bleeding at the corners, but it's typically only visible and bothersome on totally black backgrounds.

Nixeus NX-VUE27
Video Inputs DVI-DL, DisplayPort, HDMI 1.4, Dsub
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.23mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Brightness 380 nits
Contrast Ratio 1500:1
Response Time Not Specified
Viewable Size 27"
Resolution 2560*1440
Viewing Angle 178/178 Horizontal/Vertical
Backlight LED Edgelit
Power Consumption (operation) 72 Watts
Power Consumption (standby) Not Specified
Screen Treatment Glossy
Height-Adjustable Yes (4.5" of range)
Tilt Yes
Pivot Yes
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100x100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 25 7/8" x 18 7/8" x 8 1/4"
Weight 20.2 lbs.
Additional Features 3.5mm Audio Input, Stereo Speakers
Limited Warranty 1 Year
Accessories DVI Cable
Price $500

Now that we've had a full overview of the display build quality and specs, let's see how the Nixeus NX-VUE27 performs.

Nixeus NX-VUE27 Brightness and Contrast
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  • Sabresiberian - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Uh, can you say Sony GDM FW900?

  • hcforde - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I got one of the first shipments and have ordered 2 more. I use mine mostly for productivity but have run a number of games just to see how they look and feel. I am mostly playing Crysis 2 with all the eye candy turned up(no AA as it is not necessary). Coming from a 1920*1200 monitor, I do not notice any lag either. I am running 2-2GB 5870's Xfired.

    A bit disappointed that other "bargain" monitors were not shown against this one. Apples-to-apples comparison are always better in my opinion.

    I would recommend it to gamers that want to play at 2560*1440
  • Scannall - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    They did a review of one of the bargain ones earlier this year.

    It looks like, from the results the bargain one did a lot better.
  • atotroadkill - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    They used a different new testing method for the NX-VUE27 than the one for the achieva.
  • atotroadkill - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Some of the testing methods used for the NX-VUE27 was different than that review.
  • cruzinbill - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I think that I will just stick to korean monitors. 2 for 550 shipped and it seems to be actually nicer quality than this one. If you go through a good seller for the Korean models you can normally get one with 0 dead pixels as well.

    Only complaint on them is the base could be more sturdy..... but I dont flash dance on my desk so its not an issue.
  • Wkstar - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Two Catleap 2703's for $600. delivered
    They are Perfect !
    I do Not have any Pixel or Lightbleed issues
    The stand is good, I do not dance on my desk so they do Not wobble
    I have never wanted a stand that rotates, or pivots, So No problem there
    I do Not rub the Bezel like some people do slot machines, So there is no fingerprint problem

    They do Not make me coffee in the morning so that is a Major problem
  • IceDread - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    The price is too high for what you get.

    Looking at the input lag alone however makes this monitor not acceptable. 2 frames of input lag.. !
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I'm away from home and will update the article when I return, but some notes from Nixeus after the review went up:

    - A few monitors in the initial batch suffered from the "no backlight below 19" issue I mentioned. For anyone with this, Nixeus will RMA it and repair the issue, and so I will have mine fixed after I return and then update the appropriate sections. This also makes it clear that my display was straight off the line and not hand-picked as well.

    - The packaging has been updated since I received mine. The stand was updated late in production, and so custom packaging couldn't be completed in time it seems, but now it is packed better.

    - The price of $500 is being set by the reseller due to current demand, but will drop back down to the $430 original price in the future once production catches up with demand.

    I'm also going to mention that lag on a 27" is going to be an issue for testing going forward until I find something else to test with. Right now I can get the response time measured, but not the lag time correctly when using the scaler. Since I have to use a CRT to measure it, and the CRT is only 1920x1200 at the maximum, that presents an issue. I keep the aspect ratio the same as the display under test (16x9 or 16x10) but the LCD has to scale using this method. I would assume you would get faster results with the native resolution, but that's just a guess unfortunately.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    These aren't actually out yet - first run is expected to be in the hands of those who pre-ordered first week in October - but they are selling their base model for $319.99. That includes a 1-year warranty. Shipping is extra, unlike the Korean models, but for continental U.S. buyers it's less than $30 so not bad at all. Their panels are "A" grade, not "A-".

    Supply is limited and you need to pre-order to be sure to get one at this point. I have one of the "Pixel Perfect" and "Overclockable" monitors ordered which I should get mid-October or so.

    I'm hoping you guys at Anandtech will test these Overlords out. It would be great for you to run an overclocked one @ 120Hz and see what you get.


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