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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  • Death666Angel - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Or AMD 7xxx. :) Reply
  • Penti - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    No, just no. Only 3 GHz HDMI 1.4a support above 1920x1200. Don't confuse the two, the monitor does not support it. DVI-DL or DP that rules here. The Nixues might accept a higher res signal over HDMI but it doesn't have the bandwidth to handle it so it causes issues. DP or DVI-DL recommended and is the only one's supported by the vendor. It's basically like trying to run SL-DVI at a higher res then specced here. Skip HDMI-connections whenever you can, skip notebooks with only HDMI whenever you can if you want to run over 1920x1200. Even if you happen to have stuff supporting HDMI 1.4a 3GHz (3GHz part is vital here) in your portable stuff the monitor isn't yet supporting it. They need a new generation of chips driving the displays. GCN and Kepler might be practical if you like to run above 2560x1600 though, but most monitors still requires two DP-connections for 3840x2160/2400 when they don't have true DP1.2 support. There isn't really much of any hardware around to support all the other DP1.2 features either such as daisy chaining.

    HDMI is essentially useless here unless it can scale your console (1280x720/1920x1080) good enough on that screen to be usable and correctly viewed. VGA isn't really any use either. You simply have to use a lower res screen if you don't have access to DL-DVI and or DP supporting stuff.
    Reply
  • atotroadkill - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the clarification... I currently use the displayport connection from my GTX 670 to my NX-VUE27... before when I was using HDMI 1.4 I did experience artifacts and some sync issues at 2560x1440. After that I tried Dual Link DVI but I couldn't see my bios... but after switching to Displayport those issues went away. Reply
  • Despoiler - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Too much processing lag. 2 FRAMES!!! Glad I held off. That is a non-starter. Reply
  • atotroadkill - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    "Because I have to run at a non-standard resolution compared to the Nixeus, you might see some additional lag being added to the input than if you ran natively, but there is no way for me to actually test the native input lag time. There is also no way on the Nixeus to set a 1080p image to be centered and not scaled, which might reduce lag by doing 1:1 mapping and bypassing the scaler but at the expense of only using part of the screen."

    The 2 Frames and processing is because of Non-Native resolution testing and testing it 1080p...so if you are gaming at 1080p on the monitor then yes it will bother you - and gaming on this monitor at 1080 you shouldn't get this monitor anyways.

    I'm using it at 2560x1440 playing BF3 and it has no affect on my shooting and timing (with V-SYNC off)
    Reply
  • abhaxus - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I wonder about this also. Since the author doesn't have a CRT capable of 1440p for reference, why not just compare the input lag using the HP as a reference at 1440p? Seems like a solution that might get answers for those of us who are quite interested in this monitor. I suspect it's as you say, that without scaling it can do ok. Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Well, testing that would require that I still have the HP monitor, but since I didn't buy it, that isn't really an option for me to do. The only CRTs out there that can do 1440p are probably projectors with 9" CRTs, and unfortunately installing a 100+ lb. projector, not to mention the cost of finding one in great shape to test it, precludes that. Reply
  • trynberg - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Not that I expect you to get one, but there are plenty of 19-21" CRTs out there that can do 2048X1536 resolution for dirt cheap...I have two sitting at home right now (19" Mitsubishi and 21" Sun/Sony). Reply
  • cheinonen - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    It has to be 2560x1440, though, for the exact same native resolution, and something that can do that is incredibly hard to find. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Hmm well okay the Sony GDM FW900 runs at 2304x1440, not 2560, but wouldn't that give you better results?

    (I'm not sure this is a huge issue, as long as your testing methodology is consistent across LCD displays.)
    Reply

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