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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  • Scannall - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    It seems to me that $500 is really too high for that. Microcenter often has the Auria 2560x1440 IPS in stock for $400, with the warranty and all that.

    I'm one of those that went the Korean monitor route. My budget was $300, and I ended up spending $295 delivered. I do acknowledge there is a little risk there. But mine arrived and works perfectly. And it looks far better than anything else I could have bought for the same money.

  • piroroadkill - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I agree. Either you go dirt cheap and you take a risk, or you buy a Dell U2711.
    I don't see the point spending more than the cheapest and getting something which is barely better, and still has a slightly cheap appearance.
    If I'm going to spend money on a monitor, it better look the part too (I have a Dell U2410).
  • PubFiction - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    I went the Korean way but I heard alot of people cry about the warranty. So I think they will have a niche. Also the Auria seems to be hit or miss for availability. In fact even searching for it on the website is hit or miss, sometimes in the same day I can find it one minute and not the next.

    Also Korean monitors can be had for under $300, and $400 will get you the much better crossover stand.
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    That Auria you say Microcenter has isn't on their website, and I've never seen it in my local store. Where are you located?
  • Octavean - Saturday, September 22, 2012 - link

    The $399.99 AURIA EQ276W from Microcenter appears to be virtually identical to the the Nixeus NX-VUE27 reviewed here. The only difference appears to be the stand (no rotation or hight adjust) and the ~$30 to ~$100 markup.

    I don't see the point in paying more for the NX-VUE27 or taking a risk on the Korean single input solutions.
  • jhoff80 - Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I don't care what Nixeus has said, but this is definitely a rebrand of the Auria (or whatever initial product the Auria came from).

    Even the OSD is identical.
  • lowlymarine - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I find it strange that you wouldn't include the measurements taken from the Korean panels ( especially since they're the most obvious competitor here.

    That said, I have (had?) a Catleap Q270 and can't recommend the experience either. Due to a questionable design decision (the side panel where you connect both the DC power plug and the DL-DVI panel was made of a conductive metal), it shorted out, causing sparks to erupt from the DVI cable when it touched the metal surface of the connector - mercifully, my video card was not damaged, even though that was the end of the DVI I was plugging in when it happened. So I contacted the eBay seller, who offered to pay for return shipping to Korea and to send out a replacement unit. That was a month ago today, and I still haven't received the replacement unit, although the seller did finally acknowledge receipt of the defective one and his intent to ship out the replacement "as soon as possible" on Tuesday morning. And of course, even when/if I do receive a replacement, it's likely to have the same potential for disaster.
  • TheJian - Friday, September 28, 2012 - link

    Yet, Ryan tried to argue these are a popular thing in the forums last month...LOL. I debated it, and his 660TI remarks & conclusions in their 660TI launch review comments sections, until they (ryan and Jarred Walton) were reduced to insinuating I was an Ahole and uninformed etc...LOL. They really couldn't argue with my data :) EBay monitors...Jeez. If I'm that cheap or plain poor, I don't risk my money on some dude from Korea...ROFL
  • Mygaffer - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    Its funny, you do you come off as an ahole.
  • lowlymarine - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - link

    Since I happened to come across this post again while looking for the name of this display, I figure I'll update on what happened with my Catleap Q270. I did finally receive the replacement from Korea on the 18th of October (so just shy of two months without my display), and it DOES NOT have the same design flaw as the original unit. The side panel is now plastic, which should alleviate the path for arcing between the power jack and DVI port. Furthermore, color accuracy and backlight bleed on the replacement unit are much improved. Sadly, it does have a single stuck green subpixel in the top right quadrant, but it's hardly noticeable.

    I'd still say spending the little extra for a display where your warranty service (if necessary) will take a week instead of two months is probably worth it. But if you can't swing an extra $200 - not an insignificant sum, to be sure - there's a lot less chance of the same disaster I experienced befalling you, hopefully.

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