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Nixeus NX-VUE24A 144Hz FreeSync Monitor

AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
With the advent of technologies like G-SYNC, FreeSync, 4K and curved panels, the PC monitor market is evolving at a breakneck pace. Unfortunately, as those advances have been rolled out, users who may want access to them have been faced with rapidly increasing costs. This is where the Nixeus NX-VUE24A steps into the equation; it offers a fast 144Hz TN panel and support for AMD’s FreeSync at a price that undercuts the competition by a significant amount.

While they may not be a household name among gamers, companies like Nixeus offer up an excellent alternative for users who want a high level feature set but don’t want to pay the premium “top-tier” brands like ASUS, Dell and Acer demand. There may be some sacrifices in after-sales support but after some of the horror stories we’ve heard of tier-one manufacturers and their warranty service, the true benefits of higher priced alternatives may be minimal.

Let's face it; we don’t live in a perfect world, for if we did every monitor would have not only be capable of 144Hz refresh rates, use 10-bit IPS panels, come with some form of adaptive sync support, but do all that without a budget-busting price tag. Obviously we don't live in a perfect world and instead manufactures have to decide upon which features they want to include in order to meet a certain MSRP - as they are not going to build a widely available monitor that is a loss leader.


In the case of the all new Nixeus NX-VUE24A funds have been directed towards offering the best possible feature set rather than pumped into a marketing juggernaut. It may not use IPS technology, but it does make use of a good TN panel with specifications that rival some of the better 21:9 monitors we have recently looked at with a 72% NTSC color gamut. This will certainly will make the NX-VUE24A less enticing to professional's interested in photo-editing, but considering this monitor’s low $320 price point, it has obviously been targeted towards gamers who want low response times without paying a fortune.

Before going any further, we have to put the NX-VUE24A into context of what it offers and what it doesn’t. It is a straight-up gaming monitor and it doesn’t have a ton of add-on features that end up adding to its overall cost. Consider it a bare-bones offering for a market niche that is expanding at a breakneck pace.


When taken at face value, the 1080P resolution and 24” size are pretty basic and the panel may not offer the ability to reproduce 1 billion colors, but its 144Hz refresh rate will likely be a huge selling point. This alone put the Nixeus NX-VUE24A a step above the typical monitor in this price range since most cost the same and feature 60Hz or 120Hz rates.

On top of the gaming-friendly refresh rate Nixeus has also included AMD’s FreeSync which is a huge benefit. While we can talk all day about the benefits and limitations associated with FreeSync and its positioning against G-SYNC, the motion fluidity it brings to the table will be hugely beneficial for gamers sporting AMD graphics cards. Provided you have a Radeon GPU capable of feeding more than 60FPS to the NX-VUE24A, you’ll see a massive difference between this monitor and one that doesn’t include FreeSync. In addition, unlike the original crop of AMD-backed monitors, this one has a FreeSync refresh rate "zone" of 30Hz to 144Hz so we shouldn't see the telltale stuttering which plagued monitors like BenQ's XL2730Z.


On the aesthetics side of the coin the Nixeus is not what you would classify as a stand-out product. Remember, you aren’t paying a premium for sexy looks. Instead this is an understated design without any of the tacky acrylic, racing stripes, or faux chrome bezels some companies think gamers want.


Backstopping its impressive (for the price) features is a very capable stand is a stand. Usually in this price range you can expect to get a 'stand' that offers height and tilt adjustment abilities while a full swivel would be considered a very nice bonus. On the other hand the Nixeus not only offers 15° tilt (+5 to -10), 4-inches of height adjustment, and swivel abilities but also a handy landscape mode. This in conjunction with its VESA mount compatibility makes this stand quite unique for its price range.


The input selection may not be quite as spectacular but covers all the bases nicely with a single DisplayPort 1.2, single HDMI 1.4, DVI-D, and even a VGA port. Considering the very limited selection offered on some G-SYNC monitors, this is a breath of fresh air. Just remember that FreeSync is only available through the DisplayPort input.


Another interesting addition here is a full 3 year warranty which is something of a rarity for inexpensive monitors from second tier manufacturers. When you combine that with the $320 price point, the Nixeus NX-VUE24A appears to be tailor made for consumers craving value but who are also not willing to sacrifice performance.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
enu Layout & Observations

Menu Layout & Observations


<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/menu1.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

If there was one area which will highlight the budget-oriented roots of the Nixeus NX-VUE24A, it will be the OSD. Rather than offering a full list of in-depth display selections this is more like a brief list of options that you can adjust to varying degrees of success. It isn’t all that great but luckily you won’t need to access it all that much once the initial setup process is complete.

You can forget all about 6-color axis adjustments, and you can even forget about advanced features such as energy saving options. This is a bare-bones interface that meshes quite well with this monitor’s frugal price.

If you are the type who likes to obsessively adjust their monitor via the OSD to 'perfection', look elsewhere. On the other hand if you are a more typical user who will either use an inexpensive colorimeter to adjust gamma and colors or do so by eye alone, expect to be satisfied.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/buttons.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

As to the actual features included in the OSD when you hit the menu button (the leftmost button labeled “1”) and enter the OSD you will be greeted with a very small, very simple list in a standard left/right configuration. On the left side are the four main sections and the right half will change depending on which section you select.

The first main area is the aptly called 'Picture' and this is where most people will spend a few seconds adjusting options which impact the colors and onscreen presentation. Specifically you have Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, and DCR. Brightness and contrast are self-evident in what they do, and pressing either brings up another menu with a bar that goes from 0 to 100 which roughly translates to percentages.

The Gamma abilities consist of Gamma On and Gamma Off. This isn’t typo; those truly are the options. Gamma On loosely translates to 2.20 and Gamma Off translates to 2.60. Gamma On is the default level and we recommend you leave this setting alone.

The DCR or Dynamic Contrast Ratio is off by default and once again we recommend you leave this setting alone. DCR is nothing more than the monitor 'dynamically' playing with the contrast levels to make it appear as if the contrast ratio is wider than it really is. In their documentation, Nixeus actually says "we recommend leaving this feature off"….and when a manufacturer doesn’t even have confidence in a feature, it's safe to say that you should leave it alone.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/menu2.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The next main section is called Color and as the name suggests it allows users to adjust the color profile. This monitor comes with four preset profiles (5400K, 6500K, 9300K, and sRGB) as well as a User Defined mode. The last allows you to actually individually adjust the Red, Green, Blue color settings.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/menu3.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

The third area relates to the On Screen Display itself and its location on the screen, how transparent it is, and how long it will stay on the screen before timing out and disappearing. The default is for the bottom right corner and 15 seconds. We strongly suggest you increase the time to its maximum of 1 minute.

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/menu4.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The last is the Setup section and allows you to adjust the built-in speaker volume (we recommend turning these off and using real speakers), the OSD language, default Input port, and Overdrive (OD) setting. Overdrive reduces input lag and in conjunction with 144Hz and FreeSync can indeed make your gaming experience even more enjoyable. The default for this feature is "Median" which we assume means <i>Medium</i> and we didn’t move it from that.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)

<i>Calibrated Settings</i>
Please remember that the settings below have been calibrated for our specific environment and your viewing conditions may differ from ours.

<b>Mode Used</b>: "Custom"

<b>Notes</b>:
- All tests done at default settings at 120 cd/m2.
- Unless otherwise noted, the tests were carried out via DisplayPort or HDMI


Panel Uniformity


<i>In a perfect world a screen’s brightness output would be equal throughout the entire panel. This is not a perfect world, but the lower the variation the less chance you will notice overly bright or dark sections on the screen. For the consumer LCD marketplace a variance of 10% is our gold standard but anything below 15% can be considered excellent as we doubt anyone will notice a -7.5 to +7.5 variation from section to section. A variation above 15% but below 24% can be considered adequate, but anything above this does not meet our basic minimum standards. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/uniform.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Typically when you combine an inexpensive price tag with a second tier manufacturer the end result will be nothing short of useless. The Nixeus NX-VUE24A is obviously not your typical monitor and these results may not be even in the top ten, but a variance of only 14% is still darn decent. It also happens to be significantly better than some of the more expensive TN-based screens we have come across.


Panel Performance


<i>When it comes to gaming monitors, onscreen blur is an extremely distracting element that many have simply grown accustomed to. While the panel’s response rate (ms) <i>and</i> and refresh rate (Hz) can give a fairly rough idea of how much blurring to expect it is not the end all and be all.

To this end we have taken PRAD’s Pixel Persistence Analyzer ‘Streaky Pictures’ program and using a high speed camera captured exactly how much and what kind of motion blur you can expect from a given monitor. Essentially, the less “after image” in the picture below, the better. </i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/blurr.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

In this case we enabled FreeSync and V-Sync which, in addition to the monitor’s ingrained 144Hz abilities, completely cleaned up the image and eliminated all ghosting. For any monitor this result is bloody marvelous, but for a $300 rang product it is downright amazing. Obviously Nixeus never got the memo that a buyer <i>has</i> to spend a lot of money in order to get crystal clear images at high speeds.

Naturally, with the limitations of FreeSync + V-Sync enabled alongside one another, there is a certain amount of judder that happens at lower framerates as they jump back and forth between refresh rate steppings but that can be easily eliminated by insuring performance remains above 60FPS.


Gamma Performance


<i>Gamma correction is one of the hardest terms to explain. However, for our purposes the gamma correction of any electronics device is how bright or dark an image will be displayed on a screen.

All PC devices now use 2.20 gamma as the default. Any variance from this will result in an image being either underexposed which will create black crush and underexposed shadow detail or washed out with too little black level detail (aka being over-exposed).

While 2.20 is the gold standard, a minor deviation of 0.10 will in all likelihood never be noticed by anyone other than professional photographers. Higher levels of deflection however will be noticed by just about everyone. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/gamma.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Even though this monitor is <i>not </i> factory calibrated, a result 2.23 is more than tolerable and actually quite good all things considered. Honestly, we would recommend trying the VUE24A out for a few days before trying to manually correct it as it may be 'good enough' for your needs.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Colour Saturation Levels / Default RGB Levels

Colour Saturation Levels


While there are numerous colors the human eye can’t “see”, the human color space confined to three primary colors and combinations thereof. To make things easier for manufactures (and not waste resources displaying colors we can’t see) a color space was mathematically described and while various models do exist, the CIE RGB color space is the de facto standard.

In the below image, the dark triangle which isn’t highlighted is the sRGB color space while the overall CIE color space is displayed as the background colors. Meanwhile, the white triangle with highlighted color represents the results of what a given monitor can display. No monitor can display the entire CIE color spectrum but a good monitor should be able to display the sRGB spectrum of possible colors as this is usually used as the standard for image encoding.

A monitor which uses the “wide color gamut” moniker can display more than the sRGB spectrum and is considered primarily for professional use. If a monitor cannot cover off the entire sRGB triangle, the resulting image will appear “off” to an observer. The end result is a picture displayed on the panel which won’t be as rich, vibrant or as correct as it should be.



The Nixeus NX-VUE24A may not have the widest color pallet we have ever seen but these result are still wide enough for the average home user. They also tend to blow many other TN-based gaming monitors out of the market.


Default RGB Levels


An LCD or LCD LED backlit panel relies on accurately blending Red, Green and Blue pixel clusters to create an overall image so closer to each of these colours is to a “perfect” 100 output, the better and more accurate the default colors will be.

In this case, we have a low tolerance for anything less than perfection since any color shift can be noticeable even to untrained eyes and will require a color correction be applied at the software level to overcome a monitor’s stock output. We do however consider a minor variation of only a few points per color to be acceptable.



Considering this monitor is so inexpensive and is meant for gamers, the To be perfectly candid these results are close enough to perfect that the average user need not do any adjustments to them. Color us impressed.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Viewing Angles / Contrast Ratio / Power Consumption

Viewing Angles


<i>Unlike CRT displays, the manner in which LCD panels create an image can result in one large weakness: the image can lose contrast when viewed off angle. While we do not recommend watching an LCD at anything besides perfectly straight on, the reality is this cannot always be done.

To help give you a glimpse of what a panel will look like when seen from either above the horizontal or vertical plane we have taken pictures at fairly extreme angles. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/view.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

Viewing angles isn’t exactly a strong suit of any TN based monitor but overall the VUE24A does have fairly decent off-axis abilities. We’d actually say they are markedly superior to any other TN-based sub-$500 offering we have seen to date.

In either case you can expect to lose color fidelity, brightness and contrast when trying to view images displayed on this monitor at extreme off-axis angles. On the positive side, at less than extreme angles the results of this monitor are more than tolerable.


Maximum Contrast Ratio


<i> While manufactures love to throw around “maximum” contrast ratios in the millions, the fact of the matter is that to get these high numbers they have to use "dynamic contrast" which—at best—results in overly optimistic specs. With DC turned off, the number of shades between purest white and blackest black a given monitor can display is usually in the low hundreds rather than the thousands.

The higher the contrast ratio, the better the monitor will display shades of dark and light. For IPS monitors, anything below 450:1 is unacceptable, with 500:1 or above considered optimal. For TN anything above 120:1 will be considered “good enough” for most consumers.</i>

<div align="center"><img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/contrast.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

The contrast ratio is actually the biggest weakness of this monitor, but we were not surprised by these results either. The simple fact of the matter is TN is inferior to IPS technology in this regard. If someone needs a massive contrast ratio between white and black they really should be looking at 10-bit IPS monitors; just expect to spend a heck of a lot more for that ability. However, judging from Nixeus’ price, the results are actually quite impressive.


Power Consumption


<i>To obtain the maximum number we set the monitors brightness to 100% and the contrast to 100%. The Calibrated results are taken at 120 cd/m2 with the contrast set to the default level. </i>

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/power.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
</div>

This is a small monitor and we were expecting to see it post lower power consumption numbers but not this low with its default profile enabled. Not bad at all.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Movie Performance

Movie Performance




Thanks to its native 1080P resolution, watching movies on this monitor is quite enjoyable since upscaling isn’t necessary. Unfortunately, movies are not this monitors strong suit. Firstly FreeSync and a 144Hz refresh rate are simply wasted in this respect since most movies are recorded at such a low speed that anything beyond 30FPS are basically unnecessary.


Movie aficionados can play tricks with this to make the motion even more 'smooth' but this really is outside the realm of the Nixeus NX-VUE24A's typical consumer base. More importantly when these interpolation tricks are used they are rarely perfect, and even when 'perfect' cause the 'soap opera effect' to happen - which many viewers find off putting.


The next issue is the fact that this is a 24" monitor and that is a touch small for a truly immersive movie experience. When you mix in a TN panel with only average color pallet, and the Nixeus NX-VUE24A does become a less than optimal solution for movies and other forms of passive entertainment.


With all that being said, for its class the Nixeus NX-VUE24A does do a decent job here and displays movies quite well. In this price range we have seen results range for piss poor to merely mediocre, so having a 24" gaming monitor come across as decent in this respect is not the large negative point it first appears to be.

Basically, this monitor would never be our first choice for watching movies on a PC, but it certainly would not be our last. After all, it may not have the widest color pallet ever but the default color profile was very good. This really does make a huge difference and gives consumers the luxury of simply unpacking and using this monitor without first spending money on a colorimeter, or hours manually correcting the usually terrible color profile that is commonly found in this price range.
 
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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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5,283
Gaming Performance

Gaming Performance



While we are of the opinion that G-SYNC does provide an all-round superior experience, FreeSync simply blows the doors off classic style monitors which offer zero adaptive synchronization abilities. This alone puts the Nixeus NX-VUE24A a cut above the typical monitor found in this price range.

The same is true of the color pallet this monitor offers. While it is a TN based panel its default colors are close enough to being perfect that you can easily take it of out of the packaging, plug it into your system and start enjoying a fluid gaming experience. Compare and contrast this to other higher priced alternatives from the likes of ASUS, Acer and BenQ and you can begin to comprehend how much value Nixeus is offering here.


FreeSync, a great price and a wide color profile sold us on the VUE24A but what pushed it over the edge was the fact that it is also boasts a 144Hz refresh rate. Assuming you have the horsepower to take advantage of this ability - we used a MSI R9 390X Gaming 6G which proved more than up to the task - the Nixeus NX-VUE24A goes from being a very good gaming monitor to a downright excellent one.


Quite honestly, this monitor makes getting truly immersed into a game quite easy and it was not long after starting testing that we completely lost track of time. FreeSync, while initially maligned for its limitations, has a lot to offer gamers who want great motion fluidity without paying the massive premium demanded by G-SYNC displays. It may not be perfect (neither is NVIDIA’s solution for that matter) but the abilities it does bring to the table make for a superlative gaming experience.


Now with all that being said this monitor will not convince users of 1440P or higher resolution monitors to take a step back down to 1080P. Things become a bit murky for 1920x1200 owners, as there is a case to be made for giving up a bit of pixel density to get FreeSync and 144Hz refresh rates.


In either case, for gamers interested in a frugally priced monitor dedicated to their hobby (or profession) of choice, the VUE24A is sure to satisfy. We can honestly say that given its price this, monitor makes building a PC gaming system a heck of a lot easier on the pocket book. After all, $320 for the monitor and $399 for an MSI Gaming 6G video card, only adds up to what a NVIDIA 980Ti would cost consumers. This in turn either allows buyers to build a lower cost rig or enhance other elements of their system without breaking their budget.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
5,283
Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results

Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results


<i>In a perfect world either every monitor would come factory calibrated to perfection or every single consumer would own a decent colorimeter. We don’t live in such a world and as such most consumers simply use the old Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeball to fix any imperfections with the stock colors of their new monitor.


In order to gauge how easy this is to do for a given monitor we have included a new set of tests. These tests will be carried out before any of our standard tests and will consist of us using a combination of the free online LCD Monitor Test Images (found here LCD monitor test images) and then if necessary the free Hex2Bit Monitor Calibration Wizard (found here Hex2Bit - Software by Mike Walters). The goal of these tests is to not only gauge how easy it is to accurately calibrate a given monitor using only the onboard monitor tools, but to see how closely we can come to what a Spyder3 Elite can do. </i>


To obtain these results we did the following
- used “user defined" mode
- adjusted the brightness to 57% (which resulted in a 120.4 cd/m2)
- All other settings left to default levels

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/man_gamma.jpg" border="0" alt="" />
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/man_rgb.jpg" border="0" alt="" /></div>

While this monitor is certainly not a factory calibrated model, the out of the box colors are close enough to "perfect" that most users need not bother with adjusting them - as you are just as likely to make them worse rather than better if you do not own a colorimeter.

The only real thing most will need to do is adjust the brightness down to 57 from the default of 80. This will reduce its brightness levels down to a more tolerable level and make the slightly incorrect gamma ratio less noticeable. Thanks to its physical buttons and decent OSD this will only take a moment or two.

To adjust the gamma you are going to have to resort to off-screen options as this monitor does not come with anything remotely resembling gamma fine tuning abilities. Instead you are given "gamma on" and "gamma off" options. "Gamma on" turns the gamma to 2.20…ish whereas gamma off set it to 2.60…ish. Thanks to numerous programs that can adjust the gamma to a perfect 2.20 this is not that big of a deal.

Overall we consider the VUE24A to be well above average in its abilities for this price range and have to applaud Nixeus for creating a monitor that can take on the better-known manufactures and win.
 
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AkG

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
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5,283
Conclusion

Conclusion


The Nixeus NX-VUE24A really did come out of nowhere to impress us with its features, its performance, and best of all: its price. Usually in the sub-$400 price range that this monitor falls into, buyers need to lower their expectations. Either you have to be willing to put up with poor gaming performance, give up color accuracy, or go with a monitor that is neither good at games nor image editing, but is not terrible at either. In other words this end of the market is typically filled with compromised designs that make end users feel like they should have spent more money. Not this time around though.

In comparison to the usual suspects' options, the Nixeus offering is like a breath of fresh air. On the one hand the NX-VUE24A may not have the color fidelity of a 10-bit IPS monitor, or an OSD that is actually useful, but the panel is still very capable and the OSD may be simple but does get the job done for the most part. On the other hand this monitor offers FreeSync support which does have some limitations but is still awesome at making video games more enjoyable through better motion fluidity. Add in those 144Hz refresh rate abilities and we have the makings of greatness.

There’s also a decent if not stellar input option selection, a stand that may not win any awards for its aesthetics but offers stability and features not usually seen in this price range (including portrait / landscape modes) and Nixeus truly has a winner on their hands.

With all of that being said this monitor is not perfect, and consumers who purchase one will be taking a minor risk on it. What we are referring to is the fact that Nixeus does not offer a zero dead pixel guarantee (instead it’s a 3 pixel cluster) and that is something we have not seen in years. For transparency’s sake we had a stuck pixel on our sample. One pixel out of 2,073,600 certainly does not change our mind about this monitor, but it is something to take into consideration before purchasing.

As long as are comfortable with the minor list of limitations and can find a retailer offering it, the Nixeus NX-VUE24A is still an excellent value and one heck of a gaming monitor. It offers a broader performance range than early FreeSync monitors, very good color reproduction and a low price.

<div align="center">
<img src="http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/akg/Monitor/Nixeus_VUE24A/DGV.gif" border="0" alt="" />
</div>
 
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