Technology

HyperX Armada 27 Review – IGN

Several new brands have jumped into the already crowded gaming monitor arena, including Corsair, NZXT, and Cooler Master. Now, gamers can add yet another brand to consider: HyperX, best known for excellent gaming headsets like the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless. The company’s first monitor, the Armada 27, tries to stand out with a versatile monitor arm that comes standard with the display, but high pricing sinks its appeal.

The HyperX Armada’s most distinctive and important feature is also the most obvious: the stand. Instead of a traditional stand, HyperX serves up an articulating monitor arm that attaches to the back of your desk (or a stand mounting hole, should your desk have one). This frees up space that might be taken by the monitor stand and offers a wider range of articulation.

It’s not all good news, however. Setting up the HyperX Armada 27 is more complex than most monitors. You’ll need to set aside about 15 minutes to assemble the arm and move your desk to mount the monitor to the back of it (if your desk is positioned next to a wall). Setup process doesn’t require tools, however, which isn’t true of most monitor arms.

The arm can adjust for height, tilt, and swivel, as well as move side to side. This offers advantages over a traditional stand, especially if you want to have a multi-monitor setup, since the arm can move the HyperX Armada 27 into a very wide range of positions.

The arm is sturdy and holds the monitor firmly in place, even at odd angles, but your thoughts will depend a lot on past experience. The Armada 27’s arm is leagues better than budget options on Amazon, but not as smooth and fluid as high-end arms from Ergotron or Jarvis. You can switch to these better monitor arms, if desired, as the HyperX Armada has a 100mm x 100mm VESA mount.

The display panel itself could hardly be more basic. It has slim bezels on three sides and a slightly larger chin that includes the HyperX logo (as well as a large and extremely stubborn sticker). The logo is the only trait distinguishing the panel from competitors, which feels like a miss. HyperX is a newcomer to the monitor market: it needs to do more to stand out.

HyperX Armada 27 – Features & Menu

The HyperX Armada 27’s menus are controlled through a joystick on the lower right rear of the display panel. This is the standard method of controlling modern monitors, and for good reason. It’s simple and easy to understand.

HyperX’s menu layout and design isn’t bad, especially for a newcomer to the monitor space. The initial quick menu that appears when tapping the joystick is ugly, but the menus themselves have a sensible layout. Most functions are labeled clearly and the menu system is responsive. Perhaps too responsive, as it’s easy to move one or two options further than intended.

Connectivity is basic. The monitor has two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 port, and that’s it. There’s no USB-C, no USB hub of any kind, and no HDMI 2.1. I expect this range of connectivity will be fine for most PC gamers, but it’s disappointing given the Armada 27’s price. Most competitors at least throw in an extra video input or a couple USB-A ports for peripherals.

There’s nothing else to say about the monitor’s basic feature set or controls. It lacks speakers, RGB lighting, a remote control, or any other extra that could help it stand out. None of these features are standard at this price, but most monitors offer at least one of these. HyperX pegs all its hopes on the bundled monitor arm.

HyperX Armada 27 – Gaming Performance

The HyperX Armada 27 is an IPS gaming monitor, for better and for worse.

Let’s start with better. The Armada 27 is extremely bright, reaching almost 450 nits in SDR and up to 547 nits in HDR. It’s among the brightest 27-inch monitors I’ve ever tested in SDR and sets a new record for HDR in a monitor of this size that lacks OLED or a Mini-LED backlight.

It’s a colorful monitor, as well, achieving 96 percent of the DCI-P3 gamut and 87 percent of AdobeRGB (though not in the default, Standard mode, which is an odd decision). Color accuracy is excellent across the board and most gamers won’t see a need to perform calibration. The Armada’s color performance is defeated by some competitors, like the Gigabyte M27Q X, but it’s good overall.

These traits are usually a positive for gamers. Most games are bright, colorful, and pack plenty of flair, so a bright and colorful image leans into their strengths. Games like Apex Legends, World of Warcraft and League of Legends will look great on this monitor.

Still, the HyperX Armada 27 can do little to avoid the typical problems of an IPS monitor. I recorded a maximum contrast ratio of 1060: 1. That’s a tad behind competitors like the Gigabyte M27Q X and NZXT Canvas 27Q. This level of contrast offers some sense of dimensionality and depth but falls behind VA panel alternatives.

The real issue, as true of most IPS monitors, is elevated black levels. The HyperX Armada 27 never comes close to a deep, inky black, instead looking foggy and gray. This robs drama from dark scenes and, in the worst cases, can obscure detail. You won’t like the Armada 27 if you play games like Elite: Dangerous or Diablo 2: Resurrected.

Lackluster contrast limits the monitor’s HDR performance. The Armada 27 is VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified and, as mentioned, extremely bright in HDR. Yet the lack of contrast means scenes tend to look brighter rather than more detailed, and dark scenes are way too hazy. There are situations where you might have a better experience in HDR: bright games like Forza Horizon 5 usually look nice. In general, though, HDR performance is not good.

Resolution comes in at 2560 x 1,440, which is ideal for PC gaming on a 27-inch monitor. It’s sharp enough to look stunning in the latest games, yet burdens your video card far less than 4K. Owners of mid-range graphics cards, like an Nvidia RTX 3070 or AMD Radeon 6700 XT, can pursue high-end graphics without obliterating framerates.

So, what’s the verdict on game performance? The HyperX Armada 27 is good but doesn’t stand out. It tends to look bright, sharp, and colorful, traits that help it stand out when using the monitor to play flashy games in a bright room. If you prefer to game in the dark, however, or like moodier titles, the monitor’s lack of contrast isn’t a good fit. The Armada 27 also fails to outperform similar competitors like the Gigabyte M27Q X and NZXT Canvas 27Q.

HyperX Armada 27 – Motion Performance

The HyperX Armada 27 has a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz, which is good for a 1440p panel but falls behind alternatives. The Gigabyte M27Q X and Viewsonic Elite XG271QG reach 240Hz at a similar price. Most 27-inch 1440p monitors with a refresh rate of 165Hz are less expensive.

Motion clarity is excellent. The high refresh rate and fast IPS panel provide a rather crisp image with good detail in fast-moving objects. HyperX offers five levels of pixel response, though most owners will likely want to stick at the second or third level. As is typical of IPS monitors, the highest pixel response settings cause distracting artifacts around objects in motion.

This monitor is G-Sync Compatible and worked over AMD FreeSync on an RX 6600 video card. I saw no frame pacing issues. The refresh rate of 165Hz is not as high as 240Hz, to be sure, but it’s plenty high to provide extremely smooth motion in a wide range of games.

The HyperX Armada 27 does well, but no better than similarly priced competitors. The Gigabyte M27Q X, in particular, casts a shadow over the Armada 27. I can’t think of a reason to prefer the Armada 27’s 165Hz panel over the 240Hz panel in the Gigabyte.

HyperX Armada 27 – Day-to-day performance

Gamers who also use their gaming PC for productivity and content creation will be happy with the Armada 27. The monitor’s colorful and accurate IPS panel is suitable for most content creation including photo editing, video editing, and design work.

The only real issue is the monitor’s menu system, which lacks the fine-grain gamma, color temperature, and color space settings that are found in professional monitors. It does seem as if the Standard mode works as a half-hearted sRGB mode, though, since it artificially limits the color gamut and is very color accurate.

The monitor’s 1440p resolution and high brightness are perks, as well, since they keep text and small interface elements readable and easy to use. A monitor this bright can compete even with sunlit windows and is well suited for a very bright room with multiple light sources. If the Armada 27 seems dim, you’d better buy some shades, because monitor brightness doesn’t get much better than this.

HyperX Armada 27 – The Competition

The HyperX Armada 27 is a good IPS monitor, but its competition spoils the monitor’s introduction.

Gigabyte’s M27Q X is a big problem. The M27Q X is better by nearly every metric including contrast, color gamut, color accuracy, and refresh rate, and it’s actually brighter in SDR, though not as bright in HDR. To make matters worse, the M27Q X shares the same $ 500 MSRP and is generally available for $ 50 to $ 80 less than that. The Armada 27’s monitor arm is its only major advantage.

NZXT’s Canvas 27Q, another new 27-inch, 1440p, 165Hz gaming monitor, is a spoiler. The Canvas 27Q has a $ 360 MSRP (with stand) and goes toe-to-toe with the Armada 27. They’re so similar, in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised if they have the same IPS panel. The HyperX Armada 27 is brighter, and has a monitor arm, but I think most gamers would be better served saving money with the NZXT. You can even buy the Canvas 27Q with a monitor arm direct from NZXT, which raises the price to $ 420.

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