One could build the most powerful computer on the planet, but if the monitor used is stuck at 60hz, it defeats the purpose. The monitor is arguably the most practical and important component in any system. It is the window into the gaming world your hardware is working hard to produce. Whether that hardware is a console, PC, or even a phone, the monitor is the portal into which we interact with our devices. It’s critical that it lives up to the task at hand. Auzai’s 1080p, 165hz monitor brings fast frame rates and HD resolution for a great price.
The unboxing experience is utilitarian and simple. The brown cardboard box is unassuming and does not give much of an expectation of the gaming potential for the monitor inside. However, the monitor was nicely protected, completely surrounded by Styrofoam. The box includes the monitor itself, two display cables – one HDMI and one DisplayPort, the stand, screws, and a cover for the stand assembly.
Assembling the stand wasn’t as easy as some other monitors I’ve handled. Auzai’s solution included turning screws instead of a quick-release latch system. However, once the stand was assembled and mounted, it was very sturdy. The base does not make much contact with one’s desk as only three points of the base touch the surface. It gives it an edgier look. I was worried it might compromise stability but it does not. The base has a wide enough footprint to sit sturdily on one’s desk.
The look of Auzai’s monitor is streamlined and sleek. There is a low profile upper half with the bottom needing a bit more space for the input ports and base assembly. One doesn’t have to worry about any color accents matching their setup style either. Auzai’s monitor does not have any bright colors which makes this the perfect neutral component for your system’s color scheme. However, there is some plastic molding on the back which has angular tracing that gives it a bit of a gaming flair. The bezels are very slim especially around the top and outer edges. The ability for Auzai’s monitor to be VESA mounted is also a welcome perk. There is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect monitor, only for it to not include VESA compatibility.
The input ports include an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, an auxiliary output, and a USB port for charging only. The ports are in an awkward spot and can be difficult to change without bending the cords a bit. I kept wishing that instead of being on the bottom directly behind the stand that they were side mounted for easier accessibility. The DC connector uses a socket-located power supply which removes bulk from the monitor, but could be potentially problematic when attempting to find an empty socket. The power cord is also not long enough, at only 4 feet long. Four feet is a stretch when one considers how low many power sockets are and how high people will be mounting their monitor. Because the power supply is located on the plug itself, it makes extending the cord length much more difficult.
Pushing all the right buttons
A big plus for Auzai’s monitor is the location and size of the menu buttons. These are items which normally get overlooked in monitors. However, menu button location and ease of use is critical for those who want to fine tune their panel. The menu buttons are located in the back. However, they are within easy reach and are large enough to be distinct from each other. Navigation of the on-screen menu becomes quite simple once the pattern for selection and navigation is memorized.
True to its promises, Auzai’s monitor is quick and looks good. The advertised specifications are also impressive given the price of the screen. It uses an IPS panel which gives fantastic viewing angles. The monitor is G-SYNC and FreeSync compatible which is great – especially G-SYNC – for the price of the unit. Owners of Nvidia cards will appreciate the feature for seamless gameplay and significantly less screen tearing. AMD GPU owners can take advantage of FreeSync as well for the same purpose.
As for the colors, Auzai has claimed that it covers 72% of the NTSC range. However, out of the box, I found the colors to be a bit washed out. Blacks looked more like greys. After some adjustments with the onscreen display settings, however, I was able to get the colors to become more vibrant. The difference was pretty substantial and that little bit of tweaking brought the most out of the monitor. Blacks were darker and the picture was just more dynamic overall. However, those who are content creators or photo editors might want a monitor that is more heavily focused on color accuracy.
Seamless and tear-free gaming
Gaming on Auzai’s monitor is a pleasant and smooth experience. It’s ready to keep up with everything your hardware can throw at it. Of particular note is the G-SYNC compatibility, which makes screen tearing, when not locked into V-Sync, all but a non-issue. If I had any minor complaints, it’s that the brightness could go just a tiny bit higher if one games in a well-lit environment. That was my only minor nitpick and for all games, the Auzai monitor surprised me with its response, speed, and overall quality. There was little to no edge light bleed, no dead or stuck pixels, and no light cloudiness to ruin gaming immersion.
This monitor is meant for gamers. Those who play fast-paced first person shooters will never look back at their old, slower monitor after experiencing 165hz for the first time. If, for the budget of around $160, I had to choose between color accuracy or speed purely for gaming, it would be speed. And speed is something Auzai’s monitor is designed for. I don’t think I have to go into the specifics of how 144hz helps gamers track and follows targets over 60hz. The difference is large and for most, will have a significant impact in their gaming performance.
Another cool feature provided by Auzai’s monitor is the native on-screen-display static target which can be activated using the menu keys. While most games already have some indication of where one’s weapon is pointing, there are cases where it may come in handy. For example, during a hardcore match where targeting indicators are turned off in game, one can use the on-screen solution to counter in game’s lack of aiming assistance.
Auzai’s monitor is their solution to 1080p, 165hz gaming. It is a solid compliment to a setup which is budget conscious but doesn’t want to compromise on what matters. Competitive, fast gaming doesn’t get much more accessible than this. Content creators and photographers might want to save a few bucks for something with more accurate colors. But for the people which this monitor is designed, it is the perfect combination of price, features, and speed.