Nexigo NG17FGQ: A Portable Gaming Monitor Review
Specifications at a Glance
Let's begin by taking a quick look at the key specifications of the Nexigo NG17FGQ:
- Panel Type / Backlight: IPS / W-LED, edge array
- Screen Size / Aspect Ratio: 17.3 inches / 16:9
- Max Resolution & Refresh Rate: 1920x1080 @ 300 Hz
- Color Depth: 8-bit
- Max Brightness: 300 nits
- Response Time: 3ms
- Contrast: 1,000:1
- Ports: 2x USB-C, 1x HDMI
- Touch: None
- Dimensions: 15.5W x 9.9H inches
- Weight: 2.1 pounds
The Rise of Portable Monitors
Portable monitors have emerged as versatile accessories for laptops, smartphones, and even desktop PCs. They provide users with the flexibility of having an additional screen wherever they go. Whether it's extending your laptop display for productivity, mirroring content from a smartphone, or enjoying immersive gaming, portable monitors have become indispensable.
However, for gamers, finding a portable monitor with high refresh rates and top-tier video processing has been a challenge. Many portable displays lack the features needed to match the gaming experience found on desktop setups. Nexigo aims to bridge this gap with its NG17FGQ, a 17.3-inch portable gaming monitor boasting a remarkable 300 Hz refresh rate and HDR capability.
Design and Portability
The NG17FGQ, with its slim profile and lightweight build, is designed to be a truly portable gaming companion. Measuring less than half an inch in thickness and weighing just over two pounds, it easily fits into a briefcase or laptop bag. Its compact form factor makes it a suitable travel companion for gamers and professionals alike.
One noteworthy aspect is that the NG17FGQ does not feature an internal battery. Instead, it relies on power from an included USB-C power supply. Alternatively, it can draw power from the connected device if the USB-C port provides sufficient wattage. It's essential to note that a fully capable USB-C output on your laptop or PC is required to unlock the monitor's impressive 300 Hz refresh rate. Without this capability, the refresh rate maxes out at 240 Hz, which can be achieved through the HDMI input.
In addition to its portability, the NG17FGQ offers versatile connectivity options, including HDMI and USB-C ports. This flexibility ensures compatibility with a wide range of devices and systems, making it a versatile choice for various scenarios.
Display Quality and Features
The NG17FGQ features an IPS panel known for its relatively high contrast. In testing, it achieved a contrast ratio of around 1,300:1, surpassing the dynamic range typically associated with IPS monitors. The display also supports HDR10 signals, enhancing the visual experience. While no dynamic contrast option is available for HDR content, the monitor's HDR mode provides a modest increase in peak brightness, approximately 23 nits.
However, it's essential to note that the NG17FGQ adheres to the sRGB color gamut, which is standard for most FHD screens. It does not offer extended color capabilities. Nevertheless, the monitor's color accuracy out of the box is reasonably good, with further improvements achievable through calibration.
The NG17FGQ's video processing capabilities are noteworthy, despite some unconventional features. While the OSD includes a FreeSync option, it does not activate Nvidia's G-Sync in the control panel. Surprisingly, during testing, there were no frame tears observed at any refresh rate, ensuring smooth and tear-free gaming experiences. Additionally, while the OSD lacks an overdrive option, motion processing performed exceptionally well in tests, with no visible blur or ghosting.
Price and Value Proposition
With a price tag of $449, the Nexigo NG17FGQ falls into the premium category of portable monitors. However, its performance, image quality, and gaming capabilities suggest that it may offer excellent value for the price. To determine its true worth, a comprehensive evaluation and testing are essential.
Assembly and Accessories
The NG17FGQ comes bundled with a rigid folding cover that serves as both screen protection and a stand. The cover is held in place by magnets, ensuring convenience and security. Alternatively, users can utilize the included cradle support, which provides stability and multiple angle settings. To power the monitor, an included USB-C wall wart is provided, along with a USB-C cable. Additionally, HDMI and USB-A-to-C cables are included in the package.
Design and Build Quality
The NG17FGQ boasts a sleek and elegant design, featuring a panel surrounded by brushed aluminum. The build quality is solid and robust, capable of withstanding the rigors of travel and daily use. Moreover, the finish is resistant to dirt and fingerprints, maintaining a clean and polished appearance. The accompanying screen cover, coated with a thick rubber layer for protection, adds further durability and resilience for on-the-go usage. However, it's worth noting that there is no dedicated slipcase or container for the included cables, necessitating alternative storage solutions.
On the left side of the NG17FGQ, users will find two USB-C ports and one HDMI port. The HDMI input supports refresh rates of up to 240 Hz. To unlock the monitor's impressive 300 Hz refresh rate, a USB-C connection with full bandwidth capability is required. This high-speed connection demands a laptop or PC equipped with a USB-C output that can deliver the necessary power. On the right side, three control keys and a USB-A port are available. The USB-A port can be used for charging devices when the NG17FGQ is connected to a power source.
User Interface and Remote Control
Navigating the NG17FGQ's on-screen display (OSD) can be achieved using either the built-in control keys or the included handheld remote control. While the control keys can access the OSD, they lack the ability to navigate within the sub-menus or return to the previous menu. For comprehensive menu navigation and adjustments, the handheld remote control is indispensable. It features a directional pad and dedicated keys for source selection and image mode. Users planning to fine-tune the monitor settings should keep the remote handy, as it is the sole method for accessing the OSD's sub-menus and options. However, the side keys suffice for adjusting sound volume and screen brightness.
The NG17FGQ features two small speakers positioned at the back of the panel, emitting sound through tiny perforations. While these speakers primarily reproduce upper midrange frequencies, they can achieve surprisingly high volume levels without distortion. For users seeking enhanced audio quality, a 3.5mm headphone jack is conveniently located on the left side, providing superior sound quality when using headphones or powered speakers.
Calibration and Color Accuracy
In the default Standard mode, the NG17FGQ delivers good color accuracy, although not at the level of calibration precision. The white point exhibits a slight greenish tone, and gamma is on the lighter side. Unfortunately, there are no gamma presets available in the OSD for adjustment. However, by switching to the User picture mode and calibrating the User color temperature, notable improvements in picture quality can be achieved.
In HDR mode, the NG17FGQ automatically defaults to Auto mode, promptly detecting and syncing with HDR10 signals. While HDR mode lacks additional image options or dynamic contrast features, it exhibits a modest increase in peak brightness, enhancing the HDR experience by approximately 23 nits. It's important to note that the NG17FGQ handles HDR signals correctly, providing accurate luminance and color tracking.
Gaming Experience and Performance
The NG17FGQ excels in gaming performance, offering an exceptional experience for gamers. Setting up the monitor is straightforward, provided you are content with a 240 Hz refresh rate over HDMI. To unlock the monitor's impressive 300 Hz refresh rate, your system must feature a full-bandwidth USB-C video output, such as a gaming laptop equipped with Thunderbolt. During testing, the monitor seamlessly synced with the test PC, although G-Sync activation in the Nvidia control panel was not possible. However, no frame tearing was observed in any test patterns or games, delivering consistently smooth and tear-free performance.
A noteworthy aspect is the absence of an overdrive option in the OSD. Despite this, the NG17FGQ exhibits no ghosting or blur during motion, even at varying frame rates. The monitor's video processor effectively eliminates motion artifacts, resulting in a visually satisfying gaming experience. The NG17FGQ performs on par with fast gaming monitors, showcasing impressive motion resolution and image quality.
The default image quality is commendable, with minor greenish tones in neutral areas like clouds and other white and gray content. Calibration of the User mode and adjustment of RGB sliders substantially improve color accuracy and mitigate color issues. Although the NG17FGQ adheres to the sRGB color gamut, it delivers vibrant and colorful visuals suitable for gaming.
In HDR mode, games like Doom Eternal exhibit subtle improvements compared to their SDR counterparts. While the NG17FGQ does not provide increased contrast, it accurately processes HDR10 signals, ensuring a faithful representation of HDR content. Gamers will appreciate the slight enhancement in luminance and color accuracy. It's worth noting that switching to SDR mode can yield higher frame rates, making it a practical choice for gamers seeking optimal performance.
Pixel Density and Fine Detail
With a pixel density of 127 pixels per inch (ppi) on its relatively small screen, the NG17FGQ offers excellent fine detail and clarity. While a larger screen may be preferred by some users, the NG17FGQ maintains a compact form factor that enhances portability. Its pixel density ensures that fine details in games and applications remain sharp and discernible. Whether used as a laptop accessory or with a smartphone, the NG17FGQ proves to be a valuable addition for those on the go.
The Nexigo NG17FGQ emerges as a strong contender in the realm of portable gaming monitors. Boasting a remarkable 300 Hz refresh rate, HDR capability, and impressive video processing, it caters to the demands of gamers seeking a premium gaming experience on the go. Its compact and lightweight design, coupled with versatile connectivity options, makes it an ideal companion for various devices and settings.
While the NG17FGQ adheres to the sRGB color gamut and lacks extended color capabilities, it compensates with accuracy and vibrant visuals. Calibration further enhances color accuracy, ensuring an enjoyable gaming experience. The absence of an overdrive option in the OSD is offset by the monitor's exceptional motion processing, which delivers tear-free and smooth gameplay.