One of the great things about the popular gaming monitor category is the value models coming from lesser-known manufacturers. Not only do these displays come at a low price point, they often have great performance and solid build quality.
We rarely add a new company to our list of monitor reviews, but here we have the Galax Vivance VI-01. 27 inch flat IPS panel with Under $300 ticks all the important boxes.
Galax Vivance VI-01 Specs
|Panel type/backlight||IPS/W-LED, edge array|
|Screen size/aspect ratio||27 inches/16:9|
|Maximum resolution and refresh rate||2560×1440 @ 165Hz|
|row 3 – cell 0||G sync 48-165Hz|
|row 4 – cell 0||FreeSync compatible|
|Native color depth and color gamut||10bit/DCI-P3|
|Response time (MPRT)||1ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||350 nits|
|video input||2x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Row 11 – Cell 0||2x HDMI 2.0|
|audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|power consumption||27.5w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel dimensions WxHxD (including base)||24.2 x 18 x 7.2 inches (614 x 458 x 183mm)|
|panel thickness||panel thickness|
|bezel||Top/Side: 0.3″ (8mm)|
|Row 18 – Cell 0||Bottom: 0.6 inch (15mm)|
|weight||10.8 lbs (4.9kg)|
The VI-01 resembles many of the best gaming monitors in this category, but with great features and added value. His MPRT response for IPS panels is claimed to be 1ms, and my testing showed it to draw the screen in 6ms. This is the same as nearly every other 165 Hz monitor I’ve run into. It also has relatively low input lag, with a total score of 29 ms, which is slightly faster than average. It definitely offers a snappy and smooth experience for a wide variety of gamer skill sets.
The panel is a 27-inch flat screen with QHD resolution, which means a very good pixel density of 109ppi. And you can reach a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz without spending a dime on a high-end video card. Adaptive-Sync comes in both Nvidia G-Sync certified, which is rare at this price, and AMD FreeSync compatible. Works in the range 48-165 Hz. The VI-01 also includes a blur-reducing backlight strobe option that works in place of AS.
HDR10 is supported with auto-switching modes and an expanded color gamut. My tests measured just over 88% coverage for DCI-P3. This is about average for the genre. Out of the box the colors are a little off, but I was able to calibrate the VI-01 to a good standard. I didn’t find the sRGB mode included, but the images are colorful enough for both his SDR and HDR content.
The only other game feature here is aiming point selection. You can get an upgraded version of the VI-01 with LEDs on the back, the aptly named VI-01RGB, but without the LED lighting. The stand is a solid part that only adjusts the tilt. It has built-in speakers, but no USB. The input panel also has two HDMI inputs and two DisplayPort inputs.
So while it doesn’t have many options, the VI-01 seems to have the right tools for a solid gaming experience. Let’s see.
Galax Vivance VI-01 assembly and accessories
The VI-01 arrived in a slim box with its contents wrapped in brittle foam. No tools are required for assembly, the base slides onto the uprights and is held in place by friction springs. Panels snap into place.
A 100mm VESA lug pattern is provided, but a unique fastener is required to use the arm or bracket. The only video cable provided is DisplayPort, and there’s a small external power supply to power the juice.
Product 360: Galax Vivance VI-01
image 1 of Five
The styling of the VI-01 is very simple, with a thin flush front bezel surrounding a matte screen. The image is grain free and the reflections are well managed. The bottom trim shows only a small Galax logo. The OSD joystick is in an unusual location just to the right of center. There is also a button to toggle G-Sync/Adaptive-Sync on and off. In the photo you can see a small lens above the upright. That is the LED function installed in the VI-01RGB model. My sample did not have this.
The stand is cast aluminum with a wrinkle finish that is equally resistant to fingerprints and light. The friction fit between base and upright is unlike anything you’ve seen before. It’s very solid and doesn’t pull apart easily. You can pick up the VI-01 and move it around without worrying about parts falling out.
Unfortunately, the rubber feet leave marks on your desk. I often slid the monitor around a white table to serve as a test area, but this left a faint black streak on the surface. They cleaned up easily, which is also something I’ve never seen before. No rate mode. The screen sits a little low on my average desktop, so I had to tilt it upwards for my eyepoint.
The clearly labeled input panel has two DisplayPort and two HDMI 2.0 inputs. You also get a 3.5mm audio output. The built-in speakers sound small, like most monitors, but are relatively distortion-free. No USB port.
OSD function of Galax Vivance VI-01
The VI-01 includes an OSD joystick, but its functionality isn’t immediately intuitive. For example, to navigate between submenus, I think left and right are the way to go. Incorrect; up and down. Cancellations and returns are on the left. Also, although the slider is horizontal, the slider can also be adjusted up and down. A little rickety, but I got used to it after a while. To activate the OSD, press the joystick and right click. Clicking down cycles through the 6 aimpoints, 3 shapes, and 2 colors available.
image 1 of Four
The VI-01 has 5 main image modes and another 7 image modes under the Game label. The easiest way to avoid confusion is to stick with the default standard. It provides enough image control to correct out-of-the-box color errors I’ve found.
The picture menu has video processing options such as G-Sync toggle, AMBR (backlight strobe) and response time (overdrive). I found the best motion handling with this off. All three settings create ghosting artifacts that split the edges of moving objects. AMBR is a viable alternative to Adaptive-Sync. Maximizes brightness and prevents dimming that normally occurs with only minor fading artifacts. The smoothest movement of the VI-01.
It can be adjusted using the User Color and its RGB sliders. I’ve achieved excellent grayscale tracking, but I’m missing a gamma preset that I desperately need. The default curve is too light. HDR is set to Auto by default and will automatically switch when an HDR10 signal is present. However, there is no additional contrast in this mode.
Galax Vivance VI-01 calibration settings
In its default standard mode, the VI-01 has cool grayscales, light gamma, and desaturated colors. Grayscale calibration corrects 1 and 3, but there is no gamma preset. This means that the overall tone of the image will be slightly lighter and the contrast will be slightly reduced. As you can see below, my instrumented calibration settings yield noticeable improvements, especially in color saturation. I also noticed that the default sharpness settings accentuated the edges. For the sharpest image, that slider should be set to zero.
When HDR is set to Auto, VI-01 will switch without user intervention when an HDR10 signal is applied. Color accuracy is good with neutral grayscale and precise luminance tracking. I noticed some color saturation errors. See page 5 for this.
|Brightness 200 nits||55|
|Brightness 120 nits||29|
|Brightness 100 nits||twenty two|
|Brightness 80 nits||16|
|Brightness 50 nits||Red 100, Green 97, Blue 93|
|color temperature user||Red 100, Green 97, Blue 93|
Gaming and hands-on with Galax Vivance VI-01
I noticed that the VI-01 looks a little flat on the Windows desktop and when playing some familiar games. The grayscale needed tweaking and my visual observation suggested light gamma. Testing and calibration confirmed that gamma is indeed low and grayscale runs cool by default. After calibration, the image is much better with more natural colors, better saturation and better contrast. Gamma still seemed a little bright. In other words, the image had none of the pop that comes with correct luminance tracking.
Moving on to work tasks, I found the VI-01 to be very suitable for Word, Excel, etc. Thanks to the sharp and detailed images, I was able to edit the graphics without any problems. I recommend setting sharpness to zero to eliminate the slight edge enhancement I’ve seen. It’s most noticeable when displaying black text against a gray background.
Gaming was a satisfying experience thanks to the VI-01’s smooth motion handling and low input lag. It’s good enough for a gamer of my skill and will be a solid tool for just about any player. Doom Eternal When Call of Duty World War II. Overdrive was omitted as other settings cause ghosting artifacts and destroy detail in moving objects and backgrounds.
A backlit strobe called AMBR also worked well with no visible artifacts in gameplay. When this feature is turned on, the brightness will be fixed at maximum, so the image will not be darkened. I canceled Adaptive-Sync, as most monitors do, but I only saw occasional frame tearing. This is a viable option.
Imagewise, HDR looked a little better than SDR. Highlights are brighter and colors are more saturated. In practical comparison, the VI-01 in HDR mode looks like a premium display running in SDR mode. Best when playing HDR content. Like SDR games tomb Raider Color and detail are good, but low gamma obscures the image slightly.
Overall, the VI-01 performs as expected for the price. It’s a good value and offers great gaming performance, while the image quality is good, but there’s room for improvement.
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