Shopping for a budget-friendly gaming monitor can be…constraining. More often than not, these monitors sacrifice on certain key features to bring down the price, but the Neotez Aquila 27 isn’t quite like that. Not only is this a 27-inch gaming monitor with a complete feature set, it also offers excellent value for money.
Of course, given its affordable nature, there are some aspects of the Aquila 27 that could’ve been better. But if what you want is a fast gaming monitor with a good quality IPS panel, you will be very happy with the Aquila 27. After all, you’re only paying RM1,399 for this 165Hz QHD gaming monitor.
What It Is
Okay, technically, the Aquila 27 retails at RM1,549, but it is listed at only RM1,399 until 30 April 2022. For that kind of money, you’re getting a 27-inch 2560 x 1440 IPS display with a fast 165Hz refresh rate. This panel also meets the HDR400 standard, and it covers 100% of the sRGB colour space too.
Aside from that, the Aquila 27 supports adaptive sync as well, so you won’t have to deal with screen tearing when you’re gaming. You can also adjust the height of the monitor, swivel it, and even pivot it; features not typically found on affordable monitors.
Oh, you get a pair of 3W built-in speakers with the Aquila 27 too, but the audio quality leaves much to be desired – more on this further down this review.
The Good Stuff
Image quality is one of the most important features of a gaming monitor, and the Aquila 27 has a great-looking screen. Its IPS panel offers vibrant colours, a good level of brightness, and of course, adequate viewing angles. However, colours do wash out a tad bit when you’re looking at the monitor from an extreme angle.
Regardless, the Aquila 27 is a blast to play games on, especially in highly competitive games like Valorant and Apex Legends where you need lightning quick responses. The 165Hz refresh rate of the monitor is a godsend in this regard, and I did not notice any screen tearing at all throughout the review period.
The 1440p resolution of the Aquila 27 is worth a mention too. At this price point, a 1080p panel is much more common, so the fact that you’re getting a QHD panel with the Aquila 27 – which is also clocked at 165Hz – just shows how much value you’re getting with this monitor.
Assembly process of the Aquila 27 is easy as well. I did not need to use a screwdriver, and it took me less than 10 minutes to have it all set up; no manual required! I also appreciate the small footprint of the monitor’s stand. For folks that don’t have a lot of table space, this is a welcomed space-efficient design.
Last but certainly not least is the fantastic warranty coverage of the Aquila 27…if you do decide to purchase the NeoCare Pro extended warranty. Not only does it add an extra year to the standard three-year warranty of the monitor, you can even get a one-to-one replacement for a single dead pixel.
It is rare (especially here in Malaysia) for a monitor brand to offer such a comprehensive warranty coverage. As someone who is very particular about dead pixels on a display, I’m very happy with the warranty service of Neotez, even if the NeoCare Pro warranty is a RM280 add-on.
The Bad Stuff
Remember the Aquila 27’s 3W speakers I mentioned earlier? Well, they’re not great. While I appreciate the convenience of having speakers built right into the monitor itself, the audio quality is tinny with little to no bass. It will work in a pinch, but you’ll definitely want to get proper speakers for content consumption.
Build quality is also not a strong point for the Aquila 27. The monitor itself feels very plasticky, and same goes for the stand. Granted, you probably won’t be moving the monitor around, so you won’t “feel” the mediocre build quality much. Still, this is one area where the budget nature of the monitor really shows.
And then there’s the unintuitive navigation of the on-screen display (OSD). The button controls are all placed on the back of the Aquila 27, and since there’s no joystick to navigate the OSD, trying to get to specific parts of the menu is…quite a challenge.
Is It Worth It?
Given its feature set and sheer value for money, the Neotez Aquila 27 is very, very easy to recommend, especially right now when it’s going for only RM1,399. At this price point, you’d be hard-pressed to find for an alternative that offers the same feature set.
Sure, its build quality and unintuitive OSD are some shortcomings of the Aquila 27, but these are hardly dealbreakers in comparison to the value proposition of this gaming monitor. If you like the Aquila 27’s feature set, and its price fits your budget, go for it – you will not be disappointed.