I’m not sure if I officially hold the title of the ‘office gamer’ just yet, but with 455 games owned on Steam and thousands of hours in Overwatch, I wasn’t too surprised Rory handed me the Prism+ X240 monitor to review. However, as I did point out in my first impressions of the monitor, I don’t actually care that much about framerate.
Personally, I’ve always preferred ramping up the graphical settings to the point where it looks as best as possible, even if it means taking a hit on FPS numbers. In fact, the monitor I use on a daily basis is an LG ultrawide that’s actually meant for productivity, because it has excellent colour reproduction, solid brightness and that 21:9 aspect ratio goodness, albeit at just a 75Hz refresh rate. I’m telling you guys this mostly because this Prism+ X240 is kinda on the other end of the spectrum here.
The Prism+ X240 comes courtesy of the Singaporean brand Prism+, and on paper offers some very solid specs for a good price. It has a 24-inch display using a 1200R curved Samsung VA panel, and has a 165Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time. Prism+ are also claiming a 120% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, a 320nits brightness and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. All of this for a retail price of RM999, but it’s almost always on sale for RM799, which kinda sounds like a bargain. And then I actually started using it.
Faded colours on a dim display
For a monitor with a supposed 120% sRGB coverage on paper, the X240 looks pretty washed out. Now while I couldn’t objectively measure that, I had it side-by-side to my daily driver LG IPS monitor and there was just no comparison against the two. Don’t just take it from me either; while using the X240 in the SoyaCincau office, two different colleagues came up to me to check out the monitor and both immediately pointed out the poor colour reproduction on it.
Another nitpick I have with the X240 is the brightness, or rather the lack of it. Prism+ claims a brightness of 320nits, and after using it for a bit it really didn’t feel like it. Again comparing to my daily driver monitor, while my LG has a max brightness of 300nits, it looked brighter than the X240. This is even after setting both monitors to max brightness. And as for viewing angles, it’s okay for a VA monitor but nothing to shout about.
It’ll be fine as your secondary monitor or your main display if you don’t do any colour critical stuff, but if you want your monitor to both be your gaming display and for professional creative work like editing photos and videos, the Prism+ X240 probably won’t be the best option for you. The X240 was also alright for content consumption like Netflix and YouTube, but it’s highlight feature is of course the 165Hz refresh rate for gaming. And when it comes to gaming….
165Hz is actually pretty sweet
I’ve never exactly seen the need for a super high refresh rate display even as a gamer, but having tried out the 165Hz display on the Prism+ X240, it’s actually not bad. Previously, I’ve only ever experienced high refresh rate gaming on smaller laptop-sized screens, so for any competitive gamer looking to get a 24-inch class gaming monitor, the X240 could be on your shortlist.
There wasn’t anything noticiable in the way of ghosting, something I was a bit wary about. Contrast though wasn’t the best for a VA panel. You do however get a few gamer-ish features, such as an on-screen crosshair that might be a nifty way to get around some FPS shooters that don’t have it, like Insurgency: Sandstorm. Incidentally, I found the display to be a little on the warm side on the default and warm colour profiles, and mostly kept it on the cool option.
Build quality could use some improvement
Now I did point this out in my first impressions of the Prism+ X240, but I feel it’s still worth mentioning here. The build quality of the X240 definitely needs some improvement, because the plastic build really didn’t feel that sturdy. There wasn’t too much wobble, but bump your table a bit or tap on the sides of the monitor, and the screen would jiggle about. I was also a little wary of the plastic cover that you need to snap off to access the ports and snapping it back in place to cover it.
The port selection was fairly standard. It has a DisplayPort 1.2 port and two HDMI 1.4 ports, which means that if you want to use it for its high refresh rate, you’ll want to use the DisplayPort connector as HDMI 1.4 is limited to just 120Hz. Incidentally, this means that if you’re using a laptop, you’ll want to make sure it has a DisplayPort or Thunderbolt 2 and above to hook the monitor up to. There’s also audio passthrough via the 3.5mm audio jack next to the two HDMI ports, which is fine but I would’ve preferred built-in speakers.
As for the stand, it’s a pretty basic metal frame that’ll do the job. You get some tilt up and tilt down, but no adjustable height or portrait-mode setup here. It’s a mostly simple enough process to attach it to the monitor, with a single screw connecting to the back that then gets covered by a piece of oval plastic. Also hidden behind the oval plastic are the screw holes for a VESA mount, which is a nice addition that isn’t always a guaranteed feature at this price point.
Where it did get a little interesting was that I came across a very similar looking monitor from the Chinese brand Titan Army. The Titan Army N24SK-PLUS is a 24-inch curved monitor with a VA panel and some oddly similar specs to the Prism+ X240. It even has the same oval lighting on the rear, albeit in red instead. The one big difference though is the 144Hz refresh rate on the Titan Army N24SK-PLUS, while the X240 manages a higher 165Hz. If you don’t need the extra 21Hz, the Titan Army N24SK-PLUS is a fair bit cheaper at RM589.
It’s a solid choice for competitive gamers on a budget
The Prism+ X240 is at the end of the day not the best all round monitor, far from it in fact. But of course that’s not what it’s set out to do; it’s a gaming monitor that’s focused on delivering that 165Hz high refresh rate experience to competitive gamers on a budget. It’s decent enough to use in twitch shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty games, but for gamers who’d rather crank up the detail and enjoy the scenery, you’re probably better off with an IPS monitor with solid colours.
At RM999, it’s a little tough to recommend, but I’ve honestly never seen it go for that price. Prism+ seems to always have a sale of some sort going on, and the X240 is regularly on sale for RM799. Now that’s a much better price for what you’re getting but that’s not to say that there aren’t other alternatives out there. The Lenovo G27C-10 retails for around RM799 on Lazada and Shopee too, and has the same 165Hz refresh rate with a tighter 1500R curve. It’s also bigger as it uses a 27-inch VA panel and on paper is brighter at 350nits.
Alternatively, Acer also has a couple of monitors at this price point that you may wanna consider too. The Acer Nitro XV270 is a regular choice for gamers wanting a solid budget gaming monitor has it’s a 27-inch, 165Hz monitor with an IPS panel and can be found on sale for around the RM859 mark online. If you’d prefer to keep to a 24-inch class monitor though, the Acer Nitro QG1 QG241Y P is a 24-inch, VA panel gaming monitor with a 165Hz refresh rate that regularly goes for around RM699.
Going back to the Prism+ X240 though, it does exactly what it sets out to do—provide 165Hz on the cheap. But as I’ve alluded to, there’s a number of compromises you’ll have to make when using this monitor and unless you live and breathe ultra competitive gaming, you might be better off with a more well rounded monitor.