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HyperX’s first gaming monitors are competent screens perched on modular mounts

Hands-on with the Armada 25 and Armada 27

Last week HyperX announced their first-ever gaming monitors, the Armada 25 and Armada 27, and within a couple of days I was being led into their Gamescom booth to try each of them for myself. After a disappointingly uncomfortable preview of the Samsung Odyssey Ark, it was nice to get to grips with a far more utilitarian pair of monitors – albeit not without a party trick of their own, namely HyperX’s Armada Gaming Mount.

Here’s some core specs. The Armada 25 is one for the competitive crowd, its 24.5in panel pairing a less demanding 1920x1080 resolution with a heightened 240Hz refresh rate. The bigger, 27in Armada 27 goes for a lower (but still plenty fast) refresh rate of 165Hz, and a 2560x1440 resolution. Both monitors support Nvidia G-Sync and standard AMD FreeSync, and use IPS panels apparently capable of 1ms response times. Pricing wise, they’re not outrageous, though will cost a pretty pile of pennies when they release later in September: £450 / $450 for the Armada 25 and £500 / $500 for the Armada 27. Our closest competing best gaming monitor picks run between £250 and £320, for reference.

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Both screens look good, fortunately; sharp and clean, with no ghosting problems to speak of. And despite being HyperX’s first tries in the field, they pass the test for general design, with thin bezels and an easily accessible joystick control on the rear. The lack of speakers might be an issue if you’re on a tight budget (and didn’t just buy a cheaper monitor for some reason), but built-in speakers usually sound rubbish on anything other than tippity-top-end monitors. You’d be better off with desktop speakers – or one of the best gaming headsets - anyway.

Now, I wouldn’t say their level of visual performance is significantly higher than the (lower-priced) competition; meeting modern gaming monitor standards is not the same thing as smashing them to red and black bits. To ensure the Armada 25 and Armada 27 can elbow their way into an already jostling market, then, HyperX are relying much more heavily on the literal and figurative flexibility of their Gaming Mounts.

The HyperX Armada Gaming Mount holding up an Armada 27 gaming monitor.

On a basic level these are just monitor arms that clamp to your desk, rather than sitting on a stand, and such a mechanism is hardly unheard of. But while articulating arms are normally expensive third-party accessories for gaming monitors, both Armada displays include a Gaming Mount as standard. Straight out of the box, that means more free desk space than any monitor with a conventional stand, and since the Gaming Mount can change the height, tilt and rotation of the screen, likely more adjustability too.

If you cough up £90 / $90 for another arm, which HyperX call the Armada Addon Gaming Mount, you can also easily slot it on top of the original mount for a dual monitor setup. Again, dual arm mounts already exist, but HyperX’s system is upgradable: you can start off with a single monitor and, if you decide to add a second further down the line, you only need the addon, not an entirely new mount. You wouldn’t be limited to Armada monitors either, as the arms are compatible with standard 100mm and 75mm VESA mounts – though I did see how they clip on more easily to HyperX models, with the added bonus of a quick release switch that you don’t get when using a VESA plate.

And, although both the monitors and addon arms are pricey, the whole mounting system is marvellously constructed. The arms are all chunky, robust metal, preventing monitor jiggle, and there’s built-in cable routing to avid dangling wires. The joints aren’t so stiff as to makke it cumbersome to move the monitor, but once it’s in place, there’s a good, firm sturdiness to the whole build. So in this particular area, it is at least a case of pay premium, get premium.

The HyperX Armada 25 gaming monitor.

Will anyone, though? As much as I like the Gaming Mount, it’s hard to see many gaming monitor shoppers basing their decision on the stand design. For games, performance and image quality should really always come first.

Still, the HyperX Armada 25 and Armada 27 are both pretty promising in those regards too. Further testing is required but if they can keep up with, say, the AOC Agon AG273QX, or some of the better LG fast IPS models, then having a superior mounting mechanism may indeed be what tips them into buy-worthy territory.

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