We’ve had some pretty serious gaming tech walk through the door of the Man of Many HQ over the last month and it’s not going to slow down anytime soon. CES2022 wrapped up only a few weeks ago and we’ve got plenty on the way fresh off the Las Vegas press so be on the lookout for more reviews as we tackle portable projectors, laptops, smartphones, and gaming accessories over the next few months.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on the latest from one of our favourite brands, Corsair. Introducing the XENEON 32QHD165, it’s the brand’s first flagship gaming monitor and it’s a mighty impressive first effort with plenty of specs, aesthetics, and quality that we look for in a gaming product. Let’s take a look.
|High Point||Low Point||Verdict|
|Perfect for creators, the 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space is some of the best money can buy for under $5000. Quantum Dot Fast IPS panel provides great colour coverage across the screen, even at 165hz.||Maxing out at only 1440p is underwhelming, and the HDR peak brightness of less than 400nits is simply not enough when working near windows and in bright spaces.||When balancing the pros and cons we’re left with a high-quality monitor from a trusted brand that ticks all of the boxes without excelling at anything in particular. If you’re looking for a good monitor that can do it all in a hybrid working environment this might be your best bet. Just wait for a sale.|
It seems monitors are the next piece in a long line of technology that everyone from your average Joe, to your most avid gaming enthusiast is really getting excited about. Peripherals are becoming more and more mainstream with the mechanical keyboard community stronger than ever (special shoutout to the Gateron Black Ink crew) and the monitor crowd really pushing companies to elevate their products to the next level. Never one to go unnoticed, Corsair is doing its part to keep its core fans engaged while at the same time, bringing attention to their brand with the introduction of the XENEON 32QHD165.
The timing couldn’t be better here. Specsheet stuffers are abundant in the monitor space these days, you can pick up a cheap 4K120hz monitor for under $400 AUD in the current market (albeit risky), so there’s plenty of space for a superior option from a brand name that you know and trust.
Sacrifice, Not Much
|Native Resolution||2560×1440 (16:9)|
|Response Time||1ms MPRT, <3ms GtG|
|Colour Gamut||98% (DCI-P3), 100% (AdobeRGB), 100% (sRGB)|
|Peak Brightness||400 nit (SDR) / 440 nit (HDR)|
|Static Contrast Ratio||1000:1|
|HDR Certification||VESA DisplayHDR 400|
|Viewing Angles||178° (H) / 178° (V)|
The Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 oozes a premium feel, with a list of features that elevate it to the same level (however, rarely exceed) other monitors in its class. You won’t be blown away by the specs or screen resolution, but the overall fit and finish is uber premium and that matters in a world of poor quality designs.
One glance at the spec sheet and you’ll be satisfied and not the least mind blown, but maybe that’s a good thing? Often is the case, we’re forced to choose between a gaming orientated monitor or a creative orientated monitor simply because it’s so challenging to create one that does absolutely everything perfectly. Traditionally, the choice is between a good looking screen with accurate colours or one that is rapid with low input lag.
So which is it? Well, if truth be told, it’s a little bit of both.
What you’re looking at is a 32-inch monitor with 2,560 x 1,440-pixel resolution and 165hz refresh rate built into a Quantum Dot Fast IPS panel. It’s satisfying to know that Quantum Dot backlight tech has been integrated into the screen for better colour coverage across the screen, and the refresh rate has been kept acceptably high at 165hz, but it’s never going to blow your mind maxing out at 1440p. Content creators will rejoice at Corsairs claim of 98 per cent coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space and we absolutely loved editing during our day to day life with this monitor.
All the colour accuracy in the world doesn’t matter if the display doesn’t attribute quality HDR, and on paper, the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 looks promising with VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification and a peak brightness of 440 nits (HDR). In practice, however, we found it to barely scrape the acceptable space when it comes to brightness and we’d expect it to sit around the low 300 nit range in practice. This became a particularly prevalent issue for us working from home in front of a window, although, if you’re simply gaming in the dark it becomes far less of a problem.
- Adaptive Sync AMD FreeSync Premium
- NVIDIA G-Sync Compatible
Booting up a mixture of PC Games such as Forza Horizon 5 yielded far more impressive HDR results with its open-world landscape, rich car paint colours, and coloured horizons. We were impressed just how good these looked running at max 1440p settings, however, moving to console games that are downgraded from [email protected] with the special ‘console mode’ to standard 1440p yields different results.
NBA 2K22 has a typically terrible HDR implementation with oversaturated colours and dark fields throughout, this looked particularly bad on the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 and switching back to SDR yielded better results. We expect the same to occur across the board with poorly implemented HDR only looking worse, not better, thanks to a lack of local dimming. Overall, it’s a solid performer and we were pleasantly surprised just how Forza Horizon 5 looked maxed out on our Alienware Aurora R13 at only 1440p, although we couldn’t wait to switch back over to 4K.
- Adjustable Height: 110mm Range
- VESA Compatibility: 100mm x 100mm
- AC Adapter: 90W
Corsair designs some of the best products on the market – we loved the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT wireless gaming headphones thanks to their combination of performance/ looks – and the monitor keeps the trend alive.
The stand is probably our favourite feature where it incorporates a traditional V-shaped base through a sturdy triangulated arm that extends to a universal adjustable webcam arm at the top. Along the shaft are a number of clips to run cables flush down the back of the monitor and adjustability is strong with a wide 178-degree viewing angle (side-to-side, up-and-down), -5 to 20 degrees of vertical tilt, and a swivel range of -30 to 30 degrees. The unit looks so good we got rid of our VESA monitor mount for the time being to just marvel in it!
The On-Screen Display (OSD) menu is navigated via a five-way joystick on the back of the monitor. It’s very intuitive to use and it’s never a struggle to find what you’re looking for when switching between inputs or adjusting brightness, sharpness, gamma, saturation, colour temperature, contrast levels, night modes, refresh rates or other settings. If all that sounds too hard, Corsair owns Elgato, and the Stream Deck can be programmed to perform hot functions to control the monitor – you can also sync your iCue RGB colour programming to the Stream Deck which is pretty cool.
Not only does the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 separate itself from the masses with next-level colour accuracy, but it offers superior ports. These include;
- 2x HDMI 2.0 sockets, you don’t need HDMI 2.1 for console gaming as it’s only 1440p.
- 1x DisplayPort 1.4 interface.
- 1x USB Type-C with 15w power delivery for laptops, simply not enough for gaming.
- 1x 3.5mm headphone jack.
Should You Buy the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165?
We’d struggle to recommend the Corsair XENEON 32QHD165 at full price, however, it’s been substantially discounted in Australia for the better part of 4-months and as such represents far better value than it does at its RRP of $800 USD. Considering you can now pick one up for just over $1000 AUD it jumps into the customer base it’s more suited toward – a hybrid creator who enjoys gaming casually. We’d recommend it for the home office, especially if that’s also where you game.
Not fast enough for E-sports and not 4K, outside of the recent price reduction, the absolute saving grace for the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165 is the colour accuracy and the design that we’d describe as class-leading (ignoring the immersive wide-angle options). If the HDR tuning, particularly the brightness, is ramped up for the next offering the monitor market might be the next in a long line of Corsair dominated areas.