Illegear Bolt Gaming Monitors: Reasonably Priced Performance
Disclaimer: We were loaned review units, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.
If there’s one thing that Malaysians are constantly on the lookout for, it’s a bang for your buck product! And if there’s a gaming hardware company that understands that, it’s none other than Illegear. For years the company has been pushing out powerful gaming products at reasonable price points and their current series of gaming monitors, the Bolt 24 and Bolt 27 are great examples of their philosophy. After spending some time with the Bolt 24 and Bolt 27, here’s what we think about the displays.
I’ll start with the larger display, the Bolt 27. Its main draw is its attractive price point - at RM1,199, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another curved 27” monitor with all of the same features. Samsung VA panels, 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, HDR, and 4ms response time. Not to mention, the monitor is an attractive looking piece of hardware, especially with the glowing “X” in the back which can spice up your room a little.
We tested the monitor out and it performed as expected - it ran games at 144Hz with no issues, colours were shown correctly and so on. It also has plenty of I/O ports - 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Headphone. If there’s one thing I could wish for, it would be for us to be able to hold onto the review unit forever!
Jokes aside, the Bolt 27 isn’t perfect - the stand that comes with the monitor has extremely limited adjustability. Besides the angle (tilting up/down) of the display, you won’t be able to move anything else. Fortunately, it comes with optional brackets that allow you to use the monitor with VESA mounts (for your walls or table monitor arms). The monitor also uses a power brick instead of a regular power cable, so it can take up some table space.
However, these drawbacks don’t detract from the overall experience of using the Bolt 27. The stand was extremely easy to put together and we had it up and running in a matter of minutes. It probably took more time to remove the display from the box!
If you’re looking for a high-res, high-refresh-rate, and HDR-capable monitor, you can’t go wrong with the Bolt 27, especially at this price. However, if you don’t need something that large (i.e. limited table space or you don’t have the GPU for such high resolution), the smaller Bolt 24 might be what you need.
The Bolt 24 can be touted as the little sibling of the 27. While it does cost almost half the price at RM659, some sacrifices had to be made - namely, its smaller size (only 23.6” wide), lower resolution (1920 x 1080 Full HD), and no HDR support. However, depending on your requirements, this might be all that you need. You still get the high refresh rate, funky backlighting and a curved display that uses a Samsung VA panel.
While the monitor does perform well, it does have some caveats - 144Hz refresh rate is only available through DisplayPort, due to the monitor using HDMI 1.4. Unlike the Bolt 27, which has HDMI 2.0 support, you’ll need a DisplayPort capable GPU in order to enable the highest refresh rate, if not you’ll be stuck at 120Hz. Something to take note of if you have limited DisplayPort outputs available. Fortunately, like the Bolt 27, it does come with a DisplayPort cable included. The Bolt 24 has the following I/O ports: 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Headphone.
The Bolt 24 comes with a very limited mounting stand as well, with the monitor tilt being the only thing that’s adjustable. Fortunately, it also comes with VESA mounting support so you can rectify those issues. One thing I didn’t like about the default stand is that it attaches to the back of the monitor via a single screw. I felt that two should have been the minimum because a single screw for such an important job seems questionable to me.
Lastly, the recessed ports on the Bolt 24 are a double-edged sword - they keep your connectors hidden, but this also means that they are quite troublesome to remove (not an issue for most people but it does slow down the job of a reviewer). It also makes it hard to keep the cables out of sight since they are forced to exit downwards.
All in all, if you’re looking for a curved, high refresh rate 23.6" monitor at a reasonable price, the Bolt 24 might be right up your alley.
Both of the monitors are available now, on the official Illegear website:
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