Built For Gamers

Looks like we have another ‘Gaming’ labelled monitor on our test bench. This time it’s the Eizo FORIS FS2333 Gaming Monitor designed to provide pure display performance for competitive gamers. Eizo has followed the motto of ‘Made for Gamers by Gamers’ with a collaboration with Fnatic E-Sports player, Patrik Sattermon (Counter-Strike Professional Gamer) to give insight on what we the gamers want in our displays.

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Screen Size: 23” / 58cm
Display Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (16:9 Aspect Ratio)
Contrast: 1000:1 (5000:1 with ContrastEnhancer)
Panel Type: IPS
Response Type: 3.4ms GTG
Input: D-Sub Mini, DVI-D and 2x HDMI
Features: 0.5W Speakers – 3.5mm Jack
Street Price: $549 (At time of review)
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Out of the box, Eizo has gone with the clean standard looking design avoiding any ‘bling’ factor. The monitor sits nicely on the desk without standing out from the norm. The stand is height adjustable and has the ability to tilt back and forth. On the base of the stand is a cord ring so you can neatly route the cables together at the back. There’s also a handle on the back so gamers can carry the monitor around easily to LANs etc.

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Included in the box, you get all the basic cables to get you started (DVI, Power and Audio) – you do get a utility disk included containing the User Manual and Eizo Software. Included as well are 3 colour sheets pieces to mount on the front of the monitor to ‘spice’ up the look of the design. (If you’re into those kind of things)

The monitor does sport an array of connections so you’ll never have to worry about the type of outputs you need. The Foris does include two HDMI ports which are somewhat hard to find in the market. This is great for gamers using the monitor for their consoles as well (like myself) which allows them to connect a PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously and switch between the two without any hesitation or routing of cables.

The Foris does feature in-built speakers but as expected, they didn’t output any outstanding audio – just basic mono sounds with a lack of bass. A true gamer would just skip pass using these speakers and option for something a little premium. The audio jacks however are great for console gamers wanting to output audio directly from the monitor with HDMI without the use of extra add-ons. Perfect for LAN travels.

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The Foris comes with an included remote which ultimately makes configuration an easy job rather than fiddle with the buttons on the screen itself but I’m somewhat confused as to why they limited the ability to tweak the options to the remote only. With the limitation to the remote only, it can be annoying if you loose and misplaced your remote or if the battery goes flat. Yes this may only sound minor but with the potential to loose the remote, it can be a disadvantage. Why not have the options to tweak on the screens as well as having the remote. I tend to misplace things, a tiny remote will most probably be one of them.

Performance Is the Key

Now let’s talk about the performance factor of the Foris gaming monitor. So what does $500 of cash gets you in a monitor?

Smart Insight is Eizo’s technology feature that allows gamers to see everything. It sounds somewhat like a cheating mechanism but honestly it just improves clarity on the visuals allowing gamers especially competitive ones focus on the real objectives rather than ‘stunning’ graphics. This is done by boosting light into the darker areas of the game eliminating any shadows so gamers can visually see better outlines.

This feature is more suited for First Person Shooters and this is where the monitor is primarily aimed at. I tested out the features on Counter-Strike Global Offensive or CS:GO for short because the game requires quick reactions and accurate placements of rounds. With the Foris, I turned on the ‘Game’ mode which switches to a default setting for ‘Smart Insight’. From there I used the remote to tweak the visuals to my ideally to what I want.

‘Smart Insight’ comes in different levels and users can tweak from a variety of level. You can also increase the sharpness of the game’s outlines. The performance overall was exceptional with the outlines of enemies highly visible in distanced shadows which allows me to easily take shots from afar and easily respond to enemy movements in the shadows. If you require raw visuals without the blur and extra effects then this is what ‘Smart Insight’ is for.

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The response time for this monitor is incredibly reduced despite being an IPS panel. Usually IPS panels are top choices for image/video use and generally not gaming but with a fast response time, the Foris is a top IPS performer. There’s hardly any motion blur with the Foris and with a dedicated chip, there’s almost zero input lag.

Competitive gaming is where the monitor performs exceptionally well but how does it go in other modes? Well with preset settings, you can change the monitor back and forth if you require just normal activity on your PC. As a standard monitor, the Foris is sharp and presents colours really well and there’s no negative points in this sector.

The monitor also features a ‘Eco’ mode for low power consumption usage and to reduce eye strain as the ‘Smart Insight’ does really take a toll on your eyes but usually the other preset modes are well suited for normal use. The ‘Eco’ mode is hardly visible and sure it uses less power but how can you use a monitor when you can’t see it? It’s an awkward feature to have in a gaming monitor.

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Overall

The Eizo Foris FS2333 is an excellent performer for gaming. The ‘Smart Insight’ feature is a definite  main point for this monitor for competitive gamers. In normal use, the monitor still outputs some incredible detail. With a host of connections on the back, console gamers can utilise this monitor for competitive use as well.

The only downsides to the Foris is the price it’s going for in the market. It’s incredibly expensive for the features it lacks when compared to other competitors offerings available. First of all, most gaming monitors priced at the $500 mark has 120Hz and is 3D Compatible with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision. Second is that you’ll expect to get a 24″ or 27″ for the price tag plus most competitors include a fully adjustable stand as well. At a $500+ price tag, the Foris will get overlooked by purchasers.

Other than a hefty price tag, the Foris is a highly recommended product. It’s amazing performance is sure to help you take precise head shots and steal dog tags without the any lag in visuals.

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* Review unit supplied by EIZO Australia. You can buy this monitor from MWAVE Australia.