Another problem that routinely troubled us during our tests was the screen’s high level of reflectivity. We could clearly see ourselves reflected in the screen in even relatively restrained lighting conditions, and any direct light sources became very disruptive indeed.
With our head locked in the premium position and ambient light levels subdued, though, the G155’s screen delivers some likeable traits. Its biggest strength is its response time; there’s startlingly little evidence of the sort of blurring or smearing you often get with LCD screens when panning quickly around gaming environments.
This allows the HD feeds from our PS3 and Xbox 360S consoles to look very crisp, very detailed, and definitively HD - especially as the screen manages to be eye-catchingly bright for such a small affair.
Colours look nice too for the most part, with subtle blending and believable tones. Well, as believable as video game tones can ever look, at least.
A critical screen issue for gamers is input lag. And here, too, the screen in the G155 is exemplary, measuring under 8ms of input lag during our tests. That shouldn’t have any negative effect on your gaming skills whatsoever.
There is a residual problem that consistently troubled us while attempting to tackle the terrifyingly difficult Dark Souls, though. And that’s the screen’s rather disappointing black level response. For while the screen scores decently highly when it comes to showing details in dark areas of the picture - notwithstanding the ‘black outs’ that can occur if you’re not watching from the perfect angle - parts of the picture that should look black or at least very dark instead look rather grey and misty. We’d hoped the screen’s use of LED lighting might have delivered quite rich black levels, but this hasn’t come to pass.
The G155’s sound quality is surprisingly satisfying considering how skinny the screen and stereo speaker array have to be to fit into the case’s lid. There’s quite an open sound to the soundstage that mostly avoids the distortions and harshness of typical small-screen flat TVs, giving game soundtracks a sense of audio space beyond the boundaries of the screen and case. Inevitably there’s not much going on in the bass department, but still there’s enough volume and clarity around to engage you.
While we love the G155’s concept, the reality of the product is a little less convincing. The problem is ironically the very thing that attracted us to it in the first place: its built in screen. For while this screen is bright, colourful and sharp with minimal input lag, it’s also very reflective of ambient light, rather low on contrast and has a really tiny viewing angle ‘sweetspot’.
We can still see a market for the G155 – especially if you predominantly play bright, colourful games like, say, GT5 or Forza. Otherwise, though, you might consider your needs better if less conveniently served by getting a more basic carry case for your console and spending £250 or so on a superior screen - like, perhaps, Sony’s recently reviewed 22in 22EX320 - that you can either leave in situ at your destination if that’s appropriate or else just cart around in its box without it taking up a great deal more space than the G155 does. Or, of course, you can just accept the compromise and buy a proper portable gaming console.
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