Two months ago, a mysterious listing on Amazon popped up for something called the “Hori Full HD Monitor for PlayStation 4″ for $15. The page had no more information and no images. Naturally, I ordered one. Today, the Hori video monitor showed up to my house. Let’s find out if that was a wise use of my money.
First, let me explain what this thing actually is. The Hori Full HD Monitor for PlayStation 4, as the company calls it, is typically a $200 to $300 screen with speakers that you can attach to Sony’s most recent home console. This enables you to play the system anywhere you have power. It connects via HDMI, and it has its own dedicated power cable that you’ll have to plug into a wall socket in addition to the PS4’s power cable. Basically, the monitor turns your PS4 into a gigantic, quasi-portable all-in-one gaming machine.
I was not expecting much when the monitor arrived this morning. Since preordering it, I learned that the $15 price was an Amazon error. But even had I paid the $200 or more, I figured I would get a slapped together piece of junk. Turns out that isn’t the case.
Here are my impressions.
The first thing I noticed when I fired up the Hori monitor is that the image looked crisp. Full HD apparently means exactly that. From about 3 feet away, I didn’t notice any pixels, and the colors popped just as well as they do on my primary 55-inch TV.
I was even more surprised when I finally got a game in motion and discovered that the image remained sharp. In my past experience with these small, inexpensive portable monitors — I’ve had one for the PS and GameCube — motion blur was a serious problem. That was not the case here. Fast-moving games like Trials Fusion and Dying Light looked great no matter how fast I got my bike moving or how fast I spun the camera.
I also tried out the much darker The Order: 1886, and I found the display did a fine job at distinguishing between the various levels of gray, black, and darker black.
The monitor has stereo speakers positioned near the front of its base. They can get loud, but they typically sound tinny and unsatisfactory. And the louder they get, the worse they sound.
But I feel like the speakers could sound much worse, and if you’re just using this setup to play games in a place without a TV, it works fine. Or if you want to use the PS4 as a remote Blu-ray player for your kids? It’s fine for that.
But you don’t have to use the speakers at all. You can, of course, plug a headset into the DualShock 4 controller, or you can plug up to two set of headphones into the Hori monitor itself. This is a great solution for keeping kids occupied in the back seat with their own audio that doesn’t interfere with you rocking to Steely Dan in the front.
Hori obviously wants this monitor to look like it is a natural extension of the PS4 hardware, and they mostly succeeded at that. The monitor snaps smartly on the console with the help of two included brackets. It has a slant on its front that continues the slant on the front of the PS4. The plastic, while seemingly cheaper than what Sony used, looks about the same in terms of color and texture.
On the base, in addition to the speakers, you have a full set of volume controls and the power button. In the back, you have two HDMI inputs, two audio jacks, and a power port.
That last part, the power port, is actually my biggest problem with the screen. You have to plug in the monitor and the PS4 separately. That limits the portability of something like this. I was hoping that Hori would have a way to daisy-chain the power from the PS4 to the monitor and then have the screen’s cord power both. But that’s not an option.
For $15, this was a no-brainer purchase, but I think that it’s potentially a pretty good deal if you can get it for $200. We’ve reached out to Hori for final pricing details, and we’ll update this post with the company’s comment. On Amazon, you can find one dealer selling it for $200, but I’ve seen it going for as much as $280 in recent weeks.
Before plunking down that kind of money, I would make sure that you can think of a very specific situation for when you would use something like this. I’m planning on setting this up in my office, so I can play review games and do videos while my wife uses the primary TV. Maybe I’ll take it with me on trips, but I don’t know. Needing two power outlets really hurts the monitor’s usefulness in cars, but it could work in that situation if you get the right adapter.