Ever since I bought my Nintendo Switch, I’ve been woefully sad that my much more powerful PlayStation 4 isn’t as portable. Even gaming laptops mean I can have great gaming experiences wherever I go. The folks at Gaems, makers of portable personal console gaming monitors obviously know my pain. They sent us a sample of the Vanguard Black Edition to review, and while it doesn’t have the world’s highest visual quality, the utility of the monitor more than makes up for those shortcomings. This is our Gaems Vanguard - Black Edition review.
Now, the first thing to know about the Gaems Vanguard is that while it’s both a portable monitor and a carrying case for your PS4 or Xbox, it’s only 720p in resolution (1080 scaled). Truthfully, this doesn’t matter to me, because the fact that I can easily bring my PS4 all over my house or on any trips I take outweighs this shortcoming. But I know some folks care far more about the graphical specs of their displays.
It’s also worth noting that the PS4 Pro is on the bigger side of what the Vanguard can fit in the case. It works, but you have to turn the console to the side, which means you will block the disc slot with the secure straps. Not a big deal, but big enough if you use discs more than digital game downloads on your PS4 Pro.
The build quality of the case and monitor is excellent. It’s a hard plastic shell, that while bulky, absolutely protects what’s inside. I feel confident that I could carry this thing all over a place like PAX, or through the airport, and not worry about my console’s safety. I wouldn’t check it as baggage for a flight, but the side closing clips and internal console velcro straps keep everything where it’s supposed to be.
Priced at $349.99, the cost of the Vanguard may be its most prohibitive aspect. You can buy a 4K HDR TV for that cost these days. You’re definitely paying for the convenience and portability, not the overall picture quality of the monitor. If Gaems does start making 1080 or 4K displays, while keeping the price below $500 for the total package, I’d seriously consider buying one.
As I’m sure many of you can relate - a household with kids and a wife means the TV isn’t ever mine. And I’m also not able to retreat to my basement office without feeling like I’m leaving Mrs. Bill alone with two loud and rowdy monsters. The Vanguard allows me to play things like Yakuza 6 and Monster Hunter World without having to feel like I just abandoned the love of my life to the wolves (a 2 and a 5 year old boy). That’s the main selling point of the Gaems Vanguard, and I suspect I’m not the only person living in that reality.
- Fantastic build quality
- Convenience and portability for a complete console setup
- Comes with a remote and all necessary wires
- Can be used for any HDMI device
- Somewhat high price
- Only comes in 720p
- PS4 Pro is a bit big for the case
Notes: MMORPG.com was provided with a Vanguard Black Edition for review purposes.