The GAEMS Sentinel Pro XP Portable Gaming Monitor Is an Ideal On-the-Go Solution, If You Can Afford It
When it comes to playing games when you travel, a lot of people like to turn to the Nintendo Switch- and it is a pretty viable solution. But what if you want to play games like God of War, Spider-Man or Gears of War 4 wherever you go? That means lugging around a game system with you- and that's not always an easy solution.
But GAEMS may have something that can help you along, especially if you want to assure that you retain all the quality you'd find playing at home. The company recently introduced the Sentinel Pro XP Portable Gaming Monitor at the Consumer Electronics Show, and we recently had a chance to take the device for a test drive.
First off, this is a practical all-in-one unit that lets you strap down your system of choice into the lower part of the deck, and then take it with you wherever you go. Then all you need to do to play it is open it up, set up the built-in monitor and enjoy whatever games you have on the device. It's a bit on the pricey side (more on that in a second), but when it comes to playing console games in the best way possible, it really doesn't get much better than what the Sentinel has on hand.
A Well-Built Device
First, let's talk about the practicality of the unit. The system is sleek and easy to lug around, even if it a bit on the heavy side. Fortunately, its casing is nicely built, with a hard-shell protective case that can actually protect your components if they're accidentally dropped. (Don't go throwing it around, though- it's not that durable.)
It's also fairly easy to use. All you need to do is open it up and power it on, and you can get some good gaming going wherever you're traveling. This makes it ideal for events such as QuakeCon, in case you don't feel like lugging around a gigantic computer unit with you. You can make adjustments with the panel that's built in with the monitor, or use the optional IR remote to change settings however you see fit.
Also, the design outside the case is awesome. The GAEMS logo is a little too clear for its own good (it's like they're advertising their greatness, heh), but it's smooth, and has a great sense of gamer style to it. I don't mind its external look at all.
Strapping in a system is fairly easy too, thanks to the built-in velcro straps. They even work with older systems if that's the route you want to take.prevnext
Quality To Spare
As for the quality of the monitor, it's not going to replicate a big-screen, obviously. But it's a quality 17.3" monitor with 1920 x 1080 resolution at 1080p. While that's not going to recreate the glory of 4K, the visual quality is terrific.
I tried out the monitor with a number of games. First off, Forza Horizon 4 looks blisteringly cool on this thing, running at a smooth frame rate and packing in all sorts of detail. On top of that, Gears of War 4 and Split/Second run vividly on the Xbox One X as well. And chances are your favorite games will look good as well.
I also tried it out with the PlayStation 4 Pro and a few games. Older games like Galaga and Dig-Dug looked fine, but Spider-Man and God of War serve as wonderful showcases of its power. I had no trouble keeping tabs on things in each of those games, as the visuals don't let up. I was really impressed by the quality of this monitor, even if it's still clearly on the portable side.
As for the sound quality, it's really great with the built-in 3W stereo speakers. What's more, it also supports headphones, in case you need to have portable gaming that's not so loud. Both ways, the sound doesn't let up, and really delivers on the stereo goods. This is especially true with games that utilize strong music elements. We even tried it out with Rock Band 4 and, after calibrating it, we found no problem putting on a show on the road. (Note: you'll need to carry around the instruments separate, just like a real rock band.)prevnext
Worth the Money, But You'll Need a Good Bit of It
That said, there is one thing that you'll need to know about the Sentinel. It can hold your system just fine, but if you're carrying other stuff, it needs to be separate. The unit does come with a separate accessory bag for your games and such, so it does beat nothing. (It also includes an HDMI cable, along with power supply and that remote.)
Then we come down to the most critical part about the GAEMS Sentinel- the price. This is the company's priciest model, clocking in at $349. Considering that you can get monitors for around $150 or so, this might have some people wondering why the Sentinel is worth it. But its all-in-one build does make it useful; and its quality can't be beat, even if it is a bit on the delicate side.
If you just want portable gaming the best you can make it outside of just carrying around a Switch, and you've got the kind of cash that make it worth the investment, then the Sentinel just might do the trick for you. I know I enjoyed the time I spent with it.
(Hat tip to GAEMS for letting us test a unit out!)prev