That’s always been a phrase that makes me a bit nervous as a consumer. I view generic pharmaceuticals the same way. I want to save some money, but I also want to be damn sure that what I’m buying actually works.
Today I bring you a piece of budget electronics, the Nexus Laser Rangefinder from Precision Pro. The big deal about this laser is that it sells for $199. Those of you who have shopped for laser rangefinders know that this price comes in lower than many others on the market. It’s less than half the price of some of the top end laser units.
Saving money is great, especially on a golf gadget that is typically super expensive. Low cost is definitely a great selling point.
But does it work?
Tech Specs: Nexus Laser Rangefinder
- 400 yard range
- 1/10 yard measurement (124.5 yards)
- Dynamic Scanning Target Lock Mode (D.S.T)
- 6x magnification
- Water resistant design
- Softcoat outer casing (Shock Proof casing)
- Yards/Meters function
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Includes 3 volt battery, cleaning cloth, carry case and lanyard
- Weight: 7.5 oz.
- MSRP: $199
We actually had a different Precision Pro laser, the Latitude, in last year’s Most Wanted Laser Rangefinder trial. It held it’s own in terms of accuracy, but lagged behind the others in speed, optics, and display. But the biggest detractor with the Latitude, as reported by our testers, was the bulky design and slick feeling plastic body.
The Nexus represents a huge improvement in ergonomics. Huge improvement. Where one would dismiss the Latitude almost immediately after picking it up, the Nexus feels much more welcoming. The body shape has been improved to fit the hand better, and the materials used provide just the right amount of comfort and tactile engagement.
Huge improvement. I said that already, but it’s worth saying it again. Huge improvement.
The Nexus is a budget laser that doesn’t feel cheap. That’s a big step in the right direction.
Speed of Read
The electronic guts in the Nexus do a solid job of picking up the flag quickly. You can shoot targets the “regular” way, or use the Dynamic Scanning Target Lock Mode (D.S.T) that allows you to “scan over target 2-3 times and rangefinder locks into flag and eliminates background”. Whichever way you target, the yardage numbers are pretty quick to acquire, and accurate.
For comparison, I shot flags on the course with the Nexus and with the vastly more expensive Leuplod GX-4i2. Numbers were similar, well within the acceptable needed precision for club selection. Kudos to the Nexus for finding a place at the accuracy table with the big boy lasers.
Optics and Display
Unfortunately, the optics of the Nexus, while totally functional, are the one place where the budget electronics tag becomes apparent. Magnification is excellent, and actually a bit stronger than other lasers on the market, but the clarity, resolution, and depth of field are just not as good.
Overall, the clarity through the lens is just not as, well, clear as the more expensive units. It looks a bit foggy compared to the crystal clear Leupold. Remember though, that Leupold is $400 more expensive. The Nexus lens works, it’s just not as nice as those found in other units. While magnification may be higher, the resolution suffers compared to other units. You’ll see the flag, just don’t expect to read what’s written on it.
Depth of field is probably the biggest detractor with the Nexus. For the non-lens initiated, depth of field refers to how much of the viewing depth is in focus at any one time. For example, photos with the subject in focus, but the background blurry are created by reducing the depth of field. Majestic outdoor photographs of nature where it seems like you can see every detail would have maximum depth of field.
The Nexus has a shallower depth of field when compared to more expensive lasers. What this translated to on the course was a need to adjust the diopter far more than I usually do. Getting the clearest image with the brightest targeting reticule took some adjustment if you are shooting from different distances. The settings that worked at 200 yards will likely not be effective at 100.
Thankfully, such adjustments are very easy to accomplish, but you will likely need to make these adjustments to get the best image, and this will slow your readings down a bit.
Overall, if you understand that a sub-$200 laser is not a $600 laser, I think that you will find the Nexus to be a great rangefinding choice. It’s comfortable, accurate, and pretty fast, even with some required adjustment.
If you would like to try one of these out, follow the link below to find a dealer near you.