Monoprice Zero-G Slim 27" IPS Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen on August 26, 2013 12:00 AM EST
We’ve almost all bought things from Monoprice -- most likely some cables, maybe printer toner, perhaps some speakers. They certainly come to mind for those products, but until recently you didn’t think of them for monitors. Now they offer a line of 27” and 30” IPS displays that are priced to compete with the imported models from South Korea. Their newest 27” model is also the least expensive: the Zero-G Slim.
The 27” 2560x1440 IPS display sells for only $390, or $386 if you want to order 50+ of them at once. That's more expensive than some import brands, but it does undercut competitors like Nixeus in the budget 27” realm. One way it gets here is by being DVI only. There is a VGA input, but if you want to stay all digital you’ll need to use DVI.
It also features an external power brick. Many people aren’t as bothered by this as I am, but I prefer an IEC connector. The strangest design choice is the on-screen controls. The front of the display is very clean, with a metal finish around the front and a very simple look. To accomplish this all controls have been placed on the back of the screen. There are no labels on the front to guide you. You need to learn the buttons and rely on memory to use the OSD. This isn’t the worst design I’ve used but it isn’t far off. Perhaps most users never adjust anything on their display, but I don’t like to reach around back and fumble around for the power button and other controls.
The OSD has access to basic controls and preset color temperatures. There is a gamma control that is curiously labeled “On/Off” and not with a numeric value. Beyond the basic controls and a one-point adjustable color temperature, there isn’t much you can adjust on the Monoprice.
The flat front look that Monoprice uses looks nice from a distance, but up close and in use the 1” bezel feels very large. The bezel on my monitor next to it is larger, but being raised and not flat causes it to feel smaller. It’s a personal thing but it felt like I was looking at a massive bezel while using it.
The glossy finish of the Zero-G will certainly make some people very happy. It’s not glass but a laminate in front of the panel that has an anti-glare treatment applied. It isn’t the reflection magnet that some displays are, but it also doesn’t hide them well. In the Brightness and Contrast section, you’ll see what I think they do to deal with the inherent issues of a glossier finish.
With an IPS panel, the viewing angles on the Monoprice leave nothing to worry about. You’ll have a bigger issue with reflections from the screen finish than you will from any colors washing out or having contrast shifts. Those flaws are absent from any normal viewing angle.
The stand attaches easily with two screws at the base but offers almost nothing in the way of adjustments. Tilt is the only thing you can adjust on the Zero-G with the included stand. There are standard 100mm VESA mounts on the back for an after-market stand if you need more flexibility.
|Video Inputs||DVI-DL, Dsub|
|Brightness||400 cd/m^2 typical|
|Contrast Ratio||80,000:1 Dynamic|
|Response Time||6ms GTG|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||178/178|
|Power Consumption (operation)||< 90W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||< 1.5 W|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm x 100mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||25 5/8" x 19 3/8" x 7 1/4"|
|Limited Warranty||1 Year|
|Accessories||DVI-DL Cable, AC Power Cable|
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Ammaross - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkhttp://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/aoc-q2963pm-ul...
cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI always find this funny, since Chris Eberle (who writes the display reviews for Tom's Hardware) and I both handle all the projector and flat panel reviews at Secrets of Home Theater (hometheaterhifi.com).
mfenn - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkWait a minute. You're saying that it's OK to wait for the Monoprice monitor to go on sale, but not OK to wait for the Dell? How much sense does that make?
steven75 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkThe review seems to conclude that this is a case of getting what you pay for. I agree with that conclusion based on the test results.
boozed - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link"this article is disappointing."
I've always been disappointed by honest reportage too.
JlHADJOE - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkHe's probably looking for some affirmation on his recent purchase. I, for one am happy with the honest reporting. Always better to know more about a product before buying it.
If i'm going to spend extra over a TN monitor to get IPS because better colors and viewing angles, then it might as well be an IPS that actually gives better colors.
psuedonymous - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkTFTCentral reviewed the Acheiva Shimian 27" IPS Zero-G (which the Monoprice is a rebrand of), and explained that the weird brightness/contrast issue is due to the backlight being lit at a constant level, and brightness just changing the digital brightness (i.e. lowering brightness lowers dynamic range, raising it too far results in clipping). See: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/achieva_27_ips...
DanNeely - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkMore interesting is that Acheiva told TFTCentral that they will be replacing the current brightness adjustment with a PWM one. Presumably that means the monoprice model will also be updated.
cheinonen - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkI wasn't told that by Monoprice. My impression is that an update isn't forthcoming as it isn't something they have control over.
blackoctagon - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkHow confident are you that 'this' Monoprice is a rebrand of 'that' Shimian? That Shimian review is very specific about the A-IPS panel from LG used, but neither this AT review nor the Monoprice website specify the panel used in this monitor. We don't even know what subtype of IPS this is, AFAIK.