Top positive review
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Definitive Choice at this Price Point
on 1 October 2015
Like many other users, I wanted increased screen real estate beyond the common 20-22" monitors, without sacrificing visual quality and without paying a fortune. I also wanted something suitable for work purposes and some casual gaming as well.
High screen real estate is achieved by going to 27" or above. For me, a monitor larger than 27" sitting just a couple of feet in front of you on a desk would be too big; you would end up actually turning your head to see parts of the screen. 27" is probably the ideal size for desk us.
If you go 27", you then you have essentially three resolution options. 1080p at this size will give you just 82 dots per inch (dpi), which is going to look somewhat coarse and blocky (22" at 1080p, for example, gives you 100 dpi, so you would actually have lower visual resolution in any physical area in the larger monitor, which would defeat the purpose). 1440p gives you 109 dpi, so you get a larger screen and with a more fine-grained resolution in any part of that screen as well, which makes the visuals better.
The third option is 4k. This gives a very high resolution (163 dpi), but there are two major problems with 4k on Windows at the moment. (1) Even on Windows 10, most applications don't properly support font scaling. This means in many programs you will struggle to read the text, or you will have to run the monitor at a lower resolution which will look worse than a native lower resolution monitor. (2) Games on 4k look great, but only if you have a huge amount of graphics hardware to power them (think 2 x GTX 980Ti) and only if the game supports that resolution. If, like me, you're a casual gamer who also needs to use the monitor for work, then 4k at the moment is way too much of a headache in terms of font scaling and hardware requirements to be worth it. 1440p, by contrast, is the sweet spot - at 109dpi you don't need font scaling at all, you still get improved resolution over 1080p on a 22" monitor, plus you get much more screen real estate. The best thing, though, is that in games, you get much better visual quality because it's not so much dots per inch, as dots per object, that you're interested in there, and that scales up much more because the objects are that much bigger while still fine-textured, so essentially you're getting twice the number of dots per object (dpo).
So, if 1440p and 27" is ideal for desktop use, which monitor to get? I looked at reviews, and tested quite a number before settling on this one. The key advantages of this monitor are:-
(1) Minimal backlight bleed. This is an IPS monitor, which means better panel and colour quality than TN monitors, and better viewing angles (not hugely important for desktop use, but more so for a monitor of this size), but it also means IPS glow. IPS glow means that in a darkened room looking at a dark screen, you will see a white glow if you look from an angle, and this glow will cover more of the screen the bigger angle you look at. This is *not* backlight bleed, and affects every IPS panel ever made; it's part of the technology. Backlight bleed can be seen by standing a few metres back from the monitor with a dark screen in a darkened room. It can ruin the visual experience if it is bad, but on this monitor there is only very minimal backlight bleed in the bottom corners which is never apparent in normal usage, especially if your brightness is not turned up to the maximum (and this monitor is very bright if it is).
(2) Good gaming experience. The other downside of IPS panels is that they have slower response times than TN panels. This can lead to a number of potential problems, most notably ghosting and input lag. I have played a number of games on this monitor, including first-person shooters and action games, and I can say that I have not experienced any ghosting whatsoever, and no problems with input lag. Professional twitch gamers will probably find a lag with an IPS panel, but normal gamers, even seasoned FPS players, really won't notice any input lag. I certainly don't.
(3) Good for work applications. Apart from the screen real estate, you have good colours because of the IPS panels and you have a minimal matte coating which is not visible in normal use even on a white background (in contrast to many other models I tried, where it most certainly is visible and can be irritating). The matte coating also means that that monitor doesn't have a problem of showing reflections in a room with windows, which glossy monitors do. You also have a low blue light mode for late night work, and the usual array of contrast, brightness and gamma controls, including a dynamic contrast option in some picture modes.
(4) Low price! In spite of being an excellent monitor, this doesn't command a premium price; it is actually one of the cheapest 27" 1440p monitors out there. Quality control doesn't seem to been affected by this either; I looked a couple of these for comparison and both panels were absolutely fine with no dead pixels and no backlight bleed.
If you're looking to upgrade your monitor in order to some more screen real estate and improve your computing experience, whether for games or work, and you don't want to spend an absolute fortune, you really can't do better than this. I've had mine for a couple of months now and I remain fully convinced that it was the right choice and the only monitor which ticked every box.