Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response and Lag
Despite all the fantastic technology in the X27, it is still an IPS panel and shares that technology’s viewing angle performance. Detail was well-preserved when viewing at 45 degrees off-axis, but brightness fell by 40 percent and there was a visible green shift. From the top, detail was solid, as was color, but brightness dropped by 50 percent.
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.
Our X27 sample showed up with visible hotspots in the corners of the screen. This skewed the screen uniformity result to a disappointing 18.64 percent. The upside is the issue is hard to see in anything but a full-black field pattern; most content we watched wasn’t affected. The issue was also reduced when the variable backlight was on.
Pixel Response & Input Lag
Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
Both the X27 and the PG27U boast super-quick screen draw times of just seven milliseconds. This makes the omission of ULMB much easier to bear. If you have enough video card horsepower to drive this monitor over 80fps, you will not see blur at all. In the lag test, the Samsung C49HG90 took the crown. But only the most-skilled gamers will be able to detect the 10ms difference between the Samsung and X27. For nearly all players, the X27 can be considered a very fast monitor. We didn’t see any issues during our game tests.
Gaming & Hands-on
To engage HDR for both Windows and games, you’ll need to visit the display settings and toggle it on. You’ll see a brief black screen. Then, when the image reappears, check the X27’s menu info screen. The bit depth will say 10-bits, and the EOTF should be ST.2084. Additionally, you’ll have to enable HDR in whatever game you wish to play.
Allowing the game to optimize video automatically gave us maximum detail at around 110fps with one GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card. HDR added a lot of brightness to cutscenes, almost to the point of harshness. Luckily, gameplay looked more natural and comfortable with just the right level of brightness. There is no way to adjust the backlight in the X27’s HDR mode from the OSD, but you can adjust peak and black points within the game menu. This feature may not apply to all titles, but it is available in Call of Duty: WWII.
Gameplay was silky smooth, and there was nothing distracting from the action and amazing detail clarity. Textures popped so realistically that we found ourselves reaching for objects when they seemed to leap from the screen. At 100fps and greater, there was no motion blur or frame tears visible. Highlights glinted from shiny surfaces, while shadow detail remained strong. It’s hard to describe the look of HDR other than with impressive adjectives, but once you’ve experienced it in person, the X27’s price just doesn’t matter.
Setting brightness for Windows desktop apps proved a little trickier. You can adjust a slider for SDR brightness, which helps in some apps but not all. Using a browser full-screen produced a high white level that was harsh even in a well-lit room. In some cases, we turned HDR off when using things like word processors or spreadsheets. We would like to see a future firmware update for the X27 that includes a brightness control for HDR in the OSD.
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