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Auria EQ276W 27" IPS Monitor Review: QHD For $400

Results: Stock Brightness And Contrast

Before calibrating the EQ276W, we measure zero and 100 percent signals at both ends of the brightness control range. This shows us how contrast is affected at the extremes of a monitor's luminance capability.

With the brightness set to maximum, Auria comes in second place among our most recently tested screens. With over 277 cd/m2 of light available at the max setting, there’s plenty of output for even the most well-lit workspaces.

Let’s see how black level is affected. Typically, the higher a monitor’s output, the higher its minimum black level. But thanks to improvements in IPS technology over the last two years, this axiom is no longer universal.

The EQ276W measures at the bottom of the pack at over 0.66 cd/m2. This is a fairly high black level measurement and will result in a dark gray tone rather than true black.

Elevated black levels are the biggest detriment to on/off contrast ratio. The impact on image quality manifests as a less-lively, more two-dimensional picture.

Auria comes in at the bottom for contrast ratio at stock settings. While this is not a terrible result, the competition achieves as much as three times the contrast in our tests.

When it becomes necessary to reduce the brightness, say in a completely darkened room, it’s important that the image still retains enough light output to be usable.

At over 146 cd/m2, the dimmest image from the EQ276W is not terribly dim. A little ambient light would be recommended to combat fatigue if you use this monitor in a totally dark environment. We consider 50 cd/m2 the minimum luminance for a usable image that retains full color and detail.

Turning down the brightness to its minimum setting usually results in a much lower black level.

In this test, the EQ276W’s black level drops by only 0.07 cd/m2 from its maximum. This is still in the realm of dark gray rather than true black. We can now see the range of the EQ276W’s brightness control is quite a bit smaller than the competition.

Ultimately, contrast ratio is what determines how much pop an image has. A higher number translates to a more 3D-like picture.

With brightness at zero, the Auria’s contrast ratio is low at 244.9 to 1. Because its black level changes very little as the image is dimmed, the net result of lowering the brightness control is a reduction in contrast, and therefore image depth.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.