Auria EQ276W: QHD On A Budget
While we’re all used to the prices on our favorite technology dropping as new and better products hit the market, what you pay for an LCD panel falls a little more slowly than most other components. QHD (2560x1440) is one of the highest resolutions available on the desktop. And even though QHD monitors have been available for several years, their prices remain grossly higher than equally-sized FHD (1920x1080) screens.
With most QHD screens priced around the $800 mark, Auria offers its EQ276W at a paltry-by-comparison $399. Recalling the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” we wanted to track one down, run a full battery of tests, and determine whether the company compromises anything in its quest to enable 2560x1440 for less than $400.
IPS (in-plane switching) panels are currently manufactured by LG and Samsung. The latter calls its technology PLS (plane-line switching), but the principle is the same; individual sub-pixels are aligned parallel to the screen instead of perpendicular. The benefit is increased color accuracy, more efficient light transmission, and lower power consumption. The problem of reduced contrast seen in early IPS panels has been mostly eliminated. In fact, many IPS monitors available now boast significantly higher contrast than their TN-based counterparts.
Auria uses LG’s IPS panel as the basis for its EQ276W. At the time of writing, the only place to buy this display is Micro Center, where it can be purchased online or in-store. While there are occasional group buys for the EQ276W on various forums, purchasing this way means that you risk accepting the product as-is, with no support. Fortunately, Micro Center honors the one-year manufacturer’s warranty and replaces monitors with dead pixels.
Our sample arrived in a sturdy box, with medium-density flex foam protecting the panel and base. The power supply is a large brick with a detachable power cord. For connectivity, dual-link DVI and DisplayPort cables are included. In addition to those inputs, you also get an HDMI port and a headphone output jack. There is no separate audio input (apart from the signal carried through an HDMI connection) or USB ports. All of the connectors face downward, and are clustered near the center of the panel. The vertical support makes it a bit difficult to plug cables in; you'll have an easier time if you remove the stand hardware first.
The base snaps to the panel’s back support and adjusts for tilt and swivel. The screen sits very low on the desktop (less than two inches off the surface). So, unless your desk is unusually tall, you’ll have to tilt the screen upward to achieve the proper angle. It’s unfortunate that the stand has no height adjustment. On the plus side, all the hardware is removable so you can use a standard 75 mm VESA mount if you want to attach the EQ276W to a swing arm or wall bracket.
The bezel is fairly wide, at 28 mm across the top and sides and 41 mm on the bottom. Instead of the now-typical touch-sensitive controls, Auria includes buttons along the bottom-right of the panel. From here, you can control menu navigation, input selection, and speaker/headphone volume. The buttons feel cheap, and require a firm push to activate. In fact, they’re so firm that the entire panel moves upward when you press them. A softer touch would have been an improvement. The screen itself has no anti-glare properties whatsoever, so you’ll need to place this monitor carefully in order to avoid reflections.
|Price||$399.99 at Micro Center|
|Panel Type||In-Plane Switching (IPS)|
|Response Time (GTG)||6.5 ms|
|Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Dimensions w/baseWxHxD||17.8 x 25.7 x 8.6 inches452 x 653 x 218 mm|
|Panel Thickness||2.2 in, 56 mm|
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
I'm planning on picking one up very soonReply
I love My Auria, I also did buy a another stand for it. It was $29.99 on Amazon, and once I got everything set up, IT IS AMAZING!!!!! If you want a great product for the right price, DO IT!Reply
BigMack70One important thing to mention that you guys didn't that I believe still holds true (haven't checked the competition in a couple months - someone correct me if I'm wrong here): this is the only model of this panel (as opposed to the Catleaps/Crossovers/Overloards/Achievas/etc) to have HDCP support. If you want one of these panels and you want to use HDCP protected content (a games console or a Blu-ray player, for example), you NEED to purchase this Auria and not one of the other versions of the panel.I have the Achieva Shimian that was purchased three months ago. I checked on Nvidia Settings and it states that "This display supports HDCP."Reply
Happy that this article was posted and I been very happy with my purchase.
As for lag, i heard from "razetheworld" that when the monitor has one connector (usually DVI) the input lag can be as low as 6ms on these IPS screens. When there are multiple connectors like the monitor being reviewed here, higher lags are expected because the monitor takes time to process which connection is in use. I may be wrong, so correct me if i am wrong.
There are 3 models available from an American company based in California called Overlord Computer, one of these models can be overclocked to 120 Hz. I would like to see these monitors tested. One of them is priced under $400.Reply
chumlyThere are 3 models available from an American company based in California called Overlord Computer, one of these models can be overclocked to 120 Hz. I would like to see these monitors tested. One of them is priced under $400.Reply
While this is true, MicroCenter has a great return policy, I'm not sure about Overlord, but I do know the one that is under 400, its 384, only has DVI, while this has HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, headphon jack, and VGA. So if you just want DVI, getting an Achieva Shimian is cheaper off of ebay, but then also you have to deal with possible shoddy return system. Good luck to all and I will comment once I have my Auria, I'm going from my 40" Auria 1080P HDTV to a Auria 27" 1440P IPS monitor, good trade I think.
patrick47018While this is true, MicroCenter has a great return policy, I'm not sure about Overlord, but I do know the one that is under 400, its 384, only has DVI, while this has HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, headphon jack, and VGA. So if you just want DVI, getting an Achieva Shimian is cheaper off of ebay, but then also you have to deal with possible shoddy return system. Good luck to all and I will comment once I have my Auria, I'm going from my 40" Auria 1080P HDTV to a Auria 27" 1440P IPS monitor, good trade I think.Reply
Most video cards have Dual link DVI so this isn't really an issue unless yours does not. I use a Catleap Q270 monitor right now (let me tell you, there is NO going back for me after getting one of these, 1080p monitors are as good as yesterday's trash to me). This was a B grade panel and it ended up having no visable defects or bad pixels (I only paid $245 for it off of ebay new from Korea, they've gone up $100 since). The reason I ended up going with the panel I did was from a quite extensive post on hardforum detailing how the DVI-only monitors were having incredibly low input lag compared to any of the other 1440p IPS panels available. I'm getting incredible framerates with my 670 and my games are streak/ghost/stutter/tearing free.
Maybe this Auria monitor just can't hack it vs. its' Korean counterparts.
Also it's good to know you can always take apart these monitors and replace the PCB so that you can overclock them to 120Hz, but Overlord is the only place selling the part and it's $200 :(
WTB thinner bezle...Reply
Is there any IPS monitor without frame?Reply
Minimum contrast ratio in samsung 4003.3. Maximum Contrast Ratio in Samsung 1483.83.Reply
Is it me or thats not normal?
10608531 said:Minimum contrast ratio in samsung 4003.3. Maximum Contrast Ratio in Samsung 1483.83.
Is it me or thats not normal?
Minimum and maximum refer to the brightness setting. It's not unusual for the contrast ratio to go up when the brightness is lowered. In the case of the Samsung S27B970D, the black level dropped by a greater percentage than the peak white level; hence the higher contrast ratio.