Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag & FreeSync
If off-axis image quality is important to you, TN (as is present in this monitor) is the wrong tech to buy. That said, views from different angles aren't too bad relative to other TN screens. The red shift and 50% light falloff are obvious, but detail is still visible down to the darkest steps.
Things are fine when viewed head-on, but we believe 28” is as big as a TN monitor should be. At a 2-3 feet distance, there are no visible issues.
To learn how we measure screen uniformity, click here.
TN monitors are less consistent than IPS or VA monitors when it comes to screen uniformity. Though IPS’ glow and bleed problems are much-discussed in internet forums, our experience shows them more likely to be acceptable than not.
The EL2870U sample is somewhere in the middle. The black field test shows a visible hot spot in the center and a slight glow down the right side of the screen. This can only be seen at the zero-signal level. Any rise in luminance takes the number below 10%. By the time you’ve reached max output, uniformity has improved to 8.24% average deviation from center, a solid result. There are faint color tints in three corners, but the other zones are near-perfect with errors under 1dE. This is acceptable performance.
Pixel Response & Input Lag
Click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.
FreeSync will certainly improve the gaming experience, but aside from the removal of frame tears, you won’t see any other benefits thanks to the monitor's maximum 60Hz refresh rate. That puts the EL2870U at the same level as an average business-class monitor. A 25ms response time is just okay (although there are plenty of screens with higher input lag). You’ll see some motion blur, even with overdrive turned on. And once you’ve experienced 100fps or more, it’s harder to game at 60fps. And that assumes you have enough graphics processing power to reach that speed - Ultra HD resolution is quite demanding.
Gaming With FreeSync
If you already game in Ultra HD, the EL2870U only has FreeSync to add to the experience. Some users may have hung on to an older Ultra HD monitor and upgraded their video board in the meantime to hit 60fps. If that describes you, adding a monitor with FreeSync might be worthwhile, especially for less than $500.
We dialed detail down to the High level and had no problem playing at 40-50fps. We couldn’t find a published spec for the FreeSync operational range, but our gameplay experience strongly indicates 40-60Hz. That’s doable for our venerable Radeon R9 285.
Input lag wasn’t an issue for casual play, but competitive players will certainly want a faster monitor. You’ll want to stick with High for the AMA setting as well. Premium causes a lot of ghosting and other artifacts that are not attractive.
Overall, our gaming experience with the EL2870U was fine, but it didn’t make us want to give up our QHD 144Hz monitors.
MORE: Best Gaming Monitors
MORE: How We Test Monitors
MORE: All Monitor Content
Current page: Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response, Lag & FreeSyncPrev Page HDR Grayscale, EOTF & Color Next Page Conclusion
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.
Orange Pi teams up with Huawei to create a SBC for AI development — Huawei Ascend chip delivers 8/20 TOPS of AI performance
Modder creates an awesome modular kinetic PC case — 3D-printed gears, wood, and acrylic combine to generate mesmerizing continual movements
AMD makes CPU and GPU comeback in latest Steam Hardware Survey — Red Team regains lost ground from Nvidia and Intel
Good price for Ultra HD)Reply
Get the Samsung 32" 4k VA for $369-$399 instead. This monitor makes no sense.Reply
I just don't understand some of the comment these so called reporters make(or whatever title they have), "Ultra HD is more than just 3840x2160 resolution" Erm, yeah, not it isn't. HDR and extended colour support have totally zero to do with UHD, UHD refers to the resolution nothing else. This is 2 or 3 times now I have caught these people talking total crap. I was under the impression that these people know what they are talking about, yet to my dismay I have found that they don't S I guess I won't be relying on this site for any information in the future.Reply
"Ultra HD is more than just 3840x2160 resolution", I've heard UHD also includes the 7680x4320 resolution(, etc?). It's just that the 3840x2160 is the lowest resolution that can still be called a UHD display.Reply
My LG TV is IPS, has larger speakers, 43 inch, can function as an analog and digital TV, has a remote, Wi-FI and LAN, similar HDR spec and is CHEAPER.Reply