To read about our monitor tests in-depth, check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. We cover brightness and contrast on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We haven’t reviewed many 32-inch monitors of late, so we have mostly 27-inch models in the EW3280U comparison group. There’s the Aorus CV27F, Aorus FI27Q and Aorus CV27Q. We also pulled in the Razer Raptor 27 and 32-inch Dell S3220DGF. This is a mix of IPS and VA technology with each monitor supporting HDR at 400 nits or more with extended color.
The EW3280U fell a hair short of 350 nits with an SDR signal, offering plenty of light for any environment. (You’ll see in the HDR tests later that it can exceed 400 nits peak, but you’ll need to supply an HDR signal or engage the Display HDR picture mode). This test was done with HDRi turned off in the monitor’s Standard picture mode.
Black levels are mid-pack but a tad lower (better) than the other IPS screens here. Resulting contrast was a tolerable 1,035.5:1. While this is typical for a good IPS monitor, VA has spoiled us with its ratios that are usually over 3,000:1. That’s important when HDR comes into the mix. With HDR you want to see as much native contrast in a panel as possible, and VA is the current champ
After Calibration to 200 nits
Our calibration (see our recommended settings) put the EW3280U in last place for black levels. You can engage a dynamic contrast feature with a slider to help keep shadow detail visible, but ultimately, you’ll get better blacks from one of the VA screens. Our adjustments cost us a bit of dynamic range with a final result of 945.6:1
The ANSI (intra-image) result is a tad lower at 879.5:1. That’s not far from a typical IPS monitor, though the Aorus and Razor screen boast slightly better numbers here. The EW3280U is not a standout for dynamic range, but it has other positives that help improve picture quality.
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