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Monoprice 30-inch IPS LED Monitor Review

In the land of value-priced peripherals, Monoprice is king. After adding monitors to its many offerings, we decided to check one out in our lab. This 30-inch IPS LED screen definitely qualifies as jumbo. Today we see how it performs.

Packaging, Physical Layout, And Accessories

This is a value-priced product, but no corners are cut on its packaging. The 30-inch IPS LED comes double-boxed in sturdy cartons with flexible foam blocks protecting the contents. The base and accessories are in a smaller box within, completely isolated from the panel. The parts bundle is small with only a heavy-gauge DVI cable and an external power brick included. You also get a printed quick start guide.

Product 360

What impresses us most is the monitor’s all-metal chassis. Even the bezel is a thick metal stamping. The only plastic used is in the base and upright. Because the panel is fairly heavy, it wobbles a bit, though not too egregiously. Assembly requires eight included Phillips-head screws; four securing the base and four for the back.

With most monitors we review, the anti-glare layer used is medium-strength for a good balance of clarity and light rejection. Monoprice strays too far from that this time around. In our lab, which has diffuse lighting of low brightness, we could see hazy reflections when the screen was tilted upwards too much. As you’ll see later, it also affects off-axis image quality. You can get a perfectly good image, however, with proper placement.

OSD and power buttons are around back of the lower-right corner, which is our least-favorite arrangement. They’re clearly labeled, but unless you set up a mirror, you have to operate them by feel. The left and right arrow keys aren’t needed; everything happens with the menu and up/down arrow controls. The topmost button toggles the power and the first rectangular key selects the inputs.

The stand allows for 25 degrees of tilt, 60 degrees of swivel, 4.5 inches of height and a 90-degree portrait adjustment. It’s not the most solid movement we’ve seen, but the monitor is held in place securely after positioning. The portrait mode pictured above is especially impressive with the 16:10 aspect ratio.

The IPS LED’s side profile is fairly slim with no extra bulges across the back to spoil the smooth lines. This photo shows how deep the base actually is. The stand isn’t particularly sturdy. However, there’s absolutely no danger of the monitor falling over.

Like the bezel, the back panel is all-metal with plenty of ventilation. The only heat we felt was from the bottom louvers and the power brick. And that wasn’t significant. The included upright attaches at the 100mm VESA points. There’s also a 100x200mm mount for compatibility with even more mounting solutions.

Budget monitors sometimes skimp on inputs. But Monoprice includes one of everything on its 30-inch IPS LED. From the left, we have analog audio in/out, HDMI, DVI, VGA and DisplayPort. The final connector is for the external power brick.

  • MxMatrix
    I saw an ASUS UHD PB279Q (ips panel) for roughly the same price.
    So I'm not even going to bother for 30" if its possible to get UHD.
    Reply
  • mitch074
    I really wonder why Tom's never evaluates Iiyama screens - the ProLite XB2776QS is a 27" 2560x1440 IPS screen, available at the time for $450 with a zero pixel defect, 3 years on-site replacement warranty, sRGB factory-calibrated profile that does work... And it came out in 2013. I own one, and although its reliability initially left much to be desired (3 replacements for defects : one light leak, one dead subpixel, one power issue), it was replaced every time in less than 72 hours by Iiyama - and yes, including once when I picked up one dead (black) subpixel. It has since been replaced by a model with the very same specifications and prices, but more reliable electronics.
    Reply
  • nekromobo
    Why wouldn't a 34" 800$ IPS 21:9 (Dell U3415W) compete with this or the other similar displays. Also the external power brick is big nono unfortunely :(
    Reply
  • Karsten75
    It seems Overlord isn't selling any more monitors, so I guess references to Overlord monitors should be removed?
    Reply
  • achoo2
    With all the "though this feature is not described on the website" items and my unfamiliarity with the brand, I'd be reluctant to buy this monitor for fear that my device wouldn't match the review sample.
    Reply
  • DisplayJunkie
    As much as we all love Monoprice for their excellent pricing and quality on things like cables, this display is another catastrophic failure, or more likely an attempt to pander to the uninformed:

    - no backlight control. Right out of the gate, the display is useless. How can they fail so badly at the most basic and crucial aspect of a monitor? This is an exact repeat of the Zero-G by the way.

    - contrast sucks and attempting to control backlight level makes it even worse. Again same as the Zero-G.

    - Adobe RGB accuracy is not even good enough even for amateur photo/print work (and that's *after* calibration with a $250 device!), and no sRGB mode means the display is useless for everyone else / every other usage scenario

    All I see is pandering to the uninformed, trying to sell poorly implemented panels to those who are impressed by the large size and resolution.

    If it had a functional backlight control and cost maybe $500 max then it would be worth considering.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Something I've always wondered about Monoprice is whether they actually: a) design anything themselves, b) produce specifications and select bids from manufacturers, or c) just import products that (usually Chinese) companies are already making.

    Can someone please clarify?
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    15244178 said:
    I really wonder why Tom's never evaluates Iiyama screens - the ProLite XB2776QS is a 27" 2560x1440 IPS screen, available at the time for $450 with a zero pixel defect, 3 years on-site replacement warranty, sRGB factory-calibrated profile that does work... And it came out in 2013. I own one, and although its reliability initially left much to be desired (3 replacements for defects : one light leak, one dead subpixel, one power issue), it was replaced every time in less than 72 hours by Iiyama - and yes, including once when I picked up one dead (black) subpixel. It has since been replaced by a model with the very same specifications and prices, but more reliable electronics.

    I've got one of those too, but because the model I ordered wasn't available in my region, they've never supported me... instead trying to get me to communicate with a german company that offers no warranty.

    While iiyama monitors are very good, I've noticed that they almost all share two issues:
    1) coil whine from the power subsystem. Every single iiyama I've owned either has cheap caps or just not enough insulation, and has audible coil whine even when off.
    2) Poor support for low brightness. This is actually a really annoying one for me - iiyama monitors are bright and don't have enough support on the low end; even at its lowest brightness setting with contrast down just above where it would drive me crazy, my iiyama is still brighter than any other monitor I've had.
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    "To have truly low input lag, you need a 120 or 144Hz monitor."

    No you do not.
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    You would want two 290x or gtx 980 to run 4k, with extra vram.
    Reply