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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.

Results: Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

The Monoprice ships set to a color temp preset called Bluish. It’s aptly named, as you can see. By the 80-percent level, green is almost non-existent, giving the brightest whites a purplish tint. Luckily, there is a warm preset that looks much better. Or, you can calibrate the user mode with reasonably effective RGB sliders.

With only a single set of RGB sliders affecting the high range, this was the best chart we could generate. The errors at zero and 50 percent are just over the visibility line, but overall, the image is vastly improved from where we started.

Here is our comparison group:

With an average error this high, you’ll want to do something to correct the flaw. We know most people shopping for value-priced monitors aren’t going to calibrate, so we strongly suggest trying our settings from page three. You’ll lose some contrast performance. However, the gains in color accuracy are well worth it.

A result of 2.33 DeltaE is not bad by any means. A few years ago, it would have been better than average, in fact. Over the last 18 months, however, we’ve seen a steady improvement in accuracy from monitors at all price points. You no longer have to spend four figures to get decent color and grayscale results.

Gamma Response

We had a bit of trouble dialing in the gamma due to a brightness control that doesn’t work as expected. The trace above indicates some crushing of shadow detail and a general murkiness up to the 50-percent brightness level. The only way to fix it is to raise brightness to maximum.

This is the best trace we could achieve. With the brightness slider maxed, we used the contrast control to get peak output to 200cd/m2. As with the grayscale adjustments, the improvement in image quality is significant.

If you’re tempted to try the dynamic contrast option, this is the effect it has in our gamma test. All brightness levels from zero to 30 percent appear as one black object. That means all shadow detail is lost. There’s plenty of clipping at the top end too. You do get a measured contrast of over 6000:1, but in our opinion the image is not usable. We strongly recommend avoiding the DCR feature.

Here is our comparison group again:

A .5 variation in gamma values is not too bad. It’s just that the rest of the group performs a little better. Our favorite monitor is still the BenQ BL3200PT. Among the value choices, though, Auria's display looks strong.

We calculate gamma deviation by expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.

Even though the Monoprice’s gamma tracking is a little weak, the values stay within striking distance of 2.2. Remember that we’ve given up some contrast to get to this point. But now the image looks far better, and in our opinion is perfectly usable.

  • 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