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.

No matter what monitors we review, a great many of your comments focus on price. We try to test high-end models in an effort to report on the latest advances in display technologies, and so the more budget-friendly products sometimes receive less coverage.

If you look beyond the offerings from major manufacturers, however, there are some good deals to be found online. Unfortunately, it’s much more difficult for us to get our hands on those screens because they often come and go before we have a chance to test them. In 2013, we managed to get an Auria EQ267W in the lab and found it be good-performing monitor at an unbeatable price. If you’re in the market for a 27-inch QHD/IPS screen, they are still available. And of course, gamers will want to check out Overlord’s Tempest X270OC, another 27-inch IPS that runs at up to 120Hz.

Today we’re checking out a unique offering from Monoprice, the 30-inch IPS LED. Yes, that’s really its name. There's no alphabet soup to mess with. And here’s the best part: it sports a 16:10 aspect ratio. We’ve long lamented how rare this screen size has become, and we’re glad to see you can buy one in a jumbo size for such a low price.

Known merely as “Product 10734” the 30-inch IPS LED is listed (as I write this) for $689.33 at Monoprice.com. Considering the competition is both low in quantity and higher in price, it’s a steal for a monitor this big (especially one with a 16:10 aspect ratio).

Looking at our most recent reviews, the only other screen in its class is the BenQ BL3200PT, a 32-inch VA-based panel with 2560x1440 resolution and super-high contrast. But that one sports a 16:9 aspect ratio and offers only the sRGB color gamut. To find a closer match to the Monoprice, we had to go all the way back to June 2013 when we reviewed 30-inch 16:10 panels from HP and DoubleSight. The HP has since been replaced by a newer model, while you can still buy a DS-309W for around $1100.

You probably won't want to, though. The Monoprice one-ups both competitors with the addition of a GB-r-LED backlight. The HP and DoubleSight use CCFL. Not only is the LED more energy-efficient, but it enables the wider Adobe RGB gamut. This is not something Monoprice mentions in its description; we discovered it during testing.

So we have a solidly-built 30-inch 16:10 jumbo screen at a low price. But does it perform well? We found a few quirks during our evaluation, but with careful adjustment (which we’ll show you how to do expense-free), you can get a decent image and save about $400 over the DoubleSight. Let’s take a look.

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  • 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.
  • 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 $450 with a zero pixel defect, 3 years on-site replacement warranty, sRGB factory-calibrated profile that does work... And it came out in 2013. I own one, and although its reliability initially left much to be desired (3 replacements for defects : one light leak, one dead subpixel, one power issue), it was replaced every time in less than 72 hours by Iiyama - and yes, including once when I picked up one dead (black) subpixel. It has since been replaced by a model with the very same specifications and prices, but more reliable electronics.
  • nekromobo
    Why wouldn't a 34" 800$ IPS 21:9 (Dell U3415W) compete with this or the other similar displays. Also the external power brick is big nono unfortunely :(
  • Karsten75
    It seems Overlord isn't selling any more monitors, so I guess references to Overlord monitors should be removed?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • DarkSable
    51666 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.
  • Tanquen
    "To have truly low input lag, you need a 120 or 144Hz monitor."

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


    NPR did a feature on Monoprice which probably would answer your questions. Probably worth a listen.
  • kalmquist
    @bit_user

    Monoprice is a retailer, not a product designer, although the the distinction gets a bit murky for retailers like Monoprice which have a house brand. Here is an article that disusses how they got into selling monitors:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jwherrman/how-monoprice-is-eating-the-tech-world-from-the-in#.gdAdvl3RG
  • cats_Paw
    Of course toms evaluates those products that either pay them to do so or that they get fro free...
    Why would they bother spending their money on samples, it just does not make sense.
  • Bondfc11
    294812 said:
    It seems Overlord isn't selling any more monitors, so I guess references to Overlord monitors should be removed?


    Haters guna hate! I just received my newest Tempest. They sell out yes, but definitely worth the wait at their price point and performance. Nothing touches the Tempest right now when you consider cost/performance (especially if you just have to have an IPS screen).
  • soldier44
    Been using a 30" HP ZR30 since 2010 for $1200 and been worth every cent. Games have played just fine on ultra settings during that time with a single card as well. This seems like a shortcut to that res. Get what you pay for. Moving up to a 4K monitor as soon as Phillips comes out with their 40" model. I refuse to go backwards to 28 inches.
  • Stuart Felix
    I'm assuming the only reason TomsHardware keeps linking to Amazon for this monitor and it's outragous price of $1,000+ is only for the referral link as you can go directly to Monoprice.com and buy the monitor for less then $700.
  • gggplaya
    ASUS PB287Q 28" 4k is on sale at the very reputable B&H Photo for $563. Considering the price difference, and the fact that it's a computer monitor so you'll only be 3 feet away from it, the extra money for a 30" is negligible. I'd rather get the asus.
  • CerianK
    2560x1600@30" is workable, if you like 16:10 aspect ratio (which I did on a 1920x1200@27"). However, for those holding out for a 4K monitor, I strongly recommend actually working with it on programs you use before buying it If it is < 32". Even at that size you may have to make DPI adjustments (just to be able to see the text) which may have the side-effect of creating rendering issues with some programs (I use a lot of software, old and new).

    At 39" I have no DPI scaling issues @ 4K, and this Monoprice (though I haven't used it) likely is just as solid in that respect considering its resolution and size. To my thinking, these would be reasonable sizes for gamers, as well, to truly appreciate the detail and justify the upgrade (without causing any unwanted side-effects mentioned above).
  • cleeve
    Quote:
    ASUS PB287Q 28" 4k is on sale at the very reputable B&H Photo for $563. Considering the price difference, and the fact that it's a computer monitor so you'll only be 3 feet away from it, the extra money for a 30" is negligible. I'd rather get the asus.


    3 feet, gggplaya? I sit 18" from my 30" Dell 2560x1600

    I have the ASUS here, too, and I prefer the Dell's size and aspect ratio by far.
  • gggplaya
    21257 said:
    Quote:
    ASUS PB287Q 28" 4k is on sale at the very reputable B&H Photo for $563. Considering the price difference, and the fact that it's a computer monitor so you'll only be 3 feet away from it, the extra money for a 30" is negligible. I'd rather get the asus.
    3 feet, gggplaya? I sit 18" from my 30" Dell 2560x1600 I have the ASUS here, too, and I prefer the Dell's size and aspect ratio by far.


    3ft or 36" is really just a max number. It all depends on your desk configuration. Reread my post in that context. I'm about 2 feet away from my 28 monitor at work.