A Work In Progress
Our test results present something of a mixed bag. On one hand, this is the largest (and one of the only) IPS screens around that can run at over 60Hz. And you do get the benefit of lower input lag and slightly better panel response than a typical monitor. But the frame skipping issue we encountered hinders any real improvement in motion quality. Although there isn’t excessive blur to begin with, running at 120Hz doesn’t really help either.
Refresh rates aside, we did measure decent grayscale and gamma performance from the G-Pro. If you can’t calibrate, the white point is still reasonably accurate out-of-the-box. Gamma tracking is the same regardless. Color is certainly bright and vivid, though that’s mainly due to the Adobe RGB gamut in play. For a gaming monitor, the extra color might be welcome to many users. But if you’re as fussy as we are about accuracy, you’ll be longing for an sRGB option. Perhaps Monoprice would consider adding that feature in a firmware update. And as far as contrast is concerned, the G-Pro offers good image depth and decent black levels.
If you’re still considering adding one of these jumbo screens to your gaming rig, the big compromise becomes its frame skipping issue. The real-world observation is simply that motion blur is not visibly reduced at 120Hz. Still, you won’t see annoying judder or other artifacts. Moving objects just won’t render with any finer granularity than they do at 60Hz.
What you do get is low input lag, which may be enough to make this monitor worthwhile. For gamers with hyper-reflexes, every millisecond counts. There’s only one other IPS monitor out there with less lag than this Monoprice: Overlord’s X270OC. Of course, the landscape is in flux with Acer’s XG270HU out now and another IPS gaming screen expected from Asus.
Speaking of the changing landscape, we have to wonder if the fast-refresh tech will wind up taking a back seat to technologies like G-Sync and FreeSync. We’ve already tested several screens with Nvidia’s frame rate-matching feature, and we will have reviews of BenQ’s XL2730Z and Acer’s XG270HU FreeSync screens published soon. Once you’ve seen those technologies in action, they're hard to live without.
With frame rate matching, high refresh rates and backlight strobing, enthusiasts have a lot to be happy about. Now we're only lacking diversity in gaming-oriented IPS displays. Engineering challenges and high prices have kept the technology from taking root in the entertainment side of the industry.
Monoprice's G-Pro 120Hz is a bit off the beaten path. But it is a decent choice in a fairly barren field. It’s definitely in need of a few improvements. However, considering the company’s short time in the marketplace, this is a solid first effort.