Monoprice MP27 Zero-G Monitor Review

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Honestly, when we unpacked the Monoprice MP27 Zero-G, our expectations were low. It’s so lightweight and minimal-looking that we expected little in terms of color accuracy or gaming performance. Happily, we were proved wrong when the monitor did well in our color tests and impressed us further with its gaming chops. It truly is a competitive product that undercuts the nearest competitor by a tidy sum.

Our only real complaint here is physical build quality. The MP27 feels like a toy with its wobbly stand and a chassis that almost feels devoid of internal components. At less than 10lbs, it won’t inspire confidence, but it may be a good choice if you plan to schlep it to LAN parties. And we’d love to see a better support system. Even after the panel stops vibrating, the lack of ergonomic adjustments is a bit of a pain. Even swivel would be a welcome addition. We can’t speculate on its long-term durability, but it would be best to treat it with care unless you leave it at home; which most users undoubtedly will.

All those complaints are forgotten though when you realize it is capable of very accurate color and excellent gaming performance. Out of the box, we weren’t thrilled with the warm default grayscale tracking but a few tweaks of the RGB sliders took care of that. And for those who don’t calibrate, just select the sRGB color temp preset for a good picture. Just don’t mess with the gamma control. Leave it off for optimal quality. And with or without calibration, the MP27 has a good native color gamut with nearly all measured points on or very near their targets. In fact, the only image parameter we would like to see improved is contrast. While not a deal-breaker, it offers a little less than most. Luckily, our sample made up for that with exemplary screen uniformity.

With regards to gaming, the only thing we observed was a non-functional overdrive, but since the MP27 has no trouble maintaining high framerates, it wasn’t missed in actual use. And because FreeSync operates over a wide 40-144Hz range, frame tears won’t be a factor even below 40 FPS thanks to LFC. Did we miss blur-reduction? Not a bit. We’ve never really embraced it on all the G-Sync monitors that have it because it negatively impacts brightness and contrast. It’s far more important to keep framerates as high as possible. That will eliminate blur and maintain motion resolution far more effectively than a backlight strobe.

With a low price and impressive performance, the Monoprice MP27 Zero-G earns a solid recommendation. Physical build quality aside, it’s every bit as good as its more expensive competition. That’s why we’re giving it our Tom’s Hardware Editor Approved Award.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • AgentLozen
    I'm glad you guys thought so highly of this monitor. It's good to know there are inexpensive QHD, 144hz monitors out there to shake up the landscape. This will go well with AMD Vega when it launches sometime between March and May in 2017 like the rumors suggest.

    (I know Vega has a July 30 release date. Wasn't the release date late 2016 when the RX 480 launched? And then early 2017? And now mid 2017. I'm just tired of waiting)
  • vinay2070
    The Product of 2560X1440X144HzXAMDCardThatCanDriveIt = 0
  • warmon6
    19893905 said:
    The Product of 2560X1440X144HzXAMDCardThatCanDriveIt = 0

    I think the R9 295x2 wants a word with you.....
  • coolitic
    The main reason I avoid ips is because the "cheap" ones have poor QC, backlight bleed, and IPS glow.
  • 10tacle
    Monoprice is best known for buying A- and B grade panel rejects from the likes of Apple and LG and selling them for much less than the full priced ones from said vendors. So who is the OEM who makes this panel?
  • footman
    As always a great review. I'd like to see a review of the new Nixeus 27in EDG 144hz Freesync IPS monitor. Any plans to review this soon?
  • cryoburner
    19893905 said:
    The Product of 2560X1440X144HzXAMDCardThatCanDriveIt = 0
    To be fair, this is kind of true for anyone looking to purchase a card right now, since due to cryptocurrency mining, you can't really find any AMD graphics cards in stock that are much more powerful than an RX 560, unless you are willing to pay massively marked-up prices that would defeat any cost-savings of going with a cheaper monitor.
  • picture_perfect
    "It’s far more important to keep framerates as high as possible. That will eliminate blur and maintain motion resolution far more effectively than a backlight strobe."

    The motion clarity I get with strobing at 120hz is far better than an uncapped frame rate at 144hz. The math backs that up. Yes there is a slight lag trade off (placebo almost) but well worth it for me. Try before you write it off.
  • Jagwired
    I like that there's no logo on the front. If they release a 4K version in the future, I'm in.
  • ninjustin
    Can I either get this in G-Sync or have miners stop jacking up the price of AMD cards?