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Monoprice UHD Matte 28-inch Monitor Review

Monoprice's new 28-inch Ultra HD monitor features an anti-glare layer, which offers great viewing angles. But can the new UHD match the performance to the company's CrystalPro 4k display?

Our Verdict

In the Ultra HD category there are some bargains to be had and Monoprice's UHD Matte is currently the pack leader. It gives away almost nothing to its competition which is selling for around $500 at this writing. With one of the best anti-glare layers we've seen on any monitor it’s a good choice for those seeking maximum pixel density for the money.

For

  • Excellent anti-glare layer • Decent color • Good screen uniformity • Four-source PBP

Against

  • Hard-to-read OSD • Wobbly stand • Average contrast

Introduction

Regardless of category or application, users shopping for a new monitor are always looking for the best possible value. High prices have been a significant obstacle to those wanting to add Ultra HD to their desktop systems. But the attraction of greater pixel density and an image free of jaggies is strong. So how does one justify spending as much or more money on the display as the rest of the system?

When Ultra HD first hit the market, there were no value choices. $3000 was the price of admission for the first few months. As always however, when more displays became available, prices dropped even on first-generation models.

The real breakthrough came when Asus introduced the PB287Q. It was the first 28-inch TN panel to feature Ultra HD resolution and the first to cost less than $1000, a good bit less in fact. Today, there are similar screens from every major and minor brand name that are priced, at this writing, at around $500.

Monoprice has always been a company that sells for less than the competition and their Ultra HD displays are no exception. About a year ago, we reviewed several 28-inch TN UHD monitors including the Monoprice CrystalPro 4K. It was a standout product earning our Editor Recommended Award. Today we’re looking at a slightly cheaper alternative to that excellent screen: the UHD Matte.

Specifications

Since Innolux first came out with a 28-inch TN/UHD part in 2013 it has only added one more part to the inventory, and it's pretty much the same panel with only minor firmware updates. That being said, each display manufacturer's version is different with regards to features and color accuracy. We've also seen a large range of brightness values.

The bottom line is that all monitors based on Innolux's part are not created equal. The CrystalPro we reviewed last year offers decent color accuracy, reasonably good contrast and excellent build quality. The new UHD Matte sells for $50 less and sports similar performance, better viewing angles courtesy of a new anti-glare layer and a bit more plastic is used in its construction.

Behind the front layer lies the very same tech found in every other 28-inch Ultra HD panel—a white LED backlight and a twisted-nematic pixel structure, which offers quick response at the expense of poor off-axis image quality. The UHD Matte adds an anti-glare layer that's one of the better examples we've seen. It renders a very sharp artifact-free image while blocking all but the brightest reflections.

So in weighing the $50 price difference between the CrystalPro and the UHD Matte, it comes down to the stand and the front screen layer. Will we also see a performance difference in the newer model? Let's take a look.

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  • alidan
    i wish the display was bigger, 40-50 inch, at 28 i find it useless.
    Reply
  • jragonsoul
    i wish the display was bigger, 40-50 inch, at 28 i find it useless.
    Then you should get a television unless you want to pay 2000+ USD for the monitor.
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    What's the cost? For someone who is in the market for a new monitor this is an interesting option.
    Reply
  • none12345
    yuck 60hz.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    17501375 said:
    i wish the display was bigger, 40-50 inch, at 28 i find it useless.
    I don't know about 50" (unless you're sitting like 5 feet away), but 4k resolution at 28" seems a waste, to me. My 27" is 2560x1440 and I think I'd probably have to go up to at least 32" for my eyes to make out much more detail.

    But I'm waiting for the next generation of GPUs, before I even start thinking about 4k monitors. Ideally, I'd wait until I can get a 14/16 nm GPU with HBM2 for <= $250.
    Reply
  • Nintendork
    The monitor is pretty <removed>, when smartphone screens are reaching 2000:1 using the IPS panels with "quantum dot" you ask yourself why should you buy a crappy pc monitor.

    Watch the language. - G
    Reply
  • jragonsoul
    17503284 said:
    17501375 said:
    i wish the display was bigger, 40-50 inch, at 28 i find it useless.
    I don't know about 50" (unless you're sitting like 5 feet away), but 4k resolution at 28" seems a waste, to me. My 27" is 2560x1440 and I think I'd probably have to go up to at least 32" for my eyes to make out much more detail.

    But I'm waiting for the next generation of GPUs, before I even start thinking about 4k monitors. Ideally, I'd wait until I can get a 14/16 nm GPU with HBM2 for <= $250.
    Honestly I think HBM2 is going to be reserved for higher tier GPUS (I HOPE I AM WRONG!) so I'm thinking bare minimum would be 300-350 for one. Would be glad to be proven wrong though.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    I also have 27" 2560x1440, and also think that the sweet spot for 4K is near 32". But hard to say without testing it personally.
    But in reality 4K needs G-sync or Freesync IMHO, because how much it needs horsepower to run in. Frame rates are not going to be great with these for many years.
    Reply
  • sc14s
    The monitor is pretty <removed>, when smartphone screens are reaching 2000:1 using the IPS panels with "quantum dot" you ask yourself why should you buy a crappy pc monitor.

    Watch the language. - G
    You are comparing the monitor to something that probably costs somewhere around double if you are going high end phone (which you would have to have for high end screens). This isn't even mentioning the fact that you are getting a fraction of the viewing size on the phone. Apples to oranges really.

    Reply
  • picture_perfect
    yuck 60hz.

    I wonder why you get so many thumbs down all the time.
    Reply