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Planar IX2850 28-Inch Ultra HD Monitor Review: Affordable 4K

Thanks to a new 28-inch TN panel part, inexpensive Ultra HD screens are practically falling out of the sky at this point. Buying one is a great way to increase your desktop's resolution for well under $1000. Today we check out Planar’s IX2850 in our lab.

Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories

The IX2850 has an internal power supply, so all you need is the enclosed IEC cable to plug in. Also in the bundle are HDMI, DisplayPort (v1.2-rated) and USB 3.0 cables. A small, round base snaps on to the already-installed upright and, lo and behold, there’s a printed user manual!

Product 360

From the front, the IX2850 looks like most other desktop monitors with a thin bezel framing the screen. Planar doesn't repeat its flush-front styling from the PXL2790MW. At only 19mm, it makes a good choice for multi-screen setups. The control buttons are hidden below the bottom-right edge and must be operated by feel. They are raised to make this easier. Small icons are printed on the front, but they’re hard to see unless the monitor is showing a dark image. A status light glows orange during standby and blue in operation.

Another attribute Planar doesn't carry over from its PXL2790MW is the bonded front screen layer. By eliminating the air gap between it and the TFT layer, the image becomes super-clear. The company instead appears to use a more traditional anti-glare coating that does not create any grain or texture in the image. The sharpness is still there, though not at the PXL’s level. Fortunately, it's easier to place the panel because it rejects light well.

The included base and upright only offer 25 degrees of tilt adjustment. There’s no way to change the height or swivel the panel. If you want more movement or a portrait mode, you have to change out the bracket. Planar offers accessory parts for this that can accommodate up to four panels at once.

Planar tapers the panel nicely on the sides and across the back. On the left are two USB 3.0 downstream ports, an analog audio input and a headphone jack (hooray!).

There’s plenty of ventilation around back, and you can even see the speakers in this photo. They fire backwards, so place the panel near a wall for the best sound. You can also see the 100mm VESA mount. You’ll have to use this if you want any panel adjustment or if you want to use one of Planar’s slick multi-monitor brackets.

Here’s the IX2850’s loaded input panel. You get one each of DVI and VGA, along with two DisplayPort and HDMI connectors. You can have up to four connected sources on the screen at once with the FlexFour (PBP) feature. On the far right is the USB 3.0 upstream port. Just above the VGA input you can see the Kensington security lock.

  • JWoody
    T&N+Film? Yuk, ill pass... been using an IPS variant since 2005 and ill never go back. "Ultra-HD" or not. Ill take accuarcy and viewing angle over speed anyday, as long as its fast enough....
    Reply
  • yumri
    I welcome the advance in technology just i am waiting for an IPS 4k monitor myself is all
    Reply
  • ralanahm
    the more then one input makes for interesting possiblities on an older work setup where you can get all work screens on one screen
    Reply
  • redgarl
    After going 4k, you are not coming back. A pair of 970 GTX are enough for good performances.

    Also, you don't need AA at 4k.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    The next gen games are not running well on 4K. Assassin's Creed: unity gets 24 FPS with SLI GTX 980's. FC4 gets around 28 FPS.

    We still have a long way to go. Probably 2 more generations of graphics cards, before it becomes affordable and with good performance. SLI needs to not be a requirement.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    and that's with AA off completely.
    Reply
  • aberkae
    Please review the 4k monoprice monitor just fell to $517 60hz tn display.
    Reply
  • cypeq
    4k isn't by any means affordable deal.
    Reply
  • makaveli316
    You can't play any game that is coming right now on a 4k monitor. Sure, if you don't mind playing with 30-40 fps.... Sorry, but i'm not spending that money for 4k monitor, just to say "hey look, i have a 4k monitor". I want performance as well and that isn't coming any time soon. It costs 500$, but you're forced to go SLI and i see people are struggling even on 1080p with SLI. So in the end, you spend like 1000$ and you still can't max out a game and have decent fps.
    Reply
  • bob hays
    14645293 said:
    You can't play any game that is coming right now on a 4k monitor. Sure, if you don't mind playing with 30-40 fps.... Sorry, but i'm not spending that money for 4k monitor, just to say "hey look, i have a 4k monitor". I want performance as well and that isn't coming any time soon. It costs 500$, but you're forced to go SLI and i see people are struggling even on 1080p with SLI. So in the end, you spend like 1000$ and you still can't max out a game and have decent fps.

    Unless its an older generation or very cheap setup, no one struggles at 1080p with SLI.
    Reply