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ViewSonic VP2780-4K 27-inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

We've got ViewSonic's VP2780-4K in the lab today. Is this 27-inch, Ultra HD, IPS-based monitor worth your hard-earned money? Let's find out!

Conclusion

There is no doubt that Ultra HD is still a premium technology. The least expensive way to go is to select one of the 28-inch TN models for around $500. You’ll give up a bit of off-axis image quality, and size-wise, we still think 32 inches is the ideal form factor for such high pixel density. However, it seems that the new 27-inch IPS category holds some promise for those willing to spend about $850.

ViewSonic’s new VP2780-4K proves to be an excellent first-generation product in this new screen size. Most factory-calibrated monitors will cost you a tidy sum, but this one manages to deliver superb out-of-box accuracy and good value, especially considering each sample is individually calibrated and checked before being shipped.

We found in both the Native and sRGB picture modes that all parameters, color, grayscale and gamma were pretty much dead-on correct. And that includes the EBU color space, which is something you won’t see on most displays. We also measured excellent contrast of over 1000:1 in every test. The ANSI result is the most impressive, as it exceeded that of many other pro screens we’ve tested.

The only flaw here is in the VP2780-4K’s calibration system. Basically, you're stuck with the preset modes that have no adjustments available, save brightness and contrast. If you engage the User mode, you can achieve almost perfect grayscale, but then you introduce gamma problems that render the color gamut inaccurate. Our hope is that ViewSonic, through a firmware update, will simply make the gamma presets available in that mode, which should fix the problem. For now, users wanting to do better than the factory calibration will have to resort to software like CalMAN to create an internal lookup table.

A nice bonus we weren’t expecting was the VP2780-4K’s low input lag. We’re not talking about 144Hz gaming monitor numbers, but for an IPS panel of any resolution, this screen is pretty quick to respond. At 63 milliseconds, it trounced nearly every 60Hz monitor we’ve ever tested, regardless of resolution or panel type. Of course, if you want the ultimate experience, we still recommend G-Sync or FreeSync coupled with a speedy panel. But since Ultra HD at 144Hz is still a dream at this point, gamers desiring a 3840x2160 display should look hard at this ViewSonic.

For its super-accurate color, excellent contrast, great build quality and unexpected speed, we’re giving the ViewSonic VP2780-4K our Editor Approved award.


MORE: Best Computer Monitors
MORE: Display Calibration 101: Step-By-Step With Datacolor's Sypder4Elite
MORE: Do It Like Tom's: Calibrating Your Monitor With Calman RGB
MORE: Display Calibration 201: The Science Behind Tuning Your Monitor


MORE: Gaming At 3840x2160: Is Your PC Ready For A 4K Display

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs.

Follow Tom's Hardware on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

  • Daniel Ladishew
    I keep seeing prices quoted in your reviews that are lower than the links provided in the same article. This is very misleading and frankly confusing when trying to align your evaluation with the prospect of a purchase. Maybe it's time to review your system of automatic price linking and/or including how much a product costs in the text of your articles? While I don't expect it to match on the penny every time, several hundred dollar swings makes for a hard sell when you claim "a very reasonable $890 MSRP" for a product showing for over $1000.
    Reply
  • tomc100
    4K displays should start at 40" to really take advantage of the increased resolution. 27" doesn't make any sense.
    Reply
  • Walter Smith
    And yet be sure we will soon be seeing 4k resolution being common in our 5" or 6" screen smartphones. As an all purpose, everyday main monitor, at this price point, this screen bears some serious consideration.
    Reply
  • FritzEiv
    I keep seeing prices quoted in your reviews that are lower than the links provided in the same article. This is very misleading and frankly confusing when trying to align your evaluation with the prospect of a purchase. Maybe it's time to review your system of automatic price linking and/or including how much a product costs in the text of your articles? While I don't expect it to match on the penny every time, several hundred dollar swings makes for a hard sell when you claim "a very reasonable $890 MSRP" for a product showing for over $1000.

    Thanks for the input. In many articles we do call out the fact that the prices in the article are based on the writing time frame. I'll make a note about getting better and more consistent at that. The "buy buttons" we place into the articles, which are linked from e-tailers/merchants are typically dynamically linked using APIs. So the prices in those buttons are supposed to represent real time pricing, which, as you know, fluctuate madly depending on the category. The upside is that we'll always have the latest pricing. The downside is that it's different than what we put into our written text, and sometimes how we determine our "value" analysis, where applicable. Another downside is that sometimes the API implementations are a little wonky, a situation our development and commerce teams are continually trying to address.

    - Fritz Nelson, Editor-in-chief
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Good to see View Sonic based on the map with a quality product like this.
    Reply
  • zcat
    Do all of these 4k monitors do decent 1080p upscaling? That's my only real concern, since nobody's going to be gaming @ 4k native for quite a while, so the upscaling should look good and have negligible impact.
    Reply
  • Brian_R170
    I really like this monitor, but fear Viewsonic's reliability. In 2008-2009, my work group bought a few hundred value-priced 27-inch Viewsonic monitors and 23-inch Viewsonic TVs. The failure rate was unbelievably high, easily surpassing 50% in the first year for the 27-inch model. The 23-inch TVs fared better, but surpassed 50% failure within 3 years. Viewsonic replaced the ones that failed under warranty with refurbs, and they failed, too.

    I personally bought one of the same 27-inch models from Costco for home use after using one at work, it failed in less than 3 months. Thank goodness for Costco's warranty.

    Maybe just really bad quality control on a couple of low-end models, but it scares me when the author writes "The obvious question has to be: what’s missing?", because in my past experience, what was missing was quality control.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    16167997 said:
    4K displays should start at 40" to really take advantage of the increased resolution. 27" doesn't make any sense.
    Tell that to people who choose to do most of their reading on 1200-1600p 7-10" tablets due to the more pleasant, crisper, more paper-like fonts. I wouldn't mind having a 24-27" UHD display for reading. I am still a big fan of dead-tree format for reading because crisper fonts and higher contrast reduce eyestrain.
    Reply
  • tom10167
    except nobody sits 8" away from a 27" monitor.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Looks like a solid option. I miss my low latency Viewsonics from old, but Samsung gave fierce competition. I wonder what Samsung will bring to the table now.

    And please make prices go down already. I want one of these puppies at a reasonable 300-ish price, haha.

    Cheers!
    Reply