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Monoprice 30-inch IPS LED Monitor Review

In the land of value-priced peripherals, Monoprice is king. After adding monitors to its many offerings, we decided to check one out in our lab. This 30-inch IPS LED screen definitely qualifies as jumbo. Today we see how it performs.

Decent Value

It seems that only a couple of years ago, 24-inch monitors seemed large and we couldn’t imagine anything larger. Over the last 18 months however, 27 became the new 24, and we’re checking out more and more jumbo screens 30 inches and up. Setting aside the 32-inch 4K displays from Dell, Asus and Sharp though, there just isn’t much to choose from when you want to go really big.

There is no doubt that a 16:10 aspect ratio provides extra utility. The vast majority of productivity-oriented apps are better suited for height rather than extra width. You don’t have to scroll quite as much in word processors or Web browsers, for example. We’re seeing new 21:9 ultra-wide screens from LG and others, but their dimensions are tailored to keeping more windows open. A taller screen like the Monoprice lets you make more of the application you’re actually using.

Resolution-wise, a 30-inch or larger display is a perfect fit for QHD. The sweet spot for pixel density in Windows seems to be between 92 and 109ppi, which gives you the best font rendering quality and size without dpi scaling. We’ve seen many debates on this topic and maintain that Windows font scaling is poor. It improved a bit recently, but continues to lag behind Apple. When it comes to pixel count, MacOS makes better use of the extra resolution than Windows.

We did encounter a few issues when working with the Monoprice. Out-of-box color needs some attention, and if you want to effectively control brightness and contrast, you have to do things a bit differently. The easiest way to get optimal image quality from this display is to use our suggested settings from the bottom of page three.

It appears that the brightness control doesn’t modulate the backlight, but rather changes the low-end gamma, much like an HDTV. Lowering it won’t change the black level, though it does crush shadow detail severely if you’re not careful. The only way to get decent gamma is to set it to 100 and change light output with the contrast slider. Once you do that and set the color preset on Reddish, the picture is pretty good with reasonable depth and color accuracy.

And don’t forget this is a wide-gamut monitor. Monoprice doesn’t specify a color gamut spec on its website, but the 30-inch IPS LED is most definitely an Adobe RGB screen. And since there is no sRGB preset, you have to live with the over-saturated color in movie and gaming content. Only a few folks will take issue with this, however. Once you dial in our suggested settings, the picture should satisfy the majority of users.

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.