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Pixio PX278 Review: 1440p and 144 Hz on the Cheap

A gaming monitor with 27 inches of TN value

Pixio PX278
(Image: © Pixio)

The PX278’s only fully adjustable picture mode is User, the default setting. There, you can choose from color temp and gamma presets and tweak color saturation and hue if you wish. 

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking 

We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here. 

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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Out-of-box grayscale tracking is only fair with an average error of over 9 Delta E (dE). A blue tint is visible throughout the brightness range. Gamma tracking is just OK with a slight dip at 10% that makes shadow detail easy to see but spoils the true-black effect. Luminance rises a bit too quickly from 50-90%, but this didn’t have a significant impact on image quality.

Adjusting the RGB sliders (2nd graph) brought the white point to an error-free state at all brightness levels. We also had to reduce the contrast slider to eliminate visible grayscale errors. This helped improve color saturation accuracy too. Gamma didn’t change. Though we’d prefer it fully track 2.2, the luminance errors are minor.

Comparisons

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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

A starting grayscale error of 9.25dE means that the PX278 needs calibration. You can dial our settings (see Recommended Settings on page 1) and get nearly the same results. While the Razer Raptor 27 and Asus XG279Q also have visible grayscale errors before calibration, they’re not as easy to see in actual content. The PX278 looks a bit flat before adjustment. Calibration improved the score to 1.62dE. Though it’s still in last place among our sample group, the PX278 is the cheapest monitor here. 

The PX278’s gamma tracking isn’t too far off the mark with a 0.32 range of values and a 2.72% deviation from 2.2. This is mainly due to the slight hump from 50-90% brightness which means luminance doesn’t rise as quickly as it should. This only has a minor effect on real-world content.

Color Gamut Accuracy 

The Pixio PX278 operates only in the DCI-P3 realm. The sRGB option in the color temperature menu doesn’t shrink the gamut and has poor grayscale accuracy.

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Grayscale errors pull the cyan/blue/magenta/red portion of the gamut off its hue targets. Red and blue are also quite over-saturated in the middle zones between 20 and 80% brightness. This made content look a little cartoonish and unnatural.

A grayscale calibration and gamma adjustment can usually fix this, but we also had to reduce the color saturation slider, something we rarely do. But this time, doing so had a very positive effect, as you can see. The average error dropped by two-thirds, and we now see only minor over-saturation in blue and magenta. Color became rich and vibrant with excellent detail and a natural look. We’d still like to see a usable sRGB mode though.

Comparisons 

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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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Pixio PX278

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Considering the PX278’s default color error of 6.20dE, our calibration (see our recommended settings on page 1) made a very positive difference in image quality and fidelity. As you can see from the first graph, the PX278 can run with more expensive gaming monitors in the accuracy contest when properly calibrated. We’d like to see better out-of-box results, but for the price requiring a little tweaking acceptable. 2.09dE is an excellent average error level for any monitor.

The PX278 also runs with the best in its DCI-P3 gamut coverage. We’re happy to see any display top 85%, but Pixio wrings nearly 90% out of this budget screen. The lack of an sRGB mode means over 133% coverage of that smaller gamut, but we doubt most gamers will mind the extra saturation.

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