Monoprice Zero-G Slim 27" IPS Monitor Reviewby Chris Heinonen on August 26, 2013 12:00 AM EST
We’ve almost all bought things from Monoprice -- most likely some cables, maybe printer toner, perhaps some speakers. They certainly come to mind for those products, but until recently you didn’t think of them for monitors. Now they offer a line of 27” and 30” IPS displays that are priced to compete with the imported models from South Korea. Their newest 27” model is also the least expensive: the Zero-G Slim.
The 27” 2560x1440 IPS display sells for only $390, or $386 if you want to order 50+ of them at once. That's more expensive than some import brands, but it does undercut competitors like Nixeus in the budget 27” realm. One way it gets here is by being DVI only. There is a VGA input, but if you want to stay all digital you’ll need to use DVI.
It also features an external power brick. Many people aren’t as bothered by this as I am, but I prefer an IEC connector. The strangest design choice is the on-screen controls. The front of the display is very clean, with a metal finish around the front and a very simple look. To accomplish this all controls have been placed on the back of the screen. There are no labels on the front to guide you. You need to learn the buttons and rely on memory to use the OSD. This isn’t the worst design I’ve used but it isn’t far off. Perhaps most users never adjust anything on their display, but I don’t like to reach around back and fumble around for the power button and other controls.
The OSD has access to basic controls and preset color temperatures. There is a gamma control that is curiously labeled “On/Off” and not with a numeric value. Beyond the basic controls and a one-point adjustable color temperature, there isn’t much you can adjust on the Monoprice.
The flat front look that Monoprice uses looks nice from a distance, but up close and in use the 1” bezel feels very large. The bezel on my monitor next to it is larger, but being raised and not flat causes it to feel smaller. It’s a personal thing but it felt like I was looking at a massive bezel while using it.
The glossy finish of the Zero-G will certainly make some people very happy. It’s not glass but a laminate in front of the panel that has an anti-glare treatment applied. It isn’t the reflection magnet that some displays are, but it also doesn’t hide them well. In the Brightness and Contrast section, you’ll see what I think they do to deal with the inherent issues of a glossier finish.
With an IPS panel, the viewing angles on the Monoprice leave nothing to worry about. You’ll have a bigger issue with reflections from the screen finish than you will from any colors washing out or having contrast shifts. Those flaws are absent from any normal viewing angle.
The stand attaches easily with two screws at the base but offers almost nothing in the way of adjustments. Tilt is the only thing you can adjust on the Zero-G with the included stand. There are standard 100mm VESA mounts on the back for an after-market stand if you need more flexibility.
|Video Inputs||DVI-DL, Dsub|
|Brightness||400 cd/m^2 typical|
|Contrast Ratio||80,000:1 Dynamic|
|Response Time||6ms GTG|
|Viewing Angle (H/V)||178/178|
|Power Consumption (operation)||< 90W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||< 1.5 W|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100mm x 100mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||25 5/8" x 19 3/8" x 7 1/4"|
|Limited Warranty||1 Year|
|Accessories||DVI-DL Cable, AC Power Cable|
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blackoctagon - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkMinor pedantic correction: lack of OSD and a scaler (plus the fact that there is only DVI as the sole supported input) keeps input lag and overall latency low, but the pixel response time of the S-IPS panel remains the same as before, i.e., "approximately 6ms or less (GTG)"
Koblek - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkThanks for the correction blackoctagon:)
blackoctagon - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkIn a recent BenQ review Chris claimed that he would review these if he could get his hands on a sample. At the time he seemed unaware of Overlord - he claimed that the only overclockable IPS screens were imports - so I hope he will eventually review these delightful monitors.
That said, no I'm not aware of any 'official'/pro reviews, just lots of glowing user reports
Subyman - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI have a korean 27" and it is a solid monitor. I also have a Viewsonic VP2770LED and it blows the korean monitor away in terms of quality and image. The step up from a typical TN to the korean is enormous, but so is the jump from the Korean to a fully featured high end monitor. Something that is very important for some people is the PWM dimming. I had major issues with head aches using the Korean monitor daily, while the Viewsonic has been pain free.
atx9307 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkIf anyone is looking to make a purchase at Monoprice now through 9/15, use code EMP1166 to get the lowest pricing listed on the site :)
borderdeal - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI bought a X-Star monitor from ebay. I also got a Eye-one Display 2 calibrator for $35 shipped from ebay. I upgraded from a 27" 1920*1200 TN monitor. The X-star is way way better in color and viewing angels as expected. But calibrating the monitors made a big difference in both monitors. Even in the TN panel that I was amazed and regret not buying the Eye-one Display 2 before.
cheinonen - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkFYI (and for everyone else), the i1Display2 hasn't been made for a few years now. It has a non-sealed optics design that is especially prone to drift. I compared mine (kept in a sealed bag with silica) to a NIST-certified i1Pro the other year and the i1Display2 had an average dE2000 error of close to 10.0. They can measure light output fine, but getting color accuracy from them after more than a year or two just doesn't happen due to the design.
Impulses - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkAny recommendations for a decent calibrator on a budget?
borderdeal - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkI think he is talking about this one but it is not cheap:
blackoctagon - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkSpyder4Express?