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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arcanes - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkIt was. Because Skyrim and Borderlands 2 are not the games I would call demanding. So I guess if you want to play last gen game engines at 120hz@2560x1440 you will be fine. I would rather play at 60hz and get a stable frame rate with higher quality settings. Don't get me wrong, I would love to play at 120hz ,but with the graphics engines/video cards of today I would stick with 60hz. Btw the Catleap 2B looks nice. Recommended?
vLsL2VnDmWjoTByaVLxb - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkBecause you can play at 61-120fps, which a 60 Hz LCD can never ever do. It's not just about the top frames per second.
Also, you buy these monitors for much longer than you buy PC's. The gaming PC's 3 years from now will be able to play Crysis 3 at 120 fps with ease.
DanNeely - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI wouldn't hold my breath on PC gaming hitting 120hz within a few years on single GPU setups. With the new consoles lifting low end target GPU performance up several orders of magnitude, I expect a major jump in requirements needed to max setting as well. Needing SLI/xFire to game at high/2560/60hz again wouldn't surprise me at all.
arcanes - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkMy thinking as well. That is why I'm skeptical about 120hz@2560x1440 gaming in the future.
DanNeely - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI'm sure it'll happen; it just won't be cheap anytime soon. It's not any more pixels than 4k @ 60hz
blackoctagon - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkThe people out there who have spent $650-2000 on GPU hardware are admittedly the minority, but plenty of them exist. For these people, their rigs are effectively wasted when gaming on 60Hz 2560x1440 monitors or 120Hz 1920x1080 monitors.
FYI I game on a 2560x1440 monitor OC'd to 120Hz, and I just have a single 7970. How do I get 120fps? Buy....(drumroll)...adjusting the in-game settings! I start by minimising or disabling AA and work from there. I prefer fluidity of motion over 'maxing' out graphics. So there you go, that's my reason.
name user - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkAgain I'd like to request 110/120hz overclocking support information in these reviews.
After all, it was here reading Anandtech that I learned the benefits of 120hz several years ago, and have been chasing that feature ever since. I think it's strange that you guys don't even mention it anymore when you're the ones who sold me on the feature. I'm still sitting on 10 year old 19" LCDs because thanks to you I refuse to upgrade to anything but high hz monitors.
Koblek - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkCheck out Overlord monitors. It is an American company that sources 27" LG panels and a driver board that is easily overclocked to 120Hz. I got one a few weeks ago and it I was able to overclock to 120Hz easily using dual 7970s. BF3 looks great. It does not usually hit above 100Hz, but the experience is much smoother than just 60Hz.
mikato - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI have heard of these a couple times but not much beyond something in a forum and then visiting their site. Any reviews from major sites?
Koblek - Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - linkTo be honest, I had only read about them on various forums before ordering one. The major drawback to these is that there is only one dual link DVI input and that's it. There is also no OSD. All color calibration needs to be done from your video card control panel. I loaded a color profile for the monitor from the Overlord forums and it's a good starting point. I have a Dell U2410 right next to it. Once I loaded the color profile, I used Catalyst Control Center to get the colors as close to the Dell as I could.
Apparently, the lack of OSD and scaling makes the total response time very low. I brought it to my friend's and hooked it up to his 690. The 690 was able to drive most of his games at or near 120Hz and it looked incredible.
I would really like to see Anandtech do a review of these...