The Zero-G is rated for 440 cd/m^2 of brightness, but with the default contrast setting I couldn’t get close to that. I only managed to produce 348 cd/m^2 of brightness with the Brightness at max and Contrast at 50. Pushing the Contrast higher might push that value higher, but it also introduces clipping that makes those settings unusable.

The curious value with the Monoprice is the minimum white level. At the default Contrast setting of 50 and the Brightness at 0, we still see 267 cd/m^2 of light output. That’s over 30% higher than our bright target for calibration and pre-calibration readings! I like to see the minimum level be closer to 80 cd/m^2 or below, so this is a small range. As you see on the chart, the Monoprice really sticks out here.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Black level also has issues. With the Brightness at 100 and Contrast at 50, we see a black level of 1.3178 cd/m^2. We really look for a value of 0.300 cd/m^2 or below to be excellent, and past 0.500 cd/m^2 is not great. Beyond 1.0 shows that we have grayish blacks, not black-blacks, and the contrast ratio is going to really suffer.

At the Brightness level of 0, our black level is a more respectable 0.3216 cd/m^2. The minimum brightness levels are what I’d expect to see at maximum brightness on a typical display. As almost everyone is using LG panels in their 27” 1440p monitors, there is something in the electronics of the Monoprice that is certainly strange.

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The contrast levels, as you can imagine from that maximum brightness reading, are strange. We see a respectable contrast level of 836:1 at minimum brightness, but a maximum brightness contrast of only 272:1. When these values don’t line up with each other, or with the 200 cd/m^2 calibrated values, I go back and run this at multiple levels to see what is going on. Below is the data for the light output and contrast ratio at different brightness levels.

Brightness Level

Light Output (cd/m^2)

Contrast Ratio

0

267

836:1

10

290

888:1

20

312

944:1

30

330

992:1

40

352

1054:1

50

354

1054:1

60

354

1055:1

70

354

1054:1

80

355

830:1

90

356

520:1

100

358

272:1

As we see the light output doesn’t really change from 40-70, and past 70 the black level rises causing the contrast ratio to fall. Contrast Ratio should be constant, with small fluctuations due to reading error. Because of the behavior seen here, I chose to do all my calibrations at the default settings of Brightness 50 and Contrast 50. However, there is something going on with the electronics inside the Monoprice display, and it doesn’t look right.

Monoprice looked into this and informed me that the backlight level is controlled by the scaler and not by the pcb mainboard. This is causing the brightness controls to not function as I expect them to, and it sounds like it won't be changed.

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Introduction and Design Monitor Bench Test Results
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  • QuantumPion - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    I was considering getting this monitor over one of the ebay panels due to it being a legit vendor. I'm sure glad I didn't. I ended up getting an X-Star/Qnix for under $300, shipped to my door in 3 days. It has perfect image quality and colors out of the box and overclocks to 120 hz. These panels are extremely highly regarded, I'd very much reccomend biting the bullet and just going with the ebay vendors. Worse case scenario, you get a bad panel and have to return it/sell it and buy another one. But it's worth it, IMO. Reply
  • geok1ng - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    The most important metric ofr this kind of monitor is not in the review:
    how far can you overclock the monitor in DL-DVI?
    Does the monitor really OCs or just skips frames while reporting fake refresh rates?
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    The question is: how well can this thing be calibrated without the use of special equipment? And how well does it perform once calibrated using the various free and simple calibration resources? Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    The pre-calibration numbers are as good as you can do without special equipment. There are no more user controls available to do better beyond that. Reply
  • mikato - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    The question is, why don't libraries have monitor calibration stuff? :) It makes no sense for everybody to buy that crap just to use it once or twice. My library actually has a Kill-a-Watt. Reply
  • tackle70 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Great review! I've loved my Auria EQ276W, which is similar to this. These screens always look bad in reviews because they get compared to high end displays that are 50-100% more expensive, but compared to the typical TN junk that most people are used to, these screens are a HUGE upgrade. Wish more conclusions mentioned that. Reply
  • cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    We all know that IPS is going to be a big gain over TN when it comes to image quality. The question for the Monoprice is how it does relative to other 2560x1440 IPS displays. When you can find the Nixeus on sale for $400 and the Dell U2713HM refurbished for $450, the value issue comes into play. If you need any connection other than DVI, the Monoprice is just priced too high. Reply
  • tackle70 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Well, there's a reason I have my Auria and not this Monoprice ;) Reply
  • ymrtech - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Does it overclock to 120hz?

    The reason I got the Korean 27" 2560x1440p monitors is because they overclock pretty easily.
    120hz @ 2560x1440 for like 300$ on ebay?
    Hell yeah!
    Reply
  • bji - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Back in the day it was pretty well understood that you didn't go cheap on the monitor or power supply, the first because it's the single most important user interface element of the computer, and the second because failures are most frequent with cheap power supplies. What ever happened to these ideas? I'd rather save for a few months and get a good quality $600 monitor than an extremely suspicious $350 one. How long is this Monoprice monitor likely to last? If the company can't even be bothered to put any effort into the calibration or proper brightness implementation, how much effort do you think went into ensuring that the hardware was well constructed and well assembled? And how much money do you think they've set aside for support? I think you'd be fooling yourself if you believed that they haven't done the minimal they can just to get the things out the door. Not exactly confidence inspiring.

    Maybe just move down in size and get a much better monitor for the same price that isn't quite as OMFG huge as this one?
    Reply

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