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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QuantumPion - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkI 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.
geok1ng - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkThe 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?
Shadowmaster625 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkThe 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?
cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkThe 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.
mikato - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkThe 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.
tackle70 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkGreat 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.
cheinonen - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkWe 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 $450, the value issue comes into play. If you need any connection other than DVI, the Monoprice is just priced too high.
tackle70 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkWell, there's a reason I have my Auria and not this Monoprice ;)
ymrtech - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkDoes it overclock to 120hz?
The reason I got the Korean 27" 2560x1440p monitors is because they overclock pretty easily.
120hz @ 2560x1440 for like 300$ on ebay?
bji - Monday, August 26, 2013 - linkBack 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?