CTL X2800; An In-Depth Review

Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Samsung, these five are the most popular brands in display industry today, particularly for computer monitors. And it goes without saying that most people look for these brands when choosing a new display. However, there are actually more good choices than these five major manufacturers, and these are small businesses that offers good quality displays too. One good example is the CTL. And this brand knows how to solidify its name in the market, by jumping right in to the tight competition of 4K displays with its CTL X2800. The display is deemed as one of the best gaming 4K computer monitors as of late. But is it really worth all the attention it’s getting? Check out this in-depth review from Dual Monitors Guide today!

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re looking to jump into 4K display to future proof your computer setup and improve viewing and gaming experience, but don’t want to spend a fortune on a new computer monitor, then the CTL X2800 is for you. This Ultra High Definition 4K monitor offers four times better resolution of the standard Full HD 1080p, which means you get amazing display users get amazing and far better display at 28-inch screen. It’s an ideal tool for professionals whose work heavily requires excellent detail information or incredible precision, such as graphic artist, designed, photographers, videographers, etc.

 

Benefits

The CTL X2800 is the brand’s flagship product in 4K market, and this product is equipped with the capabilities and features that can rival even the best ones in its competition. What makes this display exceptional though is that it feels too good for its price.

Ultra High Definition to Revolutionize Your Desktop Experience

Whether you use your display for work, entertainment, or games, 4K display will surely change the way you look at your computer screen. With 8 million pixels, the X2800 is able to deliver four times great resolution than the Full HD. This means better image quality and more vibrant visuals with the help of 1 billion colors; which results to richer details and more life-like imagery.

 

Razor-Sharp Colors with Strong Contrast

As a 4K display, we can expect CTL X2800 to show great image quality; sharp and vivid colors and strong contrast, and it indeed, did not disappoint. Characters in Diablo 3 showed significant depth, with great shadow detail in game’s darker areas.

The monitor scores 97% sRGB and 73% AdobeRGB. It also scores 530:1 contrast, and 2:1 gamma curve, which is just a little off from the ideal 2:2. It has an average color difference of 2.45. A little less than that is considered unnoticeable. Cyan seems to be the most problematic color, as with other 4K displays. It scored 5.57, while all colors are at 5.5 or even less. These are almost similar results as Acer XB280HK.

Also, based on 4K test images and videos, the monitor has excellent contrast, though blues and greens may look flat at times, they remain in great condition. However, the skewed colors are more noticeable when viewing 4K videos that depict strong vegetation, alongside with blue skies.

 

Decently Fast for Gaming

Pixel response is the most common challenge among 4K monitors. CTL knows this, and understands the need to address this issue. Which they actually did in CTL X2800as the display is able to deliver 5ms pixel response time. This means 4K image quality is rendered smoothly, with significantly less motion blur, ghosting, and judder compared to other 4K monitors in the market today.

Also, when using the DisplayPort, this display offers 60Hz refresh rate, a must for gamers to stay on top of their game and avoid annoying lags, all with the clarity and phenomenal details of 4K resolution quality.

 

Versatile Display for Multi-Tasking

Big and rich displays as this will be used for both entertainment and work. CTL understands the need for versatility, which is why like many good 4K monitors, they equipped X2800 with PIP or Picture-in-Picture technology. This feature allows users to get the most out of their generous 28-inch displays – easily display multiple windows, applications, videos and images by dividing the screen into four separate windows. The monitor can do this without losing image quality, helping users boost productivity with multiple windows.

 

With VESA Mounting Holes to Compensate the Stand’s Lack of Adjustability

(image from Amazon)

Like any other displays with limited stand adjustment, CTL included their X2800 cabinet VESA mounting holes. This means you can mount the display to your wall using a wall mount, or get a more ergonomic setup using third-party ergonomic product such as adjustable LCD arms, desk mounts, LCD stands, etc.

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

Professional-grade monitors indeed, really needs optimum ergonomics. Though CTL X2800 comes with a decent stand, it doesn’t offer enough adjustability for professional use. However, with the VESA mounting holes, users can easily mount this display to better mounting options, such as after-market LCD arms and monitor stands, particularly for dual monitor setups.

(image from Amazon)

The LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm from Ergotron for example, is a great ergonomic solution. Each of its arm can extend up to 25 inches, with 18 inches range adjustment independently, allowing you to push your monitor completely out of the way when not in use, and free your desk. It is a very versatile solution, easy to setup and install to your workstation, and effortless to use. It also comes with the brand’s very own patented technology – Constant Force technology, which sets the secure the monitor in user’s desired place, and still moves smoothly and easily with a simple touch of a finger.

(image from Amazon)

If you want a dual monitor stand without the fully articulating arm, then you can choose the Deluxe Dual Monitor Stand, it’s a cheap, yet efficient dual monitor stand for 28-inch displays. It is made up of high quality materials, and it’s robust enough to withstand the rigors of daily office use. Plus, it is fully adjustable, giving you a practical solution for dual monitor setup with your display. The small footprint of the V-shaped base keeps the two monitors stable. It’s a perfect choice for office settings.

 

Design and Features

As their standard bearer at 4K competition, CTL X2800 doesn’t disappoint in its build quality. It is surprisingly sturdy and hefty enough to hold all of its components in a stable fashion. Surely, anyone who would see a 4K monitor with this price tag may assume it’s built cheaply. But it’s certainly not the case here. The build design is not particularly attractive, but it is well built to last for years. Each and every inch of the panel feels sturdy.

 

Buttons and Controls

(image from Amazon)

The CTL X2800 is quite good in hiding its budget roots, however, its deceptive appearance starts to fall when you access its on-screen controls. These controls are accessed through touch-sensitive buttons located at the lower right corner of the cabinet. Like other touch controls though, they don’t have tactile feel needed to help users know when buttons are activated. This results to a bouncy experience, which may take a little learning curve to get used to.

The reasonable, if not affordable price that comes with CTL X2800 goes a long way, enough to forgive its shortcomings in its controls. However, if you’re the type of user who does a lot of simple adjustments from time to time, such as adjusting your screen’s brightness level throughout the day, then you may need half a minute fumbling through the monitor’s dull buttons.

 

Very Limited Pre-Set Mode Options

Also, aside from brightness and contrast level, there’s not much to control and adjust in this display either. The monitor has a couple of Pre-set modes, namely User-Defined mode (which allows adjustments for red, blue and green colors. Unfortunately, there are no adjustments for Sharpness, Gamma, and detailed control. Those who are looking to tailor image quality with Color Adjustments and Gamma level for their specific needs may find the calibration troublesome to use.

The CTL X2800 however, has a Picture-by-Picture mode feature, allowing users to see their input using multiple sources at once. Though this feature is not something most users will need, it can surely be a useful feature. However, the fact that this feature is accessed in the monitor’s on-screen controls makes turning On and Off daunting.

 

Solidly Built Stand, Perfect for a Heavy Display, But With Limited Adjustability

(image from Amazon)

The CTL X2800s stand is made up of solid metal, which obviously solid and sturdy in place. However, it’s not the most versatile stand out there, as it only allow tilt adjustments. If you want more adjustments, then you can get the brand’s own height-adjustable stand ($35).

 

Wide Selection of Video Inputs

(image from Amazon)

One of the strongest points of the CTL X2800 is its wide selection of ports, which is good news for users, as it gives the monitor more flexibility for variety of display use, particularly for entertainment, as it can connect with new and older devices. The monitor has VGA, DVI-D, two HDMI ports, and a pair of DisplayPort connections. Most 4K monitors at 60Hz out there only offer one DisplayPort, while some include an HDMI 2.0 port.

(image from Amazon)

This CTL monitor also features two (2) USB 3.0 ports on the left side of its cabinet, providing better convenience for your flash drives, smartphone, digital camera and other media.

 

Tech Specs

Bottom Line

The CTL X2800 certainly makes a strong case as a budget 4K computer monitor. The price is very hard to beat, considering all the capabilities and features it’s been equipped with. The $550 price tag of CTL X2800 may not make it very affordable, but it certainly can qualify as a great value, compared to the rest of its competition, where most comes with hefty price tags. Moreover, this display has the image quality on par with the best 1080p and 1440p monitors of the same price.

The closest rival of CTL X2800 on its price range would be Dell UltraSharp U2713HM, which has better overall image quality. The gap however, is very narrow that regular consumers won’t even notice, even when two displays sit side-by-side. Another close competitor is the ASUS PB278Q, which is only $60 less than CTL X2800 as of late, and the same price as Samsung S27A850D.

This display has its own shares of shortcomings, such as the on-screen controls, which are a bit frustrating to use. Calibration options are also limited, and while the solid stand provides great support, it doesn’t offer any adjustments other than tilt. These however, are minor issues, and the manufacturer makes up for these problems with great connectivity selection. It’s also well-equipped that even enthusiasts would expect, such as 60Hz refresh rate and wide selection of video inputs.

If you have been pondering on getting a great value 4K display, but don’t want to spend big on your upgrade, then you should definitely put CTL X2800 at the top of your list.

 

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!

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