MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor; An In-Depth Review

If you have been researching and reading monitor reviews online for quite some time, then you may have stumbled upon Monoprice. The brand is quickly gaining recognition, especially among geeks who have bought computer cables and cords from their stores before. Their idea is simple – they sell you off-brand supplies straight to you, which cut the needless marketing. Now that they’ve branched out to manufacturing computer monitors, they apply the same strategy, and it’s pretty evident in their MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor. How does it stand against the tough competition in the 4K market? Read on and find out more in this in-depth review.

(image from Amazon)


Who is it for?

The MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor is a huge monitor that runs 4K Ultra HD resolution. It’s a good choice for workstations not just for everyday regular use, but even for specialized uses such as 3D graphic arts, CAD/CAM, large and complex spreadsheets, or even games and movies. But since it’s a budget-friendly alternative to high-end 4K displays, it has many limitations, as the manufacturer cut some of its corners to keep the price attractively low.

 

Benefits

The name MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor may sound awkward, and on paper, it’s pretty decent as it runs 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160p) resolution in its 28-inch TN (Twisted Nematic) panel, with 5ms Pixel Response Time and 60Hz Refresh Rate. That’s pretty much on par with good quality monitors out there from bigger brands and with expensive price tags. But because of its aggressively affordable price tag, it is easy to assume that they cut some corners in this display to keep its price low.


4K Ultra HD Resolution for Realistic Images, with 5K Overdrive

The MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor runs at 3840x2160p 4K Ultra High Definition resolution, which means it can support for more than 1 billion colour variants, allowing the screen to deliver life-like images, and a good choice for CAD/CAM users.

If that’s still not enough, it also comes with a 5K overdrive mode, allowing users to work with increased real estate.

 

Decent Image Quality for Its Price, But Inferior to the Most 4K Displays

The out-of-the-box color quality may look nice at first glance. Looking closer and comparing the screen to its rivals in the 4K market however, such as Acer S277HK, MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor is way off-mark. Default color quality is too cool, giving its content a more clinical and sterile look. Though this is quite a common problem among LED backlit monitor, it is particularly band in this screen. Colors look dull and lifeless, especially in landscape images with lots of greens (forests and mountains) or reds (in desserts) over blue (sky).

 

Calibration report however, showed the problem is caused by the color gamut, which only reaches 95% of sRGB and only 72% of AdobeRGB. Colour accuracy is also an issue, as it is cut almost in half and scores a new Delta error of 1.5. Anything under 1 is generally unnoticeable to the human eye, which makes it a pretty decent result. In other areas however, performance goes largely unchanged.

 

Though numbers seem unchanged, they made a huge difference in visual quality. The tremendously cool look of stock pictures appears to be partially tamed, letting other colors to come to the front. This helped make more vivid and life-like images. Color temperature is a little too cool, which can be noticeable in bright, white screens, which appear to be tinged blue than absolute white.

 

With PiP and PbP for Multitasking

Most huge monitors these days come with PiP (Picture-in-Picture) and PbP (Picture-by-Picture) features, which are both designed for convenient multi-tasking use.  PiP allows two video surfaces to the screen simultaneously, allowing users to watch their favorite show or livestream their favorite sport in one corner of the screen, while work on the other.

PbP mode on the other hand, splits the screen in to four quadrants and display contents from four video sources, simultaneously.

 

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Mounting Options

(image from Amazon)


28-inch monitors like this needs special treatment for better ergonomics. If you want to have better adjustability and workspace flexibility, then the best option for this 4K monitor is the Ergotron LX Wall Mount LCD Arm.

This wall mount solution comes with a fully-articulating arm, nicely polished aluminum frame and extra durable construction that can last for year without compromising the safety of the mounted display. It also comes with the brand's patented CF (Constant Force) technology which keeps the monitor stable and secured in place, while still offering easy and smooth adjustments.

 

(image from Amazon)


For dual monitor solutions, the best solution is the Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm. This dual monitor arm allows you to put two 28-inch display side by side, or even put one on top of the other. It is made up of solid polished aluminum construction, with high quality materials. It’s equipped with Constant Force (CF) technology, which is Ergotron’s patented technology that holds monitors securely in place, and still allows smooth, convenient adjustment for optimum ergonomics.



Design and Features

(image from Amazon)


The panel is housed in a cheap glossy plastic. It is nowhere close to impressive, but it does the job well in housing everything inside. The center of the bottom panel has the IIIP logo, which they pointed out as Monoprice logo, quite an intuitive take on logo design, eh?

The screen come with an anti-glare matte finish, which is very effective in minimizing glares and reflections, reducing the risk of eye strain and ensuring better screen quality and user-friendly display under any light conditions.

 

Buttons and Controls

(image from Amazon)


Managing screen quality is easy with the on-screen control. Like most monitors, it comes with several physical buttons for Menu selection, and each button is clearly labeled. The menu itself however, though not aesthetically pleasing, is clearly labeled, with sub-settings nicely arranged.

Quality settings include adjustments for brightness, contrast and gamma. There are however, less detailed controls for color temperature, hue and saturation. Though they can be adjusted, they don’t have precise control.

There are also lots of features that can be very useful for different settings and work environment, such as noise reduction to super resolution, and of course, the PiP (Picture-in-Picture) and PbP (Picture-by-Picture) functions, which are great for multi-tasking.

 

Complete Set of I/O Ports

(image from Amazon)


MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor covers its bases in terms connectivity. It has DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, Dual-Link DVI, VGA, along with a set of audio input. That’s quite an excellent set of inputs/outputs selection given the price of this monitor.

 

With Built-in Speakers

(image from Amazon)


Monoprice included a pair of 2W speakers in this display. They’re far from impressive, which is understandable, considering the cheap price tag that comes with this product. It’s a decent add-on and can be useful for general use with meager volume.

 

Wobbly Stand, But with VESA Mounting Holes for Ergonomic Upgrade

The stand is also made up of glossy black plastic, with flaws that are more meaningful even for an average user. The cheap construction of the stand means it doesn’t allow any flexibility and ergonomic adjustments; it is only limited to tilt. Also, its thin neck support wobbles even with the slightest of movement.

(image from Amazon)


Fortunately for users, there are VESA-compliant mounting holes at the back, providing better alternative for ergonomic upgrades. Users can get rid of the wobbly stand and mount this humongous display to a more dependable monitor stand, or to a wall mount with fully articulating arm for a more comfortable and ergonomic setup.

 

Tech Specs

Bottom Line

Indeed, MonoPrice Select Series 4K Monitor offers some nice propositions, as it runs 4K Ultra HD resolution with generous set of I/O ports for a very attractive price. But considering the brand has not established its name as a competitor in the monitor market, it is easy to understand why it’s inferior to many of its competition. It performed quite well in many areas, such as contrast and gamma, but it’s short in color gamut, resulting to inferior color quality compared to its competitors.

It is easy to say that this display is built for a place where 4K is inaccessible, but we are no longer in 2014. Though it comes with gamma, it struggles in color gamut. There are plenty of better options for its price, such as CTL X2800. The Acer S277HK may be a little more expensive, but it stops Monoprice in almost all areas. Dell P2715Q is better than CTL and Acer, and is only a little more expensive than Monoprice.

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



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