Planar IX2850; An In-Depth Review

Planar joins popular computer monitor manufacturers like Acer, Lenovo and Philips in the race in 28-inch Ultra-High Definition (4K display) for well under $1000. Thanks to its 28-inch TN panel, this Ultra HD screen just become a practical, if not an inexpensive buy for anyone wishing to revamp their display’s resolution. Planar IX2850 is regarded as a great value monitor, with tons of features to be excited about. Dual Monitors Guide takes a closer look.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

With 4K display, solid overall performance, tons of I/O ports options, and a wide selection of utility tools such as split screen, Planar IX2850 is perfect for anyone looking for sharp high resolution image for their workstation.

 

Benefits

Affordable UHD Monitor with Great Set of Features

Planar IX2850 takes pride on its solid overall performance combined with crispy Ultra-High Definition imagery. The 3840 x 2160 maximum resolution is made better with wide variety features and tons of I/O ports.

 

Good Color Accuracy and Excellent Grayscale Performance for Beautiful UHD Pictures; Sharp and Highly Detailed, Vivid Colors and Darker Blacks

(image from Amazon)

This Planar UHD monitor is able to display clear and crisp images, with smooth and natural colors. Thanks to the TN panel, as it does a great job in displaying good color accuracy (though not great) and excellent grayscale performance. 

(image from Amazon)

Colors look good, as chromaticity test shows red and blue colors are relatively close to their ideal CIE coordinates, while green, like in most UHD displays in the market today (including those from its tightest competitors such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Philips, etc), is a little off its target coordinates. This however, doesn’t cause any oversaturation or tinting to the images displayed on screen.

The grayscale performance is highly commendable, as DisplayMate 64-Step Gray-Scale test shows the monitor is able to display each and every shade of gray.

 

Decent Power Consumption for its Quality, with Eco Mode for Saving Energy

IX2850 works at 40 watts at Standard mode, and 38 watts in Eco 1 mode. Switching it to Eco 2 will bring the consumption down to 31 watts, while Eco mode 3 reduces the power consumption significantly at 25 watts. This display’s power consumption is similar with its competitors like the Asus PB287Q (40 watts at Standard mode and 28 watts in Eco mode), and Acer B286HK (43 watts in Standard, 28 watts in Eco mode).

 

With FlexFour Feature for Four Simultaneous Sources

This Planar monitor separates itself from the UHD crowd through its superb PBP feature they call FlexFour. FlexFour feature supports up to 4 times simultaneous sources. This means you can input two or three as well, or have a traditional PIP window at the corner of your screen. Quite a cool feature that offers extra pixel density, making images look even sharper.

Dual and Quad-Stand Bundles

Like other monitors from its IX series, this Planar UHD display from offers dual and quad bundles, allowing users to easily, and economically assemble their workstation to mirror up to 16-inch display video wall configuration through either dual monitor stand or even quad monitor stand, with two or four Planar IX2850 monitors.

 

Good Viewing Angle Performance

Color shifting is not an issue in this UHD monitor, but there is some sort of luminance loss when viewed from extreme angles.

 

With Industry-Leading Warranty

Planar IX2850, like other products in its IX series, leads the industry with its CustomerFirst 3-Year Warranty, which includes free 2-day advance replacement.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

28-inch monitors are good enough to work as stand-alone displays, but many people refuse to settle for just one screen. If you’re one them, then the Planar IX2850 is a good choice, as it’s VESA mountable cabinet lets you sit two of them side-by-side.

(image from Amazon)

The Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm is by far, the best dual monitor solution out there. It’s made with solid polished aluminum construction and other high quality materials. It comes with Constant Force (CF) technology, the brand’s patented technology that holds displays in secured and stable fashion, but still allows easy and smooth adjustments to help find the best ergonomic positions for the displays.

(image from Amazon)

For single monitor setup however, there’s the Ergotron LX Wall Mount LCD Arm, a nicely polished monitor arm made with extra durable construction. It’s been well tested and proven to last 10 times longer than the life-cycle of many competitive brands. It also comes with the same Constant Force technology.


Design and Features

(image from Amazon)

Design wise, this Planar UHD monitor doesn’t look flashy unlike the earlier model from the brand PXL2790MW. Rather, it looks just any other desktop monitor, especially when looked from its front. It features a thin bezel for its frame (19mm), which makes for a good multi-screen setup.

 

Buttons and Functions

The control buttons are strategically located underneath the bottom right edge of the frame, quite easy to feel as they are raised a little higher. Their small icons are located on the front, but they are quite hard to see unless the screen is showing dark image.

Navigating through the display’s OSD can be quite a hassle, as button labels are a little too small to read. However, once you get a hang of it, it will be easy to operate the monitor and change display settings.

There are function buttons in this monitor, plus a Power button. The Main menu gives access to Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Eco mode and Overdrive (pixel response). Buttons also gives access to the four color temperature modes, namely Normal, Warm, Cool and User Defined, a Blue Light Reducer to help prevent eye strain, and five Picture Presets namely Standard, Cinema, Game, Scenery and Text. Picture in Picture/Picture by Picture (PIP/PbP) menu provides access to three Pip size (small, medium, large) options, while the Planar’s FlexFour feature allows users to open four PbP windows through four different video sources.

There’s a status light that glows orange at Standby mode, and blue in Operation mode.

 

I/O Ports

(image from Amazon)

As said earlier, there are lots of connectivity options to enjoy in this Planar monitor. The back side of the cabinet houses the two (2) full-size DisplayPort inputs, two (2) HDMI inputs, a VGA input, a dual-link DVI input, and an upstream USB 3.0 port.

(image from Amazon)

The left side of the cabinet strategically holds the two (2) USB downstream ports, the headphone and audio-in jack.


Solid and Sturdy Stand, But With Limited Adjustability

The round stand lets you tilt the panel up to 5° forward and 20° backwards. However, it doesn’t come with height adjustments, swivel and pivot adjustability.

 

With VESA Mounting Holes Standards for Ergonomic Flexibility

The 2.4 inch cabinet however, features VESA mounting holes on its backside as well, which means you can always use this display to modify and improve your workstation ergonomics through third-party solutions, such as desk stands, desk mounts, wall mounts and workstation.

 

With Speakers and with Lots of Ventilations

Speakers are located at the back, firing backwards. This means you can place the display near the wall for better sound quality. The back side of the cabinet also features lots of ventilation.

 

Tech Specs

Package comes with an upstream USB cable, HDMI and DisplayPort cable and User Guide.

 

Bottom Line

Planar IX2850 proves that stepping up to 4K doesn’t mean paying for a hefty investment. Prices for computer displays, as they usually do, are dropping, and if you’re interested in revamping your display with a 28-inch ultra-high definition monitor, then you should definitely check out Planar IX2850, as it’s one of the most affordable UHD monitors out there.

The monitor is able to handle 4K images nicely, with no problem displaying all shades of gray. Also, its viewing angle performance is way better than most of its TN-based competitors. Though its color accuracy is a little off from the ideal (and definitely needs improvement), it has good color accuracy. Also, it has lots of I/O ports to choose from, allowing you to connect any workstation peripheral or various important computer connections.

If you’re after more pixel density, then this Planar UHD monitor is definitely a compelling choice. It has good color accuracy and excellent contrast numbers, whether calibrated or not. And even if it doesn’t come with no-air-gap front layer, image clarity is still good, if not better than many of its 4K competition.

If there’s anything we can complain about in this product, it would be its middling color accuracy. This however, is a common issue among monitors of its kind (UHD or 4K). The stand can also be improved, as it doesn’t have enough adjustment options.

One more thing that sets Planar IX2850 apart is the FlexFour feature, which has the ability to display four sources simultaneously. Considering its price is about the same as its Asus and Dell UHD competitors, it’s an unbeatable value that can definitely make use of.

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



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