View Full Version : Who makes the best 27" monitor for $2000 or less)

09-25-2010, 09:54 AM
I am looking for a 27" monitor to do mostly 3D modelling with. After an exhausted search on the Internet, I came across several excellent rated reviews on the DELL U2711 27" monitor. Many of the reviewers were those I highly respect so I thought this was the monitor for me.

After buying the DELL U2711 monitor, I was deeply disappointed in how bad the ant-glare coating obscured small text, and tinted all the colors a grayish tint. I requested a replacement monitor and it also has the same sub-standard A\G coating.

After posting this issue in another forum, one of the posters suggested that I look into the 27" NEC MultiSync PA271W monitor. So my question is has anyone used this monitor and if so, what is the quality of the A/G coating, or is the matte finish part of the LCD display and not a separate plastic coating.

What I am looking for is a monitor that has a true matte finish without an A/G coating.

I used a simple test to determine the quality of the A/G coating that I don't want:

Open a Windows Notepad.exe window and move the Notepad.exe window around while starting at the center of its window. If you can see the A\G grain stationary while moving the Notepad window, then the A\G coating is too coarse for what I am looking for. When I perform this test on an Apple 27" Cinema display, the white notepad screen shows no grainiest which is what I should get on a monitor with no A\G coating.

So the bottom line is that I want a 27" monitor that has a matte display without the A\G coating on it. So far I was told that the 27" NEC MultiSync PA271W was one such monitor.


09-25-2010, 04:38 PM
wow thats masive haha
i have a 22" and i thought that was big hehe
but i dont know the answet to your question sorry, i no nofin about monitors haha
but i am sure some one else does

09-25-2010, 06:54 PM
Whats your budget as there is a large range of monitors out there. If your budget is high you could look at Eizo or maybe HP. Do you want a wide gamut or a narrow gamut? Does it have to be 27" as that may limit your choice. Theres a large number of 24" monitors around at the moment with some good deals to be picked up. Is the expense of an extra 3" worth it?

09-26-2010, 03:45 AM
Monitor brands don't say anything anymore. There are only three or so manufacturers of LCD panels (" three main manufacturers tend to be Samsung, AU Optronics and LG.Display (previously LG.Philips), but there are also a range of other companies like CMO and CPT which are used widely in the market"). They mix and shuffle the whole thing up and about, and a Dell could virtually be any kind of screen brand, usually with their own software to drive it, which is not always a good idea, and then they often slap on the glare-type glass because it's cheaper... but the panel and the glare glass need to be matched properly and that's not always the case.

There are a few types of LCD panel technologies, and they say much much more about the quality of the screen than the brand does. The cheap and bad type is TN. They have very fast refresh times so they're used by gamers a lot, but have poor color reproduction, angles and homogeneity. Your choice would probably want to steer you to the IPS type (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TFT_LCD#In-plane_switching_.28IPS.29). (See here for a good explanation of the different IPS types: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/ips_technologies.htm) They are much more expensive, but have a great gamut, stability, viewing angles and so on. There are others, like MVA and PVA, which lie in between IPS and TN. Then there's some odd ones like AFFS, but I've never seen one. In the 25-30" range there really only are about 5 IPS panel types, all are produced by LGD.

The dell you mention has an IPS panel, but I also have not been impressed by its finishing. The question to ask is, which 27"+ monitor under $2000 has a good IPS panel, and anti-glare coating?

I would suggest looking at HP. They have a range of relatively inexpensive IPS panel monitors that are well put together, have anti-glare coating and have decent software. The step up from that is NEC. They are a bit more expensive, but their software and finishing is outstanding.

I would suggest maybe looking at a HP LP3065. 30" S-IPS screen, anti glare coating, $1350,-. S-IPS is a decent IPS technology. A step up from this is H-IPS, which can be found in the HP ZR30W, which is about $1500. H-IPS improves on the contrast ratio of S-IPS.

If you are looking for the BEST color reproduction for proofing, color matching etc, there's no way around the NEC P-IPS monitors. These are full 10-bit monitors, so there really is a substantial improvement. 27", NEC MultiSync PA271W-BK, is about $1400. The 30" is the PA301W, but it's not released yet AFAIK.

Brands like EIZO and LaCie used to be the CRT masters. But they don't produce their own panels anymore and they just tend to be very expensive, rather than particularly better than NEC or other high-class IPS panel producers.

Mind you, not all HP's and NEC's have IPS panels. Use this website to look up which panel type which monitor has. http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/panelsearch.htm

09-26-2010, 10:01 AM
Since I am looking for a clean matte finish and excellent color reproduction, then the 27", NEC MultiSync PA271W-BK would be a good choice? Its within my budget at under $2000.

Thanks for all the replies.


09-26-2010, 10:03 AM
I've got an HP ZR24w which is great, was easy to calibrate and has a nice image. It's downside, depending on whether it will affect you is that it has a narrow gamut. For the price it's very good. But if I had had more money I would possibly have looked at an NEC.

The ZR24w has a S-IPS panel. The ZR30w also has a S-IPS panel according to their website. The LP2475w which the ZR24w has replaced used a H-IPS.

09-26-2010, 10:04 AM
Hi rich,

Could you let us know how the NEC monitor works out, image quality, ease of setup and calibration etc?


Elmar Moelzer
09-26-2010, 12:22 PM
Yepp, IPS panels are the best you can get, I guess. PVA are supposedly pretty good too, but I think they are not used that much anymore (have been replaced by IPS for the high quality market, I guess).

I have a friend who is using a plasma TV for a monitor. I only ever saw him watch videos, or play games on it, so I cant say for sure how well it works in daily usage otherwise. Anyone tried that approach?

09-26-2010, 03:11 PM
I used an LED 46" Samsung which is OK for general use at 1920 x 1080. I had to sit close to it because the text was too hard to read from across the room. I used the HDMI output from my Nvidia 480 GTX card. Ghosting is a problem for fast games, but Fallout 3 looked awesome when compared to the Xbox 360 version played on the same Samsung 46" LED TV.

Currently, I am trying to find a NEC reseller in my area who can demo the NEC PA271W for me. I'm not buying no more monitors in the future unless I can view the display screen in person. A lot of reviewers let me down on this one as there was no mention of the A\G coating on DELL U2711 reviews. I was so excited to buy the Dell U2711, but I now feel like I was ripped off. My old Dell 24" was much cheaper and had a higher quality A\G coating.

Once I see the NEC in person, I will let everyone know how the display compares to the DELL. I plan on calling several resellers this Monday.


09-27-2010, 11:26 AM
The ZR24w has a S-IPS panel. The ZR30w also has a S-IPS panel according to their website. The LP2475w which the ZR24w has replaced used a H-IPS.

I have a LP2475w, which has an H-IPS (why I got it). The ZR24w is considerably cheaper and doesn't have S-IPS but standard IPS (still very nice). The ZR30w also has H-IPS according to the international panel database. It needs to have an advantage over the cheaper LP3065 one way or another to make up for it's 40% price difference, I think.

I've seen he same panel from my LP2475w in a NEC PA241W. I think it looked slightly better on the NEC, probably due to NEC's superior control hardware, but I didn't see them side by side. The NEC was also almost double the price (whaat?)

I also have an older 24" Apple Cinema display with S-IPS, and to me it looks less vibrant and has less gamut than the H-IPS of the HP, so there is a difference indeed. The HP however looks clunky and pretty unsophisticated. I like the hardcore black and serious style, but the HP certainly isn't IBM's Thinkpad range, if you know what I mean.

Monitor manufacturers are woefully bad in reporting the panel types of their monitors themselves, either the good or the bad way around. That's why the panel databases provide solace. That said, some manufactures (read: Dell) manage to ship the same model with different panel types. That's where it gets confusing.

09-27-2010, 11:59 AM
The ZR30w also has H-IPS according to the international panel database. It needs to have an advantage over the cheaper LP3065 one way or another to make up for it's 40% price difference, I think.
It's also 30bit with a matching gfx board...


09-27-2010, 12:09 PM
I do have the HP LP3065 and I'm lovin' it. You get used to the 30" quite fast.
If you have the place, I'd recommend it strongly!

I've seen it once under 1000 Euro, but the price has gone up since.
Still even at 1400 euro it is a very nice monitor.

09-27-2010, 12:33 PM
The DELL 30" is also a good one and not to expensive ...

09-27-2010, 12:59 PM
found it on newegg:
for 1200$ that's a steal ;) and a no brainer!

09-27-2010, 02:36 PM

How the anti-glare coating on the HP? If you open a window with a white background and move it around, can you see the anti-glare coating?


09-27-2010, 02:43 PM
If you mean the fixed grid like structure... yes I see that a little bit,
but that was never disturbing (till now ;) )
I guess to be sure you have to test and watch for yourself. I know it
is quite hard to find a dealer who can show these kind of monitors.
when I bought mine I hesitated for exact the same reasons (to which point
can I rely on judgment of others regarding a monitor.) In the end I
just bought it and I don't regret it! There are surely monitors on the market
which are better, but for me price and quality were unbeatable.