For the most part, the market for 27”, 2560x1440 monitors has been dominated by the higher end brands. The one main exception has been DoubleSight, which has made a pair of 27” monitors including the DS-277W we're reviewing today. Besides the PLS panels used by Samsung, every other 27” monitor on the market is using one of the 27” IPS panels from LG at this point, so much of the difference in designs comes from the electronics and case that are engineered around the monitor.

DoubleSight's approach with the DS-277W is to make a monitor that can work with all of your devices, not just your computer. It has multiple AV inputs (HDMI, Component) for your Blu-ray player or video game systems, and there are integrated speakers for audio from these devices as well. Does this approach set the DS-277W apart from the crowd, or does it lead to issues in trying to integrate everything together?

The DS-277W is seemingly constructed to survive in a harsh environment. The case is incredibly heavy duty and measures a couple inches thick with a nice, metal feeling to it. Unfortunately it was built for toughness and not ergonomics. The connectors are located on the bottom and are hard to access as the stand stays close to them. With 27” displays that pivot it is easy to hook them up, but in this case it is more of a challenge. There is also no integrated power supply and instead you have a large, external brick like you might find with a printer.

The OSD controls also follow the monitor manufacturer trend of using touch-sensitive controls, which needs to end soon. Many devices have moved to the touch sensitive inputs, but they either space them too close, or they are too sensitive, or they're not sensitive enough. With standard controls it is easy to adjust the brightness up by 1 or 2 clicks, but that is often a challenge here. With as much room as there is on the case, it would have been easy enough to locate controls there, with tactile response, and it would be a better interface to use.

The stand is likewise heavy duty, with with a limited amount of tilt available. You can use a standard 100mm VESA mount with the DS-277W, though it will have to be sturdy to deal with this case design. It seems that DoubleSight was going for the industrial chic look here, but in doing so have gone with some style over substance.

The OSD is hampered by the touch sensitive controls mentioned earlier. Whereas Dell has long been superb with the OSD interfaces, and BenQ has recently changed theirs to be more like Dell, the DoubleSight continues the sins of most vendors. Menus are laid out with Up-Down and Left-Right controls, but you have no 4-way D-pad to make navigating it easier. Up-Down controls work well if all the interface is designed to only move Up and Down, but once you add Left-Right in there and don’t have a 4-way pad, it becomes unnecessarily complicated to control the OSD.

Most controls are available in the OSD, though some menus are not available and you can never seem to select them. They might be options when using the analog inputs, like Component Video, but as I discuss later that didn’t work for me. Overall the OSD would have been much better had the input mechanism been better designed, but as it is I was not a fan of it.

Since all 27” panels use very similar IPS panels from LG, the viewing angles here are what we expect. If you get to very extreme angles you can get some backlight washout on the image, but not at any angle you would use while working or watching the display. There is no color inverting or other issues as you would see on a TN display, and I didn’t find the level of anti-glare coating to be bothersome. I think it has more than the HP or NEC monitors that I've tested, but I am not nearly as bothered by it as many of our readers are.

DoubleSight DS-277W
Video Inputs 1x DVI-DL
2x Dsub (VGA)
1x Component
Panel Type IPS (8-bit native, 10-bit with A-FRC)
Pixel Pitch 0.23mm
Colors 1.07 Billion
Brightness 300 nits
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Time 6ms
Viewable Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Viewing Angle 178/178 Horizontal/Vertical Degrees
Backlight CCFL
Power Consumption (operation) 121W
Power Consumption (standby) 121W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable Yes
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel Yes
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100x100mm or 100x200mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 25.75" x 22.50" x 8.50"
Weight 25 lbs.
Additional Features Stereo LR Inputs, 3.5mm Input and Output, Optical Output
Limited Warranty 1 Year
Price $955 Online (as of 6/12/2012)

All of the specs are what you would expect from the LCD panel, but it's in the other areas that we see some deviation from the norm. For one, there are the numerous input options, though I have to admit including two VGA ports rather than a second HDMI or DVI-DL port seems odd, and despite listing a DisplayPort interface on the manufacturer's page, one isn't present on the actual monitor. Whoops! There are also some audio input/output options. Note that there's no pivot available, if you were hoping for a 27" portrait display, though you could do that with a separate VESA mount if you so choose. And with our tour of the outside and specifications complete, it is time to get it on the test bench and see how it performs.

Brightness and Contrast Ratios
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  • anishannayya - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Remember, this is 1440p we are talking about. I don't know many games that a single card card can push past 120 hz. At least games that would benefit from 120 hz (FPS).
  • DarkUltra - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - link

    At high resolution you are limited by texture mapping and pixel shader performance. I turn off MSAA and set detail levels to high and Crysis 2 looks almost the same, but runs at 100-120 fps. Much easier to enjoy the action and everything looks more solid when I look around.

    This is at 1920x1080 on a geforce gtx 580 and of course 120hz. If I manage to get a 1440p 120hz monitor I might need a gtx 680, it has twice as many texture mapping units. I wish 3D card reviews would test what gpu, cpu and settings you would need to get 120fps in games.

    Every game I've tried benefits from 120hz/fps except old games that cannot render the graphics and mouse cursor faster than 30/60fps like Baldur's Gate and Diablo. Smoother, more precise mouse cursor and panning in RTS games also benefits greatly from 120hz/fps. Even games like C&C 3 that are locked at 30fps can since the cursor is rendered at its own layer updating at screen refresh.
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Displayport 1.2 has the bandwidth needed to do 2560x1600x120hz. I've seen reviewers report that 120hz was noticeably smoother when scrolling/moving the mouse on the windows desktop; so you should get some benefit from it even if you can't push the FPS that high while gaming.
  • Anubis - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    anand did a quick review of the QH270 lite - which is basically the same as the catleap (same panel just cant be overclocked)

    the 120 HZ capable monitors are not really made anymore and you are taking an even bigger gamble with the ones from 120hz IMO

    however even without them doing 120HZ they are one of the best deals out there, you can get 2 for what 1 HP or Dell would cost
  • Cattykit - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link
    Above is the one that can be 'overclocked' to do 120hz.

    For those who are interested in various IPS monitors, check the below Korean price search site. There, you'll see tons of IPS monitors with tons of different specs. and price point. It's quite amazing how cheap many of IPS monitors run: 27" 2560x1440 LED one being only $200.
  • anishannayya - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Rather useless, considering that the entire website is in Korean.
  • alcortez - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    All of those Korean monitors can be found on Ebay with 2 day shipping for ~$300-350.
  • Snipe3000 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    Holy Bezels Batman!
  • DBissett - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    The title of the review suggests it's a pretty good monitor but not the best. The summary pretty much trashes the monitor and I was surprised. Just saying. The alternatives you suggested are good ones.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - link

    True; I probably should have thought of that before posting for Chris. I've changed it now, as while the display *tries* to do a lot of things and be a "Jack of All Trades", the reality is it fails at pretty much everything it tries. A firmware update could work wonders, but sadly that hasn't happened despite being requested.

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