Most of the 27” monitors that have come through have been able to get incredibly bright, as the backlighting systems need to be pretty powerful to light up a 27” panel well and keep uniformity. Here the DoubleSight comes in closer to the NEC PA271W than to the other 27” or 30” monitors we have tested and can only put out 271 nits at maximum brightness. With the brightness set to minimum we only get down to 145 nits, which is much brighter than anything else we have tested, and it means that our 100 nits dE testing required lowering the output level by adjusting the LUTs in the video card, which can cause posterization and other issues.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The black level at the minimum backlight is 0.29 nits, which is pretty reasonable. I also engaged the dynamic backlighting system and that dropped the level on a black screen down to 0.189 nits, which improves the contrast ratio quite a bit. Unfortunately, you can clearly see the dynamic backlight in use, and the screen fluctuates in brightness very clearly, which I found to be very annoying in use. The main issue is looking at the black level at maximum brightness, as it is over 16 nits! That’s over 32 times as bright as the closest display and really out of the ordinary, so what is going on?

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

The answer lies in how TV and Monitor controls work. On a TV, brightness controls the level of black, and contrast controls the level of white, and on a flat panel TV there is typically a backlight or cell light control to adjust the light output. On a monitor, there is no backlight or cell light control; brightness handles that. Since computer displays use the full 0-255 RGB gamut, unlike video that uses 16-235, there is no need for a black level adjustment. On the DoubleSight, the electronics are designed to work like on a TV, so instead of adjusting the light output, we are adjusting the black level. Similarly Contrast serves the purpose now of controlling white and the maximum light output. Basically, for use as a computer display, these controls are not designed correctly.

Given that black level, we would expect to see the contrast ratio at maximum light output be pretty poor, and it clocks in at 13:1. At minimum it was a respectable 499:1 and even at 200 nits I measured around 400:1, but once the brightness gets too high, your contrast ratio goes away.

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Suffice it to say, the DS-277W was not a good performer on the brightness and contrast testing here. Hopefully that doesn’t carry over to every aspect of the display.

Introduction, Design and OSD Color Fidelity and Color Gamut
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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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