Iiyama ProLite X2775HDS review
27in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:
LCD panels using VA (Vertical Alignment) or IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology are becoming more common as the cost of manufacturing goes down. Iiyama ProLite X2775HDS is a 27in monitor with a VA panel, and yet it costs only around £20 more than the Iiyama ProLite E2773HDS, a budget monitor, based on the usually-cheaper TN technology, that won a Budget Buy award in last month's LCD group test.
The X2775HDS has a choice of VGA, DVI or HDMI video inputs, and there are 3.5mm sockets for both audio input and output. The stereo speakers aren't brilliant - they sound compressed, with little bass or treble - but they're loud and will make do for Windows sounds or spoken word audio. The four-port USB hub is also a bonus, and means you'll be able to free up some USB ports on your PC and have them closer to hand.
VA panels are meant to provide more accurate colour reproduction and viewing angles than standard TN panels, but we were initially disappointed in the X2775HDS's image quality. While colours were strong face-on, as you move sideways the lighter areas in the image became more and more washed out, while at the same time the darker colours retained their punch. It's an odd effect; you can still see the structure of the image, but it looks faded.
As long as you stay directly in front of the screen, colours are strong and natural, and contrast was reasonably good - although strangely, not much better than the E2773HDS in a side-by-side comparison, even though the X2775HDS's backlight is brighter and more even. While the E2773HDS's colours were punchy to the point of looking over-saturated, the X2775HDS's colours were more accurate but not as vibrant.
The X2775HDS's menu system is controlled by a row of physical buttons underneath the screen. The menus aren't very clear - they use white text on a light-grey background - but are logically laid out. As well as brightness and contrast, you can choose a preset colour mode, but we found the presets' main effect seemed to be to change the brightness levels, so we stuck with the Standard mode. There's also a dynamic contrast option, which didn't seem to make much difference but thankfully didn't result in distracting changes in luminosity either.
A separate collection of colour options lets you change gamma and colour temperature. Adjusting the gamma improved contrast, and is probably the most effective way to improve the X2775HDS's image quality. You have a choice of Warm, Standard, Cool, sRGB and User colour temperatures - the sRGB option was surprisingly dull, so we chose the User option and kept all settings at 100. Turning dynamic contrast on, choosing the sRGB colour temperature or choosing a preset disabled the other controls.
We thought the X2775HDS's VA panel would be a big improvement on the E2773HDS's TN panel, but even after tweaking, its image quality was only slightly better. On paper, its more natural colours and its USB hub make it better value, especially for those who work with graphics and need accurate colours. However the punchier colours of the Iiyama ProLite E2773HDS make it a better choice for videos and games.