AG Neovo L-W27 review
27in screen size, 1,920x1,080 resolution, DVI: yes, VGA: yes, HDMI:
AG Neovo may not be a well-known name, but that's because it normally sells to niche industries. The L-W27 is part of the company's first line of LED-backlit monitors and has a Full HD resolution in addition to a choice of VGA, DVI and HDMI inputs. It also has a pair of 2W speakers.
Curiously, it only has a TN panel. While we've seen plenty of new budget 23in monitors with IPS panels, it'll be a while before we see larger IPS screens reduced to the price level of the L-W27. The price is reflected in the design, which uses plenty of glossy black plastic, although it’s pretty minimalist overall. As you'd expect, the stand's adjustment is limited to tilt, but it's surprisingly slim for a 27in monitor and with a VESA mount on the rear, it's suitable for wall-mounting.
As we expected, image quality wasn't up to the standard set by the IPS panels we've reviewed recently. We weren't surprised to find colours washed out in comparison, but the L-W27 also has a strong bias towards blues and greens. Our calibration software reported only 87% compliance with the sRGB standard, and it boosted the red levels to balance out the colours.
You can achieve a similar effect by tweaking the colours yourself. The menu system is simple but crude, and controlled by four buttons underneath the screen. It's a bit counter-intuitive because the minus key actually moves the selection to the next option. We changed the colour temperature to User and set red to 100 while leaving green at 85 and blue at 90 in an attempt to match our calibration software's changes.
You can control brightness and contrast, and it has an Eco mode selector that simply changes brightness levels. It also has a dynamic contrast option called ACR. Normally dynamic contrasts cause distracting changes in luminosity, but we hardly noticed any difference with it turned on. There's also a section marked Color Boost that offered a selection of colour boosting options, such as ‘Nature Skin’ or ‘Green Field’, but we found colours artificial, even with the more balanced Full Enhance or Auto Detect options.
Despite our readings, colours were actually quite punchy and contrast was impressive. Only during side-by-side comparisons with an IPS panel did we notice the slightly more saturated colours and the decreased contrast, but overall the L-W27 is impressive. In Casino Royale, the wet tarmac in the airport scene at night glistened convincingly. When playing Crysis, the jungle looked lush and the beaches looked sun-drenched. It was only while studying detail that we noticed differences, but it didn’t satisfy us overall.
Still, for just over £200 the L-W27 looks like good value, until you consider the HannsG HL272HPB, which is pretty much identical in terms of image quality and features but costs £41 less, making it the better choice.