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Iiyama ProLite B2888UHSU-B1 review

Michael Passingham
9 Oct 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
432
inc VAT

Cheap Ultra HD screen with excellent connectivity, but the B2888UHSU-B1’s default image quality could be better

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The price of Ultra HD (3,840x2,160-resolution) monitors continues to drop, with screens from several manufacturers available for less than £500. Iiyama's ProLite B2888UHSU-B1 has come to market later than some models from AOC, Samsung and Dell, but it makes up for this with an eye-catching price.

Like other budget Ultra HD displays, the B2888UHSU-B1 uses TN panel technology for its 3,840x2,160 pixel screen. Typically, TN screens have inferior colour accuracy and narrower viewing angles compared to IPS technology, but you do get faster response times as a result, with 1ms in the case of B2888UHSU-B1. A TN panel is therefore often the choice for gamers.

Colour coverage out of the box was disappointing. Our colour calibrator found that the B2888UHSU-B1 was displaying just 89 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, and most colours, including reds, greens and blues, all looked a shade paler than we'd have liked. After calibration we detected sRGB colour gamut coverage of 94 per cent, which significantly improved the accuracy of these colours.

Contrast performance was reasonable, and we measured a contrast ratio of 889:1, while black levels were an average 0.35cd/m2. Backlight uniformity was again acceptable, although we found that the corners of the monitor were up to 10 per cent darker than the brightest part of the panel, which managed a brightness of 315cd/m2.

Backlight uniformity makes a slight difference to how well you can see dark objects in dark scenes in games and movies, but your viewing experience will likely be more affected by the screen's viewing angles than backlight uniformity. Like all the TN-based Ultra HD screens we've reviewed so far, you’ll need to adjust your monitor carefully in order to get the best viewing experience. Thankfully, Iiyama's typically robust stand has tilt, swivel and height adjustment so you shouldn't have any problems creating both an ergonomically and visually friendly setup.

Aside from basic colour adjustment options, the onscreen menus also give you access to picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture settings. You can have up to four inputs displayed on the screen at once, making this screen suitable for monitoring multiple video feeds in high-resolution.

There are four video inputs on this monitor, but only one of them will give you a satisfactory Ultra HD experience. There's a single VGA connector with a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels and a single DVI-D port, which can display Ultra HD resolutions but only at a jerky 30Hz. The B2888UHSU-B1 has two HDMI ports, one of which can display resolutions up to 2,560x1,440 at 60Hz and Ultra HD at 30Hz. The second HDMI input can only display resolutions up to 1,920x1,080 at 60Hz; resolutions between 1,920x1,080 and 3,840x2,160 are displays at 30Hz. The second HDMI port is MHL-compatible, though, which means you can connect an MHL-compatible smartphone to it and view its contents on the B2888UHSU-B1.

Finally, there are two DisplayPort connectors which can handle Ultra HD video at 60Hz. We wouldn't recommend trying to display Ultra HD content on anything but the DisplayPort inputs because 30Hz makes for a very jerky experience. Nonetheless, this is the most generous selection of connection ports we've seen on an Ultra HD display, making it tremendously versatile for users with multiple devices.

The B2888UHSU-B1 also has a pair of USB3 ports, and 3.5mm audio input and output jacks. The two 3W speakers are perfectly acceptable but won't replace even a budget set of desktop speakers or headphones.

The Iiyama ProLite B2888UHSU-B1 is the cheapest Ultra HD screen we've seen so far, and while you do sacrifice some image quality for this, the difference is small when compared to monitors such as the AOC U2868PQU, which is more expensive. With a wide array of ports and a great stand, Iiyama ProLite B2888UHSU-B1 has set the benchmark for Ultra HD monitors.

However, despite its bargain price, we're still not convinced spending this amount of money on an Ultra HD screen is worth it: while a huge resolution is great, at this price you sacrifice equally important contrast and colour coverage which are what set good monitors apart from great ones. Gaming is perhaps the only area where you'll see the benefit of this resolution, but you'll need a very powerful graphics card to make the most of it.

If you're in the market for a monitor now and have £500 to spend, you should look at monitors with 2,560x1,440 pixel panels using IPS, VA or MVA panel technology. The 27in Acer K272HUL is a worthy alternative costing around £100 less. Or, if you want to super-size your monitor, the £500 BenQ BL3200PT is a superb 32in screen with top-notch image quality.

Hardware
Screen size28in
Resolution3,840x2,160
Screen technologyTN
Contrast ratio1000:1
Brightness300cd/m2
Response time1ms
Response time typeGrey-to-grey
Horizontal viewing angle170 degrees
Vertical viewing angle160 degrees
Screen depth12mm
Base (WxD)296x227mm
Screen elevation33x175mm
Portrait modeNo
Internal speaker (power)Yes (2x3W)
Detachable cablesYes
USB hub2-port USB3
Integrated power supplyYes
Video inputsVGA, DVI, 2xHDMI (1xMHL + 1x1.4a), 2xDisplayPort
Audio inputsNone
Buying information
Price including VAT£432
WarrantyTwo-years onsite (three years with free registration)
Supplierwww.lambdatek.com
Detailswww.Iiyama.com
Part codePROLITE B2888UHSU-B1