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Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: An iMac-style 5K monitor at a tempting price

Christopher Minasians
13 Apr 2018
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
755
inc VAT

This low-cost 5K monitor looks stunning, though its IPS panel isn’t picture-perfect

Pros 
Very affordable for a 5K monitor
Excellent colour gamut coverage
Fully adjustable stand
Cons 
Large black bezels
Poor colour accuracy
Fiddly OSD buttons
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Apple's iMac has been quite the style icon over the years. Arguably older models had little to be desired but in 2012 all that changed when the company added an aluminium unibody. It comes as no surprise that this stylish design is greatly admired by other companies.

Iiyama's latest 5K monitor, the ProLite XB2779QQS borrows a lot from the latest, most aspirational iMac, including the glorious 5K resolution. At £755, it’s competitively priced – but is it any good?

READ NEXT: 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display (2017) review: The fastest, most stunning iMac ever made

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: What you need to know

This 27in 5K monitor looks beautiful and has a fully adjustable stand that allows for a full 360-degree rotation. Its glossy IPS panel produces vibrant colours and can go blindingly bright.

It’s also very affordable, by the standards of 5K monitors. Colour accuracy is a weakness, as we’ll discuss below, but its low price and very attractive overall appearance make it easy to recommend.

READ NEXT: Philips 275P4VYKEB review: 5K goodness at an almost reasonable price

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: Price and competition

At around £755, the XB2779QQS isn’t exactly cheap, but it comfortably undercuts its 5K competitors. The LG UltraFine 5K Display comes in at a steep £1,179, and while the Philips 275P4VYKEB cost £860 when I reviewed it in early 2017, the price has now rocketed up to £1,245 on Amazon.

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: Features, design and build quality

Clearly, the design of the XB2779QQS is inspired by Apple. With its large black bezels and silver strip along the bottom, it closely resembles the £1,749 27in iMac.

This isn’t a bad thing: it looks stunning. However, those bezels mean it takes up more space than it needs to: I’d have preferred a three-sided borderless design, which would fit more comfortably on my Ikea Fredde desk.

Happily, the mounting is far more versatile than the iMac’s fixed stand. Indeed, it’s better than you’ll find on most standalone monitors: as well as pivot, tilt and height adjustment, the XB2779QQS goes the extra mile with full 360-degree rotation, instead of the more common 180-degree range. If even that’s not good enough for you, a 100 x 100m VESA mount means you can replace the stand completely.

The OSD is accessed through a set of touch-sensitive buttons at the bottom right-hand corner. I’ve never been a fan of this type of button, as they give no positive feedback and are easy to tap by accident. Still, the OSD provides a good range of settings: the only things I missed were RGB gain and pre-set gamma profiles.

Round the back, you get two DisplayPort v1.4 ports, each capable of supporting the monitor’s full 5,120 x 2,880 resolution at 60Hz. That’s a lot neater than the Philips 275P4VYKEB, which requires dual-DisplayPort inputs to drive its native 5K resolution – just make sure your graphics card has a DisplayPort v1.4 output.

In addition, three HDMI ports each support resolutions up to 3,840 x 2,160 at 60Hz. There’s also a pair of built-in 2.5W speakers; these aren’t exactly audiophile-quality but they’re fine for notifications.

READ NEXT: Best monitors of 2018 - our pick of the best budget, 5K, 4K, WQHD, 1080p monitors

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: Image quality and gaming performance

The Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS is built around an 8-bit (6bit + Hi-FRC) panel with a native resolution of 5,120 x 2,880. The glossy front supposedly helps the contrast ratio and makes colours look more vibrant. However, it can result in unwanted glare in rooms with bright ambient light.

That said, the XB2779QQS can easily outshine most reflections. Our X-Rite i1Display Pro measured a maximum brightness of 500cd/m2, which is blinding even in a brightly sunlit room. For comparison, the Philips 275P4VYKEB managed “only” 310cd/m2, and we’d never call that a dim monitor.

Colour coverage is very good too. The XB2779QQS reproduced 99% of the sRGB gamut, 97.2% of the DCI P3 space and 85% of the Adobe RGB range. With a 1,196:1 contrast ratio, it all looks beautifully rich and vibrant.

The panel does have one weakness, and that’s colour accuracy. With an average Delta E of 3.34, and a maximum of 6.22, this isn’t a monitor you can rely on for colour-critical photo or video workflows. Here, its rivals are leagues ahead: the Philips achieved a much better average Delta E of 1.03. To be clear, though, this shouldn’t be a concern if you chiefly intend on watching movies or playing games.

On that note, even though this monitor isn’t aimed at gamers, its gaming performance is remarkably good. The panel’s 4ms response time may not sound exceptional, but its perceived input lag is minimal, and with Overdrive set to +2 it responds well, with minimal inverse ghosting. Ideally, I’d recommend a 144Hz monitor for competitive gaming, but the XB2779QQS works well.

One final caveat: just remember that not many graphics cards can pump out the full 5,120 x 2,880 pixels at 60Hz. Even on an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, I only managed to achieve 100fps in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with medium-to-low settings – and this isn’t exactly the most graphically intense game in the world.

READ NEXT: Best gaming monitor 2018: The best PC monitors for 1080p, 1440p, 4K, HDR gaming

Iiyama ProLite XB2779QQS review: Verdict

The ProLite XB2779QQS’s poor colour accuracy makes it unsuitable for photo or video editors, but otherwise, it’s a great 5K monitor. The design looks gorgeous, and overall performance is very impressive. If you’re looking to dip a toe into the waters of 5K, this is a monitor I can definitely recommend: for the price, there’s nothing quite like it.