Group Test: Eight Panels Beyond HD (Part 5) : DIGIMATE IPS-2701WPH

4/11/2013 9:17:16 AM

A surprisingly capable monitor at a rock-bottom price

Making the move from a 24in 1,920 x 1,080 monitor up to a 2,560 x 1,440 display can be financially daunting, with monitors such as the Dell U2713H costing as much as almost triple the price of a top-quality 24in display. However, the Digimate I PS-2701 WPH breaks this pattern by offering a large 27in display with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution for just $548, and manages to do so without compromising too much on quality.

Despite its low price, the Digimate’s LED-backlit IPS display doesn’t skimp on inputs (unlike the single DVI-D-equipped Hazro HZ27WB). DVI-D, VGA, DisplayPort and HDMI inputs are all included, with the inputs running up the side of the monitor’s rear 1/0 panel.


The screen’s plastic surround is, rather strangely lightly textured, but it’s also remarkably thin thanks to the use of an external power-brick, rather than the usual integrated power supply. You’ll need to find space for the adaptor, but at least you get a thin monitor back in return.

While the lPS-2701WPH might offer the same inputs as its top-end competition; however, it compromises heavily when it comes to its stand. The integrated Perspex stand at the base of the panel is rather wobbly and, although the glossy plastic base into which it fits is large, the monitor never feels as stable and secure as we’d like. Thankfully however, Digimate has seen fit to include a 100 x 100mm VESA mount to the rear to allow you to wall-mount or fit your own stand, although this will be an additional expense.

Strangely for a modern display the IPS-2701 WPH’s panel isn’t coated in a matt anti-glare coating, but with a glossy finish. Matt coatings have the downside of adding a slight grainy effect, but not reflecting light sources, while glossy coatings have the opposite effect, making colors, particularly blacks, appear deep and true at the cost of reflecting any lamp, light bulb or window facing them. The IPS-2701 WPH is no different, meaning that this screen isn’t ideal for those who plan to use their monitor in a well-lit or window-filled environment.

On the plus side, the I PS-2701 WPH offers a halfway decent OSD, unlike the identically priced Hazro HZ27WB, although its range of settings is nowhere near as wide as the more highly priced competition. You can adjust the brightness and contrast to suit, and shift from the standard color setting to cool or warm presets, both of which offer unusable color temperatures.

The six separate buttons don’t make navigating the OSD easy either, but thankfully the panel is at its best simply left alone at its standard setting; there’s genuinely no tinkering required.

Strangely for a modern display the IPS-2701 WPH’s panel isn’t coated in a matt anti-glare coating, but with a glossy finish


At this default setting, the Digimate IPS-2701WPH produces image quality that far surpassed what we were expecting from a 2,560 x 1,440 display that costs only $544. The color temperature was admittedly a little cold at 6.077K, but the gamma levels were excellent, and only differed from the ideal 2.2 by 0.04 on average. Color accuracy was also particularly impressive, with an averaged E94 of just 1,8and a maximum of 4.2 - a result that shames the Dell’s U2713H’s out-of-the-box performance.

This a surprisingly decent panel at an incredibly tempting price

The only disappointment was the static contrast ratio of 600:1, which was some way off the stated 1,000:1 and the lowest of any monitor on test. This was very apparent when viewing fine shades of black, which were crushed together, losing detail during dark movie scenes. While the panel supports dynamic contrast, switching it on completely ruins the color accuracy not to mention the color temperature and gamma, so it isn’t worth the trade-off.

Any effort to adjust the panel’s color using the OSD to improve the situation proved fruitless too. The stock brightness of 250cd/m2, while making the display extremely eye-catching, was too high for everyday use. However, dropping it to more eye-friendly levels didn’t compromise the display’s image quality.

With the OSD exhausted, we turned to our calibration tool and Blue Eye Pro software, which was able to clear up the color accuracy to an average dE94 of just 0.3 and a maximum dE94 of 1.5, although the contrast ratio was beyond the software’s abilities.

Running at its optimum settings, the low contrast ratio still had an effect on black levels, but the I PS-2701 WPH was otherwise very impressive.

The glossy coating really made colors stand out, and appear clean and vivid, while the backlight levels were very even, with just a touch of bleed in the corners. Battlefield 3 looked great with its bright desert vistas, while video also looked very good for the most part, with the glossy coating adding sharpness, and skin tones appearing natural; the loss of depth in blacks was the only complaint.


The Digimate IPS-2701 WPH isn’t a perfect display. Its low contrast ratio is noticeably lower than the other panels on test when viewing dark scenes such as those featured in our test video, and its stand, while sufficient for desks equipped with a monitor platform, leaves much to be desired.

However, the IPS-2701 WPH’s out-of-the-box color accuracy and gamma levels are excellent, and the result is image quality that, overall, makes a mockery of the $544 asking price; even the any-five-pixel defect policy seems fair when you considering the price you’re paying for it.

The Dell U2913WM may be a very desirable monitor, but its (fully justified) $743 price tag is a steep barrier to entry, while the Digimate IPS-2701WPH’sprice of $544 is far more palatable if you don’t have a lot of slack in your budget. If you’re able to look beyond its flaws, this is a surprisingly decent panel at an incredibly tempting price.


§  Price: $544

§  Manufacturer:


§  Screen size: 27in/68.5

§  Aspect ratio: 16:9

§  Screen area: 311.5in2/2,009cm2

§  Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440

§  Pixel density (ppi): 108

§  Size [W x H x D): 645 x 487 x 172 mm

§  Panel technology: IPS

§  Backlight type: LED

§  Stated static contrast ratio: 1000:1

§  Stated response time (grey to grey): 6ms

§  Inputs: DisplayPort, DVI-D, HDMI, VGA

§  USB: 4 x USB

§  Adjustment: Tilt

§  Warranty: 3 years

§  Dead pixel policy: Any 5 pixel defects



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