By Chris Scott Barr
When I first started working at an electronics store, we only had two choices when it came to monitor sizes. Most of them were 17-inches, though we did have a pair of the larger 19-inch screens that I would drool over. Now you can walk into a store and find half a dozen different sizes. It seems that right now anything from 21 to 24-inches seems to be in the sweet spot in terms of pricing. However, there are plenty of larger ones out there. Today we’ll take a look at one of the larger ones. Specifically, the 270W-1080P 27-inch monitor from Sceptre.
When you start looking at 27-inch monitors, you start to blur the line between large monitor and small TV. I suppose the only real defining feature is the presence or absence of a tuner. This particular one does not include a tuner, so by my definition it is a large monitor. Lets take a look at what it does have after the jump:
- Active Screen Size 27″
- Aspect Ratio 16:9 Wide Screen
- Brightness 400 cd/m2
- Contrast ratio 1000:1 (Native) / 60,000:1 (DCR)
- Resolution 1920 x 1080
- Response Time 2 ms (OD)
- 16.7 million colors
- 50,000 hours lamp life
- 170º (horizontal)
- 160º (vertical)
- Built-in. 3 watts per channel
- Audio In
Looking over the features list, we can see that it’s a fairly well-rounded monitor. We’ve got the three major video inputs, as well as an audio jack. The low response time is always good to see, as we don’t want any ghosting when playing games or watching fast action sequences.
Features are nice, but what everything boils down to on a monitor is how well it looks. If it looks bad, no amount of features are going to make up for it. This particular one isn’t going to blow anyone away with it’s perfect colors, but it doesn’t look bad. Blacks are appropriately dark, though whites can seem a little more dull than I’d like. The colors are a tad washed out, but not enough that the average user is going to immediately spot.
When it comes to gaming, you won’t find any complaints here. The monitor kept up with every game that I played without the first hint of ghosting. The same can be said of watching movies as well.
As with most monitors featuring built-in speakers I was unimpressed. The sound was generally muffled and a bit tinny. When using it with a PC you could easily use an external set and be happy. However, if you want to hook up a game console via HDMI, you’re pretty much stuck going through the built-in ones on the monitor. (yes, there is an optical output on both the 360 and PS3, but that’s a different story entirely) The games were still playable, but when watching movies I did have issues from time to time hearing certain dialogue.
This brings me to one other point that I’d like to mention. In order to change the volume on the monitor, you must first press 5 buttons before you can do so. This is a rather large pet peeve of mine with monitor manufacturers. If your monitor has built-in speakers, don’t make me press a bunch of buttons before I can change the volume.
If you’re looking for a larger monitor to replace your existing one, or just looking to add a second one to your desktop, the Sceptre 270W wouldn’t be a bad choice. While it isn’t the most color-correct monitor on the market, it will serve you well in your daily computing. The included HDMI port also makes it easy to hook up your favorite console for a bit of gaming at your desk. The MSRP of $399 is a little high, but some quick checking around the internet will find you a considerably lower price. Costco has it listed for $319.99, and is taking off an additional $50 through April 25th. Even without the additional discount, $320 is a pretty good price for what you’re getting.