We’ve almost all bought things from Monoprice -- most likely some cables, maybe printer toner, perhaps some speakers. They certainly come to mind for those products, but until recently you didn’t think of them for monitors. Now they offer a line of 27” and 30” IPS displays that are priced to compete with the imported models from South Korea. Their newest 27” model is also the least expensive: the Zero-G Slim.

The 27” 2560x1440 IPS display sells for only $390, or $386 if you want to order 50+ of them at once. That's more expensive than some import brands, but it does undercut competitors like Nixeus in the budget 27” realm. One way it gets here is by being DVI only. There is a VGA input, but if you want to stay all digital you’ll need to use DVI.

It also features an external power brick. Many people aren’t as bothered by this as I am, but I prefer an IEC connector. The strangest design choice is the on-screen controls. The front of the display is very clean, with a metal finish around the front and a very simple look. To accomplish this all controls have been placed on the back of the screen. There are no labels on the front to guide you. You need to learn the buttons and rely on memory to use the OSD. This isn’t the worst design I’ve used but it isn’t far off. Perhaps most users never adjust anything on their display, but I don’t like to reach around back and fumble around for the power button and other controls.

The OSD has access to basic controls and preset color temperatures. There is a gamma control that is curiously labeled “On/Off” and not with a numeric value. Beyond the basic controls and a one-point adjustable color temperature, there isn’t much you can adjust on the Monoprice.

The flat front look that Monoprice uses looks nice from a distance, but up close and in use the 1” bezel feels very large. The bezel on my monitor next to it is larger, but being raised and not flat causes it to feel smaller. It’s a personal thing but it felt like I was looking at a massive bezel while using it.

The glossy finish of the Zero-G will certainly make some people very happy.  It’s not glass but a laminate in front of the panel that has an anti-glare treatment applied. It isn’t the reflection magnet that some displays are, but it also doesn’t hide them well. In the Brightness and Contrast section, you’ll see what I think they do to deal with the inherent issues of a glossier finish.

With an IPS panel, the viewing angles on the Monoprice leave nothing to worry about. You’ll have a bigger issue with reflections from the screen finish than you will from any colors washing out or having contrast shifts. Those flaws are absent from any normal viewing angle.

The stand attaches easily with two screws at the base but offers almost nothing in the way of adjustments. Tilt is the only thing you can adjust on the Zero-G with the included stand. There are standard 100mm VESA mounts on the back for an after-market stand if you need more flexibility.

Monoprice Zero-G
Video Inputs DVI-DL, Dsub
Panel Type IPS
Pixel Pitch 0.2331mm
Colors 1.07 billion
Brightness 400 cd/m^2 typical
Contrast Ratio 80,000:1 Dynamic
Response Time 6ms GTG
Viewable Size 27"
Resolution 2560x1440
Viewing Angle (H/V) 178/178
Backlight LED
Power Consumption (operation) < 90W
Power Consumption (standby) < 1.5 W
Screen Treatment Anti-Glare
Height-Adjustable No
Tilt Yes
Pivot No
Swivel No
VESA Wall Mounting Yes, 100mm x 100mm
Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD) 25 5/8" x 19 3/8" x 7 1/4"
Additional Features NA
Limited Warranty 1 Year
Accessories DVI-DL Cable, AC Power Cable
Price $391


Brightness and Contrast
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  • steven75 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    That require long term thinking/planning, which (sadly) many people do not seem capable of. Still, to each their own.
  • mikato - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Yeah that's my thinking... Dell U2412M
  • grave00 - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    I had a Samsung 305 plus go out twice, second time for good. That was your high end monitor for you. Faulty design but I enjoyed it while it worked. Point is, your largely just paying markup. It's all coming from a few places. Monoprice isn't some high end American brand and neither is Dell. I say this having one good Shimian and one current X-Star I'm going to have to send back for an entire line of dead pixels. Still going to save money in the end and get to 120hz or bust. I have no extra faith in the big names. Marketing.
  • KAlmquist - Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - link

    Another reason to buy a good monitor is that, unlike most types of computer technology, it won't become obsolete in a few years. Sure, it's possible to get a lemon which dies the moment the warranty expires, but chances are that when you buy a monitor you are buying something that you will be living with for a long time.
  • Gen-An - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Am I the only one who saw "Zero-G" and thought of Minmay's song "Zero-G Love" from Super Dimension Fortress Macross?
  • bji - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Yes. There are thousands of names related to the word "Zero-G", not everyone is going to be familiar with the one you want to name-drop.
  • arcanes - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Nice review and I agree with the conclusion.
    I honestly don't understand why manufacturers don't calibrate their displays before shipping them. Is it too much to ask for?
    Question for the guys here - why do you want a cheap, uncalibrated 120hz 27 ips 2560x1440 display? for gaming? if so, ignoring the lag, show me the recent game you can run at 120fps@2560x1440 on high settings. Lets see, Crysis 3? no. Battlefield 3? no. upcoming direct x 11 games? haha. Maybe call of duty. And even for that you will need at least the 650$ 780gtx video card. So enlight me for your reason please.
  • max1001 - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Time is money and yes it is too much to ask for a cheap monitor.
  • DanNeely - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    Even if it's not generally reachable when gaming 120hz should be beneficial for non-gaming use by making the desktop response smoother.
  • Grimmm - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    From my personal experience going on a year now with a Catleap 2B and a 670, Skyrim, Borderlands 2, BF3 on high (not ultra) to name a few.

    BF3 ultra benchmark numbers at 1080 are mostly worthless for comparison, not everybody needs 16xFSAA when they'd rather have a higher framerate (that they can actually use)

    With Skyrim/BL2, I've had people walk over from the other side of the room when doing a bit of LAN gaming because the combined colors/smooth motion was "unbelievable"

    With a great processor to prevent bottlenecks there, you can easily hit 80+FPS ultra (minus object detail, which is just wasteful extra tessellation) in Crysis 3 on a pair of 760s ($250 each)

    Hopefully this was enlightening for you :P

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