Priced at around £250 from Laptops Direct, the ElectriQ 32-inch 4K FreeSync IPS HDMI Monitor is one of the cheapest monitors in its class. Not only is it about half the price of most 4K monitors, but it’s also quite a bit larger than most affordable models. In short, this is a freaking tremendous amount of panel for a reasonably small investment. If you’re really in a pinch, you can get a refurbished model for closer to £200. The monitor comes with a 1-year warranty too, not the best guarantee, but I think it’s fair at this price range at least.
The phrase you get what you pay for is easily thrown around. However, while there are signs that this is a cheaper monitor, it still holds up far better than I expected. Furthermore, looking at the extensive user reviews that are available online, others are pretty darn happy with what they get, especially at this price. Is it perfect? Hell no, for the enthusiast editor and colour fanatic, it’s not perfect. However, for someone who loves to game on an evening and spends the rest of the time staring at Google Docs and social media, it’s perfect.
The black levels are surprisingly good, although that’s partly due to the IPS panel, which does give great viewing angles too. There are some compromises though, such as the 12ms response time, maybe not ideal for eSports, but for gamers like me who play RPG games and work… I couldn’t care less about that response time; seriously I couldn’t. Any ghosting issues are incredibly minimal and no better or worse than what I have on my own Iiyama ProLite, which has a 1ms response time. However, that’s a TN panel, this is IPS, so sometimes numbers aren’t everything.
Overclocking the panel also allowed it to hit 70 Hz at both 1440p and 2160p with no noticeable issues. Of course, every panel behaves differently, but it was a nice perk regardless.
Our monitor calibration may not show vast improvements, but real-world testing painted a very different picture. Out of the box, the monitor had a green and blue hue to everything; it was pretty awful if I’m honest. However, the monitor has a colour temperature adjustment, including RGB sliders, and two Gamma modes. Putting it on Warm and Gamma 2 while dropping the brightness to 80% and contrast to 46%; That will get you closer to good visual quality. Our standard calibration got the colour accuracy to 4/5, but the further tweaking of my own took that to 4.5/5, but not enough to change the overall rating of 3.5/5.
It was a bit rough around the edges, but not to the point where I would be returning it. I wasn’t the first person to handle this monitor though. Looking at the user reviews, people do seem happy with the quality of their monitors. The online gripe I can agree with is that the stand feels a bit small and could be improved. Personally, I would buy an aftermarket VESA stand that offers more adjustments.
Coming off of my TN panel Iiyama 28″ 4K monitor, I think the IPS panel on this monitor is as good or better than what I was using. They say to put your money where your mouth is, and I absolutely would buy one of these myself. Sure, it’s not scoring the extreme colour accuracy and gtg times of models from the likes of AOC and LG, but at literally 1/4 of the price, it’s hard to complain. You get a considerable panel size, plenty of features, and lots of pixels for a very reasonable price..
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