Monoprice is now selling 1440p monitors with LED-backlit IPS displays for $390. They are proving a hot item though as they are already back-ordered to March 2nd!
Last year, many enthusiasts and tech writers learned of high resolution monitors with IPS displays available from Korea for a relative pittance compared to the usual $700+ price tag placed on IPS monitors sold in the US. The Korean panels were manufactured by LG and were panels that did not quite make the cut to be used in Apple’s Cinema displays. Instead of letting the panels go to waste, various Korean companies used the still-high quality panels in their own rebranded monitors. Crossover, Achieva, and Yamakasi (and others) all produce IPS monitors with 2560 x 1440 resolution and LED backlighting. The panels are still of good quality and while the monitors generally lack on screen controls and scaling hardware (and analog inputs), the price more than makes up for those shortcomings.
In order to get the cheap monitors though enthusiasts have traditionally had to turn to ebay and deal with third parties in Korea who purchase the monitors there and ship them to the US. Some US companies have since started offering cheap 1440p rebranded monitors of their own, but ebay remained the cheapest way to grab a Korean monitor.
It seems that Monoprice is looking to change that by introducing a new high resolution monitor of its own with the 27” IPS LED CrystalPro. It offers a LED-backlit IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 for $390.60. It has a 6ms response time and 178-degree viewing angle (horizontal and vertical). The monitor supports dual link DVI inputs and uses an external AC power supply. The CrystalPro montior reportedly uses 65W while in use and 1W in standby mode. Further, the 1440p monitor comes with a VESA mount and included table stand that can tilt.
The real value here comes from the fact that it is sold by a US retailer and ships within the US. It comes with a 1 year limited warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. Monoprice will replace your monitor if it has more than 5 dead pixels–a policy that is not spectacular (though all monitor manufactures have similar policies) but within reason considering the price. Monoprice has stated that it is using the same LG panels as the Achieva Shimian and other popular Korean imports.
Unfortunately, the Monoprice CrystalPro is currently on back order, and new units are not expected to be available until at least March 2, 2013. However, if you have been wary about ordering one off of ebay and are currently using a 1080p TN panel the Monoprice offering might just be worth the wait!
Interested in 1440p IPS monitors? Check out our full review of the Achieva Shimian monitor at PC Perspective.
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