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Pros: + First and most importantly: the screen is beautifully crisp, smooth, and vibrant! Coming back to an IPS panel after months using a TN display, it's immediately noticeable how much more vivid colors are.
+ No excessive/noticeable backlight bleed (at least on the display I got).
+ No dead pixels (again, at least on mine).
+ USB ports for my mouse and keyboard are nice for reducing the cable rat's nest behind my desk.
+ Mini-joystick on the back is very nice for navigating the OSD settings menus.
+ Height and swivel adjustment is smooth and easy.
+ Stand arm allows you a convenient place to store your headphones on the back of the monitor out of the way when not in use.
Cons: - Had to fiddle with settings to correct sleep behavior... at first the monitor wouldn't properly wake up - it would lose the signal from the mini display port and stop providing power to the mouse and keyboard through its USB ports. Changing the monitor settings to charge USB devices on standby and making a couple of adjustments to Windows' power options seems to have corrected this but it was disconcerting the first time it happened, when I had to disconnect and then reconnect the Mini DisplayPort cable to get the monitor to respond.
+/- Physical design is nothing to write home about. It's a dark gray color rather than the black like most monitors (and as it may appear to be in some photos), with spare red accents (branding on the base, cable-management bracket on the back, etc). There is no in-your-face branding or garish decoration, but aside from its size the monitor won't attract attention at first glance just for its physical characteristics. It looks like a monitor, and it looks like it was designed for function rather than aesthetics. I will say the bezels are nice and slim, it's not an "edge-to-edge" screen but the bezels are slim enough that they don't make the monitor seem bulkier.
+/- Base of the stand takes up quite a lot of area on your desk. This is to be expected as it has a heavy panel to balance and the monitor isn't wobbly when in use but it's something to consider if desk space is at a premium for you. Of course you could always use a VESA mount.
+/- Speakers are adequate and that's all. Thin and tinny sounding. OK for web browsing and watching some YouTube videos but not really up to the task for immersive music listening or gaming. I use headphones for that sort of thing so for me this is not a big deal, and what do you expect from monitor speakers anyway? If a monitor has speakers at all, they're all going to sound like this (odd ducks like the HP Envy 32" aside).
Other Thoughts: I just received my MG279Q yesterday so as you read my review keep in mind that it is based only on unboxing and the first few hours of use. However, my first impressions of this display are extremely positive.
My home PC sees heavy gaming use in addition to normal web-browsing duties, and in addition I sometimes work from home as a freelance social media specialist. I have been looking (and looking ,and looking) for a new monitor since last fall (2014) when my HP Pavilion 27xi died completely with no warning (nice looking screen, short on bells and whistles, unacceptably short lifespan). I was torn by indecision. If I wanted to get another 27" monitor, should I prioritize 1440p resolution (since my old display was only 1080p), or game-oriented optimizations like refresh rate and response time? On the other hand, I had always wanted a triple-head setup, but would it be worth the hassle of constantly adjusting my settings for games that don't play nicely with three screens? On the "other other hand," I was intrigued by the ultrawide (21:9) displays hitting the market and saw real benefit to them for productivity and multi-tasking.
I hemmed and hawed over all these considerations for months, "making do" in the meantime with a 24" Asus display I had reclaimed from my fiancee (who wasn't using it with her laptop anyway because her desk was always a mes... love you sweetheart). In the end I settled on the MG279Q, even though it was at the upper end of my price range, because it appeared to offer the best balance of size, display quality, performance, and quality-of-life features. So far I feel my estimation of this display has been completely validated.
One thing I can't comment on is the monitor's AMD FreeSync capability. I have an nVidia card in my system (Asus STRIX GTX970) which is of course incompatible with FreeSync. I considered the Asus ROG Swift (PG278Q), which is compatible with G-Sync, nVidia's proprietary system for accomplishing the same thing as FreeSync. However, I was put off by the high price tag of the Swift and the many reviews reporting serious build quality and panel quality issues. I have never had a serious problem with screen tearing while gaming and so neither G-Sync nor FreeSync are particularly compelling features to me.
To me, unless you have your heart set on being able to utilize G-Sync, this display is a much better value than the ROG Swift. It features a very similar design, similar performance specs in most/all respects, the same Asus gaming features, more connectivity options, and perhaps most importantly an IPS panel versus the Swift's TN panel. Furthermore, while the MG279Q hasn't been on the market as long and it may be too soon to tell, so far the MG279Q doesn't appear to suffer from the same thing of QA problems which have plagued the Swift. Now consider the fact that all of this comes at a price tag which is, depending on which retailers you compare, about $100 less than the Swift, and in my opinion t
Pros: Picked this up for $99.99 while it was on sale here at Newegg and another online retailer a week or so ago. I needed an external monitor for work to connect my Macbook Pro to. I already own this monitor's bigger brother, the 27xi, using it as my primary display for my desktop at home, and I am happy with it overall so for the price this was an obvious purchase.
On the whole having had it hooked up and in use for a couple of days I am quite satisfied with it.
+Good color and image quality right out of the box, doesn't need tweaking. I turned up the brightness on mine by one level but that's just personal preference.
+Sleek, attractive, modern design. Looks good on my desk, goes well with my Macbook.
+All plastic, but it feels well built - no wobbling or creaking on the stand.
+Has on-screen setting controls and physical buttons for adjusting them, unlike some of the bigger monitors in this line.
Cons: A couple of other reviews have mentioned this display having an excessive antiglare coating on it, even comparing it to "frosted glass." I think this is a major exaggeration, but the matt antiglare coating is noticeable. My 27xi is extremely glossy with no antiglare at all, so I expected this monitor to be the same - at first I thought there was a protective plastic film over the screen that I had forgotten to remove. The screen definitely lacks luster next to the display on my Macbook. That said, some people may actually prefer the matte finish.
-Noticeable (though not excessive) antiglare coating - may be a positive to some people.
-Not compatible with VESA mounts.
Other Thoughts: It's interesting to compare it to the 27xi now that I own both. In some respects I would say it is actually superior to the bigger display, in others inferior.
Both displays have the exact same stand, but the 27xi is obviously much bigger and heavier, and it tends to be a little wobbly at times. The little 20xi, on the other hand, seems totally solid and balanced on the stand.
As mentioned above, the 27xi's screen is extremely glossy, whereas the 20xi's has an antiglare coating on it. It comes down to personal preference which is "better." Personally for gaming/movies I like the glossiness of my 27xi at home and find it just more pleasant to look at most of the time, but for work the matte look of the 20xi is no big deal.
The 27xi has no external controls at all besides its power button (which is not really a button at all, you just touch the power light), and no on-screen display for settings - you need to install HP software to make any tweaks to the picture. The 20xi has an actual power button (not as cool), but it also has a row of standard setting adjustment buttons with on-screen display for basic adjustments, so the 20xi actually outdoes its bigger sibling in that regard.
All of the Pavilion xi range are designed to be no-frills displays, you're not getting extras like USB ports or speakers, but you are getting attractively designed displays with very nice picture quality for a low price. I wouldn't want to use the 20xi as my primary/only display day in and day out, but I wouldn't want to use any 20" display for that after having monitors 23" or bigger at home for several years. For the type of use that I purchased it for - secondary or supplementary display with a laptop at work - I recommend the HP Pavilion 20xi highly.
Pros: Simple but attractive design.
Very cool and well ventilated.
Easy to install/remove drives.
Cons: Somewhat on the big and heavy side.
Front I/O panel static discharge problems (see below).
Other Thoughts: Unfortunately, problems with the front I/O panel ruin what otherwise seems to be a very nice case. The panel appears to be improperly shielded or have some other static discharge problem, because plugging in a USB thumb drive, headphones, speakers, game controller, etc. will often result in a sudden system restart.
Grounding the device you're plugging in by touching the metal back of the case prevents this sometimes, but not 100%.
This appears to be a common issue with various models Cooler Master case models lately. Just search for "HAF922 front panel shutdown" in Google and you'll find hardware discussion forum threads about the problem.
Sadly, there appears to be nothing I can do about it unless I want to fool around with various jury-rigged grounding methods involving anti-static pads and extra wires or RMA either the panel or the whole case and fight with CM to send me a new one...and even then, how do I know the replacement will work right?
Display Name: Dan M.
Date Joined: 12/29/10
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