Appearances and Impressions

Out of box, the Sceptre is imposing (though not so much that you’d want to use it as an ornamental staff). That said, there’s no arguing that 27” isn’t monstrous for an LCD display. Packaging is sufficient and of the styrofoam kind - extracting the big panel isn’t a problem, and doesn’t seem to lend itself to being damaged easily.

The display stand is basic - assembly consists of sliding the panel into one piece which then snaps into the circular plastic base. It’s sufficient to hold the display firmly in place, but doesn’t offer any ergonomic options outside of vertical tilt, about 20 degrees is all you get. Keep in mind on a large panel a small amount of tilt feels like a lot because of how much motion there is out at the extreme, but the 20 degrees of travel here lets you get between perfectly vertical, and comfortably tilted upward. There isn’t any height adjustment, swivel, or rotation. The option (tilt) you get is spartan, but the display stand feels firm and works adequately enough that typing on the same desk doesn’t result in some monitor shake starting. That weird kind of monitor tilt resonance can get really annoying, especially on cheaper display stands. There’s a standard 100mm VESA mount, so you can bring your own better stand if you so choose.

Tight Connector Clearance

My only major complaint with the physical design of the Sceptre is that making connectors are given surprisingly little clearance on the back panel. Connecting my relatively chunky dual link DVI cable to the X270W, I had to bend the cable a bit sharply for it to clear the plastic stand. The single link cable supplied in-box has a noticeably smaller connector, so you won’t run into this issue if you use theirs, but be careful if you’ve got some pre-run, fatter DVI-D cables like mine.

Hmmm, that's not going to fit...

Things got a bit worse with the HDMI cables I had on hand, which admittedly have over-engineered cable strain relief and cause all sorts of problems on other displays - these didn’t fit at all and certainly would’ve broken the port inside if I shoved any further. I guess what I’m getting at is that it’d be nice to see a cable management clip or some routing guidance here, and no obstruction preventing you from bringing any cable down and out. At the end of the day, I wound up grabbing some other HDMI cables.

We’ve already talked about the 1080P display resolution and subsequent 16:9 aspect ratio choice. There’s not much to be said other than that 1920x1200 is quickly becoming the exception to the rule, whether you like it or not. For a monitor packing HDMI which will likely be driven at HD resolutions, there’s definitely an argument in favor of 16:9.

The front panel has the OSD controls centered below the Sceptre logo - there are 5 buttons. Four for navigation, one for power. We’ll talk about the OSD menus at the end of the review, but Sceptre’s options are again a bit spartan and just a little confusing - especially for changing volume, but we’ve seen them before.

Buttons: 1, down, up, 2, power (in order)

Power on lag is respectable - from cold boot to 1080P HDMI display in just over 10 seconds. Switching inputs is very fast - nearly instantaneous. The rest of the controls are responsive, though in HDMI mode it does seem like the menus occasionally were a bit slower than over DVI.

Viewing angles are the standard news for a TN panel - very good until you’re viewing the display at an extreme angle. In fact, the only notably bad angle (as with most TNs) is at an extreme negative angle, viewing the monitor from below. Again, that’s to be expected.

All important display quality isn’t perfect out of box, but gets surprisingly good after you calibrate and tune the display’s somewhat outmoded OSD. We did discover one unobtrusive dead pixel, though it seems to come in and out of being a problem.

Overall first impressions are pretty good: The X270W does what it’s supposed to do, and as we’ll see later, does a relatively good job tracking colors and being uniform. It’s a mammoth display, but again dot pitch is a bit bigger than we’re used to.

Meet the X270W: Targeting Gamers Analysis: Color Quality
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  • LouieIV - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    Why are monitors still coming out without displayport???
  • pjladyfox - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    You will probably want to look for a Sony GDM-FW900 CRT display. These can do DVI output via a BNC-to-DVI cable which I've personally used myself back when I had one:

    Failing that you will want to look for any CRT that has BNC connectors on it since, as you already noted, finding a CRT with a DVI-D connector is going to be next to impossible.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    As far as I know, if you use something like a DVI to BNC adapter, all you're doing is getting the DVI-A signal. In fact, I don't think anyone ever made a CRT that uses DVI-D for the signal. I'm not sure it matters, though, since ultimately the signal has to be analog on the CRTs. The problem is the GDM-FW900 is hard to find, and if you can find one they're used and cost $500+. (Not to mention they weigh a ton. LOL)
  • pjladyfox - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    That's true however the OP did not specify DVI-D over DVI-I. ^_^ But you are right that there never was a CRT made that had DVI-D output since that was when they were transitioning that tech over the LCD's. However, at least you have a starting point for finding a monitor locally 'tho while the FW900 is expensive it's pretty much the pinnacle of CRT displays.
  • Craig234 - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    I logged in, wrote a several paragraph review over 5 minues, and hit post and it lots the post with 'you need to login'.

    So a 1 paragraph summary:

    I bought it after XP21 $2300 and Sony XP900 CRT's for gaming/web, I like bright and colorful and no screendoor, and I like this monitor as a 'sweet spot' that looks very good with good value.
  • prof.yustas - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    I know a lot of people who really want to see HP ZR24W reviewed. Are you going to review it? It would be nice if you could compare HP ZR24W to DELL U2410.

  • Brian Klug - Friday, May 21, 2010 - link

    Oops, I forgot to reply. The ZR24W is on its way, and I'm eager to test it out! ;)

  • Ninjahedge - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    I was a bit hopeful on this, but they all like to scale down the vertical resolution so it is really not much more desktop space.

    This is a gamer/vid screen, not a workspace.

    It is hard, ever since I picked up my existing old school 20" dells (1600x1200) and have them hooked side-by-side, getting a single to match the desktop space is almost impossible (the 30" at 2560x1600 would be GREAT!, but $1200???? I can get a full size TV or a "MidRange Gamers System" for that! ;) )

    It would be nice to start side stepping like I did with my last config (a 1600x1200 with a 17" in portrait mode rotated next to it) and put a wider monitor with the same vertical resolution and dot pitch next to it. Otherwise, I think I am just going to have to wait for teh Colossus Screens to come down below $1000!
  • erple2 - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    You do realize why the 30" screen costs so much more, right? Nearly double the actual pixel count is one of the reasons. Using a better (and more expensive) screen technology is another. Those 30" 1200+ dollar monitors will still look substantially better than any consumer grade TV you can buy (and pretty much anything you see at any retail store will be consumer grade). There's a reason why they cost that much.

    Curiously, bigger is NOT always better in the case of monitors. Something that so few people seem to understand...
  • juzz86 - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    I dunno mate, I have a HP LP3065 and it's the best I've ever seen! I do agree though, in the case of going bigger you definitely have to drop more money to see an improvement.

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