A couple of months ago our resident smartphone guru, Brian Klug, told me about a super affordable, Korean made 27-inch 2560 x 1440 display that used the same panel as Apple's 27-inch Cinema and Thunderbolt Displays. Brian first heard about the displays in the comments to our review of HP's ZR2740w. You lose nearly all of the frills (no USB, no Thunderbolt, no inputs other than DL-DVI) but what you get is a great looking, high-resolution display for around $300. A good friend of mine, Manveer, ordered one of these displays and brought it over the other day. I ran a few quick tests on it and decided to toss up some data and shots here.

Manveer picked up the Achieva Shimian QH270. It features an LG made S-IPS panel with LED backlight, the same hardware used in Apple's 27-inch displays. The panels used in these displays often have dead pixels, although the eBay seller that Manveer bought from offered a guarantee of 0 dead pixels for an extra $30. With his total (including shipping from Korea) at $334, the display was a steal.

Brightness tops out at 400 nits, and black levels are just as good at below 0.4 nits for a total contrast ratio of over 1100:1. You'll note that this is actually better than the first Cinema and Thunderbolt Displays I reviewed, but it's also likely that the panels have improved over the past year.

White Level -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Black Level - XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Contrast Ratio -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

Color accuracy is spot on with the Apple displays, and color gamut is pretty good at 74.8% coverage of the Adobe 1998 color space:

Color Tracking -  XR Pro, Xrite i1D2 and XR i1DPro

LCD Color Quality

The monitor performs extremely well, and this particular model had no issues with backlight bleeding although your mileage may vary there. As I mentioned earlier, you only get a dual-link DVI input which is unfortunate but something I'd be willing to overlook given the price. The cheapest models also don't have any integrated scaling hardware, you have to instead rely on your video card for all scaling duties. You also need to make sure that you buy one with the right power supply for your region. Many of these panels sold on eBay ship with a 240V-only power brick.

There's also no on-screen display, leaving you with just the brightness controls on the back of the monitor and your PC for calibration work. There are placeholder buttons on the back of the display but they do nothing here.

The Achieva's build quality isn't all that great, and doesn't ship with any top glass (which may not be a problem for many users). The display looks pretty good and for the amount you save you could actually buy a ridiculously fast video card to drive it (or multiple displays). I don't usually touch my monitor a lot so I wasn't overly bothered by the build quality. The Achieva's stand isn't height adjustable, and doesn't tilt all that smoothly either. From what Brian tells me, the more expensive Catleap's stand isn't really worth the extra money either. I'm a big proponent of having a height adjustable chair and desk for ergonomics, in which case having a fixed height display isn't an issue.

Although it's often problematic with non-Apple displays, Apple's mini-DP to dual-link DVI adapter actually worked perfectly with the Achieva display.

If you're looking for an affordable, bare bones 2560 x 1440 display, definitely give the Achieva Shimian QH270 some thought. Just keep in mind the caveats associated with these displays (potential for dead pixels, unimpressive build quality, limited input choices, no easily serviceable warranty, etc...).

Source: Overclock.net

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  • Throckmorton - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - link

    Glossy means more sharpness and clarity. This is important for two things especially... Reading text and photo editing.
  • phemark - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    Please help me find answers to these questions (I have Asus G73 with ATI Mobility 5870):

    Would I be able to get 1440p via HDMI to HDMI?
    Would I be able to get 1440p via HDMI to HDMI-to-Dual-DVI converter
    Any other way to get 1440p from my G73?

    From AMD website, i get the following about my Mobility 5870:

    Integrated dual-link DVI output with HDCP
    Max resolution: 2560x1600
    Integrated DisplayPort output
    Max resolution: 2560x1600
    Integrated HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color, xvYCC wide gamut support, and high bit-rate audio
    Max resolution: 1920x1200
    Integrated VGA output
    Max resolution: 2048x1536.......

    So it seems that GPU can support that resolution, but as my G73 only has HDMI and VGA, is there a way i can do it?

    Thanks a lot for all your help!
  • geforce912 - Friday, June 8, 2012 - link

    Hey phemark, i think the hdmi on 5870 is version 1.3. Version 1.3 doesn't support any resolution above 1920x1200 over hdmi. So even though your mobile 5870 can run at a resolution of 2560x1440, that much resolution can't be sent through hdmi 1.3 so you can't run 1440p with your laptop unless your laptop happens to have a dual-link dvi output. Hope this helps.
  • phemark - Friday, June 8, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the reply.

    I had a feeling about this....

    Oh well, Dell 2412M with 1200p is for me then...
    (unless I want 1440p in 4:3 via VGA :D)
  • mi1stormilst - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    "I communicate as it is a movie theater deep emotion"

    Other good ones:

    "What a good design of the backside"
    "Air Hole"

    and last, but not least:

    "Yamakasi cares the enviornment"


  • Phil Indeblanc - Monday, February 11, 2013 - link

    I have this in MATTE, HDMI OBD, Zero dead pxiels.
    Great screen for $380 shipped.

    While next to it I have the Samsung XL30($2800), not much to compare.I had the factory calibrate the XL30 for the LED triads to uniform neutrality.

    While the Shimian took a couple calibrations, it is acceptable. and required a bit of override on color adjusts. Or the Spyder3 didn't work to well with it.

    I am a non gamer, only Photo editing workstation. I don't think I would use it as my main editing display. I have it as a second screen to browse and have secondary tools on.
  • INKSLINGER - Thursday, April 11, 2013 - link

    I have just recently purchased one of these Shimian Monitors. Unfortunately it didn't have the power cord adapter to it. I have been looking and getting irritated by the day. That I have been having trouble finding one. Can someone please direct me to a source of some kind. It could be new, used, or if there is something compatible. Thank you and looking forward to some solution soon!
  • glbernini - Monday, November 9, 2015 - link

    Its nice to see a quick info. filled review. Your graphs took work and time to put together. Sadly you don't say if higher or lower numbers are better. Please say this in future reviews often times higher numbers are worse.

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