Just Delivered: Achieva Shimian 27" 2560x1440p Display

Subject: Displays | June 27, 2012 - 06:15 PM |
Tagged: yamakasi, shimian, korean, just delivered, catleap, achieva, 27, 1440p

If you've been paying attention to either the PC Perspective Podcast or This Week in Computer Hardware for the past few weeks, our talk of a new crop of low cost, 2560x1600, 27" monitors rising out of South Korea has been unavoidable.

Well, late last week I decided that it was time I get out of the 1080p era, and into the world of higher resolution displays.

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After an impressive shipment time of only 3 days, I recieved a package directly from Seoul this afternoon, and rushed straight to the office to open it and inform PC Perspective readers.

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For those of you not in the know, we recieved a tip a few weeks back from a reader about inexpensive 2560x1440 displays popping up on eBay for around $350. Of course this excited the staff at PC Perspective, and we immediately went into research mode, looking for all of the information we could find about these displays. While the initial impressions we saw all over forums were generally positive, we decided to give these displays the real PC Perpsective review treatment.

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While the Yamakasi Catleap is the most well known of these monitors, I decided to go with the $315 (Shipped!) Achieva Shiminan, for reasons to be expanded upon later in the full review.

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However, before we began our strenuous testing process, I wanted to give the dedicated PC Per readers a sneak peak of such an interesting product. Out of the box, we hooked it up an AMD Radeon 7950 on our GPU testbed, which had no issues at all.

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Also, just because the poorly translated eBay listings said it would not work, despite our best inclinations, I plugged this display into my Late 2011 MacBook Air with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Even using the not so reliable Apple Mini DisplayPort to Dual Link DVI adapter, my MacBook detected the display with no issue. While I certainly won't be gaming on this machine, the display has been working flawlessly so far.

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I know readers must have a million questions about these displays, so feel free to leave them in the comments of this post, and I will try to address them all in the full review coming soon!

 

June 27, 2012 | 06:29 PM - Posted by Rick (not verified)

any dead or stuck pixels?

June 27, 2012 | 06:51 PM - Posted by vinylfreak

What are your initial thoughts on the build quality , in general??

June 27, 2012 | 06:58 PM - Posted by alexander (not verified)

was the macbook a review sample they just didnt want back again, or do you just keep it around for low end testing because it's small enough to hide in a drawer?

could you perhaps measure the bezel as part of the review? would be nice to know since i might actually be able to afford 3 of these.

June 27, 2012 | 07:02 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

I think the Macbook is Kens.

June 27, 2012 | 07:11 PM - Posted by alexander (not verified)

the macbook thing was mostly teasing though :)

June 27, 2012 | 07:47 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Oh heheh ;)

 

Yeah, I think we can measure the bezels for you though, I'll be sure to remind them.

June 27, 2012 | 08:17 PM - Posted by alexander (not verified)

thank you very much

June 27, 2012 | 07:49 PM - Posted by audiophile (not verified)

What's your feeling on calibrating in software vs. the monitor on screen display? I've never calibrated a monitor using driver software, and it's been one of the things that has held me back from purchasing one.

June 27, 2012 | 07:58 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

At the office, we have been calibrating our monitors with a Pantone Huey Pro (which can be found for $80) for years, so it doesnt really bother me that there are no onboard controls to calibrate this display. However, with just the short time I've had it plugged in, I certainly noticed a pretty dire need for it to be calibrated, the color was pretty far off. I'm going to give the Huey a try tonight at home.

June 27, 2012 | 10:17 PM - Posted by Branthog

Don't worry about it. There's absolutely no point in using on-screen monitor settings to control the display. All it does is introduce lag in the display by having that functionality when you can do everything in software. You also don't need a scalar, because all modern GPUs do this (and most, set to it by default).

I still wouldn't risk my money on these Korean monitors. Especially now that they don't seem to be selling the over-clockable ones anymore that had people excited the last few months -- but even when buying locally (HP ZR30W, for example), the first thing I want in a monitor is no OSD, no scalar, and as few inputs as possible (all of these things introduce lag and/or slower response times).

I've used 30" ACDs for most of the last decade and all you need is a brightness adjuster. Not once have I ever felt any need for adjusting anything else on the monitor side, so there should be no worries there.

June 27, 2012 | 07:55 PM - Posted by Humanitarian

Uhh.. I'm so tempted to buy one of these, I just can't justify it as an additional monitor.

Looks like I'm stuck at 1920x1080 until they start making 120hz monitors at higher resolutions.

June 27, 2012 | 07:57 PM - Posted by Fatt (not verified)

I've had my Crossover 27Q LED for nearly two months now. Only one dead pixel, and no backlight bleeding. You guys really need to check out these monitors.

June 27, 2012 | 07:59 PM - Posted by Ken Addison

Yeah, I saw the Crossover as well.. but I feel like the Shimian has the best stand. We will report on all of these monitors in the full review though!

June 27, 2012 | 09:20 PM - Posted by MBCB (not verified)

Yeah, I'm really tempted too. I'm currently running 3 23" 1920x1080's for 5760 x 1080, but honestly, the support for Eyefinity in most games sucks so bad that I'm almost always running games in a window on one monitor.

Might be nice to have just one big monitor...

June 27, 2012 | 09:22 PM - Posted by MBCB (not verified)

One question Ken, did you need any type of adapters or converters for power or graphic card connection?

June 27, 2012 | 09:55 PM - Posted by Jon Pennington (not verified)

What's the minimum GPU to drive one of these? Will my big stack of GeForce 8400GS or Radeon HD3450 cards do the trick?

June 27, 2012 | 10:14 PM - Posted by Branthog

These Korean monitors are not worth the potential trouble. Yeah, you can get a 2560x1440 (notice - 16:9 and NOT 16:10) monitor for $300-$450, but what are you going to do when they have stuck or dead pixels or there is a ton of dust particles stuck behind the plate? Or perhaps you get one with terrible back light bleed? These all happen quite a lot and when it does, your option is to send it back for a potential replacement at your own expense (maybe $100?). Suddenly, that monitor has become less of a deal when factoring in the cost and turn-around on that.

Not to mention, the REAL reason to buy these monitors was so you could overclock them (some people have reached as high as 134hz). The new batch of these no longer seems to come with the PCB that allowed for the overclocking. So, what you're getting is a cheap A- IPS panel (the ones that just don't quite make the grade for Apple and other makers). That's it.

I also see a lot of comments about "only one or two dead/stuck pixels". If you're hard up for more real-estate at dead-cheap prices, go for it -- I guess. Just be aware that you are taking a gamble. You may end up with one or more great monitors for a steal. Or you may end up completely dissatisfied and with monitors you don't care for and no way to recover your cash.

Personally, I'd rather pay $1,200 for zero dead/stuck pixels (you better believe I'm returning to your store if I have dead or stuck pixels on something I've paid over a grand for) than only spend $350 and have bad pixels.

Also, while you CAN find eBay listings that say "pixel perfect" - that doesn't mean a DAMN THING. Those monitors are NOT checked by the person selling them. These things go straight from the manufacturer to the customer without ever being opened and tested. All "pixel perfect" means is that -- at the factory -- they have had a second look at the monitor. That does not guarantee anything.

The only exception are the guys who specifically state in their ads that they WILL open and test the monitors before shipping them to you (usually at the cost of $60+ each) - but that is a different thing than the "perfect pixel" phrase used to sell a lot of these online.

June 28, 2012 | 10:09 AM - Posted by Bearded Frog (not verified)

"These all happen quite a lot and when it does, your option is to send it back for a potential replacement at your own expense (maybe $100?)"
"Personally, I'd rather pay $1,200 for zero dead/stuck pixels (you better believe I'm returning to your store if I have dead or stuck pixels on something I've paid over a grand for) than only spend $350 and have bad pixels."

Let's pretend you're right that its going to somehow cost $100 to get a replacement. You could return this thing about 9 times before you reached the price of your $1250 monitor. I can't imagine you'd have to return it 9 times.

To me though, I look at this as a good sign that perhaps the market is changing towards better selection. For too long we've only had about 9 million different 16:9 1920x1080 60hz monitors. I havent had a reason to upgrade mine in a long time. Hopefully this will force the market to change and companies like samsung and viewsonic etc will release a higher res and higher refresh rate monitor at competitive prices.

July 2, 2012 | 01:06 AM - Posted by Branthog

> Let's pretend you're right that its going to somehow cost > $100 to get a replacement. You could return this thing
> about 9 times before you reached the price of your $1250
> monitor. I can't imagine you'd have to return it 9 times.

Actually, it costs $386 to ship a monitor-sized package from Denver to Seoul, South Korea via UPS and $110 via USPS.

But if there's a problem with my locally purchased monitor, I have a specific warranty with regional serviceability. There's someone I can call to get it fixed or replaced -- and quickly. And if it has to be shipped anywhere, it can be done for a few bucks and a couple days.

If I have a problem with, say, a Catleap, I have to contact the eBay seller and hope that the guy on the other end is easy to deal with and willing to accept my request for an exchange. Then I have to haul it to UPS or FedEx, pay a bunch for shipping, wait for it to go from the US to South Korea, through customs, be received, be processed (who knows how long that will take), and a replacement to be sent back out, overseas, back through US Customs, and to my door step again (and all the costs that entails).

On top of that, we have no long-term reports on the quality of these monitors and their durability. We know the panels are probably fine, though slightly lesser quality, but everything else in the construction is pretty minimal. I know my regionally purchased monitor backed by a known-manufacturer will have a multi-year warranty and probably last much longer than that.

So, when it comes down to it, it's as I said -- a good cheap alternative for someone who demands a very low price, is willing to accept a good amount of risk, and willing to tolerate potentially significant convenience (as well as adding something to the initial cost of the product, if something goes wrong). I don't know about you, but I don't have the time or patience to deal with exchanging the monitor with some guy in South Korea once (much less nine times or whatever).

And, like I say, the REAL reason to buy these monitors and the REAL reason everyone was so excited about them at the start of 2012, is that they overclocked beautifully. Reports are that the models being shipped to the states by eBay sellers today are not overclockable.

> To me though, I look at this as a good sign that
> perhaps the market is changing towards better selection.
> For too long we've only had about 9 million different 16:9
> 1920x1080 60hz monitors. I havent had a reason to upgrade
> mine in a long time. Hopefully this will force the market
> to change and companies like samsung and viewsonic etc
> will release a higher res and higher refresh rate monitor
> at competitive prices.

I'd hope that would be the case, but I don't think it is. I don't expect them to catch on and fill this niche that the South Koreans are any time soon. There may be a lot of guys on [H], PCPer, and OCN that are looking at these monitors, but it's a drop in the bucket as far as their sales are concerned. It's the same reasoning behind all the excessively terrible anti-glare coating monitors have these days (or the very poor glossy ones). The markets they're trying to serve are the high-volume office places that want these large monitors and (usually) IPS panels. Places where too much anti-glare coating is better than too little, because it'll cut down on service-calls. Places where $1,200 for a monitor is more acceptable, because it's being expensed from the corporate budget. Places where people aren't doing much gaming or movie watching, so OSDs and lots of connections are preferable to low input lag and fast response rates.

We are long over-due for returning to 16:10 and everyone getting up to speed with 2560x1600 (or higher) and (real) 120hz and solid build quality and no tolerance for dead or stuck pixels. Unfortunately, I really just don't expect to see that from the market for a long time. Perhaps not until new technologies are seriously pushed to the forefront. In these cases, I don't think it's the likes of Shimano/Yamakasi/Catleap doing the envelope pushing and market expansion. It's Apple and their retina displays that'll start pushing other manufacturers to seriously consider these things.

All in all, these monitors are *an* option, but they are far from ideal and for many of us, probably far from even being acceptable -- and I think the target audience for these monitors should take into account the potential cost of time and additional money and frustration that could be involved if they're one of the people who report dead/stuck pixels, damaged casings, or even lots of dust inside the panel. I think it's kind of like having liability-only car insurance. It's great, as long as you never really need it. But when you total your car, the extra $50/mo suddenly seems like it would have been a better option, to forgo the hassle and expense of replacing your own vehicle.

Finally, consider this response that a guy received when contacting one of these sellers regarding a return policy. Then, go take a look at a monitor with 9 dead or stuck pixels and a bunch of dust stuck inside the panel from the assembly process and tell me it's an acceptable risk (some buyers get a few small specks of dust and some are just riddled with it, like the top of an uncleaned bookshelf):

-----
I asked dream-seller about my dead pixel (I though it was black but it seems to be able to show the color blue) and about the small amount of dust in my tempered glass Shimian and this is what he said:

"Dear ____________________,

Hi!

Thanks for your message.

By the way, sorry for the inconvenience with the product.

As we don't open your product box and check it before dispatching, we are sorry to hear that.

Let me introduce you the regulation about this product in Korea. We contacted the manufacturers of this monitor and they answered back to us as the following story.

About the dead pixel, ===>up to 10 pcs of dead pixel<=== , manufacturers of monitors in Korea don't replace the monitor with dead pixel with a new replacement. It's a part of law in Korea. We are really sorry for this inconvenience.

And QH270-IPSB tempered glass monitors are mostly used at PC rooms in Korea. Monitors at PC rooms are used for PC games, and to PC gamers, ===>dust inside the glass is not a big problem to play computer game. So the owners of PC rooms don't care much about dust in monitor glass and therefore, manufacturers don't have any regulation with the dust in monitors and they don't take return back the product with dust<===. Sorry for this inconvenience.

-----

It's all too much risk, for me. I'd rather pay double or triple the price and know that I can return it if it has *any* stuck pixels, more than four dead pixels, or *any* dust. I think most people may feel the same way once they get a big beautiful monitor with one giant bright green pixel that triggers their OCD for two years as they can never look at their screen, without being drawn to that damn stuck pixel.

September 15, 2012 | 07:23 PM - Posted by HC (not verified)

That's a lot of text just to quantify the level fo your risk-aversion.

June 27, 2012 | 10:55 PM - Posted by JRod (not verified)

How's the brightness on it?

June 28, 2012 | 02:55 AM - Posted by Ss3trnks2

I'm hoping this really does turn out good..I'd sell two of my 3 23" 1080p Monitors for one of these bad boys. While I do love eyefinity and surround...the horsepower required to power those configurations compared to that of a single high res monitor is just enough for me to justify buying this over keeping all 3 of my other monitors (at least that's what i keep telling myself >.>)..

June 28, 2012 | 07:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Some information about latency and how FPS / RPG gaming fares on them would be interesting to see.

I'm of course not interested anyway until they can be bought from reputable brands at a local store, but I do crave more resolution!

June 29, 2012 | 11:49 AM - Posted by Branthog

The response times and input lag are quite good on these, but that's mostly due to the lack of on-screen display, scalar, and multiple inputs (all of which introduce these elements). But you can get those from other manufacturers, too. And similar response times (they report 6-8ms on the label, but the label is *always* crap as the manufacturer can test response times however the hell they fell like it).

A similar US monitor would be something like the HP ZR30W, which has a *tested* response time of 10ms, low lag input, and a full 2560x1600 resolution (none of those 16:9 garbage). It accomplishes the response and lag times because it has no OSD, scalar, or lots of inputs.

For comparison, the often beloved and popular Dell U3011 reports a 6ms response time, but actually has closer to 30ms response time! That's a good 2-3 frames!

A good database to refer to for detailed information on a lot (but not nearly all) monitors is http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm -- worth referring to as their review and testing methodologies can be quite informative to your purchase decision.

June 28, 2012 | 01:10 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

I want one,…..

I don’t like buying off brand though,…..

June 29, 2012 | 12:16 PM - Posted by Branthog

Microcenter sells a version of these South Korean monitors for $400 USD, with all the low quality manufacturing, but decent quality panel. (It looks a lot like the PCBank versions):

EQ276W 27" LED Monitor - http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0384780

Not an ideal gaming or work monitor for various small reasons, but if price is the ultimate concern, it still seems to be a pretty fine compromise - but without the risk of dealing with a South Korean seller on eBay. If you really have to go with one of these, the Microcenter version may be the least crazy alternative.

If you remove the casing on the back, you can see that it's using the same LG panel as the Korean ones and even the model and part numbers match up.

September 15, 2012 | 07:44 PM - Posted by HC (not verified)

There's nothing crazy about this. Value, not price, is the ultimate concern for most of the people who are interested in these. Price versus performance, with risk factored in. It depends on your tolerance for risk, & also on a proper understanding of the risk. With the Microcenter deal, risk according to your impromptu risk matrix is greatly reduced. but even with a South Koren eBay seller & a dead pixel & some backlight bleed, risk is mitigated when you consider that it is perfectly possible to turn around & sell the thing on eBay, even noting the dead pixel & backlight bleed to potential buyers, because there is enough demand for these & enough acceptance of a few dead pixels & some backlight bleed to create a market. Not speculation, I have seen a number of these resell on eBay for almost original price, with dead pixels & backlight bleed noted. Actual out-of-pocket risk with these is far less than you imagine, so it boils down how much you are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to resell on eBay. Of course it is possible that you might get such a bad monitor that you would be hard-pressed to resell it, but the reports so far don't seem to justify that fear, & you also have to bear in mind that these are after all products intended for direct consumer sale in S. Korea, so the likelihood of receiving a totally crap monitor is not terribly great. The decision to buy one of these should rest on an understanding of their qualities, an understanding of one's own tolerance for risk & the gains to be had from risky behavior, & an accurate assessment of actual risk.

August 19, 2012 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're not buying off brand, you're buying a LG S-IPS panel. LG is off brand?

The correct statement you were looking for may be : "I don't like buying A- rates IPS panel".

November 5, 2012 | 08:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How does the display perform with the macbook? I'm interested in buying one for my retina macbook. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

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