These panels were available since a few years ago on Taobao.com (China's eBay if that helps) in small quantities, and there were lots of excitement to make your own “Cinema Display” at 1/3 the price. As a big screen lover, I was also intrigued. So I did some research.
Here's the background story I heard a year or two ago from an anonymous guy claiming he's working in LG's factories in China. I didn't verify if it's true (unless I saw LG's contract with Apple, which means impossible), but it makes a lot of sense to me anyway. You have to judge by yourselves.
These 27" S-IPS (yes, not e-IPS) panels were indeed manufactured for Apple's iMacs and Cinema/Thunderbolt Displays. Apparently Apple has pretty high and tight standard (which they do, if you've ever used authentic ones) about these panels. Once in a while a production run will not meet Apple's expectation for some reason (e.g. color/brightness/contrast uniformity). So Apple rejects the faulty batch, and LG has to find some creative ways to deal with the rejects without losing too much (these are expensive panels) AND not breaking the contract with Apple.
Turned out Apple forbids LG to resell rejected 27" panels to any well-known brands in meaningful quantity. The restriction makes a lot of business sense: you don't want a major brand suddenly floods the market with comparable displays but at less than half of the price of iMacs and Cinema/Thunderbolt Displays. Especially so when you had spent a lot of money to secure the supply of such giant panels.
So what does LG do in the end? They first sort the faulty batch into two categories: the better ones that can be salvaged by LG itself, and the worse ones that have to go somewhere else. LG re-cuts the slightly better ones into smaller panels (24" and below), and re-sells these to its partners as high grade IPS panels, as this is not forbidden by the contract with Apple (only 27" ones are forbidden). And worse ones? They go to various unknown brands in small quantities (again, this is not forbidden by the contract).
My bet is that these Korean panels are from the second category.
This is news to me, my father sell LCD inspection equipment that is part of the assembly line, if a screen doesn't meet the yield, it's rejected. Panels can't be tested until much later in the assembly line process so you can't just re-cut the glass like wood into smaller bits.
Apple probably doesn't inspect the panel until it's completely put together, which is too late. So there is no way they can just take back a bad batch and re-cut the screen. Most likely, Apple receives a shipment, tests a few panels, if it doesn't meet their yield, they reject the shipment and LG will sell the panels to a 3rd party that has lower standards and the 3rd party will rebrand them.
What Apple forbids and LG does are two completely different things. How would Apple even check? Also, once a shipment is rejected, Apple doesn't have any say, they didn't buy it, so why do they have the power to forbid reselling? Even if Apple does find out, it's not like they can kill the contract, there are only 2-3 players in the LCD business that can meet Apple's standards. AFAIK Apple mainly sources their panels from LG and Samsung. Apple would be at a huge disadvantage in getting a competitive price if they ended their relationship with LG.
The cheapest I can find is about 1599 RMB on 360buy.com
Monitors failing within 3 months suggests that you're seeing the infant mortality part of the curve. If a particular monitor lasts 3 months, it will likely last for many years.
Schroeder and Gibson: "Contrary to common and proposed models, hard drive failure rates don’t enter steady state after the first year of operation. Instead failure rates seem to steadily increase over time."
There is a reason Toyota and co don't have 6months of parts on hand - and it isn't due to shortage of shelf space
I've found it to be rather intrusive and annoying, especially compared to the ZR2440w's coating.
Did the seller honor them properly?
While this is true for a few of the companies, it is not true for all of them. "Korean monitors" isn't one entity. There's a lot of companies selling these things, and a lot of them are A quality panels. (So the lesson is to not just repeat things you hear without finding a primary source first).
I believe most rumors point to Apple releasing a 27 or 30 inch super resolution display within the next year. I'll be waiting for these Korean companies to release their own version and then snatch it up for a cheap price.
When you see a deal like this -- especially if the monitors are actually of better quality than represented in the ad -- it means that someone at a major PC manufacturer ordered a metric assload too many monitors. Why/how did that happen? Does it signal a larger market collapse?
... and then the world (or at least those who still had jobs ) ... bought tablets.
I don't always nitpick, but when I do, I go after "cheap prices".
Yes, this relates back to price in the end, but having a cheap price means you paid a small amount for it. Having a cheap quality means it's worth a small amount, but you might have paid much more for it. Clarifying with the word price gives a very specific meaning. Cheap doesn't always imply price.
(To pick a nit on a nit.)
I purchased the Achieva Shimian 27" off of eBay for $290 a few weeks ago. It arrived within 5 days of purchase from Korea. There are no dead pixels or other defects. I hook it up to my macbook pro using: http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-DisplayPort-Thunderbolt-Dual...
This monitor only accepts dual-DVI input. You can buy the HDMI version for $350 if you want.
Other variations include "pixel perfect" displays. Pixel perfect means they opened the box and there were no dead pixels. 80% of people on hardocp reported no dead pixels.
The stand is definitely a bit wobbly.
For $290--it can't be beat.
"Pixel perfect" displays are ~$50 more.
For those who care about colour checkout http://www.hughski.com for a device and http://lwn.net/Articles/499231/ for details. It turns out that manufacturers do ship displays with completely wrong colour calibration (yes I'm looking at you Lenovo).
But I agree, I much prefer 16:10 and am frustrated they are so much pricier and in shorter supply.
φ = 1.618
16:10 = 1.6
16:9 = 1.777
You should google : Golden Ratio Myth.
Or if you're lazy : http://goldenratiomyth.weebly.com/index.html
(Maybe you were just being ironical and funny... but you know.. Poe's axiom and all. Hard to tell apart what's irony and what's misinformation without a smiley ;-) )
I do prefer the 16:10 monitors though. I recently tried to get a warranty replacement on a 16:10 8-bit IPS monitor from dell, but they kept sending me a monitor with a 16:9 6-bit AFRC panel. Seems that everything Dell offers in the 22" range is a 16:9 now :(
My main concern is why are they so cheap. The article mentions that they're displays that companies didn't deem fit to sell, does that mean these are displays that were due to be destroyed and someone is just selling them on, or are they purchased in bulk at a big discount and then being resold? I figure all that matters is if they work and is only $1,000 but I would be much more comfortable purchasing if I knew exactly what their story was.
It's probably just your particular Dell models.
I was very surprised when I got a 30" monitor with more than one input.
My 27" Dell is covered in ports (5 inputs of all kinds, USB, CFCard, SDCard, you name it...) and has a pretty fancy OSD to go with the 5 physical buttons and 6 LEDs.
Granted, I don't actually use any of the ports other than DVI and USB, so it has always seemed a bit overkill to me.
Also, try adjusting the Trace Free function.
Thanks for the tip on Trace Free. It does something for sure.
Someone I know nearly bought what they thought was a great deal on an IPS screen only to be off by a single character.
It was VS228H-P vs VS229H-P
Who names these things?
Maybe they are made by slaves in North Korea underthe work exchange program they have...
EDIT: downvoted, but I was being serious... Maybe they are using labor such as that to make these. I dont know I cant think of another reason they are so cheap - unless they see an opportunity to steal the market by dropping margins and getting these to go in high volume ove rthe next months/year...
Your post is conspiratorial and wrong. I know people who have worked at Kaesong (note that Kaesong has also been mostly closed for the last 3 years). Wages may be extremely low but anything that gets more food and money into North Korea while remaining outside the control of the government is a good thing. People can't fight tyranny when they are fighting to not starve to death.
Secondly, while DPRK has a lot of people in labor camps, they're starving and their education level is comparable to 4th grade. I don't think you can get exacting standards of quality out of starved forced laborers, but even if you could, you'd still be dealing with the complete lack of a supply chain in North Korea. There are plenty of countries in the area with established supply chains and populations experienced at making these kinds of things, but DPRK isn't one of them.
Third, there just isn't a lot coming out of DPRK in the first place. I've heard of paper flowers made in their labor camps being exported to China and Japan, but in general the trade situation is pretty much a trickle.
It's possible, and there are certainly people around better informed than me, but it doesn't sound like the best or most plausible explanation to me.
No doubt, in any supply chain, the highest value-added steps are not occuring in Kaesong. As pointed out by others, labour costs can't explain the difference of hundreds of dollars on these monitors and so samstave's guess is likely wrong (though I don't think he deserves to be downvoted into oblivion). But companies don't decide to locate at Kaesong for cost reasons anyway; rather, they're there for nationalistic reasons about promoting reunification. The factories there apparently don't even break even in the absence of South Korean government subsidies, and the future of those subsidies is uncertain:
(Another slightly more complex point is that companies manufacturing products at Kaesong likely have to accept lower margins on them --- exporting them runs into sanctions issues in many countries, meaning they have to be sold in the domestic market --- but I doubt that's what's going on here to make these monitors so cheap either).
For those who are interested in this kind of stuff, the blog http://www.nkeconwatch.com/ makes good reading
-- Charles Duhigg, the NYT reporter who wrote the iEconomy piece on Apple’s supply chain and the reason the tech giant doesn’t produce its devices in the U.S.
Manufacturing was absolutely galloping into China before this sort of tight inter-company integration was even a gleam in anyone's eye, and there's no obvious reason such integration couldn't have developed elsewhere -- except for the labor issues.
The integration that's now heralded as the reason for moving manufacturing to China seems self-evidently a product of such movements to me.
Because every dollar counts, especially in massive quantities. But don't kid yourself, the difference between manufacturing in volume in China vs US is just a few dollars per unit. Certainly not enough to explain a difference in price of hundreds of dollars.
Apple and Dell probably sell 27" and 30" monitors at a premium because they don't move many units, and the people that need them have the money to buy them. Some Korean company realized they could sell the same panels on eBay for $300 and still make a profit, so they did.
The common brands to search for are the Yamakasi Catleap and (to a lesser extent) the Shimian QH270.
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For those of you who don't know, the ratio of sides on A-series paper (A4, etc) is 1:sqrt(2), which means that if you put together 2 sheets of A4 with the long edges touching, you get the next size up, which would be A3.
I might be ordering one of them soon.
The vast majority of the receivers have received perfect screens and been really happy with their purchase it seems, check out the reports in the table here:
As great as LCD monitors are, the one thing I miss about CRT's is having an analogue brightness control. It made it really convenient to adjust the monitor at night.
(Also, I miss not having blue LED's and touch-sensitive controls. They really need to force designers to read Don Norman's book).
"two of the 27" Korean $350 s-ips monitors arrived. They are amazing panels, but lack of hardware brightness control may be a showstopper." https://twitter.com/codinghorror/status/224213213649190913
"beautiful S-IPS panels but no hardware LED backlight brightness control times 3 is untenable. Oh well, experiment over." https://twitter.com/codinghorror/status/224217599746117632
tl;dr; buttons work, just no OSD.
"Armed with a sense of how the buttons worked, I was soon adjusting the display brightness up and down, as well. I was able to dim the display to an acceptable level for the cave-like Damage Labs, and it wasn't even at the lowest possible setting."
Quite tempted to snap one of these up before they get popular and drive the price up..
Also appear to be glossy, care to comment on your impressions of that aspect?
No TN-Panel. No glare. I also refuse to buy a 16:9 monitor.
You've got $300. You can either get a 1920x1200 display, or you can get a 2560x1440 display. If somehow there was another choice with a 2560x1600, I'm going to be strongly tempted to go with the 2560x1400 display unless it has some annoying display quality issues.
Even if you have more money, it'd be tempting to consider getting 2 of the 2560x1400 instead of one 2560x1600.
In that regard, you've got $300 right now for a monitor, in 2 months you'll have $500. If it's possible to get a good monitor right now for $300 then I'd go for it. If I can't find anything that fits me (IPS, 16:10 are critical) I'd rather wait.
I'd say it really isn't like that, but to the extent it is... buying a nicer car that gets repossessed in 3 months isn't really a great idea, so that monthly payment is a pretty important factor.
> My single 27" LG is 6 years old and has gone through 3.5 computers in that time.
How much did it cost when you bought it? What would the replacement cost be?
Nevermind the issue of how quickly display interfaces seem to be evolving these days...
> In that regard, you've got $300 right now for a monitor, in 2 months you'll have $500.
So, it's a purchase that lasts for years, but you only save up for it for... 3 months?
> If it's possible to get a good monitor right now for $300 then I'd go for it. If I can't find anything that fits me (IPS, 16:10 are critical) I'd rather wait.
Hey, you should never buy equipment sooner than you need it. The presumption is that you need to buy a monitor now, not later. If you don't need to buy a monitor now, the smart play is pretty much always not to buy one now.
Why wouldn't a circle look like a circle in both places? All pixels are square these days, yes?
I honestly don't know, but I had presumed that since displays had different pixel densities yet were otherwise the same size, and particularly given how multicolor LCD displays are implemented, we still have silliness with rectangular pixels. Am I wrong?
I spent $800 on a high-quality 24" 1920x1200 BenQ about 5 years ago, and now it's playing 2nd fiddle to my 27".
As a programmer, it really bothers me that 16:10 is all but dead. However, when you go from a 1920x1200 to a 2560x1440 monitor, you're not losing vertical space - you're just gaining more horizontal space than vertical.
My other huge gripe is anti-glare coating. If you are in control of your lighting, AG coating does not benefit you - it just blurs the picture. A screen with no AG coating gives a crystal clear image.
The BenQ FP241W was one of the best rated & reviewed monitors when it was released. I'm thrilled to replace it with a "cheap" Korean monitor, and look forward to replacing it completely by adding a 2nd Crossover next to my current one. The big issue with the new monitor is longevity - my BenQ is still running perfectly, I hope I can say the same for the Crossover in 5+ years.
The title is a little misleading. The "non-budget" diplays are often made in the same place (Asia, not the U.S.), from the same parts, maybe even the same factories, by the same workers.
Also, $337 is not only cheap - it's dirt cheap.
$300 for 24'' IPS is cheap. Courtesy of e-IPS, of course. A Dell U2412M would be an example.
A decent 24'' IPS display, say a Dell U2410, will cost $500.
A high-quality 24'' IPS display, say a NEC PA241W, will cost $1000.
A high-quality 27'' IPS display, say a NEC PA271W, costs $1400.
Welcome to the real world.
yes, 16:9 are cheaper than 16:10
Simply take 3 zeros in the price tag to match dollars. There's even 220 dollar display!
The only benefit is if only a small minority of people have HDCP displays then it makes no commercial sense to mandate HDCP for content. And in my view it is too late for that.
Edit: Note that it wouldn't be a show stopper for me with a product like this but I would regard HDCP support in a monitor to be a benefit.
Edit2: Added missing word to second sentence.
And why bother; almost everything is available in the compressed form (e.g. Blu-ray) more easily accessible if you are trying to access the content.
For this kind of money this can only be an e-IPS monitor. (The specs on e-bay say S-IPS, but it's certainly a lie.)
For those who don't differentiate between the different variants of IPS, e-IPS is a relatively new thing introduced around 2 years ago (by LG, I believe) and it's a simplified and much cheaper to manufacture version of IPS. Its characteristics are somewhere between TN and IPS.
Apart from the display itself, a monitor's quality is also very much dependent on its electronics. For this kind of money it's obvious they've put the absolute minimum into this thing.
(For a little comparison: I have an old, med-quality 19'' NEC 1990FX monitor and a cheap 23'' HP 2310ti touch monitor. The NEC weighs 9kg, the HP 8kg. How can a smaller monitor be heavier? It's all electronics.)
Same applies to other aspects: you can have no confidence in the monitor's electromagnetic emissions or reliability. And if the power supply fries for some reason in 3 months, don't count on your warranty.
I mean, you didn't believe for a second that a no-name brand that sells in the US purely thru e-bay will honor any kind of warranty, did you?
Secondly, I'm not sure if I agree with your claim that e-IPS is inferior to s-IPS. I read a document before (can't locate it now) implying that e-IPS had similar characteristics. If you can provide a primary source with more information on this, that would be great, and I'll happily agree with you.
And finally, there have been quite a few cases of sellers honoring the warranty. Check the aforementioned forums, or I can provide a direct link if you like.
Reread the article. You can adjust brightness just fine, he just wasn't pressing the button down for long enough at first.
Hastur is being hasty with his FUD, all right, but it's not as if the article was much better.
If something looks waaay too good to be true, it usually is.
$337 for 27'' H-IPS doesn't exist in the real world. They must have cut corners on something - and pretty badly.
...First example already provided in the Disqus guy comment: 30% failure rate in 3 months. I rest my case.
It's not always the "electronics", and besides, who says better electronics need to weight more? A few years back, I interviewed with a company that makes high-end blu-ray players. They showed me how they put weights in the cases, so they were heavier, and felt "sturdier" and of higher quality.
And monitors by input ports. ;)
Using weight as a metric for judging the quality of electronics seems … peculiar.
And from that I drew a (simplified, yes) conclusion that more electronics => more processing => better picture.
Add in a massive amount of packaging in terms of LCD panel, plastic around it, wiring, screws, and any weight difference you could attribute to electronics horsepower (if there was one to begin with) will be lost in the noise.
These aren't transformers or power supplies, where you want large capacitors and heavy lumps of iron to smooth out ripples in an AC to DC conversion.
That is so far off it isn't even wrong.
1) Electronics generally become more integrated, reliable and lighter as time passes. This is generally a good thing.
2) On most monitors a significant amount of weight is in the mounting hardware. Some use structured plastic, some use smaller steel parts. One isn't better than the other, but they do weigh different amounts.