Monoprice CrystalPro 4K 28 inch monitor review

Two-minute review

Gadgetmasti reviewed a few gaming monitors from US retailer Monoprice in 2021 (Dark matter 34 and Dark matter 27) and gave them rave reviews. The CrystalPro 4K follows this path with aplomb; it is aimed at a very different audience – those looking for a business monitor to increase productivity in a WFH scenario – but still offers excellent value for money. There is the bracket which allows the screen to rotate in portrait mode, there is the Type-C connector which can supply 65W power to a laptop while transmitting the data to the monitor, and then there is a integrated USB hub. The visual quality of the CrystalPro is better than you would expect from a monitor in this price range and while it doesn’t win any awards for color reproduction, it will be the perfect companion for a business laptop.

Pricing and availability

the Monoprix 28in CrystalPro (product number 43019) costs $ 359.99 directly (approx. £ 272, AU $ 504). Note that a more expensive model is available with a VA screen. At just under $ 400 (around £ 302, AU $ 561), it skips the IPS panel but keeps everything else, including free shipping to the US.

(Image credit: Avenir)

Design

The 28-inch 4K IPS display has a matte surface – ideal for brightly lit office environments – and the bezel around it is reasonably thin, except for the bottom edge where the controls are.

Ports

(Image credit: Avenir)

A number of ports are located on the back of the monitor: there are two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort for video, a Type-C connector that can deliver up to 65W of power (and therefore charge your laptop), a USB Type-B upstream and two USB Type-A downstream ports and finally, an audio connector.

Monitor stand and back

(Image credit: Monoprice)

The bracket contains a hole that can be used to organize cables (power, data, video) connecting to the CrystalPro. There is also a VESA mount on the back if you want to wall mount or attach the screen to another monitor stand. Just keep in mind that this is still a sizable device (638 x 369 x 57mm for a weight of less than 6kg without the stand).

Equipment

There are two versions of the monitor available, one with IPS and the other with VA technology, the latter of which is slightly more expensive at the time of writing.

When asked about the perceived inferiority of VA technology over IPS, a spokesperson for Monoprice told us “Inferior is the wrong way to describe VA over IPS panels. In addition, the size usually dictates the cost of the panels, and the price difference between high quality VA and IPS panels is negligible. Even though you might be led to believe that the IPS is superior to VA, the point is that the VA panels used in these displays would actually be the best choice for graphics and video professionals as they produce much more blacks. deeper than the 28 “IPS panel. While the IPS panel offers a better viewing angle, for office / professional applications where you are within a meter of the panel, this is really a minor added value.

Monoprice quotes a brightness of 250 Lumens, power consumption of up to 114W and viewing angles of 178 degrees on both axes. It has two speakers that meet our expectations: average at best.

Rotated display

(Image credit: Avenir)

Performance and use

We didn’t have a colorimeter handy to objectively assess its visual performance. Based on our experience, we would rate the color fidelity as very good; it’s brighter than expected and the contrast was superb with wide viewing angles – as expected. Its gradient ramps are smooth and it does a great job of distinguishing between almost black and white and real. We found the backlight to be a bit more intense in the center of the screen, leaving darker areas at the top and bottom of the viewing area: nothing that would bother most users although those looking for a monitor for photoshop or a video editing monitor might want to look elsewhere.

The stand stands out – literally. It is substantial but so easy to assemble. It took me about five minutes to do it, the base and the actual stand are attached with a single screw and the monitor clicks into place. It is fully articulated with full height, vertical tilt and horizontal swivel adjustments.

Display rack

(Image credit: Avenir)

Plus, the stand allows the screen to be rotated without much effort, so you can easily switch between landscape and portrait orientations. You will however have to tilt the screen slightly forward to rotate the screen 90 degrees and it is not height adjustable in portrait mode; thus the lower edge is very close to the surface of the table. Note that Monoprice displays come with a one-year warranty that covers dead pixels. He says they will replace all of their monitors that develop a dead pixel anywhere on the screen within a year.

Buttons

(Image credit: Avenir)

Other points to note; Other than a power logo, all of the physical control buttons (there are five of them) are not labeled on the bezel, so you need to check the manual first.

OSD menu

(Image credit: Avenir)

The button next to the power button (second from right) brings up the OSD (On Screen Display), which is quite comprehensive, offering an array of options for controlling image quality. The ability to convert the panel to a monochrome display is rather intriguing for those looking for one.

Should I buy the 28 inch CrystalPro 4K Monoprice monitor?

Buy it if:

You want to keep cables to a minimum. The power supply option is a godsend as it allows you to power your laptop (or even any device) while transmitting data to the monitor or other devices connected to the CrystalPro’s other two USB ports. 4K.

You want to have a portrait display. Portrait monitors usually don’t come cheap and this one is actually surprisingly affordable.

Do not buy it if:

You also want to use a 4K monitor as a TV screen. A larger 32-inch VA version of the CrystalPro 4K monitor is also available for an additional 10% and would be our go-to model if you want to use your work monitor as a TV during downtime. Associated with something like the Roku smart soundbar, it should offer a compelling superior alternative to entry-level 4K TVs.

You want the cheapest 28-inch 4K monitor on the market. If you only want a standard, no-frills 4K monitor, there are a number of models starting at around $ 230. However you will lose on the PD functionality, the USB connectors and the support which is worth the premium in our opinion.

Gadgetmasti is an online publication focused on technology, with editorial teams in different countries. It provides news and reviews of tech products,computing,mobile phones,gaming and gadgets.

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