DoubleSight DS-277W: Back to the Drawing Boardby Chris Heinonen on June 13, 2012 1:30 AM EST
For the most part, the market for 27”, 2560x1440 monitors has been dominated by the higher end brands. The one main exception has been DoubleSight, which has made a pair of 27” monitors including the DS-277W we're reviewing today. Besides the PLS panels used by Samsung, every other 27” monitor on the market is using one of the 27” IPS panels from LG at this point, so much of the difference in designs comes from the electronics and case that are engineered around the monitor.
DoubleSight's approach with the DS-277W is to make a monitor that can work with all of your devices, not just your computer. It has multiple AV inputs (HDMI, Component) for your Blu-ray player or video game systems, and there are integrated speakers for audio from these devices as well. Does this approach set the DS-277W apart from the crowd, or does it lead to issues in trying to integrate everything together?
The DS-277W is seemingly constructed to survive in a harsh environment. The case is incredibly heavy duty and measures a couple inches thick with a nice, metal feeling to it. Unfortunately it was built for toughness and not ergonomics. The connectors are located on the bottom and are hard to access as the stand stays close to them. With 27” displays that pivot it is easy to hook them up, but in this case it is more of a challenge. There is also no integrated power supply and instead you have a large, external brick like you might find with a printer.
The OSD controls also follow the monitor manufacturer trend of using touch-sensitive controls, which needs to end soon. Many devices have moved to the touch sensitive inputs, but they either space them too close, or they are too sensitive, or they're not sensitive enough. With standard controls it is easy to adjust the brightness up by 1 or 2 clicks, but that is often a challenge here. With as much room as there is on the case, it would have been easy enough to locate controls there, with tactile response, and it would be a better interface to use.
The stand is likewise heavy duty, with with a limited amount of tilt available. You can use a standard 100mm VESA mount with the DS-277W, though it will have to be sturdy to deal with this case design. It seems that DoubleSight was going for the industrial chic look here, but in doing so have gone with some style over substance.
The OSD is hampered by the touch sensitive controls mentioned earlier. Whereas Dell has long been superb with the OSD interfaces, and BenQ has recently changed theirs to be more like Dell, the DoubleSight continues the sins of most vendors. Menus are laid out with Up-Down and Left-Right controls, but you have no 4-way D-pad to make navigating it easier. Up-Down controls work well if all the interface is designed to only move Up and Down, but once you add Left-Right in there and don’t have a 4-way pad, it becomes unnecessarily complicated to control the OSD.
Most controls are available in the OSD, though some menus are not available and you can never seem to select them. They might be options when using the analog inputs, like Component Video, but as I discuss later that didn’t work for me. Overall the OSD would have been much better had the input mechanism been better designed, but as it is I was not a fan of it.
Since all 27” panels use very similar IPS panels from LG, the viewing angles here are what we expect. If you get to very extreme angles you can get some backlight washout on the image, but not at any angle you would use while working or watching the display. There is no color inverting or other issues as you would see on a TN display, and I didn’t find the level of anti-glare coating to be bothersome. I think it has more than the HP or NEC monitors that I've tested, but I am not nearly as bothered by it as many of our readers are.
2x Dsub (VGA)
|Panel Type||IPS (8-bit native, 10-bit with A-FRC)|
|Viewing Angle||178/178 Horizontal/Vertical Degrees|
|Power Consumption (operation)||121W|
|Power Consumption (standby)||121W|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes, 100x100mm or 100x200mm|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||25.75" x 22.50" x 8.50"|
|Additional Features||Stereo LR Inputs, 3.5mm Input and Output, Optical Output|
|Limited Warranty||1 Year|
|Price||$955 Online (as of 6/12/2012)|
All of the specs are what you would expect from the LCD panel, but it's in the other areas that we see some deviation from the norm. For one, there are the numerous input options, though I have to admit including two VGA ports rather than a second HDMI or DVI-DL port seems odd, and despite listing a DisplayPort interface on the manufacturer's page, one isn't present on the actual monitor. Whoops! There are also some audio input/output options. Note that there's no pivot available, if you were hoping for a 27" portrait display, though you could do that with a separate VESA mount if you so choose. And with our tour of the outside and specifications complete, it is time to get it on the test bench and see how it performs.
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esSJae - Thursday, June 14, 2012 - link3 monitors? I use DP for my main monitor on my AMD 6970, DVI for the other 2.
6 monitors? Better have DP.
dertechie - Monday, June 18, 2012 - linkAnyone using Eyefinity is using either DP or an expensive DP to X converter. Given what those cost, a lot of us just use DP if we picked up the 3rd monitor in the last 3-4 years.
DP has a lot more support than just Apple. It's cheaper on the transmitter side than DVI or HDMI (and probably VGA by now), so such insignificant players as AMD, NVidia and Intel are dropping legacy connectors as quickly as they can get away with it. Much less penetration on the monitor side of things though.
cheinonen - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - linkWell, the specs said it had DisplayPort, but really we were trying to do a round up of as many 27", 2560x1440 models as possible. There aren't too many of them out there but this was one of them.
Mitch89 - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - linkI'm also a little confused about this sentence:
"... the DS-277W is to make a monitor that can work with all of your devices, not just your computer. It has multiple AV inputs (HDMI, Component) for your Blu-ray player or video game systems, and there are integrated speakers for audio from these devices as well. "
The Dell U2711 has DisplayPort, 2x DVI, VGA, HDMI, Component and even composite connections, and has been out for quite some time (updating previous 27" Dells that had similar connectivity).
It would seem if multimedia and all-round connectivity is the priority, then the Dell has this thing beat.
That's without considering Dell's excellent exchange warranty.
cheinonen - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - linkIn the conclusion I mention the Dell U2711 and that if you need that connectivity, you should buy the Dell instead. I see no reason to pick the DS-277W over the Dell, or really any other 27", and mention that in the conclusion.
damianrobertjones - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - linkAll these screens really need to start featuring touch
Voo - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - linkYep stretching your whole body so that you get into touch range of your 30" monitor (you hardly sit 20cm away from one do you?) and then having to deal with all those fingerprints and smears sounds PERFECT! Can't wait for this totally useless feature that will probably double the price of monitors.
Jedi2155 - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - linkI'm not sure if you're familiar with the Yamasaki Catleap, which is a potentially 120 Hz capable 27" IPS display, but I've been really wanting to get one once the people organizing it, can get some more built. I would love an Anandtech review on it as well. I already plan on getting one as soon as they are available, so I don't need you guys to tell me to get one, but it would be good to get more manufacturers on the 120 Hz PC bandwagon that isn't a 3D TN based display....
anishannayya - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - linkCorrect me if I'm wrong here, but don't you really need to push 120+ FPS to discern the benefits of 120hz? How could you do this when you are already trying to drive the display at 1440p? Furthermore, once you SLI cards, don't you restrict the maximum hz a display can be set at?
Sure, you could do it when you aren't gaming, but what is the point of that? Making your cursor move more "smoothly"? Does it even matter unless you are gaming?
MamiyaOtaru - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - linkNot every game is Crysis. There are plenty of games that a modern card can render at 120+ fps