Monitors have come a long way in a short space of time since the original move from CRTs to flat-panels.
When the TFT monitors first appeared on the scene they had a limited amount of inputs and very poor response times when compared to their CRT counterparts as well as being eye-wateringly expensive.
Since they first became a viable option a few years ago the technology has moved along at a huge rate. The first big change was the switch to widescreen aspect ratios and then the inevitable move to bigger and bigger screen sizes. Of course at the top end the panels are as good as ever, but down with the TN panels which about 95% of us own due to their attractive pricing we've seen a raft of changes and the major one is the switch from a CCFL backlight to the more uniform LED type.
As with any new technology there was a huge premium to pay initially, but now with the iiyama ProLite E2473HDS you can have a full HD, 24" LED backlit monitor for £160. With more graphics cards capable of triple-screen gaming goodness it is definitely time to take a look and see if the performance of the iiyama matches its eye-catching feature set.
As with all monitor specifications there is a certain amount of 'taking with a pinch of salt' especially when it comes to Contrast ratios and response times. The response time quoted here is for a grey-to-grey switch in the 'overdrive' mode which gives a gaudy number, but it's actually of much use especially as more often than not you'll be desiring black to white switching and the 5ms response of the iiyama in standard mode gives a far better image than the overdrive attains. However iiyama are by no means the only company to enhance their figures with selective quoting as it's an industry-wide practise. As ever, caveat emptor.
Display area: h x w 293.2 x 521.3 mm; 11.54" x 20.51"
Response time: 2 ms
Contrast: 1000 : 1 typical
Contrast: 5 000 000 : 1 ACR
Brightness: 300 cd/m² typical
Connections: D-Sub, DVI-D & 2x HDMI
Viewing zone: horizontal/vertical: 170°/ 160°; right/left: 85°/ 85°; up/down: 80°/ 80°
Display colour: 16.7 million
Pixel pitch: h x v 0.2715 x 0.2715 mm
Native resolution: Full HD 1080p, 1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixel)
Horizontal sync: 24 - 80 KHz
Vertical sync: 55 - 75 Hz
Synchronization: Separate sync
Aspect ratio: 16 : 9
3yr On-site Warranty
Visually the iiyama ProLite E2473HDS looks very similar to just about every other monitor out there, but that's not a bad thing. After all, the screen has to be rectangular and you don't want distracting bits for the sake of it. Anyone remember the Phillips Ambilight? Ugh. So instead of going for form over function, the iiyama ProLite takes the route of having everything you need, exactly where you'd expect it, and no frippery.
LED backlights allow manufacturers to get thinner and thinner on their monitors and whilst the E2473HDS isn't a sheet of paper it's pretty thin, even by flat screen standards.
At the front is the obvious power button and the OSD adjustments. All the usual OSD options are available such as sharpness, contrast, colour, brightness etc.
Round the side we have an always useful headphone jack along with the second of the two HDMI ports. Having one round the side helps in two ways. Obviously if you wall mount the monitor it allows you to keep that flush factor that's so important, but equally you can plug something else in like a camera or console without needing to drag your screen away from the wall.
Round the back the ProLite is equipped with an HDMI, a VGA and a DVI-D to make sure that you can plug in anything no matter how old your GPU is. There is also a audio-in if you wish to take advantage of the built-in speakers.
One thing we like very much is a power switch next to the standard 'kettle lead' power socket. It's always nice to have a big off button on something so kudos to iiyama for providing one.
If you want to eschew the default stand and install one that has more than a tilt adjustment, or perhaps mount the ProLite to your wall, it comes equipped with a VESA mount.
At only four and a half kilograms it's surprisingly portable, should you need to.
Testing and Conclusion
Anyone who follows the Youtube channel will have seen the iiyama ProLite E2473HDS in action as part of our Eyefinity setup and reviews. If you haven't I recommend catching up as monitor quality is notoriously hard to get across in text.
However what we can tell you is that the picture quality of the iiyama is outstanding. Far better than it has any right to be at this price.
Normally with a new display you have to spend a little bit of time backing the settings off from the "everything up to 11" that tends to come as default. Certainly this is to be expected as manufacturers design their default setting to be able to catch your eye in the brightly lit showrooms. Be that as it may we don't live in a showroom and we doubt many of you do either, so the intense brightness and contrast merely serve to turn blacks to grey and lose highlight detail. The iiyama ProLite E2473HDS however comes out of the box set up nearly perfectly. There is perhaps a tiny hint towards the blue side of things, but generally speaking it's completely usable without any tweaking at all.
Thanks to the uniform nature of that LED backlight colours really pop and there isn't any of the edge bleeding we've seen from the CCFL style backlights. The difference is staggering and it's amazing how much of an improvement that decent backlighting makes to the much (and needlessly) maligned TN panel.
TN panels get a very short shrift online from the people who parrot what they read elsewhere and so it ends up being an endless cycle of "but TN panels such, get an IPS" without anyone particularly explaining why. The general complaint is always about viewing angles and how looking from above or the side can distort the colours. To that we say "So What?". Do you look at your monitor end on? The only time that having a huge viewing angle can be useful is when displaying your work to a room full of people in a presentation environment and if that's your main use then you could probably afford to splash out on a IPS or PVA panel. For everyone else we sit in front of our screens and haven't got a huge wedge of cash to outlay.
Proving how pointless this argument is we've run three in Eyefinity and Triple-Screen arrangements for a while now and obviously the side monitors are more in your periphery and angled slightly in. No matter how much we moved them about (even beyond the point of a 45° box arrangement) the brightness and colour reproduction of the iiyama ProLight E2473HDS was beyond reproach.
The biggest weak point of just about every monitor on the market, and certainly every one at this end of the market is the stand. The iiyama ProLite E2473HDS is no exception as the supplied stand is much flimsier than we're comfortable with. If you will only over plug it in once and leave it then it'll be fine, but we wouldn't want to have to remove it to transport the monitor. Perhaps most disappointingly is that there is only tilt adjustment (20° of) available with no portraight or even height changes available. Thankfully the price is so low and iiyama have included a VESA mount so you can easily remedy the situation by sticking a proper stand on it without busting the £200 mark.
All in all we really struggle to find anything bad to say about the ProLite E2473HDS. The brightness is spot on, colours are amazing, the contrast is good and even in the most demanding games we couldn't see any ghosting. For £149.99 you'd be hard pressed to find a better value monitor and to get a better picture you'd have to spend a huge amount more. The ProLite is 24 inches of 1080P goodness and deserving of our OC3D Gold Award.
Thanks to iiyama for providing the ProLite E2473HDS for review. Discuss in our forums.