Iiyama have been making displays since the mid 70's and it's safe to say that in that time they have learnt a few things about making a quality screen. For a company that started out building OEM black & white TVs, moving on to PC monitors in the 80's and advancing through LCD technology in the 90's they have build a fan base and a reputation that has served them well.
Nowadays Iiyama are well known for making high performance, high quality screens for both PC and their range of TVs that don't cost the earth to purchase, something that has definitely gone down well with consumers.
But one thing we do know about Iiyama and their current range of screens is that gamers love them. They have every reason too love them too, with good prices, large screen size, excellent quality and lightening fast response times, just the sort of qualities gamers and any other consumer would like in their display of choice.
Iiyama have proven themselves popular with pro gamers too, with well known and world famous members of Team Dignitas being fitted out with 27" Iiyama screens for their professions eSports tournaments.
It's all these reasons and more that I've been really looking forward to reviewing this monitor, so let's see what all the fuss is about!
The model were taking a look at today is a 27" LCD backlit monitor and you don't need to reach for your tape measure to know that this is some pretty serious screen real estate, with a whopping 232.41 sq inches of viewing space, compare that to the 168.94 sq inches of screen you get with a still quite large 23" monitor and you can see that those extra 4" diagonal makes up a huge difference overall.
The Iiyama ProLite comes packed in a fairly standard cardboard box, with a few details listed on the front, such as it's 1920x1080 display, D-sub/DVI-D/HDMI inputs, built-in speakers and Plug & Play VESA DDC 2B support.
It came well packaged in the usual layers of styrofoam and plastic to prevent it getting scratched or dusty in transit.
In the box I found a DVI-HDMI adaptor block, a nice selection of good quality cables, including a DVI to DVI, VGA to VGA, European power cable and a 3.5mm male to male audio cable. There is also an easy to use quick start guide and a large clip-on plastic stand.
The stand has quite a large base surface area, which is no doubt needed to keep such a large screen stable on your desktop. It's made of plastic but has a nice quality finish to it and while it's not the fanciest bit of kit ever, it is more than up to the job.
With the monitor out of the box I laid it face down on a soft surface to prevent the screen being damaged while I took a look at the rear connections as well as the stand mount. The screen comes fitted with a swivel support that allows you to tip the screen backwards to find a better viewing position, although you cannot rotate the screen or tip it forwards beyond the 90 degree upright position.
If you look closely at the input area you can see from left to right; power input, headphones out, audio line in, HDMI, DVI and D-SUB (VGA) ports. Further behind those we have a large Iiyama logo and four holes for fitting of a VESA wall mount or compatible stand.
It only took about 10 seconds to clip the monitor onto the base stand thanks to a simple push-click locking mechanism. Even with the screens large size it wasn't terribly heavy or difficult to manage and overall the screen felt really well balanced. As you can see it's finished in an all black with a gloss on both the frame and the stand with little detail on the case other than the Iiyama logo front and centre.
The side profile of the screen isn't the slimmest screen I've seen but for an LCD screen of this size it is still impressive. While the edges aren't too thick it does balloon out towards the centre, although it being slim isn't likely to save you much desk space due to the large surface area of the base mount. If you're looking to save space though, you want to wall mount this screen, furthermore maybe a 27" screen isn't really about space saving anyway.
Overall though the style of the screen looks great and there is little in the way of distractions to disturb you while you enjoy the monolithic screen space when your watching a movie or gaming.
The screen comes with a set of good quality touch controls in the bottom left of the screen, these are; labelled 1, Up, Down, 2 and lastly the power symbol. Pressing "1" presents you with a competent level of options to calibrate everything from sound to colours and generally everything you'll need to get a perfect picture is here.
If you don't fancy picking through technical settings and calibrations you could always use the down key, doing so presents you with some handy pre-programmed presets that dial you into various settings for gaming, movies, photo viewing and more.
Lastly pressing the up key presents you with simple volume controls as well as an input select, I only have DVI connected at the moment though which is why this option is greyed out.
The built-in speakers are pretty good, they are more than enough for day to day browsing of the web, some light music and maybe a little YouTube browsing, but they're really just a welcome extra and I would suggest you aim to use a set of dedicated speakers should you be wanting to turn your music up, watch a movie or play some games.
Setup was a breeze with the Iiyama, as one would expect from most any monitor on the market it was as simple as plug and play and within seconds of connecting it to my graphics card I was up and running, ready to play.
The first thing you notice with this monitor is how sharp the image is. Its full 1920x1080p is pin sharp and given my eyes are 3ft away from the screen I really can't find a fault in its quality. I first tested the screen with an all black image to check for bleed through from the LED backlighting, but alas I couldn't find any! with an all white image I found the brightness to be even across the board.
While I was on the edge of my seat ready to game on this beast, I couldn't help skipping ahead first and firing up the Avatar Blu-Ray. The colour reproduction at default settings really is a sight to behold and I've never seen a screen this well calibrated out of the box. I did some experimenting with the various pre-set modes but found they auto adjust brightness and contrast on the fly, something that was blatantly obvious while watching a movie. The results were fine, but the transitions of brightness were noticeable to me and distracting. Setting the screen to standard however alleviates this issue and I'm pushed to think of anything at fault. Blacks were rich, dark and yet detailed and colours perfectly toned and not washed out, excellent.
On to gaming, where we really get to test that lightening fast response time and performance was just as good, if not better than the Blu-Ray test; fast moving scenes of Battlefield 3 and ShootMania Storm didn't give it any reason to disappoint me.
Even for day to day use the monitor has performed exceptionally, having a display this size is a huge benefit when it comes to browsing the web, working or photo editing, its clear image is really easy on the eye and even the smallest of fonts ring out true. Viewing angle is superb too and it seems no matter where you sit or stand the screen holds a perfect picture.
So now I'm trying to round this up before sounding like I work for Iiyamas PR department, but when it comes to performance I think you'll be hard pushed to find anything of this size, this resolution, this quality at anywhere near this price. The only thing better than this would be a higher resolution panel and for that privilege on a 27" screen you can expect to pay three times as much for the same level of features and functionality.
I highly recommend this monitor to any movie lover, gamer or just those who want a big screen to add a little wow factor to their desktop.