MSI MD271UL 4K monitor review
Monitors for work do not necessarily have to look like “black office boxes” – especially since many people work from home these days, and such a monitor should fit into the home interior rather than office furniture. The MSI MD271UL is a good example of a modern model with a nice design.
MSI MD271UL specifications
|Update rate||60 Hz|
|Color coverage||Advanced, 99% DCI-P3|
|Brightness||400 nits |
|Adjustment||tilt back and forth|
|Connectors||2x HDMI 2.0b, 1x DisplayPort 1.2a, 1x USB Type-C, headphone output|
|Additional functionality||65W Power Delivery via USB-C|
|Dimensions (including stand), HxWxD ||457 x 805 x 192 mm|
|Price in Ukraine||~13 thousand UAH|
The monitor is emphatically very thin – not only the body itself (which varies in thickness from 1.2 cm to 4 cm), but also the stand. It looks like a curved “ribbon” of silver-colored aluminum alloy, only a couple of millimeters thick. The base on which the monitor stands is also very compact – 15×20 cm. The stand allows you to adjust only the angle of the screen (-5°…20°) – it does not have a height change or right-left rotation.
The front panel is traditionally three-sided “bezel-less”, with only a thin line of the side edge of the case surrounding the screen on the sides and top. After switching on, an additional frame around the image appears, hidden under the protective glass – together with it, the image is surrounded by an 8 mm wide frame.
The rear panel of the case is made of rough gray plastic with a metallic finish and has no VESA mount. All connectors are located almost in the center of the rear panel and are directed horizontally. Here you can find the following video inputs: two HDMI 2.0b ports, one DisplayPort 1.2a and one USB Type-C with support for charging connected devices (65 W). There is also a mini-jack for wired headphones.
MSI MD271UL has an external power supply.
The MSI MD271UL is controlled by four hardware buttons located on the bottom side, next to the power button. To make it easier to use, there are symbols opposite them on the bottom panel – but they are so inconspicuous that it is very difficult to see them in the semi-darkness or even in moderate light. This control option is not the most convenient: for example, it is not very easy to get used to the fact that the left-right arrows can work as up and down arrows, and the Enter button is located very close to the power button.
In the menu, the first item is Professional – here you can find a choice of video modes, overdrive control, display of the current refresh rate or alarm, enable adaptive frequency, and “on-screen assistance” – which includes crosshairs and… vision check for astigmatism and defects in the center of the visual field, plus posture correction.
The Image section contains traditional image settings: brightness, contrast, clarity, image enhancement, color temperature, etc. Input Source allows you to manually select the required video source or use auto-detection. In NaviKey, you can reassign new shortcuts to three of the four buttons, and finally, Setting contains system settings: OSD and power button behavior, enabling HDMI CEC and fast charging via USB-C, factory reset, etc.
The MSI MD271UL uses a 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) IPS panel with a diagonal of 27″ and a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, with a pixel density of ~163 PPI (dot size – 0.1557 mm).
We can say that this is an ideal option for a working desktop monitor, with such characteristics the screen demonstrates a very dense image with smooth fonts, on which it is almost impossible to notice individual points unless you look at its surface closely. And users with sharp eyesight, who can easily perceive small details from a typical distance to the screen, are able to set the zoom to less than the system’s default setting and fit more information on one screen.
The maximum refresh rate of the MSI MD271UL is 60 Hz: unfortunately, the trend to equip even “office” monitors with a frequency of at least 75 Hz has bypassed this model.
The brightness of this monitor is adjustable by changing the current, and PWM is not used throughout the entire brightness range, so there is no screen flicker.
The USB-C connector can be used not only for video transmission, it also supports charging connected devices (96 W), so it is very convenient to use it in conjunction with a laptop. Unfortunately, MSI MD271UL doesn’t have a USB hub, which would have been nice to have for connecting additional peripherals.
MSI MD271UL image quality
The screen’s coating is semi-matte, with almost no spurious reflections on a dark background when viewed from a typical PC user’s position. When you move to the side, the screen gradually becomes more “glossy”, but it does not interfere with the work on it.
The declared response time is very good for an IPS panel in a non-gaming monitor: 4 ms (GtG). At the same time, despite its focus on work use, it has a typical gaming function – matrix overdrive. The corresponding settings are located in the Professional – Response Time section, this parameter can take three values – Normal, Fast and Fastest.
There is almost no difference between the first two: the image blur is moderate in dynamic scenes, a little less on Fast, but you can see that it already begins to show a hint of overdrive artifacts in the form of dark plumes behind objects moving on the screen. When you switch to Fastest, dynamic scenes become clearer, but overdrive artifacts also start to become noticeable – so we would recommend choosing between the first two settings.
Response Time: Normal, Fast, Fastest:
Black uniformity is mediocre: at maximum brightness in a completely dark room, lighter spots in the three corners of the screen become noticeable against a black background.
The glow effect is typical for IPS technology: when you look at the screen from the side and from above, a moderate gray glow with a warm tint appears near the black background.
The viewing angles are traditionally large for IPS: when viewed from the side, the screen loses some brightness, but the colors remain almost as saturated, and the overall image quality is practically unchanged.
In the monitor settings, the Professional section has a video mode selection menu that offers seven templates for different tasks. By default, it is set to Eco mode, which limits the maximum brightness to 260 cd/m², and all other parameters (except for a slightly lower color temperature) do not differ from User. So if you are satisfied with such brightness, Eco can be offered as a basic mode: it has the most “universal” image parameters suitable for most tasks, plus all manual settings are available.
The maximum brightness in User mode (with manual color temperature settings) is 413 cd/m², and the static contrast is 950:1, which is very close to the official specifications. But the minimum brightness is high – as much as 150 cd/m²; this is a normal value for working in “office” conditions, that is, in the presence of typical background lighting for an office, but in the semi-darkness this screen will be too bright.
The color gamut is extended and virtually identical in almost all modes: it fully covers the sRGB space and is 90% Adobe RGB (97% DCI-P3). This gives the image bright and saturated colors.
MSI MD271UL has no gamma adjustment, its real value almost perfectly corresponds to the standard 2.2 – the error is 0.01. There are three templates for color temperature: “Warm, Normal and Cool. The average value is slightly overestimated – 7500K instead of 6500K, and has a coldish tint, while the “warm” temperature, on the contrary, is even very warm – 5600K. Note that in Eco mode, these parameters are slightly lower – 7200K and 5400K, respectively. If desired, this parameter can be adjusted manually in the Customization mode, which allows you to adjust the color temperature by three primary colors.
Color temperature uniformity is mediocre: the maximum deviation in different areas of the screen ΔE is 6.5. White field uniformity is also not very high: the difference between the brightest area (center of the screen) and the least bright (lower left corner) is 18%.
The color accuracy is quite good for a universal work monitor: in User mode, the maximum ΔE value is 3.25, the average is 1.58 (in Eco mode, the figures are slightly better – 2.68 and 1.34, respectively). It is believed that the average user is not able to notice the difference between the reference color and the one displayed by the monitor if ΔE does not exceed three.
In sRGB mode, the color gamut is reduced to the size of this space (71% Adobe RGB, 71% DCI-P3), the values of most parameters differ slightly from other modes, and some settings become unavailable for manual adjustment (but not brightness). Unfortunately, the monitor is not factory calibrated in this mode, so the color accuracy in this mode is no different from the other modes.