Top-of-the-line monitors for gaming or content creation are certainly interesting for their features and latest technologies, but for undemanding work systems, much simpler models are usually chosen, using a simple rule: “sufficient image quality for specific tasks at the most affordable price”. These requirements are met by the MSI PRO MP251, which we will get acquainted with today.
|4 ms (GtG)
|tilt back and forth
|1x HDMI 1.4b, 1x D-Sub, headphone output, microphone input
|Adaptive Sync, built-in speakers
|Dimensions (with stand), WxHxD
|Estimated price in Ukraine
For a budget monitor (remember, in Ukraine the price of this model is only a little more than 4 thousand UAH), you shouldn’t expect any unique refined design. Therefore, MSI PRO MP251 looks exactly as you would expect: practical black matte plastic case, the same plastic leg and “base” (the only metal element in them is a plate that attaches the leg to the display case).
The leg is simple, allowing you to change only the angle of the screen (-5°~20°), and the monitor is screwless. Not surprisingly, with this design, the MSI PRO MP251 is very lightweight – it weighs just under 3 kg. It should be noted that this lineup also includes the PRO MP251P model with a fully functional stand, which also allows you to change the screen height, rotate it right and left, and switch to portrait mode. There is a possibility of wall mounting: the monitor has a VESA-compatible mount (100×100).
The video connectors are located to the left of the leg mount. Here you can find one HDMI 1.4b and, somewhat unexpectedly, one analog D-Sub. In addition, there are also mini-jacks for headphones and a microphone.
The power supply of MSI PRO MP251 is external.
The monitor is controlled by a five-way controller located at the rear right. Moving it in any direction launches the selected shortcut function (e.g. brightness/video mode/signal source), while pressing it opens the main menu.
The first item in it is the Professional section – here you can find a choice of video modes, overdrive settings, refresh rate display, and some others. We should note the presence of a rather unusual functionality – a rapid vision test for some specific defects, such as astigmatism or certain macular diseases.
The next section, Image, contains traditional image settings such as brightness, contrast, color temperature, backlight blue cast, etc. In the Input Source section, you can manually select the required video source or activate its automatic detection, and the Navi Key section allows you to reassign custom functions to the joystick deflection.
And finally, the last section, Setting, contains other system parameters: OSD settings (unfortunately, there is no Ukrainian localization), joystick backlighting, built-in speaker volume, and resetting all settings to factory values.
The MSI PRO MP251 uses an 8-bit (6-bit + FRC) IPS panel with a diagonal of 24.5 inches and a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels – a typical option for a budget “office” monitor and slightly larger than the most budgetary segment of 24-inch models (with a real diagonal of 23.8″).
The pixel density is ~90 PPI (dot size 0.2825 mm) – you can see individual pixels from a typical distance from the screen quite easily, primarily on small text, but the image in the photo still looks quite dense and does not turn into a “jumble of pixels”.
The maximum refresh rate is 100 Hz, which is a bit unexpected for a budget monitor for work. Moreover, the MSI PRO MP251 supports a purely gaming function of adaptive frequency – Adaptive Sync (its activation can be found in the Professional section), panel overdrive, which reduces blurring of objects moving quickly on the screen, and has an MPRT setting.
The latter activates frame-by-frame backlighting, which makes the dynamic image in games much clearer (although it does cause flickering). So if you want, you can also play games on MSI PRO MP251 in your free time.
The brightness of this monitor is regulated by changing the current strength, PWM is not used throughout the entire brightness range, so there is no screen flickering. We should also note the presence of built-in speakers – the manufacturer does not disclose their power, but the sound is absolutely typical for monitor speakers.
Image quality of MSI PRO MP251
The screen coating is standard matte, with no parasitic reflections on a dark background. Its crystalline effect is weak: you can see a typical pattern that scatters reflections only on a macro image of pixels, and even here it is very moderate.
The declared response time is standard for an IPS panel – 4 ms (GtG). Despite the fact that the monitor is designed for work, not gaming, it has a typical gaming function – matrix overdrive (Response Time item in the Professional section). It has two levels of overclocking and the ability to completely disable it. On Normal and Fast, the blurring is almost identical, on Fastest, it becomes smaller, but overdrive artifacts in the form of dark plumes become noticeable.
Response Time: Normal, Fast, Fastest:
Black uniformity is generally good, but in complete darkness against a completely black background and with the brightness at maximum, you can still see a few slightly lighter spots along the bottom and right edges of the screen – overall, a very good result for a budget model.
The glow effect is typical of IPS technology: when you look at the screen from the side and from above, a noticeable gray glow with a warm tint appears near the black background.
The viewing angles are also traditional for IPS: when viewed from the side, the color saturation remains almost the same. Compared to more expensive IPS monitors, the MSI PRO MP251 has a slightly stronger brightness drop and a cooler tint at high angles, but overall the image hardly loses any quality.
The Professional mode of the OSD menu offers various video modes for typical desktop monitor tasks: Eco, Anti-Blue, Office, Movie, etc. After a factory reset, the Eco mode is automatically set, so we’ll start with it.
In Eco mode, the color gamut fully covers the sRGB space and is 79% Adobe RGB (81% DCI-P3), which makes MSI PRO MP251’s colors slightly more saturated than monitors with standard gamut.
The brightness is adjustable in the range of 40-295 cd/m² – the lowest value allows you to work comfortably in almost complete darkness, while the highest value is enough for typical office lighting.
The maximum static contrast at the initial settings in Eco mode is 1230:1, if you increase the brightness to 100% and switch the color temperature from Normal to Customization, the contrast can be increased a little more – up to 1280:1. This is a very good indicator for an IPS panel, and almost completely corresponds to the value declared by the manufacturer (1300:1).
As for the color temperature, it can be set from 5400K to 10300K using the corresponding parameter in the settings. The closest to 6500K is the user mode without manual changes (6900K).
MSI PRO MP251 does not have gamma adjustment, but even without it, the monitor has very good settings: its real value is very close to the standard 2.2 (the deviation is only 0.02).
The Image menu has a blue filter in the backlight – unlike other monitors, it doesn’t have different degrees of blue reduction, but only the ability to turn it on/off. According to the measurement results, the Cool mode is the closest to the standard temperature in this case, with this parameter coming close to 6500K.
The color temperature uniformity is mediocre: the maximum deviation in different areas of the screen ΔE is 5.7. The white field uniformity is also not good: the brightest areas, somewhat unexpectedly, are not the center of the screen, but the upper corners, where the maximum brightness exceeds 330 cd/m². In the center, we have a perfect correspondence to the “passport characteristics” – 298 cd/m²; the darkest zone was the lower part of the screen: here the maximum brightness is only 265 cd/m², which is 22% less than in the brightest zone.
But the color accuracy is very pleasantly surprising: it seems that the MSI PRO MP251 is factory calibrated, although there is no corresponding report in the monitor box.
So, if we ignore the result of one color, which is out of the picture due to the peculiarities of the test colorimeter, we can note that the maximum ΔE value is 2, and the average is less than one. As a reminder, 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 two.
In general, we can state that the Eco mode, which is usually just a formality and a tribute to the requirements of various regulators, in MSI PRO MP251 turns out to be very well tuned and can be used as the main mode in almost all tasks.
The User mode differs minimally from Eco (different initial brightness, slightly lower maximum contrast and higher color temperature) and also has high color accuracy – the maximum ΔE value is 1.5.
The other video modes have different initial settings for brightness, color temperature, gamma, etc., while the color coverage remains unchanged (except for the last mode).
Yes, Office offers a saturated image, but the colors are already noticeably distorted, with Anti-Blue making it noticeably warmer and Movie, on the contrary, colder. There is also a Black-White mode that converts the image to black and white.
You can visually compare how the image changes in all modes in this gallery: