Catleap ips 2560x1440 (1 of 5)

I posted about Catleap IPS 2560×1440 display a few months back and I haven’t really posted much about it since. I don’t do a lot of monitor testing, so for me the best sign that a monitor is doing a good job can be summed up in the lack of complaints. After 5 months of use, I can safely say that I am very happy with the quality and performance of this 27 inch IPS display.

You’ll notice that the label on the front of my monitor says “Shimian” not “Catleap”. The monitor is from the Catleap family Korean monitors, but after looking over all of the different models I liked the design and look of the Shimian version best. It also appeared to have a better designed stand then some of the other versions.

This IPS display uses the same panels that can be found in Apple’s 27 inch thunderbolt displays but at a 3rd the price ($340 v.s. $940). To cut down the price that far they’ve basically removed all of the features. That means no usb ports, built in speakers, color adjustments, thunderbolt port, or on screen controls. You get a beautiful IPS display with a power switch and a brightness adjustment and that’s about it.

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Even though there are no built in on screen controls (other then brightness) there are still 4 extra buttons located on the back. None of them actually do anything, but I suppose these could be volume controls or other adjustments on more expensive models.

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There is a speaker grill on the back of the monitor, but if you look closely you’ll see that there isn’t any speaker inside. This hasn’t been an issue for me as I find that on screen speakers generally have poor audio quality to begin with. I rely on a set of powered studio monitors for most of my critical audio work.

Catleap ips 2560x1440 (3 of 5)

The back of the unit has two connections. One Dual link DVI-D port and a connection for the power brick. The included cable was only about 6 foot long so I ended up ordering a 15 footer so that I could place the monitor in the center of my desk. Just make sure the cable that shows up is actually Dual link, I had to send the first cable back because it didn’t actually work with my monitor and GPU (even though it was labeled Dual Link DVI-D). Probably just a bad cable, but who knows.

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The image quality of the 27 inch IPS display is excellent after you’ve had a chance to make some adjustments. Out of the box the color is shifted a little bit towards to the blue side of things, so if you plan to do any color critical work I highly recommend getting a color calibration tool. Once you have everything setup correctly its a great looking monitor both in design and display.

I didn’t have any dead pixels on my screen when it arrived and after 5 months no dead or bright pixels have popped up, but the listings usually say something about allowing up to 3 dead or bright pixels before they’ll replace a unit. Also, keep an eye out on the pricing and what’s actually included in the listings. Over the past few months I’ve seen a few of these listed as high as $800 and some of them have a small note in the auction that says 110 volt adapter sold separately. The power adapter can set you back about $40 so make sure it’s included in the auction.

One other thing to note is that some older graphics cards don’t support resolutions this high. So check your GPU to make sure it can handle Dual Link DVI-D output at 2560×1440.

Also note that a lot of these monitors on ebay have a “make an offer” button. I was able to shave a few dollars off my order by taking the time to wait for a response from the seller. There are many different variations of these Korean 27 inch IPS displays and all of them use the same stock of panels housed in slightly different cases. Find the one you like, make sure it has the 110v power adapter, and try not to pay over $375. If you can do that, you’ll have a great high res IPS display for editing, gaming, and web browsing.

If you really get crazy, maybe two of these side by side would make a great editing setup if your GPU can handle it. I still haven’t gotten used to a multi screen setup but some people swear by it.

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