However, according to our best function for FreeSync monitors, this test is ideal. Today we're looking at the Viotek GFT27DB, a brand new display version with a new TN panel (ideal for gamers) that promises a lot on paper. After reviewing several Viotek displays last year, we were always impressed by the value proposition. We hope that nothing changes here.
The Viotek GFT27DB is supposed to be a flat TN version of its curved VA GN27D, so the technical data are very similar. It is a 27-inch panel with a resolution of 1440p and a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz. This monitor supports FreeSync with low frame rate compensation and we can confirm that it works perfectly with both AMD and Nvidia GPUs.
With this new monitor, which opts for a TN panel instead of a VA, players are offered a flat screen that we personally prefer at this size. But there are other important advantages as well. This is not your standard entry-level TN, but a brand new high-end TN from AU Optronics. According to Viotek, it's a wide bandwidth of 115% sRGB, which is very rare for a TN, and it's native 8-bit, another rarity for TN panels.
The aim is to reduce some of the known color problems with TN displays and at the same time to provide all speed advantages such as fast response times. Taking TN panels is an interesting direction, but one that makes sense because the two technologies known for their colors – IPS and VA – struggle to achieve the response times of a good TN. So if a participant can achieve the same colors as an IPS or VA, many buyers will be included in the calculations again. And we'll talk in detail about how this new panel behaves.
But let's talk about the Viotek GFT27DB first. It comes at the same price as the GN27D, which is $ 330, so buyers can choose between TN and VA. The GN27D is currently the cheapest monitor in its class, but the GFT27DB is not quite the cheapest 27-inch TN with 1440p and 144 Hz. This crown goes to Pixio with the PX276. However, the Pixio option uses an older TN that does not have a large color gamut. As a result, Viotek offers a potentially better color quality for just $ 20 more.
As with most Viotek monitors, the design is simple. For the main monitor area, fairly cheap but minimalist plastic is used, including a matte display coating that is slightly grainy, but not uncommon for a participant. The bezels are slim, the three-pronged stand is made of metal and looks pretty good. Other than a very simple red light on the back, there isn't a lot of player style that we really appreciate.
As with all simple designs, there are some limitations. The stand only supports the tilt adjustment. If you need height adjustment, you either have to buy a VESA mount or choose a different monitor entirely. The stand is pretty shaky too, more than a typical monitor of this size. While the overall build quality is okay, if a little underwhelming, the stand feels a bit cheap due to its instability. That means it won't move on your desk once you've installed it.
All standard material for connections: a DisplayPort 1.4 and three generous HDMI connections, including an HDMI 2.0 connection and an audio output socket. There are a pair of built-in 2W speakers, but they're utter rubbish in case you are wondering. Seriously, they're so bad that we don't know why Viotek picked them up.
The other complaint we have in terms of design is Viotek's continuous use of four buttons at the bottom to control the screen display instead of a much easier change of direction. Combined with the wobble in the stand, it is quite difficult to navigate in the OSD, where you can find functions such as cheat crosshairs, picture-in-picture and color control. It is worth noting that FreeSync is disabled by default in the settings. Therefore, make sure that you activate this option.
As for the panel itself, our main concern with this review was the viewing angle as it continues to be the biggest problem for TN monitors, especially at the top end of the TN scale.
We have to say this is one of the better TN displays we've seen in terms of viewing angles, especially horizontally where there is some contrast shift, but it's not bad. In the vertical direction, however, the contrast still changes significantly when you look at it from a different angle. However, you should still consider him dead and make sure you tilted it properly to get the best experience. While it is good for a TN, the viewing angles are still a few steps behind a VA and in particular an IPS panel.
The other area where TNs tend to suffer is the contrast ratio, although the GFT27DB with this new AU Optronics panel is at the top end of the TN scale. The native contrast ratio is below 1000: 1 and is 970: 1, which is better than ever for a participant. This is in line with IPS panels, but falls well short of a typical VA where you can expect more than double the contrast ratio for something like the GN27D.
Brightness, everything checked. This monitor significantly exceeds Viotek's requirements. They list a peak brightness of 220 nit, which is, however, significantly higher. We recorded a maximum brightness of just under 350 nits, which is pretty bright and a good result for a TN.
Response times are clearly the big selling point of TN monitors. You buy one because you want it to be fast, especially for games. Viotek claims a response time of 1 ms with overdrive and a "standard" response of 3 ms, which agrees quite well with what we found during testing.
The optimal overdrive setting here is the maximum "high" mode, which has a slight overshoot in some transitions, but is within our tolerances and should not be too important. When this mode is activated, the average transition from gray to gray was 3.38 ms, a typical quick result for a TN, which is far ahead of VA alternatives. With the absolute best VAs on average over 5 ms and a more realistic number of 8 ms, this participant is much clearer with less blur and fewer ghost images.
The general behavior of these participants is also not unusual. The rise times are much slower than the fall times. An average 4.91 ms rise is affected by a relatively slow transition from black to white. However, the fall times flash quickly with less than 2 ms, with some transitions reaching this 1 ms number. In general, the panel is much faster than the 6.94 ms required to update at 144 Hz, so you can take full advantage of the high update with good clarity.
The entry delay is also very good. We recorded a latency of approx. 4 ms, which, in combination with the fast transition time, makes the GFT27DB a very fast monitor. You would expect this from a game-focused TN monitor that Viotek supplied.
In terms of color performance, this TN exceeds its weight in some areas. We get comfortable 100% sRGB coverage, but it's the 92% DCI-P3 coverage that really impressed me. It doesn't quite match the level we would expect from a professional full-color monitor, but it's a few percentage points higher than many of the larger-color VA panels we've recently tested from Samsung. These panels usually clocked between 85 and 90 percent DCI-P3, so it is certainly impressive when this TN beats, since most TNs don't have a large color gamut at all. Native 8-bit support is also great considering that many TNs are 6-bit + FRC.
Unfortunately, Viotek leaves this wide color gamut support unrestricted, which means that the display is oversaturated without calibration when displaying sRGB content. And sRGB content makes up 99% of what you display outside of professional workflows. If you love oversaturation and particularly vivid colors or don't mind, this panel is great. However, if you are looking for accuracy, the GFT27DB will unfortunately not be ready for immediate use.
What we would really like to see and what we recommend for all monitors with a large color gamut is a simple change in the screen display that switches between an sRGB and a status with a large color gamut. Viotek doesn't offer this and the result is a saturation DeltaE average of 3.18 along with a ColorChecker DeltaE of 3.43. The grayscale results are also a bit bad, as our device has a slight red hue and a DeltaE average of 3.60, although gamma is good.
If you're wondering about DCI-P3 accuracy, Viotek doesn't really deliver here either, with DeltaEs between 2.5 and 4.0 for the most part. Again, it seems like the panel isn't factory calibrated at all, which is typical of a Viotek display and many gaming monitors in general. If this were for professional work, we would expect better results.
Without the ability to limit the gamut, there isn't much you can do on the screen to improve performance, except for a few minor changes to correct the white point. To get accurate results, you really need to do a full calibration, as we always did with the help of our good friend SpectraCALs CALMAN 5. Apart from a few outliers, this calibration gave good results with average DeltaE values below 1.0. As with a typical calibration of a TN display, however, the contrast ratio dropped to around 900: 1, a slight decrease, which is worth mentioning.
After all, we have uniformity, performance is decent, better than the average VA panel, but not perfect. If we look at this diagram, we basically classify the uniformity here as two blobs on both sides of the panel with a slight slope in the middle and on the edges. In contrast to many curved VAs, however, there is no vignette effect, which is good.
For whom is that?
The Viotek GFT27DB is an interesting product, especially because it is a rare TN with a wide range of colors. The wide range of colors does some of the work: by default, it's more than a typical TN oversaturated and corresponds to today's VAs, which either provide 92% DCI-P3 coverage for those who want it, or a vibrant sRGB if You like something like that.
But it's the real 8-bit panel and better viewing angles than usual that also do a lot. TNs tend to fall behind in all three areas – bit depth, viewing angle and color gamut, but AU Optronics and Viotek have focused on improving them and the results have paid off. This does not affect the response times, which are still as fast as you would expect from a participant.
This control panel resembles a medium-sized IPS and is only located in viewing angles where an IPS noticeably pulls forward. For a participant, we are really impressed with the picture quality. However, if you combine the viewing angle problem with a contrast ratio below 1000: 1, you still won't get a VA-like experience with these beautiful deep blacks. Contrast and viewing angle are very good for a TN, and we think most people are perfectly fine, but those who love VAs should stick to it.
The GFT27DB also encounters the standard problems with Viotek monitors: the stand can only be adjusted to a limited extent and is somewhat shaky, the screen display is difficult to control, the display is not calibrated, there is no sRGB mode … and that is it outside of one small handful of countries not available. While we spend some time calibrating as part of the verification process, most gaming monitors are not calibrated. So this is the least important problem. However, as we often hear complaints in user comments, we hope that Viotek will expand into the European and Australian markets.
Who would we recommend this monitor to? This is a simple buy recommendation for those who want a fast gaming monitor. With FreeSync, it's 1440p and 144Hz, which we still think is the sweet spot for PC gaming in 2019. Since it is a TN, ghosting is not a problem. Combined with the best colors we've seen for this type of monitor, it's basically the best gaming TN on the market. A big compliment to Viotek.
It is a unique monitor in that no other company uses this panel, and we do not believe that this is reflected in the pricing. At $ 330, this is the same price as Viotek's equivalent curved VA, with both the VA and TN showing strengths and weaknesses. The VA is still superior colors, but the TN is flat and faster. Both offer fantastic value for money. Which option is better depends on what you expect from a display. Do not dismiss the GFT27DB immediately as it is a TN. It is definitely much better than most TN displays in the past.