Review: Catleap Q270 LED + Ergotron MX Arm

For anyone in the market for a new monitor, I wanted to show something that is really incredible.

Let’s start with a pic:

This is an IPS monitor with the panel quality of an Apple Cinema Display and Dell U2711 (same panel, just not A+) for not more than 300€.

Technical specs:

The monitor is a pure awesomeness. I don’t know how else to describe it. Space encore, very easy on my eyes, since there is no AG-coating, it’s VERY sharp. It’s a glossy display, so make sure you have no window behind you. That’s one downside.

Another is the stand: it’s bad as they can only get. Imagine basically a great picture with the crappiest plastic stand ever, it’s wobbly, it’s hard to move… ugh.
But: considering that you can find stands for 10€ which are quite stable and just screw them in, I don’t think that’s a huge deal breaker.

Now, this monitor has a great picture quality – it is a A- graded panel, which is good for everything except hardcore photography. Mine came with a slight defect – I call it slight because I only noticed it with a monitor test program. Normal use, whatever the picture I gave it, I didn’t see it. I would call it a color smudge, but reeeeeeeally have to look for it. I bet most screens have some sort of defect, even those 700€ U2711s (I remember reading about yellow tint, backlight bleed etc). Camera can’t pick it up.

Another thing is a pixel thing: in Korea, where this monitor is from, there is a 5 stuck/dead pixel tolerance. Meaning the monitor can have up to 5 stuck pixels and does not have to be replaced. Now, the sellers in Ebay give you a possibility to buy a “perfect pixel guarantee”, which guarantees you won’t get stuck pixels. Probability of dead pixels is also very very small. And in the end, there is one seller – bigclothcraft, who offers to check the monitor prior to shipping for defects (serious backlight bleeding, defects on the panel, dead pixels and tells you he won’t send a defective product…).

I ordered from him and I got a perfect product.

There is one big downside though, and that cause me quite a bit aggrevation:
Monitor stand removal. You can’t remove it without completely opening the monitor up. You have to remove the bezel, unscrew, disconnect and remove the panel, just to come to inner screws that remove the backside arch, under which the holes for VESA mounts are found.

Summarized:

Downsides:
Bad stand.
Cheap plastic.
Hard to remove stand/arch.
Somewhat risky with warranty since you have to send it back if it dies at your own costs.
No OSD (either manually change via driver or get a colorimeter, like I did)

Upsides:
Excellent panel quality + great picture.
Price – 27incher IPS with 2560pixels for 300€!
Shortest delivery EVER (2-3 days from Korea to Austria, including customs), included in price
Gamer-friendly – no 27incher out there has really such low response time and such low input lag (I think someone measured about 10ms was it?, not sure)
No AG-coating (not sure if upside, as this is for you to decide, but for me definitely an upside)

Since it was this cheap, I had some budget left over to buy some accessories. I always wanted a good monitor arm, so I decided to get one of the best: Ergotron MX, basically can hold anything up to 30inches, and quite heavy too.
Also got a colorimeter, which I can use also for my 2nd screen and my laptop – datacolor Spyder4Pro.

All in all, about 500€ investment, while a Dell or HP with the same panel quality cost from 600€ up… (maybe you won’t get that mini-unvisible smudge and you can replace it if you have a dead pixel).

That all said, I love my Catleap, and if I had to do it all over again – gladly. I am sold.

Btw. there are more versions of this screen, including a 120Hz version sold at 120hz.net.

Some pics for your enjoyment:

Links:
http://www.overclock…ap-monitor-club
http://www.120hz.net…si-Catleap-Club
Ebay Link1
Ebay Link2 Perfect Pixel

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19 Responses to Review: Catleap Q270 LED + Ergotron MX Arm

  1. Phil Mosley says:

    Looks like a fantastic monitor Kosta. I might have to check them out..

  2. Bernd says:

    Hi Kosta,

    your 27″ monitor is very interesting for me. I think of going to 27″ for some time already. Since you have exactly the same 24″ Samsung (1920×1200), which I use at the moment, in addition, I have some questions:
    Does the higher resolution on the 27″ monitor at 2560×1440 influence fps negatively and if yes, how much approximately?
    Does the higher resolution of 2560×1440 use more VRam and therefore needs more VAS?

    My rig is pretty much the same than yours but still with air cooling:
    Asus P8P67 deluxe
    i7-2700k @ 4.6GHz / 1.288V
    4x4GB Corsair Vengeance 1866 Cl9
    Gigabyte 580 GTX 3GB @ 888/1776/2300 1.088V
    Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB for Win 7 64 @ SATA III
    Samsung 830 SSD 256GB for FSX @ SATA III
    WD 500GB for Backup

    I am fighting with the VAS when flighing the PMDG 737 in dense sceneries. I lowered my LOD already to 6.0. Thats why I am interested besides the possible framerate drop in VAS influence also when using a resolution of 2560×1440.

    I would be more than happy, if you could answer my questions.

    Best regards, Bernd

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, it does influence the FPS. You will lose about 15-20%. But it was well worth it.
      About the VAS – that I didn’t measure, but I didn’t notice any big changes really.
      Cool machine there, should do quite well on the 27incher, just like mine does.

  3. Bernd says:

    Wow, that was a fast answer!

    Hhhhmmm, my 580 GTX suffers from 2x SGSS already in dense seneries and heavy clouds… When overclocking my GPU I realised an increase in FPS, which is linear to the percentage of OC. I was more than happy with it. But now a decrease again because of going from 24″ to 27″?

    Maybe I should add a 680 GTX to my calculation, to stay with the current frane rates I have…

    Best regards, Bernd

    • Kosta says:

      Yeah, 580 gets hammered if you use heavy clouds and 2x SGSS. The only cure, if want to keep the SGSS, is get the 680. It apparently works WAY better with SGSS than 580 does.
      The FPS drop doesn’t have anything to do with the SGSS really. This is a CPU matter. The FPS drop because you have much more resolution, and this is the problem. 680 is only going to really help when you get into heavy clouds with SGSS.

  4. Bernd says:

    Yes, usually the GPU power does not influence very much, because the CPU limits. Every little GHZ there improves. I did not see any framerate influence when overclocking the GPU except when using heavy clouds at high resolution of 4096×4096 or 2048×2048. My GPU then reaches max values in 3D cockpit view of up to 85% and a memory usage of around 1.45 GB. Somehow, anything else prevents the GPU from reaching 100% because when the GPU is non-OC it shows the same values of 85%, but then I miss approximately 3 FPS. 100% GPU usages I only have in outside views in both situations OC and non-OC.
    When having “good weather” with only some cumulus the GPU usage is around 50%.

    Do you use 2x SGSS or something else with your 27″?

    Best regards, Bernd

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, of course. You can read up on my whole setup in the tweaking guide. All the exact settings from my sim are there.
      Nothing else really, just the monitor color correction file.

      • Bernd says:

        Thank you for sharing this OUTSTANDING tweaking guide! I found it already some weeks ago, but did not remember, that the Nvidia Inspector Setting were in it, sorry for that. I read through it once again and I can underline almost all your findings with my own experience. Interesting is, that you also set the maximum pre-rendered frames to 1 :o).

        In my opinion your guide is at the moment the best and most complete guide in the web when using state of the art hardware. It must have been a hell lot of work!

        In your hardware list I am missing a TrackIR 5 with clip ;o). That was the best piece of hardware ever I bought for my FSX!

  5. Kosta says:

    Thanks for the kind words Bernd. Yes, I can’t take all the glory, since not all the tweaks were found by me, but I did test it all together and yes, that took quite a lot of time to find the right combination. Kind of like cracking a safe 😉
    Yes, I know about the TIR5, and I actually bought TIR3 all the while back, and is not sitting in the old-hardware-box. Nothing for me.

  6. Jake Eyre says:

    I’m curious, Kosta..I have a Dell 2709W, which has a native res of 1900×1200 which is fine for using FSX with. How come this Catleap can do such huge rez? If I ran this side by side with my Dell, would I see a noticable difference between them? I think i know the answer to that LOL..

    If i had just the Catleap, as my Dell is starting to show its age (only 60hz – what is the Cateap?) it has a green line down one side that appears after sleep/switch on (that goes away after five mins) could I run it in 1900×1200 and not look like VGA? If I lower my res with the Dell to say 1680×1050 it looks like a game from the 90’s 😉

    I am in the market for a new screen..this could just be it. Thanks for the heads-up

    best, jake

  7. Kosta says:

    These Catleaps are made in Korea, they use the same panels as Apple’s 27inch screens, but the A- quality, meaning here and there a bad pixel might be found. You can also buy pixel guarantee, for example like this one:
    http://www.ebay.at/itm/New-YAMAKASI-CATLEAP-Q270-MULTI-27-LED-2560X1440-S-IPS-Monitor-Perfect-Pixel-/120878749173?pt=Computer_Monitors&hash=item1c24ef55f5
    I really don’t know what S-PVA is, as I never had it. Catleap has S-IPS, and I can tell you, once calibrated (I used one-time calibration by Spyder4Pro which I bought from Amazon, and then returned it), this monitor beats all other monitors I have either seen or owned (excluding really professional very expensive monitors, of course).
    Catleap is also 60Hz, but is completely fine with me. I can change mine to 1920×1080, but it doesn’t look right. I mean, it’s OK, it’s not BAD. But it looks a bit blurry.
    Besides, in 2560×1440 in FSX looks awesome. Way bigger peripheral vision and very sharp picture.
    I think it’s the right investment if you want to go cheap. But must keep in mind, if something goes wrong, like doesn’t work or you get pixel errors, you must live with it, because sending it back to Korea is probably gonna cost half of the new unit 🙂
    I got mine really dirty cheap, which was almost a disgrace, but it was almost at the beginning where these monitors weren’t that known. But still, €350 is really good price for such screen.

  8. Jake Eyre says:

    I am finding them and the Q271 (not sure of the difference, looks very similar spec to me) for £220 -£250 on the bay of e..Amazing..at that price I’m getitng one anyway..I can always give it to the wifey if it’s no good 🙂

    • Kosta says:

      That is also true. If you can find it that cheap again, go for it. It’s a really good monitor for the price.

  9. Anthony says:

    Kosta, how is the Catleap going after all this time?

    I’m currently looking at going 1440P on a GTX 780. Options now from Korea also include:

    http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=111073520913

    http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=151046737569

    These both have Matte screens as opposed to glossy.

    My other option would be the Dell U2713HM but even with a 15% discount I can get through work it’s still basically double the price of one of these screens.

    Do you play any other games or just FSX? How is performance?

    • Kosta says:

      Anthony,
      Great. Here and there, when I turn it on, it shows something weird, then I turn it off, and back on, and it’s ok. Happened bout 3-4 times since I bought it. Also it’s not recent, but a longer time now, so it’s not “failing” imo, just a bug…
      I can’t say much on those screens, but the sellers are ok.
      Yes, I play also other games, quite often too… Starcraft2, BioShock Infinite, Crysis 3, Tomb Raider, FarCry3… well, I can’t complain! It’s just awesome, and for me, after testing Dells, Samsungs etc, the best screen I ever had. I could get a €1000 screen, and it would probably be good but that’s not the point in this case…

      • Anthony says:

        Great, well sounds like you’re really enjoying the screen.

        I ended up ordering one of the X-Stars and it’s on it’s way from Korea now. I wanted a matte/semi-gloss screen rather than the gloss of the catleap.

        Going to be pairing it with my new rig, GTX 780, 4770K, 2400Mhz RAM so I’m looking forward to some good performance and greater immersion in FSX and my other games.

        For the price I paid, I think this monitor is a steal! glad I ordered when I did because most sellers bumped the prices up about 2 days later as these monitors are really gaining popularity.

      • Kosta says:

        Yep, same happened back when I got the Catleap. I rushed with buying, and also a week or two later, price went up about $100… I was so glad.

        Tell me how it’s working when you get it!

        Oh and btw., I also thought glossy will be bad, but just the opposite, it’s much better than any matt screen I had, and since I sit with a window in front, I have no reflections problem, and I really almost never notice anything or myself in the screen.

      • Anthony says:

        Will do! It’s in Sydney now so should have in on Monday assuming it can get through customs quickly.

        I was a little worried about refelections but also fingerfrints (2 kids) and reports that some had dust etc stuck under the glass.

      • Kosta says:

        Yeah, I considered getting a glass, but then decided not to, exactly for the dust problem. I risked with the glossy, clean screen without anything in front, and been happy since 😉

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