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Introduction

The gaming monitor market has grown a lot over the last couple of years, with new players like Asus and Acer making a big impact and offering a great range of innovative displays and technologies. Some of the more mainstream manufacturers like Dell, NEC, HP and Eizo have stayed away from this market on the most part and focused on more general uses and their professional grade screens. Dell recently entered the gaming market with their S2716DG, a 27" 1440p TN Film screen with 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate and support for NVIDIA G-sync and blur reduction amongst other things. Eizo very rarely venture into the gaming market either, but if we think back to late 2013 we were impressed by the performance and innovation of their 23.5" Foris FG2421 display. Amongst all the noise from Acer and Asus in the gaming market, and with the arrival of G-sync/FreeSync from the major graphics card vendors, Eizo are now releasing their new Foris FS2735 display. This offers an impressive spec with a 27" 1440p IPS-type panel, 144Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync support and an additional blur reduction mode. They have also added all kinds of fancy features including mobile phone integration and control for instance. There's been quite a few high refresh IPS panels launched now, but this is the first from Eizo which carries with it promises of quality, reliability and support which many people have been waiting for. We've got the Foris FS2735 with us now for review ahead of its full launch.

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Specifications and Features

The following table gives detailed information about the specs of the screen:

Monitor Specifications

Size

27"WS (68.5 cm)

Panel Coating

Light AG coating

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Interfaces

1x DisplayPort 1.2a
2x HDMI 1.4
1x DVI

Resolution

2560 x 1440

Pixel Pitch

0.233 mm

Design colour

Matte black bezel and stand

Response Time

4ms G2G

Ergonomics

Tilt, height, rotate, swivel

Static Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

n/a

VESA Compatible

Yes 100mm

Brightness

350 cd/m2

Accessories

Power, DisplayPort and USB cables

Viewing Angles

178/ 178

Panel Technology

AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type)

Weight

boxed: 10.1Kg

Backlight Technology

W-LED

Physical Dimensions

(WxHxD) with stand:
618.8 x 393.7 - 548.7 x 197.9 mm

Colour Depth

16.7m (8-bit)

Refresh Rate

144Hz native
FreeSync range 56 - 144Hz
or 35 - 90Hz

Special Features

2x USB 3.0 ports, 2x 1W stereo speakers, audio out, headphone port, AMD FreeSync, Blur Reduction mode, Auto EcoView ambient light sensor

Colour Gamut

Standard gamut
~sRGB, ~72% NTSC

The FS2735 offers a good range of connectivity options given the use of AMD FreeSync, which is not limited in the same way that NVIDIA G-sync modules currently are. This model offers DP 1.2a, DVI and 2x HDMI 1.4 inputs so you can connect multiple devices including games consoles. The digital interfaces are HDCP certified for encrypted content and the video cables are provided in the box for DisplayPort only.

The screen has an internal power supply with the power cable you need in the box. There are also 2x USB 3.0 ports, located for easy-access on the left hand side at the back (cable provided in the box). There are also audio out and headphone ports offered along with 2x 1W integrated stereo speakers for basic sound. Eizo have also provided their EcoView ambient light sensor feature which is useful.

Below is a summary of the features and connections of the screen:

Feature

Yes / No

Feature

Yes / No

Tilt adjust

DVI

Height adjust

HDMI

Swivel adjust

D-sub

Rotate adjust

DisplayPort

VESA compliant

Component

USB 2.0 Ports

Composite

USB 3.0 Ports

Audio connection

Card Reader

HDCP Support

Ambient Light Sensor

MHL Support

Human Motion Sensor

Integrated Speakers

Touch Screen

PiP / PbP

Factory Calibration

Blur Reduction Mode

Hardware calibration

G-Sync

Uniformity correction

FreeSync



Design and Ergonomics

 
 

Above: front view of the screen. Click for larger versions

The FS2735 comes in a fairly minimalist all black design, with a thin bezel and matte plastics used throughout. The bezel is a very thin 10mm around the sides and top, and only 14mm thick along the bottom edge as well. There's a small Eizo logo in the bottom left hand corner but no other writing or labels on the front.


Above: power LED and ambient light sensor. Click for larger version

The bottom right hand corner has a fairly small power LED (right most rectangle here) which glows white during normal operation, red when FreeSync is enabled and amber when the screen is in standby. Next to this is another indicator although we've not extensively tested every option and setting so not sure when they lights up to be honest. There is then the EcoView ambient light sensor on the left (hard to see in the photo as it's very subtle).


Above: rear views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The back of the screen provides some red coloured contrast sections which make the screen stand out. There's also a shiny Eizo logo in the top right hand area. There's actually a ridge beneath the red trim at the top which allows you to carry the screen easily. The back of the screen is again a matte black plastic. The stand attaches in the middle at the back and there is a quick release button if you want to remove it and arm- / wall-mount the screen, or transport it.


Above: views of the base and able tidy. Click for larger versions

The stand is again fairly minimalist but provides a sturdy enough base for the screen. There is a detachable cable tidy clip on the back in red as you can see above.

 

The FS2735 provides a decent range of ergonomic adjustments with tilt, height and rotate offered. Swivel side to side is not available although the screen is light enough and with a small enough foot-print that you can easily move it from side to side if you want.

 
Above: full tilt range shown. Click for larger versions

The side profile of the screen itself is fairly thin, thanks to the use of W-LED backlighting. There is a good tilt range available as shown above, although its very stiff to move. The stand bends part way down as you can see above which is why it feels stiff.

 
Above: full height adjustment range shown, click for larger versions

The height adjustment is again stiff to operate but does provide smooth movement. You do have to force it quite a lot to re-position it though, as you do with the tilt. At its lowest setting the bottom edge of the display is 30mm from the desk surface, and once extended to maximum height it is 185mm. This gives a total 155mm adjustment range. Rotation in to portrait mode is equally stiff again, but at least provided if you want it.

A summary of the screens ergonomic adjustments is shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

Yes

Smooth

Very stiff

Height

155mm

Smooth

Stiff

Swivel

No

-

-

Rotate

Yes

Moderate

Stiff

Overall

Good range of adjustments  offered, but all very stiff really to operate.

The materials were of a good standard and the build quality felt very good as well. We liked the ultra-thin bezel design as well. There was a very slight audible whine from the screen, but only if you listened very closely to it. Certainly nothing you could detect in normal use from a normal distance. The screen also remains cool even during prolonged use. One thing to note is that we occasionally had troubles with the screen resuming from sleep if the PC had been sleeping. When the monitor goes to sleep on its own with PC still on, it wakes up fine. However if the PC comes out of sleep sometimes the screen doesn't wake up properly. Fortunately you can fix this with a quick off/on of the screen via the power button.


Above: interface connections on the back of the screen

The back of the screen provides the video connections as shown above. There are audio out, headphone jack, 2x HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort 1.2a and USB upstream connections provided on this model.


Above: 2x USB 3.0 ports on the left hand back area

On the left hand back area of the screen are two relatively easy access USB 3.0 ports. Useful to have these more readily available in this location we thought, and not on the underside with the video connections.
 

 


OSD Menu

   
Above: OSD control buttons on the bottom edge of the screen. Click for larger version

The OSD menu is accessed and controlled through 2 pressable buttons and one joystick located on the back of the screen on the right hand area. There is also a power on/off button. Due to the location of the buttons, it's not always obvious which one you are pressing and there are no markings on the front of the screen to guide you, although it's easy enough to find the joystick which controls most of the functions anyway.

Pressing any of the buttons or moving the joystick brings up the quick launch icons at the bottom of the screen as shown above (bottom of the photo), telling you what each button will then do, and giving you an idea of where they are located round at the back of the screen. You can quickly switch between inputs and the preset modes (shown above) with the two buttons. If you move the joystick left or right you can quickly change the brightness setting, and moving it up down you can change the volume. Pressing the joystick in like a button brings up the main OSD menu:

The main menu is split in to 9 sections with plenty of options to play with. We won't go through everything here as it would take too long and you can refer to the user manual for more information.

The first "color" menu contains most of the options you will want to change including the preset modes, brightness, colour temp, gamma mode etc. You can also access the "advanced settings" section:

This section allows you to control some other useful features including the overdrive control and blur reduction mode which we will test later on.

All in all the menu was responsive and easy and intuitive to navigate thanks to the joystick. The location of the buttons was a bit fiddly though and not as easy to use as some other screens and sometimes we found ourselves turning the screen off accidentally. Getting in to some of the menu sections too quite a few presses as well but overall it was decent enough and certainly plenty of options to play with. We did like all the user configurable preset modes as well.



Panel and Backlighting

Panel Manufacturer

AU Optronics

Colour Palette

16.7 million

Panel Technology

AHVA (IPS-type)

Colour Depth

8-bit

Panel Module

M270DAN02.3

Colour space

Standard gamut

Backlighting Type

W-LED

Colour space coverage (%)

~sRGB, ~72% NTSC

Panel Part and Colour Depth

The Eizo Foris FS2735 features an AU Optronics M270DAN02.3 AHVA (IPS-type) panel which is capable of producing 16.78 million colours. The panel offers an 8-bit colour depth and the part is confirmed when dismantling the screen as shown below and is the exact same as that used in the Acer Predator XB270HU and Asus MG279Q with great success already.

We want to try and ensure there's no confusion between AHVA and IPS as well at this juncture. AHVA (Advanced Hyper Viewing Angle) is a relatively new technology developed by AU Optronics, not to be confused with their more long-standing technology AMVA (Advanced Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment). It is AU Optronics' answer to LG.Display's very popular, and long-established IPS (In Plane Switching) technology. Testing of this technology has revealed that it is for all intents and purposes the same as IPS. Performance characteristics, features and specs are all pretty much identical. AUO weren't allowed to simply call their technology IPS due to trademark issues, which is why they adopted their own new name. Samsung are the same with their PLS (Plane to Line Switching) panel tech, which is another IPS-clone. You will see pretty much all monitor manufacturers now simply use the term IPS, since it is so well known in the market, but underneath they may be using an IPS version from LG.Display, AU Optronics or Samsung potentially. People should not get concerned with the semantics here, which is why we will continually refer to this as an "IPS-type" panel throughout the review.

The part is confirmed when dismantling the screen:

Screen Coating

The screen coating is a light anti-glare (AG) offering. It isn't a semi-glossy coating, but it is light as seen on other modern IPS type panels. Thankfully it isn't a heavily grainy coating like some old IPS panels feature and is also lighter than modern TN Film panel coating. It retains its anti-glare properties to avoid too many unwanted reflections of a full glossy coating, but does not produce an too grainy or dirty an image that some thicker AG coatings can. There were some very slight cross-hatching patterns visible on the coating if you looked very closely, but nothing to the extent of what some people find problematic on the U2713HM model.


Backlight Type and Colour Gamut

The screen uses a White-LED (W-LED) backlight unit which is standard in today's market. This helps reduce power consumption compared with older CCFL backlight units and brings about some environmental benefits as well. The W-LED unit offers a standard colour gamut which is approximately equal to the sRGB colour space. Anyone wanting to work with wider colour spaces would need to consider wide gamut CCFL screens or the newer range of GB-r-LED type (and similar) displays available now. If you want to read more about colour spaces and gamut then please have a read of our detailed article.


Backlight Dimming and Flicker

We tested the screen to establish the methods used to control backlight dimming. Our in depth article talks in more details about a common method used for this which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This in itself gives cause for concern to some users who have experienced eye strain, headaches and other symptoms as a result of the flickering backlight caused by this technology. We use a photosensor + oscilloscope system to measure backlight dimming control with a high level of accuracy and ease. These tests allow us to establish

1) Whether PWM is being used to control the backlight
2) The frequency and other characteristics at which this operates, if it is used
3) Whether a flicker may be introduced or potentially noticeable at certain settings

If PWM is used for backlight dimming, the higher the frequency, the less likely you are to see artefacts and flicker. The duty cycle (the time for which the backlight is on) is also important and the shorter the duty cycle, the more potential there is that you may see flicker. The other factor which can influence flicker is the amplitude of the PWM, measuring the difference in brightness output between the 'on' and 'off' states. Please remember that not every user would notice a flicker from a backlight using PWM, but it is something to be wary of. It is also a hard thing to quantify as it is very subjective when talking about whether a user may or may not experience the side effects.


100%                                                                                 50%

    
scale = 1 horizontal grid = 5ms

20% (zoomed in)

At 100% brightness a constant voltage is applied to the backlight. As you reduce the brightness setting to dim the backlight a Direct Current (DC) method is used for a considerable range, down to a setting of around 55%. From 55% and below an oscillation is introduced but it operates at a very high frequency of 2000Hz and with a very low amplitude as well. This shouldn't present any problems for the majority of users since it's in no way a full PWM operation.

Pulse Width Modulation Used

Hybrid

Cycling Frequency

100 - 56% = n/a

55 - 0% = 2000Hz low amplitude oscillation only

Possible Flicker at

 

100% Brightness

No

50% Brightness

Unlikely

0% Brightness

Unlikely

For an up to date list of all flicker-free (PWM free) monitors please see our Flicker Free Monitor Database.

 


Contrast Stability and Brightness

We wanted to see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

331.10

0.33

1003

90

238.83

0.24

995

80

162.27

0.16

1014

70

114.30

0.12

952

60

73.64

0.07

1052

50

47.97

0.05

959

40

28.22

0.03

941

30

16.71

<0.02

-

20

8.60

<0.02

-

10

3.96

<0.02

-

0

1.17

<0.02

-

 

Total Luminance Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

329.93

Brightness OSD setting controls backlight?

Total Black Point Adjustment Range (cd/m2)

>0.31

Average Static Contrast Ratio

988:1

PWM Free? 

Hybrid

Recommended OSD setting for 120 cd/m2

71

The brightness control gave us a very good range of adjustment. At the top end the maximum luminance reached 331 cd/m2 which was only a little shy of the specified maximum brightness of 350 cd/m2 from the manufacturer. There was a very impressive 330 cd/m2 adjustment range in total, and so at the minimum setting you could reach down to an incredibly low luminance of only 1 cd/m2. This should of course be adequate for those wanting to work in darkened room conditions with low ambient light and Eizo have focused on offering a full adjustment range for the backlight, particularly accommodating users at the lower end of the brightness range. In fact, you need a setting of 71 in the OSD menu should return you a luminance of around 120 cd/m2 at default settings. At the higher brightness setting end, small changes make quite significant changes to the luminance output and actually we would have preferred a little more control within the 80 - 200 cd/m2 kind of range than we had. Does anyone really need to use the screen below around 50 cd/m2, Let alone at the crazy low settings you can get down to here? With the 50% brightness setting returning a luminance of 48 cd/m2 we felt we would have preferred that to have been achieved when you were at a lower brightness setting really.

It should be noted that the brightness regulation is controlled without the need for Pulse Width Modulation, using a Direct Current (DC) method for brightness settings between 100 and 55%. From 55% and below a low amplitude and high frequency (2000Hz) oscillation is introduced, although it's not likely to cause any problems for users. Even so, you can reach down to a very low luminance which will be adequate for most users anyway without any kind of oscillation introduced given where it kicks in.

We have plotted the luminance trend on the graph above. The screen behaves as it should in this regard, with a reduction in the luminance output of the screen controlled by the reduction in the OSD brightness setting. This is not a linear relationship as you can see, with settings between 100 and 60% controlling a very steep adjustment curve, before lower settings give you more finite control over the luminance output.

The average contrast ratio of the screen was good for an IPS-type panel with an average of 9881. This was mostly stable across the brightness adjustment range as shown above. We've cut out the measurements for below 40% brightness as the screen was so dark that a black measurement was below the 0.02 cd/m2 lower limit threshold of the X-rite i1 Display Pro measurement device.



Testing Methodology

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user.

We restored our graphics card to default settings and disabled any previously active ICC profiles and gamma corrections. The screen was tested at default factory settings using our new X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer combined with LaCie's Blue Eye Pro software suite. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was also used to verify the black point and contrast ratio since the i1 Pro 2 spectrophotometer is less reliable at the darker end.


Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - validates the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting in a 2D view, with the black triangle representing the displays gamut, and other reference colour spaces shown for comparison

  • Gamma - we aim for 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors

  • Colour temperature / white point - we aim for 6500k which is the temperature of daylight

  • Luminance - we aim for 120 cd/m2, which is the recommended luminance for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions

  • Black depth - we aim for as low as possible to maximise shadow detail and to offer us the best contrast ratio

  • Contrast ratio - we aim for as high as possible. Any dynamic contrast ratio controls are turned off here if present

  • dE average / maximum - as low as possible. If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer. If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable. If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.



Default Performance and Setup

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings

Preset mode

User1

Brightness

90

Contrast

50

RGB

98, 100, 95

Temperature

6500k

Gamma

2.2


Eizo Foris FS2735 - Default Settings

  

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

246

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.25

Contrast Ratio

995:1

 

Although this IPS-type panel is not exclusive to the Foris FS2735, Eizo has according to their product team taken extra steps to ensure the accuracy of the colour display. It is produced in the same factory at Eizo headquarters in Japan as their medical monitors and graphics monitors. The colour temperature, gamma, white balance, and brightness of each FS2735 unit is individually checked and adjusted by a camera in the factory apparently. In the final phase of production, each unit is inspected by the human eye to ensure mid-tones and hues are displayed properly also. So while there is no specific factory calibration report provided in the box or anything, they should be calibrated nicely out of the box it seems. We went ahead and tested it.
 

Initially out of the box the screen was set in the default 'user1' preset. You could tell the screen was using a standard gamut backlight and the image looked reasonably good to the naked eye, but certainly too bright for comfortable use. If Eizo are checking the brightness in the factory, they are obviously checking to some high level requirement! Colour balance felt pretty good, but maybe slightly too warm. We went ahead and measured the default state with the i1 Pro 2.

 

The CIE diagram on the left of the image confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) is roughly equal to the sRGB colour space. There is some minor over-coverage in all shades but not by anything significant at all. Gamma was well set up with 2.2 average measured (0% deviance) which was pleasing and shows a reliable factory calibration. The white point was a little off, being slightly too warm at 6096k (404k out / 6% deviance).

 

Luminance was recorded at a very bright 246 cd/m2 which is too high for prolonged general use. The screen was set at a default 90% brightness in the OSD menu but that is easy to change of course to reach a more comfortable setting without impacting any other aspect of the setup. The black depth was 0.25 cd/m2 at this default brightness setting, giving us a very good static contrast ratio (for an IPS-type panel) of 995:1. Colour accuracy was ok on the most part although blue shades appeared to be a problem and drove up the average dE quite a lot. Colour gradients were smooth with no visible banding and only minor gradation in darker tones. Hopefully some minor OSD RGB settings can correct the white point and improve things without much fuss, but the default setup was still pretty good we felt overall and adequate for casual users certainly.

 

 

Calibration

 

We used the X-rite i1 Pro 2 Spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.

 

Monitor OSD Option

Calibrated Settings

Preset mode

User1

Brightness

72

Contrast

50

RGB

94, 93, 99

Temperature

6500k

Gamma

2.2


Eizo Foris FS2735 - Calibrated Settings

  
 

 

Calibrated Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

121

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.12

Contrast Ratio

990:1

 

All the OSD changes listed in the table above allowed us to obtain an optimum hardware starting point and setup before software level changes would be made at the graphics card level. We left the  LaCie software to calibrate to "max" brightness which would just retain the luminance of whatever brightness we'd set the screen to, and would not in any way try and alter the luminance at the graphics card level, which can reduce contrast ratio. These adjustments before profiling the screen would help preserve tonal values and limit banding issues as much as possible. After this we let the software carry out the LUT adjustments and create an ICC profile. The main thing we needed the software profiling stage to correct here would be the gamma curve, since we know that by default it was 1.9 average, and needed to be nearer to 2.2.

 

Average gamma was still measured at 2.2 average which had been very reliable out of the box anyway. No changes really needed there. The white point was corrected now though and measured at 6480k (0% deviance) and correcting the small 6% deviance we had out of the box. Luminance had been improved thanks to the adjustment to the brightness control and was now being measured at 121 cd/m2. This left us a black depth of 0.12 cd/m2 and maintained a very good static contrast ratio (for an IPS-type panel) of 990:1. Colour accuracy of the resulting profile was very good, with dE average of 0.3 now. Testing the screen with colour gradients revealed smooth gradients with some minor gradation evident in darker tones as you see from most screens, but no banding was introduced which was pleasing.
 

You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.

 

 

 

 

Calibration Performance Comparisons


 

The comparisons made in this section try to give you a better view of how each screen performs, particularly out of the box which is what is going to matter to most consumers. When comparing the default factory settings for each monitor it is important to take into account several measurement areas - gamma, white point and colour accuracy. There's no point having a low dE colour accuracy figure if the gamma curve is way off for instance. A good factory calibration requires all 3 to be well set up. We have deliberately not included luminance in this comparison since this is normally far too high by default on every screen. However, that is very easily controlled through the brightness setting (on most screens) and should not impact the other areas being measured anyway. It is easy enough to obtain a suitable luminance for your working conditions and individual preferences, but a reliable factory setup in gamma, white point and colour accuracy is important and not as easy to change accurately without a calibration tool.

 

From these comparisons we can also compare the calibrated colour accuracy, black depth and contrast ratio. After a calibration the gamma, white point and luminance should all be at their desired targets.

 

 

Default setup of the screen out of the box was good overall. The gamma curve was a reliable 2.2 average which was pleasing. White point was a little too warm but that is the kind of thing that's quite easy to correct through only simple RGB changes in the OSD menu. Luminance was of course too high out of the box, but that's to be expected from most screens but the FS2735 delivered a strong contrast ratio for an IPS-type panel, and reliable colour accuracy on the most part as well. The Eizo had a slightly better default setup than the 3 other high refresh rate IPS panels we've tested so far - the Acer Predator XB270HU, Asus ROG Swift PG279Q and Asus MG279Q.




 

The display was strong when it came to contrast ratio for an IPS-type panel. It was not quite as high as some modern IPS-type panels like the Dell U2515H (1138:1) for instance, but was on par with other high refresh gamer-orientated IPS offerings like the Acer XB270HU (1000:1), Asus MG279Q (1087:1) and Asus ROG Swift PG279Q (989:1). Of course none of these IPS screens can compete with VA panel types which can reach over 2000:1 easily, and even close to 5000:1 in the case of the 23.5" Eizo FG2421 shown here (4845:1).

 


Viewing Angles


Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger image

Viewing angles of the screen were very good as you would expect from an IPS panel. Horizontally there was very little colour tone shift until wide angles past about 45į. A slight darkening of the image occurred horizontally from wider angles as you can see above as the contrast shifted slighting. Contrast shifts were slightly more noticeable in the vertical field but overall they were very good. There was some slight pink tone introduced from wide vertical angles. The screen offered the wide viewing angles of IPS technology and was free from the restrictive fields of view of TN Film panels, especially in the vertical plane. It was also free of the off-centre contrast shift you see from VA panels and a lot of the quite obvious gamma and colour tone shift you see from some of the modern VA panel type offerings. All as expected really from a modern IPS panel.

This is one of the big positives of using IPS panel technology as opposed to the common TN Film matrices which are generally adopted in gaming displays. If you compare the viewing angles to the TN Film based Asus ROG Swift PG278Q for example you can see the obvious differences, especially vertically. Some people argue it won't matter if you're just viewing the screen head on anyway and that's true to a point. However, even if you are viewing it head on, as you glance to the sides, or particularly as you glance up or down vertically, there are subtle colour tone and contrast shifts caused by the pixel alignment on the TN Film panel. This isn't really a problem for general uses and gaming, but if you were doing any colour critical work or photo editing it is not ideal. The IPS panel of the FS2735 shows a far more stable image thanks to the differing panel technology, and does not suffer from these viewing angle issues. This is also important should you want to use the screen for gaming from a distance, where your viewing position may vary more, or where you may have additional players who can't view the screen as head on as you. Likewise for movie viewing the changing angles of view can be problematic on a TN Film panel. Those issues are not as much of a problem on the IPS panel of the FS2735.


Above: View of an all black screen from the side. Click for larger version

On a black image there is a characteristic white glow when viewed from an angle, commonly referred to as "IPS-glow". This is common on most modern IPS-type panels and can be distracting to some users. The level of glow here is the same as other recent high refresh rate IPS panels we've seen like the Acer XB270HU and Asus MG279Q (which use the same panel, so not surprising) and is pretty typical of a modern IPS-type panel. If you view dark content from a normal head-on viewing position, you can actually see this glow slightly as your eyes look towards the edges of the screen. Some people may find this problematic if they are working with a lot of dark content or solid colour patterns. In normal day to day uses, office work, movies and games you couldn't really notice this unless you were viewing darker content. If you move your viewing position back, which is probably likely for movies and games, the effect reduces as you do not have such an angle from your eye position to the screen edges.

This is one area where the TN Film panel of some other gaming displays is better, as there is far less pale glow (Asus ROG Swift PG278Q example again) from an angle on dark content. For dark room conditions, and a lot of dark content some people might prefer to live with the more restrictive viewing angles and less glow of the TN Film panel. Others might want to use the screen for more all-round uses and prefer the IPS panel. It's down to preference really and your individual uses.



Panel Uniformity

We wanted to test here how uniform the brightness was across the screen, as well as identify any leakage from the backlight in dark lighting conditions. Measurements of the luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements for luminance were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with an X-rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter with a central point on the screen calibrated to 120 cd/m2. The below uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the measurement recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the central reference point.

It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.
 


Uniformity of Luminance

The luminance uniformity of the screen was moderate overall with the corners showing the most noticeable drop in luminance. In the bottom left hand corner for instance the luminance dropped down to 94 cd/m2 minimum (-28%). Most of the central areas were within a reasonable 10% deviance from the centrally calibrated point although overall only 31% of the screen was within this 10% deviance. Nothing too bad here, although not perfect. Being a gaming screen, the FS2735 is without Eizo's DUE (Digital Uniformity Equalizer) feature which is available on some of their high-end models.


Backlight Leakage


Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

As usual we also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room once the screen had been calibrated to a sensible day to day 120 cd/m2. A camera was used to capture the result from a distance of ~2m to limit any glow which might be caused by viewing angles. The camera showed there was no real clouding or bleeding at all on this sample which was excellent.

 


General and Office Applications

The FS2735 feature a large 2560 x 1440 WQHD resolution, a significant step up from the wide range of 1920 x 1080 screens on the market, especially when you compare it to the 27" gaming screens around with only 1080p support. The pixel pitch of 0.233 mm is quite small as a result, and by comparison a standard 16:10 format 24" model has a pixel pitch of 0.270mm and a 30" model has 0.250mm. These ultra-high resolution 27" models offer a tight pixel pitch and therefore small text as well. We found it quite a change originally coming from 21.5 - 24" sized screens back in the day, even those offering quite high resolutions and small pixel pitches. Although now we are very used to working with 27" 1440p screens all the time and find them very comfortable and a significant upgrade over 1080 / 1200p models. Some users may find the small text a little too small to read comfortably, and we'd advise caution if you are coming from a 19" or 22" screen for instance where the pixel pitch and text are much larger. The extra screen size takes some getting used to over a few days as there really is a lot of room to work with but once you do, it's excellent. For those wanting a high resolution for CAD, design, photo work etc, this is a really good option. The image was very sharp and crisp and text was very clear. With its WQHD display, you enjoy 77% more desktop space than a full HD screen to spread out your windows and palettes.

The very thin bezel design mean that the screen could be easily integrated into a multi-screen set up if you wanted. The light AG coating of the modern AHVA (IPS-type) panel is certainly welcome, and much better than the older grainy and 'dirty' appearance of older IPS AG coatings. It is also less grainy than the TN Film coating in popular gaming models based on that technology. The wide viewing angles provided by this panel technology on both horizontal and vertical planes, helps minimize on-screen colour shift when viewed from different angles and as we've already covered this is a significant improvement over TN Film panels. The default setup of the screen was good, offering a decent gamma curve, reasonable white point, strong contrast ratio and very low dE. Correcting the white point is easy through a couple of RGB changes in the menu, and even without calibration we thought the image looked decent for day to day office work.

The brightness range of the screen was excellent, with the ability to offer a luminance between 331 and an incredibly low 1 cd/m2. This should mean the screen is perfectly useable in a wide variety of ambient light conditions, including darkened rooms. A setting of ~71 in the OSD brightness control should return you a luminance close to 120 cd/m2 out of the box. On another positive note, the brightness regulation is controlled without the need for the use of the now infamous Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM), and so those who suffer from eye fatigue or headaches associated with flickering backlights need not worry. It's a hybrid DC method, with a very low amplitude/high frequency oscillation introduced at low brightness settings below 55%. Although you would want to be working with a luminance of <50 cd/m2 for that range of brightness control to even be used, so for most users you will never enter the "oscillation zone" anyway and you can forget about it.

There was a very slight audible buzzing from the screen, but only if you listened very closely to it. Certainly nothing you could detect in normal use from a normal distance. The screen also remains cool even during prolonged use. There is a specific preset mode for office work and reading which is the "paper" mode in the menu. This delivered a more yellow and warmer image than our calibrated state which is listed in the OSD menu as 4500k, and might be more comfortable for some of this type of work. Note that there are not any specific blue light filter modes on this model. If you refer to the spectral output in the calibrated user1 mode (6500k), and the paper preset mode (both set to the same approximate luminance) you can see that there is a reduction in the blue light output thanks to the warmer setting though:


Spectral distribution, calibrated user1 mode (6500k)

 
Spectral distribution, paper preset mode (4500k)

The screen offers 2x USB 3.0 ports which can be useful and it was nice to keep this up to date with the modern version, but both are located on the back left hand side of the display for relatively easy-access. Integrated speakers can provide sound for the odd YouTube clip or mp3 if you want and there's also audio out/headphone ports. The EcoView ambient light sensor can be really handy in office environments for changing the brightness of your screen automatically depending on your ambient light conditions. Nice to see that included here. There are no further extras like card readers or motion sensors which can also be useful in office environments. There was a decent range of ergonomic adjustments available from the stand allowing you to obtain a comfortable position for a wide variety of angles. They were mostly very stiff though so you might not want to move it around too often. The VESA mounting support may also be useful to some people as well.

 
Above: photo of text at 2560 x 1440 (top) and 1920 x 1080  (bottom)

The screen is designed to run at its native resolution of 2560 x 1440 and at a 144Hz native refresh rate. However, if you want you are able to run the screen outside of this resolution. We tested the screen at a lower 1920 x 1080 resolution to see how the screen handles the interpolation of the resolution, while maintaining the same aspect ratio of 16:9. At native resolution the text was very sharp and clear. When running at a 1080p resolution the text is still actually nice and clear, with low levels of blurring. You do lose a lot of screen real-estate as well of course but the image seems to be quite well interpolated if needed.

 


Gaming Introduction

The Foris FS2735 is aimed at a gaming audience primarily. The screen offers you a 2560 x 1440 resolution AHVA (IPS-type) panel with a high native 144Hz refresh rate, which until about a year ago was not offered in the market at all. Now we've seen a few 1440p high refresh IPS gaming screens emerge. The extra resolution compared with 1080p is certainly a welcome upgrade and the availability of high refresh rates in a panel other than TN Film is very attractive. In this instance, the high refresh panel has then been combined with AMD FreeSync for the benefits of dynamic refresh rate control. This is particularly important given the added resolution here, as the demands on your system running games at 1440p @ 144Hz are very high.

FreeSync capable screens don't automatically carry any blur reduction mode, unlike G-sync where the ULMB feature is integrated into the added G-sync module. However, Eizo have opted to add a native blur reduction system of their own to the FS2735 which is great news for various reasons. It's actually the first IPS screen with FreeSync support and a blur reduction mode for a start. We have already tested the Asus MG279Q which although it provided FreeSync and high refresh IPS, it did not have any blur reduction modes available. On G-sync screens the ULMB (Ultra Low Motion Blur) feature is also limited only to compatible G-sync graphics cards, so you cannot use the feature with external devices connected or non-NVIDIA systems (or old NVIDIA cards). Because Eizo have added this blur reduction feature natively to the screen you can use it from any graphics card system (NVIDIA included).

For those perhaps unfamiliar, this blur reduction feature allows for a strobing backlight to reduce perceived motion blur in dynamic content. Have a read of our blur reduction backlight article which talks about the benefits of these kind of technologies in more detail. It's a feature some people really like when it comes to dynamic content, primarily gaming. It can really help reduce the motion blur you see on the screen due to the way LCD technology operates. As with other screens which support any blur reduction feature, it unfortunately cannot be used at the same time as FreeSync since that operates with a dynamic refresh rate by its nature. You can enable blur reduction if you would rather use that to FreeSync when your screen is set to 60, 100, 120 or 144Hz refresh rates. We will look at the blur reduction operation in more detail later.

2560 x 1440 Resolution

IPS-type panel technology

Max refresh rate support

144Hz

FreeSync support

Blur Reduction mode

Blur Reduction supported modes



60, 100, 120, 144Hz



Response Times

Quoted G2G Response Time

4ms G2G

Quoted ISO Response Time

n/a

Panel Manufacturer and Technology

AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type)

Panel Part

M270DAN02.3

Overdrive Used

Yes

Overdrive Control Available to User

Overdrive

Overdrive Settings

Off, Standard, Enhanced

The FS2735 is rated by Eizo as having a 4ms G2G response time, which indicates the panel uses overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes. There is user control over the overdrive impulse within the OSD menu using the 'Overdrive' option. The part being used is the AU Optronics M270DAN02.3 AHVA (IPS-type) panel. Have a read about response time in our specs section if you need additional information about this measurement.

We will first test the screen using our thorough response time testing method. This uses an oscilloscope and photosensor to measure the pixel response times across a series of different transitions, in the full range from 0 (black) to 255 (white). This will give us a realistic view of how the monitor performs in real life, as opposed to being reliant only on a manufacturers spec. We can work out the response times for changing between many different shades, calculate the maximum, minimum and average grey to grey (G2G) response times, and provide an evaluation of any overshoot present on the monitor.

We use an ETC M526 oscilloscope for these measurements along with a custom photosensor device. Have a read of our response time measurement article for a full explanation of the testing methodology and reported data.


Response Time Setting Comparison

The FS2735 comes with a user control for the overdrive impulse available within the OSD menu in the 'advanced settings' section of the 'color' menu. There are 3 options available here under the 'overdrive' setting. First of all we carried out a fairly small set of measurements and motion tests in all three settings for the purposes of identifying which was the optimum response time setting. There tests were conducted at a range of refresh rates from 60 to 144Hz as sometimes that can have an impact on the overdrive control and resulting response times.

Overdrive Off

With the overdrive set to 'off' there was no overdrive impulse being applied to the panel. As a result, overall the response times were fairly slow at 12ms G2G average. There were a few transitions which were slower up to around 20ms (changes from black to grey). Since there was no overdrive being applied there was no overshoot at all of course. We have seen response times vary with differing refresh rates before where the overdrive impulse is influenced by the refresh rate. Since there was no overdrive impulse being used in this mode, it made no difference.

Overdrive Standard



With the overdrive setting now at the middle 'standard' mode, there had been some improvements to response times. Firstly if we look at the response times at 60Hz, the average 8.6ms G2G with very little overshoot introduced was about as good as you can expect from an IPS-type panel, and in keeping with what we've seen from the better 60Hz IPS models on the market. The screen showed an odd behaviour though when you increased the refresh rate, and actually the response times are slower as you do so. From other high refresh rate screens we've tested we were expecting the overdrive impulse to be applied a little more aggressively as you increased the refresh rate, allowing the pixels to be driven that little bit faster to cope with the increase in frame rates. We've seen other similar high refresh rate IPS models reach down to around 5ms G2G using this method.

As a reminder, you need response times to be reliably and consistently under the rate at which a new frame is sent to the screen to avoid added blurring and smearing. So at 60Hz refresh rate the response times need to be < 16.67ms to avoid these problems for instance (60 frame per second, a new frame every 16.67ms). Obviously there is still a difference between a 5ms G2G screen and a 16ms G2G screen at 60Hz, it's just that if it were slower than 16.67ms on average it would add additional blurring because the pixels could not keep up with the frame rate of the screen as well as being slow transitions in the first place. At 100Hz the response times need to be < 10ms, at 120Hz they need to be < 8.33ms and at 144Hz they need to be < 6.94ms.

On the FS2735 the response times actually get slower as you increase the refresh rate as the overdrive impulse is reduced. 100Hz can just about handle the frame rate, but even then a lot of the transitions are pushing it a lot, and some are slower than the 10ms requirement. Anything higher than 100Hz certainly adds visible additional smearing since the response times are not sufficient really to cope with the frame rate. Eizo tell us that they do not want to introduce a lot of overshoot in the 'standard' mode which is why the overdrive impulse behaves in this way. We have to say it is a little odd as we've seen other similar screens like the Acer Predator XB270HU and Asus ROG Swift PG279Q handle the increased refresh rate very well, increasing the overdrive impulse and improving the response times as you increase the refresh rate - all without introducing excessive overshoot problems.

The crux of this is that if you're using the FS2735 for external devices, consoles etc and want to run at 60Hz then the 'standard' mode is sufficient (and optimum when you consider the 'enhanced' mode at 60Hz in the following section). If you are using the 'FreeSync (Low)' range of 30 - 90Hz (talked about in the following sections) then it's also mostly sufficient to handle those refresh rates without introducing additional blurring problems. Anything above 90 - 100Hz including the higher Blur Reduction modes and the higher end of the 'FreeSync (High)' range of 56 - 144Hz will struggle, as the response times aren't fast enough to handle the frame rate demands and additional blurring and smearing is introduced. That leaves us with the 'Enhanced' mode instead which we will test now...

 

Overdrive Enhanced



With overdrive now pushed up to the maximum 'enhanced' mode you can see massive amounts of overshoot at 60Hz refresh rate. Response times have been driven down lower to 6.6ms G2G average but the overshoot is obvious and distracting in practice. As you push the refresh rate up, the overdrive impulse is again toned down a little each time. At 100Hz there is still fairly high levels of overshoot but it's not as bad as at 60Hz certainly. At 144Hz the overshoot has completely disappeared and response times are still very good at 6.8ms G2G.

So if you are running at 120Hz or 144Hz fixed refresh rates, the 'enhanced' mode is sufficient to cope with the high frame rates, with response times low enough, and with low to non-existent overshoot also. That's good news, and so if you're using the Blur Reduction mode at these higher refresh rates (which is a better option than at 60Hz and 100Hz) then the 'enhanced' overdrive mode is optimal. There's one issue though in that if you want to use 'FreeSync (High)' mode, that operates between 56 and 144Hz refresh rates dynamically. At the higher end the enhanced setting returns fast response times and little/no overshoot, but if your refresh rate drops down below ~100Hz, and particularly as you reach near to the lower end of the range, this overdrive mode introduces a lot of excessive overshoot which will be distracting. You can't use the 'standard' overdrive mode really as at the upper refresh rate end it isn't fast enough, so you're stuck somewhere between the two.

This is a bit of a shame, as the FreeSync High mode doesn't really have a suitable overdrive mode to pair it with for its full range. It's not the end of the World though as we expect the 'enhanced' mode is the better option for most users as if you're using the FreeSync High setting you will hopefully have a powerful system and be pushing the upper end of the refresh rates from 100 - 144Hz anyway. If you are, then the overshoot doesn't really cause a problem and response times are fast. If you have a lower system spec and find you are achieving more in the 56 - 100Hz range (when using FreeSync High) then you'd be better switching to the 'standard' overdrive mode and may also want to consider the FreeSync Low (30 - 90Hz) range instead.

 


Click for larger version

We will try to demonstrate what we've measured above here in another way, to give an idea of what you can see in practice running some simple motion tests. We used the familiar PixPerAn tool, testing the screen in each of the overdrive settings and at a selection of refresh rates from 60Hz all the way up to 144Hz.

With overdrive set to 'off' first of all you can see some noticeable motion blur at 60Hz as you might expect from the 12ms G2G average response times we measured. As you increase the refresh rate, the blurring and smearing gets worse. This isn't a result of slower response times, as actually we measured the same response times in each refresh rate mode when overdrive was set to 'off'. Instead, it is a result of the mis-match between response times and frame rate, with the pixel transitions not being fast enough to keep up with the changing frames on the screen. The result is excessive smearing as you increase the refresh rate. The overdrive 'off' mode can probably be ignored for most people.

With overdrive then turned up to the middle 'standard' mode you can see an improvement in motion clarity and reduction in blur at 60Hz, compared with overdrive 'off'. At 100Hz the blur is pretty similar, although you do sometimes see a little extra smearing in places as the response times are a bit slower, and the frame rate demands are getting too fast for the pixel transitions. You get some added perceived motion clarity because of the higher refresh rate, but you start to get some slight additional smearing because of the slower response times. Above 100Hz, the smearing becomes more noticeable as, like the overdrive 'off' mode, the response times can't keep up with the frame rate.

Finally with the maximum overdrive 'enhanced' mode you can see some overshoot at 60Hz, shown here with some dark trailing behind the speech bubble and yellow head. This is quite obvious in practice as well. At 100Hz most of that overshoot has gone in these particular tests, but we know from our oscilloscope measurements that some transitions still show some high levels of overshoot. By the time you reach 144Hz though the overshoot has all gone and pixel response times are thankfully fast enough for the frame rate. As we've said already, the enhanced mode is certainly best for refresh rates > 100Hz and definitely when you start pushing towards 144Hz maximum. For refresh rates < 100Hz the standard mode is probably better due to the absence of overshoot artefacts in those lower refresh rates.

 


More Detailed Measurements
Overdrive setting = Enhanced, 144Hz Refresh Rate

Having established that the 'enhanced' setting offered the best response/overshoot balance at the maximum 144Hz refresh rate we carried out our normal wider range of measurements as shown below.

The average G2G response time was more accurately measured at 6.3ms which was excellent for an IPS-type panel really. Transitions were pretty stable across all the changes, whether they were changes from dark to light (rise times) or from light to dark (fall times). The fall times were a little faster. Some transitions did reach down to around the specified 4ms G2G as well although only in a couple of cases.

If you stick to 144Hz refresh rate this enhanced overdrive setting shows very little overshoot at all which was pleasing. We know that as you lower the refresh rate though, this setting results in some much higher overshoot. If you're dropping below about 100Hz refresh rate we would recommend switching to the 'standard' overdrive mode as we talked about earlier.



Display Comparisons

The above comparison table and graph shows you the lowest, average and highest G2G response time measurement for each screen we have tested with our oscilloscope system. There is also a colour coded mark next to each screen in the table to indicate the RTC overshoot error, as the response time figure alone doesn't tell the whole story.

Overall the responsiveness of the FS2735 was fairly similar to the other high refresh rate IPS panels we've tested when you compare their optimal response time setting and at their highest 144Hz refresh rate. The high refresh rate IPS screens do behave differently though and it's interesting to compare them a little further here.

Firstly there's the two G-sync enabled screens, the Acer Predator XB270HU and Asus ROG Swift PG279Q. These were marginally faster overall at 5.5 - 5ms G2G respectively when at their optimal response time settings and 144Hz refresh rate, making them a little faster than the FS2735 (6.3ms G2G). They were also free of any real overshoot at all, whereas the Eizo showed a couple of transitions with a bit of overshoot (not much though). The G-sync module on those two models successfully controlled the overdrive impulse to improve response times as refresh rate increased, without introducing any overshoot side-effects. That dynamic control of the overdrive impulse worked really well from the G-sync screens and in our opinion, that's how it should work. You can stick with the one optimal response time setting and the full refresh rate range can be achieved without any response time issues.

As we've seen, the Eizo FS2735 behaves a bit differently. Being a FreeSync screen it doesn't have a G-sync module obviously, and the overdrive circuit built in to the screen needs to be able to handle the changing refresh rates when using the FreeSync. This isn't ideal on the FS2735 as when the refresh rate increases, the overdrive impulse is turned down. That's to avoid overshoot problems according to Eizo, but it results in slower response times and does make it a bit tricky to find a suitable overdrive setting if you use FreeSync. Not impossible, as it really depends on your system and thankfully there's a fairly simple cut off point where it makes sense to use the standard or enhanced mode. If we think back to when the first FreeSync screens were released, they all had a bug where the overdrive control didn't work at all from FreeSync systems, so it's obviously quite hard to get the overdrive circuit and response times working effectively on the FreeSync setup. Add to that the complications of having to stipulate operating ranges and it feels like FreeSync still has a few more teething problems than G-sync.

The fast gaming TN Film based models like the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q and BenQ XL2730Z are a bit faster and snappier than the IPS screens and so some people prefer them for gaming still. Some users prefer the "feel" of the TN Film panels and their fluidity, and combined with a 144Hz refresh rate and G-sync you have a lovely, smooth gaming experience.

 

The screen was also tested using the chase test in PixPerAn for the following display comparisons. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared, with the best case example shown on the left, and worst case example on the right. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy for a comparison between different screens and technologies as well as a means to compare those screens we tested before the introduction of our oscilloscope method.


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (overdrive = enhanced)

In practice the Foris FS2735 performed best with the response time setting at enhanced and refresh rate at 144HZ maximum. There were low levels of blurring evident, the image looked sharp and there was no overshoot detected in these tests at all. The higher refresh rates up to 144Hz provided additional levels of motion clarity and image smoothness which surpassed what was possible from 60Hz panels. The additional FreeSync support for AMD users will also be of real benefit.


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (overdrive = enhanced)


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (OD = Normal)


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (OD = Normal)


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (Trace Free = 80)

The above images compare the FS2735 then with the three high refresh rate IPS-type panels we've tested. In practice at these settings they were all very similar really and it would be hard to separate them all. The PG279Q and XB270HU are a little faster.

 


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AHVA (IPS-type) @ 144Hz (overdrive = enhanced)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film @ 144Hz (Response Time = Normal)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film @ 144Hz (OD = Normal)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film @ 144Hz (AMA = High)


27" 1ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film @ 144Hz (OD =  Normal)

The above then compares the FS2735 with a few popular TN Film based gaming models, all with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. In practice the IPS models show smooth and fluid movement and are also free of any noticeable overshoot which is pleasing. The TN Film models are slightly faster, and have a slightly different "feel" than the IPS models, but most users would be perfectly happy with any of the options here for gaming.

 


FreeSync

We won't go in to all the details about FreeSync operation or how it improves gaming experience. You can have a read of our article about dynamic refresh rates if you want more information, or there's plenty of information online about FreeSync as well from a graphics card point of view. We did want to briefly touch on the FreeSync range available from the FS2735 though. At the moment Eizo tell us there is a limit with FreeSync operation range which means it can only function within approximately 2.5 times the lowest refresh rate. By default the FS2735 therefore offers an operational range between 56 and 144Hz which makes full use of the upper refresh rate range of the panel. If you have a lower powered system, or would benefit more from FreeSync being able to control things at the lower end more, Eizo have enabled a second operational mode which is 30 - 90Hz. So as a user you can choose which range you want to use FreeSync in which is useful.

You can control this via an administrator menu which is available by holding up on the joystick while the screen is powered off, then holding the power button for about 2 seconds to bring the screen back on (still holding the joystick up). A new menu automatically appears allowing you to switch between the FreeSync (High) and FreeSync (Low) ranges:

You will also want to think about which overdrive mode you run the screen at depending on your refresh rate and which FreeSync range you use. See our earlier response time tests for more information.

 


Blur Reduction

The Eizo Foris FS2735 also features an integrated Blur Reduction Backlight system which is built in to the monitor and can be used from any graphics card vendor. We have already seen a lot of positive improvements in perceived motion blur from such systems in the past. Our in depth article from June 2013 (updated 17 March 2015) looked at this in a lot more detail, and tested some of the original LightBoost "hacks" to achieve a strobed backlight and blur reduction benefits. Since then we've seen a quite a lot of monitors integrate a strobed backlight with simple user control from the menu and with better implementation than LightBoost methods. Unlike G-sync screens where the ULMB feature is built in to the G-sync module, and can therefore only be used when connected to compatible NVIDIA cards, this function is integrated into the monitor directly and so does not carry those kind of limitations.

On the FS2735 the feature is available when running the screen at 60, 100, 120 and 144Hz refresh rate modes. It's actually therefore the first high refresh rate IPS panel where we've seen blur reduction available at 144Hz, with 120Hz being the previous upper limit for other competing screens. The blur reduction does not have any further settings available to it once enabled, as some screens have a "pulse width" setting which allows you to control the length of the strobe and therefore control the perceived blurring even more (although at the cost of brightness).

A Bug When Enabling Blur Reduction on FreeSync Systems

Of interesting note is that when we had the screen connected to our AMD system (with Club Radeon R9 290 series graphics card) we had some issues enabling the blur reduction mode. This is related to the activation of the FreeSync feature, which cannot be used at the same time as blur reduction. There seems to be a bug with the AMD drivers (from what Eizo tell us) whereby the screen always thinks that FreeSync is enabled, even if you have not selected it in the AMD control panel. We installed the latest AMD drivers and ensured FreeSync was turned off in the control panel as shown above. However, you can tell by the power LED on the screen that it thinks FreeSync is still enabled as the power LED glows red (it would be white if FreeSync was not detected). This results in the blur reduction option being greyed out in the OSD menu annoyingly. If you change the refresh rate in Windows to 60Hz then the screen assumes FreeSync is off and the power LED goes white again, allowing you to turn blur reduction on.

This is a bit of an annoying bug, but Eizo tell us it is related to the AMD drivers and FreeSync detection. Fortunately there's a fairly easy way around this via the admin OSD menu.

If you go in to the admin menu (power screen off, hold up on joystick then hold power button for 2 seconds while it powers back on) then you can turn off FreeSync completely. Just change to the DisplayPort Ver 1.2 mode as shown above. You can then happily select all refresh rates in Windows (60, 100, 120, 144Hz) and blur reduction can be enabled from there. Note, use DP v1.2 as v1.1 only allows you to choose up to 60Hz max refresh rate. If you are running in FreeSync (low) mode then blur reduction will be available in the menu if you are set to any fixed refresh rate above the 90Hz FreeSync range. So actually you could have the screen set to operate in 30 - 90Hz FreeSync range, but still use blur reduction at 120 or 144Hz without any issue in the menu.

Hopefully at some point this bug with the AMD drivers will be fixed and you won't have to bother with this step. Obviously if you're using the screen from a non-FreeSync card or NVIDIA system you don't have to worry about it.


Operation - 60Hz


Blur Reduction backlight cycling, 60Hz (scale = 5ms)

We measured the screen using our oscilloscope when viewing a solid white image, with the blur reduction feature turned on and with refresh rate set at 60Hz. This is the lowest refresh rate at which you can operate at. Normally the oscillograph would show a flat straight line when measuring a static white image (as no PWM is being used for backlight dimming), but here the blur reduction feature is cycling the backlight off and on rapidly.


Pursuit camera photo showing doubling of image due to double strobe

At 60Hz, a single strobe per frame would be done every 16.677ms but actually that frequency is too low and would produce visible and noticeable flicker. Instead, on the FS2735 the strobing is doubled when running at 60Hz refresh rate, so the backlight is strobed twice per frame, at the equivalent of 120Hz. You can see from the oscillograph above therefore that each frame of 16.67ms contains two full strobes. Unfortunately in practice this double strobing produces visible doubling of the image as the above pursuit camera photo shows. As a result, we don't believe the 60Hz blur reduction mode is practical as it just creates problems with the image.
 

Operation - 100Hz


Blur Reduction backlight cycling, 100Hz (scale = 5ms)

When running the screen at a 100Hz refresh rate the behaviour is more what we are used to. The strobe is now synced with the new refresh rate, with a new strobe every 10ms (100 times per second).


Pursuit camera photo at 100Hz

With the strobe now properly synched with the refresh rate, the blur reduction feature behaves as it should, with a much clearer image than at 60Hz. If you're using blur reduction at 100Hz we would recommend the 'standard' overdrive mode as explained earlier.

Operation - 120Hz


Blur Reduction
backlight cycling, 120Hz (scale = 5ms)

Again when running the screen at a 120Hz refresh rate the strobe is synced with the new refresh rate, with a new strobe every 8.33ms (120 times per second). The moving image gets slightly clearer with a little less trailing than at 100Hz due to the higher refresh rate and more frequent strobes. If you're using blur reduction at 120Hz we would recommend the 'enhanced' overdrive mode as explained earlier.


Pursuit camera photo at 120Hz

Operation - 144Hz


Blur Reduction
backlight cycling, 144Hz (scale = 5ms)

Again when running the screen at a 144Hz refresh rate the strobe is synced with the new refresh rate, with a new strobe every 6.94ms (144 times per second). The moving image gets slightly clearer with a little less trailing again than at 100 and 120Hz due to the higher refresh rate and more frequent strobes. If you're using blur reduction at 144Hz we would recommend the 'enhanced' overdrive mode as explained earlier.


Pursuit camera photo at 144Hz

 

Brightness Range (144Hz)

Brightness Setting

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

179.95

0.19

947

75

102.08

0.11

928

50

61.59

0.07

880

25

32.14

0.04

804

0

14.89

<0.02

-

We also wanted to test the brightness range of the screen with blur reduction enabled, and the above confirms the range available through the brightness OSD control. You can achieve a slightly brighter display if you use the feature at 100 or 120Hz since the strobes are less frequent, but it's not a significant amount. The upper brightness limit is actually pretty good here at 180 cd/m2, being quite a lot higher than the NVIDIA ULMB screens we've tested which seem to max out at around 123 cd/m2 so far as the upper brightness limit. So on the FS2735 you can get to a higher brightness when using this feature which is nice.


Maximum Blur Reduction Brightness - Display Comparison

For ease of reference we have also provided a comparison table below of all the blur reduction enabled displays we've tested, showing their maximum luminance before blur reduction is turned on (normal mode) and their maximum luminance with the feature enabled. This will give you an idea of the maximum brightness you can expect from each model when using their blur reduction feature, if that is important to you. A lot of people want a brighter display for gaming and sometimes the relatively low maximum luminance from blur reduction modes is a limitation.

These comparisons are with the refresh rate as high as is available for the blur reduction feature to function. For most this is at 120Hz, but some also support the feature at higher. You can achieve a slightly brighter display if you use the feature at lower compatible refresh rates since the strobes are less frequent, but it's not a significant amount. That can also introduce more visible flicker in some situations.

Model

Refresh Rate

Max Normal Luminance
Blur Reduction Off
(cd/m2)

Max Luminance Blur Reduction On
(cd/m2)

Acer XB270HU*

100Hz*

327

111

Acer Predator Z35

120Hz

359

111

Asus ROG Swift PG278Q

120Hz

385

123

Asus ROG Swift PG279Q

120Hz

331

101

BenQ XL2720Z

144Hz

282

119

BenQ XL2730Z

120Hz

309

191

Dell S2716DG

120Hz

328

118

Eizo FG2421

120Hz

386

257

Eizo FS2735

144Hz

331

180

Note: Pulse Width setting at max where applicable.
*Note 2: The Acer XB270HU was later updated to include a 120Hz mode, which will produce a slightly darker maximum luminance
 

 

Blur Reduction Tests

 

Of course the main thing we want to test is what improvements the Blur Reduction mode offers when it comes to motion clarity and gaming. We were pleased with the results we'd seen from LightBoost backlights when we tested them, and also from the natively supported blur reduction feature on other displays including the other popular TN Film gaming models we've tested.

 

We were very pleased with the results here as we had been on other blur reduction displays, with an obvious and marked improvement in perceived motion blur experienced as long as you use the feature at 100, 120 or 144Hz refresh rate. At 60Hz the double strobing introduced a doubling of the image which looked bad and so usage in that mode should probably be avoided. At the other refresh rate settings tracking of moving objects became much easier and the image looked sharper and clearer. The results got a little bit better each time you increased the refresh rate due to the more frequent strobing, helping to cut out a little more of any trailing you could see.

 

We used the BlurBusters full-screen TestUFO online motion test (all blur reduction supported refresh rates) as well to put the feature through its paces and were pleased with the results. The middle region of the screen was the clearest with some strobe cross-talk becoming evident as you reached the top and bottom. Eizo seemed to have got the strobe timing at a nice level to maximise performance in the central region though which was good, as that's where most of your focus is in games. It is impossible to eliminate strobe cross-talk completely due to the way they operate, but the important thing is whereabouts on the screen this manifests itself and to what level. The central region is probably the most important since that's where a lot of your gaming focus will be, where crosshairs and the likes are. This was another very good implementation of a strobe backlight system here, and we were impressed even more so because it's a feature of the monitor itself and so can be used no matter what your graphics card choice is. Obviously in an ideal World you could use it with FreeSync as well, but that will take some doing from the manufacturers to get working. A single strobe feature for 60Hz operation might have been handy for some users too, although the likelihood of visible flicker is then a problem.

 



Additional Gaming Features

Preset modes - There are 6 user modes on the FS2735 which you can configure how you like, along with one already pre-configured for gaming. So there really are a lot to choose from if you want different set ups for different gaming uses. Nice work from Eizo here.

Aspect Ratio Control - The FS2735 has three aspect ratio control options in the 'signal' section of the OSD, with settings for full screen, aspect ratio and dot to dot (1:1 pixel mapping) available.

G-Ignition Software

The Eizo material we were sent gives some useful information about this software: "G-Ignition 3.0 is Windows software for adjusting your monitorís settings including brightness, contrast, black level, hue, saturation, colour temperature, and gamma as well as turn Smart Insight Demolition on and off. This is much faster and more intuitive than manipulating control buttons on the monitor itself (although this option is also available.) Moreover, you can assign hot keys to make adjusting your monitor even simpler. This is especially convenient when you want to quickly change your in-game settings. Once you have adjusted your monitor to your preferred settings, you can export them to 'G-Ignition Drive' for sharing with other gamers. G-Ignition 3.0 software is available at no charge on http://gaming.eizo.com/g-ignition/. It is also included in the CD-ROM that comes with the monitor. A USB connection with your Windows PC is required to use this software.

FORIS monitor control software with EIZO's own cloud service, G-Ignition Drive.  With this software and its cloud service, FORIS owners can adjust gaming presets (monitor settings) and can store or import the gaming presets by game title. As well as share them over the social networks. In addition, gaming presets from EIZO-sponsored professional gaming team Ninjas in Pyjamas are available on G-Ignition Drive."

We installed the software quickly and easily and had a play round with it. It works well and provides you all the useful settings in one place to make quick and easy changes. You can select which preset mode you are adjusting as well and we liked this feature. Easier than reaching around the back of the screen and navigating through the menu layers.

 

G-Ignition Mobile for Smartphone

G-Ignition Mobile is an iOS- and Android-compatible application that works with Bluetooth Smart technology built into the FORIS FS2735. With this app, you can use your smartphone to adjust the monitorís settings when the FORIS FS2735 is connected to any platform be it Windows, Macintosh, or a console. You can also access G-Ignition Drive and export your settings or import those from other gamers. It's basically a phone version of the main software talked about above, and with your phone linked to the screen via Bluetooth you can use the phone instead. Handy when you are perhaps mid game and want to change something quickly without having to exit out to the PC software.

 

On-Screen Notifications

In addition to adjusting your monitorís settings, G-Ignition Mobile keeps you updated with on-screen notifications. Most smartphone apps have notifications. With G-Ignition Mobile, these notifications appear on the FS2735 screen as icons.

G-Ignition Mobile provides five notification icons: Phone, E-mail, Social, Game, and Information. You can assign whichever icon to your apps. (Information is intended for any apps that do not correspond to any of the other four icons.) You can manage your smartphone apps so only those whose notifications you want to see will appear on screen. There are two ways to use this feature. The first is straightforward Ė you will be notified whenever you receive a phone call, text message, e-mail, or other communication. Gamers who wear headphones no longer have to worry about missing an important call or e-mail. Again quite a neat feature with your phone paired to the screen.

The second way is for those who also game on their smartphones. For example, in a strategy game you may have to wait 20 minutes while you build a fighting force of 100 soldiers. You can set your smartphone down and play another game or do some other task on the FORIS FS2735. Once your soldiers are ready, a notification will appear on the FS2735 and you can switch back to your smartphone and commence with the battle.
 



Lag

We have written an in depth article about input lag and the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display. It's important to first of all understand the different methods available and also what this lag means to you as an end-user.

Input Lag vs. Display Lag vs. Signal Processing

To avoid confusion with different terminology we will refer to this section of our reviews as just "lag" from now on, as there are a few different aspects to consider, and different interpretations of the term "input lag". We will consider the following points here as much as possible. The overall "display lag" is the first, that being the delay between the image being shown on the TFT display and that being shown on a CRT. This is what many people will know as input lag and originally was the measure made to explain why the image is a little behind when using a CRT. The older stopwatch based methods were the common way to measure this in the past, but through advanced studies have been shown to be quite inaccurate. As a result, more advanced tools like SMTT provide a method to measure that delay between a TFT and CRT while removing the inaccuracies of older stopwatch methods.

In reality that lag / delay is caused by a combination of two things - the signal processing delay caused by the TFT electronics / scaler, and the response time of the pixels themselves. Most "input lag" measurements over the years have always been based on the overall display lag (signal processing + response time) and indeed the SMTT tool is based on this visual difference between a CRT and TFT and so measures the overall display lag. In practice the signal processing is the element which gives the feel of lag to the user, and the response time of course can impact blurring, and overall image quality in moving scenes. As people become more aware of lag as a possible issue, we are of course keen to try and understand the split between the two as much as possible to give a complete picture.

The signal processing element within that is quite hard to identify without extremely high end equipment and very complicated methods. In fact the studies by Thomas Thiemann which really kicked this whole thing off were based on equipment worth >100,1000 Euro, requiring extremely high bandwidths and very complicated methods to trigger the correct behaviour and accurately measure the signal processing on its own. Other techniques which are being used since are not conducted by Thomas (he is a freelance writer) or based on this equipment or technique, and may also be subject to other errors or inaccuracies based on our conversations with him since. It's very hard as a result to produce a technique which will measure just the signal processing on its own unfortunately. Many measurement techniques are also not explained and so it is important to try and get a picture from various sources if possible to make an informed judgement about a display overall.

For our tests we will continue to use the SMTT tool to measure the overall "display lag". From there we can use our oscilloscope system to measure the response time across a wide range of grey to grey (G2G) transitions as recorded in our response time tests. Since SMTT will not include the full response time within its measurements, after speaking with Thomas further about the situation we will subtract half of the average G2G response time from the total display lag. This should allow us to give a good estimation of how much of the overall lag is attributable to the signal processing element on its own.

 

Lag Classification


To help in this section we will also introduce a broader classification system for these results to help categorise each screen as one of the following levels:

  • Class 1) Less than 16ms / 1 frame lag at 60Hz - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 16 - 32ms / One to two frames of lag at 60Hz - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming and FPS

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 32ms / more than 2 frames of lag at 60Hz - Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming

For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

(Measurements in ms)

 

Total Display Lag (SMTT 2)

5.00

Pixel Response Time Element

3.15

Estimated Signal Processing Lag

1.85

Lag Classification

1

 Class 1

We have provided a comparison above against other models we have tested to give an indication between screens. The screens tested are split into two measurements which are based on our overall display lag tests (using SMTT) and half the average G2G response time, as measured by the oscilloscope. The response time is split from the overall display lag and shown on the graph as the green bar. From there, the signal processing (red bar) can be provided as a good estimation.

The screen showed a total lag of only 5.00ms. Approximately 3.15ms of that can be accounted for by pixel response times, leaving an estimated signal processing lag of only 1.85ms. This is basically nothing and means the screen should be fine for all levels of gaming. This remains pretty consistent at all refresh rates, and also when using blur reduction mode also.




Movies and Video

The following summarises the screens performance in video applications:

  • 27" screen size makes it a reasonable option for an all-in-one multimedia screen, much smaller than LCD TV's and many larger format desktop monitors which are now emerging.

  • 16:9 aspect ratio is well suited to videos and movies, leaving you with smaller/no borders on DVD's and wide screen content at the top and bottom than on a 16:10 aspect display.

  • 2560 x 1440 resolution can support full 1080 HD resolution content.

  • Digital DisplayPort interfaces support HDCP for any encrypted and protected content

  • DisplayPort and 2x HDMI connections available for connecting external devices and Blu-ray players.

  • Cable provided in the box for DisplayPort only.

  • Light AG coating provides clear images with no major graininess, and without the unwanted reflections of a glossy solution.

  • Wide brightness range adjustment possible from the display, including high maximum luminance of ~331 cd/m2 and an incredibly low minimum luminance of only 1 cd/m2. This should afford you very good control for different lighting conditions. Contrast ratio remains stable across the adjustment range as well and is good for an IPS-type panel. Brightness regulation is controlled without the need for PWM for much of the adjustment range and with only a low amplitude/high frequency oscillation introduced at darker settings.

  • Black depth and contrast ratio are good for an IPS-type panel at 990:1 after calibration. Detail in darker scenes should not be lost as a result.

  • There is a specific 'cinema' preset mode available which might be useful to set up for movies and videos to your liking.

  • Good pixel responsiveness which can handle fast moving scenes in movies without issue. If you're using an external blu-ray player at 60Hz, stick with the 'standard' overdrive mode.

  • Although it has 120Hz+ refresh rate support it does not support NVIDIA 3D Vision.

  • Wide viewing angles from IPS panel technology meaning several people could view the screen at once comfortable and from a whole host of different angles. White glow from an angle on black content may be problematic to some users and is common for IPS panel technology.

  • No real backlight leakage on our sample which is good.

  • Wide range of ergonomic adjustments available from the stand, allowing you to adjust the screen to suit varying viewing positions. However, these are very stiff to operate mostly so you may not want to move it around much.

  • Basic integrated stereo speakers offered on this model along with an audio out and headphone connection.

  • Hardware aspect ratio options available for full screen, aspect ratio and 1:1 pixel mapping meaning it should handle external devices well.

  • Picture By Picture (PbP) or Picture In Picture (PiP) are not available on this model.

     


Conclusion

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The FS2735 impressed us in many areas and it was another very solid outing for high refresh rate IPS-type panels. These screens offer great all round performance and overcomes many of the issues with TN Film gaming screen, so it was pleasing to see another option on the market. Even more so when it was from a vendor who aren't really a big player in the gaming market but who are making an effort to offer something interesting and a little different, with the backing of their brand and reputation behind them. It's probably worth touching on the price of the screen to start with here as it's a bit more expensive than other competing models, even those with the added "G-sync tax" on top. The screen has not really been released yet although it looks like you could find one for around £890 GBP on Google at the moment. Popular alternatives like the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q (£750) and Acer Predator XB270HU (£690) / XB271HU (£650) are a fair bit cheaper. The reason for the additional cost here is down to some of the extras Eizo have included, and to some extent the brand and support you get from them as a company.

We liked some of the extras provided here, and it felt like there were lots of additional things to make this a premium gaming screen. The PC and smartphone control software and Bluetooth integration were interesting, and useful we felt. Eizo have included their EcoView ambient light sensor which is handy for more general uses. You've got an additional cost on top as well because they have added a native blur reduction mode. This should not be underestimated in both performance benefits and function. Since it's integrated in to the screen you can use it on all graphics card options, and even at 144Hz refresh rate which is a first for IPS-type panels and blur reduction modes. It's also the first IPS FreeSync screen released with a blur reduction mode. There's a good range of ergonomic adjustments (although they are stiff and a bit of a pain), good range of connectivity options, wide range of configurable preset modes, and a nice simple design with sleek, slim bezels. So a large part of what you're paying extra for is these features and the Eizo brand.

Performance wise the IPS panel offered a good default setup, excellent backlight adjustment control, PWM-free operation, decent contract ratio and wide viewing angles. Gaming wise the response times were fast and lag basically non-existent which was great. We've talked in depth about some of the complications that FreeSync causes though, with the blur reduction mode operation affected due to a bug. Also the response time control is complicated and you have to be wary of the refresh rate you're operating at, or want to operate at, when it comes to selected the best overdrive setting and FreeSync range.

All in all it's a very good gaming screen and if you are happy to pay a little bit more than some of the competition it has plenty of extra features to keep you happy.
 

Pros

Cons

First high refresh rate IPS screen with FreeSync and Blur Reduction offered

Ergonomic adjustment stiff and tricky to use

Low lag, fast response times, and interesting gaming extras provided

FreeSync causes some bugs and complications in Blur Reduction operation and overdrive control

Solid all round performance from IPS-type panel

Glow on dark content is remaining issue of IPS panels

 

 

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