While on the hunt for a cheap, yet cheerful, budget 4K HDR monitor to solve a very specific problem in my work setup (which I’ll get onto later), I stumbled across a suspiciously low-priced display that appeared to offer everything I wanted. With Google lacking answers, I decided to reach out and secure a sample for my own ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review. And so, after two months of extensive use as both a PC monitor and a PS4 Pro display, how has the EIQ-284KMB-HDR held up?
ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review | Checking all the boxes
With cheaper-than-average products, I usually expect cheaper-than-average packaging and included accessories. In the case of the ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it came in a very secure state, which makes for a relieving initial impression, and also has a HDMI 2.0 (required for 4K 60 FPS) cable included.
A good first impression was marred by what came next. Though the provided stand is simple to attach, it doesn’t allow for much adjustment at all. You can’t tilt it, you can’t pivot, and there is zero height adjustment. Unless you plan to stand the monitor atop a stack of books to get it closer to eye level, you will want to swap it out. I’d already decided on a VESA mount and would highly recommend buyers factor this into their budget. 100 mm by 100 mm VESA mounting holes can be found on the rear of this 28” monitor.
Getting back to the good points, then, let’s talk inputs and outputs. The I/O is more generous than expected, with two HDMI, two DisplayPort, and a 3.5 mm audio out. I tested both HDMI ports with 4K 60 FPS HDR content and can confirm they are both fully compatible, so no tedious cable-switching required as you move from source to source!
ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review | High-res and responsive
Upon turning on the monitor, my initial impressions were, again, better than I expected. Yes, the screen absolutely needs some form of calibration, either by eye or by using a colorimeter, but it isn’t offensively bad. Flicking through the settings is simple enough with the clicky hardware buttons located on the bottom of the display. Different HDR options are available here, along with FreeSync.
Out of the box responsiveness for both PC and console use was impressive. Despite my primary monitor being a fast 144 Hz display, the experience of moving back and forth isn’t jarring whatsoever. Using the EIQ-284KMB-HDR to kick ass on Call of Duty and other shooters is just as easy, too.
Once calibrated, I was very pleased with the overall look of the monitor for daily work and nightly gaming consumption. The 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) is brilliant for productivity, offering a huge amount of real estate for multiple windows. Though only 28”, I stick with 100 percent scaling (125 percent will be the sweet spot for most, I feel). Those extra pixels also help realize the potential of the PS4 Pro, with 4K games appearing very crisp. I really couldn’t be happier with how this monitor handles 4K.
ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review | “HDR” disappointments
HDR, on the other hand, is a completely different story. With a 280 cd/m² peak brightness rated on the product page itself, I had already prepared myself to treat whatever HDR experience this monitor provided as a bonus extra. You see, I face a very specific problem when recording 4K 60 FPS HDR PS4 Pro gameplay using my AVerMedia Live Gamer 4K capture card. It requires that I have a monitor which the console recognizes as compatible with HDR. This means that, despite how lackluster the technology is on the EIQ-284KMB-HDR monitor, it still allows me to capture fantastic-looking footage for my audience to enjoy. For those not in my shoes, HDR performance won’t be satisfactory when compared to pricier monitors (but this may be obvious).
ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review | More noteworthy negatives
Other negatives to hit you with, before moving on to an actually positive conclusion, include the two 5W speakers, which I appreciate having for troubleshooting or last resort purposes, but which are also pretty damn dreadful. You’ll definitely want to use headphones or dedicated speakers.
The monitor isn’t particularly stylish, either. The bezels are a little chunky, which you may or may not care that much about.
Also on my list of “Bad Points” is that, while the 4K display may be crisp and clear when facing it head-on as a primary user, the usual TN panel disadvantages hit pretty hard when viewing the monitor at an angle.
Those considering this monitor will also want to note the one year of manufacturer warranty. I feel that this is important to mention, as a cheap price for a single year of guaranteed use can make the value aspect seem a lot less attractive.
ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor review | Ultimately a winner
Overall, my two months with the ElectriQ 4K HDR monitor have been incredibly positive. Given the cheap price tag of ~$240, I was initially skeptical. However, the EIQ-284KMB-HDR offers a great deal of bang for one’s buck.
If you’re looking to enter the realm of 4K without going overly large on size, this monitor’s 28” form factor is a great starting point. It provides a crisp and clear output, while also enhancing productivity for work. The “HDR” leaves a lot to be desired, however.
The ElectriQ 4K HDR Monitor review unit was provided by Laptops Direct.