Eizo FS2735 review

Review: Eizo FS2735

08 Feb 2016 | Rasmus Larsen


When you think of a gaming monitor, Eizo is probably not the first manufacturer to pop up in your head. The Japanese brand has a history in professional monitors but in recent years Eizo started using that expertise in the gaming arena with some unusual gaming monitors that are built on IPS panels instead of the inferior TN panels, which are still common in many gaming monitors. The latest gaming monitor from Eizo is the 27" FS2735, which has an IPS panel, 2560x1440 pixel resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, FreeSync, and a blur reduction mode.

Eizo has already claimed some "firsts" in the gaming monitor market and with the FS2735 they do it again. But can this monitor match the likes of Asus, Acer and BenQ? And is it worth its relatively high price of 1099 Euro? We received one of the first samples from Eizo to find out.

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer

Specifications

27"
2560x1440 pixels
1000:1 contrast ratio
350 cd/m2 brightness
4 ms (g2g) response time
IPS LCD (AHVA)
FreeSync
Blur reduction mode
Stand (adjustable)
(HxWxD) 39.7 x 61.8 x 19.8 cm (with stand)
7.1 kg
HDMI (2x 1.4)
DisplayPort (1x 1.2)
DVI
USB (2x 3.0)
3.5mm jack
2x 1W stereo built-in
G-Ignition Drive
G-Ignition 3.0
G-Ignition Mobile
DisplayPort cable included
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First impressions

Eizo’s new FS2735 looks like any other Eizo monitor. The matte black plastic frame and the orange-tinted details on the back make it appear fairly anonymous from the front, although clearly recognizable from the back.

Eizo FS2735 review


The bezels are quite thin at just 10mm on all edges except the bottom, which is slightly wider at 14mm. A nice detail is that there are no labels (except the Eizo logo) on the front; just a small power indicator diode and a light sensor. The buttons to control menu operations are located on the back of the frame but are still fairly easy to navigate.

Eizo FS2735 review


Like other Eizo monitors, FS2735 offers extensive ergonomic adjustment options. The mechanism feels very stiff but youcan adjust the full height of the arm, dropping the monitor very close to table level and raising it quite high, too. It also rotates, tilts, and supports 90-degree pivot. The monitor has a LED backlight and although thinner than some previous Eizo monitors, it is not particularly thin.

There are 2x USB 3.0 ports on the left side of the frame. The other ports are found on the back, pointing downwards. Here you have 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x DVI-D, audio out, and a headphone jack. There is also a cable holder below.

Eizo FS2735 review


Eizo has furthermore developed a mobile app called G-Ignition Mobile that allows you to see phone notifications (calls, messages, emails, more) in the bottom right corner of the screen while playing. So even if you are wearing a headset you will not miss an important call. You can customize the app as you prefer. It is a neat little extra feature.

Eizo FS2735 review


Another feature, which is part of the G-Ignition system, is G-Ignition Drive. This cloud-based service lets gamers upload and share ICC profiles for monitors with other gamers out there. Some of these ICC profiles might be specific to a single game. We will talk a bit more about this later.

Eizo has included its G-Ignition 3.0 software for Windows, too, that allows you to adjust picture settings. The G-Ignition Mobile app can do the same from a smartphone. See Eizo’s introduction video below.



There are 2x 1W speakers integrated in the frame but as you might have expected sound is very, very weak. We suggest you use headphones instead.

The monitor comes with a 5-year warranty in every country where it is sold, says Eizo

Measurements

In this new "measurement" section we will include all measurements and our suggested calibration settings. If you want to learn more about our test methodology click here.

Brightness & black Out-of-boxCalibrated
Black level 0.21 cd/m2 0.14 cd/m2
Brightness 197 cd/m2 127 cd/m2
Contrast 938:1 907:1
Input lag <2 ms <2 ms

Power consumptionOut-of-box Calibrated
On 36.3 W 32.6 W
Standby 0.3 W -

Group SettingValue
Picture Color Mode User1
Brightness 80
Contrast 50
Temperature User
Gamma 2.2
Advanced settings Hue 0
Saturation 0
Black level 50
Blur reduction On/Off
Contrast enhancer Off
Overdrive Standard/Enhanced
Gain Red 92
Green 95
Blue 99

Note: Blur reduction should only be on while gaming, and only while gaming without FreeSync activated. If you activate blur reduction you should also increase the "brightness" value. Overdrive should be set to "Enhanced" only if your graphics card can output 120-144Hz in FreeSync or only if you set the monitor to run at a constant 144Hz refresh rate with FreeSync deactivated.


Calibration

Eizo FS2735 comes pre-calibrated from the factory and it has very accurate colors out of the box. This is unusual for gaming monitors but it tells us something about Eizo’s legacy. Coming from the professional world, Eizo knows what it means to follow the industry standards for colors.

It is liberating to see a manufacturer take the right choices and not insist that gaming is some special case that requires extremely oversaturated and altered colors. Before calibration colors were quite accurate and after calibration they are more or less spot-on.



As you can see we have aimed for around 125 cd/m2 after calibration. If you mostly work in a brightly lit environment you probably need to increase the brightness setting in the menu a bit. See the measurements table in the previous section for calibration settings.

Picture quality

Eizo FS2735 is a 27-inch monitor with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. If you are not used to looking at a monitor of this size with this many pixels you will surely be surprised about just much desktop space it actually provides.

Personally, I have used a 27" + 24" setup (on Windows 7) for several years but at times I have found that the 2560x1440 monitor is a tad too high-resolution for comfortable reading so I switched to a 24" + 24" setup. The letters simply appear too small and Windows 7’s built-in UI scaling is not very good.

Depending on you close you sit to the monitor you might feel different about reading text on a 27" but there is no doubt that 2560x1440 is a very nice resolution for most other tasks. You can place two windows side-by-side and still have room to work on other tasks. If you want better Windows UI scaling you need to use either Windows 8.1 or 10. The same applies to 4K monitors that are designed to run at 2x UI scaling (1920x1080 effective desktop space with 2x detail scaling).

Eizo FS2735 review


For gaming you would obviously need a potent graphics card to run new games in 2560x1440 resolution at 144Hz. More on that in the next section.

Colors are very accurate after calibration (even before calibration) and it is a joy to work in front of the FS2735. Eizo has positioned it as a gaming monitor but because it uses a quality IPS panel with accurate colors you can easily use it for many photography and video editing related tasks. It is of course not a professional monitor and it covers only the sRGB color space but FS2735 is a solid all-rounder monitor.

We did a number of color tests to stress the monitor. In our gradients tests it manages to reproduce a very smooth color transition. It exhibited very minor issues with color bands only in the very darkest tones of the gradient but that is very common even on expensive LCD monitors. All in all very good color performance that far surpasses that of cheaper TN-based gaming monitors.

As noted in our new measurement table FS2735’s contrast ratio performance compares to many other IPS based monitors. At just above 900:1 in contrast and 0.14 cd/m2 in black depth, it is quite weak and very far from ideal. However, seeing that it is on par with many of the competing monitors from other brands we cannot criticize Eizo for being worse. We just want to point out that IPS monitors in general continue to be very contrast-poor. For comparison, Eizo’s FG2421 that we praised a few years ago uses a VA panel and is capable of achieving over 4000:1, and OLED displays (still unavailable as monitors) can achieve almost infinite contrast ratios because of its perfect black reproduction. It is time to stop giving IPS LCD technology a pass here.

We observed no backlight uniformity issues to speak of. FS2735 performs admirably in this area and besides the weak black level we are very satisfied with backlight uniformity.

Eizo FS2735 review


Since FS2735 has an IPS panel, viewing angles are quite wide, especially compared to most gaming monitors that use TN panels with very narrow viewing angles. Viewing angles on FS2735 are not perfect but based on how you sit in front of a PC monitor color shifting is not a problem at all. IPS panels have the best viewing angles of any LCD panel type, and is only surpassed by other display technologies such as OLED.

Eizo FS2735 review


Eizo FS2735 review


As on all IPS based LCD monitors black starts looking more a more greyish (and starts exhibiting "IPS glow") as you move further to the side.

Eizo FS2735 review



A last few notes: The IPS panel is using a new coating that looks less grainy and distracting than the coating used on previous IPS panels. It is very pleasant to look at.

The monitor is also flicker-free since it does not solely use PWM to control the brightness output of the LEDs. This means that it does not stress your eyes in any unnecessary way. Most recent LCD monitors with LED backlight are flicker-free today, but if you own an older LCD monitor with LED and spend many hours in front of it every day, you might want to think about upgrading to a flicker-free variant. Trust me, this is not bullshit. I have felt the effect myself.

FS2735 has no picture-in-picture (PiP) feature.

Response time & gaming

Eizo has positioned FS2735 as a gaming monitor. This is not the first monitor to use an IPS panel for gaming but it is still an unusual sight in this world. To compensate for slightly slower native response time of an IPS panel compared to a TN panel, Eizo has integrated an overdrive circuit, 144Hz, AMD FreeSync, and a native blur reduction mode.

As said, you will need a powerhouse of a PC to run all games in 2560x1440 pixels at 144 Hz but since the monitor supports FreeSync (over DisplayPort) it automatically and on-the-fly syncs to the output from your PC’s graphics card (needs to support FreeSync). So, if you graphics can only deliver 80-100 fps for any particular game scene the monitor will follow it down. This ensures ideal motion reproduction and avoids issues such as tearing. If your PC can handle it, games in 2560x1440 resolution looks gorgeous and buttery smooth at 144 Hz but even at lower frame rates you can get the benefits because of FreeSync.

During our testing FS2735 never missed a beat, and gaming performance is great with minimal motion blurring, acceptable contrast and very accurate colors. Compared to the lower 1920x1080 resolution that many gaming monitors use, 2560x1440 is a step up in visual quality. Details in picture are more distinct and everything looks just a bit sharper.

Nvidia has a similar proprietary system that they have dubbed G-Sync. Both utilize the DisplayPort’s standard built-in support for adaptive frame rates but each system will only work if your graphic card supports the same system.

So what is new here? Well, Eizo has integrated a native "blur reduction" system. In essence, it is a backlight blinking system that cancels the sample-and-hold concept that LCD displays are built around. It means that motion resolution goes up and motion blurring goes down.

The bad news? You cannot use it together with FreeSync so you will instead have to set the monitor to a fixed refresh rate of 60, 100, 120 or 144Hz. In our testing the blur reduction system indeed counters blur on some occasions but you need to know what to look for. It is not a dramatic difference compared to using FreeSync and above 100Hz refresh rates. That is because you can also counter motion blur to some degree in LCDs by increasing the frame rate.

Eizo FS2735 review
So you have to choice to either use FreeSync with dynamic frame rate or "blur reduction" at a fixed refresh rate. I personally preferred FreeSync. One beef that I have with these blur reduction systems is that while the effect is there I also get terribly tired eyes from using them. Just like the flickering on non-flicker-free monitors (as discussed in the previous section). Make your own decision. With FS2735 you have the choice between both. FreeSync works in two modes: 56-144Hz or 35-90 Hz.

Note that if your graphics card can run games at 120-144Hz (or you are using fixed 144Hz refresh rate with "blur reduction") you should opt for the "Enhanced" Overdrive mode in the menu as it is required to reach the lowest possible response time, according to Eizo. Otherwise you should use the "standard" setting.

FS2735 also offers six user color modes that you can configure to your liking. But really, once a monitor is calibrated that is totally unnecessary. There are aspect ratio controls that allow you to run games at lower resolutions with black bars, if you prefer.

We measured input lag less than 2 ms, which is on par with other high-end gaming monitors. This should be low enough even for discerning gamers out there.

We found it very enjoyable to play games on FS2735 and we encountered no issues during practical use - and that is of course what matters most. As mentioned, there are some different optimizations that you can pick from based on your wants and needs but the important thing here is that FS2735 matches other IPS-based gaming monitors from more established gaming monitors manufacturers out there. Compared to the TN-based gaming monitors it might be a just a bit slower but instead it offers more accurate colors and overall better picture quality. We would pick a decent IPS gaming monitor like FS2735 over a slightly faster TN gaming monitor any day.

Conclusion

In essence, FS2735 is a continuation of Eizo’s strategy for gaming monitors. Instead of focusing solely on speed, Eizo aims to combine good picture quality with speed by using quality LCD panels. This time, Eizo has opted to use an IPS panel as opposed to a VA panel like in the FG2421 that was released two years ago.

Back when we tested the FG2421 we felt that it represented something entirely new in the gaming arena. The VA panel ensured deep black levels and therefore very high contrast. The IPS panel in this new FS2735 cannot reach the same deep black levels and although slightly faster we still miss the deep blacks that contribute more to picture quality than most people realize. That is one of the reasons why OLED is getting so much tracking in the display industry at the moment.

FS2735 has a high resolution of 2560x1440 pixels, which – if your graphic card is capable – is very nice for gaming. 144 Hz makes everything buttery smooth and FreeSync ensures that moving pictures are smooth even if you graphic card is struggling to keep up. Eizo’s new blur reduction mode is also a nice addition and can indeed reduce motion blurriness but be aware that it does not work together with FreeSync and that it does introduce some flicker into the picture.

All in all, Eizo FS2735 is an extremely solid gaming monitor. The fastest TN-based LCD panels out there are still slightly faster but we would pick overall better picture quality over that any day. At around 1100 Euro it is quite pricey but if you are looking for a great 27" gaming monitor FS2735 will not disappoint you.

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer


Great gaming performance
144 Hz and FreeSync
Native Blur reduction reduces motion blur
Very low input lag
Good colors from IPS panel
Wide viewing angles


Poor black / contrast
Blur reduction does not work with FreeSync
Ergonomic arm a little stiff






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