There is no doubt, if until some time ago the gaming monitor sector was intended only for a small niche of users and there were actually few brands that produced gaming displays that could really be called such, by now things have changed and more and more companies are trying to conquer a small slice of this market which, also thanks to the latest generation consoles, is increasing more and more.
An example is the KTC H27S17, a cheap gaming monitor suitable (for real) for all budgets which, on paper, seems really cheap only to have the price: it is a 27-inch curved model (which can also be purchased with larger diagonals), has a QHD resolution, a super contrast ratio of 4000:1, a response time of 3ms and uses a panel with a refresh rate of 165 Hz.
In short, theoretically we are probably talking about the best cheap gaming monitor in terms of quality / price ratio. But will it really be like this? We used it in tests for a couple of weeks, just to understand if the technical specifications corresponded to reality. And the results we have achieved are sometimes surprising.
KTC H27S17 review: a 27” 165Hz curved gaming monitor that is “cheap” only in price
The sales package is made of simple cardboard, but the monitor is protected by two large layers of polystyrene, which will allow it to arrive intact during shipment. Inside there is the following equipment:
- Monitor KTC H27S17;
- power supply with European / Italian socket;
- DisplayPort cable;
Design and materials
Let's start with the curvature of the screen. The KTC H27S17 it is characterized by a curvature at 1500R with rather small side frames, with the exception of the lower one which - instead - is particularly evident. The diagonal of the sample we received for testing is 27", but it is also possible to purchase it in the 32" version. The curvature, together with the 21:9 format, allows you to obtain a rather wide view that will not tire your neck and eyes, even if I would have liked the brand to have thought of a stand that also allowed the height adjustment of the panel: in reality, however, , the stand that comes in the package only allows adjustment of the vertical inclination of the display, and remains fixed both in height and on the horizontal axis. In a nutshell, if you want to turn the screen to the left or right, you will have to do it by moving the whole structure.
Overall the KTC H27S17 has a maximum height of 362 mm (in extension), a width of 611 mm and assembly is practically immediate: just screw the 3-pin stand by hand and then hook everything up to the monitor with a click using a quick coupling system with very resistant springs and hooks. To separate the two parts we will only have to press on a small plastic lever.
The monitor is made of plastic and steel, both of good quality, and is compatible with the VESA100 standard with which it can be connected to a compatible wall bracket.
Below we find 2 DisplayPort 1.2 inputs up to 165Hz, an HDMI 2.0 input up to 145Hz, a 3.5 mm audio jack input, a USB port (which will only be used for any software updates) and one for power supply, as well as the keys to control the monitor.
In short, in terms of design and materials there is poco to criticize al KTC H27S17 even if it must be said that it is a model totally devoid of any functional solution for cable management, due to a support that in my opinion does not conform to the real quality of the panel, which we will discuss shortly. Furthermore, it is a model that does not integrate any audio system: the KTC H27S17 it doesn't have speakers, but perhaps that's not even a bad thing considering the average level of audio performance that generally characterizes monitors.
Il KTC H27S17 use a panel HVA with a diagonal from 27 inch format 21:9, resolution QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) and with a curvature 1500R. Going into more detail we have a range of colors equal to 120% sRGB and is able to reproduce them well 16.7 million, we find a contrast of 4000:1 and, in our tests, the peak brightness approached 300 nits. The refresh rate is up to 165Hz with DisplayPort e 145Hz with HDMI, the response time is 3 ms and we also find compatibility with technology AMD FreeSync Premium and G-Sync technology.
The backlighting is of the ELED type, acronym for Edge Led, in which the LEDs themselves are placed exclusively along the perimeter of the screen and the generated lighting is projected diffusely throughout the panel. I realize that this is a very technical detail, it might seem poco interesting for many, but it is worth dwelling on this technology both for its advantages and disadvantages, in order to understand well how the company has worked in this sense as well.
First of all, with this technology the energy saving is very high, not at all the KTC H27S17 it has a consumption of about 50/55w with maximum brightness, furthermore the visual performance of contrast and brightness of the colors are decidedly excellent. On the other hand, however, it may happen that the backlight is not always uniform, and the banding and clouding effects are always around the corner.
It must be said, however, that the brand with its KTC H27S17 did a good job in this sense: in our sample, for example, we noticed a slight clouding effect in the upper right area of the panel, and even if the peak brightness is not completely uniform along all the pixels of the displays, in reality these are truly negligible phenomena, much better than those seen in other displays sold in the same price range.
Video quality and functionality
In short, on paper the technical specifications of the KTC H27S17 they are definitely promising, but how did the screen behave in daily life? I'll answer right away: definitely good. Despite the rather low price, we are talking about a product made with extreme care, well balanced and compliant with the specifications declared by the company.
After the first ignition I used the lower controls of the product to adjust the saturation and contrast settings, as I always prefer them more incisive to give me a greater impact when gaming or watching movies. Maximum brightness is great for indoor use and viewing angles are good thanks to the quality HVA panel and curvature.
I'm honest though, I didn't get to take advantage of the 165 Hz because I don't have any device available to connect with the Display Port cable, but it must be said that via HDMI with my MacBook Pro M1 Pro I was able to use the screen at 145 Hz , which made everything much more fluid and pleasant to use.
And the gaming experience is just as pleasant, even if in my opinion the choice not to integrate any HDMI 2.1 port, and to stop at the 2.0 version, remains a bit limiting. All in all, however, even by connecting a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox Series X, you immediately realize the quality of the panel, and compatibility with AMD's FreeSync is a real game-changer when exploited by devices capable of doing so.
Through the menu you can activate all the functions integrated with the monitor, such as FreeSync itself, HDR, change the response time, calibrate the image and activate the low blue light emission mode, and so on. And even if we are talking about a rather basic OSD, all menu items are actually clear and easy to reach.
Selling price and conclusions
The official selling price of the KTC H27S17 it is €355,57 but, through the box below, you could buy it at a discount thanks to a coupon, which lowers the figure to €219,99. And at this price I think there is poco to think about before buying it if you need a cheap gaming monitor with these features.
The support to the Free Sync Premium, the 165 Hz refresh rate, the excellent contrast ratio, the solidity and quality of the panel make it an attractive product for all gamers who want a top monitor but with a relatively low cost compared to much more famous brands.
Too bad only for the absence of an HDMI 2.1 port and the system speakers, and for the impossibility of adjusting the height of the panel and better managing the cables via the integrated stand, but otherwise the KTC H27S17 is one of the monitors with best value for money on the market.
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