Gigabyte’s M28U puts an affordable spin on 4K gaming monitors
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Exceptional color presentation
Underperforms 1440p monitors and 4K TVs
It’s a strong option with solid features and modest performance that make it a good all-around gaming centerpiece for PC and consoles alike, but not necessarily the right pick for everyone.
The Gigabyte M28U’s 28-inch panel 4K resolution provides exceedingly crisp visuals thanks to the 157 pixels-per-inch density.
The Gigabyte M28U managed an impressive average color dE less than 1, which effectively means you won’t be able to perceive any color errors.
Picking up a 4K monitor is rarely just about getting some eight million odd pixels. There’s an expectation of a higher level of quality when making the jump, and a large part of that comes from color. The Gigabyte M28U offers a lot of color, too.
In testing, it managed to completely cover the sRGB color space and hit 90% coverage of the popular DCI-P3 color space that’s being used more and more in media content. This provides the monitor with a rich palette that lends game and movie scenes alike a more lifelike and engaging picture.
A big perk for content creators is that the color accuracy is spot on out of the box. The Gigabyte M28U managed an impressive average color dE less than 1, which effectively means you won’t be able to perceive any color errors. Further still, not a single color in our test had a dE over 3, which is the point at which an error might be detected by the naked eye.
On its 28-inch panel, the M28U’s 4K resolution provides exceedingly crisp visuals thanks to the 157 pixels-per-inch density. That’s enough to show fine detail in everything from video game character designs to small text while browsing, with the added benefit of removing jagged edges.
Sometimes cheaper monitors, even IPS panels that offer a fast refresh rate, can struggle with slow pixel response times that don’t keep up with the action, leading to smeared trails behind moving elements on the screen. That’s something I saw with Gigabyte’s M32U. Impressively, that’s largely absent on the M28U, allowing it to deliver a strong combination of 4K and 144Hz without much compromise.
Gigabyte has earned props in the gaming monitor market thanks to the strong value of its Gigabyte G24F 2.
Topping it off, the monitor includes a USB-C port to connect with laptops or other devices and receives a DisplayPort 1.4 video signal. That port only delivers 18 watts, so don’t expect it to keep higher-power laptops charged.
Gigabyte goes further still with the included USB hub. There are three USB-A ports for connecting peripherals. Those ports can link up with the device connected via USB-C or a separate device using a separate USB-B port, and there’s a KVM switch built in to toggle between the two.
The Gigbyte M28U is VESA mount (100×100) compatible and has an integrated KVM switch, x2 3-watt stereo speakers, and more.
Though the Gigabyte M28U’s color performance is impressive, there’s nothing to get excited about when it comes to HDR. The display will accept an HDR signal and provide pleasing colors in turn, but when it comes to brilliant highlights and rich contrast, it comes up lacking.
In a best-case scenario, I was able to get a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. That’s about where any IPS monitor will perform, so there’s nothing special here. At that point, the peak brightness was only hitting 300 nits as well. Turning on the display’s local dimming feature, which is a basic edge-lit implementation, the contrast measure actually got worse, though I saw highlights reach about 453 nits.
The Gigabyte M28U comes in two styles, one features a more typical adjustable stand like that seen on many Gigabyte monitors in the last couple of years and another that uses an adjustable monitor arm.
The Gigabyte M28U has a few strengths that blend nicely together. Its color accuracy and range, 4K clarity, and smooth motion make for an enjoyable picture for most types of content. Competitive shooters are responsive. RTS games will display fine details for all the small units that can fill the map. And all media types just look good on the panel.
If that mixture of ingredients sounds right for your tastes, then there’s little reason to shy away from the M28U. But there are some good alternatives if your priorities aren’t perfectly lined up with what Gigabyte is offering here.
Mark Knapp has covered tech for most of the past decade, keeping readers up to speed on the latest developments and going hands-on with everything from phones and computers to e-bikes and drones to separate the marketing from the reality. Catch him on Twitter at @Techn0Mark or on Reviewed, IGN, TechRadar, T3, PCMag, and Business Insider.
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Source: USA Today Technology