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Old 25th January 2014, 8:28 PM   #1
Fortigurn Thread Starter
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Default 30" First F301GD Live (updated with calibration)

Here are my initial thought son the 30" First F301GD Live (perfect pixel). This review will be updated when I have the opportunity to calibrate the monitor with a coloromiter. I managed to find the website of the original Korean manufacturer; those interested can find more information on the monitor here.

Vendor

I purchased from 2560x1440 Monitor in Korea. Key service features.

* Tested before shipping
* Perfecta Pixel ('up to 1pcs of black dead pixel may be included')
* 12 month warranty

The monitor cost US$479.98, and DHL shipping from Korea was free. I ordered it on a Wednesday, and it arrived on the Friday. There was a small fee of US$5 to pay the courier, which was fair enough given he had carried it up three flights of stairs to our apartment.

It was well packaged and arrived in one piece.





Dead pixels

There aren't any.

Mounting

As with all Korean monitors, the stand isn't going to win any design awards. It's plastic, fastening to the monitor with four screws, two of which didn't want to go in all the way. The stand supports the monitor, but that's all it does. It will sway and rock alarmingly if the desk is bumped hard, but even after I shoved the desk around very hard, the monitor remained in place. The fact that it sits very low on the stand, close to the surface of the desk, undoubtedly helps (the low center of gravity helps keep it stable). The stand provides limited swivel and tilt ranges (and of course no option for portrait orientation), but I managed to nudge it into a convenient position.

Interestingly, the monitor is VESA mount ready (200mmx100mm), with four screw holes conveniently accessible on the back. This is a welcome change from many Korean monitors, which require some dis-assembly of the monitor in order to access VESA mount screw holes.



Color gamut

The color depth advertised online is '10bit, 1.07 Billion Colors', and it's CCFL backlit, so I am hoping it has an extended color gamut. However, the box has 'Display Color: 16.7M' on the outside. I will only be able to verify its gamut once I've had a chance to purchase a proper coloromiter (I'm going to pick up the Sypder 4 Express).

Editing images in Lightroom and Photoshop on this monitor is a dreamy experience, so I hope it's a wide gamut monitor. Even if it isn't, if it can render color sufficiently accurately for my printing purposes then I will most likely buy another one.


Edit: I have now calibrated the monitor with a Spyder 4 Pro. As I suspected, it is not a wide colour gamut monitor. It covers 98% of sRGB, 74% of NTSC, and 78% of AdobeRGB.



Overclocking the refresh rate

I used CRU to push it to 70Hz, and immediately started to see artifacts. So no overclocking for this monitor. However, that wasn't a consideration for me, and leaves me in hope that this is a wide gamut monitor; the wide gamut monitors don't overclock. I searched and read many forums, and the general consensus is that all the 30" CCFL monitors are wide gamut, but really want to check for myself with a coloromiter to be sure.

Backlight bleed & uniformity



Surface

It also has a matte surface, and I'm used to the glossy surface on my 24" HP W2408H (a beautiful wide gamut monitor which has served me without fail since early 2010). However, my secondary monitor has been a 22" Benq FP222wa with a matte surface, so I'm used to alternatively viewing matte and glossy monitors on a daily basis. The matte surface of the Benq never bothered me.

There has been much discussion of matte surfaces on 27"-30" monitors. The heavy coating on some earlier Dell monitors became notorious, and people complained a lot about the 'grainy', 'pixelated' and 'blurred' look which resulted. Apparently current Dell matte monitors have a much more subtle look, which is proving more acceptable.

The discussion has been renewed as a result of interest in the cheap Korean monitors such as the Catleap, Crossover, and Shimian. There have been complaints that most of the Korean matte finish monitors have an 'aggressive' matte coating like the older Dells. This image summarizes the current state of play, and explains why monitors such as the 27Q-LED remains popular among those who don't like a matte finish.

The 30" First F301GD Live I purchased has a matte finish. The matte surface did take a few minutes to get used to, but I find the size of the monitor encourages me to sit back further, resulting in the slight grainy finish becoming less noticeable. I would not call this matte surface 'aggressive'. At worst it could be classified as 'mildly irritated'.

I'm using it as my primary monitor, with my 24" HP W2408H as the secondary. I already prefer the finish on the 30". The image is clear and sharp, and text is very crisp. In fact text on the HP W2408H now looks surprisingly soft in comparison.

I now realise also that I had become so accustomed to the glossy finish of my 24" HP that I no longer recognized its drawbacks. Here are the two monitors side by side (though at odd angles), showing the high reflective surface of the 24" HP.



Now here's a direct comparison of the two monitors; two different photos placed side by side (30" matte at left, 24" glossy at right). The mirror like finish of the 24" HP looks appalling in comparison to the soft matte surface of the 30" First, and shows just how much a glossy monitor can get away with when it spends most of its time turned on.


Last edited by Fortigurn; 11th February 2014 at 4:00 AM.
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Old 25th January 2014, 9:51 PM   #2
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Cheers for the review i am most defiantly buying one of these in Matte as well in a month when i come back from holiday.

I never liked gloss ever, never owned one, terrible things.
On the last photo i thought monitors were side by side and was like wtf how is the 30" only look 1" larger then the 24 but soon realised what you did there.

I can't seem to find anything on those sites about refresh rate, i am assuming 60hz?
Also do you have idea if it is overclockable like the Qnix and some others?

On the purchasing website it says 6ms response and on the manufacturer site it says 8ms, i wonder what the go is?

Thanks again though. Good read.
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Old 25th January 2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_STi View Post
I can't seem to find anything on those sites about refresh rate, i am assuming 60hz?
Yeah, 60Hz.

Quote:
Also do you have idea if it is overclockable like the Qnix and some others?
I used CRU to push it to 70Hz, and immediately started to see artifacts. So no overclocking for this monitor. However, that wasn't a consideration for me, and leaves me in hope that this is a wide gamut monitor; the wide gamut monitors don't overclock. I searched and read many forums, and the general consensus is that all the 30" CCFL monitors are wide gamut, but really want to check for myself with a coloromiter to be sure.

Quote:
On the purchasing website it says 6ms response and on the manufacturer site it says 8ms, i wonder what the go is?
I don't know, but I'm not that concerned.

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Thanks again though. Good read.
You're welcome. It will be more useful once I've had an opportunity to test the color gamut and calibrate it properly.
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Old 25th January 2014, 10:15 PM   #4
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getting conflicting statements on resolution. can you confirm please?
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Old 25th January 2014, 10:16 PM   #5
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getting conflicting statements on resolution. can you confirm please?
Where's the conflict?
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Old 25th January 2014, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke212 View Post
getting conflicting statements on resolution. can you confirm please?
I am 100% certain it is 2560x1600.

I think the confusion might be the company he bought from, called "2560x1440Monitor.com" it's just a business name they sell monitors with other resolutions.
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Old 25th January 2014, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRX_STi View Post
I am 100% certain it is 2560x1600.
Yes it's 2560x1600; both the product links I provided make this clear.

Quote:
I think the confusion might be the company he bought from, called "2560x1440Monitor.com" it's just a business name they sell monitors with other resolutions.
Yep, that's just the business name. Most likely chosen because they started by selling the 27" 2560x144 models.
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Old 26th January 2014, 12:00 AM   #8
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Is it just me, or does this monitor look just like the Kogan one?

http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/kogan-30...s-led-monitor/

Thanks for the review. Looks like a very nice monitor
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Old 26th January 2014, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchpom View Post
Is it just me, or does this monitor look just like the Kogan one?

http://www.kogan.com/au/buy/kogan-30...s-led-monitor/
The Kogan's stand is different, and it has more ports; this only has DVI-D, no VGA or HDMI.

Quote:
Thanks for the review. Looks like a very nice monitor
Thanks. I really can't wait to calibrate it properly. Very interested to see what the color gamut is.
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Old 26th January 2014, 5:41 AM   #10
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Odd that the website you bought it from says it's 10bit 1.07 billion colours but the box says 16.7 million colours.
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Old 26th January 2014, 11:45 AM   #11
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Looks good.

Are you able to take a shot in the dark with it showing a black display so we can get an idea of any back light bleeding / uniformity?
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Old 26th January 2014, 1:00 PM   #12
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sRGB/Adobe RGB specs available?
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Old 26th January 2014, 1:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zehoo View Post
Odd that the website you bought it from says it's 10bit 1.07 billion colours but the box says 16.7 million colours.
Yeah I think that's weird. On their website, all of the 30" panels (Crossover, First, Yamasaki, Zevroid), are listed as having '10bit 1.07 billion colors', so I don't know what's going on there. The box it came in had four different models written on it, with a checkbox for each, and the model I purchased had been marked, so I don't know if it's a printing error on the box, or the box just shows the information for one of the several models it's used for, or if the website is wrong and it is only 16.7 million colors. I won't know for certain until I can calibrate it with a proper tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowblindnz View Post
Looks good.

Are you able to take a shot in the dark with it showing a black display so we can get an idea of any back light bleeding / uniformity?
Good idea. Here you go.

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Old 26th January 2014, 1:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
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sRGB/Adobe RGB specs available?
Not that I've been able to find.
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Old 26th January 2014, 5:44 PM   #15
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I would say that it's some generic box - mind you would you trust what the seller's information either? Will your calibrator tell you if it's 10bit or not?

What's the feature on the box that they've put a sticker over?
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