A while ago we published a group test of 14 monitors with 2560x1440 resolution, or WQHD (wide quad hd). One of the participants was Iiyama, who sent us a second model shortly after the test, the ProLite XB2779QS. It's an impressive screen, as it has the same display panel Apple uses for its 27-inch monitors. It has very similar characteristics therefore, and a very reasonable price compared to the competition (especially Apple). It makes the XB2779QS a very interesting WQHD monitor with a striking design.
The Iiyama ProLite XB2779QS is available in black and silver, and we tested the silver version. That one of course looks the most like Apple's screen, but aside from the looks and the panel, the similarities pretty much end there. The significantly lower price (average of £468) means of course that the monitor is constructed in plastic instead of aluminium. On the other hand, you get more and better connectors than on Apple's screen.
The main drawback of this display panel that both the Apple and Iiyama monitors exhibit is a phenomenon we typically don't spend much time on called backlight bleeding. When the screen is dark or black, you can see the backlight around the edges which causes dark areas to be lighter than they should be. It's mostly visible in dark rooms when the screen has a high brightness setting. With normal ambient light and normal brightness settings, it's much less noticeable.
The 27-inch Apple displays also suffer from this, judging by a quick google search, and Iiyama admits the XB2779QS is no exception. There's a simple reason for this, the special glass panel that's attached to the panel in order to boost contrast and colours. A side effect is that it reflects the backlight which then appears as backlight bleeding.
This all sounds pretty bad for such an expensive monitors. However, in practice you don't need to see any backlight bleeding. That is because the backlight of this panel has a very high brightness. Iiyama's is set at 80 percent out of the box, which reduces the backlight bleeding significantly, even if it's still clearly visible even in well-illuminated surroundings. If you reduce the brightness to 10 percent you don't notice any bleeding, and the screen's 170 candela per square metre is plenty for indoor use in well-lit room. So this is something you should keep in mind, but it's not necessarily a reason not to buy this monitor if you like it for other reasons.
We tested and compared the Iiyama ProLite XB2779QS to the 14 monitors we tested previously.