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I bought a Iiyama ProLite XUB2792UHSU for my girlfriend who is a hobby photographer. The monitor had a good review as an all round device, but not necessarily as a graphics monitor. However we were both disappointed with the color, or especially the blacks. The computer is a Lenovo laptop, and in direct comparison the image is much better, and the black parts really black. The Iiyama is more grey due to backlight bleed it seems (see image, it represents the issue well, brightness and contrast settings as per factory, both at 50%). Changing brightness and contrast levels does not really improve it much, definitely not to the point of the laptop screen.

Is that just how it is in the sub 400$ range of screens, or are there much better options at about this price point?

Example picture

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    \$\begingroup\$ This isn't really on topic for this stack… & not sure where it would be, but all monitors need calibrating, whatever they cost. Setting 50/50 is probably not ideal for that screen. Mine, which cost 3x that, still needed brightness knocking back to 19 so my colorimeter would fully calibrate correctly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 1, 2019 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Usually a dedicated IPS monitor will beat a laptop monitor by a long shot. Here we have the opposite... \$\endgroup\$ Oct 1, 2019 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is a problem. I get what you're saying but it's an extreme. It's like a test situation. Why would you try to look at flat black in a perfectly dark room? If there's any light in the image, people won't be able to see the blacks anyways. Monitors are additive, they literally project light which creates deep contrasts. Hold up a black and white checkerboard photo next to one on the monitor. The monitor will have a lighter black in reality but it will appear much darker than the photo when you look at it. \$\endgroup\$
    – moot
    Oct 1, 2019 at 18:17

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When monitors are new, they are the brightest they will ever be. As they age, they gradually get dimmer. It's not uncommon at all for a new monitor to need to be set well below 50% brightness to measure at 120 cd/m², which is the standard target value for LCD monitors when emitting a pure white signal. Since your monitor is rated at 300 cd/m², I'd be surprised if anything above 40% isn't brighter than 120 cd/m² with a pure white signal.

It's hard to tell how bright the screen is from the photo attached to your question because we don't know what exposure value was used. We need a measurement, such as x candelas per square meter (cd/m²). This can be measured with a screen calibration tool. We also don't know the difference between the signal being sent to the notebook computer's screen and the signal being sent to the monitor, because they are definitely not displaying the same signal. What does the monitor look like when the same thing displayed on the laptop is sent to it?

Is that just how it is in the sub 400$ range of screens, or are there much better options at about this price point?

One of my monitors is a 23" FHD (1920 x 1080) Dell P2314H. I paid less than $200 for it about 4-5 years ago. With it calibrated and profiled so that maximum output is 120 cd/m², the minimum output measured by an X-Rite colorimeter is 0.2 cd/m². That's virtually indistinguishable from when the monitor is turned off. Of course it is a smaller, lower resolution monitor than your 27" 4K Iiyama. A 27" 4K Dell U2718Q in the same class currently runs about $415 at amazon.

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See if you can actually control the black point.

Black point is normally controlled by the bright and contrast settings on the monitor itself, mainly the brightness.

Here is a link for a test page I made some years ago, see if it helps: https://otake.com.mx/ColorCalibration/DarkPoint.phtml I actually need to update the values there and review the full document, but it is a starting point.

Additionally, do not be too picky there with extreme conditions, like all the lights turned off, those are not the normal working conditions.

You actually need some lights turned on, neutral color background, no direct sunlight, etc. And get a calibration device like color Munky or color Spyder.

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