I admit it. I bought the Sceptre U278W-4000R 27″ Ultra 4K LCD because it was cheap. And I needed a new high-res monitor for a new tech blog project (which you’re reading) was on a modest budget. At $250 (after tax), the Sceptre costs significantly less than all other 4K LCDs of similar specs.
Having read the negative reviews on Amazon, I was skeptical at first. But now, after about a month of use, I can say it’s a great deal and feel compelled enough to write this quick review.
Simple design, sturdy base
The LCD was a breeze to assemble. It comes with a metal base and all the tools necessary for you to attach to the panel, which is super thin. The base allows for only a bit of tilt adjustment and nothing else. You can’t change the height or use the monitor in the vertical position.
This lack of swivel option is not a big deal, though, considering this is an ultra-high-resolution screen that has enough real estate to display a lot of information even in its horizontal orientation.
Once assembled, the entire package was light and simple, yet sturdy. On the back, it has an array of out-facing ports (2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI, 1 x DisplayPort), making it easy to connect cables (there’s one HDMI cable in the package).
And that’s all I’d need. But if you intend to place the screen close to a wall, or mount it, the cables will get in the way. All the ports worked in my tests, including the display port, which worked well with both Windows computers and Macs.
Nice though not awesome pictures, horrible speakers
You can calibrate the screen’s picture settings (color, contrast, brightness, etc.) manually or choose among a few preset configurations (Standard, Movie, game modes, and so on). I did need to play around with these settings a bit to find a profile that suited my eyes best. What’s more, no matter what mode I used it in, the Sceptre didn’t seem as bright as other LCDs I’ve used. It’s bright enough for indoor usage, but you shouldn’t expect it to work well outside, or in a bright room.
Other than that, everything else about the screen is satisfactory, including the viewing angle. I had nothing to complain about when viewing text, movies, or playing games on it, though I’ve used it mostly for text editing. It’s much crisper than most non-4K screens I’ve used.
What I don’t like, however, are the built-in speakers. They have this super high pitch that hurts my ears when turned up. And even then, they are not loud at all.
For the price, in all, the Sceptre U278W-4000R is an excellent deal for those needing a simple 4K LCD for text or movie-viewing needs. Just make sure you get a separate set of speakers.