As usual, my review will be from the perspective of a visual content creator, someone who does photo and video editing, graphic design and digital.
By the way PRISM+ sells many types of monitors, gaming and productivity monitors, 1080P, 1440P, 4K monitors, from 60Hz up to 240Hz (for gamers), curved and flat monitors.
Below's a list of features for the PRISM+ C315 Max for your quick reference:
- 4K UHD Resolution of 3840x2160
- HDR400 and HDCP2.2
- 60Hz Refresh Rate
- 120% sRGB Color Gamut
- ZeroBezel Design
- AMD FreeSync
My review talk about those features in detail, except for the AMD FreeSync since I don't play games.
These are the things included in the box:
- Full-size DisplayPort to full-size DisplayPort cable
- Power cable
Note that no HDMI cable is provided, and there's no power brick.
The screws are for fixing the stand together and the longer ones are for VESA mounting.
The back is curved quite dramatically. There's actually a removable cover (not shown in photo) the covers the ports. The black plastic body has a matte texture to it.
That's the 1500R curvature.
Videos ports included are (from left to right), 2x HDMI v1.4, HDMI v2 and DisplayPort v1.2. There's also HDCP 2.2 which should allow you to play videos from services and companies that have strict copyrighted restrictions.
Physical buttons for the OSD menu are located on the bottom right side of the monitor (when you're looking at the display).
The light from the power button is not visible from the front but can be seen shining onto the table.
Before you can attach the stand to the monitor, you have to detach a removable part from the back of the monitor.
The screws are for fixing the stand onto this removable part. There's only tilt adjustment for this part.
The VESA mounting dimension is 7.5 x 7.5cm. If you use VESA mount, then that removable part can't be fixed back onto the monitor.
The stand is quite thin and doesn't take up too much space on the table. I'm surprised it's quite stable.
Downside to the stand is it can only be adjusted for tilt. There's no rotation or height adjustment. To get full adjustability, you'll have to go with a monitor arm which by the way PRISM+ also sells. Do check out PRISM+ website occasionally because sometimes they will run promotion with monitor arms bundled.
There's a little hole at the bottom centre of the stand that allows cables to run through. You can pass four cables through that hole but five will be extremely tight.
Monitor is not that thick, so together with the stand it can be pushed close to the wall.
Back of the monitor will actually light up blue but that's only visible when you use the monitor in total darkness where the blue light will reflect off the wall.
This 31.5-inch 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) monitor supports up to 120% sRGB and 400 nits brightness (HDR400).
The colours are vibrant and look good out of the box.
I measured support for 99% sRGB, 86% AdobeRGB, 82% NTSC, 91% P3 and a maximum brightness of 320 nits. My Spyder5Pro colour calibrator wasn't able to measure beyond 100% sRGB, Overall, the C315 Max has pretty good colour accuracy and contrast.
The 320 nits maximum brightness I measured is more than sufficient for me. I actually run the monitor at 50% brightness.
The display is matte and the anti-glare is not particularly aggressive which is great.
The curvature is quite obvious regardless of where you view the monitor from.
Bezels are 1cm on the top and sides, 2cm at the bottom. The bezels are still considered small and that really helps make the overall design look more compact.
Overall build quality of the monitor is good. Not as good compared to the Dell and BenQ monitors I've reviewed before but very close behind. For the price PRISM+ is charging, it's very satisfactory.
4K UHD (3840 x 2160) on a 32-inch monitor is the sweet spot for 4K monitors because you get all the advantages of 4K (sharpness, detail and desktop space) together with user interface that's still large and comfortable enough for your eyes.
With the PRISM+ W280 Max monitor I reviewed earlier, I had to use scaling to increase the user interface elements. Scaling user interface elements is not a big issue but some apps or the files within the apps may not scale properly. Windows 10 can scale UI quite well but MacOS has more issues. With 4K 32-inch monitors, you won't have any scaling issues sinceyou don't have to use scaling.
When working from one arm's length away, pixelation is not noticeable and all the visuals appear sharp and detailed.
Here are the settings you can adjust with the OSD menu which is quite easy to navigate around.
You can click the links to view the larger screenshots of individual pages the OSD menu
- Input source
- Color setting
- Picture quality setting
There are many things you can adjust with the OSD, hue, saturation, brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. However there's no way to specify the specific Kelvin for colour temperature (warm, cool, user).
Performance and workflow
4K UHD (2160P) is a huge upgrade over 1440P monitors.
2160P has 8.29 million pixels while 1440P has 3.69 million pixels. 1080P has 2.07 million pixels.
With 2160P, you get more than twice the number of pixels than 1440P resolution monitors.
Having so many pixels squeezed onto a panel means...
1. There's going to be more desktop space. You'll have more pixels to display content. You can place three webpages side by side, open multiple palettes in software and still see a good amount of your canvas.
2. Images are going to look sharper because there is more detail. There's no pixelation, no blocky chunky text.
2160P or 4K resolution improves productivity significantly to the point it feels liberating. Remember how it felt like when you upgraded from 1080P to 1440P? From 1440P to 4K is a totally different ball game.
This is a VA panel which means colours will look great when you view the monitor directly from the front. Because the monitor is so huge, the areas near the edges will have slight drop in contrast. It's not obvious but you can see it if you look for it.
In this photo my camera is higher pointing downwards. Not sure if my camera can capture it or if you can see it, but my eyes see a slight gradation of gray that fades away towards the top. The contrast or colour shift can affect graphic design work especially if you need colour accuracy.
Yes there is drop in contrast around the edges but overall I'm still quite impressed with the overall colour accuracy because I've used TN and TFT panels that have such noticeable colour shift that I can't recommend for graphic design work. E.g. A white box in the middle when moved to the bottom can appear gray.
If you create digital art, or do digital painting, the monitor's colours are still good enough. But I will recommend you get an IPS LCD if you care about colours.
Colours on this VA panel is still good enough for editing photos but the curvature can impact your work.
For example subjects in your photo has straight lines that now look curved, are they curved because of the camera lens distortion or because of the curved display? Sometimes it's difficult to tell. If I use a flat panel and I see curved lines, I will need to reshoot. There are many subjects with straight lines, eg. buildings, tables in cafes, interior. Straight lines are everywhere.
This monitor for graphic design is actually still not that bad because when you draw a straight line, you know it's a straight line even if it's curved.
For digital illustration, the curvature can impact work again because how do you know that your hand-drawn line is straight? And because the monitor is curved, you actually have to draw a curved line to compensate for the curvature in order to get a straight line.
Editing 4K videos on a 4K display is a fantastic experience. Sure there's the curvature at work but it's not like you can edit away the curvature so it's actually not a big deal here compared to doing graphic design work or photo editing.
And when you edit 4K videos, you also get to watch your 4K videos at 100% zoom, 1-1 pixel mapping. The extra detail and sharpness is just incredible.
When editing videos, the extra resolution allows me to see more thumbnails of my videos/source without the need for much scrolling. I can also enlarge my video player to get a truer sense of how the video will look when played on larger view. And I can put a lot more palettes on screen, and I get to see more of my timeline. In short, 4K is a huge productivity booster.
I don't game so I can't really comment much except to say that the curvature will make gaming feel more immersive, especially so if you are into FPS or third person shooter games.
Note that this monitor tops out at 60Hz so it's best used for console gaming. If you do PC gaming, you can check out the other high refresh rate monitors from PRISM+.
If you want to game in 4K, make sure you have an extremely powerful graphics card. Otherwise, I don't see the point of getting a 4K monitor for gaming.
This photo has been edited to show how the display looks to my eyes. It actually looks alright, relatively speaking of course compared to other monitors I've used and tested. By "alright", I mean there's no wavy backlight pattern at the edges, and the glow is not noticeably concentrated at the corners.
This photo has been brightened up to show more of the backlight.
Backlight bleed is concentrated on the outer edges, and fades gradually towards the centre.
Here's how the and backlight glow looks when monitor is viewed from an angle.
Since the monitor still uses backlight, there's bound to be some glow. This is not an AMOLED display where the blacks will be deep blacks. And given that this monitor is actually quite bright, there will be glow so I'm not surprised at this performance.
I was able to notice the blacklight glow while watching movie. It's not particularly distracting. It's just there.
Watching movies on such a huge display is very enjoyable.
I'm not sure if HDR400 played a role but the monitor was able to show more detail than I expected in shadow areas. The screenshot/photo above was from the movie Logan. My camera probably can't capture what I want to show you so I can only tell you. I was able to see more hair detail, like individual strands of hair lit and not lit which on other monitors would just be crushed into a block of black. I find that impressive. Few seconds before, there were some soldiers wearing dark webbing walking in shadows and I was able to see the design of the webbing clearly, which on other monitors the shape of the webbing can be seen but not the details like texture, pockets, flaps.
The contrast of a VA panel is definitely not as good compared to IPS panel. With the PRISM+ W280 Max, the black bars in the video player are darker.
The PRISM+ C315 Max is a decent productivity monitor. 4K is a huge boost to productivity and it's very satisfying to do any work on such this huge 31.5-inch display.
I can't remember when was the last time I reviewed a VA panel but I'm quite surprised that the colours can look so good. The main downside to VA panel is the viewing angles that can affect colours and contrast.
From the perspective of a visual content creator, I always recommend an IPS panel over VA panel because of the better colours, contrast and viewing angles. And I highly recommend getting a flat display for any sort of visual editing work. A curved display is really more for gamers. A flat display is good for anyone.
People whose work depend on colour accuracy and consistent is in the minority. This monitor is not made for them anyway. This is a good monitor for general purpose work and for people do some gaming on the side.
Price of this monitor is around S$550. Price can vary because PRISM+ runs promotion frequently, and sometimes they may even bundle a monitor arm. The pricing is very competitive compared to other brands. This is almost $100-$150 cheaper compared to more well known brands like Dell, BenQ. And there's three years warranty.
Overall I'm quite satisfied with the monitor performance. Knowing that it's a VA panel I'm not surprised that it performs like a VA panel. I was actually more surprised at how the curvature affected my work. Anyway, I've presented my findings to you guys so you can decide whether or not it's worth the money.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Design looks good
+ Sturdy stand
+ Stand does not take up much space on table
+ Stand allows for neat cable management
+ Reasonable build quality
+ VESA mount support
+ 4K on 31.5-inch display is sweet spot for 4K
+ Watching movies and gaming on such a huge display is very satisfying
+ Matte surface with good anti-glare
+ 100% sRGB support measured
+ 320 nits brightness
+ Able to display HDR details, eg. shadow details
+ 3x HDMI and 1x DisplayPort
+ Competitive pricing
+ 3 years warranty
- Contrast and colours affected by viewing angles
- No swivel and height adjustment for stand
- DisplayPort cable included but no HDMI cable
- More backlight glow compared to IPS panels
- Backlight evenness not that great but not the worst