So in a Lifehacker post a few months ago on the Hive Five top monitors, number 2 was a Yamakasi Catleap. I spent an afternoon researching monitors and got the same Dell, Best Buy etc. Supposedly this was a IPS panel that was number 2 in line for the Mac display, which is great. The Dell Ultra Sharp 27″ is $800, this was $400.
Issues. It’s shipped from Korea. Dell will come to your house. eBay will not. Pixel stuck? 5 is accepted in Korea. Power? 240 in korea, 120V here. Website? In Korean. Support? Nah. Lots of questions.
Enter eBay and korexmall. They listed a “[Yamakasi] Catleap Q271 LED 27″ S-IPS HDMI Speaker (Perfect Pixel&Free Voltage)”. So no stuck pixels, and includes the 110V adapter. For $450. Free shipping. Wow.
So I dithered for a day or two, then pulled the switch on Sunday. In the meantime, I thought the new panel only had HDMI and Dual-Link DVI so I could not use my existing video card. So I did some more research, and found a cheap Asus E1427U0-C with Nvidia GeForce GT 640 and 2GB of RAM, with HDMI and Dual DVI outputs. But not ridiculous on power consumption or graphics power – not a gamer, thanks. Except maybe for Guitar Hero, and I have not played that for a year. While on NewEgg’s site, I downloaded the Crucial RAM sniffer and got another 4GB of DRAM. In for a penny.
The video card arrived Thursday on the front porch, and a note in the mail saying a parcel was waiting at the post office. Bette was out and got it and came home with a huge box. From South Korea.
Some damage on one corner. Unscathed otherwise.
Opened it. A layer of pillows around the main box.
The main box. Kinda scary.
Opened the main box. Nicely packed in foam corners, all look good. Base comes out, then monitor.
Left over: Manual in Korean, switching power support for 120-240V -> 24VDC. One DVI and one audio cable.
Setup. Snap in base. Try to plug in VGA; plug is too long. If you use VGA D-SUB with this monitor, make sure the plug is 1/2″ long or less – consider cable bend. The D-SUB port is just over the tilt, and it interferes.
Menu buttons along bottom right. Not exactly easy to use. Found Menu button (labeled M, assume S is for Source, that selects between VGA/DVI/HDMI). Blindly found the way to change to English.
Finally gave up on VGA – went to DVI. Plugged it in, reboot. Wow.
Reviewed the customs doc. Shipping listed at 250,000 Won ~ $120 USD. Yow. If they would have listed that on eBay, I might have thought twice.
Base is a bit wobbly, and I did not figure out how to tilt it. A new clamp-on mount is on the way from Monoprice anyway.
ps. I searched for a similar one today and found this listing, for $777 USD. Yow! What gives?