Prolly bumped into you one of the many times I stood motionless in front of the Auria at our local Micro Center except for the occasional slight side to side movement of my head, going from HP ZR2740w to Auria to Dell U2711/U2713 lol.
I was there not too long ago, and I was so excited because someone had just returned an Asus PB278Q (? whatever the 2560x1440p PLS display is called, the one that retails for ~$700), a Dell U2713H (not the cheaper HM), an Apple 30" Cinema Display, and two HP ZR2740w's, as he had apparently decided to "rent" them to compare them in "real world use", but despite clearly having a lot of money (or a hatred of credit cards and is on a mission to eradicate them from his life, lol), he couldn't count and it was day 33... He fussed and whined a while about the restocking fees ($400 and some total), but after a bit he said that he was just returning them because he decided on going with four more U3011's (!!!!) instead of using the 27" panels, so they gave him store credit and cut the restocking fee down to $275 of that store credit, which he accepted (was just enough to buy the four U3011's IIRC). The guy who took the return/exchange is a friend of mine, and I practically zoomed over to his counter at lightspeed from where I was standing (trying, and likely failing, to appear to not be eavesdropping) and immediately him to hold them for me while I run to the bank. He said he would get all of them tagged open box and whichever one(s) I buy he would get the manager to lower the price further (apparently one of them is always so busy they just say "yes" when they hear someone start a sentence with "a regular/loyal/American Express Black Carrying customer asked if...", lol), as low as he can, and that I'd best be quick so we'd have time to go through the ones I was interested in (take out of box, plug in, check under a magnifying glass for any dead pixels after doing the screen test, ensure all inputs function, check uniformity, etc). That, and he could get on TFTCentral and use the store's Spyder4Elite Colorimeter to calibrate the panel so long as it was before a different manager was scheduled to stop by. He and another employee (who I also know but just from MC) both promised to hold them, so I left for like 15 minutes to hit the bank.
When I got back (exactly 14:30sec later), I was so excited I practically ran into the store. He was f'in with me a bit at first, giving me the whole "I'm so sorry, I did the best I could" face as I walked in: not cool, that's cruel and unusual! He handed me the piece of paper showing the absolute lowest prices he could mark them down to, but then said that technically they could do price-matches to wherever has one cheapest at the moment (this place, long before my friend worked there, has been price-matching H2O-cooling stuff for me with PPC's, Jab Tech, Sidewinder Computers, etc for a long time; they'll price match FrozenCPU, but honestly I have yet to see FCPU have a single thing marked lower than Micro Center!). Furthermore, they could deduct the restocking fee from the price, and even apply a separate "show model" discount if I would be willing to leave with the box actually physically opened; all of these discounts would be calculated from their MSRP and deducted from the matched price. Best part is that the one manager approved of all of it!
The prices: $367 flat for the Asus, $587 for the U2713H, $644 for the Apple 30", and either $348 for one of the HP's or both for $700 even!
So, I decided "HELLS YES!" on the HP's and the Asus, and decided that I'd think about the U2713H while we inspected the panels. Both HP's were 100% pixel-perfect, the screen uniformity was significantly better on both of these than on AnandTech's review, everything worked flawlessly, absolutely zero visible ghosting when hooked up to some "show rig" they had that was apparently the winner of some "baddest build mod-off" or something and in exchange for displaying the computer in the store for a bit the guy got a bunch of swag from I think Corsair and EK Aforementioned Rig (Click to show)
(3970X, Rampage IV Extreme, 4x 680 4GB Classifieds, SoundBlaster ZxR with Daughterboard, 32GB DDR3-2133 10-11-10-28 Corsair Dominator Platinum, 2x Plextor M5P Xtreme 256GB RAID0 OS/Boot, 1x Vector 512GB Game Drive, 1x WD Black 4TB, 1x WD RE 4TB, Corsair AX1200i with custom sleeved cables, all in a CaseLabs Magnum MH10 with Pedestal and 85mm Top with XXL clear windows on both sides and lots of RGB leds inside. The thing was watercooled, too, and it was a pretty awesome setup (EK Supremacy CPU Block Clear/Cu, 4x EK 680 Clear/Copper Blocks, EK M5E MB Block Kit Plexi/Cu, 2x EK 4-DIMM RAM Blocks Clear/Cu, MCP35X2 with modified Swiftech Dual-Pump Top, BP 400mL Crystal Res, 1/2x3/4 Clear Tubing, at least $750 worth of BP fittings in both matte black and in white, 2x Monsta 480's in the Pedestal P-P with Corsair SP120PE fans, 1x SR1 360(?) front-right P-P SP120PE's, 2x UT60 480's up top P-P SP120PE's, and a ton more; I just remember these specs because I took a picture of the spec sheet lol).
Needless to say, I wanted to walk out with that rig too, but it was not meant to be lol. Anyway, the two HP's had zero visible ghosting, but even more impressive was that a monitor so large and with so many pixels had ZERO perceptible input latency; in fact, I did everything I could possibly think of to "feel" the input lag, but it simply didn't exist. Absolutely amazing!
Backlight uniformity was measured and the two screens averaged within 0.125% of the other, and heading to calibrate after having "factory reset" everything we first checked to see how good they were out of the box. Surprisingly, they again bested AnandTech's numbers, and even more surprisingly, both screens traded blows on individual test results but with the largest variation between the panels being just 2.9% (brightness at 10%, measuring darkness levels, the top-right corners) with an average of 0.81% variation! Brightness at 100% on both was about 8-9% higher than what AT measured, darkness levels were about 4-5% better, contrast was 14% better; I mean, what are the odds?
Factory calibration was better than AT review by about 4% and post-calibration there wasn't a single variation greater than 0.2% between the panels, and everything came out truly perfect; I wonder if these panels weren't accidentally put on the HP ZR2740w's when they were supposed to go on the DreamColor displays or something!
At this point, we finished with the HP's and I knew that I was going to buy them, so I repackaged them, and decided I had to mess (play) with the Dell before I could decide.
While we were checking out the Dell, "oohing and aah-ing" over the beauty of the display after putting it through it's paces, and I had just decided I'd purchase it at as well when suddenly we could smell the world's biggest d-bag MC employee was headed our way (my god it's awful, but it does at least serve as a sort of proximity alarm...) and we tried to quickly hide the displays because this guy had a habit of d-baggery, believes himself to be THE world's foremost expert on anything and everything you might ever so much as mention in passing much less anything Micro Center sells, he is one of the worst one-uppers I have ever encountered* - literally the epitome of every d-bag/social reject/nerd-living-in-moms-basement/doesn't bathe stereotype out there; literally, he has said that he doesn't shower because he "doesn't have time between" his work (20hrs/week), his "street racing and extreme performance tuning my car"(see below), and his "obligations to my WoW followers, as these 30 people depend on me to be able to play because I have the best stuff and they can't get it, so they just stand around waiting for me to log in so I can complete the dungeons and quests and they get some experience points and some new gear but basically I do it all myself"(according to my friend, he apparently told someone that he rocks at WOW because he bought a lvl70 or something [never played it myself] super-duper character for $1,000 and then got the best gear he could find, spending $4500 on junk that apparently most players can get at half the level "his" character is at, and when he found that out he spent MORE money to buy the current greatest whatever...). POINT BEING: He's the nightmare of everyone, everywhere, all the time.... Ignorance is understandable if you've never had a chance to learn, but being so ridiculously outright stupid and refusing to acknowledge you're wrong and learn from it makes you a d-bag. This guy is the bag holding all the other d-bags.
After about 2 minutes, he saw the monitor boxes, and said "ooh, someone came into some money, huh?" and literally pushed me aside so he could look at them and presumably tell me why his 14" LCD is infinitely superior, when he saw the new price tags on the boxes...
NOPE! Instead, he went on some rant about my friend giving illegal discounts, when my friend pointed out the price sheet the manager printed out and signed off on. This guy then GOES TO THE MANAGER to say that I'm trying to rip them off, the manager actually starts paying attention and says "ummmmmmmm... I am super busy and can't deal with this now, but come back tomorrow and it'll be sorted out". When he's said that in the past, he's never once followed through on anything, so I figured I was in the clear. I asked my friend to stick tape big "SOLD - awaiting pickup" signs on them and told him I'd be back the next day, because apparently the manager wasn't working the next day. I couldn't pay for them that evening because the manager had explicitly said to get them tomorrow. Still, I went home confident I'd have three sweet monitors for the price of one more or less the next day.
I show up at 10am, and the other guy I know there (not my friend who held them, but the guy who was with us checking them out and whatnot) saw me and I asked where the panels were. He had a really weird look on his face, and just slowly shook his head before saying "dude, I'm really sorry...".. Immediately I was super disappointed, but that changed when he told me "d-bag offered to stay late last night, help reorganize the blah blahs, and xxxxx and I got off at close. Turns out he stayed just til after we left, and then he ripped the sign off the monitor boxes and had one of the cashiers who was still there ring him out by telling the cashier "the manager authorized it, they're not saved for that customer anymore, and anyway I have seniority over him (??? weird thing to say) so ring me up, run 'my' card, and give me my receipt so I can get home and enjoy my new monitors". He actually forced the cashier to add the employee discount on top of everything else!
The best part? HE USED HIS MOM'S CREDIT CARD! THIS GUY IS 30-SOMETHING YEARS OLD!
Three days later he returned one (his mom got pissed lol), the Dell, and in just 72hrs he ruined the thing. He actually thought that he had a dead pixel (turns out it was spittle from his fat mouth) and he "heard somewhere" that pressing real hard onthe screen fixes it. So, he set the monitor flat and pushed down as hard as he could with both hands on the "dead pixel", but, he continued "when I turned it back on, the dead pixel virus had already spread around to the other pixels, there was nothing I could do; these things happen, I guess that's what I get for buying a computer from a ***** manufacturer like dell, but I'm swapping it for an AOC and an ACER, which are REAL monitors from REAL monitor companies! Not some garbage like this; I mean, I've got the most powerful possible gaming rig, and my old Acer works great with it and everything is smooth, but on this dell everything was super-choppy and unplayable! I've got a $170 video card for christs sake, it's the most expensive gaming card there is, everything else is just for people who make 3D animation and stuff like that and doesn't help gaming (he has a single GTS550 OEM card with reduced shaders and memory; yeah, he really does, and he really paid $175 for it in his Alienware)... He should THANK ME for saving him the trouble! If it doesn't work with MY RIG, it won't work with ANYONE'S unless they own some billion dollar supercomputer or something!".
Needless to say, I filed a complaint and a formal grievance about him, both locally and with the Micro Center headquarters, as did my friend and the other employee, all stating that he was verbally abusive, scared people out of the store, cost other people sales, etc. He was fired 48 hours later, and the store told him he was not getting his last paycheck nor the half pay-period since the prior one (there was some delay, but it was 23 days of pay) because they looked through his "station" and found so much broken stuff that they can't write it off (and apparently keeping his pay didn't cover even 1/10th the cost to replace the stuff; he broke his work kiosk computer trying to "upgrade" it, by spilling Cheeto crumbs everywhere including inside the RAM slots and then pounding the DIMMs in to get them to fit; he broke a stick in half, so he went and took and open box motherboard and the PC to the service center and told them it was an "approved upgrade due to a faulty component"!!!).
Anyway, that's my story of how I was seconds from getting 3x top-of-the-line H-IPS/AH-IPS 1440p monitors for ~$1k total, fully warrantied and everything, with better than normal performance....and then how a disgusting slob stole them from me.
Sorry about the long post, been holding that anger in a long time!
*Actual quote after he overheard me talking to a friend about my heading up to Mid-Ohio for a race the following day and that I had just hurry-worry fixed a small issue that was causing the engine to retard timing and, with the full-titanium valvetrain/Schrick Stage 5 camshafts/Mahle Forged 10.5:1 Pistons/plus-sized valves with 5-angle grinds/extrudehoned custom intake manifold/etc, the supercharger was causing it to run WAY too lean which was odd, but it ended up being nothing more than a grounding issue for one of the two Wahlbro 255lph fuel pumps and thus is was only working sporadically Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
(thankfully this was while I had the car on the dyno for a little bit of fine-tuning of the 95oct 16psi program before throwing the car on a life and dialing in -3deg/-2.8deg camber f/r, changing the rebound and compression damping on the TC Kline D/A Race/GT coilovers, putting the rear sway bar to full-stiff to eliminate understeer and allow throttle steering more readily, swapping all 16 brake pads on my 4-wheel BBK for a track compound and replacing the outer half of the 2pc rotors with a stronger version of the slotted 428mm Front/392mm Rear Slotted Rotors designed specifically for track use i.e. they squeal and are terrible when cold but once they are really warmed up they will nearly break your neck with the stopping power; and of course, remove a bunch of extraneous weight, stick the fire extinguisher in the passenger wheel well, and swap the HRE 19x9"F 19x11"R street wheels with Pilot SuperSport street tires to, for this race, my Volk TE-37 (Gunmetal with the VOLK Racing on the one spoke of each wheel in red to match my bare-aluminum monobloc brake calipers with their red lettering) in 19x9.5"F and 19x11.5"R wrapped in 255-width front and 295-width rear R-Compound tires)...
"Oh, I think I might have seen that out in the parking lot, there was some blue BMW parked next to a SWEET Integra that is professionally modified and tuned, it's got a JDM full Type-R suspension I can tell from how it sits on the 18inch super-lightweight Motegi wheels, one of the best brands you can buy 'cuz they're crazy light and super strong and you don't have to order them from overseas you can just get them at Tire Rack or Pep Boys; it even had some super crazy brakes, the rotors had holes in them and the clamps(sic) are bright red and look huge and awesome under the wheels. Plus, the exhaust is blued at the tip so its an ultra light racing exhaust, and if he's spending that much ($189) on an exhaust, wheels, and brakes, then you just KNOW the engine is ridiculous, probably hand-built by a top Japanese tuning house and then shipped back! You really should go see it, but I bet you'll end up seeing it lap you at your race tomorrow because it has racing stickers on it so a car like that will definitely be there to dominate through the drifts", and yes he actually said all that... I had so many angry retorts in my head that they jumbled up and I ignored him...
But then, after eavesdropping on my friend's and my conversation for a bit, he cuts me off and says "Meh, 498 rear wheel horsepower from a 2000 BMW 328Ci isn't TOO bad, but if you knew what you were doing you would have gotten a JDM car because you'd be way faster and the parts are like 1/10th the price; how much did you pay for your exhaust? (tell him it's a custom mix of 4 different brands when you count the Equal-Length Mandrel-Bent Tubular Ceramic Headers Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
that I sent off to SwainTech to have 8 layers of their header-heat-proof plasma-coating stuff applied; Swaintech coatings are the absolute best stuff you can do for a performance car; everything from my piston domes to valves to block to headers to intake manifold to exhaust mid-pipes to muffler to intercooler, and literally a hundred other parts, have been sent to them for coating as they have specific coatings depending on the parts; lowered engine bay temps 81F, increased combustion efficiency 12%, decreased pre-SC intake air temp 28F, decreased post-SC/pre-FMIC air temp 41F, decreased post-FMIC/entering-cylinder air temp 59F: instead of having 148-155F intake air, I now have air that is between a max of 8F and a min of 2F over ambient entering the engine, which is about 25F cooler than no supercharger at all!and the custom pieces it totals around $4800 over the years I've pieced it together, figuring out what works best with what, he exploded) "NO way! That's more than a JDM R34 Skyline Exhaust would cost, and those are so much faster and so much better, plus they have all wheel drive so they are faster and handle better, while you have just rear wheel drive which is the worst and you'd definitely lose a 1/4mile race to any AWD or front wheel drive car because they're doing everything the RIGHT way! Rear wheel drive is only good if you're a professional drifter, but I can do wicked drifts in my ('99 4-cyl automatic) Tiburon because I have been training and I made slicks out of old worn down tires so when I pull my e-brake just perfectly and modulate it while carefully counter-steering with my racing steering wheel and (I actually laughed at this part) shifting from 2 to 1 with insane precision in a millisecond timing gap while expertly working the throttle to keep it sideways... I bet your RWD car can't drift because you can't lock up your rear wheels, so if we raced I'd definitely smoke you in the corners and you'd never be able to keep up in the straights anyway now that I've got my (POS no-name brand) 'Ultra Chill Cold Air Intake' with its quad-stacked velocity accelerators, Plasma spark plugs, and a sweet new 'Turbo-back' (i.e. Straight-Through) muffler exhaust system (just muffler) that has a 4 inch exit which is more than two times bigger than my old one and you can hear all the extra horsepower it makes; the first time I drove it after putting it on, I almost lost control of the car it pulled so hard, it even chirped the tires shifting into third! I bet you can't do that with a RWD beeee-mer".