One of the most affordable 10-bit LCD displays on the market is perfect for colour obsessives, but have compromises been made elsewhere?
Digital artistry depends on using a display that offers high colour accuracy, bright colours and wide viewing angles. The good news is that even relatively affordable modern monitors with IPS panels are excellent to work on.
You can pick up a well-built 24- or 27-inch screen that will be perfectly suitable for around £250. In this price range you can expect full sRGB coverage and general image quality that will be absolutely fine for dayto-day painting use.
However, real colour excellence ain’t cheap. Full AdobeRGB coverage is a far more significant benchmark, because the wider gamut delivers a notably superior picture quality, which is immediately noticeable as soon as you turn on the screen. Reds that you could just cuddle up to on the couch, greens that make you want to lie in
Art that looks washed out on a standard screen receive an injection of vibrancy
meadows on a sunny day. Images come alive, and it’s hard to go back to using a standard screen after using one. But good luck finding any display in this category for under £1,000… and some can cost significantly more.
That explains why we’re reviewing BenQ’s SW2700PT, a very high-quality 27-inch display that can go a long way towards all the lovely imagery we describe, with full (99 per cent) AdobeRGB coverage, at a more palatable £599 price point. This makes it one of the most affordable fullcolour monitors on the market.
The secret sauce is the SW2700PT’s 10-bit colour accuracy and 14-bit lookup-table (LUT) that really delivers the goods. Art that appears washed out on a standard screen receive an injection of vibrancy here. This will help you to choose better, more accurate colours to ensure your work retains its eye-popping beauty elsewhere, thanks to a bigger palette than you might be used to. Its 350-nit brightness is fairly average compared with other displays, and it doesn’t do HDR, but it still looks great.
The ergonomics are fantastic, too. In addition to the screen’s full tilt, rotate and height adjustment, the OSD is simple and easy to navigate, with image presets for Adobe, sRGB, Rec. 709 and DCI-P3. The physical controls are located within easy reach on the lower edge and best of all, BenQ has a clever wired remote control that sits in the base, enabling you to flick through the various options without having to fiddle with the buttons. Hardware calibration is built in, and it comes with a monitor hood for reduced ambient glare.
The BenQ SW2700PT is a winner then. It’s absolutely great value for money and the colour accuracy it offers will make a difference for any artist still working within the confines of a standard monitor. If you can afford them, alternatives do have more bells and whistles, higher resolutions and larger display areas, but if not, the SW2700PT is a great shortcut to getting high-end image quality.
BenQ’s SW2700PT is one of the most affordable colouraccurate displays around
The shading hood reduces ambient light and reflections, although it can be removed if you prefer. The selection of ports isn’t quite as generous as on other displays. In use, the eye-popping colours will definitely impress in whichever screen configuration you opt for.