Benq PD2700Q De­signer Mon­i­tor

Orestis Bastounis gives the Benq dis­play a look-in

3D Artist - - CONTENTS -

How does Benq’s lat­est of­fer­ing fare when put to the test for cre­at­ing 3D art? Delve into these for a long list of set­tings that give you more con­trol over the im­age

Colour-ac­cu­rate dis­plays aimed squarely at pro­fes­sional artists can cost a for­tune, par­tic­u­larly those of­fer­ing 4K res­o­lu­tion, screen sizes of 32 inches and above, and the high­est pos­si­ble im­age qual­ity. That leaves a gap in the mar­ket for more af­ford­able mon­i­tors that can still de­liver a crisper and brighter im­age than usual. En­ter the Benq PD2700Q, a 27-inch IPS screen that’s equally at home in cor­po­rate of­fices as it is on artists’ desks.

Its na­tive res­o­lu­tion is 2560 x 1440, also termed QHD, with 10-bit colour ac­cu­racy and 100 per cent SRGB and Rec.709 cov­er­age. Build qual­ity is su­perb. It’s par­tic­u­larly sturdy – the screen can be el­e­vated and tilted, the Vesa stand al­lows 90-de­gree swivel into por­trait mode, 45-de­gree ro­ta­tion to the left and right, and can be tilted up and down. The matte black plas­tic used fea­tures del­i­cately smooth curves around the edges at the rear and there are no signs of the screen wob­bling.

The PD2700Q also has a gen­er­ous set of ports on the un­der­side, two Dis­play­ports,

HDMI, and a two-port USB 2.0 hub with an up­link con­nec­tor. There’s also a 3.5 mil­lime­tre au­dio jack for the 1W in­ter­nal speak­ers and the PSU is in­ter­nal, mean­ing you only need to use a stan­dard IEC ca­ble to power it.

The on-screen dis­play at the right-hand side of the screen show a con­tex­tual menu with four ini­tial op­tions: Bright­ness, In­put, Pic­ture Mode and Menu, ac­ti­vated by press­ing in­wards on phys­i­cal but­tons po­si­tioned at the rear of the screen. Delve into these for a long list of set­tings that give you more con­trol over the im­age than you’ll find in a gam­ing dis­play or a cheaper panel at the lower end of the mar­ket.

Most notable of these is the long list of var­i­ous pre­set cal­i­bra­tions of­fered in the Pic­ture Mode menu, in­clud­ing op­tions for Rec.709, SRGB, CAD/CAM, An­i­ma­tion, Low Blue Light and Dark­room, with the abil­ity to store your own set­tings. Switch to that op­tion and a whole load of colour con­fig­u­ra­tion op­tions be­come avail­able. In ad­di­tion to Bright­ness, Con­trast and Sharp­ness, you can ad­just the Gamma level (be­tween 1.8 and 2.6), Colour Tem­per­a­ture,

Hue and Sat­u­ra­tion.

There’s also a unique Benq-spe­cific set­ting called Ad­vanced Mo­tion Ac­cel­er­a­tion (AMA), which in­creases the volt­age to the panel and low­ers the re­sponse time. IPS pan­els are usu­ally weak for gam­ing, with re­sponse times that are far slower than com­pet­ing TN tech­nol­ogy – a trade-off for bet­ter and brighter im­age qual­ity. En­abling AMA closes that gap some­what.

An­other fea­ture of­fered only on this screen is a dual-view mode, where you can ap­ply dif­fer­ent im­age con­fig­u­ra­tions across half the screen to com­pare an im­age in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions. This can be use­ful in some sit­u­a­tions but it quickly be­came an­noy­ing, so we dis­abled it.

Tests us­ing a Dat­a­color Spy­der 5 col­orime­ter con­firmed the 100 per cent SRGB set­ting, along with an 80 per cent Adobe RGB score, 750:1 con­trast and a max­i­mum bright­ness of 330 nits. None of these scores are bad but they aren’t re­mark­able ei­ther. Most mod­ern IPS pan­els can roughly match this, al­though cheaper mod­els might not hit the same lev­els. Switch to TN tech­nol­ogy and im­age qual­ity and view­ing an­gles could take a hit, while VA screens are of­ten less bright but of­fer bet­ter con­trast.

One fi­nal mea­sure­ment where the Benq PD2700Q falls down is bright­ness uni­for­mity. The Spy­der mea­sures bright­ness lev­els at dif­fer­ent points on the screen and it found con­sid­er­able de­vi­a­tion in the cor­ners – as much as 17 per cent in some parts. The best colourac­cu­rate dis­plays on the mar­ket (cost­ing up­wards of £1,000) such as Asus Pro Art, HP Dream­color and Eizo will se­ri­ously out­per­form the PD2700Q in all these ar­eas.

But al­though the Benq PD2700Q isn’t com­pet­ing in the Pre­miere League with those mon­sters, it still has plenty to of­fer in its own di­vi­sion. The deep menu of op­tions to cus­tomise the im­age gives you more con­trol than the av­er­age dis­play, while the build qual­ity and over­all de­sign are in­deed rather nice.

The desk­top’s im­age qual­ity is very sharp, with some wholly un­sci­en­tific view­ing tests. We had ab­so­lutely no com­plaints play­ing games, watch­ing movies or work­ing in 3D, earn­ing the PD2700Q a rock-solid rec­om­men­da­tion.

Orestis Bastounis

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