Benq PD2700Q Designer Monitor
Orestis Bastounis gives the Benq display a look-in
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.