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Updated on December 04, 2016
 

Review of the screen BenQ SW2700PT

BenQ wants to conquer the market of top-range monitors and releases two screens one after the other this year 2015; the PG2401PT (24'' graphic arts), reviewed on this site and this SW2700PT at a much more interesting price and in 27'' moreover. The BenQ PG2401PT is very appealing but competition is too hard and cheaper furthermore, so what about this second screen?

 

BenQ SW2700PT monitor

 

To introduce this screen briefly, we can say that it's a first 27" screen directed towards photographers or graphic designers (2,560 x 1,440 – pitch 0.21 - 110 ppi) with a matte panel of course, given the targeted market, featuring IPS technology (white LEDs), a LUT table on 14 bits and wide gamut, hence covering 99% of Adobe RGB 98. It can thus be put in the category of so-called "Graphic Arts" screen. It will be sold around $700 (at the beginning of summer 2016).

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Introduction to the BenQ SW2700PT

To start with, here a few illustrations of this monitor of flawless ergonomics...


Photos of BenQ SW2700PT

 


Main technical characteristics of the BenQ SW2700PT...

Size : 27 inches 16:9 - 2,560 x 1,440 - 110 ppi
Plate: IPS white LEDs - Matte panel,
Calibration program: Palette Master Element,
Color space: 99% of Adobe RGB 98
Brightness/contrast: 350 Cd/m2 / 700:1 maxi (measured)
Wirings: DVI + Display plug-in + HDMI + USB3.0 (HUB 2 x USB 3.0 + SD card reader)
LUT table: 14 bits - 3D LUT - hardware calibration.
Edges: classic (20 mm).
Delay: 5 ms.
VESA compatibility: Yes (100mm).
Cap: yes.
Warranty: 2 years


BenQ SW2700PT Price incl. taxes Retailer
 
$599.00
  $599.00
 
Amazon.co.uk Amazon.ca Amazon.de Amazon.fr

Bulkiness and perceived quality

The screen has a 27" panel and is 24" (64 cm) wide overall. It is classic. As for perceived quality, it is excellent really, and the screen is sold with all the accessories. Nothing more to say.

The screen and its panel

1 - Definition/resolution - It is thus a "glossy" IPS panel as they're called nowadays (!), normal for this range of screens called "Graphic Arts", of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. Its resolution is thus 110 ppi. Classic for a 27" and not "Retina" but guess what, thanks to the superb anti-reflections treatment I'm mentioning again below, the pixels seem invisible at a "normal" viewing distance on a desk; of course, the texts start to be small in certain programs... but you can get closer to the screen without any trouble... except if you're threatened by farsightedness!!! Very beautiful. The backlighting is a white LEDs type.

2 - The panel and its anti-reflections treatment - I've been noticing for a little while and clearly on this screen that "glossy" anti-reflections treatments don't mark the pixels anymore, which gives this panel a wonderful images and gradients rendering with excellent detail accuracy, "crispy". Very beautiful! Anti-reflections treatment that gave the panels a grainy air are finally over. Phew! It is clearly one of the striking qualities of this screen, like its big brother BenQ PG2401PT.

3 - Software - This screen is sold with its hardware calibration program: Palette Master Element – which is a proprietary solution. Among other talents, it enables to choose a gamma according to the L star curve for those who print their photos for instance and maybe for a better control over black and white levels. Calibration can indeed focus on grey shades and this screen is sold with an original accessory - a wired remote control - that enables to change the gamut of the screen on the fly, just by clicking hitting three of its buttons (additionally to a quick access to the OSD menu).

4 - Accessories - This screen is very well equipped in accessories. It is sold with a power cable (phew!), a USB 3.0 wire to supply the two USB 3.0 plug-ins + the SD card reader on the side of the screen and finally enable hardware calibration (by placing the ICC profile directly in the LUT table of the screen). It is also sold with a MiniDisplay/DisplayPort for its wiring. Nothing to regret. Classic but pleasant at summer 2016.

 

Remote of BenQ SW2700PT

 

But there's also a surprise and a new feature because this screen is also sold with a wired remote control that enables to select three types of presets:

  • Gamut Adobe RGB 98,
  • Gamut sRGB,
  • Black and white.

This remote also enables to access the OSD menu of the screen. Very convenient even if it is not essential because it isn't used so often!

And finally, it is sold with its cap.

Thickness of the edges of the screen

They're 20 mm thick so here again, we're in the current standards even though some manufacturers like HP or Dell are making efforts regarding this point nowadays. If you work with a one and only screen, it won't bother you but if you're using several screens like I do, you would probably have appreciated thinner edges, of 10 mm only. (Read: my recommendations to choose your monitor for photography )

Ergonomics

Ergonomics are exemplary: the range of motion of the screen in height, tilting and rotation will enable all users to find their ideal setting. Truly perfect! The same is true about the menu buttons and this particular accessory I just mentioned: the wired remote control that is placed at the center of the foot and enables to control the OSD menu. The central column is also provided with a wire grommet more discreet than the BenQ PG2401PT's. Excellent!


HP 23Xi ergonomics

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What is BenQ SW2700PT like after calibration?

I calibrated this screen twice, with noticeably different results. I thus performed the first calibration of this screen with the best current sensor (except the superlative and very expensive Basic): the i1Display Pro + program iProfiler (version 1.6.3 in this first test) then with the proprietary program, Palette Master version Element and still the same sensor.

Here are the target values I picked with the i1Display Pro + iProfiler:

  • Backlighting technology: White diode (LED),
  • Color temperature: D65
  • Brightness: 80 Cd/m2
  • Contrast: 287-1 (it's my favorite to compare prints and screen)
  • ICC norm: V4
  • Gamma: 2.2
  • ADC functionality disabled
  • Brightness/contrast/color temperature settings
  • Automatic control of the brightness of the room functionality disabled (I don't like it!).

I chose the following screen settings:

  • Color space: Adobe RGB 98
  • Contrast 50% by default,
  • Color temperature: 6500K.

And the target values with i1Display Pro + Palette Master Element:

  • Backlighting technology: White diode (LED),
  • Color temperature: D65
  • Brightness: 80 Cd/m2
  • Black level: absolute
  • ICC norm: V4
  • Gamma: L Star

And my screen settings:

  • Color space: Adobe RGB 98
  • Contrast 50% by default,
  • Color temperature: 6500K.

Objective data: what does the final report say after calibration?

Important note! I couldn't compare objective data using iProfiler's analysis tools because the ICC profile generated by PME isn't compatible. With that said and as I'm stressing below, the visual comparison on an image is definitive: the calibration with the solution i1Display Pro + iProfiler is really better subjectively, and to add a bit of objectivity, let me precise that the colors are then identical to the ones displayed on the BenQ PG2401PT or the Eizo CS240 I'm using as a reference. The die is cast!

1 - Final report iProfiler ;



2 - delta e (Norm 1976):


Final report after calibration of HP 23Xi and 23Cw


With "normal" eyes, I dare you see a difference with an Eizo CS240! In the detail of certain reds as I'm stating below, but the figures are simply excellent. With the norm 2000, it gives for all patches: 0.35 and for the highest ones: 0.67!!! Yes, we're talking about a BenQ!

 

What about hardware calibration?

I usually recommend you to calibrate your screen in hardware mode, meaning:

1 - Plug in the USB 3.0 wire sold with the screen
2 - Reset the colors of your screen and choose "Calibration 1" in the menu "Color adjustment" > Color mode > Calibration 1

3 - Follow the usual calibration process in Palette Master: D65, 80 or 100 Cd/m2, Native contrast, gamma 2.2 or L Star, highest number of patches

At the end of the calibration process, the profile is directly sent to the LUT (14 bits) of the screen for better color gradients... except here and as I explain below, I got better results with the i1Display Pro + iProfiler, visually at least.


Let's now see the tests of homogeneity in brightness and color temperature:

3 - Brightness to start with:


Luminance uniformity of HP 23Xi and 23Cw monitors

It is not catastrophic, but it can't be neglected either since we're in the presence of a screen worth $700. Moreover, the reading patches of the i1Display Pro are not really measured on the corners but at a third of the screen and since the difference in brightness/color temperature that the eye perceives, I think the figures would be even less flattering in the "true" corners of the panel.

Important note August 2016! Some copies are really struck by a homogeneity defect so be sure to check it out on yours when you receive it. If you get a “good” copy then you’ll really be delighted by this excellent deal!
It’s become easier and easier for “generic” brands to make screens for graphic arts professionals with delta e under 2 and even under 1 for the average. However, colors are important but gamma and homogeneity too. And not everyone shows Eizo’s quality...

4 - Color temperature then:


White point uniformity of HP 23Xi and 23Cw monitors


The defect in uniformity on the right of my test screen appears just as clearly on this color temperature test: 150K at the bottom right. I think 150K more can be added in the "true" corner of the panel, as for brightness. Frankly, visually, it is the only annoying detail but it is really visually annoying and even more when you consider that the screen is worth $700. If it had been my screen, I would have asked to try another one... crossing fingers real hard!

And my subjective data: what does my eye see?

1 - Calibration with Palette Master Element vs i1Display Pro?

With my "critical" test of the "Bon Samaritain" stained glass window of the cathedral of Bourge developed in Adobe RGB 98, it is very clear that calibration differences are visible between these two ICC profiles and that without an hesitation, if you compare them to my two other reference screen, which are the BenQ PG2401PT and above all the Eizo CS240 - my justice of the peace! - the calibration with the i1Display Pro is sensibly the best. Unfortunately I couldn't compare delta e because Palette Master Element's are not compatible with the built-in tool of the i1Display Pro (unlike Palette Master) but visually, there's no hesitation to have. 

Importante note! Some copies are really struck by a homogeneity defect so be sure to check it out on yours when you receive it. If you get a “good” copy then you’ll really be delighted by this excellent deal!
It’s become easier and easier for “generic” brands to make screens for graphic arts professionals with delta e under 2 and even under 1 for the average. However, colors are important but gamma and homogeneity too. And not everyone shows Eizo’s quality...

2 - Comparison with the BenQ PG2401PT and above all my current reference (before reviewing the CG247 which shares the same panel, like the CX241), the Eizo CS240 - Frankly, it all lies into micro-details to the naked eye, with the same image on the three screens side by side. The most saturated reds are a microbit more subtle on the BenQ 2401 or the Eizo CS240 but you have to stick your nose to the screen to see it. Phew, honor is satisfied! But from very few! Well done BenQ on this criterion but why ruin it all with the uniformity of a gaming screen with a TN panel?!

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Conclusion and my rating! Updated August 2016

BenQ SW2700PT monitor

The number of screens that display colors correctly is constantly raising, even at “affordable” prices. Many manufacturers now know how to do the job, even if they can’t claim the same quality as Eizo or Nec. And clearly, this BenQ SW2700 displays colors very well in an Adobe RGB 98 color space.
But there’s more to a screen than color display! My test screen was struck by a serious lack of homogeneity that I was sure to point out. Even though the brand didn’t feel really happy about it. So in the meanwhile I calibrated a second copy of this same screen and examined both panels without noting as obvious a defect. I thus changed my conclusion at the end of June 2016.
Well guess what: an English reader who acquired it after reading my amended conclusion received a not-so-homogeneous copy with a difference of 280K in the corner… bottom left this time. The follow-up at BenQ has nothing to with Eizo’s, but it’s not a defect that’s specific to this brand. Dell and many other brands with “contained” prices do the same.

My recommendation! My cautious nature as a reviewer would thus encourage you to check the homogeneity of your copy, although if you get a good one you’ll obviously be making the best deal of the moment in 27”.

 

Ratings

  BenQ SW2700PT
   
Manufacturing quality
4 étoiles
   
 
Resolution
3,5 étoiles
110 ppi  
 
Ergonomics
5 étoile
   
 
Wirings
5 étoiles
   
  Colors quality 3,5 étoiles Average Delta E: 0.55  
  Uniformity 4 étoiles    
 
Value for money
4 étoiles
   
 
I LOVE...
  • Figures after calibration that are close to the best with the i1Display Pro,
  • Color display very - very - close to the Eizo CS240, my reference, but I'm almost quibbling...
  • "Glossy" matte IPS panel with a perfect rendering, smooth but "crispy" on thin details - striking quality of this monitor,
  • 110 ppi: you can get closer to the screen,
  • Also perfect ergonomics,
  • Wired remote control (3 presets),
  • Black & white mode,
  • Very thorough menus,
  • real and checked wide gamut,
  • Well-placed in price compared to the competitors,
  • Sold with its cap.
 
 
I REGRET...
  • Not-so-acceptable uniformity (on certain copies) so be sure to check it out when you receive yours.
  • Avoid Palette Master, not as good as a goold ols i1Display Pro + iProfiler!
 
 
OVERALL RATING
8.0/10
 

 

My opinion: Note! Some copies are really struck by a homogeneity defect so be sure to check it out on yours when you receive it. If you get a “good” copy then you’ll really be delighted by this excellent deal!
It’s become easier and easier for “generic” brands to make screens for graphic arts professionals with delta e under 2 and even under 1 for the average. However, colors are important but gamma and homogeneity too. And not everyone shows Eizo’s quality...

 

Buy the BenQ SW2700PT from this site

BenQ SW2700PT monitor

   
BenQ SW2700PT
Price incl. taxes  
   
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$599.00
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Summary > BenQ SW2700PT review
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