When it comes to color fidelity, many people immediately look to monitors with a Pro in their name, assuming that only they can cover their requirements and provide flawless color reproduction. Add confidence in this and loud epithets on the manufacturer’s website, as well as a dozen features characteristic of such displays, some of which, as practice shows, buyers will never use.
Such solutions are able to survive the change of several generations of so-called home and business models, retaining the status of the best for a long time. As the industry moves very slowly from one color space to another, these displays outperform 95% of the monitors sold on the market today and will continue to outperform them for many years to come.
In the BenQ range, advanced color solutions are divided into special families, the names of which clearly define the scope of their potential consumers. The novelty being studied today, perhaps, belongs to the most sophisticated SW series designed for photographers, and is called the BenQ SW270C. And this is the update we’ve been really looking forward to.
The BenQ PhotoVue SW270C monitor, introduced in mid-summer 2019, replaces the SW2700PT released back in 2014 and is an improved and modernized version of it in terms of its capabilities and characteristics. The model is one step below the 4K monitor SW271 due to the use of a matrix with a resolution of the WQHD standard that is more familiar to buyers and is offered at a price of $420, fully fitting into the ideas of an affordable professional solution.
The list of competitors of the model under study is very limited, and if we take into account the price segment, then the real rival of the SW270C is exclusively the Dell UP2716D, which has been on the market for about four years.
|Standard resolution, pix.||2560×1440|
|Max. brightness, cd/m2||300|
|Contrast static||1000 : 1|
|Number of displayed colors||1.07 billion (8 bit + FRC)|
|Vertical refresh rate, Hz||24-60 (up to 76Hz when downscaling)|
|Response time BtW, ms||12|
|GtG response time, ms||five|
|Maximum viewing angles
|Video inputs||1 × USB Type-C 3.1 (charging up to 60 W);
2 x HDMI 2.0;
1 x Display Port 1.4
|Additional ports||2 x USB 3.0;
1 × microUSB;
1 x SD Card Reader;
1 x 3.5mm Audio Out
|Built-in speakers: number × power, W||Not|
|Screen Position Adjustment||Tilt, rotate, change height, flip to portrait mode (Pivot)|
|VESA mount: dimensions (mm)||There is|
|Mount for Kensington lock||Yes|
|Max. power consumption
working / standby (W)
|36 / 0.5|
(with stand), L × H × D, mm
(without stand), L × H × D, mm
|Net weight (with stand), kg||9.5|
|Net weight (without stand), kg||6.5|
|Estimated price||$48 000-520|
The BenQ SW270C monitor is built on AH-IPS-production matrix LG Displaymodels LM270WQ6-SSA1which was launched in 2015. This is a professional 10-bit (most likely FRC) 27-inch solution with a resolution of 2560 × 1440 pixels, an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel density of 109 ppi, which provides a sufficiently high level of image clarity without the need for the Windows scaling system. The color gamut expanded to the level of AdobeRGB was obtained using an expensive GB-r-LED-backlight, which does without the use of PWM modulation (Flicker Free). It also claims 97% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB compliance.
The maximum brightness is lower than its predecessor — 300 cd / m2, while the static contrast ratio, response time measured by GtG, and viewing angles remained at the level typical for this class of monitors. The display works with an internal 3D-LUT color representation table increased to 16 bits, but at the output — depending on the connection interface, the video card used and the content itself — we get from 8 to 10 bits.
Not for the first time in the description of the monitor, BenQ claims that it actively participated in the meetings of two committees — ISO (International Color Consortium) and ICC (International Standard Organization) — to establish and implement color-related standards. And as a result, she developed the AQCOLOR (Accurate Reproduction) technology to fully comply with her semi-professional and professional devices with modern color standards. It is used in the latest products of the manufacturer — and SW270C, of course, is no exception.
Released in 2019, the monitor could not get away from the “frameless” design. It didn’t work out completely to part with the frames, but to do it on three sides of the panel is quite. Among other external features, it is worth highlighting an advanced stand in terms of ergonomic capabilities, the complete absence of any built-in sensors (light or presence) and a control system based on physical keys and an additional remote unit (Hotkey Puck G2) with quick access keys and a smooth adjustment wheel connected via the mini-USB port on the SW270C.
And to make the BenQ PhotoVue SW270C more consistent with the professional level, its standard package includes the previously tested by us updated (both in mounting and assembly) and high-quality light protection visor. A similar one can be found either in the most expensive versions of professional displays from NEC — or purchased separately, as is the case with some other models of BenQ monitors (SW240 is an example of this).
The monitor is claimed to be high-precision (DeltaE
The novelty supports the familiar PiP / PbP functions and rare GamutDuo for simultaneous display of images in different color standards. The list of available modes has been replenished with three options for black and white representation (Black and White) with various film effects, and as an alternative to the Blue Light Filter presets, the frequently encountered M-Book has been found.
In accordance with modern requests, the monitor has support for the HDR10 standard and its emulation mode for content without appropriate metadata. It should be recalled here that full-fledged HDR is possible only on OLED panels with pixel-by-pixel brightness control, and in the case of the hero of the review, this is only a software refinement of the picture (gamma 2.4-2.6 and optional, but possible automatic control of brightness and contrast according to the entire area of the panel) without fully working with metadata embedded in HDR content.
The SW270C has a maximum vertical refresh rate of 60Hz at native screen resolution. Among the interfaces for connection, all the latest versions and options are available: two HDMI 2.0, Display Port 1.4 and, of course, USB Type-C 3.1 with the ability to transfer data simultaneously with charging (up to 60 W) of a connected laptop or other device. To work with other peripherals, the monitor has two USB 3.0 ports and an SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC memory card reader. There is also an audio output for connecting external speakers or headphones.
⇡ # Equipment and appearance
The BenQ SW270C monitor comes in a large cardboard box. Outwardly, it is designed extremely simply: unpainted cardboard without graphic embellishments, only indicating the manufacturer, model index and intended scope. There is no carrying handle, it is replaced by two special cutouts on the sides.
The sticker on the package contains brief information about the item. The date (July 2019), the place of production (China) and the main technical characteristics of the model are indicated. The real manufacturer here is not some third party contractor, but BenQ itself. The version of our copy is 00-120-BL.
The display package includes everything you need — and a little more:
- power cable;
- USB Type-C cable;
- DisplayPort cable;
- USB3.0 cable for connecting the monitor to a PC;
- external control unit Hotkey Puck G2;
- parts for assembling a protective visor;
- factory calibration report on two sheets of A4 format;
- CD with drivers, utilities and user manual;
- quick user guide for initial setup;
- instructions for safe handling of the device;
- service brochure.
If you do not buy additional cables, then, taking into account the connection options offered by the manufacturer, the user has a choice between USB Type-C, which can provide 8 bits per channel, and DisplayPort with its 10 bits, but only when used with video cards that support this mode output (mainly professional solutions, GPU cards from AMD and modern NVIDIA solutions).
The factory calibration report claims a high precision setting for only one special AdobeRGB mode, with an average DeltaE deviation of less than two units. Also provided are backlight uniformity measurements with Uniformity Compensation active.
The sun visor included in the kit consists of four plastic elements with a soft inner lining of black fabric and one plastic-metal piece that connects the two parts together. Assemble everything as it should be in just a couple of minutes. We can assess the quality of the visor as very high. Attaching it to the monitor is not difficult. Holds firmly, does not hang out and does not tremble.
From a design point of view, the SW270C is another «hodgepodge» with a few changes. The body of the monitor is practically a cast copy of the PD2700U with the ambient light sensor removed, and the stand and the central column are taken from the SW320 with a corresponding reduction in dimensions. It turned out modern, strict and practical. The materials used and the build quality are familiar, and the look of the monitor is easily recognizable as a brand.
The central column is attached to the monitor in just a couple of seconds. Disconnects just as quickly — just press the button below. Holes for VESA-mounts are slightly recessed into the case, but in most cases this will not create problems. For ease of carrying the SW270C, there is a metal handle at the top of the central column familiar from some series of BenQ monitors.
The stand is rectangular, with the fastening of the central column that has crawled out of the zone and a special compartment for an additional control unit. It is made of matte black plastic without any imitation of brushed metal.
The role of the most primitive cable-laying system is played by a round cutout in the central column, framed inside by blue-painted plastic.
The ergonomics of the stand will satisfy the needs of all consumers without exception. Available tilt change in the range from -5 to +20 degrees, rotate 45 degrees to the right / left and change the height of the case within 150 mm.
There is the possibility of turning to portrait mode (Pivot), but because of this, the centering of the body on the stand is performed at an average level (4 points out of 5). After each change in position, the monitor will have to be slightly aligned strictly horizontally — this is a classic problem with most monitors with Pivot.
All fasteners of the monitor, the inside of the stand and the central column, as well as the matrix frame are made of metal. The base of the stand is finished with plastic, and eight rubber feet are used for reliable adhesion to the work surface. They are good at keeping the monitor in one position, including due to the considerable weight of the device.
The display is equipped with an IPS-matrix with a semi-matte work surface, which should effectively deal not only with glare on the screen, but also with an annoying crystal effect.
By the sticker on the body of the device, you can check all the numbers (serial, batch number, and so on), the date and place of production, and also find out the version of the instance.
All main connectors for connection are located on one block in the back of the case and are oriented downwards. When connecting cables, there are no problems, since a flip to portrait mode is available.
The manufacturer placed two USB 3.0 ports and an SD memory card reader separately, on the left side of the device. In the case of using a protective visor, access to them remains free.
The quality of processing and painting of plastic parts of the case is high. The gaps are minimal, and the assembly does not cause problems. The case does not lend itself to twisting, and also practically does not creak or crunch with adequate physical impact.
The plastic used is practical and durable. The BenQ SW270C monitor is perceived as tightly packed, stands out against the background of solutions offered by other brands on the market with its individual appearance and definitely does not lose in terms of workmanship to any of them.
The protective visor included in the package quickly turns the monitor into a model of a higher class (as the manufacturer intended), and its assembly and installation takes about two minutes.
The fifth element of the overall design not only provides a connection between the two parts of the visor, but also provides access to the matrix for measuring equipment due to a small latch in the center.
The mounting of the protective visor itself has undergone major changes compared to what was in the old SW2700PT — it has become much better and more practical. Now only special recesses can be found on the case, but the adhesive tape and screwed-on hooks have sunk into oblivion.
Giving a final assessment of the additional accessory, it should be noted that it will, of course, protect against glare, but frankly speaking, it is really necessary to use it only in very difficult lighting conditions at the workplace. In most cases, it will be more comfortable to work without it — at least due to the absence of this metal-plastic body kit on the monitor, which significantly increases the dimensions of the device.
⇡ # Menu and control
The monitor is controlled by six mechanical buttons located under the screen on the right side of the front cover. A power indicator with a white LED is integrated into one of them.
When you press any of the five main control keys, a menu with hints appears. Despite the lack of backlighting, even in the dark it is almost impossible to miss: OSD tips are very clear.
By default, the manufacturer has set the following as functions with quick access: selection of the signal source and preset image mode, changing the brightness. Any of them can be replaced by another in the corresponding menu subsection.
The design of the OSD Menu is identical to what we have seen in other professional solutions of the brand, starting with the veteran PG2401PT, but its structure is different — including what we saw in the SW240. The novelty has five sections. Let’s go through each of them.
The default language is English. The first section, Display, offers to select the signal source and determine the mode of operation of the built-in scaler.
Adjust the brightness, contrast, color temperature, select a preset picture mode (including three presets for hardware calibration and two for full manual adjustment), set the picture sharpness, gamma, hue and saturation of various colors, adjust the black level and select the color gamut — everything this can be done in the second section.
The PbP/PiP section contains settings for the corresponding functions, and also allows you to view images on the screen simultaneously in two color spaces/modes thanks to GamutDuo technology.
The fourth section, System, contains the OSD interface settings, the choice of localization language (Russian is present with a good translation), DP versions, USB Type-C and wake-up on a signal from it.
You can set the brightness of the power key backlight, change the matrix overclocking mode (AMA), activate the display auto-off and menu flip in Pivot mode, disable the DDC / CI interface, and also view the main working information on the monitor. Here it is also proposed to select the quick access functions for the three control buttons and reset all settings to default values.
To reconfigure an additional remote unit (Hotkey Puck G2), the last section is highlighted. In it, the user can define three preset modes or three signal sources for keys 1, 2, 3, set the function to the button with three dots and select the brightness, contrast or volume control for the metal washer.
Separately, we note that using the control unit in question, you can perform standard menu navigation — according to the principle that car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes and so on profess.
Access to the service menu of the monitor is carried out using the usual combination of power and menu keys. From here we found out the type of installed matrix, vendor, scaler version, monitor firmware version and total operating time. For a simple user, this menu may be useful only to turn off the manufacturer’s logo when the display is turned on.
⇡ # Testing methodology
The BenQ SW270C was tested using the X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter in combination with the X-Rite i1 Pro reference spectrophotometer, Argyll CMS with dispcalGUI and HCFR Colormeter software. All operations were carried out in Windows 10, during testing the screen refresh rate was 60 Hz.
In accordance with the methodology, we will measure the following monitor parameters:
- white brightness, black brightness, contrast ratio at backlight power from 0 to 100% in 10% increments;
- color gamut;
- color temperature;
- gamma curves of the three primary colors RGB;
- gray gamma curve;
- color deviation DeltaE (according to the CIEDE1994 standard);
- backlight uniformity, color temperature uniformity (in Kelvin and DeltaE units) at 100 cd/m2 brightness at center point2.
All measurements described above were carried out before and after calibration. During tests, we measure the main monitor profiles: default, sRGB (if available) and Adobe RGB (if available). Calibration is carried out in the default profile, except for special cases, which will be discussed later. For monitors with wide color gamuts, we select the sRGB hardware emulation mode, if available. Before starting all tests, the monitor warms up for 3-4 hours, and all its settings are reset to factory settings.
We will also continue our practice of publishing at the end of the article the calibration profile of the monitor we tested. At the same time, the 3DNews test lab warns that such a profile will not be able to 100% correct the shortcomings of your particular monitor. The fact is that all monitors (even within the same model) necessarily differ slightly in color reproduction. It is physically impossible to make two identical matrices, so a colorimeter or spectrophotometer is required for any serious monitor calibration. But even a “universal” profile created for a specific instance can generally improve the situation for other devices of the same model, especially in the case of cheap displays with pronounced color rendition defects.
In the BenQ SW270C monitor, the manufacturer offers eight preset modes (most of which are emulation modes of different color standards), three additional presets in which settings are registered after hardware calibration, and two more for completely manual settings. When testing, we used the Display Port 1.4 interface as the most hassle-free and maximizes the capabilities of the model (if you need a 10-bit color representation).
By default, the basic settings look like this:
- image mode — AdobeRGB;
- brightness — 63;
- contrast — 50;
- sharpness — 5;
- color temperature — 6500 K;
- color gamut — AdobeRGB;
- AMA — on;
- gamma — 2.2.
During manual tuning (due to not very high hardware calibration results), the settings took the following form:
- image mode — «Manual-1»;
- brightness — 27;
- contrast — 50;
- sharpness — 5;
- color temperature — 98/95/94;
- color gamut — sRGB;
- AMA — off;
- gamma — 2.2.
We tried to achieve the highest possible results without a full calibration, having only adjusted the brightness and color temperature in sRGB emulation mode, for which the appropriate color space was set in the SW270C menu. In addition, to rid the display of artifacts, it was necessary to deactivate AMA overclocking. Sharpening and gamma changes were not required.
⇡ # Brightness of white, black brightness, contrast ratio
The check was carried out in AdobeRGB mode with default settings.
|Brightness in menu (%)||White brightness (cd/m2)||Black brightness (cd/m2)||Static contrast (x:1)|
The maximum brightness of the display was at the level of 306 cd / m2and the lower value was 34 cd/m2, which creates a wide operating range for use in a wide variety of ambient lighting conditions. There should be no dissatisfaction. In turn, the contrast ratio was 925:1 on average — the norm for an IPS monitor, albeit slightly lower than stated in the TX.
⇡#Results with standard settings (AdobeRGB mode)
The manufacturer set AdobeRGB as the default mode, which is the main focus of the factory calibration report.
This color space has long been considered the standard for professional extended color monitors, and its support is an important feature of the new display for photographers and designers who present their work on screen, but also on paper or any other printed medium.
Speaking about the real need for AdobeRGB, it should be noted that no more than a couple of percent of users know about the rules for working with it, while working in this color space will only cause additional problems for others (perhaps not immediately, but in the future — for sure).
In terms of color gamut, the SW270C matches AdobeRGB by 97% (2% lower than the declared level), the white point is set at a level above average, and the stability of the CT grayscale is nowhere higher.
The gamma curves are set strictly in accordance with gamma 2.2, the deviations from the reference are not large, and the minimal problems created by this are almost impossible to detect in real work.
In the Argyll CMS test, using the AdobeRGB 1998 system profile, the BenQ SW270C monitor showed results that are fully consistent with the manufacturer’s declared in the factory calibration report (we will not take into account a small difference in deviations in the conclusions — the equipment used varies too much). The average deviation, expressed in units of DeltaE94, was 0.63, and the maximum was 2.75. For factory calibration — a chic result.
⇡#Results in sRGB mode
In a special sRGB emulation mode, the accuracy of describing this color space turned out to be very high. You can only find fault with a small departure from the standard, but this is really from the area of u200bu200b»you have to find fault with something.»
The final result was 97.3%, but at factory settings, if you return to the previous section, you can get almost 100%, declared by the manufacturer in the TX of the monitor. In this case, you can do without additional profiles and software with CMS support, using the standard Windows color profile.
In terms of white point accuracy and grayscale CG stability, the situation is identical to what we saw in AdobeRGB mode.
The gamma curves are slightly different from the sRGB reference standard and more like gamma 2.2, than the SW270C again refers us to the default settings.
With the standard sRGB IEC61966-2.1 profile selected in Windows, the model performed well in the Argyll test. The average deviation is 0.67 DeltaE94 units, and the maximum deviation is 1.95. With such results, we can safely say that there should be no problems when working with color. Do you want to reduce this probability to the minimum possible? Consider individual calibration.
⇡ # Results after hardware calibration
The monitor in question has two ways to do this. The first and, perhaps, the main one is hardware calibration via a 16-bit built-in 3D-LUT and special software for calibration from BenQ itself, a simplified version of the Palette Master Element, with which we are familiar from our past tests. When testing SW270C, the latest available version 1.3.6 from the end of October 2019 was downloaded and installed.
During the setup, the Color Adaptation mode was selected, which is essentially completely manual. The brightness was set to 100 nits, color temperature 6500 K, gamma 2.2, color space sRGB, relative black point. With a medium test plate and using the i1 Pro spectrophotometer, the calibration process takes about 35 minutes. When using a Display Pro colorimeter, the time is reduced to 20-25 minutes. In total, I did four calibrations with different parameters (profile type, profile version, relative and absolute black point), but the final result was always about the same.
Color match during hardware calibration under the sRGB standard decreased to 93.7%. Against the background of many other monitors, this is a very good result, but compared to the capabilities of the SW270C at a higher quality setting, it is so-so.
We failed to get the white point close to 6500 K, and the stability of the CG grayscale decreased slightly, but remained at a very high level.
On the gamma curves, we managed to improve the result compared to the AdobeRGB and sRGB modes, but the visual difference is minimal in any case and will definitely not change your color grading approach.
During the initial review, we used the system’s sRGB profile to get the most accurate assessment of the quality of the hardware calibration. In this case, the question arose to the extreme dark midtone and white point. But the overall result is in any case very high.
If we use the profile created in BenQ Palette Master Element as a reference (with the settings of the type and version of the profile recommended by the manufacturer), it turns out that the data written to it is fundamentally different from what is written to the LUT of the display, as a result of which the resulting deviations DeltaE94 are insanely high, and the point of using such a profile completely disappears.
It turns out that over the past time, the quality of the software offered by BenQ has not changed for the better, the errors have survived, and no one has thought about a high-quality Russian translation. Why not use X-Rite’s full-fledged Palette Master software package with all hardware-calibrated monitors — a question that has been with us for years.
⇡#Results after setting in Custom mode
Since there is still no answer to this, we decided to manually adjust the monitor, bringing it to a brightness of 100 nits and a color temperature at the center point of 6500 K. The Custom 1 mode was used, the sRGB color space was activated. No additional profiles were created during this setup — we focused on the further use of the system sRGB and believed in the accuracy of the SW270C electronic filling.
According to the result of color matching, we cannot note big differences from the preset sRGB mode. Of course, manual adjustment allowed it to be slightly increased, but the difference is within the measurement error.
On the other hand, we achieved the ideal white point and retained the equally ideal stability of the color temperature of grayscale.
On the gamma curves, there were even fewer problems in dark areas, and the overall installation accuracy is the best among all tested modes.
However, this approach, unfortunately, did not help us achieve better results in all respects. Yes, we achieved the necessary white point and gray balance, but when checking DeltaE deviations on color patches, the result turned out to be slightly lower than in sRGB mode. If, however, additional profiling is carried out (just create an individual profile, without edits in the LUT of the video card), then, without a doubt, this option will turn out to be as accurate as possible.
⇡ # Backlight Uniformity
The uniformity of the display backlight was tested after reducing the brightness at the center point of the monitor to a level of 100 cd/m2 and setting the color temperature to ~6500 Kelvin. Separately, we note that in our tests, the BenQ SW270C monitor became the first display with a hidden Uniformity Compensation system activated by default, including in two user modes, regardless of the settings set. To be honest, BenQ was a pleasant surprise!
The picture above shows a photograph of a white field with a certain exposure compensation during shooting (in the dark) and further software processing for a more visual representation of the backlight uniformity.
On the white field, as such, we did not identify problems of unevenness, and there is no crime on the gray fields either.
Thanks to the applied backlight uneven compensation system, the deviations did not exceed 1.8 and 6%, respectively. Most of the matrix surface is slightly brighter than we got at the central point. The result is “just a bomb”, I can’t call it something else, and other professional monitors already envy the BenQ SW270C and hate it at the same time.
Against the background of such results of brightness uniformity, the spread of color temperature values does not look very happy — 470 kelvin with an average deviation from the center point of 1.3% and 4.4% at the maximum. Against the background of most other displays, a similar result can be safely classified as “above average”, and with a stretch — even called good. Thus, there is nothing to worry about either.
Now let’s look at the uniformity of the backlight and the different color effects in the case of a black box. We will do this using two photographs taken at different distances from the screen (~ 70 and 150 cm).
From the point of view of the angular Glow-effect, the monitor under study showed a result quite normal for an IPS-matrix — four «illuminated» corners with weak, but different spurious shades. The size of the «flares» depends on the distance to the screen — the closer, the larger they are. And of course, it also depends on the set brightness of the backlight and the level of ambient light in the working room. The higher the brightness of the screen and the lower the brightness in the room, the more noticeable Glow.
When viewed from an angle, there is also a barely noticeable red-pink hue, characteristic of matrices with an extended backlight spectrum. When moving away from the screen, Glow completely disappears — and it becomes clear that our BenQ SW270C instance has no problems with real black uniformity: there is no clouding effect (clouding), which is more typical for *VA panels, there are no horizontal or vertical stripes or pronounced flare.
⇡ # Visual evaluation of the image and features of the model
⇡#Gradients quality and response speed
The pseudo-10-bit AH-IPS matrix used, to our great surprise, could not demonstrate ideal tonal transitions. Of course, if we didn’t look closely and didn’t delve into the details, then during a quick check we wouldn’t have any questions, but upon closer examination, they appeared literally for each of the modes under study. Above and below are photos in presets in the following order: AdobeRGB, Custom (after manual adjustment), Calibration 2 (after hardware calibration using a spectrophotometer), and sRGB.
In three of them, claims relate exclusively to the first 5% of the entire studied range, where 1-2 sharp transitions are visible, and during hardware calibration, several more rough transitions appear in the 5-30% region with light spurious shades. And note that video cards were not used in all correction options at the LUT level, and therefore the problems lie in the LUT transformations of the display itself.
Now let’s move on to the speed issues of the new SW270C. The monitor under study belongs to professional solutions, from which phenomenal speed and the conquest of some peaks are not expected. BenQ itself does not rely on speed either, talking about the standard GtG response time of 5 ms and 12 ms BtW (but this information is not found everywhere).
The real response speed of the matrix is quite typical for modern IPS-type solutions, it is on the average level by the standards of 60-75-Hz models. The problem with the SW270C is noticeable image artifacts at standard AMA settings, which was also noticed with its predecessor in the face of the SW2700PT. When matrix overclocking is disabled, trails behind moving objects remain almost at the same level, and artifacts disappear completely. Why the company’s engineers themselves did not do this remains a mystery for the second time.
⇡ # Viewing angles and Glow—Effect
Viewing angles of the SW270C don’t stand out from most other 27-inch WQHD IPS-Type solutions. The situation is typical for this kind of devices.
With slight changes in the viewing angle in the horizontal plane, the picture on the screen does not change at all. If you increase the angle to 30-45 degrees, then the image becomes a little less contrast, the saturation of some colors slightly decreases, the shadows are slightly brightened — nothing unusual. With changes in the vertical plane, the picture on the screen deteriorates faster and stronger. The extreme areas of the screen, in particular, the corners, change their appearance especially strongly. In general, when evaluating viewing angles, you should be aware that any other monitor on an IPS-Type matrix will be similar to the hero of the review, and all other panel production technologies are inferior to the class of IPS solutions in this indicator (AH-IPS, PLS, AHVA).
The tested monitor is not spared from the Glow effect, since it is built on the basis of an IPS-type matrix. Depending on the position of the user in front of the screen with a black fill, the stray tint and the degree of its manifestation vary greatly. You can reduce its visibility by reducing the brightness of the backlight and increasing the level of illumination of the external workspace.
The Glow-effect also demonstrates itself on color images, but not in such an obvious form, without the manifestation of an obvious parasitic hue (although red-pink can still be seen) and the posterization effect on complex color transitions.
⇡#Crystal effect, cross hatching, PWM
The BenQ SW270C monitor uses an AH-IPS-matrix with a high-quality semi-matte protective surface.
The picture on the screen is pleasing to the eye. The crystalline effect is barely noticeable, many will not see it at all. When you change the viewing angle, its visibility practically does not increase. This display model is completely free from the Cross-Hatching effect.
We didn’t have any questions about displaying small elements and drawing text of various sizes; additional adjustment of sharpness and ClearType in Windows is not required. The monitor confidently passes all tests and leaves a positive impression of the picture on the screen at standard settings.
The display has Flicker-Free backlighting, which was confirmed during our tests: at any brightness level, SHI modulation is not used, or its frequency is several kilohertz or even tens of kilohertz. For their own eyes, users can be calm. It remains not to forget about the need to take breaks in work and not to set too high brightness in low or medium ambient light.
BenQ SW270C is a monitor from a narrow niche: for those who consider themselves a professional in the matter of not only photography, but also color processing, both at the artistic level and at the technical level. The potential owner of the hero of the review should be aware of why he needs a monitor with an extended color gamut, the possibility of hardware calibration and a light-protective visor in the kit (which at least adds an extra $ 5-00 to the price of the device), and how with everything to work with it. If you can’t give clear answers to the question “Why do I need all this?”, then there are other, equally successful, but more affordable solutions in the BenQ range that, most likely, are perfect for solving your tasks.
In all other respects, the BenQ SW270C continues the work of the previously studied SW2700PT and promises to compete even more fiercely with the virtual monopolist in the studied segment — the Dell UP2716D monitor, which has been on sale for a long time. The novelty, unlike the solution of the American manufacturer, has better factory settings, a wide range of modern interfaces for connection, a much more successful system for compensating for uneven backlighting, and more opportunities for manual settings. Of course, there were some drawbacks — the Palette Master Element hardware calibration software still needs improvement, and due to the built-in LUT transforms, gradients suffered slightly.
From file server 3DNews.en can download color profile for this monitor, which we received after the standard setup procedure in mode Custom under the sRGB color standard.
- strict and practical design with a «frameless» panel;
- excellent quality of materials and assembly;
- ergonomic stand and VESA mount;
- USB hub with two USB 3.0 ports and a memory card reader;
- a wide range of modern interfaces for connection, including USB Type-C;
- an excellent delivery set and a high-quality light-shielding visor included in it;
- the ability to control the monitor using physical keys on the case or an external Hotkey Puck G2 unit;
- availability of PiP/PbP functions and GamutDuo technology;
- support for HDR (albeit purely at the level of software processing);
- high color gamut compliance with sRGB, DCI-P3 and AdobeRGB standards in most modes;
- extended color gamut and the possibilities that it gives;
- good factory setting in the main presets;
- a wide range of backlight brightness changes with a constant contrast level;
- a constantly working backlight compensation system (but you won’t see it in the settings), which effectively copes with the duties assigned to it;
- ideal illumination uniformity on a bright field in terms of brightness level and good on a black field (excluding the Glow effect);
- open access to the built-in LUT with the possibility of hardware calibration (although there are some buts here);
- GB-r-LED backlight without flicker;
- lack of cross-hatching and well-defined crystalline effect (CE);
- excellent viewing angles;
- one of the few new solutions in its class at an affordable price.
- not the smoothest gradients (visible on the darkest transitions and after hardware calibration);
- shortcomings in hardware calibration (the software remained problematic, not the highest tuning accuracy, “crooked” profiles).
May not suit:
- lack of ambient light and presence sensors — what users of BenQ monitors are used to;
- artifacts on moving objects with factory settings of AMA overclocking: the company’s engineers make this mistake not for the first time — it is easily corrected by turning off AMA without a noticeable loss in speed;
- cons inherent in the extended color gamut (but thanks to effective emulation modes, you can actually forget about them);
- uniformity of illumination on a light background in terms of color temperature is good, but not ideal;
- clearly visible Glow-effect;
- monitor can handle metadata HDRhowever, HDR is not supported at the matrix level.