Pro-level business monitors offer broad color coverage and support for content-critical color spaces that cost Megabucks. The new 27-inch BenQ SW271C promises all of that and much more. And while it’s not exactly cheap, given the potential value it offers for professional 4K workflows, it’s relatively affordable.
Ease of use: 5
The main features of the BenQ SW271C are the color coverage. There is broad support for numerous color spaces, including Adobe RGB and DCI-P3, as well as key features such as 10-bit color per channel, a 16-bit LUT, and an image processing chip with support for hardware calibration.
To these core features, you can add native 4K or UHD resolution, USB Type-C connectivity with device charging, and other extras like a hotkey puck and shading hood. It’s a pretty comprehensive package. The only obvious loophole is the full HDR capability. The BenQ SW271C accepts and processes an HDR input. However, it lacks local dimming and is not bright enough for true HDR rendering or HDR content mastering.
Price and availability
At $ 1,099 in the US and £ 964 in the UK, the BenQ SW271C is significantly more expensive than an entry-level 4K IPS monitor. In fact, it’s far more expensive than even a well-specified model with USB-C connectivity like the Philips 279C9.
However, the SW271C undercuts comparable professional entry-level displays such as the EIZO ColorEdge CS2740 and is considerably cheaper than next-class displays such as the EIZO ColorEdge CG2730. So it actually offers a strong value proposition.
Design and functions
The BenQ SW271C is based on a 27-inch IPS 4K panel. It’s a high fidelity item with true 10-bit color per channel and a 16-bit LUT, even though it’s built into an old-school case with thick bezels. A slim monitor with a narrow bezel, this is not conspicuous, although the fully adjustable stand offers excellent ergonomics, including rotation to portrait mode.
According to BenQ, it’s good for 99 percent of the Adobe RGB storage space and 90 percent of the DCI-P3, which are good but not absolutely spectacular numbers in a professional workflow context. However, really high-quality alternatives that provide 98 percent or more of the DCI-P3 storage space, such as the EIZO ColorEdge CG2730, cost more than twice as much.
There is a long list in terms of color spaces supported with out-of-the-box presets, including Adobe RGB, sRGB, Rec.709, DCI-P3, Display P3, and more. The SW271C can also store three separate, fully calibrated profiles and is both Calman verified and Pantone validated.
The appeal and value proposition of the BenQ SW271C for content creation is enhanced by a variety of additional features. A full hardware calibration is performed thanks to an integrated imaging chip, and leading third-party calibration software, including Calman and Lightspace, is supported. The panel is both Claman Verified and Pantone Validated.
Other interesting features, especially for video and broadcast workflows, include native 24P, 25P and 30P video previews with no pulldown for seamless playback and compatibility with select SDI-to-HDMI devices, including multiple Black Magic and AJA -Models.
Panel size 27 inches
Panel type IPS
Resolution 3,840 x 2,160
Brightness 300 cd / m2
Contrast 1000: 1
Pixel response 5ms
Color coverage 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB 90% DCI-P3
Update rate 60Hz
Vesa 100 mm x 100 mm
Inputs DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB-C with 60W charging
The SW271C supports HDR10 and HLG formats. However, with limited peak brightness and no local dimming, actual HDR performance is very limited and this display is not suitable for mastering HDR content.
The core panel spec is a 27-inch 16: 9 model with a 4K IPS panel that is 3840 x 2160. BenQ claims a static contrast of 1,000 to 1 and a pixel response of 5 ms. The brightness is fixed at 300 nits, which means it will use an SDR rather than an HDR monitor.
The last special feature is the USB Type-C connectivity. This enables a single cable connection with up to 60 W charging time for a connected laptop. That’s enough for most thin and light laptops. Note, however, that the most powerful laptops and Macbooks use significantly more power. They work on just 60W, but lose charge with heavy workloads.
Additional hardware features include a removable shading hood to reduce glare when really careful color matching is required, as well as a hotkey puck that lets you quickly and easily switch between different color modes or calibration profiles.
The BenQ SW271C comes with a detailed calibration report showing an average Delta E of just 0.30 for the Adobe RGB storage space and a maximum Delta E of 1.41 which is pretty impressive. The brightness uniformity across the entire panel is also excellent and only deviates by two percent.
It is therefore not surprising that, subjectively speaking, this is a very well calibrated monitor in Adobe RGB mode that has absolutely no visible compression in test images. It’s a very natural and appealing looking panel.
The full 4K pixel grid in a 27-inch panel also ensures a narrow pixel pitch and lots of details. The rendering of fonts is crisp and clear. As you would expect from a modern IPS panel, the viewing angles are excellent.
However, it’s not the brightest or most punchy panel as the 300 nit spec suggests. In addition, HDR mode does not handle SDR content well, so most users will likely need to switch between modes. Indeed, HDR performance is generally a weak spot due to limited brightness and lack of support for local dimming. The contrast performance is also more good than outstanding.
The pixel response is also reasonable for this display class, although there are no configurable overdrive settings available in the OSD menu. If you wanted to play on the BenQ SW271C, absolutely you could. Of course, if that were a primary concern, there are better options out there at this price point.
The BenQ SW271C seeks to slip into a niche between traditional productivity panels and real professional grade monitors designed for critical content creation. It’s pretty good balance to strike, but BenQ did a pretty good job.
Overall, the range of functions for creating content is strong thanks to support for hardware calibration, Pantone validation, 10-bit color per channel, a 16-bit LUT, many color space presets and much more. The integration of USB-C with charging ensures that it is quick and easy to use with laptops and Macbooks.
On the downside, it lacks true HDR support and color coverage is limited in a professional video production context. However, if your workflows are such that you can live with those caveats or are not constrained, the BenQ SW271C should be on your shortlist with a strong overall value proposition.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/benq-sw271c/