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BenQ SW270C monitor review

 


Review of the BenQ SW270C monitor
Published on April 30, 2019   |   Updated on November 30, 2019

 

BenQ continues its conquest of the quality display market with this new BenQ SW270C aimed at photographers or Youtubeurs. It is a 27 inch display with Adobe RGB, sRGB or Rec 709 gamut in QHD. While, during my last BenQ screen tests, I noticed the high quality of colour reproduction, the almost perfect packaging and the finish, I was sometimes less complimentary about the homogeneity of their panels. What about this last screen with its asserted claims in the world of colour reproduction for a "fairly" reasonable price"?

 

To quickly present this monitor we can say that it is a 27-Inch QHD (2560 x 1440 - 109 ppi) for photographers of graphic designers or even amateur Youtubeurs informed or professional. Its panel is obviously matte considering the targeted area, with IPS technology (White LEDs), 10/16 bit Lookup Table and wide gamut so covering the Adobe RGB at 99% and finally HDR10. It is classified in the category of screens called "Graphic Arts". It is sold for 799.99 dollars when the competition is sometimes a little more expensive. But for which concessions... if any?


 
 

In a few words...

 

BenQ SW270C

$799.99

Admittedly, this BenQ finally solves the recurrent homogeneity problems observed in this brand and maintains a flawless ergonomics thanks to its practical hotkey puck, but the precision of the colours and the contrast could be better - Read my conclusion  

 
     
  Other prices...
 
$799.99
CDN$ 1,089.82
$799.99
£699.60
£969.00
 
     

 

 

Introduction to the BenQ SW270C monitor

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

   
BenQ SW270C display and its shading hood   BenQ SW270C display in upright position
Connectivity of the BenQ SW270C display   HotKey puck G2 for remote control of the BenQ SW270C display
   
  Technical specifications
  BenQ SW270C Launch price: $799.00
Size / Resolution
27 inches 16:9 - 2560 x 1440 - 109 ppi
 
Panel technology
IPS white LED (New matte panel)
  Uniformity check
No
  Gamut 99% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 95% DCI-P3
  Certifications No
 
Brightness/contrast
300 Cd/M2 / 450:1 measured
 
LUT table
10 bits / 16 bits - possible hardware calibration
  Response time 5 ms
 
Screen dimensions
615 x 535 / 612 x 213 mm
  Border widths 8 mm
  Color calibration soft Yes - Palette Master Element
  Connectivity DP 1.4 + HDMI + hub USB 3.0 + USB-C
  VESA compatibility Yes - 100 mm
  Hood Yes
  Warranty 3 years - BenQ US
  Company benq.com
 
 

What's in the box...

The monitor is sold with:

  • The power cord... of course!
  • The MiniDisplay to Display Port cable,
  • A USB 3.0 cable for hardware calibration and powering the USB HUB,
  • A USB-C to USB-C cable,
  • Individual calibration report,
  • Palette Master Element.


Bulkiness and perceived quality

The screen has a 27-inch panel and is 615 mm wide overall. The edges (black edges of the screen + screen border) are really thin (8 mm) and the panel is 595 mm wide. The custom shading hood is provided. Nothing to say, especially since the perceived quality is excellent. It is heavy, well designed and the movements are fluid.

The BenQ SW270C monitor and its panel

1 - Definition/resolution - It is therefore an IPS panel, normal in this niche of so-called "Graphic Arts" screens, measuring 2560 x 1440 pixels. Its resolution is therefore 109 ppi. Classic for a 27" QHD. The backlight is a white LED type.

   
BenQ SW270C display hood
  The custom-made BenQ SW270C hood is sold with the display

2 - The panel and its anti-glare coating The matte anti-glare coating of this new BenQ SW270C is once again very discreet like the latest Asus, Dell or Eizo tested. Very beautiful!

The panel of the BenQ SW270C screen and its very thin edges

Thickness of the edges of the screen

They are 8 mm wide so we are dealing with a screen with very thin edges that favours multi-screens. This is a significant quality of this monitor.

 

Thickness of the edges of the BenQ SW270C

 

To be read! My recommendations to choose your monitor for photography 


The hardware calibration software "Palette Master Element" 

This monitor is sold with its hardware calibration software: Palette Master Element (Ver. 1.3.5 in August 2019) - which is a proprietary solution based on the famous i1 Profiler from X-Rite well known. Among other things, it allows you to choose a gamma according to the L Star curve for those who, for example, print a lot of their photos and perhaps better control of black and white levels. Calibration can indeed focus on shades of grey and this screen is sold with an original accessory - a wired remote control - that allows you to modify the gamut of the screen by clicking on one of its three buttons (in addition to a quick access to the OSD menu) like on the BenQ SW2700PT. (I'll talk about it again just below).

 

BenQ's Palette Master Element

 

Accessories

The BenQ SW270C is sold with the power cord (Phew!), a USB 3.0 cable to power the HUB of two USB 3.0 sockets and allow hardware calibration (by placing the ICC profile directly into the Lookup Table (LUT) of the screen) if you use Palette Master Element + SD card reader on the side of the screen, the HDMI > HDMI cable and finally a USB-C > USB-C cable. In 2019, there is little we can do better than that! We will see in the next paragraph that BenQ adds another accessory of its own and very practical: an OSD controller in the form of a wired remote control...

BenQ SW270C OSD wired remote control
The G2 OSD controller comes in the form of a wired remote control that is found with the BenQ SW270C and that comes naturally at the bottom of the screen. It allows you to change color space or choose the black and white mode in one click!

This G2 controller allows you to select multiple presets through two menus as well as direct access to the OSD settings on the display or three presets with direct access. It's very convenient. For more information

 

Remote control G2 and its presets of the BenQ SW270C


This remote control or menu also provides access to the OSD menu on the monitor. Very practical if you often need it. Everything will depend on your use of this monitor....

The buttons of the monitor menu

The keys of the screen menu are classic, i. e. via small buttons on the screen on the right. The ON/OFF button is illuminated.

 

Details of BenQ SW270C and its menu buttons


Ergonomics

The ergonomics are exemplary: the amplitude of the movements - and their softness - of the screen in height (150 mm), in inclination (-5° / + 20°) and in rotation (+- 45°) will allow all users to find their ideal setting. Really perfect! The same is true of the menu buttons and the famous accessory I just mentioned: the wired remote control G2, which is placed in the middle of the foot and allows you to control the OSD menu and have access to three presets. The central column is also equipped with a cable grommet. Excellent!

 

The ergonomics of BenQ SW270C

 

The connectivity

This monitor has an HDMI socket (with direct connection to a digital camera or a camera), a DisplayPort socket (which I always prefer), a USB 3.0 socket to guarantee hardware calibration, i. e. to send the generated ICC profile directly to the Lookup Table (LUT) of the monitor and not only to the graphics card and finally two USB 3.0 sockets and finally a USB-C socket. This screen is therefore complete!

 

The connectivity of BenQ SW270C

 

 

What is the BenQ SW270C monitor worth after calibration with the i1Display Pro + i1Profiler

I calibrated this monitor with the best current colorimeter (except the superlative and very expensive Basic) in a simply excellent price/quality ratio: the i1Display Pro + i1Profiler software (version 1.8.3) in this first test then with the proprietary software, Palette Master Element and still the same colorimeter.

I chose the following screen settings:

  • Color space: Adobe RGB
  • Gamma: Adobe RGB (2,2)
  • Contrast: 50% / Native
  • Color temperature: 6500K (Adobe RGB).

And as target values in the i1Profiler software 1.8.3... 

  • Display technology : Choose white diodes,
  • D65 or possibly a little less if you want a slightly warmer screen. (Note that at D55, the screen is really warm but not yellow like on cheap monitors),
  • Luminance: 90 Cd/m2 or more depending on your main use (printing or web) and especially the brightness of your room,
  • ContrastNative (possibly 287:1 for those who print a lot),
  • Gamma : 2,2 – standard curve, The L* is only available with Palette Master Element and there is a lot to say about this L* gamma anyway),
  • ADC functionality disabled,
  • ICC norm: V2 (to avoid incompatibility problems with some image viewing software (dark images especially in some Windows 10 applications) and obviously V4 if you know what you are doing.

And the result is?


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

1 - i1Profiler Final Report:

 

Final report after calibration of the BenQ SW270C with i1Display Pro

 

My opinion: the values obtained after calibration with the i1 Display Pro are not incredible for a high-end display: 6475 K, 0.213 cd/m2 black luminance and only 423 : 1 contrast ratio. Not a big deal in the face of competition, but you have to be able to read between the lines and for a photographer who mainly prints, the contrast ratio will be an asset because you get closer "naturally" to the 287: 1 that refer to it. For others, it's another story...

2 - Delta E (norm 2000) :

 

Delta E after calibrating the BenQ SW270C with the i1Display Pro

 

My opinion: 1.56 and for the highest: 2.97 are values that are usually found on entry-level screens so there is nothing to be amazed about here again but nothing to be denied either because the average is, as BenQ says, below the 2 bar and the worst patch below the 3 bar. Objectively, you have to be experienced to see in real life a difference - especially without comparative elements before your eyes -. You just don't want to compare with the competition because these figures are not flattering.

 

Factory calibration report of the BenQ SW270C


Now the luminance and color temperature uniformity tests:

Given the disappointment with some of the BenQ SW2700PT or BenQ SW271, it is especially here that this new 27-inch BenQ is expected...

In luminance at 255, 127 and then 63:

 

Luminance uniformity after calibration of the BenQ SW270C with i1Display Pro

 

At last! Finally BenQ delivers a super homogeneous panel. So not only is it homogeneous at 90 Cd/m2 but also at only 45 or 20 Cd/m2. This is really excellent and a plus for those who work with dark photos. Like on the best Eizo.

 

Luminance uniformity at 127 after calibration of the BenQ SW270C with i1Display Pro

Luminance uniformity at 63 after calibration of the BenQ SW270C with i1Display Pro

 

And now in color temperature of the white point:

 

Uniformity measurement of the BenQ SW270C display in color temperature

 

It's practically like the same. The upper right corner shows a deviation of 2 delta or about 100 k so almost invisible in "real" life.

 

 

What is the BenQ SW270C monitor worth after calibration with the i1Display Pro + Palette Master Element (BenQ)

I then calibrated this monitor in hardware mode, using the i1 Display Pro colorimeter and the BenQ Palette Master Element software in its latest version (1.3.5 in August 2019):

Important note! As every time you want to perform a hardware calibration, do not forget to connect the USB cable sold with the screen in order to allow not only the calibration then to inject in the Lookup Table of the latter the ICC profile generated directly.

 

 

BenQ SW270C's Palette  Master Element

Uniformity of the BenQ SW270C panel photographed well in front of the screen. You can see very clearly with the naked eye that my test copy, the screen is "warmer" on the left.
 

We get back on values similar to those obtained with i1Profiler... as if by chance! Let's just note in passing that we can't measure the uniformity of the screen with this software on this monitor.

And my subjective data: what does my eye see after calibration with PME or i1Profiler?

By displaying a blank browser page, we can clearly see that the i1Profiler calibration is more "reddish" and by comparison more "greenish" with Palette Master Element, exactly like with ColorNavigator on Eizo. However, in my non-standard work environment I find it easier to align my secondary screens with the i1Profiler calibration, which I find more "natural". On the other hand, on my test photo of the Bon Samaritan's stained glass window in Bourges Cathedral, the colors are really very similar. So Palette Master Element work very well but I like it less.

My recommendation! The Palette Master Element software may be a "proprietary" software (but it looks like i1 Profiler), but it allows calibration with the choice of the L Star gamma curve, hardware calibration and what else, I prefer my dear i1Display Pro + i1Profiler.... by a little !

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  BenQ SW270C  
Color fidelity 8,5/10
Uniformity of the panel 9,5/10
Resolution 8,0/10
Ergonomic design 10/10
Connectivity 10/10
Manufacturing quality 9,5/10
Value for money 7,0/10

 

  I like it very much...  
 
  • Very pleasant to use on a daily basis thanks to its ergonomics and its practical hotkey puck G2,
  • Very nice anti-glare treatment making the pixels really discreet,
  • Hardware calibration with Palette Master Element,
  • 3 presets on the PAD: Adobe RGB, sRGB and NetB,
  • Very complete and ergonomic menus,
  • Large gamut real and verified,
  • Customized shading hood,
  • State-of-the-art connectivity (end of 2019): USB-C in particular!
 
     
  I regret...  
 
  • Color accuracy is a bit low for a screen dedicated to photographers but it's far from being obvious on a daily basis!
  • Lack of contrast (less than 450:1 at 90 Cd/m2).
 
     
  My overall rating...  
  8.5 / 10  
     
  My conclusion...  
  That's it: BenQ produces monitors that offer a fairly high-end homogeneous panel! So homogeneous that it is at the level of useful luminosity (about 100 Cd/m2) but also at 50% or 20%... Like Eizo. This is a very good point for this monitor which is mainly intended for photographers. Especially since it does not offer a high contrast. For a photographer, who prints a lot, it even becomes an advantage if you look at a few series from time to time, you will find the black bands... a little grey. As well as BenQ could have done better in terms of color display accuracy, even if it is never prohibitive. Other panels just do better. For the rest, it's all about happiness: gamut, flawless ergonomics, new hotkey puck to choose your gamut or adjust your screen, 27'' QHD. If you're not looking for the best screen possible in terms of specs, you might be very happy to use this new BenQ feature from the 2019 school year.  
     
   
 
BenQ SW270C
$799.99
$799.99
CDN$ 1,089.82
$799.99
£699.60
£699.00
 
   
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Here is my complete review of the BenQ SW270C monitor
 
- Complete review of the BenQ SW270C
  - Introduction to the BenQ SW270C
- What is the BenQ SW270C worth after calibration?
- My rating and conclusion
 

- My 30 monitor reviews!
- How to choose your monitor?
- How to calibrate your monitor?


   

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