Over the years we have reviewed different types of monitors starting with general media consumption ones, some that are more suitable for gaming and others which are more productivity focused but never one that was designed and made for content creators. Well this BenQ PD2725U is about to change that. It is a 27inch 4K display from their Designer Monitor series. Let's check it out!
First let’s go over what we get in the box - there is of course a monitor stand which consists of an arm and a base. The base is actually rather large so it will take up a lot of space, but due to its shape and thin features, you can place things on it, so essentially it does not take up any space at all, which is kind of nice.
Cable wise we have one of each of the following - power, Display to mini display port cable, USB type A to B, HDMI and Thunderbolt 3 cables. This monitor also comes paired with a hotkey puck G2 that features 6 buttons and a scroll wheel - more on that later on.
To top this off there is a Quick Start guide with a bunch of paperwork as well as an individual calibration report which is a nice touch.
On the back of the monitor we find two USB 3 ports (these are running at 5 Gigabit speed), USB upstream port as well as micro USB for the puck. Then there are two HDMI 2.0 ports and mini display port 1.4. We also have Thunderbolt 3 port featuring 65W power delivery as well as Thunderbolt 3 “out” port with 15W power delivery. The second one is used to daisy chain another monitor so you could have two of these side by side and connect both via single cable. Since this monitor supports KVM, you can set up two separate machines and control them via one set of peripherals and switch between them at a click of a button.
I like that all the ports are nicely spread out across the whole back just in case you decide to plug all of them in at the same time. BenQ also includes a cable management clip at the back, but do note - it can fit only a few cables.
Monitor arm has a full range of motion and actually can be lifted pretty high and turned into portrait mode which provides plenty of flexibility for the user.
In terms of the spec, this screen features a standard 16:9 aspect ratio in 27 inch size. With 4K resolution it is plenty sharp. It uses a 10 bit IPS panel with great viewing angles and supports VESA Display HDR 400. Like most monitors out there it can run at max 60Hz refresh rate, but since it is more focused for professional work, it can also be set to run all the different refresh rates, even as low as 23.98Hz.
This monitor is advertised to have 100% sRGB colour space coverage and 95% P3 coverage. The BenQ included calibration report states the colour accuracy of this panel is average deltaE value of 1.35 which is really impressive, as anything under 3 is not really noticeable to most people and anything under 1 is basically perfect.
We did our own tests using Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software, and with out-of-the box settings we found it has 132% of BT.709 colour space coverage and just short of 89% coverage of DCI-P3 colour space.
In terms of colour accuracy at stock we have an average deltaE value of 1.2 with a maximum of 5.8 on red colour. We also tested sRGB mode and found it is slightly less accurate with average deltaE value of 1.8 and maximum of 3.9. Both modes are good enough to use out of the box and far beyond most “do it all” monitors, but in a professional environment it is expected to calibrate the display on a regular basis. This will ensure maximum colour accuracy.
This display comes with a few colour modes built in. These include the aforementioned sRGB and display P3, as well as special modes for CAD where it improves contrast to better view of lines, Animation where it brightens up dark areas to show detail and Darkroom where it adjusts the brightness and contrast to be more usable in darkened location. All of these can also be enabled in a dual view mode where two colour modes can be used at the same time - this is useful when you want to work on a project and document it at the same time. I am sure some professionals may have more use cases - if you have any ideas, let me know in the comments below.
While it is pretty easy to change modes through the menu on screen or the little puck, there is also software called Display Pilot that can help configure these and more. You can set up applications that will trigger specific modes, for example, opening up Lightroom will place the display in the most colour accurate mode. I do wish this software had more control to change settings like hue and saturation to make it faster when calibrating the display.
There is also a MacBook mode. This is designed to simulate Mac colour to match displays and with Display Pilot software you can sync ICC profiles to even further match them. This paired with Thunderbolt 3 connection makes it a good match. You can set it up with a single connection to the laptop and have your peripherals connected directly to the monitor. Since it has 65W power delivery, unless you are doing really heavy tasks, your battery should also be charging at the same time.
Anyway, moving on to one of my favourite features - the hotkey puck. It is a great tool to go through the menu and adjust the settings while sitting back, even though this monitor has nice joystick controls on the back. But the main thing is 3 user programmable buttons, these can be set to almost anything. For example, there could be selectors for different colour modes, one could be set to P3, second button could be sRGB and the last button set to CAD mode. I personally like the ability to use them as KVM controls. 1 controls my Windows PC and 2 my Macbook.
The last feature I want to mention is picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture mode. While they are used by some people, I am not entirely convinced they are as useful on a display of this size.
To sum things up - this is certainly a fully featured and colour accurate display for professionals and it is also well reflected in the price. To me it is clear that BenQ put a lot of thought on what would most creators need and included them in here. Personally I am actually not sure what else I would want from a monitor like this, other than maybe making it brighter for proper HDR workflows but that would bring it into a completely different price point. I think any professional who is looking for a colour accurate display will be really happy with it as is.
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