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Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We’re still a bit light on 27" business-class monitors among our recent reviews so we stretched the parameters a bit to include similar displays and ones that compete on price too. The closest spec match is the NEC EA275WMi, which costs significantly more. Also from NEC is the EA305WMi which is the same resolution but in a 16:10 aspect ratio with a wide gamut. BenQ also makes the PV3200PT, an sRGB pro-screen. Rounding out the group is the VA-based, FHD-res AOC C2783FQ, and an Ultra HD panel from ViewSonic, the XG2700-4K, which costs about $150 more.
BenQ claims 350cd/m2 for the PD2700Q, but our sample didn’t quite get there. It’s not too short of the mark, though, and certainly bright enough for its intended use. What’s of greater note is the superb black level. It won’t quite compete with the C2783FQ’s VA panel, but it handily beats the other IPS screens. This results in an excellent 1172.1:1 contrast ratio, which is among the highest we’ve recorded for anything that isn’t VA. That extra punch shows in all content: business apps, graphics, video, or games.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
Turning the backlight down to zero results in an almost ideal 45.3422cd/m2 output level. If you want 50cd/m2 as we prefer, one click up will do the trick. Don’t be fooled by the black level comparison. The other monitors, save the AOC, all dip much lower at their minimum brightness setting. As you can see, the PD2700Q’s contrast remains on top of the group, although the much more expensive NEC is not far behind. We’re glad to see that the two best built monitors here also boast the highest contrast, of the IPS screens that is. VA still wins the dynamic range contest regardless of price point.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
Our calibration adjustments were tiny enough that contrast remained unaffected. The NEC has dropped a few rungs on the ladder, but it’s still hanging in there at just over 1000:1. The BenQ PD2700Q is a great-looking panel with superb (for IPS) black levels and deep contrast. If that were the monitor’s only positive trait, we might be disappointed, but read on to check out the impressive color test results we recorded.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
1091.1:1 is an excellent ANSI contrast number for any monitor. In our test, the bottom-right black zone measured a little hot. If it had been more consistent with the rest this result would have been even better. It’s clear that the PD2700Q will look great showing any kind of content. We still consider contrast, both sequential and intra-image, to be the most important factor in overall image quality. This BenQ gives nothing away to the competition.
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Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.
I would be curious to see you compare this or the AOC to the HP Omen 32. It is QHD VA panel, like the AOC, and priced in line with the BenQ and also has FreeSync. During Black Friday, it was on sale for $299, which to me seems like a tremendous value. I know you have 1,000 monitors you could review, but that seems like one that a lot of people can afford to put on their desk with a few bells and whistles thrown in.Reply
sounds like a deal.. four hundred is cheap compared to othersReply
Looks like a decent monitor, but I only buy 16:10 screens. 16:9 just doesn't suit my needs.Reply
LordConrad - Unless you're talking about 2560x1600 on 16:10... I would choose 2560x1440 over 1920x1200 any day.Reply