We cover a large number of gaming and professional monitors, but we would be remiss if we didn’t also report on the rank-and-file gear that makes up the vast majority of desktop systems. Most users need a basic and reliable display with a clear and color-accurate image and decent contrast. Things like G-Sync and fast refresh rates are great, but they won’t help you wade through spreadsheets, documents or basic graphics tasks.
To that end, BenQ has introduced the PD2700Q. It’s a 27" IPS panel with QHD (2560x1440) resolution and 10-bit sRGB color in a solidly-built package. It’s the kind of workaday tool that any enterprise employee will appreciate having on their desktop. While it isn’t the least-expensive display in the category, it offers reliability and performance that simply and efficiently get the job done.
The PD2700Q offers several features designed to enhance its usability for tasks like CAD, graphics editing, and general productivity. First of these is a flicker-free backlight. BenQ has long been at the forefront of this technology. Much of its monitor line has eliminated the traditional pulse-width modulation method of brightness control, and replaced it with a constant-current design. Even for users who don’t perceive flicker, it can reduce fatigue during long work sessions.
IPS and QHD have become basic standards for modern enterprise workstations. While most of the planet is still computing at 1920x1080 pixels, QHD offers an ideal 109ppi (at 27") that makes images appear pixel-free at reasonable viewing distances while not shrinking font and icon sizes too much. Even users with less-than-stellar vision won’t have to employ detail-robbing dpi-scaling to see what they’re working on.
Additional features include multiple task-oriented picture modes, out-of-box accuracy that eliminates the need for calibration, and a rugged chassis that will likely last through multiple CPU upgrades. The price cuts right down the middle of its competitors while offering quality commensurate with high-end displays. Does it measure up to its claims? BenQ hasn’t disappointed us yet, so let’s take a look.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
BenQ has always been thorough with its packaging, offering more than adequate protection for every monitor it ships, and the PD2700Q is no exception. The panel, base and upright are fully enclosed in rigid foam in a double-corrugate carton. The upright is already bolted in place, so all you have to do is attach the base with a captive bolt, make your connections, and enjoy.
Included cables support HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB 2.0. An IEC power cord feeds the internal power supply. A quick start guide is included, along with a warranty card, and a CD with the full users’ manual and associated software.
While most monitors we review sport decent build quality, BenQ and NEC stand above the rest. Even an enterprise model like the PD2700Q receives the full treatment of high-quality plastic parts covering heavy metal cores in the base and upright. The panel is also well shielded to help control heat dissipation and prevent electrical interference. Styling is simple and compact. It’s not quite the industrial beef seen in most NEC products, but it is understated and will fit into any office or home environment without calling undue attention to itself.
The anti-glare layer is fairly typical of monitors in this class and provides excellent glare reduction without any sacrifice in clarity. If you get your nose close enough to the screen, you can easily see the tiny pixel gaps. At normal viewing distances, the image is bright, sharp and detailed.
Control buttons are around back with positions indicated by small white dots. Pressing any key brings up an on-screen guide which tells you their functions. We miss BenQ’s S-switch controller, but these buttons work just fine, with a satisfying click and quick response. The bezel is of average width at just under 1" all around.
The stand is as solid as it looks and offers just over 5" of height adjustment, a portrait mode, 25° of tilt and 45° of swivel in each direction. There is absolutely no play in any of the movements, and the panel stays exactly where you put it. Movement is easy and sure with just the right amount of dampening.
The side profile looks slim thanks to a nicely tapered bulge that contains most of the internal components. The back remains flat to facilitate wall mounting. We missed side-mounted USB ports here. All you get are two USB 2.0 downstream jacks on the input panel.
The smoothly styled back has provisions for a 100mm VESA mount if you remove the four screws holding the upright in place. At the top of the bulge are two 1W speakers that fire upwards. They are meek like most built-in transducers and will serve adequately for system sounds and warnings. Entertainment seekers will want to avail themselves of the headphone output or an external audio system. Speaking of headphones, you can hang them on the included hook that snaps onto the upright’s top.
The input panel forgoes analog inputs like most modern displays offering two DisplayPorts (one mini) and an HDMI connector. Also included is the aforementioned 3.5mm headphone jack and USB 2.0 upstream and two downstream ports.
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