BenQ PG2401PT Demonstrates Amazing Out-Of-Box Accuracy
We all know that when it comes to computer components, value is paramount. At some point in every discussion, the subject turns to price. It is true that most of the monitors we review at Tom's Hardware are on the costly end of their respective segments. But truth be told, that’s where the more advanced technology is found (and we know those same capabilities will find their way to lower-priced models eventually). We’ve already seen improvements in accuracy and performance in just the last 18 months at all price points.
What does $1000 worth of PG2401PT get you? Hardware-wise, there’s the native Adobe RGB gamut courtesy of a GB-r-LED backlight. Even though it uses pulse-width modulation, a 16,500 Hz frequency is one of the highest we’ve seen. Fatigue and flicker should not be a problem for anyone. Then there’s 10-bit color courtesy of an 8-bit/FRC panel from LG. Plus, a 14-bit LUT is built-in. If you see banding artifacts on this monitor, they’re from your content and not a product of the display.
What’s missing? Well, I'd like a higher native resolution. FHD is today’s most common display type and BenQ does throw in the extra screen area inherent to a 16:10 aspect ratio with its additional 120 vertical pixels. If you really consider what the monitor is intended to do though, resolution is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if BenQ added a 27-inch QHD panel to its line-up in the near future that includes the final one-percent of performance that this one sports.
The biggest flaw, at least in our press sample, is black screen uniformity. Even with the compensation feature enabled, it lags behind many other screens. Perhaps BenQ's saving grace is that every sample measures differently, and it’s possible that ours doesn't adequately represent the product. And speaking of uniformity compensation, it cut brightness and contrast by 44 percent, which in our opinion is too much for a slight improvement in uniformity.
The real star here is the PG2401PT’s class-leading accuracy. Our tests reveal a display that measures better in its stock state than most monitors do after calibration, and that includes the professional-grade products we've tested. When you narrow down the comparison to just those panels, $1000 suddenly doesn’t seem unreasonable.
In all of our color, grayscale, and gamma tests, the PG2401PT is at or near the top. In the pre-calibration benchmarks, it leaves all other professional screens in the dust (at least the ones in our results database). And that is where you find value from BenQ. When you consider the cost of calibrating any monitor, the price difference between this PG2401PT and another brand costing less is erased because you really can pop open the box and go, even in a professional environment. Just choose your color gamut and set the brightness to taste.
Because BenQ's PG2401PT is the most accurate display we’ve tested to date, and because it is actually less expensive than most other true professional monitors, we’re giving it the Tom’s Hardware Smart Buy award.