BenQ PG2401PT 24-inch IPS Color-Accurate Display Review
With LCD monitor prices seemingly at a standstill, it’s common for manufacturers to call their high-end products “professional” when they really mean “expensive.” This is especially true of 27-inch QHD screens currently selling for around $600. A real professional-grade display doesn’t necessarily need a high pixel count or a large panel. What it should offer is an Adobe RGB color gamut and perfect color accuracy.
BenQ carries 23 different monitors in its portfolio. But only one comes with a certification for color accuracy. It’s a 24-inch 16:10-aspect IPS-based screen with 1920x1200 resolution and a pixel density of 94 PPI. That product is subject of today’s review, and it's called the PG2401PT.
We’ve seen many readers lament the apparent death of 16:10, and we agree wholeheartedly. Almost all computer displays now match the 16:9 aspect ratio of HD televisions, which is certainly great for games and entertainment. But when it's time to edit a document in Word, read email, or browse the Web, the extra screen height of 16:10 really comes in handy.
|Backlight||GB-r-LED, edge array|
|Max Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Native Color Depth||10-bit (8-bit w/FRC)14-bit 3D LUT|
|Native Gamut||Adobe RGB|
|Response Time (GTG)||5 ms|
|DisplayPort v1.2||1 standard, 1 mini|
|Audio In||via HDMI or DP|
|USB||v3.0 - 1 up, 2 down|
|Media Card Reader||1 SD|
|Panel DimensionsW x H x D w/base||22 x 21.5 x 10 in555 x 543 x 254 mm|
|Panel Thickness||2.7 in / 69 mm|
|Bezel Width||.7-.9 in / 18-22 mm|
|Weight||15.4 lbs / 7 kg|
Our eyebrows rose a bit when we first saw the PG2401PT’s specs. The 16:10 aspect ratio is great, but what's up with the 1920x1200 resolution? We still don't have an answer to that. However, once we started working with this screen, its purpose became crystal clear.
I just mentioned that any screen purporting to be professional-class has to offer supreme accuracy. And once I started pulling measurements from BenQ's PG2401PT, I was frankly astonished at just how good it is. If you read our review of the NEC PA272W, you know we were impressed by the accuracy of that display after calibrating it. The PG2401PT nearly matches NEC’s numbers before calibration.
To achieve a wide color gamut, BenQ uses a GB-r-LED backlight instead of the more common W-LED. As you may know, white LEDs aren’t actually white. They shine blue light through a yellow phosphor. As such, their spectral properties are more skewed towards blue and require extra processing to make them color-accurate. GB-r uses green and blue LEDs that shine through a red phosphor. The resulting spectra peak more evenly for red, green, and blue. Not only is accuracy improved without extra processing, but it makes the larger Adobe RGB gamut possible.
We’ve applauded BenQ’s efforts to shed traditional pulse-width modulation backlights in favor of the constant-current type. Flicker can be an issue for some sensitive users, and it contributes to eye fatigue during extended work sessions. Unfortunately, the PG2401PT is one of only four remaining models in BenQ’s line-up that still uses PWM. On the upside, its frequency is extremely high at 16,500 Hz. We doubt anyone will actually see flicker at lower backlight settings. The fatigue factor should not be a problem; it certainly wasn’t for us.
You'll see us revisit the subject of accuracy over and over in this review. The out-of-box numbers we generated were better than many monitors’ calibrated results. As such, we’ve created a special comparison group consisting of high-end wide-gamut displays that all come with individual factory calibrations. Let’s take a closer look.
mixed with the convenience for manufacturers of making mostly
1080 screens. When I hunted for a 2560x1600 screen last year,
I was shocked at the prices, because the same thing has happened
at 2560, ie. the market has narrowed in on 1440 height instead of 1600,
so the latter are now expensive (assuming one can find them at all),
eg. the Iiyama XB3070WQS-B1 is about 700 UKP, and the HP Z30i
is more than 1000 UKP.
At the least one positive from all this is that good 1200-height IPS
panels are now much more affordable. My first 1920x1200 IPS was
an HP LP2475W which cost about 450 UKP, but today the Dell U2412M
costs less than half that much (is the Dell better? Well, yes & no,
different feature set, etc., but the screen is nice).
I gave up on finding an affordable IPS 2560x1600, and meanwhile it
was obvious review sites had settled on 1440 height anyway (a few
years ago many sites were still testing wtih 1600 screens, but not
now), so I bought a Dell U2713HM instead which works pretty well,
except for its irritating resolution limitation over HDMI (watchout for
that if you buy a new screen, some models only support their max
res via DVI or DP - the Dell I bought can't do more than 1080 via HDMI).