BenQ SW2700PT 27-inch QHD Pro Monitor Review

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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

Our entire group today is made up of wide-gamut professional monitors with factory-certified calibrations. We have the NEC PA272W and PA322UHD along with the EA244UHD. Even though it’s part of the business-class EA-series, it does offer Adobe RGB color along with terrific out-of-box accuracy. BenQ’s 16:10 pro screen is here as well; the PG2401PT. Rounding out the pack is HP’s superb Z27x.

All of the monitors offer plenty of peak output for the majority of applications but the SW2700PT just edges its way to the top. Since it includes a hood, you can easily set it up at an outdoor shooting location.

For such a bright backlight a third-place finish in max black level bodes well for this panel’s native contrast.

Not every professional display has over 1000:1 contrast but the SW2700PT wins the day once again with 1121.7:1. The image has plenty of depth and a very wide dynamic range.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

If you want a really dim picture the SW2700PT will oblige with 11.4516cd/m2 minimum brightness. Even in total darkness it’s too dim for our taste. We’ve added backlight settings for more commonly-used levels at the end of the previous page.

When the backlight is this low, black levels are almost unmeasurable. .0111cd/m2 is near the limit for our C6 luminance meter.

Contrast stays fairly consistent throughout the backlight’s operational range. This level of performance is expected in a high-end pro screen and the SW2700PT is one of the best.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

Since we didn’t perform a calibration these tests reflect us setting the backlight to a 200cd/m2 output level. No other changes were made to color, white point or gamma. We also left the contrast control on its default setting. These numbers are the same in Standard, sRGB and Adobe RGB modes.

As expected the sequential (on/off) contrast ratio remains near 1100:1. We’ve said many times you can’t have too much contrast and the SW2700PT proves that. It has one of the best images we’ve seen on any monitor regardless of price.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

BenQ pulls out another win in the ANSI contrast test. If not for a slightly higher black level in the lower right corner of the screen this result would have been even better. The AU Optronics panel in use here is one of the best 27-inch QHD parts we’ve seen to date.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

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.

  • muhammad_88
    Pretty Neat for 630$
    I Work in Offset Printing, and i'm considering this as a proofing monitor.
    The acceptable brightness range for this scenario is 80 cd/m2 to 120 cd/m2
    For the white point 5000K/D50 and 5500K/D55 are commonly used in CMYK reproduction. For a reference class monitor i hope you start adding these to your reviews for people like myself considering monitors for print proofing
  • Kridian
    I only have $300. Someone spot me the other half. Come on... it's Christmas!
  • zodiacfml
    Wow. AHVA screens are awesome. I'm quite surprised with the lower than expected contrast ratio compared to the Philips 40inch screen with AHVA panel.
    This one ticks all my boxes though I wish it could come with 120hz refresh rate.
  • ceberle
    The Philips BDM4065UC is an AMVA panel. This is not the same as AHVA. It's confusing but AHVA is an IPS variant. It has better viewing angles but no difference in contrast. AMVA is a completely different pixel structure which blocks the backlight better and renders lower black levels resulting in superior contrast.

  • byberkan
    60hz.... For that reason, I'm out! (I would consider to get 144hz 1440p BenQ)
  • drewafx
    Bought it after reading this review.
    Definitely better than Dell ultrasharp 27"
    Anti-glare is different than typical LG matte ips panel (Better view when looking straight, noise pattern from angle)
    Love the color even at sRGB mode. Factory calibration brightness at 93 (too bright at night...need to buy calibrator)
    Hence Max brightness at 100 is not that bright (more brightness would be good for HDR)
    Backlight Flicker-free is noticeable when changing brightness (smooth transition)
    Slight backlight bleed (yellowish around corners)
    Doesn't matter when editing photos at center, just bothersome when watching movies with dark scenes
    No ghosting, 75Hz tested fine (custom resolution from gpu)
    miniDP to DisplayPort cable included, but monitor doesn't have miniDP port
    DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable is necessary to work with 10-bit desktop GPU (in my case)
    Low blue light mode is subtle and works well

    if OLED is not an option, this monitor is good enough for anything
    maybe next year...I'm waiting for AMD to release 10bit HDR GPU
    so the AdobeRGB space would be more useful...

    4K 144hz freesync is overrated...if you care more about vibrant accurate color

    I'm wondering how good it could be if BenQ released glossy display like Apple's iMac and Cinema Display
    Come on, we got light hood to cover need for anti-glare coating
    Do Smartphones come with antiglare coating? Not needed even outdoors....just ruins the experience
  • Nossy
    Interesting. Mine doesn't have the blue ring cable management hole.