BenQ SW271 Preview: 4K HDR Monitor for Color-Critical Work

BenQ SW271

Introduction

The BenQ SW271 display hints to take over its award-winning predecessor’s spot for the best photo monitor. Along with its eye-catching and fully adjustable design, the BenQ SW271 display will offer stunning image quality thanks to its IPS panel with 4K UHD resolution and HDR support.

Due to its low 60Hz refresh rate and a most likely high price, it’s not recommended for a gaming monitor. Although with such vibrant and intense colors, some slow-paced video games would run and look perfectly.

HDR, Color Accuracy, and Image Quality

HDR (High Dynamic Range) allows the display to produce an expanded range of colors and contrast in order to deliver a more immersive picture quality. There are several different HDR formats but the BenQ SW271 doesn’t qualify for the official UHD Premium certification, or HDR10 format.

In order for a display to support HDR10, the panel should be capable of delivering 10-bit color, 4K UHD resolution, minimum 1000 nits of brightness, and cover at least 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. The BenQ SW271 IPS monitor checks all boxes but one; brightness.

What does this mean?

With its 10-bit 1.07 billion colors, the BenQ SW271 covers 93% of the DCI-P3 color gamut in addition to 100% sRGB/Rec 709 and 99% Adobe RGB gamuts while the 4K resolution makes the image sharp and details crisp.

In order to further improve the image quality without increasing the resolution, the BenQ SW271 has to utilize HDR which increases the detail of each individual pixel, instead of just numbers of pixels. However, since the display features only 350 cd/m2 brightness and 1,000:1 contrast, the image won’t be as high-end quality as Dell’s true HDR10 monitor, the Dell UP2718Q.

The IPS panel of the BenQ SW271 PC monitor ensures the impeccable 178-degree viewing angles, a rapid 5ms response time speed for zero ghosting while editing, and it makes the colors consistent and accurate. In fact, the display is factory calibrated to Delta-E below 2; you will also get the individual calibration report.

In addition, the monitor features Palette Master Element Calibration Software and supports professional hardware calibration where you can adjust the 14-bit LUT (Look-Up Table).

Features

Some of the most exclusive and interesting features of the BenQ SW271 are quite useful for certain editing tasks. Photographers can view their picture in black and white by simply applying one of three unique Black & White picture presets. So, you can preview the results before the actual photo processing.

Another great feature for color management is the Dual Gamut. When you connect two different PCs to the monitor, you will be able to view the images side by side in two different color spaces via the Picture in Picture or Picture by Picture modes.

Along with the BenQ SW271 4K UHD monitor, you will receive the ‘hotkey puck’ which is placed at the base of the monitor. This little device allows you to effortlessly swap between different color gamuts and picture presets as well as to quickly adjust OSD (On-Screen Display) parameters such as brightness and contrast.

BenQ SW271 Amazon

Design and Connectivity

The BenQ SW271 features three-side thin bezels and an overall slim and attractive design. It also offers fully ergonomic adjustments including 150 mm vertical boost, 90° pivot, -5°, 20° tilt, 45° swivel to the left and right, and VESA mount compatibility.

The screen surface is coated with a matte anti-glare coating which eliminates the sunlight reflection. The shading hood is also provided with the monitor, so you can entirely commit and immersive into your work without distractions.

When it comes to the connectivity, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB type C, a USB 2.0 for the hotkey puck, a card reader, and the headphones jack. The USB-C allows you to simultaneously stream 4K audio/video signal, transfer data, and charge your device.BenQ SW271 Buy

Price, Availability, & Similar Monitors

The BenQ SW271 price is unknown at the moment (August 2017). Its 31.5-inch bigger brother, the BenQ SW320, is already available for $1,500 but due to its huge size, we expect the SW271 to be considerably cheaper.

Keep in mind that the BenQ SW320, however, has no USB type C and only one HDMI, but it does offer a mini-DisplayPort 1.4. Moreover, it has a lesser peak brightness of 250 nits.

The previous version of the monitor, the award-winning BenQ SW2700PT, is available for $600. It features WQHD resolution and all the same color accuracy and features except for the HDR. The BenQ SW271 release date is also currently unknown, but we will inform you as soon as the information is available.

Conclusion

The BenQ SW271 offers everything a professional grade photographer and design may require from a monitor. We are hoping to see it available for a fairly affordable price of around $1,000 since it can be considered as a somewhat high-end monitor for photo-critical work.

Just not as fancy as Dell’s true HDR monitor which is priced at $2,000.

Thanks to its extensive connectivity, versatile design, and exceptional color accuracy with limited HDR, the BenQ SW271 will certainly attract its share of photographers and designers.

BenQ SW271 Specifications
Screen Size27-inch
Resolution3840x2160 (UHD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time5ms (GtG)
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0, USB-C
Other Ports2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Headphone Jack, Card Reader
Brightness350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (true 10-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)

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