BenQ’s Seriously Advanced New SW271 4K HDR Monitor Is Here
Stephan Jukic – November 2, 2017
The PC 4K HDR Monitor market isn’t showing anywhere near the same speed in moving towards lower prices as the 4K HDR TV market but at least the products are getting better than ever before. This is at least definitely the case with BenQ’s newest and coolest 4K HDR monitor for professional users. It even comes with a not so cool looking but very functional glare hood.
While $1,150 will buy you some seriously awesome 4K UHD TVs with full 10-bit color, wide color gamut, stunning HDR contrast specs and at least 50 inches of display space (or even 55 or 65 in the case of some models), those same $1,150 with a 4K HDR PC monitor of the latest generations will essentially get you something like the 27 inch 4K ultra HD SW271 from this decidedly high quality brand for PC displays. In fact, by the standards of the pro 4K PC monitor market, this is actually a pretty good price for a model of this caliber. Just a couple of years ago, something like the SW271 would have set you back by at least $1600, so things are improving to some degree.
Of course you’re now wondering, what exactly does the SW271 offer for that price? Well, it’s definitely a pro display, with full HDR10 support, 10-bit color, wide color gamut (WCG), 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB spectrum and even 93% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space by which WCG is measured in today’s 4K HDR TV models. These are all indeed some pretty awesome specs for a PC monitor. The SW271 also offers multiple cutting edge connectivity options, including ports for DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0 (with full 4K UHD pass-through) and ports for both USB 3.1 and the highly advanced and robust USB-C. In other words, it’s decked out for the best in moving all that visual information its screen can render from PC to display.
On the other hand, for contrast specs, the SW271 falls a bit flat. We’ve seen HDR monitors hit well over 1000 nits of brightness, putting them on par with some HDR 4K TVs in this spec and how well they deliver contrast. The new BenQ model manages only a slightly weak 350 nits and a contrast ratio of roughly 1000:1. Not bad, but nothing to get excited about either. However, color accuracy for professional users is what this model is really about and on that front, its specs really make it into a stunner. Yes, you could actually get much of the same performance from a 4K HDR TV being used as a 4K PC monitor but it would be without the same special levels of color control and other display calibration capabilities that the BenQ SW271 offers. These include: hardware calibration and the maker’s Palette Master Elements software for strict color accuracy standards, according to BenQ, which says its display is exceptionally well suited for “color-critical applications.”
Additionally, Users can analyse visual content in several different color spaces at the same time thanks to the SW271’s GamutDuo feature. There’s also a cool Hotley Puck addition in the monitor which lets you quickly shift between different color modes like 99% Adobe RBG coverage, 100% sRGB/Rec. 709 coverage, 93% DCI-P3 coverage, and even a Black & White option.
So there you go, by the standards of the much more competitive and mass-market oriented 4K HDR TV market, the BenQ SW271 comes priced rather steeply for its list of HDR offerings and compact screen size. But if a pro 4K monitor with the right pro calibration tools is what you need, this model is actually a pretty good deal in this more narrowly competitive product environment. BenQ is now selling the SW271 on Amazon.com for $1,151.
Story by 4k.com