REVIEW – As a photographer, I view myself as an artist and a student of my craft. I am always seeking the next step up towards being better or producing better in anything and everything that I do. Recently, I reviewed the BenQ SW270C monitor that is designed to be a productive tool for the Photographer. I was and still, am very happy with the color reproduction and the monitor overall. Now I have the chance to test and review the BenQ SW271 27″ 16:9 4K HDR IPS Monitor which seems to be the icing on the cake. And since I am such a huge BenQ fan, I am eager to get started. So, here we go.
What is it?
The BenQ SW271 27″ 16:9 4K HDR IPS Monitor features enhanced color accuracy designed to target photo editing, graphic design, and other color-critical tasks. It also features 99% coverage of the Adobe RGB color space, covers 100% of the Rec.709 and sRGB color spaces, and 93% of the DCI-P3 color space. This monitor supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) and HDR10 to guarantee more detailed and realistic images. Specifications include a 3840 x 2160 resolution, a 1000:1 contrast ratio, a 5 ms response time, 10-bit support for up to 1.07 billion colors, and a 14-bit LUT, USB Type-C, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, and a dedicated USB 3.0 Type-A hub
What’s in the box
1 x BenQ SW271 27″ 16:9 4K HDR IPS Monitor
1 x Shading Hood
1 x Hotkey Puck
1 x Power Cable (5.9′ / 1.8m)
1 x USB Type-C Cable (3.3′ / 1.0m)
1 x Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable (5.9′ / 1.8m)
1 x HDMI 2.0 Cable (5.9′ / 1.8m)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Cable (5.9′ / 1.8m)
1 x Quick Start Guide
1 x DVD
Design and features
Screen Size: 27”
Panel Type: IPS
Backlight Technology: LED backlight
Resolution (max.): 3840 x 2160
Native Contrast(typ.): 1000:1
Viewing Angle (L/R; U/D) (CR>=10): 178/178
Response Time: 5 ms (GtG)
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Display Colors: 1.07 billion colors
Color Gamut: 99% AdobeRGB, 100% sRGB,
Display Area(mm): 608.8 x 335.66
Pixel Pitch (mm): 0.1554
DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio) (typ.): 20M:1
Color Bit: 10bits
Headphone Jack: Yes
Product Color: Gray
Color Mode: Adobe RGB/ sRGB / Rec 709/ DCI-P3 / B&W / HDR / Darkroom/Calibration 1 /Calibration 2 / Calibration 3 / Custom 1 / Custom 2 / DICOM
HDR: HDR 10
Display Mode: Full, Aspect Ratio, 1:1
Color Temperature: 5000°K / 6500°K/ 9300°K / User Mode
Gamma: 1.6 – 2.6
K Locker: Yes
OSD Language: 18 Languages (English / French / Deutsch / Italian / Spanish / Polish / Czech / Hungarian / Romanian / Netherlands / Russian / Swedish / Portuguese / Japanese / Chinese / S-Chinese / Arabic/Korean)
VESA Wall Mount: 100mm x 100mm
Display Screen Coating: Anti-Glare
Flicker-free Technology: Yes
Delta E: < = 2 (avg)
Hardware Calibration: Yes
Video Format Support: Yes
Gamut Duo: Yes
Darkroom mode: Yes
Black & White mode: Yes
Black Level: Yes
Hotkey Puck: Yes
Factory Calibration Report: Yes
HDMI: HDMI (v2.0) x2
DisplayPort: DisplayPort (v1.4) x1
USB 3.0 Hub: USB Downstream x 2; USB Upstream x1
USB Type-C: Yes (PD10W, DP Alt mode, Data)
Card Reader: SD/MMC type
Support Format: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC
Voltage Rating: 90~264V
Mac Compatible: Yes
Windows Compatible: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7
- 4K UHD Monitor: 4K Ultra HD resolution ensures enhanced clarity of fine details and textures for an optimal viewing and visual-intensive work experience.
- 99% Adobe RGB: The Adobe RGB color space offers a greater range of color reproduction for shades of blue and green, resulting in a realistic color representation for outdoor and nature photography.
10-Bit Color Display: Enjoy smooth color gradations on a 10-bit display that shows more than one billion colors.
High Dynamic Range (HDR): High Dynamic Range (HDR) increases the overall dynamic range between black and white so the resulting image appears closer to what your eyes see in the natural world. HDR function supports HDR10.
- 14-Bit 3D LUT: The 14-bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT) improves RGB color blending accuracy, resulting in enhanced color reproduction. Having Delta E≤2 in both Adobe RGB and sRGB color spaces gives you a true and more representative view of the original image.
- Hardware Calibration: Hardware calibration allows you to adjust the image processing chip in the monitor without changing the graphics card output data. It keeps images consistent with its original copies without being affected by graphic settings.
- Palette Master Element Calibration Software: With the use of Palette Master Element and a calibrator, you can tune and maintain the color performance of the monitor at its most optimal state.
- Supported Platforms: Win7 or above, Mac OS 10.6.8 or above.
- Supported Calibrators: X-Rite i1 Display Pro / i1 Pro / i1 Pro 2 & Datacolor Spyder 4 / Spyder 5.
- USB Type-C Cable for Optimal Convenience: The SW271 uses the USB Type-C port to transmit video and data with only one cable. So, you can do the hardware calibration with ease. The USB Type-C port smoothly displays 4K contents and offers an up to 5 Gbps transfer rate. The transmission rate of USB Type-C can vary. USB Type-C is compatible with Thunderbolt 3.
- Advanced Black & White Modes: View your photos in a black & white film effect. Choose from three different black & white presets to preview your photos before you perform actual adjustments in your photo processing program.
- GamutDuo: GamutDuo enables you to view content simultaneously in different color spaces side-by-side for added comparison. Switch to PIP/PBP mode to enable GamutDuo.
- Hotkey Puck: The Hotkey Puck allows the user to switch between Adobe RGB mode, sRGB mode and Black & White mode effortlessly. The buttons can also be customized to map other modes or OSD settings, such as brightness and contrast to bring added convenience to photographers.
- Shading Hood: The SW271 includes a detachable shading hood that effectively reduces the monitor’s screen glare resulting from ambient lighting, ensuring superb color accuracy required for professional work. The shading hood can be used in both portrait and landscape orientations.
The base of this BenQ monitor is similar to all of the bases that I have encountered. It is solid and feels sturdy. It has a built-in metal receiver for the monitor stand. Underneath there is a wing screw that screws into the monitor stand to lock the two together.
The pictures below show the monitor stand with the locking plate at the top the connects into the VESA receptacle on the back of the monitor. Right below the VESA plate, you can see 2 tracks that are the sliding tracks that allow for height adjustment, and below that there is a pass-through hole for cable management. Underneath the stand, there is the plate that connects to the monitor base. There is also a circular slot to accommodate the Hotkey Puck.
Below are close up pictures of the VESA plate and how it connects to the back of the monitor.
The monitor can be used in either landscape mode or rotated clockwise and used in vertical/portrait mode.
Underneath the monitor, there are the connectivity ports. As shown below from left to right they are the AC power input jack, Hotkey Puck / Hotkey Puck G2 socket, 2 x HDMI socket, DisplayPort socket, USB-C port, USB port (upstream; connecting
to the PC), and headphone jack.
On the left side of the monitor when facing the front of the monitor, there are 2 USB ports and 1 SD card port.
On the bottom right of the front of the monitor, there are the control buttons. From left to right they are 5 control buttons and the on/off power button.
The following 2 pictures show the monitor with the hood installed. The views are from the front and rear.
On top of the hood, there is a sliding door that is designed to open and close to accommodate the color calibrating device.
The Hotkey Puck is a nice addition to most of the BenQ monitors that I have reviewed. It gives you access to the controls at your fingertips. (FYI: I do find that I rarely use it).
If you would like more detailed information, click here to read the user manual.
As has been my experience with all of the BenQ monitors that I have owned and reviewed, this monitor arrived well packaged and padded. The components are easy to assemble and putting the monitor together only took a few minutes.
Once I set up the monitor, the first thing that I decided to do was to look at a side by side comparison between the SW270 on the right and the SW271 on the left as shown below. The picture on the SW271 is shown in Adobe Lightroom, and on the right in Photo Viewer.
As a photographer and Videographer, I work in various software applications to edit and produce my videos and photos. This monitor does an amazing job with color reproduction, and surprisingly it is even better than the really good SW270 model. Below are photos of the monitor with some of the applications that I use.
What I like
- The amazing color reproduction
- The build quality
- The adjustable monitor including 90-degree rotation
- The connectivity
- The included vertical and horizontal hood attachments
What I’d change
- I want a 32″ ~ 35″ version 🙂 (Or maybe even larger?)
At this point, the following may be considered a very redundant statement of mine, but I am a really huge fan of BenQ monitors. This BenQ SW271 is the icing on the cake, especially in this price range. Every week, I spend a lot of time editing photographs and videos in my home studio and it is such a pleasure to work with a monitor that in my opinion provides just about perfect color reproduction right out of the box and without any needed calibration. I always keep my color calibration kit handy, but as I stated, with this monitor, it is not needed, or at least not needed so far. The colors are precise and brilliant and with it mounted on the wall right alongside the SW270, I feel like I have the 1st and 2nd best photo editing monitors in this price range. I only use my monitors in landscape mode, and while the monitor also tilts forward and backward, my use of the wall mount gives me a greater range for adjustment.
BenQ also gets extra points for including the hood attachments for both landscape and portrait mode with this model. The SW270 only comes with the landscape hood attachments. I do not use my monitors without the hood attachment because the difference with the light control that it provides is fantastic. As I mentioned earlier in the review, The Hotkey Puck is also a nice convenient tool albeit that I do not use it very often. I give the BenQ SW271 monitor a very, very, very well done, and two thumbs way up!!!