Professional and Amateur photographers alike are aware of the importance of accurate colours in your images. Whether it's print or on screen, the colours need to be exactly how we wish to portray them and the only way to achieve this is by starting with a good quality monitor. Fortunately, BenQ has been producing some outstanding monitors in recent years and giving the big boys a run for their money! So how would the SW271 stack up? Keep reading to find out...
The SW271 is a 27 inch, 16:9 (3840x2169 pixels), 4K UHD monitor packing some seriously high-end features, such as:
99% Adobe RGB Colour Space with IPS technology
27 Inch 4K UHS resolution
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Hardware Calibration with Palette Master Element Software
USB-C™ for transmitting data and video signal with one cable
10 Bit colour depth (If using HDMI 2.0/DisplayPort & an appropriate GPU)
Hot key puck
Built in Colour Calibration
Build Quality, Size & Connectivity
As a user of the SW271's big brother, the SW320 - I'm well aware that for many rooms, the SW320 can be a bit 'too' bulky, it's certainly no shrinking violet. So I was pleased to see that the SW271 keeps BenQ's simple yet stylish design theme but with slimmer bezels and a more lightweight and maneuverable feel than it's hefty relative. The matte grey plastic feels good quality and the metal stand articulates well and feels lightweight to move, but reassuringly sturdy.
BenQ clearly put a lot of thought into their design and even though it may not have some of the gimmicks of other monitors such as flashy LED's, BenQ manage to make an attractively minimalist monitor without it looking boring. Furthermore, it feels like a quality product and worth the cost as even simple things like the quality of the buttons, with their satisfying 'click' when pressed, that remind you that this is not a cheap product.
The SW271 fills a very nice hole in the size range, meeting the ever important 4k demands with a beautifully clear screen that is more than capable of giving editing software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, and Final Cut some much-needed breathing space. The 27inch panel can easily be flipped into a vertical orientation and the need cable tidy aperture on the stand keeps everything where it needs to be.
Talking of cables, connectivity should not be an issue with the SW271 with two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort input, two USB Gen1 Ports and a USB XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
So the big question, is how does it perform? Well straight out of the box, this thing is a beast. BenQ calibrates all of their high-end monitors in the factory and for added reassurance, you get a calibration report in the box, boasting some very impressive figures. The 4k UHD is clearly targetted at those who require attention to fine detail either when viewing and editing photos or video. The monitor certainly delivers on that front and clean and crisp with good contrast. The 27-inch size makes it a pleasure to work on and gives you plenty of space on the screen to make sure that editing tools are not eating into valuable display space.
Colour accuracy is superb and with hardware calibration, achieving accurate colours is a breeze. Moving between colour spaces (RGB, AdobeRGB, black & white, Rec. 709, DICOM, DCI-P3, or HDR10) is a doddle with the 'Hot Key Puck' (which is just one of BenQ's really well thought out features) or the really easily navagated menu system. The supplied shade and really usable connectivity show that BenQ understand the needs of photo and video editors.
Straight out of the box, the SW271 is clearly a high-end product, built with Photographers & Videographers clearly in mind. The build quality is excellent and feels like a reassuringly sturdy monitor, without being too 'heavy' looking thanks to the thin bezels and clean design. It is feature rich and added bonuses such as the supplied shade, SD Card reader and BenQ's clever 'Hot Key Puck' should not be overlooked. It also ships with all the necessary leads and cables to get you started, straight out of the box.
Most importantly though, it packs a punch, providing the kind of quality that I have come to expect from it's bigger (and pricier) brother, the SW320. The 4k is certainly welcome and can be a real benefit for photo editing but it really comes into its own when video editing. More importantly, the wide colour gamut and Hardware calibration go a long way in terms of giving you confidence in your colour reproduction (though it is still necessary to regularly calibrate your monitor/printer etc. to ensure accuracy). Details look great on this monitor and I never found any of the darker colours to look muddy and gives you confidence in your editing.
There is no getting away from the fact that the monitor cannot be classed as 'budget friendly'. However, compared to similarly specced monitors, it actually starts to look like a great option. The sheer size is great to work with and will definitely benefit those that need to focus on finer details. One minor downside is the lack of a powered USB-C that would be a nice touch. However, additions such as the Hot Key Puck and the supplied shade, show you that BenQ mean business and have put a lot of thought into their target market. All in all, it's a great monitor and should be on the consideration list for any Pro/Amateur togs & videographers out there.
For more information about the monitor and how to purchase (not affiliated) please click HERE
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