testing the BenQ PD2720U Monitor
I was approached by BenQ in order to review their new professional monitor PD2720U BenQ DesignVue designer monitor. Since I've never done before a product review, I thought that it would be great to test the monitor while making a project, and see how it works within my workflow. Here are my impressions!
The PD2720U is a 27" monitor with UHD (3840x2160) IPS panel. It has 10 bit of color depth, and 96% Display-P3, 96% DCI-P3, 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB color gamut.
BenQ delivers in the package a factory calibration report that guarantees color consistency for this current monitor.
About connections, it has HDMI, Display Port, Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports. Thunderbolt 3 technology allows you to have several monitors connected in daisy chain, which is great to have in mind in future updates.
I'm not using Mac from a while ago, but since this monitor has Thunderbolt 3, it's so easy to connect it to a Mac, and it also has a built-in color profile that mimics the color treatment of a Mac.
Apart of the previously mentioned color representations, it also has many color modes, such as Animation, Dark Room or CAD/CAM modes, that you can switch easily with the back buttons of the monitor.
It also comes with what they call hotkey puck G2, that has a dial and three customizable buttons.
At first sight, the monitor looks beyond other monitor I've used before on my freelance career. I've never pay many attention to this peripherical, but through years and projects I've discovered that it's highly important to have a monitor that is consistent with colors, specially when you work on print projects.
Also, this is my first 4K monitor, and how the interfaces and vector works looks is impressive, the quality of shapes and how easy is to read the texts on it, I'd say that working with a high resolution monitor cares for you vision more than a lower one.
Let me now show how I did include them in my workflow, and how they worked!
In the making
I wanted to test the monitor whithin a project that would include all the aspects I usually work. I came up with an idea of a character I had while I was visiting Playa las Americas in Tenerife. So I thought that it would be wonderful to use the monitor while developing a real character project, full of color and animation.
I love how this monitor is designed to it's minimal expression. The screen is almost edge to edge of the monitor, and the stand is awesome (and heavy!), you can move the monitor up and down smooth as butter. The overall construction of the monitor feels professional, premium and very strong.
For my work, I need the monitor to be consistent in color management. And it's just excellent how colors are represented on this monitor. You can switch from DCI-P3, Display P3, sRGB, Adobe RGB, REC.709 and HDR.
A cool feature that has surprised me are the color modes, and how you can easily switch between them. Some of them are CAD/CAM, Animation, Dark Room, M-Book, or Low Blue Light, but I've mainly used two of them:
- Animation mode: it hightlights darker areas withouth whiteing light areas, so you can see all the tiny details of the animation that you may be losing.
- CAD/CAM mode: it contrasts lines and shapes, a great feature that I've used while modelling the character, so I was allowed to see in wireframe mode without forcing too much my eyes.
You can use two color modes at the same time in the monitor, which is a really useful feature, I've used it while creating the materials of the character, using CAD/CAM mode on the viewport side, and sRGB for the render side.
I've found this tiny thing to be more than useful! It's always hard to get into the monitor's menu by the back or side buttons, blind touching them. This little puck has been created for accesing to those menus easily. Although this kind of menus are not that often used, I've found that by having this tool you get to use a bit more all the features and capabilities of the monitor, such as the color modes. Great one!
Stand and vertical mode
The stand is so well crafted that you can easily go up and down to adjust the height of the monitor. You can also turn the monitor to one side in order to get a vertical mode, I've found this quite useful when working on a vertical render, using the monitor as secondary this time.