Designed for professionals who work with computer-aided design and engineering software, the BenQ BL2710PT ($699) monitor uses a 27-inch, In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen to deliver a high-resolution (2,560-by-1,440) picture, wide viewing angles, and a killer feature set. Color quality is decent, although reds and greens are a bit off the mark, and the panel has trouble at the dark end of the grayscale. However, it comes with a handy configuration utility to help you fine-tune the picture to fit your specific needs, and it has every video input you’ll need.
Design and Features
The BL2710PT isn’t very flashy, but its narrow bezels and beveled edges give it a pleasing aesthetic. The matte-black cabinet measures a relatively chunky 2.8 inches thick and is supported by a black, rectangular base and an arm with a slider that gives you 5.5 inches of height adjustment and 25 degrees of tilt. The stand also has a 90-degree swivel range, and the panel can be pivoted 90 degrees for portrait-mode viewing. I love that this monitor has an auto-pivot feature that changes the image orientation whenever you pivot the screen.
I/O ports are plentiful. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the left side of the cabinet and two USB 2.0 ports at the rear of the cabinet. Also around back are DVI, VGA, HDMI, and DisplayPort video inputs, a USB 3.0 upstream port, an audio input, a headphone jack, and four VESA-compliant mounting holes. The monitor’s two 3-watt speakers are loud but a tad trebly.
Along the bottom bezel are a touch-sensitive power switch and five touch-sensitive buttons that use on-screen icons and labels to describe their functions. Picture presets are numerous and include sRGB, Present (presentation), Standard, Movie, Photo, Reading, Eco, M-book (optimized for Macbook), and User. There’s also a special CAD/CAM mode that uses a bumped-up contrast setting and is optimized for use with design programs, such as SolidWorks and AutoCAD.
There are five gamma settings and adjustments for hue, saturation, color temperature, brightness, and contrast. You can adjust dynamic contrast, aspect ratio, and the HDMI RGB range in the Advanced Settings menu and set eye protection in the Ergonomic menu. The Eye Protect feature uses a light sensor to automatically adjust panel brightness depending on the current ambient light environment. There’s also a light meter that shows the ambient light level in the lower right corner of the screen, but I found this to be more annoying than useful. You can even have the panel flash a reminder to give your eyes a rest every so often (you can set the time intervals and duration of the message).
The BL2710PT comes with a three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. Inside the box is every cable you’ll need, including DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, upstream USB, and audio input cables. You also get a quick-start guide and a resource CD with an awesome Display Pilot utility that lets you make all of your picture adjustments using a keyboard and mouse. It also has a neat desktop partition program that lets you partition the screen with up to four separate windows.
The BL 2710PT uses an IPS panel dubbed AHVA (Advanced Hyper Viewing Angle), and this monitor does indeed provide wide viewing angles with no noticeable color shifting or dimming when viewed from the top, bottom, and sides. The panel delivers vibrant colors that aren’t as accurate as they should be for a monitor in this price range. As shown on the chromaticity chart below, green and red (represented by the dots) are a little heavy and miss their ideal CIE coordinates (represented by the boxes), while blue is relatively close to its ideal zone. Neither reds nor greens appeared oversaturated in my test photos, though.
The panel did a great job of displaying shades of light gray on the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test and delivered sharp highlight detail on my test photos. Shadow detail was not quite as sharp; the panel had trouble at the very dark end of the scale and was unable to correctly display the two darkest shades (both appeared black). On the plus side, the panel produces very dark blacks, which in turn gives the colors a good deal of pop. Overall picture clarity was very good, and small text was clean and well defined.
The panel’s four-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response does a relatively good job of displaying fast motion without a lot of artifacts, but I was able to spot some very slight blurring while playing Burnout Paradise on the PS3 console. Chances are this monitor won’t be pressed into gaming duty, as it is designed for professional use, but if you want to get in a few rounds of Call of Duty: Ghosts after hours, you won’t be disappointed.
The BL2710PT used 32 watts of power during testing while set to the Standard preset and 21 watts when set to the Eco preset. That’s a bit more efficient than the ViewSonic VP2770-LED, which used 40 watts in Standard mode and 30 watts in the Eco mode. The NEC MultiSync EA274WMi used 32 watts with Eco mode enabled.
The BenQ BL2710PT is a solid, but pricey 27-inch monitor with a few CAD-friendly touches and a boatload of features. As with most IPS panels, it delivers vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles, but its color accuracy and dark grayscale reproduction are not ideal. That said, it offers plenty of picture modes, including one optimized for CAD software, and it comes with a utility that makes it easy to fine-tune your picture using your keyboard and mouse. If color accuracy is a deal-breaker, the ViewSonic VP2770-LED might be a better choice, but it, too, has a bit of trouble at the dark end of the grayscale. For outstanding grayscale and color performance, our Editors’ Choice for big-screen professional-grade monitors, the NEC MultiSync PA271W, is still your best bet, but be prepared to spend several hundred dollars more.
|Native Resolution||2560 x 1440|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||27 inches|
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