New BenQ Monitor - First Impressions

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Ken St John
When I got my M1 MacBook Air last December, I needed to get a new monitor, and settled on a 4k LG 32" one. It's good, but over time I was finding it actually a little too big for my small-ish desk. On our recent trip, I used the Air without an external monitor, and once again realized how wonderful the Retina display was!! I looked around a lot and found several monitors in the $1,000+ category that could rival a Retina's specs, but my budget couldn't quite cover the increased cost!! I came access this one a BenQ 27" PD2700Q 4k "monitor for designers" on Amazon. Although still pricey, and at the top of my budget, I gave it a try and it arrived yesterday. In short, I am very impressed!!

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Right away I noticed the increased color depth, brightness, clarity, and contrast vs the LG. Although it's hard to capture in a picture, it really looks (to my eyes at least) to be as sharp and clear as the 27" iMac monitor I've seen in stores. The size is just right (you can see in this image how small my desk is!!) ... big enough to see details but not overwhelming to my eye. I'm not a gamer so I cannot vouch for it's FPS/video performance, but on some movies I tried to playback as well as Lightroom and general internet use, it's reaction time is smooth and consistent.

We'll see what happens and how I feel over time, but for now ... Impressed, I Am!!

Ken
 
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You are tempting us! Great review. I have almost pulled the trigger today on that display. Waiting on the M1 Mac mini to come Wed. Will try it out with my 2.5k Dell 25” for a bit but will likely grab a Benq. Have a Spyder calibrator
The Spyder is among the listed sensors that will work with this app.

Ken
 
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I am glad (and not surprised) that you are happy with your new BenQ display. I bought two BenQ monitors recently also. First a PD2720U (27-inch) and exchanged that for a PD 3220U (32-inch; yes, my eyesight is not what it once was). They are hands down the best monitors I have ever owned. Maybe the best I have ever used.
 
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Was using my old 27 iMac as a monitor when I moved to the 2019 MacBook Pro. I have since replaced the the iMac as monitor with the BenQ SW270C as monitor and calibrated using the BenQ software and the Xrite i1Display Pro device. Could not be happier with the combination. Great color and holds calibration very well. Also like that it will remind me around every 30 days to recalibrate the system. If I had a little more desk space would probably purchase a 2nd 27" BenQ SW270C or equivalent.
 
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I got my 2015 iMac working quite well with a fresh install of the OS. But Greg's old 2010 iMac is as slow as a snail. I have a 2015 13" Macbook Pro that I haven't used for a couple of years. I decided to purchase the BenQ that Ken recommended for Greg to use on the Macbook Pro. It will be arriving tomorrow. The BenQ has several different connection ports including hdmi, usb, displayport mini, and displayport. My computer has hdmi and thunderbolt 2. What would be the best way for me to connect the monitor to the laptop? The monitor comes with the following cables, display port to mini-display port, hdmi, and usb.

Here are the specs for connectivity on the monitor:
1 x HDMI 2.0 Input
1 x DisplayPort 1.4 Input
1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4 Input
1 x DisplayPort Output
4 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1) Output
2 x USB Type-B (USB 3.1 / USB 3.2 Gen 1) Input
1 x 3.5 mm Output

Specs on the Macbook
  • Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • Dual display and video mirroring: Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on up to two external displays, both at millions of colors.
  • Thunderbolt digital video output
    • Native Mini DisplayPort output
    • DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI output supported using Mini DisplayPort adapters (sold separately)
  • HDMI video output
    • Support for 1080p resolution at up to 60Hz
    • Support for 3840-by-2160 resolution at 30Hz
    • Support for 4096-by-2160 resolution at 24Hz
 
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I don’t have a way to test, but I think the Thunderbolt/Mini DP might be the way to go. The HDMI outputs don’t seem to be as “fast” as DP is on your MacBook, as the monitor supports 3840x2160 at 60hz (which mine is running) vs 30hz.

One thing I did was to shutdown the laptop, plug things in, then reboot. Took a minute or two to setup the external monitor, and as I recall I had to adjust something to keep the monitor on when I closed the Air to use it in “clamshell” mode.

Hope that helps.

Ken
 
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I don’t have a way to test, but I think the Thunderbolt/Mini DP might be the way to go. The HDMI outputs don’t seem to be as “fast” as DP is on your MacBook, as the monitor supports 3840x2160 at 60hz (which mine is running) vs 30hz.

One thing I did was to shutdown the laptop, plug things in, then reboot. Took a minute or two to setup the external monitor, and as I recall I had to adjust something to keep the monitor on when I closed the Air to use it in “clamshell” mode.

Hope that helps.

Ken
Thanks so much, Ken. That is what I was thinking, as well. I will give it a try tomorrow if the monitor arrives on time.
 
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I bought the PD2700 to attach to our 2015 macbook pro. Greg is using this setup and is loving it. I really like the display. I hooked it up to my 2015 iMac and mirrored the display to the PD2700. It was close in quality. Right now my iMac is running well and I'm happy with it, but if I was getting a Mac-Mini with the M1 chip I would probably get the PD2700 to go with it.
 
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I am getting close to pull the trigger on a new display - This version keeps cropping up in my feed - besides the PD2700
EW2780 here:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081V1KPSD?ref=em_1p_3_im&ref_=pe_27562780_594327490

What is the difference for photo editing in IPS display vs LCD? Did some thread reading but could not find significant difference.
Although I'm no expert, it looks to me like this one is similar but highlights it's audio system ... perhaps more geared to gamers or using it as a TV monitor. The PD2700 I have is clearly pitched more to "pros" with things like factory color calibration, etc.

For more than 95% of us, we probably couldn't tell the difference!!

FWIW I do not use the internal speakers although I have tried them. They're really not any better than those from my MB Air!!

Ken
 
Joined
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Messages
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Ken St John
I bought the PD2700 to attach to our 2015 macbook pro. Greg is using this setup and is loving it. I really like the display. I hooked it up to my 2015 iMac and mirrored the display to the PD2700. It was close in quality. Right now my iMac is running well and I'm happy with it, but if I was getting a Mac-Mini with the M1 chip I would probably get the PD2700 to go with it.
Happy to hear!! FWIW - I continue to be pretty impressed with mine!!

Ken
 
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Well, I picked one of these up this week. It is an amazing display. Seen here on the left with my several year old Dell U2515H which is 25" 2.5k monitor. For now I am using the Benq as primary for LR editing and the Dell as secondary display as shown here.

For my day job I need the multi display setup for Webex, browsers, office apps, etc. Will tweak the arrangement after I get adjusted. I am slowing do an office rehab - painting in a couple of weeks then perhaps new desk with standup option. Recommendations accepted!
desktop.jpg
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