by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2015
There is a trend that has been repeated time and again in colour management in which high-end, industry standard colour control is migrated down to more consumer-oriented products. Thus the BenQ joins an elite group of monitors capable of meeting the G7/Fogra certification process for soft proofing. To meet this criteria the monitor has to display almost 2,000 colour patches with very low colour errors and also be very uniform across the entire area of the display. The key thing about the BenQ is its price; at £675 ex VAT it is a very significant saving on the other monitors in the field capable of performing at this level. In addition, BenQ have teamed with X-Rite so that the software that comes with the monitor is also capable of validating the certification using industry-standard i1 Pro and i1 Pro 2 spectrophotometers.
The monitor arrives within a carton which is the usual masterpiece of cardboard engineering. We eventually got it out by tipping the box up and gently sliding it out onto the floor - it is certainly beautifully packed. There is a hood in the box which is essential for using a monitor of this class and represents an item of kit that packs well above its weight. The monitor is 24" with a pixel resolution of 190 x 1200 maximum. It is capable of being rotated into portrait mode and has the usual vertical and tilt and rotational movements.
Ports are provided for DVI-D, HDMI or DisplayPort while Mac users can connect via the Mini DisplayPort input. A USB 3.0 port and SD card reader is also available for rapid file transfers and storage solutions. The light sensor for auto display brightness is situated on the base bezel.
The control switches and sliders are the best we have seen to date. Rather than the usual, impossible-to-see raised letter on the bezels, the BenQ has pressure-sensitive button above which the screen illuminates to indicate function. You need to get used to tilting the screen with your hands half way up the sides to avoid turning things on and off.
This was trivially simple; the monitor was recognised by Windows 7 and fired up straight away. Our i1 profiler software detected the correct monitor and graphics card also.
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