Monitors, lately, have gotten a bit ridiculous. Not that that is a bad thing—I’m loving the latest 32" and greater 4K HDR sets that are making their way through the B&H offices. Practically speaking, though, most of us are perfectly content with an affordable screen that is a reasonable size and offers the color accuracy we need for photo editing. Stepping into this category, near perfectly, is the BenQ SW240 24" PhotoVue Monitor.
The SW240 talks a big game with native 10-bit color depth a 14-bit 3D LUT and support for 99% of the Adobe RGB color space. These are all pro-quality specs, if you are a creative in need of a color accurate display. It also claims to have a Delta E≤2 in sRGB and Adobe RGB, making it a reliable option for photographers. A wonderful feature that is becoming more common is hardware calibration support, which BenQ offers here via the Palette Master Element software and a supported X-Rite or Datacolor calibrator. This tool offers advanced control over colors and will let you set the white point, color space, gamma, luminance, and more to be saved to a profile directly to the display and is easy to navigate.
In terms of physical design, the SW240 is standard, if a little plain. It has physical buttons in the front corner for easy navigation of the OSD, including a Color Mode HotKey to change between various color modes quickly. I found this quite interesting because I could quickly switch over to black-and-white for a different look at my images when I was working on them. One feature that will appeal to photographers is that, in addition to the two USB 3.0 ports, there is a built-in SD card slot, something quite convenient if you are using something like a current MacBook Pro that lacks these essentials.
The build is decent, with standard tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustment, and the stand does have a hole, much like an iMac, to deal with cable management. A handle at the top of the stand makes it easy to position and move around a desk, too. One thing I do wish it had was USB Type-C and/or Thunderbolt™ 3, because using one cable to connect everything is a brilliant feature to which I had become accustomed on other monitors I’ve reviewed recently, but this is a personal gripe.
Once I got it plugged in and set up I was impressed—the factory calibration seemed to be quite good and nearly matched the calibrated display of my MacBook Pro. I made some slight adjustments to the brightness before getting into the Palette software to perform a full calibration, and not much needed to be changed. The display appeared to show good uniformity out to the edges, and the colors were vibrant without being unnatural. The monitor offers a standard 16:10 ratio with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, plenty for most users and for a 24" screen, it would almost be overkill to go up to 4K.
There isn’t much else to say about this display. It offers all the essentials along with a couple of extras that will make professionals happy. The Adobe RGB implementation is very appropriate for photography and there is a 95% DCI-P3 rating for those more interested in the cinema space. For those in need of an affordable and accurate display for photo editing, I would have no qualms recommending this model.
Are you in the market for a new monitor? What features are you looking for and does the BenQ SW240 fill the bill? Let us know in the Comments section, below!