With a huge shift toward working from home, it became very clear to many that the small screen on their laptop or all-in-one PC wasn’t going to cut it. A monitor upgrade is, perhaps, one of the most important changes you can make when improving a computer work space because it is the thing you are going to spend hours viewing. I’m here to recommend the BenQ PD2705Q DesignVue 27" Monitor as a great choice for those who want a good blend of features, quality, and affordability.
- 27" 2560 x 1440 IPS display
- HDR10 support
- 100% coverage sRGB/Rec.709
- KVM Switch function
- Eye Care modes
- HDMI 2.0 DisplayPort 1.4, and USB-C video connections
Whenever I recommend a monitor, my go-to size/resolution is a 27" 1440p display. I think it is the best all-around option for most. It has a decent 60 Hz refresh rate, as well, which is all that most people need. The PD2705Q hits all these key metrics and is a very clean-looking monitor, too, and its thin bezels make it a good option if you want to pick up a pair to have side by side on your desk.
Featuring BenQ’s AQCOLOR Technology and factory calibration, the display looks great out of the box. For color-critical work, the 8-bit PD2705Q claims 100% coverage of sRGB/Rec.709 and a Delta E of <3, which means that the average user should not be able to see any difference between colors. This is suitable for web design where sRGB is still a common standard.
One interesting feature of this monitor is HDR10 support. If you want to do some HDR previews for video editing—or even want to plug in a console for gaming—this is a great feature to have. The display is limited to a maximum brightness of 300 cd/m2, compared to high-end HDR at 1000 cd/m2, but it does a decent job of mapping the tones and providing additional detail over a basic SDR display.
As for connectivity, the PD2705Q should satisfy most modern systems with HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and USB-C. The USB-C port is of note for its ability to deliver 65W via Power Delivery, allowing you to charge up a connected laptop with the same connection as video. Plus, there is a collection of four USB Type-A ports and a 3.5mm audio output.
The PD2705Q is a solid monitor as soon as you unpack it. Plugging it into my iMac via USB-C, everything just worked. Same deal with my MacBook Pro—even though 65W is a little low for the more power-hungry 15" and 16" Pro models, it will still keep some power flowing to the computer to prevent the battery from draining. The stand is solid, but there is a 100 x 100mm VESA mount for other more permanent configurations. The stand has good movement with good height—it lines up with my iMac on a stand. Plus, there is a large hole at the base of the stand for simple cable management.
The colors matched well with my displays; however, I could tell that it was a little blue out of the box. A quick calibration took care of things there. Otherwise, I didn’t feel the need to tweak the settings for everyday work. For documents, emails, spreadsheets, etc., the PD2705Q is great. Contrast is good, the lines are crisp, and text reads well.
Built-in color modes seem to be quite accurate right off the bat. If you plan on using this for color work, you’ll definitely want to run a calibration using a device from X-Rite or Datacolor at the very least. For documents and everyday use, many will be happy straightaway.
There are a few settings for Low Blue Light, which is part of BenQ’s Eye-Care feature set. This will move away from color accuracy to reduce blue light from the screen, which can help with eyestrain and fatigue during long work sessions. It noticeably cuts down on the blue so, if you are sensitive to this, it’s worth checking out. Also, BenQ labels this display as flicker-free, meaning that you shouldn’t get any strain from that either.
Changing settings relies on some physical buttons on the bottom right of the monitor and an OSD. This setup is nothing new and works fine. No complaints, although it doesn’t have the additional wired controller like BenQ’s higher-end displays. BenQ does offer Display Pilot software when using the USB-C connection, which allows you to control the monitor more efficiently than by using the buttons and clicking through all the settings.
A nice feature is the KVM switch, which makes it easier to switch between multiple computers—for example, if you have a desktop but want to dock your laptop on occasion and use the mouse and keyboard setup. I personally don’t make much use of this, but I know it is a necessity for many and my experience with the KVM switch feature on this and others in the BenQ lineup has been good.
As someone who does color-critical work, I wouldn’t rely on this for serious editing, but it was nice having it around for some proofing in sRGB for web and having as a secondary display for notes and other documents.
Some final nice-to-have options include a Darkroom mode for dim environments, an Animation mode that helps boost clarity in the shadows while retaining details in the highlights, and a CAD/CAM mode that ensures clean shapes and lines in technical documents and illustrations.
Apple User Notes
An odd section to have, but there are a couple of interesting things to talk about here. First, if you want colors to match with an existing iMac or MacBook display, BenQ did go out of its way to provide an “M-Book” mode that does a good job of matching colors.
Besides that, I had an issue that was quickly resolved by changing some settings. This issue was that when connected to my iMac via USB-C, the PD2705Q only offered HDR mode. This is a quirk of macOS—when it auto-detects an HDR display, it goes into HDR mode. A quick fix is simply to turn it off in the System Preferences > Display options. Then you should have all the control over the display you want.
The PD2705Q hits all the key specs it needed to hit, with flying colors. If you are looking for a great value display to add to your workstation, or to replace an existing monitor, the PD2705Q is my recommendation. It’s a great all-around monitor with the perfect size and resolution for most desks.