Inexpensive, Sophisticated 27″ Display

Reviewed by Steve Baczewski 

The SW270C 27″ photo editing monitor reflects BenQ’s commitment to making affordable, sophisticated displays that match up well with higher-priced models from other manufacturers. It’s for professional photographers and graphic designers who prioritize making prints that accurately match the colors on their calibrated display. 

The SW270C features its own built-in LUT (look-up table) that bypasses your computer’s graphic card and includes proprietary calibration software that works with most colorimeters or spectrophotometers on the market. It covers 100% sRGB and 99% Adobe RGB. One caveat: this is a 2K (2560×1440 at 60 Hz) not a 4K display; however the SW270C includes all the features of BenQ’s higher-priced monitors, all necessary cables, and a hood with an opening for your colorimeter. 

Setup is simple and the solid build reassuring. The screen moves very smoothly; swinging from side to side, tilting, rising and falling, and rotating from landscape to portrait mode. Color and illumination is uniform from edge to edge. I measured a 170° angle of view without any drop-off. The display includes a USB puck that allows you to switch between sRGB, Adobe RGB, and black-and-white spaces, as well as access to the OSM (onscreen manager). The OSM is comprehensive; allowing you to fine-tune the screen should your calibration software call for you to make midcourse adjustments so that you’re in range of your target settings. 

I used my Datacolor Spyder5ELITE with BenQ’s Palette Master Element calibration software to write to the display’s LUT, and the results were spot on. I also calibrated the screen using the Spyder5 software and the results were very close to what I got with BenQ’s software. The SW270C’s connectivity is comprehensive, including both HDMI and display port (Thunderbolt) connectivity to your computer; however, only the display port connectivity provides 10-bit color. A downstream connection supplies power to the screen’s USB hub and includes an SD card reader. 

The BenQ SW270C Photo Editing Monitor is a wonderfully color-managed screen; however, 27″ might not be enough real estate, and 2K not enough resolution for some folks. ■