BenQ PG2401PT monitor review
BenQ PG2401PT monitor review
A high end 24″ LCD Monitor
Keith looks at a relatively new entrant to the higher end monitor market.
The BenQ PG2401PT is a wide gamut LCD monitor that comes with a version of X-Rite’s i1Profiler software that lets you set the internal calibration and profiling options for the monitor.
Keith has been trying out the monitor on several of his Apple Mac systems, although it should be noted that the software is very similar on Windows PCs.
A new monitor
The monitor I’m looking at is a 1920×1200 24″ model, using an IPS panel.
The key features (from BenQ) are listed as:
- Printing-Industry Colour Certified (G7/Fogra)
- IPS Panel
- Brightness Uniformity Function
- Expand the Spectrum on a 10-bit IPS Panel
- X-rite and BenQ Co-Developed Software to set up internal 14-bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT)
The full specifications are at the foot of the article:
|Resolution (max.)||1920 x 1200|
|Pixel Pitch (mm)||0.27|
|Brightness (typ.)||350 cd/m²|
|Native Contrast ( typ. )||1000:1|
|DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio) (typ.)||20M:1|
|Viewing Angle (L/R;U/D) (CR>=10)||178°/178°|
|Response Time(Tr+Tf) typ.||12ms, 5ms (GTG)|
|Display Colours||DisplayPort, HDMI: 1.07 billion from a palette of 4.4 trillion
Dvi, D-sub: 16.77 million from a palette of 4.4 trillion
|Colour Gamut||99% Adobe RGB|
|Input Connector||D-Sub / DVI / HDMI / DP / mDP/ Headphone jack|
I should note that the specifications and design of this monitor show how much it is aimed at the pre-press and proofing market.
If that’s your area, you may want to check the additional information at the BenQ product page for the PG2401PT, since I’m a commercial and architectural photographer, and whilst accurate good quality colour is important for me, I have no real use for the rigorously defined standards in that industry.
The monitor comes well packed, but do note the markings on the box about how to remove the contents.
It’s meant to be pulled out, whilst laying flat.
The monitor comes with its own test certificate.
Check for assorted parts in boxes, such as the monitor hood.
I should note that the photos here are of my initial setup and testing with my MacBook Pro, rather than in my somewhat cluttered and less photogenic office…
There are two parts to the stand, which clip together easily and very solidly.
I found that the stand was easiest to attach to the monitor with it laying flat. It’s on the white packing to prevent marking of monitor or dining room table…
The monitor can be used horizontally or vertically.
Take a look at the connections before use – it’s much easier to remember where the plugs go.
At the side of the monitor is an SD card slot and two USB (3) sockets.
The monitor hood just clips together.
It fits quite nicely to the edge of the monitor, and won’t easily get knocked off.
Here it is connected to my laptop, before any profiling or calibration.
The laptop is calibrated to 6500K.
You can just see the power switch glowing in the lower right-hand corner.
The OSD controls are all activated when you put your hand close to the power button, offering wide range of adjustments and options, such as multiple calibration sets.
The supplied software is a version of i1Profiler tweaked to give custom access to the internal 14-bit 3D Look Up Table (LUT) and hardware calibration options.
Unfortunately, when viewing the CD to install software, the presence of an Autorun.exe file and lack of obvious install setup for Apple Mac users was clear. There are install and setup options aplenty for PC users, but things like this screen always ring alarm bells for experienced Mac users.
Fortunately I was able to find the software installer and set up the custom version of i1Profiler in order to profile and calibrate the monitor.
I’ll come back to these issues later, but once I’d got a version of the software that worked, I proceeded to set up the monitor.
The software is i1Profiler, just as I’d use with my i1Display Pro or i1Pro to calibrate other monitors.
Initially I tested the software with an i1Display Pro colorimeter (it works with my i1Pro and i1Pro 2 spectrophotometers too, but nothing else).
The software allows for considerable customisation of your display primaries.
I’m just using my normal setting of 6500K – if you’re setting up for more critical use, then you’ll know the benefits or otherwise of other settings. I could for example set up the display to match my print viewing cabinet – way too much for my normal day to day photographic work, but given that the monitor can handle multiple hardware calibrations, worth considering.
This is the normal set of target colours used.
You can use a lot more patches in ‘advanced’ mode.
or even add specific spot colours if they are important to your work.
Your measuring device needs placing on the screen for measurement. The hood top has a slide section where the cable can go.
The measurement process takes a few minutes depending on how many patches you selected.
The results of profiling are displayed afterwards. Other than setting the brightness I wanted, I’ve not customised any of the other options.
If you are in a production environment, you may want a bit more data about the profiling results.
The software offers a number of quality assurance (QA) options, such as this comparison against the standard colours of a ColorChecker 24 card.
Here are the results of a check, on this particular monitor.
It’s possible to store this data for trend analysis – any unexpected changes could give early warning of hardware issues for example.
Here’s the full QA report from the testing (data directly exported from the software as an HTML formatted file).
This is a very nicely built, high quality monitor. It was simple to assemble and run via both my laptop and main desktop computers.
Compared to an older monitor such as my (still going strong) Apple cinema display, the improvement in colour depth, evenness, neutrality and sheer image quality were immediately obvious.
This is a monitor made for serious professional use. It comes with an individual test certificate and has other certifications as well.
However, the lack of obvious Apple Mac support when looking to install software was all to apparent. I needed to download newer versions of software to get things to work consistently. BenQ – update your install CD, preferably getting someone who’s used to multi-platform support to do it.
Note, I’m told that in the UK, the latest software is now being included in the box.
A bit more irritating problem (well, for me anyway) with the software, is that it only sees this one model of monitor, so if I took the Apple display I mentioned, and wanted to use it as a second monitor, I’d need additional software to profile it.
Indeed I could use the latest version of i1Profiler for my other laptops, monitors, scanners and printer profiling, but would have to switch to the modified BenQ software to profile just my PG2401. This seems plain daft from a user point of view.
A great monitor for professional use, but could do with a bit of refinement in its software configuration.
24 inch 1920×1200 LCD monitor with specifications and performance for demanding pre-press and proofing use.
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- Why don't my prints match my screen? A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
- Why are my prints too dark - some basic suggestions to this common problem.
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