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BenQ SW321C 32 inch 4K UHD Photographer Monitor

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We feel the ‘4K’ UHD resolution is best enjoyed on a ~32″ screen, with an excellent combination of pixel density and scaling-free ‘desktop real-estate’. BenQ is well known for its solidly built and feature-rich models fitting this bill, with a recent addition from them coming in the form of the SW321C. This addition to the SW series is specifically marketed as a “Photographer Monitor”, designed with colour-critical users in mind. Aesthetically it doesn’t stray far from other members of the series – no reason it should. It’s a solid and unfussy look, with moderately thick matte black bezels which are quite even at all four sides. The OSD (On Screen Display) can be controlled by touch-sensitive areas towards the right side of the bottom bezel, facing forwards. Or using a small Mini-USB remote (‘Hotkey Puck G2’) which rests in the centre of the stand base or wherever is convenient for you on the desk. A detachable shading hood is included to minimise glare, with a calibration hatch at the top for convenience.

Solid and flexible

The monitor adopts a 32″ 3840 x 2160 (‘4K’ UHD) IPS-type (In-Plane Switching or similar) panel. This offers a 1000:1 static contrast ratio, 178°/178° horizontal/vertical viewing angles and a 60Hz refresh rate. A light matte anti-glare screen surface is employed, whilst 10-bit colour is supported alongside a user-addressable 16-bit 3D LUT. The monitor is factory calibrated with a specified average DeltaE of ≤2 under both sRGB and Adobe RGB plus uniformity compensation. The monitor also supports hardware calibration using a supported colorimeter and free to download software (Palette Master Element). Popular Datacolor devices (including the latest SpyderX) and X-Rite devices (i1Display Pro and others) are supported as is third-party software such as CalMAN and LightSpace. A flicker-free LED backlight is used, offering 100% sRGB coverage, 99% Adobe RGB coverage and 95% DCI-P3 coverage. A typical maximum luminance of 250 cd/m² is specified. HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) HDR processing capability is included, although the backlight’s maximum luminance is too low for a ‘proper’ HDR output and no local dimming support is specified. This is just a basic feature addition, allowing you to make use of the strong DCI-P3 coverage and 10-bit capability without the improved brightness and contrast that’s key to a true HDR experience.

The monitor includes a range of gamma and colour temperature settings, alongside a broad range of presets. This includes emulation modes for sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 alongside a ‘Paper Color Sync’ setting designed for print-proofing. The latter mode bases the screen output on the selected printer model, paper type and preferred gamut. Other aspects of note include a specified 5ms grey to grey response time and 24p plus 25p pulldown-free support for 24-25fps film content. The rear of the monitor is matte black plastic with a central stand attachment point, including a quick-release mechanism. The included stand offers full ergonomic flexibility and can be removed to make way for an alternative 100 x 100mm VESA compatible solution if preferred. The ports face downwards and include; AC power input (internal power converter), USB Type-C (60W PD and DP Alt Mode) DP 1.4, 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB 3.1 upstream port. At the left side of the monitor 2 USB 3.1 ports are included alongside a media card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC supported).

A sensible design

Further information can be found on the manufacturer’s website. The monitor is listed for £1600 with release expected in various regions from early 2020.

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BenQ SW321C