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Introduction

Over the last several years AU Optronics, one of the largest manufacturers of LCD panels in the World, have invested in the development and expansion of their Advanced Multi-Domain Vertical Alignment (AMVA) technology. In late 2010 this included the move towards the ever-popular LED backlighting which offered energy saving and environmental benefits along with slim screen profiles. BenQ as a monitor manufacturer are part of the same group as AU Optronics and so have always had access to their latest panels and been at the forefront of any developments which they might make. In December 2010 we tested the first VA + LED monitor in the form of the BenQ EW2420. Since then, the use of AMVA panels with LED backlighting has become more mainstream, extending to other manufacturers and into other screen sizes (e.g. the recently tested Philips 273E3QHSB 27" screen).

BenQ have now decided to expand their use of AMVA + LED into their GW series of screens which is aimed at home and office users. We have already completed a full review of the 24" GW2450HM model which uses the latest generation of AU Optronics' AMVA technology and had impressed us with some positive improvements compared with older models. BenQ have also released GW series screens in 21.5" (GW2250) and 27" (GW2750) sizes as we discussed in our news article in April 2012.

Unlike the 21.5" and 24" models which came in three flavours, with different connectivity options and features, the 27" model is only available as the GW2750HM which is what we have with us for review now. It will be interesting to see how this compares with the 24" model we already tested and also compare the 27" screen against other AMVA offerings we have seen in the past. Many aspects of this screen are the same as the smaller 24" model so forgive us for using some of the same photos (e.g. the OSD menu) again which apply to both models. Of course all the testing and analysis is completely new.

BenQ's website states: "After launching the world's first VA LED monitor, BenQ - the world's leading LED monitor brand - is now taking the lead to introduce VA LED to our home & office offering: GW Series! Built with the dream combination of LED with VA panel, GW Series is bound to bring a whole new visual experience and enjoyment to you with truly authentic colours, deeper blacks, higher contrast and sharper details."

 


Specifications and Features

The following table gives detailed information about the specs of the screen:

Monitor Specifications

Size

27"WS

Panel Coating

Anti-glare (matte)

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Interfaces

D-sub, DVI-D, HDMI (with HDCP)

Resolution

1920 x 1080

Pixel Pitch

0.311 mm

Design colour

Glossy black plastic bezel and stand

Response Time

4ms G2G (12ms ISO)

Ergonomics

-5 ~ 15 Tilt adjustment only

Static Contrast Ratio

5000:1

Dynamic Contrast Ratio

20 million:1

VESA Compatible

Yes 100mm

Brightness (cd/m2)

300

Accessories

VGA cable, power cable, audio cable

Viewing Angles

178/178

Panel Technology

AMVA

Weight

Net weight: 5.6Kg

Backlight Technology

W-LED

Physical Dimensions
 

(WxHxD with stand)
655 x 489 x 191 mm

Colour Depth

16.7m (8-bit)

Colour Gamut

Standard gamut (~sRGB)
72% NTSC

Special Features

2 x 2W integrated stereo speakers

Manufacturer Spec link: BenQ

Like the smaller 24" model, the GW2750HM offers a decent range of connections for a lower end home and office range monitor. There are DVI-D, HDMI and D-sub interfaces available for video connections. The digital connections are all HDCP certified and it's great to see HDMI included for connection of popular external devices like games consoles and Blu-ray players. DisplayPort is missing from this model which is becoming increasingly popular though. All the provided interfaces can support the full 1920 x 1080 resolution of the panel. The screen is packaged with the VGA cable but does not come with DVI or HDMI unfortunately. Presumably a cost cutting measure from BenQ there.

There aren't really many extra features provided here and the screen is even missing USB ports which can be found on many monitors nowadays. There are only 2x 2W integrated stereo speakers available. There are no further features here such as ambient light sensors, card readers etc.

Below is a summary of the features and connections of the screen:

Feature

Yes / No

Feature

Yes / No

Tilt adjust

DVI

Height adjust

HDMI

Swivel adjust

D-sub

Rotate adjust

DisplayPort

VESA compliant

Component

USB Ports

Composite

Card Reader

Audio connection

Ambient Light Sensor

HDCP Support

Touch Screen

Integrated Speakers

Hardware calibration

Uniformity correction



Design and Ergonomics


Above: front views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The BenQ GW2750HM comes in an all black design with glossy plastics used for the bezel and stand. The bezel measures ~28mm along all the sides. There is a light grey silver BenQ logo in the middle of the bottom edge which is not obtrusive. The plastics do tend to pick up finger prints since they have a glossy finish so you may want to keep a cleaning cloth handy.


Above: front views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The screen looks pretty neat and attractive I think and has a smooth feel to the overall shape. The panel coating is a light anti-glare (AG) offering. It is not overly grainy or aggressive like some modern IPS based panels are which is good news for those who are bothered by that kind of thing. It is not a full-on glossy solution though which you should realise before purchasing if you are after that kind of thing.


Above: front views of the screen and lower bezel. Click for larger versions

In the bottom left hand corner of the bezel there are logos for HDMI, Senseye 3 and LED as shown above. The top right hand corner also has a small 'GW2750' label.


Above: back views of the screen. Click for larger versions

The back of the screen is a squared off matte black plastic as you can see above. There are 4 screw holes for VESA 100 x 100 mounting if needed. The stand also slides and clips into place at the bottom and comes separately in the box. That's easy enough to connect though. There is no cable tidy featured on the back of the stand unfortunately and so it's a little tricky to hide the cables.

 
Above: views of the base of the screen. Click for larger version

The base is a oval shaped plastic block as shown above, again in a glossy black plastic. It needs to be screwed onto the bottom of the monitor arm using the attached easy-use screw, and then slides into a small metal bracket on the back of the screen and screws into place. This part can pick up dust and finger prints quite easily.


Above: side views of the screen

The GW2750HM has a nice thin profile as you can see from the above. With the stand the screen is ~191mm thick, but the panel itself (if you wanted to wall mount it for instance) is only ~50mm.


Above: side views of the screen showing tilt range. Click for larger versions

The GW2750HM only offers a tilt adjustment from its stand. It has a range of -5 to 15 according to the spec. The full range of its adjustment is shown above and is reasonable enough for comfortable viewing angles. The movement is a little stiff and you need to grip the screen with two hands really to reposition it. The screen is very light overall as well (5.6Kg) so it doesn't feel that sturdy when you move the tilt angle. When it is just sat on the desk there is also the potential for a bit of wobble due to the size of the screen and the relatively small base of the stand. It would have been nice to see height adjustment available also which is always useful I think. As it is, the bottom edge of the screen is ~90mm above the level of the desk. Pivot and swivel we can live without really, especially on a screen this size, but all three have been omitted in favour of a cheaper tilt-only stand.
 

A summary of the screens ergonomic adjustments is shown below:

Function

Range

Smoothness

Ease of Use

Tilt

-5 / +15

Quite stiff

Moderate

Height

-

-

-

Swivel

-

-

-

Rotate

-

-

-

Overall

Limited adjustments with only tilt available. A little stiff to move but reasonable range.

The screen materials are of a good quality and the design is pretty attractive in my opinion. It is of course very similar to the 24" GW2450HM model, but looks a little more blocky as it is a bit more chunky. There is no audible buzz from the screen, even if you listen very closely. It also stays nice and cool during use thanks to its low energy W-LED backlighting unit.

 


Above: interface and audio connections. Click for larger version

The back of the screen features the interface connections as shown above. There are two audio sockets there, one to feed audio in from a PC (or other device) and then a headphone jack. You can of course use the screens integrated 2 x 2W stereo speakers as well by feeding audio in to the green port or when using HDMI. Next to these are the HDMI, DVI-D and D-sub connections for video inputs. The digital DVI and HDMI connections are HDCP certified. The inclusion of an HDMI port is very useful for connection of external devices. A VGA cable is the only one provided with the screen in the box it should be noted.


Above: power connection. Click for larger version

The back also features the normal power connection as shown above. The GW2750 has an integrated power supply so you only need a normal kettle lead type cable which is provided in the box.

 



OSD Menu


Above: view of OSD operational buttons and labels. Click for larger versions

The OSD is controlled by a set of 6 buttons located on the right hand edge of the screen and as shown in the above photo (left). These are identical to the 24" GW2450 model. The labels for these buttons are then located on the front edge of the screen on the right hand side (right hand picture). The bottom button is the power on/off switch and also has a small LED built into it. This glows green during normal operation and amber in standby. During normal use you can't really see this when viewing the screen from head on as it is tucked just out of the line of sight on the side.

The other 5 buttons control various aspects of the OSD menu. The 'auto' button gives you quick access to the auto configure feature for analogue inputs. 'Menu' obviously takes you into the main OSD menu which we will look at in a moment. There is quick access to the volume control from the third button down (upwards arrow label), and then quick access to the range of preset modes from the fourth button down (downwards arrow label). Lastly the 'enter' button gives you quick access to input selection.

On the 24" model the labels and buttons seemed to be slightly misaligned which could often lead to the pressing of the wrong button. On the GW2750HM this isn't an issue and labels and buttons line up much more closely. However, I still found myself turning the screen off sometimes when trying to press 'enter' because the buttons are out of sight from a head-on view.

The main OSD menu is identical to the GW2450 model, with the exact same navigation and options. It looks like the above and is split into 5 sections, distinguished by the tabs along the top. You can then see a range of options in each section in the lower blue section. Some of these you can actually drill into for a further level of settings. Pressing the up/down arrows navigates between the tabs (a little hard to get used to as you're moving left and right on the screen), and pressing enter brings you into that selection.

The first tab is the 'display' tab with a range of settings related to the use of the analogue VGA input. They are greyed out here since we are using DVI. Given most users would probably want to be using DVI or HDMI on this screen in today's market, I would have preferred to see this as a later tab, rather than the first section when you open up the OSD menu.

 

The second section is the 'picture' menu which has a lot of useful features. There are the normal options for brightness and contrast of course. There are 5 gamma mode settings available and then a 'color' menu which you can drill in to. Once in the 'color' sub-section there are controls over the colour temperature preset and the RGB channels as shown above. This section should allow you some decent control over the screens colour setup for calibration. In the 'picture' section of the menu there is an option for the 'AMA' control which allows you to control the level of overdrive being applied for gaming. We will test this a little later on in the review.

The third tab is the 'picture advanced' menu. There is access to the range of 'Senseye' preset modes available here. There are options for standard, movie, game, photo, sRGB and ECO available here. When entering some of these presets other options shown here like the dynamic contrast ratio become accessible also. The 'display mode' option gives you control over the hardware level aspect ratio control options as shown above.

The fourth section is the audio menu, allowing you to control the volume of the speakers (or headphones if you have them plugged in). The last section allows you to choose the screen input and control several aspects of the OSD itself.

The GW2750HM also has a hidden factory menu available which is shown above. You can access this by holding the 'menu' button while you power on the screen. Once turned on, pressing 'menu' again brings up this menu. This confirms the screen is using an AU Optronics M270HW02 V1 AMVA panel which is useful to know. Another useful option here is being able to turn the BenQ screen boot logo off, and also the resolution notice if you want. Use this section at your own risk!

All in all the OSD menu offered a good range of options and controls. It looked quite good as well and seemed to be a decent enough bit of software. Navigation was a little tricky sometimes and it didn't feel that intuitive although thankfully the labels and buttons lined up on the 27" model. The navigation was also a little slow and laggy I felt, but overall at least there was a lot you could control if you wanted to. Once set up you probably won't need to change the settings much anyway.

 


Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption the manufacturers spec states power usage of 30W. In standby the screen apparently uses <0.3W.

State and Brightness Setting

Power Usage (W)

Factory Default (100%)

40.9

Calibrated (14%)

21.0

Maximum Brightness (100%)

40.9

Minimum Brightness (0%)

18.8

Standby

0.7

We tested this ourselves and found that out of the box the screen used 40.9W of power while at its default 100% brightness setting. After calibration, where we had adjusted the brightness control to 14% and therefore the backlight intensity, this was reduced to 21.0W. In standby the screen uses only 0.7W of power. We have plotted the results of these measurements on the graph below:

 


Panel and Backlighting

Panel Manufacturer

AU Optronics

Colour Palette

16.7 million

Panel Technology

AMVA

Colour Depth

8-bit

Panel Module

M270HW02 V1

Colour space

~sRGB

Backlighting Type

W-LED

Colour space coverage (%)

~sRGB, 72% NTSC

The BenQ GW2750HM utilise an AU Optronics M270HW02 V1 AMVA panel which is capable of producing 16.7 million colours. This is achieved through a true 8-bits per sub-pixel. The GW2750HM series use White-LED (W-LED) backlighting and so the colour space of this screen is approximately equal to the sRGB reference and is considered a 'standard gamut' backlight type. A wide gamut screen would need to be considered by those wanting to work outside of the sRGB colour space of course.

PWM Flicker Tests at Various Backlight Brightness Settings

100%                                                  50%                                                   0%

Pulse Width Modulation Used

Yes

Cycling Frequency

~240Hz

Possible Flicker at

 

100% Brightness

No

50% Brightness

Yes

0% Brightness

Yes

We tested the screen to establish the methods used to control backlight dimming. Our recent article talks in more details about a common method used for this which is called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). A series of photos was taken using the method outlined in the article. These were taken at 100%, 50% and 0% brightness. This allows us to establish 1) whether PWM is being used to control the backlight, 2) the frequency at which this operates, and 3) whether a flicker may be introduced or potentially noticeable at certain settings.

A thin white line was shown on an all-black background and a photograph was taken at a slow shutter speed of 1/8 second as the camera was scanned left to right in front of the screen. This produces a series of white lines which can be used to identify the frequency of the PWM and how quickly the backlight is cycled on and off. The higher this frequency, the less likely you are to see artefacts and flicker. The duty cycle (the time for which the backlight is on) is also important and the shorter the duty cycle, the more potential there is that you may see flicker. Please remember that not every user would notice a flicker from the backlight but it is something to be wary of. It is also a hard thing to quantify as it is very subjective when talking about whether a user may or may not experience the side effects. We are able to at least measure the frequency of the backlight using this method and tell you whether the duty cycle is sufficiently short at certain settings that it may introduce a flicker to those sensitive to it.

The BenQ GW2750HM showed a cycling frequency of ~240Hz (30 lines at 1/8 second shutter speed) in the initial tests shown here. A further test at an even slower shutter speed confirmed the cycling frequency at approximately 240Hz as well. At 100% brightness there should be no flicker evident as the backlight is not cycled on and off using PWM. At lower settings PWM is used and the duty cycle becomes progressively shorter. Given the relatively low frequency of the PWM cycling compared with some other displays (e.g. PWM of 350Hz+) and the use of LED backlighting, there is a chance that flicker may be evident to some users as you lower the brightness setting as a result. The frequency was a little higher than some other screens we have tested however which were ~180Hz.

 


Testing Methodology

An important thing to consider for most users is how a screen will perform out of the box and with some basic manual adjustments. Since most users won't have access to hardware colorimeter tools, it is important to understand how the screen is going to perform in terms of colour accuracy for the average user.

I restored my graphics card to default settings and disabled any previously active ICC profiles and gamma corrections. The screen was tested at default factory settings using the DVI interface, and analysed using an X-rite i1 Pro Spectrophotometer (not to be confused with the new i1 Display Pro colorimeter) combined with LaCie's Blue Eye Pro software suite. An NEC branded and customised X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter was also used to verify the black point and contrast ratio since the i1 Pro is less reliable at the darker end.


Targets for these tests are as follows:

  • CIE Diagram - validates the colour space covered by the monitors backlighting in a 2D view, with the black triangle representing the displays gamut, and other reference colour spaces shown for comparison

  • Gamma - we aim for 2.2 which is the default for computer monitors

  • Colour temperature / white point - we aim for 6500k which is the temperature of daylight

  • Luminance - we aim for 120 cd/m2, which is the recommended luminance for LCD monitors in normal lighting conditions

  • Black depth - we aim for as low as possible to maximise shadow detail and to offer us the best contrast ratio

  • Contrast ratio - we aim for as high as possible. Any dynamic contrast ratio controls are turned off here if present

  • dE average / maximum - as low as possible. If DeltaE >3, the color displayed is significantly different from the theoretical one, meaning that the difference will be perceptible to the viewer. If DeltaE <2, LaCie considers the calibration a success; there remains a slight difference, but it is barely undetectable. If DeltaE < 1, the color fidelity is excellent.

 


Default Performance and Setup

Default settings of the screen were as follows:

Monitor OSD Option

Default Settings

Brightness

100

Contrast

50

Gamma

3

Picture Mode

Standard

Color Temperature

Normal


BenQ GW2750HM - Default Factory Settings

 
 

 

Default Settings

luminance (cd/m2)

371

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.11

Contrast Ratio

3361:1

 

The out of the box performance of the GW2750HM was poor overall. The screen felt very bright when set at its 100% brightness default which is very common for desktop monitors. Apart from that, the image appeared a little cool perhaps to the naked eye and there was a slight green tendency as well. Colour balance didn't feel right and it reminded us of the out of the box performance of the 24" GW2450HM in fact. If we refer first of all to the CIE diagram on the left it confirms that the monitors colour gamut (black triangle) very closely matches the sRGB colour space (orange triangle). It extends a little past the sRGB space in some shades in this 2D view of gamut but is a little short in others and so can't quite cover the full sRGB space. The screen would be considered a standard gamut offering of course, thanks to its W-LED backlight unit.

 

 

Default gamma was recorded at 2.0 average, leaving it 11% out from the target of 2.2. Gamma was a little closer in darker grey tones at ~1.99 but strayed further from the target gamma curve in lighter grey shades. This was tested while the screen was in its default gamma 3 mode by the way and we will test the other gamma settings in a moment. Colour temperature was a little too cool and was measured at 6981k, being 7% out from the target of 6500k. Note that we are using a Spectrophotometer to make these measurements which is not sensitive to the W-LED backlight as some colorimeter devices can be. When using a standard gamut colorimeter not designed to work with modern backlighting units like W-LED, there can be a typical deviance of 300 - 600k in the white point measurement which is why some sources may refer to a different white point in this test incorrectly.

 

Luminance was recorded at a very high 371 cd/m2 which is too bright for comfortable office use and even a fair bit higher than the specified 300 cd/m2 maximum brightness of the panel. You will definitely want to turn the brightness control down a lot to get a more comfortable setting for day to day use. Even at this very high luminance the screen returned a very low black point of 0.11 cd/m2. This gave us a static contrast ratio of 3361:1. This was amazing of course, and a lot more than any modern TN Film, IPS or PLS panel could offer. However, given the specified 5000:1 contrast ratio we had hoped for higher.

 

Colour accuracy was pretty poor at default factory settings with an average DeltaE (dE) of 4.8, ranging up to a maximum of 1.4. There seemed to be an imbalance in the greens as well. You will need to make some adjustments if you require higher levels of accuracy, but even if you don't a simple change in the brightness control will be necessary. Overall the default set up was quite similar to the 24" GW2450HM model, although was a little further adrift in terms of the gamma curve, luminance and colour accuracy.

 

 

 


Testing Colour Temperatures and Gamma

 

 

We had access to controls over the gamma and colour temperature from within the OSD which was useful. We first of all tested the average gamma and deviance from a target of 2.2 in each of the five settings. The default is setting 3.

 

Gamma Mode

Average Gamma

Deviance from 2.2 Target

1

1.7

-24%

2

1.8

-20%

3

2.0

-11%

4

2.2

+1%

5

2.5

+12%

 

The gamma modes offered an average gamma ranging from 1.7 up to 2.5. Mode 3, which is the default, returned a gamma which was a little way out from the target of 2.2 with a 11% deviance. Mode 4 seemed to be the closest to the desired gamma curve, being measured with an average 2.2 gamma and only 1% deviance. We will use that mode when we calibrate the screen shortly to provide the optimum hardware starting point to minimise tonal value loss through graphics card adjustments.

 

 

 

There are also an option in the OSD menu for colour temperature when you drill into the 'color' section. Here they are described in words as opposed to being listed with a target temperature. They are designed to make the screen cooler or warmer at some undefined value. As a reminder we are using an i1 Pro spectrophotometer device here which can accurately read the colour temperature of the W-LED backlighting. We measured the colour temperature of the screen in each of the preset modes. All other settings were left at factory defaults (gamma was returned to mode 3 here) and no ICC profile was active. The results are recorded below:

 

Selected Color Temperature Mode

Measured Colour Temperature

Normal

6981k

Bluish

8452k

Reddish

6242k

User mode

6740k

 

As you can see, the normal setting had returned us a white point of 6981k. The bluish mode made the image cooler and colour temperature was now recorded at 8452k. Reddish made the image warmer and was measured at 6242k. The 'user mode' allowed you to control the individual RGB levels if you wanted to, although here we left them at 100% each. This mode had a colour temperature of 6740k at default which was a bit closer to our target 6500k than the 'normal' mode had achieved. A similar pattern had been seen from the 24" GW2450HM model. Switching to the 'user mode' would again help improve default setup before profiling through adjustments to the RGB channels.
 

 

Calibration Results

 

I wanted to calibrate and profile the screen to determine what was possible with optimum settings and profiling. I used the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer combined with the LaCie Blue Eye Pro software package to achieve these results and reports. An NEC branded and customised X-rite i1 Display 2 was used to validate the black depth and contrast ratios due to lower end limitations of the i1 Pro device.


BenQ GW2750HM - Calibrated Settings, User Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Calibrated Settings

Brightness

14

Contrast

50

Gamma

4

Picture Mode

Standard

Color Temperature

User Mode

RGB

100, 100, 95

 

Calibrated Settings,
User mode

luminance (cd/m2)

120

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.04

Contrast Ratio

2960:1

 

I first of all changed the screen into the 'user mode' color temperature setting. This would also allow us to control the RGB channels during the calibration process which affords us even more control over the hardware itself. I also changed the gamma setting to mode 4 which had returned us a default gamma closest to our 2.2 target. This would allow us to obtain an optimum hardware starting point and setup before software level changes would be made at the graphics card level. This helps to ensure tonal values are retained as much as possible. Adjustments were made during the process to the brightness control and to the RGB channels as shown in the table above. After this I let the software carry out the LUT adjustments at a graphics card level and create an ICC profile. The screen does not feature a hardware LUT calibration option so other than the OSD alterations, the rest of the process is carried out at a graphics card level in profiling the screen.

 

 

The calibration was a great success. The 11% overall gamma discrepancy that we saw before in gamma mode 3 (2.0 average) had been almost completely corrected now to leave us with 0% deviance overall and an average gamma of 2.2. There was still some slight discrepancy with the gamma curve as you can see from the table above in lighter grey shades. White point was also corrected to 6507k, bringing it pretty much spot on to the target within 0% deviance (correcting the 7% we saw by default). Luminance had been reduced to a more comfortable 120 cd/m2 thankfully after the adjustment of the OSD brightness control to 14%. Black depth was still excellent at 0.04 cd/m2 and this gave us a calibrated static contrast ratio of 2960:1. Colour accuracy was also improved very nicely with dE average now only 0.5 and maximum only 1.1. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent overall with only some slight discrepancies in some cases.

 

Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed smooth transitions with only some very slight gradation in darker tones being evident. At the very dark end this was slightly more apparent. There was also some very slight colour banding evident in the darker tones if you look very closely which has been introduced because of some of the corrections being made at a graphics card level. Gradients had been smoother and free from this slight banding at default settings but the calibration process had corrected gamma and other areas resulting in some tonal value loss. It's not something you'd notice in practice, but those working with a lot of gradients may need to consider it.

 

You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.

 


BenQ GW2750HM - Calibrated Settings, Normal Mode

Monitor OSD Option

Calibrated Settings

Brightness

14

Contrast

50

Gamma

4

Picture Mode

Standard

Color Temperature

Normal

RGB

n/a

 

Calibrated Settings,
Normal mode

luminance (cd/m2)

120

Black Point (cd/m2)

0.04

Contrast Ratio

2948:1

 

I calibrated the screen again, but this time leaving it in its default 'normal' colour temperature mode. This did not give us access to the RGB channels so the only OSD change we were making were to the brightness and gamma controls.

 

 

The calibration was again a success. The 11% overall gamma discrepancy that we saw before in gamma mode 3 (2.0 average) had been corrected now to leave us with 0% deviance overall and an average gamma of 2.2. There was still some slight discrepancy with the gamma curve as you can see from the table above. White point was also corrected to 6473k, bringing it almost spot on to the target. Luminance had again been reduced to 120 cd/m2 after the adjustment of the OSD brightness control to 14% in this mode. Black depth was still excellent at 0.04 cd/m2 and this gave us a calibrated static contrast ratio of 2948:1 which was almost exactly the same as we'd achieved in the 'user mode' where we'd lowered some of the RGB levels. Colour accuracy was also improved very nicely compared with default settings with dE average now only 0.7 and maximum only 1.7. LaCie would consider colour fidelity to be excellent overall with only some slight discrepancies in some cases.

 

Testing the screen with various colour gradients showed smooth transitions with only some very slight gradation in darker tones being evident. There was also some slight colour banding evident in the darker tones if you look very closely which has been introduced because of some of the corrections being made at a graphics card level. Again, it's not something you'd notice in practice, but those working with a lot of gradients may need to consider it.

 

You can use our settings and try our calibrated ICC profile if you wish, which are available in our ICC profile database. Keep in mind that results will vary from one screen to another and from one computer / graphics card to another.

 

 

 

Calibration Performance Comparisons

 

 

I've provided a comparison above of the GW2750HM against some of the other screens we have tested in a similar size range. Out of the box average dE was 4.8 which was poor really. It was a little behind the 24" GW2450HM at default settings (3.4) and was also a little less accurate in terms of default gamma. It was however ahead of the BenQ EW2730V which is a multimedia orientated screen (6.5), but was not quite as accurate as the Philips 273E3QHSB (3.3) which is perhaps its closest rival here, being based on the same AMVA panel.

 

 

Once calibrated the dE average was reduced to 0.5. This would be classified as excellent colour fidelity by LaCie still, but it was not quite as low as some of the other screens here which reached down to 0.2 - 0.4 average commonly. Purely based on this measurement there is not really any significant difference here though. It's important to understand that it's not all down to a single dE value measurement though when comparing the picture quality and setup of a screen, this is just provided for a quick comparison really.

 

Some of the professional range models from NEC and Eizo are even more accurate still than the other screens shown here. Professional grade monitors like the NEC PA series and P241W also offer other high end features which separate them from some of these other models, including extended internal processing, 3D LUT's and hardware calibration. These comparisons are based on a small selection of tests, so it should be remembered that other factors do come into play when you start talking about professional use. For further information and tests of a high end professional grade screen with hardware LUT calibration, you may want to have a read of our NEC SpectraView Reference 271 review.

 

 


 

The calibrated black depth and contrast ratio of the BenQ GW2750HM were excellent, with a very impressive static contrast ratio of 2960:1. This was a long way ahead than any modern TN Film, PLS or IPS panel could offer which only really reach up to around 1000:1 in the best examples. It was also a little ahead of the 24" GW2450HM (2443:1). We had actually been hoping for more to be honest though since we had seen static contrast ratios like this of ~3000:1 from previous AMVA + W-LED tests, including the original BenQ EW2420W (2995:1). This screen has a specified 5000:1 static contrast ratio and we had hoped that the contrast ratio might have reached up to closer to this figure really. The 2960:1 calibrated spec is still very good.
 

For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

 


 


Contrast Stability

I wanted to see how much variance there was in the screens contrast as we adjusted the monitor setting for brightness. In theory, brightness and contrast are two independent parameters, and good contrast is a requirement regardless of the brightness adjustment. Unfortunately, such is not always the case in practice. We recorded the screens luminance and black depth at various OSD brightness settings, and calculated the contrast ratio from there. Graphics card settings were left at default with no ICC profile or calibration active. Tests were made using an NEC branded and customised X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter. It should be noted that we used the BasICColor calibration software here to record these, and so luminance at default settings may vary a little from the LaCie Blue Eye Pro report.

OSD Brightness

Luminance
(cd/m2)

Black Point (cd/m2)

Contrast Ratio
( x:1)

100

369.7

0.11

3361

90

339.4

0.10

3384

80

313.3

0.09

3481

70

288.2

0.08

3602

60

262.9

0.08

3286

50

237.5

0.07

3393

40

212.0

0.06

3532

30

186.6

0.06

3110

20

160.7

0.05

3213

10

134.9

0.04

3371

0

109.3

0.03

3642

 

Luminance Adjustment Range = 260.4 cd/m2

Black Point Adjustment Range =  0.08 cd/m2

Average Contrast Ratio = 3398:1 

The luminance range of the screen was wide with an overall adjustment range of 260.4 cd/m2. At the top end, the 100% brightness control returned us a luminance of 369.7 cd/m2 which was even higher than the specified maximum brightness of the screen which was 300 cd/m2. The OSD menu brightness control allowed you to adjust this all the way down to 109.3 cd/m2 which should afford you a decent enough range of settings for most users. For those wanting to work in very dark conditions it might not quite have the low level adjustment range desired though so be careful. A setting of around 5 - 7% in the brightness control should return you a comfortable luminance of around 120 cd/m2.

Black depth was very good across the range thanks to the modern AMVA panel. This ranged from 0.11 down to 0.03 cd/m2.

We have plotted the luminance trend on the graph above. The screen behaves as it should, with a reduction in the backlight intensity controlled by the reduction in the OSD brightness setting in a linear relationship.

Static contrast ratio remained very high and stable across the range, with an average figure of 3398:1 which was very impressive. It was much higher than any IPS, PLS or TN Film panel can offer and was certainly a strength of these new AMVA + W-LED panels. We have provided a graph showing the stability of that contrast ratio across the range of brightness adjustments. The small deviations may possibly be down to rounding errors though given how high the CR is, but we've included it for reference anyway.

 


Dynamic Contrast

The BenQ GW2750HM features a dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) control, which boasts a spec of 20,000,000:1 (20 million:1). Dynamic contrast ratio involves controlling the backlight of the screen automatically, depending on the content shown on the screen. In bright images, the backlight is increased, and in darker images, it is decreased. We have come to learn that DCR figures are greatly exaggerated and what is useable in reality is often very different to what is written on paper or on a manufacturers website.

For this test I would use the colorimeter to record the luminance and black depths at the two extremes. Max brightness would be recorded on an almost all white screen. Black depth would be recorded on an almost all black screen. In real use you are very unlikely to ever see a full black or full white screen, and even our tests are an extreme case to be honest. Carrying out the tests in this way does give you a good indication of the screens dynamic contrast ratio in real life situations however.

 

 

Dynamic Contrast

Specified DCR Range

20 million : 1

Available in Presets

movie, photo, game

Settings

1 - 5

Max luminance (cd/m2)

319.7

Min Black Point (cd/m2)

<0.02

Max Dynamic Contrast Ratio

> 15,985:1

The DCR function was available when in either the movie, photo or game preset modes. You can then turn this feature from a setting of 0 (off) up to 5, which determines the strength of the feature. We tested the screen in the movie preset at the maximum setting of 5. When enabled, you cannot manually change the brightness or contrast controls any more.

Unlike a lot of screens we have tested recently, this DCR did seem to function very well as it had on the 24" GW2450HM. There was a fairly gradual and subtle change in the backlight intensity which took around 10 seconds in total to change from one extreme to the other, when switching between the white and black backgrounds. Transitions were pretty smooth as well which was good. At the brightest setting the screen reached close to it's maximum backlight intensity with a luminance of 319.7 cd/m2, being a little short of the 369.7 cd/m2 we had seen in our contrast stability tests. This was then adjusted by the DCR down to a very low setting where the black depth actually went beyond the lower limit of 0.03 cd/m2 we had seen before in our contrast stability tests, and down below 0.02 cd/m2. This was the lower limit of the X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter so we were unable to accurately measure the minimum black point. This means that the DCR reached over 15,985:1 in practice which was very good.

We did test the screen with a completely all black image and confirmed the backlight was not being turned off completely. The black point was trending towards 0.0 cd/m2 though so the DCR figure was impressive. We would like to start seeing realistic DCR figures being quoted from manufacturer, not made up numbers which don't translate into real performance. I'd rather see a screen like this with a useable DCR of 15,985:1 and above, than  a screen with an advertised 100 million:1 which only works in the most extreme and unrealistic circumstances that a user will never see. Good to see BenQ have provided a working DCR with an impressive adjustment range just like they had on the 24" GW2450HM model.

 


Viewing Angles


Above: Viewing angles shown from front and side, and  from above and below. Click for larger image

Viewing angles of the GW2750HM were characteristic of an AMVA panel. Horizontally they were reasonably wide although there was a contrast shift from an angle of >40 either side which made the image go pale and yellow quite noticeably. From a wider angle still the image had a more pronounced yellow tinge to it and you can pick this out from the images above. The image also became quite dark. Vertically they were a bit more restrictive still with a fairly noticeable contrast shift detectable with even a slight movement up or down, and a pale tinge to the image being more obvious, especially from above. From below the image became more yellow and darkened. However, the viewing angles were certainly better than TN Film matrices in these regards, and free of the obvious vertical darkening you see from TN Film technology. However, they were not as wide as IPS or PLS matrices and the contrast shifts were more noticeable unfortunately. This area remains perhaps the main weakness of modern VA panels, and the contrast and gamma shifts can be quite noticeable and frustrating for some users.

There was also a pretty obvious off-centre contrast shift which is inherent to VA panel types. Using a test image which shows a dark grey font on a black background you can easily test this 'feature'. From head on, the text was invisible and largely lost within the black background. This is down to the pixel alignment in a VA matrix. As you move away from a central line of sight the text becomes lighter and is more easily visible, especially from an angle of about 45. This is an extreme case of course as this is a very dark grey tone we are testing with. Lighter greys and other colours will appear a little darker from head on than they will from a side angle, but you may well find you lose some detail as a result. This can be particularly problematic in dark images and where grey tone is important. It is this issue that has led to many graphics professionals and colour enthusiasts choosing IPS panels instead, and the manufacturers have been quick to incorporate this alternative panel technology in their screens. I would like to make a point that for many people this won't be an issue at all, and many may not even notice it. Remember, many people are perfectly happy with their TN Film panels and other VA based screens. Just something to be wary of if you are affected by this issue or are doing colour critical work.


Above: View of an all black screen from the side. Click for larger version

On a black image there is a slight pale and purple tint introduced to the image when viewed from a wide angle. This isn't too severe and shouldn't present any real problems in practice.



Panel Uniformity

Measurements of the screens luminance were taken at 35 points across the panel on a pure white background. The measurements were taken using BasICColor's calibration software package, combined with the NEC customised X-rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter. The above uniformity diagram shows the difference, as a percentage, between the luminance recorded at each point on the screen, as compared with the reference point of a calibrated 120 cd/m2 in the centre of the screen. This is the desired level of luminance for an LCD screen in normal lighting conditions, and  the below shows the variance in the luminance across the screen compared with this point. It is worth noting that panel uniformity can vary from one screen to another, and can depend on manufacturing lines, screen transport and other local factors. This is only a guide of the uniformity of the sample screen we have for review.

Uniformity of Luminance

The luminance uniformity of the GW2750HM was on the whole pretty reasonable. There did seem to be a slight difference overall between the top and bottom areas of the screen, with the top half being darker than the bottom. Around 90% of the screen was within 10% deviance of the target 120 cd/m2 which was good. The maximum variation was in the top right hand corner where luminance dropped down to 104 cd/m2 in the worst case (-15% deviance). In the bottom right hand corner it went a little above the central 120 cd/m2 as well ranging up to 130 cd/m2 maximum. All in all though there was nothing too severe here.


Backlight Leakage

Above: All black screen in a darkened room. Click for larger version

As usual we also tested the screen with an all black image and in a darkened room. A camera was used to capture the result. There was no noticeable backlight leakage or bleeding from this sample which was excellent. Blacks were deep and very dark. There was some very very slight clouding from the bottom corners but this was hardly noticeable at all. This is positive news for anyone wanting to watch movies or play games as there's a good chance people will want to use the screen in darkened room conditions, and any leakage could have been very obvious and distracting.

 


General and Office Applications

The BenQ GW2750HM isn't like many other 27" screens in the market. It does not offer a massive WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution and instead sticks with a smaller 1920 x 1080 resolution across its 16:9 aspect panel. While this of course has some cost saving advantages, and is perfectly suitable for multimedia use, it is not as good for general day to day office work. This relatively low resolution on such a large screen means there is a 0.311mm pixel pitch and the text appears large as a result. This might be good for those with any kind of eye sight issues, and for those who prefer a larger text size for a lot of web and text based work. However, you need to consider that this same 1920 x 1080 resolution can be found on small screens as well, including 21.5" diagonal models. On screens that size the resolution is arguably a little too high and text is a little too small, but on a 27" diagonal sized screen I personally think it is too low. The screen is certainly comfortable for a lot of text reading, but it just doesn't look quite as sharp and crisp as a higher resolution equivalent. You do also really miss the desktop real-estate when coming from a 2560 x 1440 screen to this.

The resolution is still adequate for side by side splitting of content on the screen which is useful. The digital DVI interface offered a slightly sharper image quality than the D-sub analogue interface and so should be used wherever possible for your PC connection. At least with the AG coating being light here the white backgrounds did not appear too grainy or dirty as they can on some modern IPS panels. Default luminance of the screen was recorded at 371 cd/m2 which is far too high for prolonged office use. You will want to turn the screen down probably to around 5 - 7% brightness to achieve a luminance of around 120 cd/m2. Those wanting to use the screen in darker room conditions and at a luminance lower than this can do so through further adjustment to this setting, down to around 109 cd/m2 minimum which might be restrictive in some cases.

There are no specific 'text' or 'internet' presets available from the OSD menu, so you will probably want to calibrate the standard or sRGB modes to a lower luminance at the very least. A simple change to the OSD gamma control can also help correct the gamma curve nicely and white point is fairly close to a 6500k target when in the user colour temperature mode. The pretty wide viewing angles of the AMVA panel mean you don't have to worry too much about obvious contrast and colour shifts during regular use, although you do need to be aware of the off-centre contrast shift if working with colour critical applications or dark content specifically.

The screen sadly does not offer any USB ports which I think are always handy for connecting external devices. There are also very limited ergonomic adjustments available from the stand with only a tilt function provided. This does allow a reasonable adjustment range back and forth, but height adjustment is certainly missed. There are no added functions such as ambient light sensors or human motion sensors here, but BenQ have included 2x 2W stereo speakers which should be ok for some casual 'office noises' and the odd mp3 or YouTube video.

 
Above: photo of text at 1920 x 1080 (top) and 1600 x 900 (bottom)

The screen is designed to run at its native resolution of 1920 x 1080 and at a 60Hz recommended refresh rate. If you want you are able to run the screen outside of this resolution of course. We tested the screen at a lower 1600 x 900 resolution while maintaining the same aspect ratio (16:9) to see how the screen handles the interpolation of the resolution. At native resolution the text was sharp as you can see from the top photograph. As I've already said, because of the fairly large pixel pitch the text does not look as sharp and precise as higher resolution screens of the same size. When you switch to a lower resolution the text is more blurry. There was fairly low levels of overlap of the pixels and text was still reasonably readable, but of course quite a bit bigger. Native resolution is recommended where possible of course.

 


Responsiveness and Gaming

The BenQ GW2750HM  is rated by BenQ as having a 4ms G2G response time which implies the use of overdrive / response time compensation (RTC) technology, used to boost pixel transitions across grey to grey changes. The AU Optronics M270HW02 V1 AMVA panel being used is rated by AU Optronics with a 12ms ISO response time (black > white > black) for reference. A figure of 4ms G2G is pretty adventurous given some of the poor performance we've seen from AMVA panels in recent months, let's see if BenQ have really improved responsiveness or not.

Before we get in to the get into the side by side screen comparisons I want to quickly talk about the overdrive control available through the screens OSD menu. It is available within the 'picture' section under the 'AMA' (Advanced Motion Accelerator) option as shown above. This allows you to manually control the overdrive / RTC impulse being applied to the pixels, with settings of off, high and premium available. Overdrive is designed to help improve pixel responsiveness and reduce motion blur and ghosting in practice by speeding up the transitions the pixels make to change from one colour to another. You may wish to read our specs section for some further information about overdrive / response time compensation.

The screen was tested using the chase test in PixPerAn, a good bit of software for trying to quantify differences in real terms responsiveness between monitors. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared. The images above are the best case examples from the screen with the AMA function off and then set to high and premium.

When AMA was off there was a pronounced blur to the moving image and something we had been accustomed to seeing from AMVA panels for some time now. The blur was at a similar level to the older BenQ EW2420 in fact, even when that had its AMA function enabled. It was also comparable to the more recent 24" GW2450HM which when AMA was off. We had never been very impressed by the responsiveness of these AMVA panels (until we saw the GW2450HM) and with the overdrive control turned off there was no real change there. When you switch to the 'high' setting there was a reasonably noticeable difference in performance. Suddenly the moving car became sharper and the motion blur and ghosting was reduced a reasonable amount. This wasn't as good as on the 24" GW2450HM where the blur had been reduced dramatically, but there was still an improvement. Turning the overdrive control up one more notch to 'premium' helped a little more. Blur was reduced again nicely and the movement was a little sharper than before. You could pick out a very small amount of overdrive overshoot on the image in the form of a dark trail behind the moving car and the speech bubble. This was pretty minimal though and not something which should be obtrusive day to day. Overshoot is a result of an aggressive overdrive impulse which is not controlled correctly. On some models the overshoot can be severe and very obvious, but here it was not too bad. I would recommend running the GW2750HM in the 'premium' mode for gaming and fast action content. It showed a decent improvement over other AMVA based models we have tested (comparisons below) although wasn't quite as fast as the 24" GW2450HM model we felt.


Display Comparisons

The screen was tested again using the chase test in PixPerAn for the display comparisons. As a reminder, a series of pictures are taken on the highest shutter speed and compared, with the best case example shown on the left, and worst case example on the right. This should only be used as a rough guide to comparative responsiveness but is handy for a direct comparison of the impact of this setting:


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA = Premium)


24" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA = Premium)


27" 6ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (SmartResponse = Fastest)


27" 8ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA setting = Premium)


24" 8ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA setting = On)

We have first of all provided above a comparison of the responsiveness of the GW2750HM against the 4 other AMVA panels we have tested in recent times. The 24" GW2450HM model performed a little better than its 27" brother with more of the blur reduced when AMA was turned up to premium. The GW2750HM did perform better than the other AMVA models we have tested though. All of the other models showed high levels of motion blur, even when their overdrive controls were turned up to the highest setting. This had led us to conclude in those reviews that this panel technology was, at the time of testing, unsuitable for any fast paced gaming. It had lagged a considerable way behind other panel technologies including the ever-popular IPS from LG.Display. Thankfully AU Optronics and BenQ have made some big improvements with the latest generation of panel, combined with their latest overdrive control in the GW2450HM and GW2750HM.
 


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA = Premium)


27" 12ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS (W-LED)


27" 6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


27" 6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


27" 5ms G2G Samsung PLS (response time = faster)

We have also provided a comparison of the GW2750HM against some competing 27" models, based around IPS and PLS panel technology. The HP ZR2740w showed fairly similar levels of blur to the BenQ in these tests, both of which were a little behind the other models shown. The Dell U2711 had a reduced motion blur and smoother movement, but there was a more noticeable dark overshoot artefact introduced on that model as you can see in the photos above. The PLS based Samsung S27A850D had impressed us for the first appearance of this new panel technology and remains a little faster than the other models shown above.

 


27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA = Premium)


24" 8ms G2G LG.Display e-IPS


24" 6ms G2G LG.Display H-IPS


24" 6ms G2G LG.Display e-IPS (Video OverDrive = On)


I have provided a comparison of the GW2450HM above against some popular 24" models based on IPS panels. These other models are all modern overdriven panels, boasting response times of 6 - 8ms G2G. The AMVA panel of the GW2750HM was not quite as fast as these popular 24" models but had shown some marked improvements compared with older AMVA models we had tested.



27" 4ms G2G AU Optronics AMVA (AMA = Premium)


24" 2ms G2G AU Optronics TN Film + 120Hz (AMA = On)


27" 1ms G2G Chi Mei Innolux TN Film + 120Hz (Over Drive = 0)


22" 3ms G2G Samsung TN Film + 120Hz

I've also included a comparison above against three very fast 120Hz compatible screens we have tested. In all cases these other screens are using TN Film panels and are aimed primarily at gamers. Firstly there is a direct comparison against BenQ's own XL2420T. This showed very low levels of motion blur, but some dark overshoot was introduced as a side-effect. The recently tested Iiyama G2773HS was very responsive and even has a quoted 1ms G2G response time. This showed very low levels of blur and had minimal issue with overshoot. The Samsung SM2233RZ performed very well in these tests and showed very low levels of motion blur. When 120Hz mode was enabled the overdrive artefacts evident in 60Hz mode were almost completely eliminated, which is something we have seen here with the BenQ XL2420T as well.

There is something else going on here though as well which can't be picked out by the camera. All of these TN Film models are running at 120Hz refresh rates, which allows for improved 120fps frame rates and the support of 3D stereoscopic content as well. This can really help improve smoothness and the overall gaming experience so these screens still have the edge when it comes to fast gaming. From a pixel response point of view the GW2750HM had made some improvements for AMVA panels of this size, but there are some other areas you still need to think about when it comes to high end gaming. It couldn't keep up with the very fast TN Film models with 120Hz support.

The GW2750HM should be capable of even some fast paced games if you want and there had been some nice improvements made in this panel technology thankfully since the other AMVA based models we have tested. It was not quite as responsive as its smaller 24" brother, but it was nevertheless a positive change for AMVA technology.
 

Additional Gaming Features

Aspect Ratio Control - The screen offers two options for hardware level aspect ratio control. There are settings for 'full' and 'aspect' here. The 'full' option will stretch the input resolution to fill the screen, no matter what that input resolution is. So this would stretch and distort the aspect ratio if the input is anything other than the native 16:9 aspect of the panel. The 'aspect' option however will stretch the input source to fill as much of the screen as possible, while still managing to maintain the same aspect ratio as the input resolution. If necessary it will then add black bars along the top or sides. There is no option for the screen to support 1:1 pixel mapping however unfortunately.

Preset Modes - There is a 'game' preset mode available from within the 'Senseye' preset mode menu if you want a mode with boosted brightness and a more unnatural feel. It also seems to over exaggerate the sharpness of the image. The dynamic contrast option is available in all this mode as well and we have already established that this works well on this model.

 



Input Lag

It is important to understand fully what input lag is and also the various measurement techniques which are used to evaluate this aspect of a display in the industry. As a result of our studies, we have improved our testing methodology by adopting the SMTT 2.0 tool which is used to generate the results below. Please see our full input lag testing article for all the details.

Input Lag Classification


To help in this section we will also introduce a broader classification system for these results to help categorise each screen as one of the following levels:

  • Class 1) Less than 16ms / 1 frame lag - should be fine for gamers, even at high levels

  • Class 2) A lag of 16 - 32ms / One to two frames - moderate lag but should be fine for many gamers. Caution advised for serious gaming and FPS

  • Class 3) A lag of more than 32ms / more than 2 frames - Some noticeable lag in daily usage, not suitable for high end gaming


For the full reviews of the models compared here and the dates they were written (and when screens were approximately released to the market), please see our full reviews index.

 Class 1

Our tests here are based on the new format using SMTT 2.0. We have provided a comparison above against other models we have tested to give an indication between screens. However, please note that many of the other screens tested here were using older stopwatch methods and not the SMTT 2.0 tool. For reference, those shown as darker blue lines were tested using SMTT 2.0.

The BenQ GW2750HM showed an average display input lag of only 6ms during this test, ranging up to 8ms maximum. This was very good and should not present any problems at all, even for fast gaming. The lag of this screen has been categorised as CLASS 1 as detailed above.
 

For more information about the SMTT 2.0 tool, or to purchase a copy please visit:

http://smtt.thomasthiemann.com/index_en.html



Movies and Video

 The following summarises the screens performance in video applications:

  • 27" screen size makes it a pretty good option for an all-in-one multimedia screen and comparable to smaller LCD TV's in size.

  • 16:9 aspect ratio is more suited to videos than a 16:10 format screen, as it leaves smaller borders on DVD's and wide screen content.

  • Native 1920 x 1080 resolution can support true 1080 HD content

  • Digital interfaces 1x DVI and 1x HDMI support HDCP for any encrypted and protected content

  • Good to see an HDMI connection available which is very popular with external devices including games consoles and Blu-ray players. Would have perhaps been good to see DisplayPort as well which is becoming increasingly popular and more widely used.

  • Black depth and contrast ratio are excellent. Detail in darker scenes and shadow detail should not be lost due to these measurements.

  • Dynamic contrast ratio is available and works well, allowing for a DCR up to >15,000:1

  • 'Movie' preset mode is available which seems to accentuate the sharpness and colours and make everything look more vivid. Might be useful to some users

  • Good pixel responsiveness which should be able to handle fast moving scenes in movies without issue. An improvement in this area with the latest AMVA panel generation.

  • Pretty wide viewing angles thanks to AMVA panel technology meaning several people could view the screen at once comfortable and from a whole host of different angles. Not quite as wide as some other technologies such as IPS, and the off-centre contrast shift can be a little annoying depending on your line of sight.

  • Limited ergonomic adjustment range available from the stand with only tilt available. It could prove difficult to obtain a comfortable position if you are watching from various locations and angles. Height adjustment would have been useful.

  • No significantly noticeable backlight leakage, and none from the edges which is good. This type of leakage may prove an issue when watching movies where black borders are present but it is not a problem here.

  • 2x 2W integrated stereo speakers available if you want, along with audio pass-through and a headphone socket. Might be useful for the occasional video but of course the speakers aren't up to a great deal.

  • No picture in picture (PiP) or picture by picture (PbP) modes available on this model.

  • For PAL sources, we have tested the screen and confirmed it will support the full native resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 50Hz refresh rate.

 


Conclusion

After testing the GW2750HM it was easy to draw similar conclusions to the 24" model. Both screens are very much alike at the end of the day offering the same set of connections, features and the same design. This did feel like the bigger brother of almost the same screen as you might perhaps expect. While this model is larger, although there is no jump in resolution which might put some people off. Those looking for something a little bigger for movies and games might well find this a good option over the 24" equivalent.

Some performance characteristics were quite comparable to the 24" model as well. We saw some nice improvements in response times compared with some older AMVA models, but it wasn't quite as fast as the 24" version. Black depth and contrast ratio were again excellent, actually being a little ahead of the GW2450 but still falling short of the advertised spec we had hoped for. Still, these very high contrast ratios are certainly a big positive of AMVA technology. The default setup of the screen wasn't great sadly and the low level range of the brightness control was a little limited. The screen also suffers from the most significant remaining limitation of this panel technology which is viewing angles, being quite restrictive in some regards compared with popular IPS and PLS offerings. We also felt the screen was lacking in features and ergonomic adjustments which was a measure necessary to keep costs down. However, on the plus side the integrated speakers might be useful to some buyers, the dynamic contrast ratio actually worked very well and the range of connections was pretty good.

Like the 24" model, the main positive about the GW2750HM is its price point. The screen retails in the UK for ~210 GBP (inc VAT) which is excellent and it puts it at a similar price to many TN Film based models. This is immediately attractive as you can take advantage of some of the strengths of AMVA technology without paying a fortune for it. It is also a lot cheaper than popular IPS models like the Dell U2711 (550), and even lower cost IPS 27" models like the DGM IPS-2701WPH (380) and Hazro HZ27WC (420) for instance. Of course those screens offer very different features and performance but you can see that the BenQ fits in a very low price bracket which is great. Those wanting a general all-round screen perhaps for a casual user or small office, who are looking for a low cost would do well to look at the GW2750HM as an affordable option.

Pros

Cons

Excellent black depth and contrast ratio

Black depth and contrast ratio perhaps not as good as we'd hoped given spec (still excellent though)

Very low cost in 27" segment and good all round performance for the price

Limited ergonomic adjustments from stand

Useable and working Dynamic Contrast Ratio function

Some limitations with AMVA viewing angles inherent to technology

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