A 31.5 inch, 4K designers monitor with excellent image sharpness and a sophisticated and elegant design.
We recommend the direct hardware calibration capable SW and PV models for colour critical work. However there also exists, often, a need for monitors with very good colour, but not quite top end colour critical uses. A monitor with a massive working area, attractive physical design (a perfect match to e.g. a Macbook) - and excellent ergonomics.
That monitor is the PD3220u.
BenQ’s PD3220U prioritizes flexibility and designers’ love for sophistication with an elegant look. To offer impeccable color performances while enhancing the overall productivity for them, PD3220U comes with an upgraded color gamut that’s compatible with DCI-P3 and Display P3 while offering Thunderbolt 3 connectivity for a more efficient image and data transmission experience.
Display P3, P3 and sRGB
PD3220U is equipped with the latest color standards, Display P3 and DCI-P3, to guarantee a consistent color application among all designers. As more apps, devices and websites adopt the color space of DCI-P3, PD3220U also comes with a full compatibility with this new color standard, allowing design professionals to effortlessly load and display images imported from different sources. Additionally, the monitor covers 95% of DCI-P3, as well as 100% of sRGB and Rec. 709 color spaces, utilizing the advanced IPS wide viewing angle technology to minimize color shift to inspire absolute design confidence.
Out-of-The-Box Color Calibration
BenQ’s PD3220U monitor offers the out-of-the-box color accuracy that guarantees users can enjoy the most trustworthy color performance.
BenQ’s DesignVue PD3220U is equipped with HDR10 technology to let designers preview video content’s HDR effect during the editing process, ensuring desirable outcomes for their final works.
Specialized Display Modes Tailored to All Designers
One fascinating aspect of the design industry is the depth and varieties it possesses. In order to fully showcase the dynamic nature of the field, designers require tools that can help bring out the highest potential of their works. BenQ’s PD3220U monitor possesses the most suitable display modes to assist designers produce works of the highest quality
Adjusting image brightness and contrast for superb clarity and sharp details, Darkroom mode creates the optimal setting for work in darkened post-processing environments.
Often problematic for designers working with intricate details in dark images, Animation mode enhances the brightness of dark areas without overexposing bright regions. Animation mode provides 10 levels of display brightness to bring out every subtlety clearly in any ambient lighting.
Offering superior contrast for lines and shapes in technical illustrations, CAD/CAM mode accentuates the finest details to produce incredible display performances in Pro/E, SOLIDWORKS, AutoCAD, CATIA, or other design software. *Calibration eliminates slight color performance variations between individual panels of the same model. Therefore, the calibration data of each report will vary slightly from reports from other displays of the same model.
Thunderbolt ™ 3
PD3220U is integrated with Thunderbolt™ 3, which provides power delivery up to 85w and has 2 USB-C ports as connectivity, allowing designers to get daisy-chained up to two 4K monitors and enjoy a higher speed for data transmission. It tremendously boosts the productivity at every stage of workflow. By facilitating daisy-chaining and power delivery through Thunderbolt3, PD3220U lets designers to extend screens while ensuring the video, audio and data of the content are all properly extended, further enhancing the efficiency at work and charging your laptop at the same time.
Improve your workflow and enhance productivity by switching on DualView to showcase designs in two modes (e.g. sRGB and CAD/CAM) side-by-side without the need for two screens. *How to set up DualView mode
Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) Switch
The newly upgraded KVM Switch function allows users to control one set of keyboard and mouse between two different computers that use one or two screens, ensuring users can seamlessly switch between different computers to execute complicated design tasks while further boosting efficiencies at work. Designers can also enjoy the added level of efficiency that comes with KVM by activating the feature through PD3220U’s embedded software, Display Pilot. With a few simple steps in Display Pilot, designers can instantly benefit from the elevated level of convenience that PD3220U offers. *How to use the KVM switch function to enhance work efficiency
Hotkey Puck G2
PD3220U is empowered by the newly designed hotkey puck G2 which allows designers to customize shortcuts to their preferred features through the upgraded OSD. The hotkey puck G2 leaves 3 single function keys as well as a rotation key to let users designate them to features that they require the most at work. Additionally, designers can adjust the brightness, contrast and volume of the monitor based on their preferences through the dial on the hotkey puck. To return to the previous level of the settings, designers can simply press the return key to instantly go back to the previous level.
Caring for Your Eyes
Eyes play a key role in our everyday lives, and for designers, their eyes are the gateway between their creative ideas and final products. To significantly enhance the level of viewing comfort for all designers, BenQ’s PD3220U monitor relies on a few groundbreaking technologies to safeguard designers’ visions.
Low Blue Light Technology
Unique BenQ Low Blue Light Technology is designed to filter out harmful blue light, effectively diminishing eye fatigue and irritation.
Flicker-free eliminates flickering at all brightness levels and reduces eye fatigue effectively. Conventional LCD screens flicker at the rate of 250 times per second. Your eyes may not see the flickers but they can certainly feel them. So relieve your eyes from the uncomfortable flickering effect by switching to a BenQ flicker-free monitor.
In 2018, the SW271 display was granted a Verified by CalMAN mark, making BenQ one of the world's first manufacturers to achieve Certified Colour Critical by Calman for absolute colour accuracy. In close collaboration between BenQ and Portrait Displays, the Verified by CalMAN program ensures each display to be accurate out of the box and true to multiple industry-standard colour gamuts. The Verified by CalMAN mark is only given to the highest-grade of displays.
More information on the Verified by CalMAN program here.
As of 2019, BenQ announced that their monitors became the world’s first stand-alone displays to earn the Pantone Validated status, ensuring colour-matched inter-operability with a plethora of production-grade colour output devices qualified by Pantone. Pantone Validated provides designers and photographers confidence in the Pantone colours rendered on-screen throughout their creative process, to better align materials in Pantone colours or simulations using Pantone-licensed output solutions.
Rigorously evaluated and approved by Pantone colour experts, BenQ SW monitors offer integrated colour correction and BenQ-exclusive AQCOLOR technology to guarantee superior fidelity in colour accuracy, including tested quality in achieving Pantone Matching System (PMS) colours. In use by virtually every colour-critical industry and manufacturer worldwide, the PMS system is a universal language of colour that allows creative professionals to specify and match specific colours, regardless of the equipment and materials used to produce the exact colour.
You can read more information on BenQ becoming Pantone Verified here.
Panel Size / Ratio
31" / 16:9 (1.78:1)
3840 * 2160 (UHD 4K)
Direct Hardware Calibration?
In Built Sensor?
This monitor supports Direct Hardware Calibration and comes with a full version of BenQ's Palette Master Elements software to achieve this.
However a calibration sensor is not included and needs to be purchased to take advantage of this system.
NB (August 2019) - Spyder X support is not yet available, but is in testing. We expect later this year it will become compatible.
We recommend the i1Display Pro.i1 Display Pro
These calibrators are either simply not compatible, or do not measure current monitor technologies reliably. If you have one of these, it's time for an upgrade!i1 Display V1 & V2
Please note: Specifications are provided as a guide only.
We try very hard to keep these up to date and correct, but if a particular specification is really critical to you, then please double check the specification directly with the manufacturer. Some features may of course have caveats not fully described here.
To get more information about a particular specification, use the arrow to get a 'Specxplanation'.
Monitor panel sizes are measured across the diagonal, in inches.
They are approximate only, so the actual measurement might be 27.1" for example. Note that panel size in inches is only one part of the story - the other being the aspect ratio. For example a 24" monitors doesn't sound much bigger than a 23" monitor, but 24" monitors are normally 16:10 versus most 23" monitors being 16:9. This means a 24" monitor is much taller than a 23" and the working size is much greater than one inch difference would suggest.
The panel ratio gives the relative size of the horizontal to the vertical. Older monitors were 4:3, but most modern monitors are widescreen, with 16:10 or 16:9 being the common ratios. 16:10 is distinctly taller, and common with 24 and 30 inch monitors. 23 and 27 inch monitors are normally 16:9 - the same ratio as widescreen televisions. For monitors 24 inches and below, we recommend going with a 16:10 monitor if you can. Once you're over 24 inches you've got sufficient vertical working space it doesn't matter so much.
Native resolution is simply the number of pixels a monitor has, stated as horizontal x vertical.
LCD monitors really want to receive their native resolution and look pretty terrible when scaling other resolutions to the native resolution of the panel.
Most modern computers have no trouble outputting up to 2560 by 1600 (e.g. all Mac Pros/Macbooks/Minis/Airs etc. from the last 5 years or so can do this without issue, usually to 2 or more displays simultaneously). The only time it becomes particularly important is with older machines, particularly laptops, many have a maximum external display resolution of 1920 by 1200. If in doubt send us the full model number of your laptop and we can double check this for you!
There are three major types of monitor panels. IPS (aka PLS) - are the best for image makers. They have the best colour accuracy and uniformity characteristics. The can sometimes have weaker blacks, so gamers and video editors sometimes lean towards PVA monitors. However these days good IPS panels have excellent blacks so we recommend that all image makers use an IPS panel. The latest panel type, TN, is generally only used in laptops and low end devices and should avoided for imaging work at all costs!
The two major types of backlighting are CCFL (Flourescent tube based) and LED. CCFL is the older type of light source and offers good uniformity and it has been traditionally easier to engineer colour accuate monitors with flourescent tubes. However recent LED backlit monitors can be excellent - very uniform, and of course they use much less power. The latest LED backlit monitors from the good makers now offer excellent colour accuracy - at least as good as the older CCFL models.
LEDs also uses significantly less power (although CCFL monitors are already much better than old CRTs of course!) - and tend to have better uniformity.
Whether or not the unit needs a fan for cooling. Most monitors fortunately don't need a fan, rather using passive cooling through heatsinks and vents.
However, some monitors do require a fan, which can be of concern given the monitors proximity to your ears. Generally the fan will be a low dB fan not audible above a typical computer fan, but if ambient noise is of concern to you the we suggest you choose a monitor without a cooling fan.
Calibration is the process of calibrating directly into the monitor's hardware. This is both more accurate, and typically more easy to do, than traditional software calibration. See the 'Calibration Information' section above for more details about this monitor and calibration.
In built correction sensors come in two forms:
Until around 2010, almost all monitors were 'standard gamut' - meaning they could display a moderate range of colours (roughly around the size of the sRGB colour space). In recent years we've seen the development of wide gamut monitors that can display a much wider range of saturated colours (about 25% more) - equivalent to approximately the gamut of AdobeRGB.
We recommend wide gamut monitors for all image makers, but especially for anyone working regularly with saturated colour. Wide gamut monitors can also emulate standard gamut monitors very well, so it's more future proof to choose a wide gamut model, and there really aren't any disadvantages (apart from the generally higher price of wide gamut models!).
Does the monitor accept a 10 bit incoming video signal? 10 bit video signals allow for more tonal level separation (i.e. smoother gradients).
PC: 10 bit is well supported and relatively easy to achieve with 'workstation' graphic cards (short version: buy an nvidia Quadro video card!).
Mac: 10 bit has only just become supported in 2016 - you'll need very up to date Mac hardware, and the latest versions of OSX and your apps.
Our comprehensive article on 10 bit support has all the details.
The maximum achievable ratio of the brightness of a monitor's white to the depth of it's black. The stated figure is a maximum, achieved only when the monitor is running at high brightness in a darkened room.
A high contrast ratio makes things looks more contrasty (i.e. more 'pop') and is particularly of note with gaming, video, and image display scenarios. For example, if you're selling photos to clients straight off your screen, then high contrast has more wow factor.
However, for print work, it is typical practice to dramatically reduce the monitors contrast to as low as, say, 200:1 to better simulate paper. This is best done with monitors that feature direct hardware calibration support and allow you to specify the desired contrast ratio.
The maximum achievable brightness of the monitor in candellas per metre squared.
It is VERY unusual to run a monitor at maximum brightness, especially for imaging work.
The DCI (Digital Cinema Initiative) specifications requires contrast of 1500:1 or more.
Most LCD monitors do not yet offer DCI True Blacks support (in practice 'true blacks' means a very low black point suitable for video editing in a dim environment). This doesn't mean they have bad blacks in typical viewing environments, but it does mean you may experience some 'glow' in your blacks if you're viewing in a very dim environment.
Achieving very high contrast ratios is difficult and a combination of technologies is used - changes to the panel, light retardation film and backlight are all required.
This is really only of relevance in video work - in still image work, and particualrly for print, it is common practise to actually raise the monitor's black point above the minimum to better simulate the printed output.
The wider the better! Viewing angle is the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance.
This is a highly subjective figure and we don't place much credence in it - basically, IPS panels have the best viewing angles by far, and all IPS panels sold here all have excellent viewing angles, so you won't see variance as you move you head around under normal circumstances.
The bit depth of the gamma Look Up Table. That is, the number of levels the gamma table can contain, which is crucial to the appropriate placement of tonal levels on screen. 8 bit is standard (although some appalling screens are only 6 bit!), but 10 bit or more is desirable, and the best monitors are now 14 or 16 bit.
The bit depth of the colour Look Up Tables. These are used to map incoming values from your computer to actual colours on the monitor's screen - so are of course crucial to colour accuracy. 8 bit is standard (although some appalling screens are only 6 bit!), but 10 bit or more is desirable, and the best monitors are now 14 or 16 bit. Ideally combined with 3D LUTs that can transform colours in more than one table at once.
Put simply the higher the bit depth of the LUT, the greater the capacity for accuracy.
3D Look Up Tables allow colour transformations to occur on R,G and B simultaneously, which increases speed and accuracy. Basically, a 3D LUT means better, more accurate calibrations. You want one even if it sounds like gibberish!
LCD Monitors coming off a production line typically exhibit some uniformity issues. Uniformity corrected monitors are broken into zones, measured, and each zone calibrated to be even with its neighbours (and you often get a written report of this process with very high end monitors like the Eizo CG series). Called DUE by Eizo, and most likely something else by others, it's an important part of the process of high end LCD making.
The process occurs at the begining of the monitor's life and there is currently no user system for correcting uniformity after the monitor is out in the field, although it is theoretically possible. Fortunately, moden monitors that leave the factory in a very uniform state tend to then remain uniform for many years of use.
Monitors that are not uniformity corrected may exhibit some visible artefacts like a change in density or colour across the field of the monitor. Wtih brands like Eizo and NEC, the non uniformity tends to be minor.
How quickly a pixel can change colour, in milliseconds (usually measured as grey-to-grey, but there's no real standard).
Basically, any value 16 or under is generally fine for all normal uses. Exceptions are high end gaming and possibly video production - but it's rare anything below 10 makes a significant difference, and monitors with very low response times typically sacrifice a lot of colour quality to achieve this.
Can the monitor play back a 24p video signal (i.e. 24 frames a second) - without visible motion artefacts?
Typical desktop monitors either refuse a 24p signal altogether, or force all inputs to 60hz, remapping different frame rates like 24p to 60 frames per second (usually using a technique known as 3:2 pull-down). Unfortunately, because 60 is not evenly divisible by 24, this causes significant visible motion artefacts.
A monitor with 24p support is able to play back 24p sources at either the native 24 frames a second, or using simple frame doubling/tripling to play back these sources as 48 or 72Hz. This results in smooth motion without new artefacts (n.b. - artefacts inherent to 24p, like some juddering during slow pans, remains of course, as this is inherent in the low frame rate of the original filming - but it's this low frame rate that gives the 'film like' look.
More about 24p on Wikipedia.
The input ports a monitor has. We have a comprehensive article about these (with pictures!) - here.
Other connections the monitor offers - such as audio connectors if the monitor has speakers (most don't) - and USB hubs. Some USB hubs also act as 'KVMs' - meaning you can plug your mouse and keyboard into the monitor, then the monitor into two separate computers and easily share your peripherals and screen between the two machines.
How much power the monitor draws. Often stated only as peak power usage, the real figure in practise may be lower.
Lower is better, both for your electricity bill and the planet, but typical figures of around 100W means that your monitor uses about the same as two standard downlights, so modern monitors are really very efficient compared to the hundreds of watts those old CRT clunkers used!
If a monitor hood is not included, then there are [LINK] aftermarket hoods available.
Monitor hoods stop direct light falling on the monitor which can make, in particular, shadow details harder to perceive. While not essential, once you get used to having one it's hard to go back to a screen without one - they improve the picture generally and provide a real 'window in to your image' effect.
Most colour accurate monitors don't have in built speakers.
Those that do offer speakers usually connect via 3.5mm jack (see connections), and the speaker output is usually around the 1-2w range. Fine for basic system sounds but not great for music etc.
Can the monitor be rotated on its stand 90 degrees and used in portrait orientation? Particularly useful if you're doing portrait work on smaller screens!
If the monitor & stand support this then you just rotate the screen physically and instruct your video card to flip the image 90 degrees (if you bind this to an F key on your keyboard it can be a very simple process!).
We keep these details up to date to the best of our knowledge.
However if a particular item is of special importance to you please also check the manufacturer's listing for the product.
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Note this form is for pre-purchase enquiries, or support enquiries if you have bought this product from us. If you have bought this product from another supplier then please contact that supplier for support.
Selected by Image Science, tested as compatible.
Hand curated articles, links and downloads to help you get the best from your BenQ PD3220U 31.5" 4K Designer Monitor.
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You're welcome to call on us for help - how to, technical support, troubleshooting, general tips - for the entire lifetime of the product.
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Exclusive to Image Science customers!
New BenQ monitors bought from Image Science come with a special BenQ three year full parts & labour warranty, and an extremely generous dead pixel warranty of 6 months.
(NB - Ex-demo monitors come with a two year warranty).
See BenQ Warranty Page for full terms and conditions of the general warranty.