Designer Review: BenQ PD2706UA with ergonomic arm

Review unit provided by BenQ

I've been using my BenQ SW2700PT for almost 5 years already. When BenQ asked if I wanted to review one of their new displays for 2023, of course I accepted. By the way, I have reviewed several BenQ displays in the past years.

BenQ sent over the BenQ PD2706UA, a 4K UHD 95% P3 USB-C designer monitor from the DesignerVue or PD series. This particular model comes with an ergonomic arm. If you prefer the traditional stand, there's the BenQ PD2706U.

The price for PD2706UA is SGD 959, and PD2706U is SGD 799 at the time of review. You can find the displays on Shopee SG, Lazada SG and Amazon SG.

The model with the ergo arm cost SGD 160 more and that's quite significant.

Bottom line
The main selling points for the PD2706UA is the good colour accuracy (AQcolor) for visual content creation, the ergonomic arm mount that provides more table space, KVM switch and USB-C video connection with 90W power delivery. The monitor looks good and has solid build quality.

The customisable hotkey puck makes it easy and fast to change OSD settings.

Downsides? I wish there were more high-speed USB-C ports, another USB-C video port, and a SD card reader. The two 2.5W speakers are loud but sounds slightly hollow. And the brightness could be higher.

Specs

  • Panel type: IPS LED LCD, 60Hz, matte surface
  • Size: 27-inch
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160, 16:9 aspect ratio, 163 PPI
  • Brightness (typ): 350 nits
  • Brightness HDR:: 400 nits
  • HDR: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Native contrast: 1200:1
  • Viewing angle: 178 degrees
  • Response time (GtG): 5ms
  • Colour gamut: 95% P3, 99% Rec.709, 99% sRGB
  • Display colours: 1.07 billion colors
  • Display mode: Animation, CAD/CAM, Darkroom, DCI-P3, DICOM, Display P3, ePaper, HDR, Low Blue Light, M-Book, Rec.709, sRGB, User
  • Gamma: 1.8 - 2.6, sRGB
  • HDCP: 2.2
  • Speakers: 2 x 2.5W
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • Power consumption: 45W normal, 230W max
  • Adjustment: Height, tilt, rotate
  • VESA: 10 x 10cm
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C video with 90W PD, USB-B (upstream), USB-C 2.0, USB-A 3.2
  • Eyecare: Flicker-free, low blue light

Things included

  • Monitor
  • Stand
  • Monitor mount attachment
  • Monitor back plate
  • HDMI to HDMI cable
  • DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable
  • USB-C to USB-C video cable
  • Power cable
  • Hotpuck shortcut remote
  • User guide
  • Colour calibration report
  • Allen key

Design


The monitor attachment has adjustment for tilt and swivel. The stand has adjustment for rotation and height. The external is plastic with matte texture and interior is metal. Overall build quality is solid.


Maximum width of the clamp is 7cm. The clamp has rubber padding to prevent damage to tables. To install the stand onto tables with hole, through the hole, you have to remove the bottom part of the clamp with the allen key that's stored on the clamp itself.


Installation is straightforward.


Make sure you screw on the monitor attachment to the stand properly. There's grease applied to the monitor attachment to make it easier to swivel.


Cables can run through a hole at the top of the stand and to the back, and cover the cables with the detachable cover. This provides neat cable management.


Design on the back is clean and simple. The back is made with plastic and is matte textured. VESA mount dimension is 10 x 10cm. Just mount the display over the two hooks on the monitor attachment and it will click and lock into place.


Ports on the bottom are 2x USB 3.2 type A, USB-B (needed for KVM switch), micro USB-B (for hotkey puck), HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C video with 90W PD.


On the side there are USB-C, USB-A and 3.5mm audio jack. Unfortunately, there's no SD card slot which is something I use often.

Note that the USB ports do not work with Thunderbolt external storage, or at least the one that I have.


Behind the bottom right of the monitor are the power button, OSD button and toggle, two customisable shortcut buttons.


The main selling point of the ergo arm mount over the traditional monitor stand is to free up space on the table to provide a cleaner clutter-free desk. If you have lots of table space, you can go with the PD2706U model with traditional stand to save SGD 160.

Display quality


This is a 27-inch 4K UHD IPS LCD display. Refresh rate is 60Hz. Pixel density is 163 PPI and there's no pixelation from one arm's distance away. 27-inch 5K displays will look sharper but they are significantly more expensive.

The display is matte textured. Viewing angles are good with minimal colour shift and drop in brightness.

The display is said to use BenQ AQcolor technology and supports 95% P3, 99% sRGB, and Rec.709 color spaces. It's also Calman Verified, Pantone Validated and Pantone SkinTone Validated.


After colour calibration, I measured colour support for 94% P3, 100% sRGB, 89% AdobeRGB and 84% NTSC. Colour accuracy is good. If you need even better colour accuracy, you'll have to get the BenQ SW series monitors.

I measured a maximum brightness of 153 nits which is quite far off from the advertised 350 nits (typ). I could not find anything in the OSD menu to help me go beyond 200 nits. 150 nits is alright for use in a bright room environment and I personally use my monitors at 120 - 150 nits with curtains drawn slightly.

The display is able to go high enough to almost fit a 16-inch (16:10) laptop beneath.


4K UHD resolution and 27-inch is not a good combo for Mac users due to limited scaling options provided by MacOS. If you use a Mac, you have to use BetterDisplay app to handle UI scaling.


Editing photos on such a big and sharp display is satisfying.


Graphic design apps work great. You can fit 2-3 columns of palettes and still have a good amount of canvas space left to work with. The display is bigger than A3-sized paper so if you're working on publication that's A3 size, you will be able to see your design at 1:1 zoom which makes it easy to check for legibility and you can get a good sense of how your page or design or artwork will look. There's no pixelation with text.


Editing videos on a big and sharp display is also satisfying. There's so much space for all those UI elements and you can still have a big viewer.

OSD


The OSD menu can be accessed from the buttons on the back of the display or with the hotkey puck.

The OSD menu has many settings. You can change the brightness, contrast, colour temperature, sharpness, PIP, PBP and more.

It is possible to customise the buttons on the back of the monitor and hotkey puck to change settings that you change often. E.g. You can set the shortcut buttons to change input source, display mode, KVM switch and more.

KVM

This display supports KVM switch that lets you connect two computers and use one set of keyboard and mouse.


Shown above are the connections needed for KVM switch to work.

One computer has to connect to the display with USB-C. The second computer has to connect with USB-A to USB-B (computer side) and with either DisplayPort or HDMI.

If you use Mac and Windows, it's best to use a keyboard that lets your change Mac and Windows keyboard layout.


After connecting the cables, you'll have to go into the OSD menu to enable KVM switch. You have to choose specifically either DisplayPort or HDMI to go with the KVM switch. I also recommend you set a shortcut button on the back of the display or hotkey puck for quick KVM switch.

Once the setup is done, you can press the shortcut buttons to switch between computer systems, and the mouse and keyboard will work with whichever computer you're using. It works great.

Conclusion

The BenQ PD2706UA is a good looking display that's big, sharp and has good colour accuracy and is suitable for visual content creation. I was only able to measure 153 nits maximum brightness which is quite far off from the advertised 350 nits. I'm not sure if there's any issue with my review unit.

The ergonomic arm is definitely a key selling point of this display and will appeal to those who care about design aesthetics. The ergo arm and cable management provide a clean and neat table setup.

Having USB-C video connection with power delivery is convenient and this is considered a basic feature nowadays.

The KVM switch is useful for those who use two computers. Switching between computers is fast and being able to share one set of keyboard and mouse is great.

I wish there could be another USB-C video port because nowadays more computers can output video from USB-C. There's no SD card reader which is a bummer for me. The speakers can certainly sound better at this price point but this is a minor issue. They could have remove the speakers anyway.

Overall, I enjoyed working on the BenQ PD2706UA for my work that involves graphic design, editing photos and videos. The display works great.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Beautiful design
+ Solid build quality
+ Ergonomic arm is useful and provides a clean table setup
+ Neat cable management
+ Display is big, visuals are sharp
+ Good colour accuracy
+ KVM switch support
+ There's an option for traditional stand
+ USB-C video with 90W power delivery
+ All video cables are provided. USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI
+ Customisable hotkey puck and buttons on the back of the display
+ OSD menu has many controls
+ OSD menu can be accessed with the hotkey puck
+ 3 years warranty in Singapore
- Speakers are loud but sound slightly hollow
- Brightness could be higher
- No SD card reader
- No shading hood option
- USB ports do not work with Thunderbolt external storage

Availability

The BenQ PD2706UA abd PD2706U are available in Singapore from Shopee SG, Lazada SG and Amazon SG.

If you're not from Singapore, you can buy the monitor on Amazon US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT

This type of "ergonomic" arm is the best thing you can buy for your screen. It secures the screen above your desk (tested during and earthquake) and it saves space.
But the 160 SGD (109 euros ) that BENQ asks for its own version of this type of arm is extreme to say it politely!
I bought a no name one that is the exact same thing and can hold an up to 35" wide screen for 20 euros. I'm saying that in order to get an idea of how much these type of arms cost.

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