Professional monitors are diametrically opposite to gaming panels. They offer way better colour reproduction and use panels that exhibit the least colour distortion with regards to the viewing angles. Professional monitors also feature a host of features catered towards making life easy for those in the media business.
Additionally, they come certified to work with industry standard software right out of the box. These are by no means meant for beginners but for those who are professionally engaged. Most professional monitors usually sport a hefty price tag but this year was a bit surprising compared to the rest. Read on to find out.
2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Acer ET322QK
Sporting a 31.5-inch 10-bit VA panel, the Acer ET322QK is an absolutely massive monitor, to begin with. It’s got a high contrast ratio of 3000:1 but wasn’t the brightest of the lot that we received this year. However, being a VA panel, it did have a better response time of 4ms against the other contenders which had 5ms IPS panels. And like every good professional monitor, it comes with an Anti-glare matte finish.
Aside from all this, the key point here is the colour reproduction and the Acer ET322QK surely excels in that arena. We measured an average fjE of 0.62 across all colour patches with the lowest 90% averaging fjE 0.48 and the highest 10% averaging fjE 1.91. These numbers were approximately 20-30% lower than the second best candidate. Naturally, the Acer ET322QK had an easy win in the Zero1 Awards in the category of Professional Monitors.
Runner-up: BenQ SW271
The BenQ SW271 is the other 10-bit panel that we received this year. It is a bit brighter than the Acer ET322QK but unfortunately, sports a lower contrast ratio. Also, the panel is IPS so it has uniform viewing angles but the downside is that the response time is slightly greater (5ms). In our benchmarks, the BenQ SW271 exhibited an average fjE of 0.98 for all colour patches and in 90% of all the most accurately reproduced patches, the fjE was 0.64.
In the top 10% with the highest deviation, the fjE was 4.05. This makes the BenQ SW271 a pretty good panel with excellent colour reproduction. For the human eye, this difference is minuscule but for the Zero1 Awards, even such low numbers matter, therefore granting it the position of the runner-up in this category.
Runner-up: ASUS PA27AC
ASUS sent us an 8-bit panel for the professional segment. It was the brightest of the lot with a reported value of 400 cd/m2 but the contrast ratio was the same as the BenQ SW271. The panel is IPS as well and it has a response time of 5ms but the 8-bit panel is where the ASUS PA27AC loses the advantage. In our profiling, the average fjE valued measured was 2.14 which is way higher than all the other contenders.
On a granular level, the lowest 90% of the colour patches averaged at a fjE value of 1.18 whereas the highest 10% averaged at 10.69. This is a bit higher than what we’d expected and subsequently led to the PA27AC dropping down to third place in the category of Professional Monitors in the 2018 Zero1 awards.