BenQ has announced a new ultrawide monitor aiming to be one of the best photo editing monitors (opens in new tab). The PD3420Q stands out from typical 16:9 widescreen monitors thanks to its ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio that provides 33% more horizontal screen real estate than a 16:9 panel. This makes the PD3420Q ideal for split-screen multitasking, or for adding extra room for editing pallets alongside your image preview pane.
Even the best ultrawide monitors (opens in new tab) tend to be aimed at gamers, as they sport curved displays for greater gaming immersion. The PD3420Q is relatively unusual in the ultrawide sector as it's a flat display, as this ensures lines displayed on screen don't bend or skew as they would on a curved ultrawide.
A flat screen also enables BenQ to use an IPS LCD panel in the PD3420Q, where most curved ultrawide screens are based around VA panels - an LCD technology which tends to trail IPS screen tech when it comes to color and contrast consistency. The PD3420Q's IPS screen boasts 178/178-degree viewing angles, a 5ms GtG response time, and it can display 1.07 billion colors.
Color accuracy is a big selling point of the PD3420Q. BenQ’s AQCOLOR technology, factory color calibration and Pantone/Calman verification all ensure accurate colors right out of the box, while VESA DisplayHDR 400 certification means the monitor can produce a peak 400cd/㎡ brightness for previewing HDR10 content. The PD3420Q covers 100% of the sRGB and Rec.709 color spaces, and an impressive 98% of the DCI-P3 color space, which is up there with some of the best monitors for video editing (opens in new tab). BenQ's Uniformity Technology also helps iron out any uneven back-lighting, as the screen is divided into hundreds of sub-regions and fine-tuned for brightness precision.
With such impressive specs, it's perhaps a little disappointing that the PD3420Q 'only' has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels, which is some way short of 4K (3840 x 2160), and results in 109 pixels per inch. This puts it on par with a 27-inch 2560 x 1440 16:9 monitor for visible display height and pixel density, though the PD3420Q obviously has additional horizontal resolution.
The PD3420Q is supplied with BenQ's Hotkey Puck G2 - a round tabletop remote control that makes monitor settings adjustment and input selection a quicker and more intuitive process than navigating the on-screen menu using conventional menu buttons on the monitor itself. What's more, this is also a USB-C monitor (opens in new tab), with a single USB-C connection able to transmit video, audio and up to 65w Power Delivery. This helps make the PD3420Q just as convenient for connecting to PC or Mac, and the Mac-friendly features also extend to BenQ's ICCsync feature that synchronizes color profiles between your monitor and Mac.
Additional features include a KVM (keyboard video and mouse) switch that enables the content from two PCs to be viewed on one monitor and controlled by a single keyboard and mouse. The PD3420Q also supports Picture In Picture (PIP) and Picture By Picture (PBP) split screen modes to fully utilize its extra screen width.
The BenQ PD3420Q is available to pre-order from B&H (opens in new tab), priced at $899.99
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