ViewSonic VP2780-4K review
There’s no two ways about it, the ViewSonic VP2780-4K is something of a bargain by the standards of professional monitors. It’s still not cheap, but this 27in monitor packs in absolutely everything you could reasonably expect for the cash. Take a 3,840 x 2,160 IPS panel, add in a decent selection of features and inputs, throw in a zero-pixel defect guarantee, and for a whisker under £600 you have a recipe for success.
ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: design and connectivity
As a member of ViewSonic’s professional VP range of monitors, the VP2780-4K is perched atop a fully-adjustable stand which provides tilt, swivel, 150mm of height adjustment, and flips around into portrait mode. It’s not as solid-feeling as pricier models, but it works well: the huge claw-like base keeps the monitor absolutely rooted to the spot, yet still allows for easy one-handed adjustments.
Connectivity hits the mark, too. The DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 inputs all support 10-bit colour and 60Hz refresh rates, and a further pair of MHL 2.0-compliant HDMI inputs provide extra scope for connecting smartphones, tablets and other devices. And while that might sound like overkill, it’s really not: the ViewSonic’s picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functions are capable of displaying up to four Full HD video sources simultaneously onscreen.
Factor in the presence of a four-port USB 3 hub – there are two ports positioned at the rear and a further two on the monitor’s left-hand edge – and the VP2780-4K has all the essentials nailed.
ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: image quality
ViewSonic is also pretty confident about the VP2780-4K’s image quality: it claims that the IPS panel provides 100% sRGB coverage with a Delta E colour difference of less than 2.
Subjectively, there’s very little to complain about. The VP2780-4K’s semi-gloss anti-glare coating adds a slight graininess to onscreen images, but the flipside is that viewing angles are excellent. We noticed very little evidence of the usual off-axis IPS glow – blacks remain deep and true even when viewed from an angle. This is something of a coup at the price, as you normally pay a hefty premium for IPS panels with glow-defeating polarizing layers.
Colour fidelity is pretty much bang on ViewSonic’s claims. With the factory-calibrated sRGB mode enabled, the VP2780-4K covered 98% of the sRGB colour gamut with an average Delta E of 0.73 and a maximum deviation of 1.3. Contrast reaches a very impressive 1,207:1, and the only disappointment is that the colour temperature was way off on our review model, measuring at a 6,029k rather than the intended 6,500k. The result is that images are reproduced with a warm, reddish tint; a shame given the solid performance elsewhere.
Sadly, the panel’s backlighting isn’t up to professional standards. We calibrated the monitor to a brightness of 120cd/m2 measured at the centre of the screen, then tested the brightness across fifteen points on the panel. Our X-Rite colorimeter revealed that the entire lower third of the display was between 9% and 18% dimmer than at the centre, and that the upper left and right corners were unevenly lit, too, measuring 11% dimmer than at the centre. By comparison, the best professional monitors routinely deviate by less than 5% across the whole panel.
One final chink in the VP2780-4K’s armour is down to its on-screen display: it’s incredibly basic. The crude-looking interface doesn’t instil much confidence, and the touch-sensitive buttons on the monitor’s front are annoyingly unresponsive at times, requiring several prods to achieve the desired results. Thankfully, it’s not something you’ll need to battle with on a regular basis, but the clunky controls make it something of a faff to engage the various picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes.
ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: verdict
Despite its faults, the ViewSonic VP2780-4K has much to recommend it. The array of features and connectivity is impressive, the image quality is great for the cash, and the zero-pixel-defect guarantee is a major plus point. This isn’t a true professional display – those who need superior colour fidelity would be well advised to spend the extra on a monitor with more refined backlighting, such as the excellent NEC MultiSync PA272W – but if you can live with the compromises, then the VP2780-4K offers solid value for money.