At the beginning of the year BenQ contacted me to see if I’d be interested in working with one of their new UHD 4K monitors to see how it performed, and what I would come up with for them whilst using it! This excited me quite a bit as i love playing and tinkering with new kit! - Who doesn't right?
I’d been thinking of upgrading to a 4K monitor for a while given the difference I remember it made when upgrading my iPhone to a retina screen - it’s like your eyes work properly for the first time. So i was really keen to see how different it made things look, and what that meant for the work.
When I unboxed it (they sent me a PD3200U), the first thing I did was what everyone would, open up a load of old work just to see what it looked like, and, as expected it felt like i'd gained some sort of super vision. The reproduction feels almost like print given the resolution of this thing, it has a nice matte finish to it too which also adds to this effect. The sharpness and colours i feel, are much better than the Apple displays that i'm used to using and has a notable effect on the work.
One thing for anyone reading this with an older computer who's considering a 4K display, i did find using the monitor seemed to effect the performance of my machine slightly, which i'm guessing is the shear resolution of the output and a slight strain put on the graphics card? (I’m no expert on this) Nothing to be overly concerned about though, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. On another side note, as you can see from the loving embrace I had with it (above pic), 32" monitors are MASSIVE, which is fantastic for working on and the extra screen real estate it provides but if you ever consider one, make sure you have space.
Now for transparency, as I’ve mentioned BenQ did contact me, but in no way would I just ramble on about a product that I didn’t actively like - my Yorkshire roots wouldn’t allow it! It’s well documented that us northerners don’t like wasting our money.
And whilst we’re being transparent - I'd never really thought of BenQ as an option before, but that’s mainly because I’ve used iMacs a lot over the years and never thought of choosing the brand as i wasn't aware they had designer focussed kit, which this certainly is. I'd say the overall design and build quality of say, an Apple Thunderbolt display, is slightly better - with the BenQ being a little more plastic feeling, but the all important visual and display element is absolutely fantastic which of course, is the main thing to focus on! It also has some great height adjustment features and you can rotate it a full 90 degrees to work in portrait it that's your bag. It also has a load of designer features built in for Animation, 3D and CAD that i found a joy to use, but the incredible clarity being the main thing that i found a benefit when editing the photographs and creating the pieces.
As for creating the work for BenQ, I very quickly turned to nature. I wanted to create an image that was made from a relatively humble, everyday thing that goes unnoticed for its intricacy and aesthetics. Forcing you to really look at something that would pass you by from day to day and highlight its real beauty. Leaves hold incredible detail and form, yet we don't really take notice, and i wanted to put them centre stage for BenQ, to highlight that with their monitors you turn something already extraordinary, into ultra extraordinary.