ViewSonic VP2780-4K UHD monitor review

The VP2780-4K joins ViewSonic's range of displays aimed at budget-conscious professionals that need a PC monitor a step above the usual consumer fare. Also see: Best displays 2015.

This 27-inch display is well specified with an IPS technology panel, matt anti-glare hard coating and 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution. This panel is from LG, although it's not clear if this new UHD version is a true 10-bit panel or follows similar designs that are 8-bit and use frame-rate control (FRC), a technique to increase colour range to synthesise 10-bit colour through dithering. ViewSonic does specify a 14-bit look-up table (LUT) and colour processing.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: Build and design

The VP2780-4K follows earlier 27-inch monitors we've reviewed from ViewSonic such as the VP2772 and VP2770-LED in its core chassis style and design. It has a simple and sober frame made from matt black plastic, with a reasonably narrow 22 mm bezel surrounding the LCD panel. The sturdy tripod stand is fully adjustable for height, tilt and swivel; and also allows the screen to be rotated 90 degrees for use in portrait mode.

Overall build quality is good, if short of true professional standards. The cap that covers the top of the stand pillar is held on with just a dab of adhesive, for example, and liable to fall off with heavy handling; and the use of an external laptop-style power supply is more in line with cheaper consumer monitors too.

To reduced eye strain the VP2780-4K boasts flicker-free brightness control, regulating the panel DC voltage rather than through rapid on/off PWM switching as we find on the cheapest consumer displays. An optional blue-light filter may lend a slightly yellow cast to the image but it should reduct the amount of short wavelength light from affecting our metabolism by raising melatonin levels.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: Ins and outs

There is a useful selection of up-to-date connectivity for this ViewSonic, starting with two DisplayPort inputs (one of which is the Mini type devised by Apple) and both follow the v1.2 specification. This means that resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 pixels at 60 Hz are possible.

In addition, the VP2780-4K is one of the first wave of PC monitors that also supports HDMI 2.0, which likewise enables 60 Hz refresh rates at UHD and 4K resolutions. There is one regular HDMI 2.0 port, and two designated MHL and using the standard full-size HDMI port.

No speakers are included inside although there is a 3.5 mm audio socket for headphones, with digital audio piped in through either of the digital video connectors. For desktop peripheral connection, four USB 3.0 ports are available, two on the back and two on the right side. See all display reviews

ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: Control and menus

The control interface follows that of other VP-series ViewSonic monitors, with five touch-sensitive areas on the lower-right edge of the bottom bezel. The first two are labelled 1 and 2; the second pair are down- and upward-pointing triangles; the last is a standby power control.

To access the on-screen menus, you press 1 to call up the menu, then use 2 like an ‘OK' button. To go back a level you use 1 again, while the up/down touch buttons allow navigation through menus.

It's not quite as immediately intuitive as the pro monitors we've seen from HP and Dell, for instance, but the system works reasonably well after some familiarisation. However we still find touch sensitivity to be an issue – the button areas do not always respond unless you press firmly, which requires you to support the display with the other hand or pinch the entire frame between thumb and finger; and pressing and holding to accelerate through brightness settings, for example, can be rather fitful.

The all-capital and low-resolution typography used throughout the screen controls has erratic font tracking, lending it the style of a cheap Chinese consumer product.

A MultiPicture feature is designed to allow up to four video sources to be viewed simultaneously in full-HD in each quadrant of the panel.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K review: Lab results

ViewSonic explains that each VP2780-4K is individually calibrated in the factory for correct colour, with a guarantee of Delta E ≤ 2. The monitor is specified to provide 100 percent sRGB and 80 percent AdobeRGB coverage. Additionally the company offers a zero dead-pixel warranty for the duration of the three-year warranty.

In our tests with a Datacolor Spyder colorimeter we measured 89 percent sRGB colour gamut, and 68 percent AdobeRGB.

Update: after discussion with ViewSonic, we reset colour mode to User Color rather than Standard, which enabled the display to measure with 100 percent sRGB and 79 percent Adobe RGB.

Contrast ratio measured by the chequerboard test was 690:1, while Delta E averaged 1.62. Judged subjectively we found the image quality to be excellent, with clean text and no obvious colour gradients.

Update: after resetting colour mode to User Color the average Delta E also fell slightly to 1.12 Delta E.

Power consumption was very low considering the panel technology and high resolution. We saw 39 W consumption at the screen's full brightness (a high 432 cd/m^2), falling to a very reasonable 19 W when calibrated to 120 cd/m^2. Also see: Best displays 2015.

This review was updated 21 May 2015 with new colour gamut results that now confirm 100 percent sRGB coverage, and the overall score was raised to 4 Stars.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K: Specs

  • 27 in (3840 x 2160 pixel), 163 ppi IPS
  • '10-bit colour'
  • matt anti-glare finish
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x MHL 2.0
  • touch-sensitive OSD controls
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • full height adjustable with portrait mode
  • 22 mm wide bezel
  • VESA 100 mm
  • external, 80 W supply with IEC C5 inlet
  • 643 x 382 x 56 mm
  • 5.4 kg
  • 27 in (3840 x 2160 pixel), 163 ppi IPS
  • '10-bit colour'
  • matt anti-glare finish
  • 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x HDMI 2.0, 2x MHL 2.0
  • touch-sensitive OSD controls
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • full height adjustable with portrait mode
  • 22 mm wide bezel
  • VESA 100 mm
  • external, 80 W supply with IEC C5 inlet
  • 643 x 382 x 56 mm
  • 5.4 kg

OUR VERDICT

The VP2780-4K is expensive for a consumer monitor at £699, although relatively cheap when set against professional monitors with full AdobeRGB colour and polished OSD menus, for which you can expect to pay closer to twice the price. ViewSonic's warranty is useful with its zero dead-pixel warranty, making the VP2780-4K an accessible UHD monitor for professionals that don't need full Adobe RGB colour gamut and are working on a tight budget.