This might seem like a silly proposition. Gamers buy gaming monitors and colour professionals buy pro monitors, right? As a writer who makes a living playing and writing about games, I did hold fast to this belief. Now, after spending a little over a month with the Viewsonic VP2785 professional monitor, I don’t think the choice is quite that simple.
The monitor I normally use is a BenQ EX2780Q. It features a gorgeous 27-inch, 1440p 144 Hz panel that supports both G-Sync and FreeSync, is compliant with the HDR400 standard, and even comes with built-in speakers. It’s a great monitor that I adore, not least for its excellent colour accuracy (95% DCI-P3), which I was quite particular about since my work does involve a good amount of photo and video editing.
The monitor that has now replaced it entirely for both gaming and editing is the Viewsonic VP2785. Now this is a professional monitor and, full disclosure, it was sent to me for this feature at my request. The VP2785 is a 27-inch panel as well, but a 4K one with a 60 Hz refresh rate, and 100% AdobeRGB and DCI-P3 support. With a 14 ms response time (7 ms with overdrive), this is hardly what anyone would consider a “gaming” monitor.
The VP2785 needs factory calibration
My initial impression of the panel wasn’t very good. Coming from a 144 Hz panel, Windows 11 immediately felt juddery at 60 Hz, and the tearing in fast-paced games like Warzone and Apex Legends was quite bad. To top it off, colour accuracy was completely off and none of the pre-set profiles looked right. In DCI-P3 or AdobeRGB mode, for example, there was too much contrast, greens were suppressed, and reds too saturated. In sRGB mode, everything looked washed out.
The first few days with the VP2785 were, to be entirely honest, frustrating. I did not like this panel and I was already beginning to hate the idea of spending several more weeks with it for the sake of the review.
All that changed after I spent some time in the menus and calibrated the display properly with an i1Display Pro Plus colorimeter. It also helped that my eyes got accustomed to the 60 Hz refresh rate, and, horror of horrors, I enabled V-Sync in my favourite games and overdrive when gaming.
Once calibrated, colour accuracy is practically perfect. Uniformity isn’t the best, but also not significant enough to worry pro users. (Image credit: Anirudh Regidi)
Calibration transformed this display. It went from this vaguely irritating window into my beloved digital world to this sharp, stunning viewport showing off rich colours and offering a sense of depth that none of my previous monitors could match. The only competition came from my 14-inch MacBook’s cutting-edge, 1600-nit miniLED display.
After calibration, I measured a maximum Delta E — the variation in colour value between expected colours and that rendered by the monitor — of just 0.8, with a very impressive average Delta E of 0.4. To put these numbers in context, any value under 2 means that any variation in colour is indistinguishable to the human eye. A Delta E of 0.4 simply indicates that the monitor renders colours with greater precision than the eye can see.
Movies, videos, and even games had a richness to them that I hadn’t seen in a long time, and plugged into my MacBook, the sharpness of 4K paired with Apple’s impeccable display scaling resulted in an experience that I can only describe as immensely pleasurable.
Side-by-side with my 14-inch MacBook’s display, colours were just as accurate and pleasing, and it was only in HDR that the MacBook’s miniLED panel snuck ahead in the punchiness department. Even then, I think I preferred the VP2785 because the MacBook’s HDR setting usually went a little too far when rendering point sources of light.
When processing images in CaptureOne or editing footage in Final Cut Pro, this 4K panel proved its worth ten times over. The precision of its colours and the pixel-perfect sharpness of the rendered image easily won me over. I am, quite honestly, regretting my purchase of a “gaming” monitor right now.
When it comes to gaming, what you do need to know about me is that I’m not a competitive gamer. I love playing fast-paced multiplayer games with friends, but I’m more a sucker for well-crafted single-player experiences and flight sims. More often than not, you’ll find me chasing down Stukas in IL-2 or getting my ar*e whooped in Elden Ring.
After using this monitor, and at the risk of losing all my gamer cred, I realised that I didn’t need 144 Hz for the majority of the games I played, and that I preferred the colour accuracy and quality of the panel over a high refresh rate of a lesser one.
If you play competitively, or just like fast-paced games in general, by all means, get a wicked-fast monitor and colour accuracy be damned! But if you’re like me — someone who enjoys a relatively casual gaming experience and values good colour and contrast — get a pro panel like this Viewsonic VP2785. You won’t regret it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to draft a mail to Viewsonic and attempt to convince them to leave this monitor in my care indefinitely.