Review: ViewSonic VP2780-4K

Introduction and design

ViewSonic screens are sometimes associated with the budget market, but there’s nothing cheap about the VP2780-4K, which costs a hefty $1,093 (about £700, or AU$1,430).

For that money you get a screen with an impressive spec sheet: the 4K resolution lifts it into the top tier of office panels, and ViewSonic claims it displays 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. Each screen is individually calibrated at the factory to ensure consistent quality levels, too, and ViewSonic says it’s designed for photo editing, video processing and CAD/CAM tasks in particular.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K buttons


This monitor certainly looks the part: the matte black bezel that surrounds the screen is subtle and narrow, and the three-pronged base ensures firm footing on any kind of desk. The office-friendly looks are matched with impressive versatility, with swivel, pivot and tilt options, support for VESA mounts and 5.9-inches (about 150mm) of height adjustment. It can also be used in portrait mode.

It’s easy to put together. The screen emerges from its box with the stand already attached, and the base slots in place with a single screw.

That’s more versatility than most of the competition. The LG UltraWide UC3497 has a curved, wide design that means it can’t switch to portrait mode or do much movement at all, and the Acer S277HK can tilt back and forward – but that’s it.

Problems are minor. The biggest will affect professionals who use the Adobe RGB gamut, as the VP2780-4K will only display about 80% of its colours. It’s also missing a couple of features found on screens like the LG and Acer panels – no card reader, no headphone jack and no speakers.

This monitor is a chunky bit of kit, too. Its 17.6lb weight (about 8kg) is comparable to the curved LG but it’s almost 7lb (about 3kg) more than the Acer, and the stand is 13.7-inches (about 348mm) from front to back – quite a distance. You’ll need a big desk.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K side


The ViewSonic uses an IPS panel – a screen technology that brings several advantages. These screens usually have the best viewing angles and colour accuracy of mainstream panels, although they sometimes fall down when it comes to black point. That’s something we’ll look out for in benchmarks.

The 27-inch diagonal and 3,840 x 2,160 resolution are a combination designed for sharpness. The screen’s density level of 163ppi means it matches the Acer, and easily beats the 110ppi of the LG.

That density has obvious advantages. Images and text look pin-sharp, which helps when working with media, and the increased resolution means more applications and larger windows can be spread across the screen.

4K remains a double-edge sword, though. The increased resolution means you may have to scale up windows to see icons and text properly, which somewhat negates the high pixel count – and some third-party applications in particular struggle to cope with this scaling.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K connectivity

Connectivity is impressive. The HDMI 2.0 port accepts 4K signals at 60Hz alongside four simultaneous 32-bit audio streams, which wasn’t possible using HDMI 1.4, and there’s DisplayPort 1.2 and four USB 3 ports.

Some features are missing, but we don’t expect to see 144Hz operation, G-Sync or FreeSync on a screen like this – they’re more suited to consumer monitors and gaming panels.

Interface and performance


There’s no sign of the more adventurous control methods used on the LG UltraWide UC3497 – the ViewSonic’s settings are handled using a group of four touch-sensitive buttons in the bottom-right corner.

In theory that’s fine, but in practice, the buttons are awkward. Their tool-tips just show arrows rather than anything more descriptive.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K rear

The menu isn’t much cop, either. It’s small and low-resolution, and it’s a little sluggish to respond when compared to rivals. It’s organised sensibly and it’s not a huge problem to use – so it’s better than the awkward Acer S277HK, but other monitors have smarter, slicker navigation options.


The ViewSonic’s factory settings proved this panel’s stonking colour accuracy. Its measured colour temperature of 6,444K is barely different from the 6,500K ideal figure, and the Delta E of 0.92 is fantastic – anything below 1 generally deserves a round of applause. No rival was able to match these figures. The ViewSonic’s sRGB coverage level of 97.2% was good too – not hugely different from the claimed 100%.

Contrast and brightness was trickier. The initial brightness level of 402cd/m2 is hugely high, but it’s just too extreme for any office. The black point of 0.38cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 1,058:1 are both good, but rival panels are more balanced and considered – the LG’s lower brightness level of 232cd/m2 is still plenty, and its black point and contrast levels of 0.21 and 1,104:1 are much better.

Thankfully, this problem was easy to solve. We toned the ViewSonic’s brightness down to 133cd/m2 – about right for an office – and the black point dipped to a deep 0.12, the contrast improved to 1,108:1, and the Delta E improved further to 0.79.

ViewSonic VP2780-4K front

The initial brightness hinders image quality, but turning the backlight down to a more manageable level solves the problem – and that’s what you’ll be doing in an office anyway.

At factory settings, then, we’ve little to complain about; the ViewSonic is excellent in every department. The brilliant colour accuracy will be a boon to anyone working in design or photography, and the black point and contrast levels add depth to darker scenes and vibrancy to lighter tones.

Those impressive scores are maintained consistently, too. Only around 6% of the screen’s brightness was lost at its top-most edge, with this increasing to about 8% at the bottom of the panel. That’s not a drop you’ll notice in daily use, and it’s better than most rivals.

As ever, this screen comes with a multitude of different modes – and, as usual, they’re a mixed bag. The best are the sRGB, EBU and NTSC modes, which maintain good performance while introducing tweaks for those who work in broadcasting and other specialist industries. The power-saving option is good, too – at its most dramatic setting it cuts the brightness down to 118cd/m2 and drops the electricity consumption from 38W to 20W.

Other options aren’t as successful. The cool option barely changes the colour temperature and the warm setting drops it to an uncomfortable 4,779K. The text mode has similarly distracting warmth levels, and the game and movie modes match high brightness to poorer Delta E and colour temperature results. In every instance we’d prefer to use this screen’s factory settings.


We liked

The ViewSonic is initially too bright, but tone the backlight down and its exceptional image quality comes to the fore: colour temperature and accuracy is fantastic, the black level is deep and contrast is good. It’s consistent, too, with most of these excellent results maintained across the breadth of the panel.

The excellent image quality is backed up with sensible, office-friendly design. The ViewSonic can twist and turn into every position we expect from a business monitor, and its design and build quality are solid and sensible. It also has good connectivity, with the latest HDMI and DisplayPort protocols supported.

We disliked

The business-focused nature of this screen means it’s missing a few features. There are no speakers or card reader, for instance.

Many of the screen modes aren’t much cop, either, with options that ramp up the brightness or colour temperature to the detriment of overall image quality.

Navigation is a bit clunky compared to the methods used on rival screens, too, and don’t forget that $1,093 (about £700, or AU$1,427) price tag – you’ll have to pay a fair amount to get hold of this panel’s great image quality.

Final verdict

The lack of consumer features means this screen isn’t suitable for home use, but that’s fine – it’s a professional panel through-and-through and, in areas where it really matters, the ViewSonic delivers.

It’s got fantastic image quality, a high resolution and a huge amount of versatility. If you’re after a high-quality screen for professional purposes but don’t want to break the four-figure barrier then this is an excellent option.