As careful parsing of its model number would suggest, the ViewSonic VP2785-4K ($899.99) brings a native 4K resolution to its 27-inch screen. Geared toward creative professionals such as photographers and video editors who require exacting, reproducible color in their images, this professional-grade monitor supports a wide color palette and is factory-calibrated for a host of common color spaces. It beautifully rendered photos and videos in our testing, supports the display of HDR content, and also can be used for low-impact gaming. It becomes our latest Editors’ Choice professional monitor.
An Adjustable Panel for Pros
While it is very similar to the ViewSonic VP2780-4K, which earned our Editors’ Choice way back in 2015, the VP2785-4K offers some distinct improvements. It adds a USB Type-C port, which can charge a laptop that’s connected to it, as well as letting you take advantage of an unusual KVM-switch feature. With this feature, you can plug multiple input sources—say, two computers—into the monitor and switch between them easily using one keyboard and mouse. (One of the input sources has to be connected to the USB-C port.)
The VP2785-4K has a wider color gamut than the VP2780-4K in several color spaces. (For instance, it covers 99 percent of Adobe RGB, while its predecessor covered just 80 percent.) It also has much smaller side and top bezels, which equates to a larger screen area and a more seamless integration into a multi-monitor array.
The VP2785-4K’s matte-black design is handsome yet simple, offering little inkling of the precision of the panel it houses. Clean lines and narrow, near-invisible bezels adorn the sides and top, with a thicker strip across the bottom. When placed on its stand and extended to its maximum height, the VP2785-4K measures 21.5 by 24.1 by 8.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 14.1 pounds including the stand.
The sturdy, unobtrusive, and highly adjustable stand offers just over 5 inches of height adjustment, 120 degrees of swivel control, and 22 degrees of tilt adjustment. Photographers will appreciate its ability to pivot 90 degrees into portrait orientation.
Color Precision Is the Point
The in-plane switching (IPS) 27-inch panel is impressive, with its native resolution of 4K (3,840 by 2,160 pixels) making for a high pixel density of 163 pixels per inch (ppi). This matches the densities of both the Acer Predator X27 and the ViewSonic VP2780-4K, while the ViewSonic VP3881 has a pixel density of 111ppi. Higher pixel densities generally translate to sharper images.
ViewSonic rates the VP2785-4K’s contrast ratio at 1,000:1, which proved to be within 1 percent of our tested ratio (991:1). The VP2785-4K’s’s peak brightness is rated at 350cd/m2 (aka nits); it turned in a slightly lower 323 nits when we took it through its paces.
ViewSonic touts the VP2785-4K’s color accuracy, and the fact that the monitor comes pre-calibrated for a variety of color spaces (Adobe RGB, DCI-P3, sRGB, EBU, SMPTE-C, and REC709). I did our luminance, color fidelity, and contrast-ratio testing using a Klein K10-A colorimeter and SpectraCal CalMAN 5 software. The chromaticity chart below was produced with the VP2785-4K in Adobe RGB mode.
The area within the triangle represents the colors that can be produced by mixing the primary colors red, green, and blue, while the area bounded by the curve approximates the range of colors that can be discerned with the human eye. The circles represent my color measurements, which are considerably outside the triangle—especially in the green part of the spectrum, indicating a very wide color gamut. Though I have no way of quantifying it strictly, it appears close to the 99 percent of the Adobe RGB space claimed by ViewSonic.
The VP2785-4K has a generous set of display inputs and other connectors. These comprise two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort inputs, the USB Type-C port I mentioned earlier, four USB 3.0 downstream ports, and two 3.5mm jacks. The last two are one audio-in and one audio-out, meant for connecting to an external audio source, or to speakers or headphones. (The VP2785-4K doesn’t have built-in speakers.) All the ports are in back, facing downward, but you can access them easily by rotating the panel into portrait orientation.
Six tiny buttons activate and control the onscreen display (OSD). They are on the right-hand edge of the bottom bezel and illuminate when the monitor is on. Five of them show a tiny white circle, while the right-most displays the standard icon for an on/off button. (It glows blue when the monitor is on, orange when it’s in sleep mode, and goes dim when the monitor is off.) Pressing the next button to the left opens a master menu that offers Standard Color, Contrast/Brightness, Input Select, Main Menu, and Exit. Above each of the other buttons, icons then appear that let you navigate between the choices, such as right arrow, left arrow, check mark, return symbol, or X.
Standard Color is the key menu item. It lets you choose among preset color spaces, including Adobe RGB, sRGB, EBU, DCI-P3, SMPTE-C, REC709, and DICOM-SIM, or apply your own custom settings. In certain modes, such as sRGB and Adobe RGB, the Contrast/Brightness control is grayed out. The VP2785-4K has a light sensor with which the monitor can adjust its own brightness depending on lighting conditions.
With Input Select, you can choose among DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, the two HDMI ins, or the USB Type-C. From Main Menu, you can choose (once again) Input Select, Audio Adjust, View Mode, Color Adjust, Manual Image Adjust, and Setup Menu. The View Mode encompasses settings tweaked for Game (FPS, RTS, and MOBA), Movie, Web, Mac, Designer, or Photographer.
Meanwhile, under Manual Image Adjust is a setting called HDR10. In Windows 10, to display HDR content, you have to enable this setting, then go into Display Settings by right-clicking on an empty area of your desktop and turn on HDR there, as well.
Magnificent Image Quality
I viewed photographs and other graphical content with the VP2785-4K, and the color looked true, pleasing, and vivid, with sharp detail. I pivoted the panel into portrait mode and enjoyed viewing vertically formatted photos at full screen width, considerably larger than they would appear in landscape mode. (With ViewSonic’s Auto Pivot software installed, photos will automatically pivot when the monitor is pivoted.)
Sample videos also looked good, with bright colors. With HDR turned on, compatible videos showed a modest improvement in brightness and contrast.
Good for Light Gaming
With a 60Hz refresh rate and lacking support for either AMD’s FreeSync or Nvidia’s G-Sync adaptive-sync technologies, the VP2785-4K is no one’s idea from its specs of a screaming accompaniment to a kitted-out gaming rig. Still, I had a pleasant experience playing the likes of Far Cry Primal and Rise of the Tomb Raider on our PC testbed, as well as running their built-in benchmarks. Pixel response is as quick as 5 milliseconds. I tested the panel’s input lag at a very good 10.7 milliseconds using a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Lag Tester.
As a monitor geared to creative professionals, the ViewSonic VP2785-4K provides excellent color accuracy for photos and videos, a wide color gamut, and factory calibration. It is fine for casual gaming, eschewing a high refresh rate or adaptive sync, but the reason you buy this panel is for creative work requiring access to the color spaces it supports and the flexible physical adjustments. With the notable improvements over the Editors’ Choice ViewSonic VP2780-4K cited earlier—the wider color gamut, the addition of USB-C, the smaller bezels—the VP2785-4K becomes our latest Editors’ Choice professional monitor.