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Review: BenQ's PD2710QC is the First Display With a Built-In USB-C Dock

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Apr 12, 2001
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Introduced in January, the PD2710QC from BenQ is the first USB-C display that comes equipped with an integrated USB Type-C dock, which offers an array of ports for MacBook and MacBook Pro owners.

The 27-inch display is aimed at designers and engineers, offering a 2560 x 1440 resolution with support for 100 percent sRGB color accuracy and specific modes for use with CAD and animation software.


Design

The display itself, a 27-inch IPS panel mounted on a plastic base, is attractive with a thin black bezel that doesn't distract from the screen. The tapered back of the display is a neutral, unassuming shade of gray that can match any decor, and while it's thin at the sides, it tapers into a thicker back.

An arm attaches the display to the USB-C dock, which is made from the same gray plastic. All of the parts are plastic so it doesn't necessarily feel high-quality, but the display is lightweight and it also doesn't come off as cheap.


The USB-C dock, as far as bases go, is going to take up a lot of desk space. It's a good inch and a half bigger than my 12-inch MacBook, and probably similar in size to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but far thicker. It tapers from about a half an inch in the front to an inch and a half in the back.

The dock can be used as a place to put a MacBook while it's in clamshell mode or in use, but it is one of the largest display bases that I've seen. If you have a small desk, be aware of how much space this dock/base is going to take up. Personally, I think the large base is unattractive and clunky, detracting from the sleeker design of the display itself.


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Article Link: Review: BenQ's PD2710QC is the First Display With a Built-In USB-C Dock
 

guzhogi

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Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
So let me get this straight, you need a power cord the base, another power cord for the monitor itself, a cord to go from the base to the dock, & a fourth cable to go from the base to your computer? Umm, no thanks. Until I just need a single power cord and data cable, I'll pass. Plus, the resolution seems pretty low. It seems everything else now is 4K.
 
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samden

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Sep 15, 2015
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So let me get this straight, you need a power cord the base, another power cord for the monitor itself, a cord to go from the base to the dock, & a fourth cable to go from the base to your computer? Umm, no thanks. Until I just the power cord and data cable, I'll pass. Plus, the resolution seems pretty low. It seems everything else now is 4K.

It's the same number of cables as using any other dock.
 
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Pakaku

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Aug 29, 2009
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It's the same number of cables as using any other dock.
At least something like the Apple monitors had the convenience of it being all-in-one, instead of literally being a monitor taped to a USB hub...

If I wanted something like this, I'd just get a separate monitor and hub, which would also come with the benefit of letting me put the hub wherever I want.
 
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guzhogi

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Aug 31, 2003
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Wherever my feet take me…
It's the same number of cables as using any other dock.
At least something like the Apple monitors had the convenience of it being all-in-one, instead of literally being a monitor taped to a USB hub...

If I wanted something like this, I'd just get a separate monitor and hub, which would also come with the benefit of letting me put the hub wherever I want.

I agree with Pakaku. To me, it makes more sense to do either all-in-one, or separate products. This just seems half-assed.
 
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samden

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2015
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This monitor is far from the first such device, and it appears to be completely awful in its design. Is this an advertorial?
I've been looking for such a monitor, would you mind sharing some that you are aware of?

Philips already has one...
Are you talking about the Philips 258B6QUEB? Because it's only available in the UK and I'm not finding any other models :(
 
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theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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It's the same number of cables as using any other dock.

Which kinda defeats one of the major objects of having a 2-in-1 device: to cut down on cabling and the number of wall sockets needed.

The Dell only provides a couple of USB-A ports (a hub) while the BenQ provides a dock that can function independently from the monitor.

Or would be able to function independently if it wasn't built in to the display stand... Whups!

There are plenty of USB-C docks (plus some TB3 ones coming soon) that would happily sit under a typical display and not need any more knitting.

Even with that 7" leeway, that screen seems awfully high.

Not just high - but the wrong viewing distance. I have tried a laptop in a similar configuration, but with the laptop positioned quite a bit forward of the display (esp. when the laptop has a retina-class screen but the main display is 'only' 1440p and benefits from a bit of extra distance). This seems to be designed so that the laptop sits on the base leaving the laptop display almost level with it. Use the laptop keyboard and the large display will be too close - use an external keyboard and the laptop display will be too far away. Magical.

I'm sure there are a few people out there who will look at the photo in the review of this sitting on the not-big-enough-to-be-a-good-computer-desk desk and think "wow, ideal!" - although I suspect that all five of them work for BenQ and were on the committee that rubber-stamped this abomination.

In other news I know one person who liked Windows Vista and another person who couldn't see anything wrong with the G3 hockey-puck mouse...

Oh, and the 20th century called to ask for their 100Mbps ethernet back...

I'll pass. Plus, the resolution seems pretty low. It seems everything else now is 4K.

Trouble is, hang a 4k @ 60Hz display off any USB-C dock and the display signal will use up all 4 USB 3.1 lanes, so any USB or other ports on the dock will be limited to USB 2.0 speeds (dig through the specs of any USB-C dock or 4k display and you should turn this up). If all you want is display, charging and somewhere to hang your USB 2 mouse/keyboard/printer then that might be fine, but if you want a dock that will drive a 4k display and USB-3 peripherals, 1Gb ethernet etc. you'll need a more expensive (and probably not yet available) Thunderbolt 3 dock.

Also remember that MacOS doesn't support DisplayPort "daisy chaining" (unless you count mirrored displays as 'support') so, again, if you want dual monitors off a dock its a case of waiting for Thunderbolt 3 docks.
 
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samden

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2015
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Also remember that MacOS doesn't support DisplayPort "daisy chaining" (unless you count mirrored displays as 'support') so, again, if you want dual monitors off a dock its a case of waiting for Thunderbolt 3 docks.

I actually didn't know this, what the heck Apple!?
 
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andy89

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2005
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I think these will do well in small software companies but it's a bit of a niche. I see 13" Macbooks wedged under big displays all the time. You work on one display a view the results on another.
 
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ShinySteelRobot

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
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Upper Left Corner, USA
if you want a dock that will drive a 4k display and USB-3 peripherals, 1Gb ethernet etc. you'll need a more expensive (and probably not yet available) Thunderbolt 3 dock.
You mean like this one? It's $80 (currently) and can drive a monitor at 4K@60Hz as well as provide some USB 3.1 ports. It doesn't have an Ethernet port built in, though, but using Ethernet cables is becoming increasingly uncommon anyway.
 
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theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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...and is a prototype currently being crowdfunded on Indigogo. Until you can order one and have it delivered normally (they say the regular price will be $99), I'll count it as being "not yet available".

Also, as far as I can tell from the advert, this looks like a USB-C hub running off one of the ports on the side of a MBP but which also plugs into the second TB3/USB-C port (which most similar hubs would just block) and simply passes that through to the outside so you can still use it.

That explains the price difference c.f. a "true" TB3 dock (which would break out the embedded video and PCIe signals from TB3 to drive extra USB-C/whatever controllers). It also explains the 50Gbps "bandwidth" claim - 10Gbps from the USB-C port + 40Gbps from the passed-through TB3 port. Logically speaking, its the same as plugging a regular USB-C dock into one of your computer's TB3 ports leaving the other free for 'proper' TB3 devices.

NB: I'm not saying that's a bad idea - as a way of getting your "legacy" ports back on the road its certainly better than the similar 'clip on' hubs that block one of the TB3 ports. It's just not really equivalent to the sort of desktop dock for "1-wire docking" we were discussing.

...plus, you're still going to have to "waste" one of your high speed TB3 ports (your only remaining one, if you have a non-TB model) if you want to connect the charger.

and can drive a monitor at 4K@60Hz

Read the small print - the HDMI port on this maxes out at 4k@30Hz. Sorry but you can't run 4k@60Hz and USB-3 off current USB-C/TB3 ports (at least not until they start supporting DisplayPort 1.3 bandwidth - which is part of the DP-over-USB-C spec but not supported by current controllers or Intel embedded graphics).

Of course, because this replicates one of the Mac's TB3 ports, that port can drive anything TB3 can drive - 4k, 5k etc. unless you've got a non-TB mac and have to use it for power...

but using Ethernet cables is becoming increasingly uncommon anyway

I'd agree its not a big issue on a mobile-focussed device like this. For desktop use, however, you can have my ethernet cable when you pull it from my cold, dead hand (taking care not to break off that pesky plastic clip). Yes, WiFi can now match the speed of 1GBps ethernet... given the very latest WiFi cards and routers on everything, in perfect interference-free conditions that never happen outside a Faraday cage in a lab.
 
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AllieNeko

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
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Are you talking about the Philips 258B6QUEB? Because it's only available in the UK and I'm not finding any other models :(

Yup! That's the one, we've got a couple floating around work as trials to pair with 12 inch MacBooks, and the people with them really like them, and I really like them from a setup/IT perspective. Really slick. sRGB gamut only, like the 12 inch MacBook, but a good pairing for the 12 inch MacBook that is quite affordable.
 
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Wonder Warthog

macrumors member
May 16, 2017
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Tokyo, Japan
I don't know the only non 4k monitor I'd consider these days is an ultra-wide monitor for gaming. Any other display should be in the 4k range. Also sRGB…? I wouldn't consider any display that doesn't have a P3 or equivalent colour range. Ever since I got the iMac at work and the 2016 MBPro, the colours in all other displays seems washed out.
 
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AllieNeko

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
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I don't know the only non 4k monitor I'd consider these days is an ultra-wide monitor for gaming. Any other display should be in the 4k range. Also sRGB…? I wouldn't consider any display that doesn't have a P3 or equivalent colour range. Ever since I got the iMac at work and the 2016 MBPro, the colours in all other displays seems washed out.

It's not a high end monitor, but it's a really slick solution to pair with a 12 inch MacBook for users who don't need high end.
 
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