Planar Helium PCT2785: An In-Depth Review

The release of Windows 8 undeniably sparked the demand for touchscreen monitor production, and these interactive displays are starting to become more and more common in many households. The first batch of touchscreen monitors is in the 20 to 23-inches category, and it seems like there is more on the way. Planar Helium PCT2785 on the other hand, represents the first batch of big touchscreen monitors to hit the market since Windows 8 was launched, and it is also the very first monitor to use the 20-point touch technology. Know more about this new breed of display here at Dual Monitors Guide’s in-depth review.

(image from Amazon)

Who is it for?

If you’re looking for a big touchscreen with excellent and smooth touch responsiveness, good color quality and solid overall performance, then you should check out Planar Helium PCT2785. Equipped with 20-point capacitive touch technology system, this 27-inch MVA panel is the first of its kind. It makes crisp texts and offers wide viewing angles to work as your all-around monitor. Good for work and entertainment purposes, as it has tons of input sources and can support multiple external peripherals.

 

Benefits

First 20-Point Progressive Capacitive Touch Monitors

The Planar Helium PCT2785 is a massive touchscreen monitor measuring 27-inch of diagonal screen size. It’s made up of MVA (Multi-domain Vertical Alignment) panel with a high native contrast ratio of 5,000:1. It works with rich color reproduction with wide viewing angle. It comes with plenty of inputs and outputs and conveniently equipped with a built-in webcam. It stands on a versatile and adjustable stand. But the highlight and biggest feature of this monitor is its 20-point touch system – the first of its kind.

20-Point Multi-Touch Technology with Excellent Touch Response System

Like other products in its Planar Helium Series line, the Planar PCT2785 uses a 20-point capacitive touchscreen technology, which means it can support 10 touch points and provide extremely responsive, accurate and smooth touch system.

This technology is called projective capacitive technology. The glass screen has electrostatic field that instantly distorts when your finger, gloved hand or stylus touches it. It is made up of rows and columns of wires (forming a grid), that when applied with current, makes an electrostatic field. Pressing any area of the grid causes the field to break, which is measured to track the touches.

 Most touchscreens today work with 5 to 10-point capacitive touch system, but this specific monitor has the world’s first 20-point touch system, which results to more responsive screen that works accurately in any direction of swiping and pinching gestures, makes typing texts on Windows 8 keyboard comfortably easy and convenient. It can also process multiple touches at once (20 simultaneous touches).

The capacitive screen can also identify and convert handwriting into texts, quite a convenient feature to have for editing texts and words.

 

Solid Color Quality and Decent Grayscale Performance

MVA panels are not usually known for producing accurate colors, this particular product is at 82.1% accurate in the sRGB colour gamut, which is a little lower than 88% average for displays of its size. Colors red and blue are strong, but cyan coverage has the tendency to lose vibrancy.


The MVA panel allows the display to deliver strong, well-saturated colors with natural-looking skin tones while playing high-definition videos and Blu-ray movies. This display also does quite a decent job in showing all shades of gray, based on DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test, except for the lightest and darkest gray shades which seems a little compressed and quite hard to differentiate from its previous shades. Small texts are well-defined as well, and fonts as small as 5.3 points (Smallest font point in Scaled Fonts test) is still legible.

 

Quite Efficient in Energy Consumption Considering its Size, Functions and Added Features

This Planar touchscreen monitor consumes 43 watts in Standard mode, which is a little higher than the average. However, considering its massive size, touchscreen system and added features and peripherals, it can still be considered as efficient. Also, it is the largest touchscreen monitor available today, which explains its power consumption.

ECO 2 mode functions however, can bring the power consumption down to 39 watts, while still maintaining a good brightness level. ECO mode 3 can pull the power consumption all the ways down to 26 watts, but can be too dim for most users.

 

Wide Viewing Angles to Make an Excellent Display for Entertainment

When not being forced as a purely touchscreen monitor, this Helium monitor makes an excellent movie screen or entertainment display, thanks to its extra wide viewing angles. At 178° both vertically and horizontally, this monitor is among the best in the market right now in terms of wide viewing angle.

 

Comes with Multiple Video Inputs/Outputs

(image from Amazon)

This monitor has plenty of connectivity options and video input/outputs. The back cabinet houses the DisplayPort, HDMI digital video inputs, a VGA (analog) video input, along with the headphone, audio-in jacks and three (3) USB 2.0 ports (1 upstream USB port and 2 downstream USB ports). This means you can more electronic devices to your PC. All ports faces down, which may be a challenge to reach when the monitor is mounted to a wall.

There are no USB ports on the side of the cabinet, but it Planar designed it that way as they want the monitor to be flexible for retail and public use, where plugging in thumb drives is discouraged.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setup Options

 

With 27-inch screen size and 20-point capacitive touchscreen system, Planar Helium PCT2785 makes monitor in any different types of setups. However, big screens with touchscreen function like this needs something really dependable in both performance and quality.

(image from Amazon)

Ergotron MX Desk Mount LCD Arm is a one of the few products in the market today that possesses these qualities. It comes with a sleek, adjustable arm is designed to lift displays and all-in-one computers that weights up to 30lbs. The arm has 5 inches height adjustment, along with all the smooth tilt, pivot, extension and retraction and change of orientation (portrait to landscape and vice versa). This arm can also help keep your desk space neat and clean from cables through its superb cable management system, while the patented Constant Force technology keeps your display stable and secured in place.

(image from Amazon)

Finding an LCD arm for dual monitor setup for monitor this big can be hard. One of the products out there that can support two 27-inch size displays is the Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm, a fully adjustable dual monitor LCD arm, made up of made up of solid polished aluminum construction and high quality materials. Each arm can be adjusted independently, allowing users to reposition their display; up, down, forward and back, with one simple touch, and still keep the displays secured and stable in place through the help of its patented Constant Force (CF) technology.

 

Design and Features

(image from Amazon)

Planar Helium PCT2785 looks like a tablet on steroids – its massive screen and frame is quite a table-hogging piece, which means you need to have a fair amount of room on your desk to position it comfortably and take full advantage of its sliding stand. Of course, you can always opt to mount the monitor to your wall or use a more versatile and dependable monitor stand to find the best position for an ergonomically comfortable workstation. The Ergotron MX Desk Mount LCD Arm for example, is a great monitor mount stand for this type of monitor – a versatile stand that lets you work on a touchscreen monitor.

 

Its 1.2 inch thick black bezels sit beneath a sheet of edge-to-edge glass. The top bezel houses the built-in microphone and webcam, while the bottom bezel has the shiny Planar logo. The lower right side of the cabinet houses the touch-sensitive Power button, along with all the other function buttons of the monitor. The rear part of the cabinet has the two (2) 3-watt speakers.

 

Basic Picture Settings

The picture settings of this monitor include the basic settings you expect from any good monitor, namely Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature and the four (4) picture modes (Standard, Cinema, Game and Text). It’s also equipped with an auto-adjust mode for analog (VGA) signals and controls for sharpness, phase, clock, and display position controls. Audio settings include volume level and mute.

 

Supported by the Special Helium Desk Stand

(image from Amazon)

This monitor is supported by a sleek, easy-to-use, easily-adjustable and ergonomically-friendly black metal stand that folds out from the back side of the cabinet. It allows flexible adjustments such as tilt range of 15° and lets you lay your display 70° to position it flat on to your desktop surface.

The cabinet comes with VESA mounting holes, making it compliant for VESA mount standards. This means you can mount this display to your wall or use a more flexible and ergonomic solution such as a monitor stand.

 

With Built-In Web-Cam and Microphone

One of the special features of Planar Helium PCT2785 are the two extra hardware, saving users from plugging more PC peripherals – webcam and microphone.

It has a 2 MP built-in camera that works instantly when you plug the monitor’s USB and microphone cables to your PC. Sitting next to the camera is the microphone, which also works simultaneously as you plug the monitor to your computer. These two peripherals work hand-in-hand for apps like Skype and MSN Messenger.

 

With Built-in Speakers

(image from Amazon)

As said earlier, Planar Helium PCT2785 comes with a lot of convenient features, and this includes the two 3-watt built-in speakers located at the back of the cabinet. These speakers work relatively loud and full-sounding. They may not be able to pump out full bass or may sound a bit tinny when set at the highest volume level, but they are good enough for most types of use such as listening to music while working, gaming, or even for entertainment use.

 

Tech Specs

Package Includes the comprehensive user guide HDMI, VGA, USB, and audio cables, cleaning cloth, a stylus.

 

Bottom Line

(image from Amazon)

The Planar Helium PCT2785 is undeniably a solid performer. Its big screen size, good color quality, excellent viewing angle and superb touch responsiveness puts it among the top touchscreen monitors in the market today. Yes, it is a big expensive, and its quality is not meant for high-end gaming, as it has slower response time (12ms).

The biggest selling point of this monitor is its 20-point capacitive touchscreen. When the background image is dominantly bright white or light blue, the grid can be noticeable. The capacitive wire issue is a minor problem, unless you're constantly looking at a white or very light background. This effect is a little faint, and you may have to look hard to see the horizontal lines, but vertical lines can be quite noticeable, though you can used to them after a while. It can be distracting for some users though. Of course, you can always town down the brightness level of your display to solve this issue.

Planar PCT2785 is for people looking for a large screen and wants to take advantage of all the good things Windows 8 can offer. It has a sleek design with good picture performance, and certainly one of the best-rated touchscreen monitors for its size today.



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