Spending the best part of £900 on a 19-inch 1280 x 1024 resolution monitor may seem like insanity, but for colour professionals there's a method to the madness.
If you need spot-on colour, a conventional budget monitor will never provide it. Calibration can only do so much, and it's the quality of the panel that defines a monitor's limits. It's a brave move by BenQ to try to set up a stall in what's very much a niche market for this sort of display.
It's worth looking at the nearest competitor to make sense of BenQ's strategy. The Eizo CG19 offers a subset of the FP91R's features with a similar size and resolution, and retails for more than £1,000.
The advantage offered by the BenQ is that it's bundled with its own colour calibration pod or - in this case - box. Unfortunately, this only does luminance calibration, not full colour calibration, so you'll still need an extra calibrator if you really want to get professional results.
Physically, the FP91R is an attractive design with a folding stand that's reminiscent of the iconic-looking monitor that came with the ancient old Next computer. The finish is a sleek black, with only the rather mundane BenQ logo along the bottom spoiling the clean lines.
It's quite easy to navigate the setup options, and it's possible to run a luminance calibration cycle painlessly and quickly without using a computer. In fact, the FP91R will remind you regularly when calibration is required, to make sure that drift is minimised.
Generally, colour accuracy is very good. But brightness could be punchier; the quoted 250 cd/m2 [candelas per square metre] is on the low side for a high-end model. As is standard on the more high-end monitors, there's a choice of colour spaces and colour temperatures, and it's also possible to customise the colour distribution using six separate colour settings for added accuracy.
The problem for BenQ is that this is a specialised product for a specialised market. Having said that, it's certainly cheaper than the competition and the FP91R offers very similar performance.
But even though the quality is good, the small resolution may make this monitor a tough sell. A 1600 x 1200 model with a correspondingly higher price tag may have been more attractive - especially given that there's a direct link between monitor size and productivity.