Although it is a business monitor primarily geared to productivity—its large, high-resolution screen makes it good for reading small text, scanning cramped spreadsheets, and viewing detail in blueprints—the Lenovo ThinkVision P32u-10 has the color accuracy and quality to appeal to photography studios and graphic arts professionals. Its $1,349 list price tag is hefty (though we’ve seen the monitor from resellers in places for under a grand), but for companies looking for an exceptional panel, its features may be worth the premium. As a productivity and professional monitor rolled into one, it earns our latest Editors’ Choice.
Ergonomic Chops, Plus Thunderbolt
The P32u-10 is big, measuring 19.6 by 28.6 by 13.7 inches and weighing 31.3 pounds. Although its 32-inch in-plane switching (IPS) screen is spacious, the ThinkVision is not an ultrawide monitor like the Asus ProArt PA34VC Professional Curved Monitor and most other panels at sizes beyond 30 inches. Instead, it retains a standard 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio at a UHD (a.k.a. 4K) native resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.
The P32u-10’s stand and cabinet are a ThinkPad-esque matte hue that Lenovo calls “raven black” and that gives the display a handsome if understated look. The top and side bezels are modest, about 0.4 inch across, while the bottom bezel is about an inch thick. The base is a large and stable disk, 14 inches in diameter. It rests on another disk, on which it can rotate, lazy Susan-style. To get it to swivel, however, required more coaxing than it took with the smaller but similarly equipped Lenovo ThinkVision P27u-10, which I was reviewing at the same time.
The stand’s shaft, which angles upward and forward from the back of the disk, connects to the cabinet at a hinge-like joint that permits a tilt range of from 5 degrees forward to 22 degrees back, and also lets you pivot the panel in either direction from landscape to portrait orientation and back. The top of the shaft is a separate piece of metal that emerges from the bottom and can be pulled upward, offering a height adjustment of up to 4.3 inches.
Another compelling feature of the P32u-10 is its generous selection of ports. Its pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports supports the daisy-chaining of a second 4K monitor. Two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort connector, a hub of four USB 3 ports, and an audio-out jack round out the picture. Many recent professional monitors, such as the BenQ SW320, lack even a USB-C port.
The OSD: Slight Navigational Hazards
The one real weakness I came across in reviewing the P32u-10 is a poorly designed on-screen display (OSD). It is controlled by six small, physical buttons at the right-hand end of the monitor’s bottom bezel, but it lacks clearly marked arrow keys for navigation. When I test a monitor, I use the OSD to set its color mode to one of the spaces that we test in, such as sRGB, Adobe RGB, or DCI-P3 (or, for a simpler monitor, Standard or Movie mode).
With the P32u-10, it was no trouble to reach the main menu (which includes Screen Controls, Advanced Setup, Options, OSD Settings, and Exit), but to actually navigate within this menu and to reach the color modes (found in a menu item under Advanced Setup) took a lot of trial and error. I finally did find the modes I needed, but after a lot of trial and error—a task that normally takes a few minutes consumed upwards of half an hour. Once I figured out how to navigate, it became much easier, but it still takes more time than it should for me to get around the OSD. The monitor’s only saving grace is that its OSD is slightly easier to navigate than the Lenovo ThinkVision P27u-10’s.
Testing the P32u-10: Showing Its True Colors
One of Lenovo’s selling points for the P32u-10 is its claim of excellent color accuracy, with the company claiming a Delta E of less than 2 for both the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces. Delta E (dE for short) numerically represents the difference between the hue of a displayed color and the input that the monitor received. The dE figure that appears in monitor specs is the average of a large number of individual color readings from across the spectrum; the lower the value, the more accurate the color. Many professional monitors tout a dE of less than 2; exceptional panels produce figures of less than 1.5. (See how we test monitors.)
We used our standard test gear of a Klein K10-A colorimeter, Murideo SIX-G test pattern generator, an X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2 color profiler, and Portrait Displays CalMAN 5 software. Out of the box—without any calibration on our part—the P32u-10 turned in a phenomenal dE of 0.94 in sRGB and an even better 0.88 in Adobe RGB. The monitor’s remarkable color accuracy seems best for photography and graphic design; in DCI-P3, a color space geared to digital cinema, it turned in a mediocre 3.48.
In color-gamut coverage, the P32u-10 also did great with sRGB, covering 99.8 percent of that color space, and Adobe RGB, with 99.7 percent coverage. It did a decent job with DCI-P3, with 95.1 percent coverage. It fell slightly short of its 300-nit (candelas per meter squared) rated luminance, doing best among our standard modes in sRGB, where I measured it at 265.9 nits. It also slightly exceeded its 1,000:1 rated contrast ratio in the modes we tested, turning in a ratio of 1,066:1 in sRGB.
In addition to our formal testing, I did some ad-hoc testing of photos and videos with the P32u-10. Color in photos seemed vivid and accurate, with good contrast, and video quality was fine, at least for casual use.
A Panel Worth Its Premium
Some companies may balk at the Lenovo ThinkVision P32u-10’s sticker price, but you get a lot for the money. This includes a large, high-resolution screen, excellent image quality for photos and still images, an abundance of ports including two Thunderbolt 3 connectors, and a full range of ergonomic adjustments. Its ability to straddle the productivity and professional monitor categories earns this ThinkVision an Editors’ Choice award.