on 22 September 2013
To put this in perspective:
- there are three types of monitor panels, TN, IPS and VA. Because all panels need light from behind, black is a very problematic colour to display (well, black is not a colour, right?)
- TN panels: cheapest and you probably already have one in your home, office or laptop. They have good response times (2 - 5 ms) so are usually good for gaming, but are very bad at colour reproduction and gamma shifting and viewing angles (colours change when you look at them even from a slightly different angle)
- IPS panels: very expensive, excellent colour reproduction and viewing angles, can reproduce colours using between 6 and 10 bit. Usually all are produced by LG. The cheaper 6 bit, while still better then TN panels, are not that impressive. A bit on the slow side (response times > 8ms usually). True professional monitors will use 10 bit panels and cost about £1000 (search for Eizo).
- VA: medium to high price, usually 8 bit colour reproduction which is very good, best contrast and black levels. Eizo actually did use VA panels in one of their very expensive monitors. Until recently, they were slow. This BenQ claims to have a 4ms response time, so very fast.
I own two other monitors, a 27" IPS and a 25" TN. This allowed me to compare this one side by side in real life with all other technologies.
I also had another VA, a 24" older model Benq. I returned that one because although the image quality was absolutely incredible (as in good), I found it too slow. Since then, I kept hoping a faster VA panel would come on the market.
When this one appeared, claiming to be the fastest VA and with zero flicker, I jumped on it.
- In the box, there is a HDMI cable, finally, no more useless D-SUB cables.
- Has integrated speakers, for me this has always been important, as it allows me to have more space on my desk.
- Flicker free: must be good, but cannot say I noticed a huge improvement there, although I have very sensitive eyes.
- Thin frame, makes it look about the same size as my older 25" monitor.
- Good image quality, with good black levels.
- although I was very worried I'll find it to be slow, it is actually fast. I am not going to return this one!
- I can work on it comfortably even in direct sunlight !
The not so good:
- The speakers are only 2 x 1W. However, I knew what to expect there, and I still think all monitors should have them since the HDMI carries sound.
- Some noises can be heard on different stages and resolution changes. Very discreet, I am only mentioning them because I am very hard to please. The same applies for a lot of other monitors so not a biggy.
- Even at lowest brightness setting, it is still a bit brighter than my other monitors, so not recommended to work on a dark room, however, no reason to work in a dark room anyway.
All in all, I would recommend this monitor. Having a true 8 bit panel, VA and flicker free, and speedy enough, must be impressive. You need to install the driver from the disc, and play with calibration and ClearType settings in Windows (Win 7 in my case) to get the best image.
I work as a web developer, programming and I am always looking for ways to keep my eyes strain-free. I cannot say I see a huge difference, but I do like it so far. If you find a better monitor for your eyes, let me know please!
on 1 October 2015
Like many other users, I wanted increased screen real estate beyond the common 20-22" monitors, without sacrificing visual quality and without paying a fortune. I also wanted something suitable for work purposes and some casual gaming as well.
High screen real estate is achieved by going to 27" or above. For me, a monitor larger than 27" sitting just a couple of feet in front of you on a desk would be too big; you would end up actually turning your head to see parts of the screen. 27" is probably the ideal size for desk us.
If you go 27", you then you have essentially three resolution options. 1080p at this size will give you just 82 dots per inch (dpi), which is going to look somewhat coarse and blocky (22" at 1080p, for example, gives you 100 dpi, so you would actually have lower visual resolution in any physical area in the larger monitor, which would defeat the purpose). 1440p gives you 109 dpi, so you get a larger screen and with a more fine-grained resolution in any part of that screen as well, which makes the visuals better.
The third option is 4k. This gives a very high resolution (163 dpi), but there are two major problems with 4k on Windows at the moment. (1) Even on Windows 10, most applications don't properly support font scaling. This means in many programs you will struggle to read the text, or you will have to run the monitor at a lower resolution which will look worse than a native lower resolution monitor. (2) Games on 4k look great, but only if you have a huge amount of graphics hardware to power them (think 2 x GTX 980Ti) and only if the game supports that resolution. If, like me, you're a casual gamer who also needs to use the monitor for work, then 4k at the moment is way too much of a headache in terms of font scaling and hardware requirements to be worth it. 1440p, by contrast, is the sweet spot - at 109dpi you don't need font scaling at all, you still get improved resolution over 1080p on a 22" monitor, plus you get much more screen real estate. The best thing, though, is that in games, you get much better visual quality because it's not so much dots per inch, as dots per object, that you're interested in there, and that scales up much more because the objects are that much bigger while still fine-textured, so essentially you're getting twice the number of dots per object (dpo).
So, if 1440p and 27" is ideal for desktop use, which monitor to get? I looked at reviews, and tested quite a number before settling on this one. The key advantages of this monitor are:-
(1) Minimal backlight bleed. This is an IPS monitor, which means better panel and colour quality than TN monitors, and better viewing angles (not hugely important for desktop use, but more so for a monitor of this size), but it also means IPS glow. IPS glow means that in a darkened room looking at a dark screen, you will see a white glow if you look from an angle, and this glow will cover more of the screen the bigger angle you look at. This is *not* backlight bleed, and affects every IPS panel ever made; it's part of the technology. Backlight bleed can be seen by standing a few metres back from the monitor with a dark screen in a darkened room. It can ruin the visual experience if it is bad, but on this monitor there is only very minimal backlight bleed in the bottom corners which is never apparent in normal usage, especially if your brightness is not turned up to the maximum (and this monitor is very bright if it is).
(2) Good gaming experience. The other downside of IPS panels is that they have slower response times than TN panels. This can lead to a number of potential problems, most notably ghosting and input lag. I have played a number of games on this monitor, including first-person shooters and action games, and I can say that I have not experienced any ghosting whatsoever, and no problems with input lag. Professional twitch gamers will probably find a lag with an IPS panel, but normal gamers, even seasoned FPS players, really won't notice any input lag. I certainly don't.
(3) Good for work applications. Apart from the screen real estate, you have good colours because of the IPS panels and you have a minimal matte coating which is not visible in normal use even on a white background (in contrast to many other models I tried, where it most certainly is visible and can be irritating). The matte coating also means that that monitor doesn't have a problem of showing reflections in a room with windows, which glossy monitors do. You also have a low blue light mode for late night work, and the usual array of contrast, brightness and gamma controls, including a dynamic contrast option in some picture modes.
(4) Low price! In spite of being an excellent monitor, this doesn't command a premium price; it is actually one of the cheapest 27" 1440p monitors out there. Quality control doesn't seem to been affected by this either; I looked a couple of these for comparison and both panels were absolutely fine with no dead pixels and no backlight bleed.
If you're looking to upgrade your monitor in order to some more screen real estate and improve your computing experience, whether for games or work, and you don't want to spend an absolute fortune, you really can't do better than this. I've had mine for a couple of months now and I remain fully convinced that it was the right choice and the only monitor which ticked every box.
on 27 December 2013
I really liked my old Xerox glass-fronted 17" flat screen monitor, but it was awkward using some of my applications with such a small screen width, and so eventually I thought it was time to buy a wider monitor. I noted a particularly glowing comment about this model in PC Advisor magazine, so looked up reviews of it, and found them generally very enthusiastic about the quality for the price - and so I made my purchase.
I'm pleased to report that I too am amazed at the quality. The big contrast range claimed for it is not just a figure in the advertising blurb; it jumped out at me as soon as I had it up and running - together with its great brightness, which makes sense of the very wide tone range. It was so bright, indeed, that, despite my preferring a good bright clear image, I had to give its brightness a 50% reduction - and it was still distinctly brighter than my old monitor, and I thus needed less shielding from bright daylight and sunlight while using it.
Some reviewers have carped a little about this model's resolution, which looks to be more normal for 24" monitors. However, for me the resolution not being as high as it might be for this size is something of an advantage, because that means that everything on-screen looks a little larger than otherwise - so, in particular, normal to small text is easier for me to read than it would have been otherwise. The down-side of that, however, is that the pixels are naturally a little larger, and I can clearly see the pixel pattern on lighter even tones, which is a bit unpleasant, at least for me. I still get a reasonable number of extra pixels, particularly in the width, as compared with my old 1280x1024px monitor, and it gives me just the right amount of 'elbow room' for using my various applications.
I haven't been using the built-in speakers, because I want better sound quality than one could expect from speakers in a computer monitor, so I continue to use my external pair of speakers.
Inevitably there were a couple of annoyances - the initial and quite stressful one being, that no instructions were included, apart from a very bare-bones brief set of notes for just assembling the monitor on its stand, which then finishes by telling you the rather obvious 'connect to computer' and 'connect to the power socket' and 'switch on'. Nothing is said about what you might need to do to set it up once it is switched on!
That did matter, because, upon first switching on, the monitor was on sulkies and just morosely showed a little note that it wasn't connected to the computer. Nothing I could do changed that, and I was then bracing myself to return the monitor as faulty - but I still had a gut feeling that there was something simple that I needed to do in order to make the monitor work. Fortunately I e-mailed BenQ support, and I got a reasonably quick response suggesting that I probably just needed to tell the monitor which type of input to use, and how to go into the Settings and set that, That solved it - the people who designed the monitor just had to have had a mental block and do something silly somewhere, so the monitor does not auto-detect what sort of connection is being used; you have to enter its well concealed and quite fiddly settings in order to set the appropriate input type, and you're not told about that in the supplied 'quick start' instructions. Once I'd set input type to HDMI, all worked fine.
- Well, except that initially I was bewildered at the very poor image sharpness, with horrible edge effects that made text on even mid-tones often very difficult to read and also scrambled all the finer details of photos. I guessed that this would not be a genuine fault in the monitor but instead an extremely stupid default setting - particularly as the edge effects looked like very overdone 'sharpness' correction in photo-editing programs. So, was there a 'sharpness' control in the Settings? - I searched, and by gum, I found it! Yes, when I greatly reduced the 'sharpness' setting, whose higher reaches actually make everything UNsharp because of those edge effects, I got a beautifully clear and sharp display.
So, although I happily give five stars to the monitor, I also give a little slap on the wrist to BenQ for a couple of silly and unnecessary initial annoyances.
on 25 June 2014
Firstly out of the box this monitor looks incredible.. Factory settings are good but needed slight tweaking to get colours and brightness just right, this however took no time at all and consisted of dropping the brightness and changing most of the settings to user as some of the presets were just slightly off. All in all it didn't take much time at all.
I was a little apprehensive of getting a 27" monitor as some say it's too big; I sit fairly close to the monitor and have had no issue and found the size perfect..
I primarily game and watch movies on this monitor. Blacks are a deep black and the colours are bright and vivid.. As far as gaming is concerned I play a mixture of FPS, RPG among others and have not noticed any lag or shadowing whatsoever.
Couldn't recommend this monitor enough!
on 3 March 2015
Very happy with this monitor. I’m a professional illustrator and while I bought this for my general office/web machine rather than a graphics workstation I am satisfied that it’s handling of colour is a lot better than the price tag would suggest.
It’s a lot kinder to my eyes (the old Philips it replaced was starting to give me eyestrain and headaches). It doesn’t get too hot. On my other machines I’ve got an old Dell that puts out so much heat I never need to turn the radiators on and my Cintiq starts to cook the eyeballs after a few hours drawing.
The only negatives I can think of are; 1) it’s a dust magnet and you can’t use any kind of liquid screen cleaner (it’s not glass and smears like mad). 2) Fitting the stand was a bit awkward which led to me scratching the screen (I think I caught it with my watch strap) luckily it’s small and out of the way so I don’t notice it but that really annoyed me at the time. I’d suggest getting someone to hold the screen while you fit the stand, it’s not heavy but more than 2 hands would be an advantage.
I have to be careful with colour calibration and have a mid-range calibrator that I use to keep all my monitors within a certain tolerance. This monitor can keep up with the rest and I trust what it is showing me. I’d buy one again.
on 19 January 2014
I got three in front of me, perfect for surround gaming and productivity, you'll need a large desk for this set up though...
Nice viewing angles (not perfect but more than good enough)
Inky blacks, great image quality....
on 14 October 2014
Delivered very quickly by amazon. It said 4 weeks delivery but arrived in 8 days.
Included in the box:
Nice piano black finish. Matt display. Only problem being that it is an absolute dust magnate. Minutes after taking out of the box it was covered.
Feels sturdy, but not as solid as the Iiyama prolite series. Buttons are on the reverse and a bit 'plasticky'
Good range of motion, height level and tilt.
When initially connected the purple screen with Benq turns on but the display switches on and off erratically when it can't find an input. I tested it through the display port and took some setting up in order to get the maximum resolution to work.
The pictured remained the same when standing, sitting or viewing from the side.
Sharp, good colour reproduction and very good contrast.
Web pages appear with large amounts of white either side on max resolution.
No ghosting or lag on videos. The eye are feature adjusts the screen to be a bit softer and adjusts the 'blue' to be better in the eyes. Haven't used it long enough to see if it makes any difference.
It's not very intuitive when alternating through input cables. It's hard to set with the correct input. I will have to read the manual to see how to do this with ease. I've never had to read a manual for a monitor before.
Overall: 4 stars as picture quality is very good. Low price for a good IPS display.Knocked a star off as it is not very intuitive to use.
on 16 October 2014
Great price/value/delivery. Just one problem. Comes with digital lead but display set to vga by default so cannot see screen with supplied lead. Looks as though it's not working. But you need to see menu on screen in order to change input to hdmi ! Had to borrow a lead to set it up. Took an hour to find problem....no relevant documentation.
on 8 November 2015
I've only had this monitor for two days so this review is very much 'first impressions' so I may update this review later on.
First off, going from an Acer 24" 1920x1080 TFT LCD panel this screen is incredible. Amazing colours, the extra resolution is great for web browsing, designing in Photoshop and gaming too. I'll come to gaming later in this review.
As I'm quite an avid gamer I was torn between this and a TN panel with 144Hz, however I'm so glad I chose this IPS display. My full time job is with a design company and I like to do a lot of design at home too, I also edit some video and couldn't see myself with a TN panel based on it's contrast and viewing angles. So I opted for this BenQ IPS display and don't regret it at all. The colour reproduction is great and the screen is very bright. I have noticed some backlight bleed but this is VERY common with IPS displays I don't feel like returning it would be worth the hassle.
Now, lets talk about gaming. So as most of you know to run a game at 2560x1440 you need a pretty high end GPU, luckily I have a GTX 980 but even that now is only producing about 45-50FPS on Witcher 3 Ultra settings (with a few settings turned down, hair works, AA etc). Will probably end up buying a 980Ti. So really 1440 is quite a costly upgrade because if you don't have at least a 4GB GPU it's going to struggle with most AAA titles on Ultra settings.The colours though are great and I've not noticed any input lag or ghosting. Take note that before I had a 2ms Acer and this screen is 4ms GTG and I really can't notice any difference. 27" is a perfect screen size, not too big not too small, very immersive and works with pretty much all modern games. I can even push 1440 out on Call of Duty 4 (255fps).
The stand is good, much more sturdy than my old monitor, which in comparison is terrible. My only complain would be the buttons to navigate the OSD, the OSD is nice and easy to use but the buttons are a bit tough to use. The stand also comes with a little cable tidy clip that works to some degree.
It's also nice that this monitor comes with DP, HDMI and VGA cables however the DP cable supplied is quite short. Also, after using DP I'll never go back to HDMI. The cable is much stronger and more reliable, especially as it has a little lock.
Being able to adjust the height and angle is really nice, it's easy to do and especially when gaming at 27" you need to find the right angle for you so you don't feel like you're breaking your neck.
Like I said, so far so good. Definitely worth the price and Amazon have one of the cheapest prices online atm with other retailers selling for around £300-£350.
on 13 July 2015
I love this monitor! Purchased it for myself as an early birthday present and have had it a month now. My previous monitor had been a decent (at the time) Asus model, but at nearly 7 years old was showing its age. A year ago I brought a new PC, but didn't include a monitor, so I have a nice shiny Geoforce GTX 780, but had no monitor to do it justice. The difference in colour quality and the viewing angles between this and my older monitor is just amazing. It can be viewed from any sensible angle without any loss of clarity, ideal when watching video with multiple people crowded around. The Physical buttons, once you get to grips with them are nice and easy to use and navigate, but tucked discretely to the right hand side of the monitor. The QHD resolution is fantastic, though depending on your current resolution and preferences, may take some getting used to. I personally needed icons and fonts to be bigger, but thats a few minutes tweak and a one time action. Something I rarely did on a lower resolution monitor that I find myself doing quite a lot now is viewing 2 windows side by side. Previously in lower resolutions, I didn't like this due to having to scroll both windows to see the full content, but now I can view 2 docs with pretty much all the content side by side without having to horizontal scroll. The ability to rotate the screen into portrait mode is not something I need, but I have tried it out of curiosity. Viewing a portrait photo with the screen vertical is pretty amazing, albeit not something I would do often. Actually rotating the screen is extremely easy. As simple as tilting it forwards and raising it to max height so it doesn't hit the desk, then simply turn the screen, and adjust the height and tilt back to your desired position after finished turning. All in all, a fantastic monitor and very happy with it