BenQ Zowie XL2730 Review

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Lowest price Product: BenQ ZOWIE [New] 27-Inch QHD 2560x1440 LED 144Hz Quad HD Gaming Monitor with S-Switch, XL-Series for eSports Tournaments and Professional Players (XL2730) - $549.00

BenQ’s Zowie XL2730 is aimed at eSports, which is why it uses a TN panel, giving it an edge over IPS displays for response times.

It also has a 144Hz refresh rate, but it doesn’t have AMD FreeSync or Nvidia C-Sync. The huge refresh rate should be great for eSports, because frames will be displayed as quickly as the CPU can produce them, but you’ll only get the best results with frame rates close to 144fps, so you’ll need a beefy CPU.

BenQ’s Zowie XL2730 is aimed at eSports, which is why it uses a TN panel, giving it an edge over IPS displays for response times.

It also has a 144Hz refresh rate, but it doesn’t have AMD FreeSync or Nvidia C-Sync. The huge refresh rate should be great for eSports, because frames will be displayed as quickly as the CPU can produce them, but you’ll only get the best results with frame rates close to 144fps, so you’ll need a beefy CPU.

The 2,560 x 1,440 panel has a matt finish, and the sturdy stand offers height, swivel and tilt adjustment. It can swing to portrait mode, and also sports cable-routing holes and a carrying handle.

Meanwhile, the physical OSD control buttons are more tactile than touch-sensitive pads, and the left edge of the monitor offers USB and audio ports alongside a headset holder. Assembly is easy, and the S Switch remote control is handy for switching between screen modes. These modes are aligned to game genres, and there are also tools to reduce blur, brighten darker areas and Improve vibrancy. Sadly, none of the controls is effective – the blur reduction makes the picture darker and grainier, the black equaliser just changes the brightness and the colour vibrancy tool merely makes colours look oversaturated.

First performance impressions weren’t great either, with an overly bright and washed-out image. Ourtests backed up that impression, revealing a cool 11,102K colour temperature and a disappointing delta E of 5.07. The brightness level of 274cd/nV is fine, butthe 0.35cd/nV black level is high, showing that the contrast ratio of 782:1 isn’t good enough. Dropping the brightness to a reasonable ISOcd/rrF didn’t help, but activating the screen’s Dynamic Contrast mode saw the colour temperature and contrast ratio improve to 8.272K and 957:1 – not great but better.

The initial results aren’t surprising considering the default mode is for FPS gaming, although the other game genre modes weren’t much better either. We had more success with BenQ’s customisable Gamer options, where delta E results were still average, but we could improve the colour temperature and contrast to around 6.800K and 1,030:1 – superior to the genre modes, and noticeable on the panel.

However, we achieved the best results by abandoning the gaming modes. The Standard option saw a 7.168K colour temperature, 1,011:1 contrast ratio and reasonable delta E of 2.22. The improved results are obvious, with a balanced and punchy image, with no sign of washed-out colours or a chilly blue hue.

The 2,560 x 1,440 panel has a matt finish, and the sturdy stand offers height, swivel and tilt adjustment. It can swing to portrait mode, and also sports cable-routing holes and a carrying handle.

Meanwhile, the physical OSD control buttons are more tactile than touch-sensitive pads, and the left edge of the monitor offers USB and audio ports alongside a headset holder. Assembly is easy, and the S Switch remote control is handy for switching between screen modes. These modes are aligned to game genres, and there are also tools to reduce blur, brighten darker areas and Improve vibrancy. Sadly, none of the controls is effective – the blur reduction makes the picture darker and grainier, the black equaliser just changes the brightness and the colour vibrancy tool merely makes colours look oversaturated.

First performance impressions weren’t great either, with an overly bright and washed-out image. Ourtests backed up that impression, revealing a cool 11,102K colour temperature and a disappointing delta E of 5.07. The brightness level of 274cd/nV is fine, butthe 0.35cd/nV black level is high, showing that the contrast ratio of 782:1 isn’t good enough. Dropping the brightness to a reasonable ISOcd/rrF didn’t help, but activating the screen’s Dynamic Contrast mode saw the colour temperature and contrast ratio improve to 8.272K and 957:1 – not great but better.

The initial results aren’t surprising considering the default mode is for FPS gaming, although the other game genre modes weren’t much better either. We had more success with BenQ’s customisable Gamer options, where delta E results were still average, but we could improve the colour temperature and contrast to around 6.800K and 1,030:1 – superior to the genre modes, and noticeable on the panel.

However, we achieved the best results by abandoning the gaming modes. The Standard option saw a 7.168K colour temperature, 1,011:1 contrast ratio and reasonable delta E of 2.22. The improved results are obvious, with a balanced and punchy image, with no sign of washed-out colours or a chilly blue hue.

SPECIFICATIONS

Screen size 27in

Native resolution2,560 x1,440

Maximum refresh rate 144Hz

Panel tech TN

Inputs l x Display Port 1.2a, 2 x HDMI2,1 x DV1,1 x D-SUB USB 1 x USB 3 input 3 x USB 3 outputs

Power supply Internal

OSD control Touch-sensitive buttons and USB controller

VERDICT

A high refresh rate, fast gaming performance and plenty of features, but you sacrifice image quality in the process.

8 Total Score
BenQ Zowie XL2730 Review

A high refresh rate, fast gaming performance and plenty of features, but you sacrifice image quality in the process.

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