The monitor or screen that we use completely changes our experience. Factors such as size, resolution, type of panel and design make us more or less comfortable when we sit in front of the computer to consult the internet, work or just play. Therefore we should choose our monitor well although it is not always something simple.
Benq, within its wide range, offers a proposal with 27 “screen, Full HD resolution and a series of extra features that seek to differentiate themselves from the rest. If you succeed or not is something that we will tell you in this analysis of BENQ EW277HDR.
|Screen size||27″ 16:9|
|Type panel||8 bit VA|
|Viewing angles||178th / 178th|
|Response time||12ms (4ms gray to gray)|
|Color space||93% DCI P3 and HDR10 support|
|Connections||2 x HDMI 2.0, VGA, Headphone output, Audio input|
|Dimensions||460.6 x 613.8 x 180.9 mm|
|Additional features||Filters against blue light, Flickr free, speakers, includes HDMI 1.4 cable|
|Consumption||Less than 40 W on, less than 0.5 W off|
|Price||$246 on Amazon|
The monitors, like televisions and many other products, seem to have touched ceiling in terms of design. With a clear reduction of frames only some details of color, texture or materials is what they can incorporate to differentiate themselves from rival proposals. Of course leaving aside the gaming proposals that are a world apart.
In the case of Benq, its monitor EW277HDR maintains a line of elegant design, successful but very similar to other market options. Anyway, it is the details that mark the differences, although in this case it does not stop well. Not if you want to convince the maximum number of users.
Manufactured mainly in plastic, an aesthetic level results in an elegant and sober monitor with that combination of black and gray chosen. Its base in the form of inverted T goes according to the straight lines of the rest of the proposal. And the most striking of the set is the small protrusion that comes out of the lower edge. There are the sensors for the intelligent brightness function that we will later see in detail.
The back, with a smooth and very simple housing, is very careful and will be appreciated by those who place the screen so that it is visible to the eye. But for many the lack of catches for VESA supports can be a sufficient reason not to buy it. Comparatively, the use or number of users who use it with VESA support may be small but they have forgotten about them.
Benq prefers to take care of aesthetics for those situations where said back is exposed. Of course, it is more serious that we can not adjust the screen in height or rotate it. The height could “solve” with several folio packs but can not rotate 90, something very normal for users who are dedicated to programming, is a negative point. The only thing it allows to improve ergonomics is to adjust the forward or backward tilt
However, there are no problems with construction, materials and finishing. It will not be the most Premium monitor in the market but its value for money is at a good level.
Successful diagonal, low resolution
The Benq EW277HDR monitor uses a VA type LCD panel, a type of panel that aligns the crystals that form each pixel vertically. This in front of IPS panels has advantages as an improvement in the reproduction of blacks that allow a greater detail in shaded areas. Of course they also have some drawbacks, and that is that despite their greater contrast offer angles of vision somewhat reduced, degrading a bit the colors if we are not perpendicular to the screen.
Knowing this, with a diagonal of 27″, 1080p resolution and pixel density is 81.59 ppi the image quality is good but not the sharpness. If our main use involves a lot of reading, work with applications of image retouching, video editing or even text processors, web browsers, etc. This is not the screen. The size of the pixels is excessive, generates clear jagged edges and is annoying.
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On the contrary, if you use it more than 80 cm away or playing multimedia content such as movies, series and video games then there are no problems. So if these are your main uses and you want a big diagonal, it’s a good option.
Turning to the subject of brightness and contrast, the levels of both are good. VA panels offer higher contrast than IPS alternatives, this monitor also has support for the DCI-P3 color space as well as HDR10. The latter is related to the level of brightness so it effectively meets levels above the average.
In our tests the maximum brightness can even be annoying when we work with the screen and we are not reproducing adequate content. That’s why we have a button with which we not only activate the HDR10 mode but also the intelligent brightness function, so that we do not have to change the brightness level depending on the situation.
Regarding the color, the representation is good but needs a calibration. As standard it has two problems: too saturated colors and a software sharpness that is too exaggerated. If you have a calibrator or just spend a few minutes you can get a better representation. And in the focus section we recommend lowering the value to the minimum.
In this unit, selecting the User mode to access all parameters, after touching a little color levels and almost reduce the brightness to a value of 29 (maximum is 100) we achieve a better representation. Also lowering the focus level (sharpness) to the minimum level and of course without making use of the Super Resolution option.
User experience: Blue light filter, Focus mode and some more extras
After calibrating the screen we tried some of the functions that make this monitor different from other proposals. We talked about HDR mode, filter against blue lights, Focus mode, Intelligent Brightness mode as well as some extra extras to see what the user experience was like.
Of all these options the most prominent is the Intelligent Brightness followed by the HDR mode. The rest of the features such as the blue light filter or the Focus mode allows you to establish an area that remains lit while overshadowing the rest – they do not add much. They are there, someone may use them but they are not determinative.
Because the utility of the focus mode is something that can already be achieved through software. With the advantage of not having to be touching the buttons on the screen to establish the size and position of the area that will allow us to focus our attention on an exact part.
The protection against blue lights is fine when we activate the intelligent mode BI If we have to be activating us manually each one of the options loses value. Mainly because then there are very few users who remember that option.
Intelligent Brightness mode is attractive. As we said, the maximum brightness level reached by this screen is quite high. It comes well when we have a lot of light in the room but at night or in moments where the ambient light is reduced it bothers a lot. Therefore, having to manually change it is not practical. Having sensors, like mobile phones, that detect light and adjust brightness is an advantage.
That change in the levels of brightness is visible but at the same time fast enough so as not to be annoying. So very well for this option, without which possibly many users could continue to live but having it adds value.
HDR10 support and DCI-P3 color space are noticed when we see compatible content. When this is not the case, having the HDR10 mode activated is not recommended since it basically remains as a screen with excess brightness. On the DCI-P3 color space it is true that it is there, compared to other screens there is an improvement but it is not easy to see by users less expert in color issues. Having an 8-bit panel instead of 10 bits also affects although there are 8-bit screens where that color enhancement is more real.
With this is not that the HDR10 or DCI-P3 support has little value. It is simply that with FHD resolution and in daily use, away from multimedia content, the improvement is not appreciated much. And when we reproduce a series of Netflix or video on YouTube among other platforms with HDR support, the improvement does not attract enough attention. What we do appreciate is an increase in brightness as we said before and that is possibly not what we expected.
When we access the control and configuration system we will see a series of options that allow to adjust with relative precision both the image and other aspects such as sound or pre-established modes for cinema, videogames, reading, etc.
The configuration menus are not very different from those we can see in other proposals . They are not the most intuitive or easy to handle but they are not complicated either. And we must say that once adjusted to our liking, we will rarely access them. And if we want to have a couple of pre-configured modes to switch between them we can easily assign it to the two programmable keys that it offers.
However, among the controls that make up the traditional button panel of a monitor, we must highlight the button dedicated exclusively to the activation of HDR mode and intelligent brightness. Located in the lower right corner according to the number of presses will activate the HDR mode, HDR + Intelligent brightness, Intelligent brightness or both modes off.
Adapting to these adjustments and options is not complicated. And achieve accurate calibration either. You only have to select the USER mode and you will have access to all the configuration options of color, gamma, brightness, etc. It is worth losing time to calibrate. If you have better calibration hardware. In this way, the screen will win, since it does not convince at all. Mainly for the excess of brightness that we commented before.
The sound on a computer monitor never seemed relevant to me. The usual thing is to have external speakers that offer a higher quality in all frequencies, especially in the bass. Therefore, what Benq offers in this section is neither more nor less than a reference sound.
Can we watch a YouTube video, movie, series or play video games? Yes but the experience will be poorer than with any external speaker or even headphones. Which can be connected to the analog audio output of the screen itself.