BenQ is a veteran when it comes to display monitors and projectors, having been around for a long while. With high dynamic range (HDR) content being all the rage these days, that hasn’t stopped BenQ from providing quality monitors that are HDR compatible, while still being affordable.
Out steps the BenQ EW277HDR monitor, a 27-inch Vertical Alignment (VA) panel with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. I hooked this gorgeous beauty up to my PS4 to see how it would fare, in terms of gaming and movies via Netflix, seeing as many of its shows are now HDR compatible.
A Pleasant Build
Straight out of the box, the EW277HDR is exceeding simple to setup. The stand is split into two pieces, which can be easily put together to keep the panel in place. The t-shaped design of the stand also means you’ll be taking up less space than usual, with a rather small footprint at the base.
Along with its power socket is a HDMI cable, which allows you to plug it into your desktop or gaming console (I went with the latter because I am a console pleb who can’t afford to be part of the PC Master Race).
One thing that stands out for the EW277HDR is its extremely slim bezels, paired with a matte black paintjob. A nice contrast of colour appears at the bottom panel of the monitor in metallic grey, where the BenQ logo sits along with a host of buttons for you to play around with. While I’d much rather prefer the buttons to be placed behind the monitor to make life a bit easier, its location at the bottom of the monitor does take some getting used to as you may press the wrong button by mistake.
Another downside to the monitor is its lack of adjustment. Aside from its 20° vertical tilt, it cannot be moved upwards or downwards due to the rigid structure of the stand. This isn’t a big disappointment for many, but if you prefer to adjust the height monitor, you may want to add some additional height below the stand for added measure.
It also can’t
pivot swivel (I can’t use the word ‘pivot’ without thinking of Ross from Friends), which is slightly disappointing but not damaging to its credibility.
At the back of the monitor sits an array of ports. Aside from having two HDMI 2.0 ports, it also carries a D-sub port with a 3.5mm headphone jack and an audio line-in port. This means you can place external speakers if you’re not a fan of the built-in 2W stereo speakers (which I will get to shortly).
What BenQ Does Best
As BenQ is one of the leading experts in monitor displays, the EW277HDR is no different to the image quality it produces under the BenQ name.
Sadly, I don’t own a PS4 Pro so I can’t get the most out of its HDR goodness but that doesn’t mean the monitor is a letdown. Quite the contrary, it has made my gaming experience better than a conventional TV, which I have since laid to rest, or it could’ve died out on its own because I rage a lot, who knows…
Throwing Destiny 2, GTA V and Ghost Recon: Wildlands at the monitor and it handled each game brilliantly. Colour reproduction was great while giving out resounding clarity in great detail. There was also great contrast between light and dark colours, making a town blanketed in darkness all the more eerie and inviting than usual.
As the monitor comes with a native 60Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t make it a beast of a gaming monitor, but it performs just fine for games.
Watching Netflix however, is a totally different story. With most of Netflix’s content already HDR compatible, it made staying in binge-watching all the more better. After re-watching Bright for the umpteenth time (I don’t care what critics say, I still think it’s a good show), it looks so much better on the EW277HDR that I had to watch it again a few days later.
Even shows like Black Mirror and Stranger Things appeared so much better on-screen with amazing colour reproduction and detail. Its contrast of colours also appear better than on a conventional screen so you get the full detail of it without any compromise.
The EW277HDR has a host of features for you to play around with. One is its Low Blue Light technology, which filters out harmful blue light that causes eye strain and fatigue. The monitor provides four preset modes for it, mainly Multimedia, Web-surfing, Office and Reading. While I didn’t have a physical PC to test it out on when working, it sure works when i’m gaming or binge-watching as I didn’t notice the sun rising until it was too late.
Speaking of the sunrise, another feature included n the EW277HDR is its Brightness Intelligence Plus technology (B.I.+), which adjusts the display settings based on the colour temperature. If the sun’s out, it switches to a cool white temperature to ease your eyes into it. During the night, which is when it’s normally on, it switches to a warm white temperature, adjusting itself to its surroundings.
It also comes with flicker-free technology, ensuring your eyes do not get ruined in the process, no matter the brightness level.
Worth the Buy?
All in all, my experience with the BenQ Ew277HDR has been nothing short of amazing. Sadly, like many of my relationships, my time with the monitor came to an unfortunate end. I will probably never see it again, unless I start stalking it on other websites until I make the impulsive decision to splurge and get my hands on it again.
At RM1,079, that is a somewhat hefty price to pay for a 27-inch VA panel monitor that doesn’t feature NVIDIA G-Sync or AMD FreeSync technology, not that it’ll stop anyone. If you’re looking for a monitor for your rig that is great for Netflix and lepak sessions as well as casual gaming, the EW277HDR fits the bill.
Verdict: BenQ makes this monitor a joy to have.