Dedicated Gaming Monitors BeNQ XL2720Z

4/23/2014 2:32:27 AM

Has there ever been a PC monitor more packed with gaming-friendly features than the new BenQ XL2720Z? If so, we’d really like to know what it is, because the spec list on this thing is almost ridiculous.

Built for competitive FPS game play, the XL2720Z takes
the explosive thrills of fast-paced gaming to a 27” screen.

From the top, those features include Motion Blur Reduction, Black eQualiser, Low Blue Light, Game Mode – pause for breath – Smart Scaling, FPS and RTS modes, flicker-free tech, pixel overdrive, dynamic contrast, Nvidia 3D Vision support and 144Hz refresh.

Those are just the highlights. Drill down into the specs and the features just keep coming. In our experience, however, there’s no substitute for a good LCD panel. If that’s not part of the package, no amount of fancy image processing will salvage the situation.

By that metric, the BenQ XL2720Z is perhaps inevitably a mixed bag. It’s immediately obvious that you’re looking at a TN rather than an IPS or VA panel, that’s for sure. That’s partly thanks to poor vertical viewing angles. Whenever a single colour spans the whole panel, as with the Windows 8 welcome screens, there’s some very obvious colour shift going on, top-to-bottom.

The Black eQualizer color engine technology is designed
to offer an unprecedented level of control and visibility.

The backlight is a little dull too, which, combined with TN technology’s tendency to leak light, makes for slightly dirty looking whites. Then there’s the fact that you’ve got 1,920 x 1,080 pixels stretched across a 27-inch surface. The pixel is consequently pretty coarse.

We don’t want to overemphasize these niggles – for a TN, the static image quality is good – but you won’t mistake it for a premium panel. As for all those gaming features, well, as a rule of thumb we’re not fans of kludges like dynamic contrast and aggressive pixel overdrive. Much better to just have a damn fine panel.

Hz so good

However, there are exceptions. For instance, we love the slickness and smoothness you get with 144Hz refresh. Once you’ve gone 120Hz-plus, you won’t want to go back. Then there are technologies that split opinion. For some, any stereoscopic 3D tech that uses glasses is a non-starter, but if that kind of thing is your bag, Nvidia 3D Vision is as good as it gets. Ditto anti-flicker tech. Most people aren’t bothered by backlight flicker, but if you are, anti-flicker support will obviously be welcome.

What you’ll really want to know is which camp the BenQ XL2720Z’s new goodies fall into. Motion Blur Reduction is likely to be divisive. It does lessen blur, but it also reduces contrast, making the image look more dull. As for the Low Blue Light feature, it’s meant to reduce eyestrain, but we’re not convinced. The idea is that you can have bright images without straining your eyes by dialling down the backlight.

BenQ’s new Motion Blur Reduction technology further enhances an ultra-smooth, free-of-blur gaming experience, particularly for action-packed FPS games where every millisecond count.

All that said, this is a super gaming monitor. The pixel response and chassis design are great, and the OSD is our favourite of any monitor. The mouse-like S-Switch allows you to program three image modes and jump between them in a flash, which makes all that image processing much more usable and accessible.

It’s not a great all-rounder of course, but it’s not meant to be. It’s an out-and-out gaming screen, and in that role it’s one of the best.


·         Screen size: 27”

·         Aspect Ratio: 16:9

·         Resolution (max.): 1920 x 1080

·         Native Contrast: 1000:1

·         Display Colors: 16.7million

·         Input Connector: D-sub + DVI-DL + HDMIx2 +

DP1.2/headphone jack

·         Special Features: Low Blue Light, Motion Blur Reduction,

Senseye 3, Windows® 8 Compatible, AMA, HDCP

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