Do you want to buy a better monitor display for high-end gaming?
A long time ago, around 2005, when gamers wanted higher framerates, they would get a plasma TV. They would get hot, but it served the purpose. Fast forward to the future, BenQ has recently released a 144Hz gaming monitor, called the XL2720Z. As high-frame rates are required for smooth PC gaming, many monitors have a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. This refresh rate is enough for 1080p gaming, but not high enough to handle high-end graphic settings with a taxing amount of details at higher resolutions, often resulting in screen tearing and low frame rates. This monitor is one of the best in the battle of high refresh rate monitors, which just started trickling in the market after G-Sync couldn’t handle the load of newer AAA titles. However, is it good enough for the price the gamer will bargain for a smoother gaming experience? Does it fit the worthy for higher-end builds?
In this article, we will conduct a thorough analysis of the pros and cons of this new high end gaming display of whether it is good enough as it sounds like. So, let’s start!
About the Product’s Company:
BenQ, which stands for the slogan Bringing Enjoyment N Quality to life, is a Taiwanese Multi-national Company that focuses on creating quality projectors and electronics for its customers. Originally spun off from the famous laptop and Monitor Company Acer, this company employs over 1,300 talented and worthy individuals from around the world, who operate in 5 major branches in Asia-Pacific, Europe, China, North America and Latin America. The company specializes in producing display devices, such as projectors and monitors, on a large scale, with smaller divisions of wireless communication, digital camera, mobile phone and laptop (which they call Joybook) production. They sell their products in over 100 countries worldwide, making it a highly reputable and trustworthy brand for your gaming needs.
Main Pros of the monitor:
For the price and the company’s reputation, this monitor is many features worth telling.
The first is the Flicker-free mode, with is a fancy way of telling BenQ for an LED backlight that does not cycle at high frequencies. For the sake of more information, here is a detailed explanation. Most monitors are equipped with a backlight not connected to the power supply, due to which at high usage, the voltage decreases and the backlight reduces output by cycling the remaining voltage at high frequency. This results in small flickering, often disturbing users. Thus, BenQ combats this problem by powering the backlight with direct current. So, the Voltage remains smooth and the backlight is not cycled. This results in fewer flickers for extremely sensitive gamers and users.
The second greatest feature is Blur Reduction, which is also a fancy term of BenQ for LED strobbing. The main function of this feature is to continuously turn the backlight on and off between frames to give a smooth transition between each one of them. LCD monitors usually flash one frame after the other .Most monitors do not integrate this feature in the monitor, so usually the graphic card company Nvidia’s Light-Boost technology serves this purpose. However, few cards support this feature. But with this built right in the monitor, it can work with almost all graphic cards, even those that don’t support Light-Boost out of the box. This feature is great for gamers who do speed-runs of games because every second counts for them.
The best feature is the low response time, which clocks at only 1 millisecond. A test was conducted for a full black to white transition, and surprisingly, the BenQXl2720Z edges out the Acer VG248QE by a millisecond. This is why a high-refresh rate monitor is also better for 3D gaming. This low response time can benefit even novice gamers, as it results in more precise aiming, smoother animations and higher hit rate in First-Person Shooters.
Another noticeable feature is the gamma and contrast settings. Tests at full brightness gave a result of bright-white level of 317nits and a black level of 0.3 nits, making a contrast 1034, which is a pretty decent score for a monitor of this level. Even more, it has the BenQ’s latest Senseye technology, an algorithm that improves image display quality by automatically adjusting the brightness, performing colour-mapping on a large scale and reducing jagged lines and edges of images. The monitor also has an anti-glare coating, which further increases quality by deflecting external reflections like sunlight and light from bulbs, providing a clear viewing experience.
The last great feature is Gaming Refresh rate Optimization Management (GROM). The Gaming Refresh rate Optimization Management is designed to automatically set your maximum refresh rate such that no additional screen tearing occurs during intensive gaming or work.
Design and Warranty:
The design is another factor due to which this monitor stands out from the rest of its competitors. The bezel is measured to be only 20 millimetres wide from all sides, which makes it slimmer to other monitors by Acer and Dell. It only comes in Black colour. However, the corners are squared instead of being round for complete immersion in dual screen or triple monitor setups. The On-screen Display (OSD) controls are on the lower right side of the screen, but you won’t need them because you have a device named the S-Switch! It consists of various presets for gaming to office work, making it easy to switch from working to playing! The USB ports are located at the left side of the monitor making it look neat and cleaner than other monitors.
Aside from that, the XL2720 also a portrait mode with automatic screen rotation, which means the image flips automatically when you rotate the display, making it perfect for running multiple panels without constantly changing settings. It can also tilt to 25 degrees, and can swivel up to 90 degrees.
It comes with a stand separated into 2 parts, so you’ll have to screw them together to complete it, unlike the rest of monitor stands. The monitor then clips to the stand using a durable and easy clipping method. There are also mounting holes if you fancy hanging it to your wall. The connectivity is also great, as it contains a VGA Port, a DisplayPort, 2 HDMI and dual-link DVI, which means you can connect plenty of computers and even gaming consoles to it.
The warranty however, is a letdown, with only one year for parts repair and maintenance. It is pretty average considering many monitors offer over 5 years of warranty for giving you peace of mind.
Unlike the Asus VG2480QE, this monitor has a TN (stands for twisted-nematic) panel, which boosts faster response times and lower input lags, as compared to IPS (stands for In-plane switching) display. Why? Because it uses an AU Optronics six-bit panel that uses an algorithm to create eight-bit output signals as opposed to an eight-bit panel that compresses the signals.
Other Things to Consider:
Although this product is certainly great in terms of refresh rate and design, there are some potential downfalls that prove to be a little bit disappointing.
The first is the side affect of Blur Reduction. The feature is great for lower-end graphic cards, but it results in a whopping 56 percent reduction in brightness. During high-end gaming, when the feature is being used the most, a high level of downfall in brightness occurs, which breaks the concentration during intense online matches and reportedly annoys users and gamers alike.
The second is the resolution in comparison to the size. The 27 inch monitor has only a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which results in a severe loss of quality if the size of the pixels is increased even less than 3 times. This can be disappointing for gamers who prefer a better visual experience that the performance of the monitor.
Another letdown is the price tag with it. Sure, it’s great in terms of quality, but take an inch or two off the screen and you can get the same monitor for $75 less. And with the passing of time, this beast will surely get older than its future competitors, forcing you to get a new one with better specifications.
The fourth and the most disappointing downfall is the unavailability of FreeSync. This feature designed by AMD is aimed to reduce screen tearing and choppiness on LCD Displays. Although G-sync is works fine, the FreeSync technology passes various tests with better results, which makes this monitor a little outdated for the current generation. However, you can remedy this problem by buying an AMD graphics card, which supports G-sync right from the box.
The last letdown is the absence of built-in speakers. The monitor only has a headphone output jack as opposed to built-in speakers. This can make people who prefer to connect their console to their monitors a little bit disappointed. However, you can output your sound directly from your PC to your external speakers or use an audio receiver to solve this problem.
Comparison with Asus VG248QE:
The Asus VG248QE, although smaller in size, is often compared to the BenQ XL 2720Z in terms of better performance and quality. Here’s a detailed comparison between them:
- Screen Size: The Asus VG248QE is 24 inches big, while the BenQ XL2720 is 27 inches big, which means it is 3 inches smaller than its competitor.
- Anti-Glare: The Asus VG248QE doesn’t have anti-glare, while the BenQ XL2720 provides a strong coating of anti-glare.
- Power Consumption: The Asus VG248QE operates at a voltage of 45W, while the BenQ XL2720 operates at a voltage of 27W, which means it operates at a voltage 18W higher than its competitor.
- Weight: The Asus VG248QE weighs 5500g (or 5.5kg), while the BenQ XL2720 weighs 7500g (or 7.5 kg), which means it weighs 2000g (or2 kg) less than its competitor
- Luminance: The Asus VG248QE illuminates 350 candela/metre square, while the BenQ XL2720 illuminates 300 candela/metre square, which means it illuminates 50 candela/metre square more than its competitor.
- Height: The Asus VG248QE stands tall at 499mm, while the BenQ XL2720 stands taller at 771 mm, which means it is 212mm shorter than its competitor.
- Width: The Asus VG248QE is 569mm wide, while the BenQ XL2720 is 496mm wide, which means it is 83mm narrower than its competitor.
- Thickness: The Asus VG248QE is 57.3 mm thick, while the BenQ XL2720 is 245mm thick, which means it is 187.7mm slimmer than its competitor.
While refresh rate, design and the Blur reduction are the foundational pillars make this product stand out for its value, the negatives cannot be denied, especially on a large scale. This monitor is pretty affordable for gamers who don’t want too much eye candy at a higher resolution, but is useless for FPS gamers who need Freesync for smoother online gaming. Hence it is a great option if you can buy it from somewhere cheaper, but it is recommended to do a little more research if you want a monitor that can prove useful even in the next generation of gaming. However, this monitor is perfect for eSport gamers who do not need too much FPS for a better experience.
It you want a higer resolution than a better framerate, you should research for higher resolution 60 Hz monitors. But if you are having a higher budget than this, you are advised to buy a 32 inch BenQ AMVA 1440p monitor for only $100 more. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can consider buying this from somewhere cheaper or buy an Asus VG248QE for a trade-off of three inches of screen real estate and the anti-glare technology while getting a more slimmer and narrower bezel and design.
The Review in a Nutshell:
- Has Blur-reduction technology that provides a smooth transaction between adjacent frames.
- Provides a Flicker free mode for reducing flickers during intensive use.
- Low response time is a perhaps the greatest feature for this monitor as it proves beneficial to gamers in First-Person shooters.
- Senseye technology is definitely a plus.
- Only a one year warranty as compared to 5 years warranty by Acer.
- Huge brightness downfall during intensive blur-reduction usage.
- Low resolution as compared to size.
- Stands out because of its new features and design, but is slowly losing its fame with better monitors coming out.
- Advised to buy it from a store selling it cheaper than retail price or wait for a new and better model
- Or can buy an Asus VG248QE with a smaller screen if on a tight budget.