BenQ GW2760HS 27-inch monitor review: outstanding quality for the price

 

The quality of low-priced monitors has increased tremendously of late, and this BenQ GW2760HS nothing short of a steal. Our in depth-testing and review of theBenQ GW2760HS review revealed a high-end monitor for a less than a quarter of the price Apple and Dell are charging.

Over the last few years monitors have been divided up into two camps: LCD IPS for the pros and LED or TFT for everyone else, with the IPS variations like Apple’s Cinema Display and the Dell Ultrasharp U2713HM sitting at the higher-end of the market. They provide  amazing quality for a premium price. AOC threw a spanner in the works recently by releasing the I2757FH, an IPS monitor for just £220 and getting a five-star review from us in the process.

See also Apple Cinema Display review test

We initially thought that the BenQ GW2760HS would be another cheap LED variant: it’d be a good bargain but lose out on picture quality. That’s not the case. BenQ has thrown a massive curveball by using the new-style LED AMVA panel. This offers a much higher contrast ratio than other monitors, even IPS ones. And our benchmarking of the GW2760HS has revealed a colour gamut that is on par with Apple’s 27-inch Cinema Display or the iMac.

If that wasn’t enough the LED A-MCA technology doesn’t have the reflective nature that marks most IPS displays. TFT Central notes that it’s using an AG coating which provides a matte finish.

While glossy displays offer high vibrancy, they lack accurate real-world colour representation (especially for print work) and people working under office strip lighting often bemoan the high reflective visibility: “all I can see is my own face and the light above my head” is a common complaint from glossy display users.

So what we have here is a 27-inch monitor that’s technically on par with the Apple Cinema Display (SRP £899) with a matte screen for just £210.

See: Macworld display reviews and monitor reviews

BenQ GW2760HS testing

BenQ GW2760HS colour gamut

We ran the BenQ GW2760HS through the Spyder4Elite colour calibration process and performed a complete advanced test. The results showed that it had a great colour gamut,

Here are some of the results:

Colour Gamut: 96% of sRGB 74% of AdobeRGB

Measured Display Gamma: 2.2 (0.06)

Brightness Contrast and White Point At 50%

  • Brightness: 265.9

  • Black: 0.31

  • Contrast: 870.1

  • White point 6200 (0.319, 0.333)

Brightness, Contrast and White point at 100%

  • Brightness: 403.1

  • Black: 0.42

  • Contrast: 950:1

  • White Point: 6200 (0.318, 0.331)

Spyder4Elite Monitor Rating

Gamut: 5.0

Tone Response: 4.5

White Point: 4.5

Contrast: 5.0

Luminance Uniformity: 2.5

Color Uniformity: 4.5

Color Accuracy: 2.5

Overall Rating: 4.0

Overall that’s a tremendous score for a £200 monitor, although we were suprised at the low luminance uniformity and colour accuracy, both of which pass the sight test.

BenQ GW2760HS: Resolution and response rate

In terms of specfications the only area where it falls down next to the Apple Cinema Display is the resolution. Weighing in at 1920x1080 you can definitely tell between this and an Apple Cinema (2560x1440 pixels). You don’t get the advantage of working on smaller windows and dock icons looked a little jaggy to us when sized up.

It could also be pulled up on the response time of 4ms GTG which is a little on the slow side for serious gamers. BenQ has a similar model called the RL2455HM on the way with a more serious 1ms GTG.

BenQ GW2760HS side

BenQ GW2760HS: Flicker Free Display

BenQ has included a new technology called Flicker Free designed to make the BenQ GW2760HS easier on the eye during prolonged use. Flicker is caused by Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). This is used by some monitors to adjust the brightness (essentially the display flicks on and off quickly). Tests have shown that the BenQ GW2760HS doesn’t use PWM, using a direct current (DC) method to reduce brightness.

Along with the matte display this is an extremely welcome development that will hopefully make this monitor much easier on the eyes.

BenQ GW2760HS: Style and additional features

The monitor itself is reasonably unobtrusive with a thin bezel and no lights on the front. The shiny black plastic style of the bezel and stand aren’t going to win any awards though. The stand is also also non-adjustable, but then again, neither are Apple’s monitors and for this price we can overlook what would be an expensive addition.

The buttons are slightly odd, they’re large and easy to press but located on the rear of the device with small white dots on the front acting as finger guidance. It’s not the most intuitive of systems: the on/off button being one of the buttons doesn’t help, the frustration of trying to adjust the brightness levels and repeatedly turning off the monitor didn’t help. We also found it odd that the pre-set volume was set to 0%.

BenQ GW2760HS rear

There’s a good range of inputs, with VGA and both HDMI and DVI connections present. It also has 3.5mm mini jack input and output connections.

There is a conspicuous lack of a webcam on the monitor however, and although this isn’t a deal breaker Facetime and other video conferencing services are rising in popularity.

On the whole though this is a tremendously good monitor for the price. It offers a comparable level of quality to Apple’s Cinema Display without the glossy reflective screen. Although it lacks much of the finesse of Apple’s Cinema Display and a slightly lower resolution you simply can’t argue with the quality on display here. Note that you’ll need need a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adaptor (£25) if you’re using one of the newer Macs.

 

OUR VERDICT

This is a superb monitor to choose to go with a Mac mini or as an external display for your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. At around £200 it offers premium quality and high performance at a price normally associated with much lower quality display.

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