BenQ EW2730V £300
14th Jan 2012 | 09:30
A huge 27-inch VA panel that's an awesome deal at this price. But we thirst for more pixels
Fitness for purpose. More than anything, that's what the big BenQ EW2730V delivers. It would be all too easy to immediately disregard it based on its humdrum 1,920 x 1,080 native resolution. After all, you can have precisely the same pixel grid for a little over £100.
Okay, at that price point, you'll be squeezing those pixels into a much smaller 22-inch LCD panel. But when it comes to apps and web surfing, it's pixel count not screen diagonal that really matters. You get no more viewable Windows desktop with this £300, 27-inch screen than you do from BenQ's £110 RL2240H.
But what if it's games and movies above all else you want to your screen for? In that scenario, the BenQ EW2730V might just be purpose personified.
For starters, BenQ has given it a glorious, luxurious VA or Vertical Alignment panel. That's not just any VA panel, but one from the very latest generation, complete with a claimed contrast performance of 3,000:1.
Then there are 178° viewing angles in both planes; an LED backlight; a gorgeous looking chassis and stand replete with slithers of brushed alloy.
The EW2730V might not be cheap per se, but it is awfully good value. That positive impression remains when you fire her up.
This panel produces rich and vibrant colours without being oversaturated or artificial. The black levels and contrast are really super too, even if they're not quite as stupendous as the 3,000:1 ratio suggests.
We're big fans of the panel's surface. Too often, a good screen is spoiled by a stupid panel coating. IPS screens often suffer from sparkly, coarse surfaces, but the BenQ, in contrast, has it just right. The surface is super smooth, almost semi-glossy but without any nasty reflectivity. The result is extremely pleasant clarity and excellent contrast without the glossy screens' downsides.
But what of pixel response, which is such a critical metric for gaming and sometimes the source of failure for VA screens?
Well, BenQ offers switchable pixel overdrive. Once enabled, there's evidence of mild inverse ghosting. Overall, response is good but not great. BenQ's own RL2240H shows it a clean pair of pixels, but that's what you'd expect from a modern TN screen. And don't forget, that modest 1,920 x 1,080 pixel grid is easy on your GPU.
The story, then, is of a lovely looking screen that excels for watching movies and could only really be improved for games with 3D support and slightly quicker pixel response. To really succeed as an all rounder, the native resolution needs upgrading. But at this price, it's a very compelling package.
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