BenQ EX2780Q 144Hz Gaming Monitor
Gaming Monitor (27”)
A high-resolution, high-refresh rate display used to be a thing relegated to the high-end. Nowadays it’s something that sits firmly in that realm we all know of as affordable tech. Regardless of resolution or refresh-rate or even response time, picture quality still-remains at the forefront of gauging a display’s overall quality. Brightness, contrast, clarity, colour-depth, colour accuracy, and movement free from artefacts or ghosting. A smudgy image with no colour depth or washed out blacks is the last thing you want when gaming.
has a long history of delivering great displays designed for all sorts of usage, gaming included. From budget displays that get the job done to high-speed screens designed for esports. In fact, we’re currently using an UltraWide BenQ EX3501R
daily. The latest display from the company, the BenQ EX2780Q
, is positioning itself as something akin to the ‘ultimate display for gaming’. Now, a claim as bold as that warrants investigation – and really, is as much about marketing as it is a declaration. But above all, it sets the scene – or picture – for a display that excels in just about all areas, whilst innovating in a few of its own. Namely with excellent HDR for the price-range and versatility to boot.
The BenQ EX2780Q is a 27” QHD 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor is something of an over-achiever, and well worth looking into if you’re after a quality 27-inch display.
The BenQ EX2780Q comes with a remote! Okay, so this is usually the section where we talk about aesthetics and the overall look of a display. And build quality. But seeing as remotes for gaming displays and PC monitors are as rare as, well, things that are super rare – it’s worth highlighting. The remote, a small and intuitive few-button affair, points to the larger overall picture that forms the BenQ EX2780Q. Where, in addition to supporting the PC-gaming refresh rate of 144 Hz the display also features decent in-built 2.1 speakers that sits comfortably within the minimal vintage look. This all adds up to the BenQ EX2780Q being able to double as an on-desk display that you can connect an Xbox One
or PlayStation 4
up to with minimal fuss – something that we took advantage of almost immediately.
“The latest display from the company, the BenQ EX2780Q, is positioning itself as something akin to the ‘ultimate display for gaming’."
When paired with the excellent IPS display, the results are far superior to any TV in this screen-size range. Especially when paired with the great HDR functionality that is powered by BenQ’s own HDRi customisation (more on this in a bit). Overall, we were surprised by just how great the results were when paired with a console. Again, this versatility comes as an additional feature – with the minimal bezel-free design and angular sleek look feeling every bit like a high-end PC display first and foremost. BenQ’s aesthetic generally seems to err on the side of minimalism, and in all honesty the lack of RGB lighting and in-your-face angles and dark edges is something we prefer over gaming displays that, well, game-it-up a little too much.
Resolution: 2560x1440 (QHD)
Panel Type: IPS
Refresh Rate: 144Hz AMD FreeSync
Response Time: 5ms (GTG)
Brightness: 350 cd/m²
Colour Gamut: 95% DCI-P3
The IPS panel here is impressive, thanks to the excellent colour output (95% of DCI-P3) in addition to the overall brightness. Compared to a VA panel the increased sharpness and vibrancy of an IPS panel is something we’ve always been drawn too – even if black levels and contrast don’t quite hit the same cinematic highs as what’s possible with a VA panel. Going IPS, the result is a noticeably crisper image, something that games and general PC usage tends to benefit from. As a DisplayHDR 400
certified display the HDR output is generally good and pretty-standard when viewed in the form of an entry on a spec sheet. Where it comes alive, so to speak, is with BenQ’s own HDRi modes.
Post-processing and customisation and presets are things we’ve come to expect in modern digital technology – and in the realm of LCD-displays. Colour accuracy aside, post-processing is generally unavoidable whilst also coming a long way in recent years to properly support true cinematic presentation. Outside of the atrocity that is motion-plus and motion-smoothing of course. BenQ’s HDRi is designed to enhance HDR output depending on the source – be it a movie or a game. The result is enhanced contrast, better colour depth suited to the IPS display – and an impressive Game Mode that look noticeably better than the standard HDR setting (which is what you find in most other displays). Usually we tend to have issues testing out HDR in Windows 10, but for some reason didn’t when hooking up the BenQ EX2780Q.
Out of the box calibration is an area where the BenQ EX2780Q surprised us the most too, in that the game and movie specific modes across the board were uniformly great with accurate colour and brightness that wasn’t overly flashy. On the sound front the in-built speakers offer better than expected results that sit somewhere in-between the realm of TV speakers and a dedicated soundbar. Impressive, for what is a relatively small screen.
A View to Remember
As a pure gaming display the BenQ EX2780Q is uniformly excellent. Testing across a range of titles, including Forza Horizon 4
, The Division 2
, Apex Legends
, and more – we didn’t come across any noticeable issues when forcing G-Sync
compatibility for our NVIDIA GeForce RTX
powered gaming PC. Which, can be a gamble when testing FreeSync displays. The 144 HZ refresh-rate, with or without HDR enabled, presented crisp and vibrant images that were lag and stutter-free – and all in the desirable QHD 1440p resolution. Which has become the standard over the past year or so in the PC space.
“As a DisplayHDR 400 certified display the HDR output is generally good and pretty-standard when viewed in the form of an entry on a spec sheet. Where it comes alive, so to speak, is with BenQ’s own HDRi modes."
In the end the only real area where the display falters a little bit comes with the black levels and the lack of local dimming, something that becomes far more noticeable when in a darkened room – in addition to being something you tend to find when it comes to IPS panels versus those with VA. But, this is only a minor detriment to what is a wonderful 27-inch display that has versatility to back up its excellent performance, colour accuracy, and set of features. From the impressive for-the-price HDR to the out of the box settings that will get you up and running in minutes, the BenQ EX2780Q is another winner for the well-known brand.