BenQ Zowie XL2730 Review: WQHD 144Hz eSports Gaming Monitor

benq zowie xl2730 review

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After buying the Denmark-based ZOWIE brand in 2015, the Taiwan-based famous producer BenQ is much in the news for its latest Zowies. These Zowie gaming monitors are E-sports gaming monitors, which are making a successful appeal to several competitive players.

Their XL collection is incessantly evolving by focusing on competitive applications and incorporating more high-tech capabilities for an exceptional performance. The latest product belonging to this progressive ZOWIE line is the BenQ ZOWIE XL2730, which is an update of its predecessor, XL2730Z, and the second 27-inch monitor in the series. Featuring the 144Hz E-sports capabilities and the AMD’s FreeSync technology, the BenQ XL2730 gaming display unit with its competition-class display of 2K resolution and superb 1ms response time, is for the die-hard gamers.

This latest monitor aims to offer better high refresh rates and no lag display to ensure an ultra-smooth performance. This is essential for the First-Person Shooters (FPS) like the Fallout 4 and Overwatch. It seems that this monitor reflects the feedback from the professional eSports teams, evident in the form of matte, dark-gray bezel for reducing glare by absorbing reflection. Currently, it is in use by professional E-sports leagues and tournaments, worldwide. In short, it is an E-sports monitor for the PC competitors.

Talking about my experience, the new frustration-free packing ensures ease of boxing. Upon use, the experience is supreme and smooth, while playing the FPS games on Intel Core i7. Here is what I like the most of this sporty monitor!

Presenting: The No Jazzy, Minimally Distracting Style

benq zowie xl2730

The XL2730 monitor is an E-sports gaming tool for the hardcore and professional players who are looking for a monitor with a high performance. The sleek look is coupled with a less distracting and minimal style although there is no frameless build.

The refined, simple matte finish falls into the background despite a well-lit area and successfully makes one regain attention to the screen. This restored focus is the best aspect of any gaming-oriented monitor. Further, the texture is ideal, as it keeps fingerprints and reflection of glare or light away. Well, this is insignificant while looking at the screen directly, due to thin bezels. While XL2730 appears plain without any bright tint, it has attention-grabbing red accents. This gives a colorful touch without any kind of distraction. In fact, those red accents indicate a few key features/functionalities.

For example, the adjustable stand has red accents, which help in saving the different adjustment angles for quick recall once the monitor has shifted to a new location. This is commendable, as it is handy for the eSports competitors who carry monitors and intend to have the same setup at different events. The VESA mountable stand can easily tilt, swivel, and pivot. It is also easy to adjust its height with just one finger for enjoying personalized viewing angles. The build is also solid due to which it never wobbles or trembles.

On the lower right side, the bezel holds on-screen display buttons, which I found to be a bit outdated and a bit distracting. However, on the pro side, these buttons are pleasant while glowing white when the monitor is in use. Found only in the XL monitors is the outstanding feature of the headphone hanger comes out and pulls back, at just a light press. You can hand your headsets here, which is truly handy and convenient.

Presenting: Friendly Display for Competitive Gamers

With a high frame rate of over 100, the gameplay gives an instantaneous response and feels quite smooth. The credit goes to the FreeSync technology, which functions well. Although you need to disable the monitor’s blur reduction feature for FreeSync to work, there is no objectionable blurring at the time of playing. However, some kind of bluish hue becomes noticeable at the panel’s bottom, particularly when dark scenes are displayed. This is perhaps because of the Twisted Nematic (TN) panel, which also brings in the limitations of exhausted color reproduction and narrow viewing angle.

However, XL2730 is for competitive gamers who do not give priority to color reproduction or viewing angle but to input lag and high refresh rate. So, the model shall never disappoint in terms of display and rendering.

The 2560×1440 TN panel,having 1ms response time and 144Hz refresh rate, delivers crisp and sharp details although not as detailed as on a 4K display. There might be a bit grainy look but it is negligible from a considerable distance. After tweaking, the response time might increase up to 3ms but that is still speedy, as the human eyes can hardly recognize the difference. So, the monitor performs superbly even if you compare it with the similarly priced equivalents, such as the ASUS PG278Q.

Built for high-intensity games, the OSD comes with the Color Vibrance option to improve saturation without affecting the sRGB color space. In simple terms, you enjoy richer colors.

Another commendable aspect is the contrast capabilities. After calibration, the publicized contrast ratio reaches up to 960:1 for better shade transitions and deeper blacks, which is better than what the Asus PG278Q delivers and is a performance booster as compared to XL2720. For this performance, you need to set the precise gamma level in standard mode only. Contrast reproduction is also taken care of, by the Black Equalizer option, which only Zowie monitors have. The option makes contrast production better by brightening the dark areas, regardless of the light level in the game. However, for precise representation, do set the gamma level by yourself.

Last but not the least; you are ensured of low blue light and flicker-free display. These eye-friendly features genuinely reduce strain from the eyes so that you can play longer.

Specifications

  • Screen: 27-inch Full HD LED with 2560 x 1440 (2K/QHD) resolution with 99% sRGB reproduction
  • Weight: 16.5 pounds
  • Backlight: WLED
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 + Dynamic contrast ratio of 12M:1
  • Panel Type: TN with anti-glare coating
  • Adaptive Sync: FreeSync
  • Viewing Angle:170°/160° horizontally and vertically
  • Refresh Rate: 144Hz
  • Pixel Pitch: 0.276mm
  • Response Time: 1ms Grey-to-Grey
  • Brightness: 350cd/m2
  • Color Support: 16.7 million
  • Color Gamut: 72% NTSC
  • Delta E: A bit over 2.0 (average)
  • Gamma: 1.9
  • Speakers: No
  • USB: 4 (Type A)
  • Ports:2x HDMI 1.4, D-Sub, DVI-DL, DisplayPort 1.2, 3.5mm microphone jack, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Stand: VESA mounting support, tilting ability (5-20°), swiveling ability (-45/45°), pivoting ability at 90°, and height adjustment up to 140mm
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Security: Kensington lock
  • Eco-friendly and Energy Efficient: Yes, Energy Star
  • Certifications: WHQL (Windows)

What Customers Are Saying

Most customers on Amazon are happy to have this monitor although they agree that it is a bit pricey one. They agree that the TN panel is at an improved level in this monitor, which is otherwise considered inferior to an IPS one. Many of them liked the crisp and clear bright display after calibration, FreeSync technology, optimized gaming precision, and the Black eQualizer.

One of them has also praised the fully featured control due to which there is no need to press the monitor buttons, build quality, better colors after tweaking than ASUS VG248QE, and full speed USB 3.0 ports.

One of the customers had bought this monitor for his son who said that he just cannot go back to 1080p again! Similarly, another customer said that he has nothing to say anything bad about this monitor and recommends it for upgrading to a 1440p 144hz monitor. The BenQ ZOWIE XL2730 monitor has a very good rating across online retailers.

Conclusion

Basically, this high-end gaming monitor is dedicatedly for competitive gamers who do have an AMD GPU-based processor and require a monitor with high refresh rate and almost zero input lag. Unlike the predecessors and competitors, this one performs commendably. Right now, none of them can beat the XL2730 monitor in terms of the contrast ratio and color quality without compromising speed and performance.

Yes, there are limitations of the TN panel but they are acceptable, keeping in mind the performance and resolution. If you calibrate it rightly, the monitor delivers buttery-smooth playing experience.

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