The Benq EL series are ‘monitors for personal entertainment with an optimal viewing experience’. So, what do I do but review it from an office productivity perspective?
Benq also has a huge range of monitors for e-sports gaming, business, design, photography, post-production and my favourite ‘stylish’. You will find exactly what you want in the range.
The EL series have a 28” and 32” 4K flat panel version (we will be reviewing the latter separately as it also has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and uses a different panel type).
Both are special with
10-bit colour for 1.07 billion colours
Low blue light (for better eye care)
Super-resolution (upscales FHD content but not as efficient as a 4K TV)
Brightness Intelligence Plus
Freesync (requires a compatible Radeon card)
Setup – Not much to it
Take out of the box
Assemble stand (Philips head screwdriver needed)
Plug into either HDMI Port or us the Display Port
Add power and voila
I have been using a quality 16:9, 1080p monitor so I placed it the obligatory 600mm – at the same distance from my face. That distance is to ensure that you don’t see any pixelation – everything it smooth.
But I soon found that I could move it closer – perhaps 300-400mm because the screen resolution was so fine. That is a good thing.
How does it look?
Windows screensaver looked a lot more brilliant than before. 4K HRD movie content looked better too. While working late one evening, I realised that the Bi+ had kicked in. It detects ambient brightness to adjust display settings to deliver balanced brightness and colour temperature to match the environment.
These are features you don’t know that you miss until you try them. The EL models have a prominent switch on the front bezel to help you understand the difference.
Below is a video that explains what HDR and Bi+ does. It shows a narrow bezel monitor. The EL series have more of a traditional 18mm bezel but the same stylish stand style.
I don’t want to give the review unit back. I am lobbying my boss to buy it! You know until I wrote those words I did not even know the price – it is a very reasonable $569.
There are also
six gamma settings
four colour temperature settings
HDR, Cinema HDR, Game, eBook and more custom settings.
And that may be both the good and bad parts of this monitor. To get the most out of it, you need to play with the settings. Out-of-the-box it is fine, but you can tweak it much better.
BenQ classify this as a gaming stylish gaming monitor as well
The 28” has 1ms grey-to-grey response time and a native 60Hz refresh rate. It supports AMD Freeysync to 60Hz.
While it has gaming features, it does lack things like dedicated gaming pre-sets, gaming dashboard and the obligatory glowing lights!
No, it is good for a good casual gamer and a mid-range Radeon GPU but not a serious e-sports gamer.
Specifications and comments
BenQ 4K 28 EL2870U monitor
3840 x 2160, 158ppi
4K makes a huge difference – four times the pixel count of FHD.
Still the best for desktop use enabling 2 x A4 pages side-by-side.
TN has issues with off-angle viewing. If viewed relatively straight on (as a personal monitor) it is fine.
We achieved 298nits
1000:1 (native) 12000:1 (dynamic)
We achieved 9000:1
10-bit 1.07 billion
Good out-of-the-box accuracy but not for professional use
We achieved 100% SRGB and 68% DCI-P3
2 x HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 (one with MHL support)
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
MHL is a bonus to connect a suitable smartphone.
2 x 2W
Sound reaches 70dB
Signature is below
No external brick required)
How does it sound?
Hints of upper-bass creep in at 300Hz but not enough to call it that. Mids are strong to about 10kHz, and treble drops off.
This is called a mid-signature and its fine for clear voice but lacks any subtle nuances you want for movie or music enjoyment.
Loudness is a maximum of 70dB, and that is fine for personal viewing – it is not room filling.
If the sound is a priority, then use a Bluetooth speaker instead.
GadgetGuy’s take. BenQ 4K 28 EL2870U monitor best for office and home use
I don’t normally comment on price, but value-conscious buyers will have trouble finding something better. It is not perfect, but it is a huge step up from your older FHD monitor.
4K, 10-bit colour with 100% sRGB
HDR10 if you have the content
BI+ works very well
Stylish base with -5 to +15° tilt (no height adjustment) and VESA wall mount
Speakers not loud – fine for speech
Off angle viewing – the TN screen is best for straight on viewing
So many adjustments – reset it to factory defaults and play
As a home or office 4K monitor. If you are looking at a gaming or entertainment monitor, it would receive lower ratings.
Overall: 4.2 out of 5
Features: 4 out of 5 – All required features
Value for Money: 5 out of 5 – shop around and add an extra point
Performance: 4 out of 5 – 100% sRGB, Freesync and connectivity
Ease of Use: 4 out of 5 – Plug and play but you need to play with the menu settings
Design: 4 out of 5 – Office style with a decent stand. Thicker bezels make dual monitor use difficult