The Benq 4K 28 EL2870U monitor makes such a difference for close office desk work showing fine text, true colours, HDR and reducing eyestrain that it is our firm recommendation for office work.
I have reviewed many monitors. Most have been 16:9 ratio 1920 x 1080 or the 21:9 widescreen 3440×1440 varieties. This is the first of what I hope are many of the new breeds of 4K monitors.
Review: BenQ 4K 28 EL2870U monitor
Australian Website here
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||GadgetGuy comments|
|Resolution||3840 x 2160, 158ppi||4K makes a huge difference – four times the pixel count of FHD.|
|Ratio||28″, 16:9||Still the best for desktop use enabling 2 x A4 pages side-by-side.|
|Panel||TN||TN has issues with off-angle viewing. If viewed relatively straight on (as a personal monitor) it is fine.|
|Brightness||300 nits||We achieved 298nits|
|Contrast||1000:1 (native) 12000:1 (dynamic)||We achieved 9000:1|
|Colour||10-bit 1.07 billion||Good out-of-the-box accuracy but not for professional use|
|Colour gamut||72% NTSC||We achieved 100% SRGB and 68% DCI-P3|
|Ports||2 x HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 (one with MHL support) 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 Headphone jack||MHL is a bonus to connect a suitable smartphone.|
|Speakers||2 x 2W||Sound reaches 70dB Signature is below|
|Power||240V socket||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.
- Build quality
- 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
$569 from JB Hi-Fi
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