Nowadays, we have a broad range of displays in any kind of store, for this reason manufacturers compete to provide better features at a lower price. This gets worse when we are looking for a display for gaming, because doubts get bigger. For this reason, today we’ll present you with an analysis of the new BenQ EW277HDR display that, as its own name suggests, it’s a 27 inch display compatible with HDR (high dynamic range) to show more intensity and depth of color.
With HDR images look more natural, brilliant and detailed. Of course, the bad thing about this is that not all the content is HDR-compatible, even though it’s growing in size (Netflix, PlayStation 4 Pro with some games, etc.) The good thing about this BenQ display is that it lets you select manually when to activate this feature.
Besides HDR, the device has a 27-inch panel with Full HD resolution, minimal edges and an aesthetic that fits anywhere, from Gaming areas to offices. It lacks some things though, since it’s a display with an average response time of 12 ms (4ms GtG) so even though it’s fine to play, it is not the best one out there. It still gives a broad connectivity to use it with the video source we want and, in general, it’s a good alternative for users wanting to try HDR in a versatile and relatively affordable device.
As we can see in the technical features, we are in front of a LED-VA panel display with a 27-inch diagonal and Full HD resolution with 0.311 mm of pixel Pitch. It’s a bit weird, since according to BenQ the panel is VA, but having vision angles of 178º and a response time of 4 ms GtG makes it look like an IPS panel. It does, though, have 300 nits of maximum brightness, 400 in HDR mode, and that is quite a lot. Its contrast ratio is 3000 to 1, something more usual.
For video, the display has VGA (DSub) and two HDMI 2.0, besides a mini jack for headphones. We should mention the fact that it has a couple of stereo speakers, so it would be ideal to use it with video game consoles since we wouldn’t need additional audio devices and the display is more than enough.
There’s not much more to say about this, other than the fact that I like how sincere BenQ has been and the fact that they give us the average response time: 12ms. Because even if the GtG has 4ms, in reality it’s always more and this is something manufacturers always hide. Something should be clear: 12ms is not too much for gaming unless it’s competitive. My own display has 14 ms of average response time and I play every kind of game without any problem.
Besides the technical features, we should highlight the HDR, which we already mentioned. This will allow us to enjoy, in general, a better visualization experience and it is without a doubt, the fundamental feature of this device.
As we said in the intro, we should also highlight the fact that BenQ has included an additional button in the front that will allow us to activate and deactivate the HDR whenever we want to, which for me is an advantage.
Also, this display is part of the Eye Care family of the brand, which means it includes a range of technologies to avoid visual fatigue. Within these, we have the Brightness Intelligence Plus technology (which detects color temperature and the brightness of the surroundings to adapt the screen settings accordingly), flicker free (anti-flickering) and Low Blue Light modes with default settings for office work, web browsing, multimedia and reading.
The BenQ EW277HDR comes in the usual manufacturer’s box made of neutral color cardboard with only the brand colors, black and purple, decorating it. Printed on the sides we find an image of the display showing the model, size and its main features in the lower part in the form of icons.
We’ll begin with the included accessories. First, we have the usual manuals, guarantee brochures and a CD with drivers.
We have also the external power supply with its power adapter.
In this case, it’s been manufactured by Asian Power Devices and it has a maximum potency of 40 watts.
Together with the display, the manufacturer also includes the HDMI cable.
As with any other display, the base comes in separate parts to make its transport easier and we’ll have to put it together ourselves. Luckily, the process is simply tightening two screws with your hands and only takes a couple minutes.
Firstly, we put together the two pieces of the base and we put the display facing down above a flat surface to fit them together.
We put the pieces in their place and tighten the screws.
And that’s it, we have the base ready and steady.
The display is surprisingly light, something weird with its 27 inches, and it’s still quite robust: it doesn’t move nor oscillate even when we push it with our fingers. In the front we find the usual design with almost no frames on three sides and only in the lower part a silver frame, in which we find the manufacturer’s logo, the buttons indicators and in this case the button to activate the HDR.
With all this, the monitor is still quite slim.
The back side is dominated by a black plastic case with the BenQ logo in the middle. Here, besides the video ports we find the speakers and a Kensington security lock.
In terms of connections, we have (left to right) two HDMI, a VGA, a headphones connector, a line-in jack and a current connector.
Having seen the display from the outside, is time now to connect it and put it to work. Over the years, BenQ has maintained the same initial splash screen in which it shows its logo on a purple background. I say this because I have a 12 year old display from the brand and it is exactly the same.
The display looks amazingly fine and in spite of having just enough size for the Full HD resolution – to my taste – the pixels don’t show too much, so the result is quite a sharp image. Moreover, even though the pictures don’t do it justice (precisely because the Flicker Free technology has the opposite effect, it would seem, in the camera when taking instant photos) the visualization is comfortable from any angle and the brightness doesn’t hurt the eyes. Also, as the manufacturer promised, the brightness adapts to he conditions of the surroundings in a smart way, so when we have a lot of light in the room the display will increase the highlights to adapt and if the light is turned off it will automatically change the color temperature and the brightness to prevent us from damaging our eyes.
To access the OSD (the display’s menu) we only have to tap any of the lower-right buttons (except the power button) and it shows us the shortcuts for some of its main options such as brightness or video input selection.
On the menu we have the usual options of any display, together with the special features such as Eye Care, letting us select manually what we want to have activated or deactivated each time.
It also lets us “play” with the image activating different modes such as Super Resolution, Picture, Smart Focus and others.
Of course, there’s also the possibility to select the HDR mode and to activate and deactivate the B.I.+ (Brightness Intelligence Plus).
Also, as we said in the intro, we have many preconfigured profiles of the Low Blue Light mode.
And of course, the video inputs.
I have to say that before starting to test the monitor with games I used it for normal use for approximately three hours, working in front of the screen. In that time I didn’t suffer any level of eye fatigue, which, for example, is not something that happens to me in my work, where I have monitors of questionable quality that don’t include vision protection technology like this one. I can tell you that after a few hours of continuously looking at the screen, it is truly noticeable.
And now let’s get to it, since surely if you have read to here, what you want to see is the HDR, right?
BenQ EW277HDR, testing the HDR mode
To test the HDR mode of the monitor, we connected it with the HDMI cable which comes in the box (according to Sony you need a certified cable with a whole bunch of requirements but… that’s not the case) to a PlayStation 4 Pro, and we used one of the titles that is currently compatible: Horizon Zero Dawn.
The game’s HDR mode is activated from within the game’s options. If the monitor isn’t compatible with HDR, that option is disabled.
For this test what we did was record a video, with the camera pointed directly at the monitor. Unfortunately we didn’t have a video team in place, so we used the video mode of the camera (Nikon D3200) to do the recording. As I was commenting a little while ago, what the video shows doesn’t really do justice to reality because the Flicker Free feature damages the recording and it doesn’t look like it should, but even so the shades and tones that the HDR gives are fairly noticeable.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that at no point did we notice any input lag or tearing or stuttering, in spite of the fact that evidently it is not a monitor made for gaming.
The BenQ EW277HDR that we have analyzed today has a recommended price of 249 euros, although we have seen it in some online stores right now for just a little over 240 euros. For a 27 inch monitor with Full HD that might seem like too high of a price, but really in comparison with other models, it doesn’t seem at all unreasonable to pay 60 euros more to have HDR and all the vision protection technology that it includes, and especially for a monitor that is fairly light, and at the same time strong.
Without doubt it is a purchase that we recommend for those users who spend a lot of hours in front of the computer, and who, of course, want to try out HDR.
- Excellent image quality.
- Very slender edges.
- OSD that is very complete, easy and intuitive.
- Light and at the same time strong.
- Perhaps the price of 249 euros is a little high for Full HD.
For all this, this BenQ EW277HDR takes our Gold Prize and receives our recommendation for its excellent performance.