The BenQ XL2730Z is an all-singing, all-dancing gaming monitor that’s bursting with features. Top of the hit list is the presence of AMD’s new FreeSync technology and this is joined by a 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution, a blur-reduction mode, 144Hz refresh rate and even a remote control!
All this tech doesn’t come cheap, though. For a conventional TN LCD panel, rather than one using IPS or a similar technology, this is quite a price to pay.
The BenQ wears its influences on its sleeve. For the most part it’s a fairly conventional looking large, black-bezelled monitor that particularly from the front looks quite simple with its square base and slender stand, with just that red plastic cable-tidying ring in the stand to give the game away.
The design of the BenQ XL2730Z is unique in that it feels like two parts of the same company came together with different ideas about the same product, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The screen itself isn’t ultra-slim or bezel-less or any of that fancy stuff, but the stand actually has a nice curvature to it that would look right at home with other similar gamer-oriented peripherals.
The stand allowed a lot of range of motion, giving you the option to position the screen anywhere from three inches to a foot and a half off the top of the stand, and swivel left to right about 45 degrees in either direction. The way the stand holds the screen could be an issue for some desk layouts, however. Because it juts back about two inches off the base, if your desk is positioned against a wall you’ll only have so much room to spare between where you sit and where the monitor hangs. A small annoyance, but still something potential buyers should consider before picking a unit for themselves.
So far this panel this is intriguing, but the real question here is how does it perform with day-to-day tasks and more importantly gaming? The TN panel and 72% NTSC color gamut support put the color range of this bad boy fairly close to old IPS monitors. The just ok viewing angle is what you might expect from a TN and with some fine tuning in the OSD, the contrast ratio looks great and offers enough granularity between blacks and whites during low-light scenes. To truly see the monitor at its best, get into a fast-paced action game with Free-Sync enabled and you get nothing but super sharp visuals with no tearing, stuttering or visible tracing of any kind. That makes my older IPS panel look like a blurry mess in comparison and difficult to go back to once I got used to the BenQ XL2730Z.
The only means of adjustment that isn’t marked is pivot, as quite reasonably BenQ has assumed most users won’t be interested in dialling in any angle other than 0 or 90 degrees.
- 27in, 2,560 x 1,440 TN panel
- 144Hz maximum refresh rate
- AMD FreeSync
- Blur-reduction technology
- Height, pivot, rotation and tilt adjustment
We’d suggest starting off by going to Standard mode and turning all the extra features off, choosing the user defined color temperature (100 on everything), 40 brightness, 50 contrast, 5 contrast, 5 sharpness and 3 Gamma.
BenQ also provides a couple of software features to go with the XL2730Z. Display Pilot, which can be downloaded from the BenQ website, provides options for rotating the display both automatically and manually. It also has a screen partitioning tool that allows you to divide the screen up into multiple sections, a bit like with Windows Snap but a customisable version.
To view full Specifications visit the website: