Almost everyone is familiar with 4K monitors since these have been around for quite some time. These types of monitors also come with integrated HDR support; however, the devices aren’t still that common in the market, thus making BenQ’s latest EL2870U something quite rare and unique.
The company’s latest EL2870U is a 28-inch 4K gaming monitor that is designed using the classic TN display technology. What makes it different from your usual 4K gaming monitor is that the EL2870U not only has a 1MS fresh, but it is also HDR capable – a feature that is commonly associated with AHVA and IPS monitors.
Another highlight of this gaming monitor is that it is capable of Free Sync; it is also a budget-friendly device which makes even better. The monitor also exhibits excellent pixel response as well as decreased input lag which makes projecting fast-motion graphics a breeze.
BenQ EL2870U 4K Monitor Review – What’s in the Box?
The BenQ EL2870U 4K monitor comes in a rectangular-shaped box that sports a simple design. On the package, you’ll see the logo of the BenQ EL2870U, the unit’s name, its key features, as well as an image of the device.
When you check inside the package, it comes with a couple of accessories, as well as a small and solid stand. An attachment is made using a captive bolt and this can be connected with the use of a screwdriver. It can be done with the help of two spring-loaded screws that are included in the package. Also, there are 100 millimeter VESA mount lugs right at the back, but remember that you’ll need to use your own hardware to be able to utilize these.
Aside from these, another box is present in the EL2870U package. The bundle includes a display port, HDMI, a USB-C, and a standard IEC cord that is necessary for the internal power supply. Additionally, you’ll also get a quick start guide, plus a manual on CD which is needed for installing the device. What we liked about the monitor is that it’s backed with a three-year warranty, so we really appreciate BenQ for this.
BenQ EL2870U 4K Monitor Review – 4K Fragging
The BenQ EL2870U features a minimalist design. This somehow hints that the company was aiming to make the gaming monitor as affordable as possible. With that, its support is extremely basic, thus, only offering tilt functionality. There are VESA 100 holes available, and these are necessary if you’re someone who wants or needs to make more ergonomic adjustments; it also features a suitable and efficient support arm.
We liked its bordering right at the bottom of the device; this also goes for the ones at the sides and top of the EL2870U. It is about 2 centimeters between the frame’s edge and the beginning of its display. Along the rear side of the device are the inputs which are all designed to be easy to access. This is because there are no available cable management and the like on the device.
As for the depth of the panel, it’s actually greater than what we expected, with being at least 6 centimeters as its thickest point. This volume, however, was utilized adequately since there weren’t any of the annoying power blocks. Another great plus was that the company was also able to install a pair of 2-Watt speakers within the device. A really convenient and efficient move from BenQ.
Also, there’s an additional button located on the front right portion of the device, giving you a status report on its HDR; it also helps the display if the mode is set on active. This can be utilized to automatically start-up the BI+ (Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology) and the HDR mode even with games that don’t really support HDR mode. A standard video card’s output is produced via the screen which is necessary to bolster its dynamic range through adequate emulation.
The size of the screen is 27.9 inches with a max resolution of 3840×2160. Its brightness is 300 and also has an available LED backlight; as for the native contrast, it’s at 1000:1. The response time of this gaming monitor is 1ms (GtG) while the refresh rate is at 60Hz. Aspect ratio is 16:9 while it also has 1.07 billion colors and 72% NTSC for its color gamut.
Other specifications on the display include its PPI which is at 158, a 12,000,000:1 DCR, 10-bit for colors, and its display area that measures 620.9 x 341.3
When we talk about the audio specifications of the EL2870U, it features a built-in speaker that is 2W x 2; plus, you can also use your headphone jack with it since it has a specific port for this. Really convenient especially when you want to play games or watch movies but need to keep things quiet because of other people around.
Now for the monitor itself: we really liked that it comes in a metallic grey shade to give it a sleek and sophisticated appearance. The device has a K locker and the following modes for its color temperature include the Normal, Reddish, User, and Bluish mode. You can also choose from 18 different languages including English, Deutsch, Russian, Czech, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and a lot more. Additionally, it also has 2.2 HDCP.
Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology
BI+ is one of the features that BenQ introduced in the past year, and was used on a couple of their Ultra Premium Entertainment Monitors. The BI+ makes use of a light sensor that is fixed on a panel to discover ambient brightness as well as color temperature levels.
We saw that in real-time, this is able to adjust the output display to protect your eyes while simultaneously delivering adequate image quality for that specific environment. Part of the strategy of BI+ is that it can also provide you with low blue light and flicker-free modes. These are features that are necessary especially if you’re really concerned about the effects of prolonged hours of staring at the screen due to gaming and watching movies.
Thing is, the highlight of the BenQ EL2870U’s features is its 10-bit deep panel. It lets you enjoy better color representation, as well as HDR; plus, it also features a natural resolution which is extremely pleasing and great for a low-budget device.
Earlier 4K monitors greatly suffered from really low 30Hz refresh rates; however, the design of the EL2870U supports the 60Hz mode as well as variable sync. These inputs include a single Display Port 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 ports. When we rounded out these connections, there is also a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack that can also be utilized with powered speakers.
The BenQ EL2870U is able to display HDR content even without any HDR signal. This is really convenient since it is able to display standard-definition content via the HDR emulation from BenQ. It basically brightens up the visuals while also improving the image contrast.
Precision brightness is what this gaming monitor has, and it features ultra-fine details for your viewing and gaming enjoyment. The EL2870U’s hotkey can readily switch from four levels of BI+ and HDR modes. This will let you choose the best clarity and quality for displayed content that is based on specific conditions in varying viewing environments.
The feature also lets you fully enjoy excellent HDR image performance while simultaneously maintaining increased levels of viewing comfort and watching or gaming in dimly lit environments.
Another cool thing about this device is that it also features the leading HDR technology which is perfect for film viewing and intense gaming. The BenQ EL2870U also gives you better contrast and brightness while also adding excellent details to your gaming and HDR video content. Y
ou’ll also be able to take advantage of multi-device connectivity plus integrated speakers with this device. Get to enjoy outstanding HDR video quality and more flexibility from any source with just a single DP 1.4 and the dual HDMI 2.0 ports. With the powerful speakers that BenQ integrated into the EL2870U, you’ll also get to enjoy powerful audio that is clean, crisp, and clear.
Also, you can get the best video and gaming entertainment with the device’s specialized modes. With BenQ’s Smart Focus, it highlights the chosen area or window to help you focus on your main viewing content. This is done by decreasing the amount of distractions appearing in the background.
And for its response time, you’ll get the extremely speedy 1ms GTG response which efficiently removes motion smear for seamless gaming and video sessions. For every dramatic transition or fast-moving actions, these will be rendered flawlessly without you having to experience ghosting or lagging. So basically, you’ll get to enjoy an immersing video and gaming moment without any delays.
4K resolution is also called 4K and this means a horizontal screen resolution with 4,000 pixels falling into order. The BenQ EL2870U has a 3,840 x 2,160 UHD resolution though of course, it isn’t really as wide as the 4K-cinema standard. Still, you can’t deny that the images this gaming monitor projects is excellent.
Now when you start watching or gaming with the EL2870U, you be in awe of its clarity because of the 4K UHD images that it produces. You’ll get to enjoy extremely precise, vibrant, realistic, and precise images that goes perfectly with the increased frame rates with the 4K resolution that it offers.
Fine details will be seen clearly so you can surely take advantage of optimal viewing experience from EL2870U. Not only that, but you have extreme resolution with the BenQ EL2870U, enhancing the standard image quality while gaming or watching films.
Also get the chance to experience smooth and perfect images to fully enjoy your gaming sessions. This is because of the AMD Free Sync technology which helps remove image tearing, choppy gameplay as well as broken frames for fluid and seamless gaming.
BenQ has always been known as the leader of display technology and they’re leveraging on their eye-care feature. This is in addition to improving eye comfort for a much healthier and fun viewing experience.
The TÜV Rheinland Certification is a global safety authority that certified the High Flicker-Free, BI+, and the Low Blue Light feature of the EL2870U, stating that these are indeed good for your eyes despite having prolonged sessions in front of this gaming monitor.
You also won’t have to worry about straining your eyes when in specific lighting environments since the EL2870U’s Eye Care feature decreases eye strains. Its ambient light sensors readily detects color temperature and ambient light levels in your viewing or gaming environment, so automatically, it adjusts the color temperature and brightness to fit perfectly for your surroundings.
This feature also evenly alters the viewing brightness of the screen based on your usage time. With that, it offers you the best display quality for your viewing and gaming comfort, as well as preventing eye strain while simultaneously protecting your eyes as you game and watch for continuous hours.
The unique BI+ or Brightness Intelligence Plus from BenQ can detect ambient light levels as well as color temperature. This helps the device easily adjust the color temperature and on-screen brightness for your viewing enjoyment and comfort. It’s a really good addition to the monitor since the on-screen images don’t appear too exposed while the details in dark spots are better enhanced; this is to maintain visible levels of intensity and clarity.
Its BI+ technology also alters the EL2870U’s brightness to prevent overexposure while simultaneously boosting the details in darker areas. It also helps preserve the original hue and color saturation with smooth and clean gradation.
Flashing lights cause anxiety, distress, and irritation which causes us to look away from blinking lights. However, one thing that a lot of people don’t know is that standard LCD screens flicker at 250 times per second. Since your eyes can’t really see flickers, we’re unaware of the extreme stress that our eyes experience.
Fortunately, the EL2870U features the exclusive Flicker-Free technology which removes the flicker from your screen to prevent vision damage and eyestrain.
Low Blue Light Technology
When it comes to invisible light, it can be prevented easily; but for visible light, this enters your retina and ends up causing damage to the eyes without you really knowing it. Since we’re all living in a multi-screen society, the blue light is considered as one of the most hazardous types of lights to the eyes.
So when you stare at the screen for hours, the light from your monitor enters your eyes. This can cause a lot of hazardous effects to your eyes and it especially causes impact on your retina’s macula due to the strong effects of blue light. This could eventually lead to eye-related issues and diseases.
There’s also blue-violet radiation and this is also harmful to the eyes. Luckily, BenQ’s Low Blue Light Technology is specifically designed to filter blue lights, thus, effectively decreasing eye irritation and fatigue to provide you with comfort while playing games or watching films.
You can also easily switch to one of the preset Blue Light modes that are available on the OSD hotkey, giving your eyes less strain without sacrificing any of your visual fun and enjoyment.
OSD Setup & Calibration
Out-of-the-box accuracy is good enough for most users, but you might want to tweak a couple of things with BenQ’s on-screen display or OSD system. Although there are no controls for HDR mode, you can still choose between two different image settings.
For the Low Blue Light feature, the OSD has a variety of four sub-modes. The Adjust By Duration is a feature that gradually alters the white point to make activities like word-processing easier and seamless.
Under the Picture menu, you will find six gamma presets and three of these are the default. Picture Advanced begins with eleven image presets that cover most situations. The two HDR modes will imitate extra dynamic range by using SDR material; with the front-mounted HDR button, you can also toggle the BI+.
The default SDR mode is the standard and it doesn’t require calibration since the accuracy is enough. If you are someone who doesn’t want to tweak the options or settings of the device, sRGB and Rec.709 are present to offer similar quality modes.
Using the Product
Of course, we can’t pass on checking the performance of the EL2870U monitor; and just like all the other similar devices from BenQ, it provides you with excellent accuracy and performance. You don’t really need to calibrate the monitor if you choose the User, Standard, Rec. 709, and sRGB picture modes. Everything else also works excellently so there’s also really nothing more to tweak on the device.
After testing the EL2870U, we can definitely say that it is a monitor that’s best for viewing movies and gaming compared to HDR demonstrations. Ultra HD usually prevents you from properly gaming with just 60Hz, but with the EL2870U, we were obviously able to enjoy rich images that were clear and crisp even if the image was in motion.
Even if you’re watching or playing without the HDR switched on, you’ll get excellent images because of the 4K display. If you have an AMD video card, you’ll be able to take advantage of what Free Sync has to offer.
We also made sure to check if the device’s red primary was an issue; thing is, there weren’t any deficiencies or problems even when we watched close-up and wide shots of various graphics and images. These were displayed in brilliant shades of yellows, orange, and reds.
Throughout our tests, we can definitely say that detail was the most impressive feature when it comes to this gaming monitor. Let’s say that your camera moved slowly on screen, you’ll be able to see the littlest of things like cactus needles or spiderwebs with razor-sharp clarity.
The 24p support of the BenQ EL2870U is considered to be rare in such displays; however, the company actually includes this in a couple of their models. That alone is already something that’ll draw the attention of video pros who require a mastering monitor that can readily handle and manage film cadences.
When it comes to grayscale tracking, its Standard default mode generates a great grayscale tracking chart. Here, you won’t have to adjust the color temperature unless you’re aiming for something other than D65. Now if you’re planning to utilize one of the HDR modes together with the SDR material, it will still track 6500K without any visible errors.
With an edge backlight, ang type of IPS or TN screen will be at a disadvantage; however, the BenQ EL2870U readily supports HDR10 without any issues at all. Also, the device’s UHD resolution, 1ms gray-to-gray pixel response, HDR capabilities, Free Sync technology, and reasonable input lag only means that the device can easily handle image motion in gaming; this is especially true when pairing this with a rig that runs a late model, Free Sync compliant AMD graphics card.
- Screen Size: 27.9
- Panel Type: TN
- Backlight Technology: LED backlight
- Resolution (max.): 3840×2160
- Brightness: 300
- Native Contrast(typ.): 1000:1
- Viewing Angle (L/R;U/D) (CR>=10): 170/160
- Response Time: 1ms (GtG)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Display Colors: 1.07 billion colors
- Color Gamut: 72% NTSC
- Display Area(mm): 620.9 x 341.3
- PPI: 158
- DCR (Dynamic Contrast Ratio) (typ.): 12,000,000:1
- Color Bit: 10 bit
- Built-in Speaker: 2Wx2
- Headphone Jack: Yes
- Product Color: Metallic grey
- Color Temperature: Reddish/Normal/Bluish/User mode
- K Locker: Yes
- OSD Language: 18 Languages (English / Francais / Deutsch / Italiano / Espanol / Polish / Czech / Hungarian / Romanian / Nether-lands / Russian / Swedish / Portuguese / Japanese / Chinese / S-Chinese / Arabic/ Korean)
- HDCP: 2.2
- VESA Wall Mount: Yes
- AMA: Yes
- Flicker-free Technology: Yes
- Low Blue Light: Yes
- Brightness Intelligence Plus (B.I.+): Yes
- Smart focus: Yes
- Super Resolution: Yes
- FreeSync: Yes
- HDMI: HDMI (v2.0)x2
- DisplayPort: DisplayPort (v1.4)x1
- Voltage Rating: 100 – 240V
- Power Supply: Built-in
- Power Consumption (on mode.) : <55W
Dimension and Weight
- Dimensions (HxWxD mm): 657.9×476.27×194.6
- Net Weight (kg): 5.7
- Gross Weight (kg): 7.2
- Tilt (down/up): -5˚ – 15˚
We enjoyed the EL2870U for both gaming and watching films and it performed as excellently, or maybe even better than the other Ultra HD screens that we’ve tested. We appreciated that it comes with a few unique extras such as the Brightness Intelligence Technology and the Low Blue Light Filter.
These features made us experience complete eye comfort all throughout when we tried using gaming and watching for eight continuous hours. Overall, this 4K monitor is a great product with its high refresh rate and affordable price.
If you don’t have a big budget but want an Ultra HD resolution gaming monitor that is excellent for film viewing and intense gaming, we highly recommend the EL2870U 4K Gaming Monitor from BenQ.
Where to Buy
You can get your hands on the new BenQ EL2870U 4K gaming monitor for only $569AUD. For more information head on over to the BenQ product page.