We’ll be judging this monitor through a mixture of synthetic benchmarks and hands-on impressions, as I use the monitor for work and play over a two week period. That includes my regular work as a social media maven and tech writer on the professional side, and a whole lot of gaming including World of Tanks, Grand Theft Auto V, Saint’s Row The Third and StarCraft II. Finally, I’ll also examine its cinematic suitability by watching some television and movies on it, including Agents of Shield and the recent Tron film.
In order to run a few synthetic benchmarks, I’m using the DataColor Spyder4Elite that we reviewed last year. We see that the BenQ display hits 96% of sRGB, which isn’t bad but not the 100% the IPS display of the Crossover 27Q managed. 69% NTSC and 74% AdobeRGB are also competitive but not perfect results – this monitor wouldn’t be a first choice for any colour-sensitive work.
Brightness, contrast and white point were all quite standard and close to specifications. You do get quite large shifts when moving between different modes, which you can see in the second table below.
As you can see, colour accuracy wasn’t a particular strong suit of the display – it’s not noticeable for gaming or working, but in photoshop it’s a bit off-putting and nowhere near a professional grade monitor.
The most interesting result was the colour uniformity, which displayed a relatively large difference in the upper left hand corner, with decent to good results everywhere else. Luminance uniformity showed similar results – the upper left quadrant simply didn’t match the rest of the display.
This isn’t an issue for gaming or working (the two tasks targeted by this monitor) but it does underscore that the BenQ GW2760HS isn’t ideal for colour-sensitive activities.
I spend a lot of time writing on a screen, and I definitely notice the difference between ’em. My standard monitor at home is the 27″ 2560 x 1440 Crossover 27Q LED-P, and it’s much sharper, more accurate and easier on the eyes than the terrible 1080p monitor I use at work. I was expecting something similar to my work monitor with the BenQ, but I was pleasantly surprised – although the pixel density was noticeably lower, the colour accuracy remained excellent and the monitor did seem easier on the eyes as well.
I’m not too sure how big of a difference the flicker-free design of the BenQ GW2760HS makes, but it certainly didn’t hurt. I’d be hesitant to confirm it actually left my eyes feeling better after a long session – two weeks of use by one person is hardly a reliable sample – but I wouldn’t disbelieve it.
Gaming (PC + console)
The same good colour reproduction, decent contrast and flicker-free operation that characterised the professional section of my testing also ensured good results for the gaming portion. The monitor, whether hooked up to my PC via DVI or my PS3 on HDMI, was a highly respectable performer. While the sound quality of the built-in speakers isn’t great, they do the job and don’t distract even at relatively high volumes.
While it lacks the 1440p resolution or 120 Hz refresh rate of the finest 27″ gaming monitors, it’s still a perfectly serviceable 1080p monitor. That’s the standard resolution of the next-generation of gaming consoles (Xbox One and PlayStation 4), making the BenQ monitor well suited for the role – although most who can afford it will likely prefer a 30-40″ 1080p HDTV instead. For PC gaming, it means that your graphics card doesn’t need to struggle too much, giving very playable framerates at moderate settings even for low to mid-range cards.
The only real issue I ran into during my testing was when I was playing Grand Theft Auto V with the monitor sitting on a table next to my bed. I wanted to tilt the monitor back in order to get an ideal angle, but I just couldn’t reach it with the stand present on the GW2760HS. It wasn’t the end of the world (and the good viewing angles prevented it from being a true problem), but it was a noticeable flaw that I haven’t encountered with other monitors, so it’s worth thinking about.
Otherwise, the BenQ monitor performed well and I encountered no issues – no smearing, no ghosting, no difficult-to-see night scenes, or anything else.