Overclock.net › Components › Monitors › BenQ XL2730Z 144Hz Gaming Monitor

BenQ XL2730Z 144Hz Gaming Monitor

Posted

Pros: The best Motion Clarity in a gaming Monitor, True 8 Bit, High Quality Feel, Blur Reduction up to 144Hz, The Stand is the best I've ever seen,

Cons: Headphone Stand feels gimmicky, Horrible out of the Box preset calibration, Medium AG Coating.

Gaming Ladies and Gentlemen, I bet you all are looking for a very nice monitor to game on, isn't that right? I bet you've looked into Acer, LG, Dell, Samsung, Eizo and Asus Offerings, and I bet you want to improve your gaming experience without going bankrupt, am I right? Well, lets say this is a middle ground, because it is still expensive, but I can assure you that you wont be disappointed, just let me explain why.

I'm a hardcore gamer, and I want Blazing Fast reaction time, but that doesn't mean I want my image quality to be all grey and poor, I also like some eye candy, which is why I have a Fury X and an overclocked 5820K, now I know what you're thinking, eye candy on a TN, that's a good joke... Is it?

The BenQ XL2730Z is the 2nd Monitor to be released featuring a TRUE 8 Bits Color Depth Panel, making those colors really come to life, I've owned BenQ Monitors in the past, the good Old BenQ XL2420TE, and even when they were the fastest around I was always kind of disappointed by their color reproduction or image Quality after calibrated, but no more.

First I swapped to an Acer XG270HU which is probably the best Bang for the Buck TN in the market at such low prices, this monitor handily bested my XL2420TE in color reproduction thanks to its 6 Axis Saturation calibration tool integrated into the Monitor OSD, although both BenQ XL2420TE And the Acer XG270HU Were 6 Bits panels with FRC Dithering, which is no match for this new BenQ Beast.

the BenQ XL2730Z handily beats down its old predecessor and the XG270HU thanks to its TRUE 8 bit Panel not using this disgusting Dithering (I always hated it) to simulate more colors by vibrating the pixels at a really fast pace, some benchmarks also suggest that dithering can increase input lag a notch, so not having it is a plus, I also have an Acer XF270HU which is a High End IPS Piece of Garbage with Good Color reproduction (The problem with the XF270HU is that the OSD Is broken, many features don't work, but all in all its a beautiful display with great colors) comparing the XL2730Z with the XF270HU both calibrated its really hard to decide for a Winner regarding image quality, considering this BenQ is a TN Panel that's definitely incredible, not long ago TN panels were frowned upon because their "Poor and Horrible image quality", but after the BenQ XL2730Z not anymore.

Also, comparing the XL2730Z and the XF270HU is easy to pick a winner regarding Input lag and Motion Clarity, the Overdrive on the XF720HU is broken when using DisplaPort, and there's tons of Blur in moving images, the XL2730Z on the other hand have the best Motion Clarity I've ever seen when setting the overdrive to Premium, while only showing little overshoot artifacts.

Pros:

1-) It is BenQ, you can expect High Quality Components, robust support, and working features, everything just works perfectly.

2-) This specimen have Blur Reduction integrated into the monitor, its like ULMB but better because you can use it with any GPU, regardless if it is Nvidia or AMD as it is made by BenQ and it can strobe at 144Hz! Amazing feature that wasn't found with Lightboost before, also you can control the clarity and intensity of the Strobing.

3-) Viewing Angles: Yes, this is a TN so it is bound to have poor viewing angles compared to an IPS Panel, but I must put this one into the "Pros" section because its got the best Viewing Angles of all TNs I have ever tried before, the side to side gamma shift is Minimal, although the vertical shift could improve a lot.

4-) No Glowing, As I said before, I also have an XF270HU and its IPS Glow is absolutely atrocious, don't get me started with its Backlight Bleed, this BenQ have no Glow whatsoever making dark scenes a pleasure to watch, not so much as a VA panel, but that's for another review I guess.

5-) No backlight Bleed, one of the main Problems with monitors like the XF270HU, Acer XB270HU, Or ASUS MG279Q is that they all exhibit general issues with backlight bleed, you just wont get a sample without Backlight Bleed, no matter how hard you try unless you're very Lucky, I resent my XF270HU 5 times without luck, every sample had even worse Bleed than the last, with this BenQ monitor my first sample was 100% free of Backlight bleed, I did have a Bright Pixel though, but this is a Non-Issue for me it is not noticeable even when searching for it, I only noticed it because I had a white screen testing white saturation levels on a 255 background.

6-) The stand is the highest Quality Stand I've every tried, period. Would not change it for any other VESA Stand ever, its got marks as to where you set your monitor Height from 0 to 15 and a little pointer to leave it on even if you take the screen out for whatever reason like going into a gaming tournament. It also have (for me a t least) a useless headset thingy, I don't use it because it tilt my screen like 0.5 of a Millimeter when hanging my headphone on it a little since my Heavy SennHeisers HD 700 weight too much, I'm just that Picky about my setup positioning.

7-) The OSD Controls and the looks for the monitor: Its beautiful and simple, both the OSD Controller and the Monitor.

CONS:

With every single product there's a CON, there has to be, nothing is perfect, the things I hate will be listed from less to higher, the higher the number the more I hate it.

1-) The Headphone stand, this is gimmicky, doesn't feel solid and it tilts my screen like half a Millimeter, I would like BenQ to include something like a Screen Blocker as well, something that wont allow the screen to move at all at any direction.

2-) It doesn't have a Refresh Rate Checker, my cheaper Acer XG270HU can check the operating refresh rate of the monitor on the Fly, say I'm using freesync and my game is running at 50 FPS, then my monitor will be running at 50Hz, I can use the Refresh Rate checker to monitor the FPS I have In-Game or for research purpose.

3-) Why in seven heck did BenQ abandoned the magnetized OSD Controller? I find this one to be lacking with its little hole placement spot.

4-) I find it dumb that the Preset on Which this BenQ is set to when first turning it on is one of the Worst Looking presets ever made, Yes, I know this is a Gaming Monitor, and that people would like to have CS:Go, Starcraft and LoL presets, but many people just buy these montiors because its amazing, with color reproduction and blazing fast response time, some people must be put off by the horrible colors that resembles an old milenial TN, the only preset worth something is the Standard preset, that you later have to also calibrate.

5-) The Screen Anti Glare Coating: I just hate it, I HATE IT, I want a glossy Screen, I have controlled lightning in my work/Gaming Space, why do we need to have an Anti Glade Coating? IT MURDERS THE COLORS!, all the gaming monitors on the market have them, I wish companies would make two models of the same panel, one with Glossy and the other with AG Coating, would have given it 5 starts if it was Glossy.
CALIBRATION

Alright, if you made it this far you're probably serious about buying this monitor, which means you have one being shipped to you right now or soon, first fo all you need to ignore all the crap presets included on this Monitor, go and set it right to Standard, I have mine configurated for vibrant colors without color clipping and while still being able to tell all the different grey shadows, feel free to use my configuration:

GAME SETTINGS SECTION:

Blur Reduction: OFF

Black Equalizer: 0

Color Vibrance: 14 (You may be tempted to go higher, Don't, you'll start to see color clipping and lose details)

Low BlueLight: OFF (This is obviously situational)

Instant Mode: ON (This setting is responsible for the low Input Lag response, it bypass many processing paths on the monitor into a more direct approach.)

Auto Game Mode: OFF

Now, remember that the last setting of this section is "Save Settings" When you get out of the OSD the settings will be reseted if you don't choose to save the settings on "Save Settings" You can choose Gamer 1, Gamer 2 or Gamer 3 which you can access with the little Controller with the Keys 1, 2 and 3, the next section to calibrate is "PICTURE"

Picture Mode: that's the preset you're on right now, when you're finish you should be on gamer 1, which will become your calibrated standard preset

Brightness: 100 (Brightness also affects contrast, some people find a 100 Brightness to be too bright, personally I can't have it any lesser)

Contrast: 50. (Any higher and you lose details with our calibration settings)

Sharpness: 5 (Any higher and you get artificial sharpening around the edges not true Native Sharpness)

Gamma: 2 or 3 (See, we need to set it the closest to 2.2, with default gamma on Windows, but preset 2 and 3 are equally far away from 2.2, so I can safely say that this setting is taste based, I personally went with 3)

Color Temperature: RED: 95 - GREEN: 99 - BLUE: 99 (this one was hard to tune for accuracy, you can use Blue 100 if you like it)

AMA: Premium (That is the highest Voltage Output to each pixel that makes them switch states super fast, this do create a little artifact called Overshoot which is noticeable in dark backgrounds, if you're annoyed by this use the High preset, which is a lot slower, but doesn't present any artifact.

Dynamical Contrast: Just turn this dang thing off

After you're finished with all this go to the System Category - Other Setting - Input Auto Switch and Auto Pivot Sensor, these setting off unless you're really using it to further save some Milliseconds of input lag.

Posted

Pros: Great image quality, Freesync, 144Hz, WQHD, Strong color reproduction, Easily portable, "S switch" on screen controller

Cons: Large bezel

Monitors are getting larger, frame rates are getting higher, and prices are going down. With all the new advancements in display technology it can be hard to choose a good monitor for your needs. BenQ has been a prominent figure in the gaming market for a while and their XL2730Z offers many features gamers have been asking for. With Freesync, a 144Hz refresh rate, a 2560x1440 resolution, and a 1ms response time, the monitor looks to be a great choice. BenQ seems to be the monitor of choice for many professional gamers so let's take a deep dive and see how it performs!


Included in the package are the typical accessories plus some neat extras. You get the panel, an adjustable arm, the base, a plastic cover for transportation, the S Switch on screen controller, cables, and the usual manuals. In terms of included cables we get a power cable, a USB3.0 cable, DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI. The plastic cover is great for traveling to LANs as it keeps the dust off and can prevent minor scratches on the screen.



For an included mounting stand, the XL2730Z was surprisingly advanced. The upper arm screws into the weighted base but still allows for 45 degrees of swivel in either direction. It is height adjustable from 2” off the ground all the way up to about 7.5” and also includes markings so you can remember your position. I noticed the overall adjustments could be a bit finicky and difficult to easily set to my liking, but for an included stand it's not too bad. With some patience I was eventually happy. The monitor attaches using a screwless design but is also VESA compatible. The two protruding metal tabs at the top slide into the back of the monitor as you rest it on the base. This allows for a snug and secure fit while still remaining easy to disassemble. The base is very sturdy and with the exception of a small depression for the on screen controller, it is plain and matte black. There is a red cutout in the middle of the stand for cable management as well. Monitors don't typically have too many cables to manage in the first place, but nevertheless it's a neat touch. The top of the stand has a handle for carrying the monitor around to LAN events. It’s pretty heavy but I can tell BenQ is really pushing this as an eSports monitor.



Taking a step back we can take a look at the monitor as a whole. It features a 27" matte black TN panel. Around the edge is a 3/4" bezel which is rather large. There is a small BenQ logo at the bottom of the panel, and that's it for branding or visual accents. There buttons are located on the lower right hand portion of the monitor and on the front face. Some monitors place the buttons on the underside or back and that just makes them very hard to find, especially in a dark room. They blend in with the bezel enough to not be unsightly, but are still visible enough that they aren't useless. I never really used these since the included "S Switch" control module worked so well; more on that later. Moving around to the back we find a black glossy center piece with matte surroundings. The business end of a monitor is of course on the front so the industrial design of the back doesn't really matter as long as it's functional.



In terms of I/O, the XL2730Z is very well equipped. Starting with the side panel we have microphone and headphone outputs, two USB3.0 ports, and a pull-out headphone stand. If you use the headphone stand, make sure your headphones aren't too heavy or it will cause the monitor to sag to one side. You will probably be wearing your headphones when using the monitor so I wouldn’t worry too much. Below this is a Kensington lock for if you plan to take the monitor to a LAN or other high traffic area. On the underside and going left to right we have an AC power connector, a microphone passthrough, the connector for the S Switch, a Dual Link DVI port, an HDMI 1.4 port, HDMI2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, and the uplink for the USB3.0 hub on the side. Overall I'm really pleased with the wide variety of options here. I personally use and would recommend DisplayPort since it's currently the only input that supports FreeSync. HDMI 2.0 is making progress but isn’t that prevalent yet. Using DVI or VGA would be a sin with this high of a class of monitor.



Before we look at image quality I wanted to check out the on screen display. Thanks to the hockey puck shaped "S Switch" controller, navigating the menu is very simple. It isn't wireless, which I think is a good thing. Such a small object could be easily lost if it wasn't directly connected and didn't have a resting spot right on the monitor base. There is a scroll wheel with click, a back button, 3 presets, and an auto mode. I'm not the type of person to change my monitor settings in-between games or desktop use, but I can see this being useful to many people. Along with the standard settings like brightness, contrast, gamma, and color temperature, there are also some BenQ specific features. Located under "Game Settings", we find options like Blur Reduction, Black eQualizer, and Low Blue Light. These are all aimed at reducing eye strain and helping out in games. I can see them being useful to some people in some situations, but I think they just mess with the standard image too much to keep on all the time. This is where the individual profile presets could come in handy. Black eQualizer is meant to help in finding enemies in the dark by brightening only the blacks without blowing out the rest of the image. Motion Blur Reduction can look really good, but this will disable FreeSync. If your graphics card can keep up with a fixed refresh rate, I would recommend MBR over FreeSync.



Now on to image quality and gaming performance. Starting with the 144Hz refresh rate, I was very impressed. Some visual elements aren't that noticeable compared to other monitors. Assuming your graphics card can drive the XL2730Z at its max refresh rate, the bump will be very noticeable. Movement is smoother even down to the cursor on your desktop. The jump from 30Hz to 60Hz was big a few years back, and now the jump from 60Hz up to 144Hz is equally big in my opinion. Switching between the two, I start to really notice the jitter on a 60Hz panel. BenQ lists the panel as having 72% coverage on the NTSC color gamut. As with nearly all gaming monitors, the colors are pretty good but I wouldn't use this monitor for any professional content creation. Viewing angles are good side to side, but tend to get washed out as you move up and down. With such an articulate stand though, you should have no trouble adjusting the monitor to your viewing position.



The main feature of the XL2730Z is it's FreeSync capabilities. FreeSync is aimed at reducing tearing in games due to the monitor refreshing out of sync with the game engine and GPU's image refreshing. The image below shows a rather bad instance of tearing where multiple frames are being drawn on the screen at once. Turning on FreeSync, assuming you have a compatible AMD card, helps minimize this by syncing the monitor and graphics card. You will need to keep your frame rate within the acceptable limits in order for FreeSync to work. The official spec supports a dynamic refresh rate range from 9-240Hz but each monitor will have a much lower actual range. Some monitors limit this window from 40-75Hz, but the XL2730Z will work anywhere from around 40-144Hz. Anywhere outside of that range will start to look really choppy. If you find yourself above or below the threshold in whatever games you play, simply adjust the video settings to achieve super smooth animations without tearing. For eSports games like LOL, DOTA 2, or CS:GO which are less graphically intensive, the FreeSync aspect won't make too much of a difference. As framerates get higher the beneficial affects start to diminish. Given that most AAA games are played at around 40-80FPS though, the XL2730Z is a great option for that field.



The main competition for the XL2730Z is Asus's ROG Swift PG278Q. It has the same resolution, same refresh rate, and NVidia's own G-Sync technology. It's a TN panel as well with comparable visual technologies. This also seems like a very compelling deal, but don't forget about the price. BenQ's beautiful panel is anywhere between $100 and $150 cheaper at the time of publishing. As monitors go, the XL2730 at $500 is right around the middle of the road in terms of pricing. There are some cheaper 144Hz WQHD FreeSync monitors and of course some more expensive ones. For the average home gamer that is into eSports style games, I wouldn't recommend it on account of the price. However, for an AMD user who is serious about their gaming and loves more cinematic games, the XL2730Z is pretty compelling. If you're looking to get into more competitive gaming or just want to upgrade to the fastest and newest technology, it's hard to say no in this price range. You've already built a high end gaming computer, why not get a great monitor to show it off?

Posted

Pros: 1440p, 27", 8-bit TN, Blur Reduction, FreeSync, high quality materials

Cons: Out of box color calibration was poor,

Pros:
- 27" at 1440p is awesome!
- 144hz is great, if I could run games at 144hz frown.gif
- Blur Reduction (but only at 120 and 144hz)
- TRUE 8-bit TN panel produces the best colors I've seen on a monitor
- AMA (Advanced Motion Accelerator) settings reduce/eliminate ghosting
- FreeSync (have not been able to use)
- High quality build, very sturdy stand
- VESA mount
- No backlight bleed or IPS glow (obviously)
- No problems with QC, got a perfect display
- Headphone hook
- USB 3.0
- Better than average viewing angles for TN
- Great contrast thanks to the 8-bit panel

Cons:
- Out of box color calibration was terrible
- Blur Reduction settings are missing some features in the current firmware, hopefully will be updated soon
- No Lightboost
- I have heard that FreeSync cannot be used with overdrive so it "might" cause some ghosting

This monitor was a huge upgrade for me. I came from a basic Acer 23" 1080p 60hz monitor that was very washed out and only had 6-bit color. I cannot tell you how amazing everything looks on this new monitor. I don't even care about the other features all that much, I really just wanted a 1440p monitor with decent response and 8-bit color.

I'm hoping that I can make better use of the blur reduction features when new firmware is released to fix some settings.

I should add that the Black eQualizer is kind of a gimmick, but maybe some competitive gamers like it. All it does is reduce black levels and makes them brighter. It is turned on by default, and that is why the colors look terrible.
BenQ XL2730Z 144Hz Gaming Monitor
By:
Description:

The XL2730Z is built to dominate the professional gaming arena. Boasting a QHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms GTG response time and VESA Standard Adaptive-Sync technology, this all-new flagship gives you the finest, smoothest and fastest display performance for competitive gameplay. Fast response time of 1ms GTG means speed without the smear for an enhanced gaming experience. Fast-moving action and dramatic transitions will be rendered smoothly without the annoying effects of smearing or ghosting. BenQ's new Motion Blur Reduction technology further enhances an ultra-smooth, free-of-blur gaming experience. It is absolutely vital that the XL2730Z give you the flexibility you need to get the color performance you seek. This is why BenQ built into the monitor 20 levels of Color Vibrancy setting to meet gamers' specific viewing requirements and preferences for all types of gameplay. The newly improved Black equalizer Dynamic color engine technology takes visibility optimization to a whole new level with automatic brightness adjustments. The XL2730Z is able to detect the input source and automatically fine-tune the amount of brightness enhancement within the range of the brightness level selected by the user. The adjustable height stand is now scaled with 14 height levels tractable by a moving marker. The S Switch Arc is an external controller that comes with preset buttons that can be customized with personal display settings for gaming, work or entertainment use. The Auto Game Mode enables the XL2730Z to detect the genre of the game being played and switch the display setting to the corresponding game mode automatically. They can also share their own game modes with everyone via cloud storage or social media platforms. This innovative feature allows gaming communities to share, collaborate and bond freely with ease.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingPersonal Computers
BrandBenQ
EAN0840046032647
FeatureCompact exterior and adjustable scale design build for effortless game set- up 144Hz High refresh rate, 1ms Fast Response Time for ultra smooth game experience, best for FPS RTS and MOBA game Color Vibrance allows easy setting to meet personal color preferences Black eQualizer provides visual clarity in dark scene Motion Blur Reduction enhance clarity in fast gaming. Please refer the Guide before use. The XL2730Z is compatible with nVidia graphics cards but does not support nVidia's proprietary G-Sync feature.  All other operations will function normally
FormatCD-ROM
LabelBenQ
ManufacturerBenQ
ModelXL2730Z
MPNXL2730Z
PublisherBenQ
StudioBenQ
TitleBenQ XL2730Z 144Hz 1ms 27 inch Gaming Monitor with High Resolution and FreeSync Tech Best for CS:GO Battlefield eSport
UPC840046032647
Size2560x1440
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElement20757Y
Item Height21.94 inches
Item Length26.12 inches
Item Width8.89 inches
NumberOfItems1
Package Height9.65 inches
Package Length27.36 inches
Package Weight23.8 pounds
Package Width18.9 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberXL2730Z
ProductGroupPersonal Computer
ProductTypeNameMONITOR
UPCList - UPCListElement840046032647
Item Weight23.8 pounds
OperatingSystemN/A
AspectRatio1.78:1
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Overclock.net › Components › Monitors › BenQ XL2730Z 144Hz Gaming Monitor