When it comes to buying screen for a regular console, people generally tend to make do with a 1080p HD monitor. While there's nothing wrong in that, with the mushrooming of 4K content and a 4K monitor becoming increasingly affordable, it makes a lot of sense picking up some extra pixels.
The 4K monitor from BenQ EL2870U is composed of a no-nonsense HDR screen that comes packed with the bare minimum utilities needed for a monitor. No gimmicks or trendy bezel-less look is given precedence while building this monitor and there's nothing striking about the design. While the look is typically office desktop, it might look a bit dull in a creative space or a gamer's den. However, the brushed metal finish of the base is something that stands out in what is otherwise a regular and unimpressive looking monitor.
The outer panel at the bottom comes with five down-ward facing physical buttons and a power button. The physical buttons give access to different picture modes, brightness and contrast adjustments, as well as different low blue light settings mode. However, unlike other premium monitors from BenQ, the stand does not hide or direct the chords. The display port, 2 HDMI ports, AUX input are downwar facing in the lower back pannel and at it takes a lot of work to reach out to them.
Apart from the five pysical buttons, BenQ has placed a forward facing HDR button in the right corner of the monitor. A click on the button brings up a small menu for toggling between various HDR modes. While the HDR is a relatively new tech in the monitor industry, it is perhaps the USP of this BenQ monitor, as it manages to produce true HDR output with relative ease.
BenQ is known for screens with great image quality that comes with near accurate colour outputs with high contrasts. With 94% sRGB output, the monitor comes with a wide colour gamut and images look natural. However, the contrast levels are average, with or without HDR mode. True blacks in high contrast movies and games looked greyish and several adjustments later, the screen finally achieves a perfect balance of sorts.
In terms of image output in HDR mode, games like Battlefield 1 or Shadow of the Tomb Raider look great. The colours seem to pop out of the screen and the brightness levels are also in great control, thanks to BenQ's trademark Brightness Intelligence plus technology.
However, there was a bit of aliasing (the players in motion had jagged edges instead of a smooth outline) that happened while playing FIFA 2019. But otherwise the screen was fast enough for casual as well as hardcore gaming on HDR mode.
While features like HDR and the UHD 4K resolution make it a relevant product for many, a bland design, average contrast levels, a price point of Rs 34,999 and the availability of cheaper options with similar features makes it lose out to the competition. However, the BenQ EL2870U might turn out to be a top pick, if someone is looking for a great 4K monitor for the corporate office.