BenQ BL2780T full review
BenQ makes a massive number of monitors, servicing every possible display niche. But the hardware that is undoubtedly the most important to the firm isn’t anything curved or sporting an exotic aspect ratio. It’s the much less exciting business-orientated designs that sell in quantity and maintain its bottom line. Here we review the BL2780T.
The BenQ BL2780T is its latest business pitched screen design that pitches employee-friendly technologies with budget sensitive pricing. You can also use it in a home office, of course.
In a direct comparison, the BL2780T has more in common with the more expensive options and therefore is competitively priced for the exact slice of the market it is focused.
Probably the screen it should worry about the most is BenQ’s own BenQ EW2775ZH. A design from its Entertainment line that costs just £149/$189 and has a similar spec though lacks a support arm.
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Design & Build
For business-centric hardware, the BenQ BL2780T is certainly not ugly. The styling used is mostly about pure functionality, and the lines it presents are clean and precise.
What it has inherited from its gaming display cousins is a very narrow bezel (6.63mm), that allows multiple BL2780T’s to be placed in proximity and create a wider (or taller) experience with the minimum frame lines between the images. BenQ provides a nice support arm that can tilt, swivel and critically twist to allow for portrait mode.
And, it also offers 140mm of vertical travel for those that like the screen centred at eye level. Most of the arm comes pre-attached to the panel, with only the foot being connected with finger tightening of a single captured bolt. The arm can be entirely removed, and a VESA wall/table mount attached if required.
The support is a strong point, as is the anti-glare screen coating and the TÜV Rheinland certification for Flicker-Free output, Low Blue Light and a Bright Intelligence sensor.
Projecting from the lower frame is a sensor that constantly monitors ambient light and adjusts the screen for changing conditions, giving the best user experience throughout the working day. That isn’t just a global adjustment. The BI system analyses the display in real-time to make appropriate changes.
Combined with the external lighting conditions, it can adjust the output so that details in dark images aren’t overwhelmed by brightening parts and vice versa.
For connecting a computer, there are three input choices; HDMI, DisplayPort and VGA. We wish that monitor makers would send a message to businesses that machines that only have VGA output should be retired, but it appears they’re not willing to do that yet.
Alongside the video inputs are an auxiliary audio line and a headphone jack. These can provide a means to get sound from the speakers if you use VGA or DisplayPort connections, or allow headphones to be used instead of the speakers. For anyone who wants better quality audio, headphones are probably the best path to take. Because the internal speakers are relatively small and have a very limited frequency range.
What’s regrettably missing is an integrated USB hub but this is likely to keep the cost down. One other absent item is much more welcome a the power supply is mounted inside the case, making this screen more robust and much easier to deploy than those that use external power blocks.
Build quality is decent, although most of the external surfaces are plastic. The part that needs to be the strongest, the support arm, incorporates a significant amount of metal and feels suitably solid. It has a carry handle at the top making it easier to move the display around a desk, and a hole at the bottom is a notional nod to cable management.
Specs & Features
The specification of this design is modest but suitable for the business or home office environment.
A Full HD (1920×1080) resolution on a 27-inch display is very easy to read and navigate, and the IPS technology provides excellent viewing angles and a very workable gamut.
It isn’t common to see a business screen that can achieve 99% of the full sRGB gamut, although it does less well in the AdobeRGB comparison at just 76%. Therefore, the BL2780T isn’t an option for those working professionally with colour.
Where this hardware is better placed is in general office use, where the Eye Care technology and Low Blue Light modes can be used to make extended screen use less tiring on the user.
These features and a very general selection of picture modes and colour temperature control are accessible via a menu that uses a row of buttons on the lower right edge of the panel. We prefer joysticks for navigating these OSDs, but the buttons work fine once you’ve got accustomed to their spacing.
In our testing the published specification of the BL2780T was almost exactly the numbers that our Datacolor calibrator detected. With the brightness, gamma and static contrast being within a few percentage points of their predicted values such as 250cd/m2 brightness.
The only technical weakness we noted was that the backlight is brighter in the centre of the display than the edges, even if it isn’t obvious to the casual observer. Interestingly, the extent of this luminescence variation isn’t reflected in the colour map, where the differences are more negligible.
The spec of the BL2780T wouldn’t impress a gaming enthusiast. However, for business users, it fits the usage profile perfectly.
The BenQ BL2780T is a singular better display than we expected for business or home office users and demonstrates that BenQ has a significant overlap now between home and gaming products and their business counterparts.
Buyers should have a positive experience with the adjustable support, great viewing angles and an impressive range of punchy colours from this panel.
If this design has a weakness, it’s the backlight. The difference between the brightest parts of the screen and the darkest is around 15%, and while it isn’t obvious without a test sensor, this variation is a bit more than it should be. And, included in any list of negatives are the speakers, as they offer no significant bass output.
Balancing that minor issues are an excellent gamut, good frequency response, the lack of an external PSU and the B.I. sensor with reduced blue-component options.
What BenQ has delivered with the BL2780T is a high-quality design that competes effectively with the high-end Dell and ViewSonic options while undercutting them on cost. For those that need any number of business displays of this size and quality or for the home office, the BL2780T might well be the right choice.
BenQ BL2780T: Specs
- Size: 27in
- Resolution: 1920×1080 Full HD
- Backlight: LED
- Panel Type: IPS
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Response Time: 5ms (GtG)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x VGA
- Other Ports: Audio Line-Out, Mic Jack
- Built-in Speakers: 2x 2W
- Brightness: 250cd/m2
- Static Contrast: 1,000:1
- Dynamic Contrast: 20M:1
- Weight: 7kg
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