BenQ’s EW2880U entertainment monitor is picture perfect

August 7, 2022
3 mins read
Start
8/10

Summary

BenQ EW2880U Entertainment Monitor REVIEW

PAT PILCHER spends some time gawking at the very nice pictures on BenQ’s new entertainment monitor, finding it to his liking.

$799

More often than not, the computer monitors that get all the media attention are aimed at pro users. So, what about those of us wanting an additional screen for surfing Witchdoctor, watching the Orville or the odd bit of gaming? BenQ must have heard our collective pain because they’ve launched the EW2880U, a 28-inch 4K monitor that’s also HDR capable. Even better still, it retails at an affordable $799.

 

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Its name might not roll off the tongue, but I like its accessible, simple and understated design. Finished in matte-black, it does sport vertical bezels and a horizontal near edge to edge screen. BenQ has also fixed a design hiccup with its the EW2880U’s earlier sibling, in the form of its stand, which tilted but didnt have height, swivel, or pivot adjustments with the EW2880U you get the lot which given the number of people working from home, is increasingly important.

To this end, its stand delivers 15 degrees of backwards tilt, 15 degrees of left and right swivel and 100mm of height adjustment. You also get a remote for switching inputs and tweaking audio and video settings. Four VESA-mount holes on its rear also mean that the EW2880U is wall-mountable with an optional kit.

On the connectivity front, the EW2880U comes with two HDMI 2.0 inputs (both support VRR), plus a DisplayPort socket, USB C ports and the obligatory audio-out jack. As with many other monitors, EW2880U’s ports face downwards and are situated at the monitor’s rear. It’s a practical design choice that keeps cable clutter manageable. When it comes to connectivity, I’d liked to have seen a USB hub, but given the very reasonable sticker price, its not a biggie. On the audio front, you also get two built-in 3-watt speakers.

You’re probably shouting, “enough with the flowery design-speak! What about specs?” The EW2880U uses a TN LCD panel with a native resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 (UHD) that supports a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. The EW2880U has an aspect ratio of 16:9, making it ideal for Netflix binge sessions. I was surprised by how good its contrast was. This is a pleasant surprise given there is no local area dimming baked in. It’s also plenty bright at just shy of 300 cd/m2 luminance.

Being a TN monitor, the BenQ EW2880U’s horizontal viewing angles were limited. I noticed that colours and contrast started to distort at about 30°, although brightness levels remained consistent. Simialr issues were also noted with vertical viewing angles, but when viewed from above, it stayed accurate up to about 40°. That said, sitting directly in front of it (which is what it is designed for), the EW2880U looked both vivid and sharp.

Gamers are also catered for. Input-lag a not too shabby 11.2 milliseconds. When used with a newish AMD FreeSync compliant graphics card, and I was able to force the G-Sync using the NVidia control panel. All told, the EW2880U had no problem with fast-motion video.

After I’d set it up, I headed into the menus to see what I could tweak. The EW2880U’s menus are logically laid out and intuitive to navigate. There’s plenty of options for tweaking. As you’d expect, the usual Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, and Colour Temperature options are all present. There are also 10 picture modes (Standard, HDR, Cinema HDR, REC. 709, Photo, sRGB, ECO, Low Blue Light, M-book, and User Defined), with many picture modes being tweakable via additional settings in separate sub-menus.

On the right-hand bottom corner is an “HDR emulation” button. It bumps contrast, brightness and colour saturation to tease extra detail from non-HDR encoded images. It can also fire up Brightness Intelligence Plus technology mode. This mode automatically adjusts brightness and the colour temperature based on ambient lighting levels. I also noticed that HDR mode fired up automatically with HDR encoded source video.

Considering its reasonable $799 sticker price, there is plenty to like with the BenQ EW2880U. Being 4K capable and offering HDR compatibility, low input lag, and fast pixel response times, it’s a good all-rounder for casual use and gaming.

While it could do with some USB 3.0 ports and DisplayPort output, there are still plenty of HDMI ports, all of which support VRR. If casual computing, gaming, and media consumption is your jam, then BenQ’s EW2880U might just be what the Witchdoctor ordered.

https://www.benq.com/en-au/where-to-buy.html

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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