BenQ XL2720T Gaming Monitor Reviewedby Chris Heinonen on June 17, 2013 4:35 PM EST
Looking back at the data, the BenQ XL2720T actually scores pretty well. The pre-calibration numbers are decent, and post calibration they come out far better, though not as good as some recent IPS panels. The design is nice and ergonomic, and the OSD has been radically improved to be one of the best on the market. It also has the quick access buttons to change modes which could appeal to many if you want to easily switch between settings for gaming and work, or even different settings for a console.
However, when it comes down to my subjective impressions, I’m just not a huge fan of the BenQ XL2720T. The 1080p TN panel just has a washed out, slightly soft look to it. After spending years with IPS displays most of the time, going back to TN was much harder than I expected it to be. The only other 120 Hz display I reviewed previously, the S23A750D from Samsung, had a really bad ergonomic design, a poor OSD, and a really glossy finish, but it also had a screen that I enjoyed looking at more than I do the BenQ. I don’t think TN panels should really get up to 27” as the color and contrast shifts are easy to see at that point, and are distracting.
From a gamer point of view, I can somewhat see the value in having a 120 Hz display, but at the cost of $480, I am really not sure. The LG 29EA93 I reviewed previously lists for $600 right now, which is only $120 more than the BenQ. It offers an IPS panel instead of TN, higher resolution, a wider field of view, internal calibration with an optional meter, and lower measured input lag. I find the wider field-of-view to be a bigger advantage than the higher refresh rate for gaming, and the LG is much easier to look at on a day-to-day basis.
It is entirely possible I’m just not in touch enough with the hardcore gamer to see the benefits of the BenQ, but to me those benefits don’t outweigh the negatives that are offered up by using a lower resolution, TN panel in the display. If it was more affordable, perhaps in the $350-400 range, I can see recommending it more easily. As it is, I’d be far more likely to say make the jump up to the LG monitor, or drop back down to the 24” model that comes in at $90 less but still has the same resolution and won’t have as many TN related issues since the viewing angle will be smaller.
It’s unfortunate that BenQ seems to get so much right aside from the TN panel itself, but hopefully they can either find an IPS panel that can work at 120 Hz in the future, or perhaps switch to a glossy finish next time if it helps to improve the overall look of the display. As it is now, I looked forward to finishing this review so I could get back to my IPS display, and I can’t really recommend the XL2720T based on my experience with it.