4K FreeSync HDR Gaming Monitor

DisplayNinja staff

 

Introduction

Equipped with HDR10 support, AMD FreeSync, 4K Ultra HD resolution and a fast response time of 1ms, the BenQ EL2870U is designed for console gamers and video home entertainment activities.

However, due to the limitations of its TN panel in terms of color quality and viewing angles, we find there are better alternatives for the money out there, and this is why.

Image Quality

The BenQ EL2870U is a very unusual monitor as it provides support for HDR (High Dynamic Range), and it is based on the other screen technologies on a TN screen with inferior colours.

Only the HDR on this display is software-enabled, covering the standard sRGB color gamut with a peak luminance of only 300-nits and a poor contrast ratio of 1,000:1.

While the monitor can accept the HDR10 signal, it lacks display capabilities such as a wider color gamut and a higher peak brightness to actually enhance the viewing experience.

You will get a slightly brighter picture with over-saturated colors; the picture will be no better in most games, while some games may look just a bit better.

However, the picture is decent for a TN panel but any 4K IPS monitor will give you a better overall image quality – HDR or not.

Performance

In fact , the main asset of the BenQ EL2870U  4K HDR10 monitor is its fast response time of 1ms which eliminates the ghosting of fast-moving objects in video games and films.

In particular, you’ll be able to enjoy the smooth performance with minimal motion blur in first-person shooters and racing games.

In addition, the BenQ EL2870U input lag is ~11ms which is also good enough for professional gamers.

The display is also flicker-free and has four different low blue light levels (Multimedia, Web-surfing, Office, Reading) which guarantee no eye fatigue even after long playing or working hours.

AMD FreeSync technology can synchronize the BenQ EL2870U display’s refresh rate to the frame rate of a compatible device (Xbox One or AMD FreeSync graphics card).

This will eliminate screen tearing and stuttering as long as your FPS rate is within 40-60Hz / FPS (frames per second). If your FPS rate dips below 40, FreeSync won’t function as LFC is not enabled by the display.

Update: FreeSync now operates on a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card without any problems.

Features

Just like the BenQ EW3270U, the EL2870U offers the Brightness Intelligence Plus technology consisting of integrated sensors that automatically adjust the screen brightness and color temperature to the ambient lighting (for a demonstration, click on the image above).

Clicking the ‘HDR’ hotkey on the monitor allows both HDR and B.I+ technology with four different modes available to choose from.

Additionally, the BenQ EL2870U FreeSync monitor supports HDCP 2.2 which allows you to stream native 4K Ultra HD resolution from Amazon Video, Netflix, and other streaming services.

You’ll find standard settings for contrast, brightness, sharpness, gamma, color temperature, hue, and saturation in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu.

You can also adjust the sensor sensitivity and response time speed (AMA-Advanced Motion Acceleration option).

Several picture modes are available including Standard, HDR, Cinema HDR, Game, Photo, sRGB, Rec709, ECO, M-Book, and so on. For non-HDR content, you can emulate HDR as well.

Design & Connectivity

The connectivity to the BenQ EL2870U consists of two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, and two built-in 2W speakers. FreeSync operates both on the connectors to HDMI and DisplayPort.

The stand moves on and provides only tilt adjustment but can also be detached; if you want to install the display on a dedicated stand or wall, you can use the VESA install template 100×100 mm.

Price & Similar Monitors

The price of the BenQ EL2870U is around $500 which we find too costly for a 4K TN monitor.

You can get the ASUS VP28UQG for competitive gaming which is also a 4K monitor with a response time of 1ms and FreeSync over HDMI available for up to $150 less.

If you want a better quality of the image, the LG 27UD58 is an even cheaper 4K monitor with an IPS panel that lacks HDR, offers a better picture than the EL2870U or the VP28UQG.

If you are looking for a 4K HDR display for Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, please review our dedicated manual.

Conclusion

All in all, the BenQ EL2870U provides good image quality for an outstanding performance TN panel display and some exclusive features. There are also better options for less money out there.

BenQ EL2870U Specifications

Screen Size 28-inch
Resolution 3840×2160 (UHD)
Panel Type TN
Aspect Ratio 16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Adaptive Sync FreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
Speakers 2x2W
Ports DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other Ports Headphone Jack
Brightness 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 (static)
Colors 1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESA Yes (100x100mm)
HDR Software-enabled only

What We Loved

  • Quick response time and low input lag
  • FreeSync over HDMI & DP
  • Innovative B.I+ technology
  • Expensive, there are better alternatives for less money
  • Tilt-only design
  • HDR is software-enabled only

BenQ EL2870U Review

  • Design – 8.5/10
  • Display – 8.1/10
  • Performance – 9/10
  • Price/Value – 7/10
  • 8.2/10

Summary

The BenQ EL2870U is an excellent 4K gaming console and home entertainment monitor. If you want an equally good or even better display for gaming or watching movies, office work, etc., there are cheaper alternatives however.

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