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BenQ EL2870U UHD FreeSync HDR Monitor Review

Rating: 6.0.

On paper, the BenQ EL2870U initially seems like the ideal entertainment and productivity monitor. It’s a stylish, flicker-free 28in 4K UHD display with a 1ms response time, AMD FreeSync and HDR 10 support, to list but a few of the highlights. And it’s available at a sub-£400 price that seems too good to be true. Indeed, digging a little deeper does reveal some limitations: we’re dealing with a TN panel here, which even in its best incarnations tends to limit viewing angles dramatically; and with a luminance spec of 300 cd/m2 (a measurement of brightness also known as nits), its high dynamic range (HDR) credentials merit some scepticism.

Interestingly, BenQ.com lists the EL2870U as a “Video Enjoyment Monitor”, BenQ UK classifies it as an “Entertainment Monitor”, while it was presented to us as more of a ‘casual gaming’ display. However, we feel that any screen with Flicker-free and Low Blue Light features, combined with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 at this kind of size, should also make for a pretty decent work and productivity experience. As such, the EL2870U might just be a jack of all trades.

As expected at this kind of price point you don’t get a fully adjustable stand or cutting-edge design, but this BenQ does have a few further nice surprises up its voluminous sleeve such as Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology (BenQ’s fancy name for a light sensor which automatically adjusts the panel’s brightness and colour temperature depending on ambient light conditions) and the latest HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 connectivity. So after all is said and done, is the EL2870U a deal or a dud? Join us to find out.

BenQ EL2870U Specs

  • Screen size: 27.9 inch/ ~70.86 cm
  • Native resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels (~157 PPI)
  • Bit colour depth: 10
  • Refresh rate (Hz): 60
  • Panel type: TN
  • Contrast ratio (typical): 1000:1
  • Brightness (cd/m²): 300
  • Response time (ms): 1 (Grey-to-Grey)
  • HDR: Compatible (limited support)
  • Bezel (colour, finish): Black/grey, matte
  • Display inputs: 2 x HDMI 2.0a, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
  • Audio inputs: 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Speakers: Yes (2 x 2W)
  • USB hub: No
  • Tilt: Yes
  • Height: No
  • Swivel: No
  • Pivot: No
  • VESA mount: Yes
  • Power (plug type, internal/external): Kettle, internal
  • Cables provided: power, HDMI
  • Depth on desk: ~19cm
  • Weight: 5.8kg
  • Other: Brightness Intelligence Plus Technology

Price (retail): £389.22 inc. VAT at time of review

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