This is one of the first gaming monitor that has ever even made me think about moving away from a plasma TV.
While I’m nowhere near a professional FPS gamer (though I am fairly good at other games), I do absolutely love suiting up for war on a digital battlefield every chance I get, and I’ve accrued so much experience that screen response time and latency is a huge deal to how my gameplay goes.
That’s why I was rolling with a plasma up until I bought the BenQ XL2720Z monitor. Only plasma TVs offered the ridiculously high screen refresh rate and pure smooth graphic experience that I was looking for, and – believe me – I looked at all of the other “premium gaming monitors” out there – or at least most of them, anyway.
But, like I said, the BenQ XL2720Z changed my expectations of what a gaming monitor could be – what a gaming monitor should be – and I couldn’t be happier making the switch!
This absolutely amazing LED monitor offers incredibly crisp graphic quality with a buttery smooth screen refresh rate that looks and acts like a plasma without the hassle and headache of that technology.
Today I’m glad to be rolling with my new 27 inch BenQ, and I think you would really like it too. It isn’t exactly picture-perfect (and I’m going to cover some of the flaws in the rest of this review), but it’s as close to one of my ideal gaming monitor as modern technology probably allows (within reasonable budget, of course).
Note: This review is based on the 27 inch version of the XL2720Z monitor. The 24 inch model is also available for cheaper (with all the same features).
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes!
BenQ XL2720Z Gaming Monitor Review
What I love about this particular monitor
The first thing that I was absolutely head over heels excited for with the BenQ is that it looks fantastic as far as a design and aesthetic standpoint is concerned.
I know, I know – who cares about form when we are talking about function here, but I will readily raise my hand and admit to liking my technology to look futuristic while at the same time acting futuristic. Sue me.
But the minimalist design aesthetic that keeps this monitor looking fantastic in the 21st century isn’t all just a bit of a “pretty face” kind of thing. The monitor can be tilted 90° and has a ridiculous amount of ports in the back (as well as an audio jack), making it one of the most versatile out there.
The second thing that I’m crazy over would have to be the blazing fast refresh rate. We are talking about a 144 MHz refresh rate here, which is almost lightning-like, and thanks to the built-in “smooth motion blurred to action” technology you won’t have to worry about choppy frame rates or ghosting when you’re dropping into your favorite digital firefight.
Let’s not forget about the black levels! Everyone knows that plasma has cornered the market on producing truly rich and almost impossibly deep blacks, and while I won’t go as far as saying that the BenQ can stand toe to toe with even midrange plasmas in this corner it’s definitely the next best thing from an LED.
This gives your games an incredible amount of depth, allows the graphics to really pop, and shows off your rig’s hardware for sure.
What I was slightly irked about
There were really only two things that I wasn’t exactly over the moon about in regards to this particular monitor.
First is that it doesn’t have built in speakers, which really isn’t all that much of a problem if you’re serious about gaming, as you should be getting separate, more quality speakers anyway. This is more of a “first world problem” if anything – but it would have been a nice feature to see.
Secondly, it’s a little bit on the pricier side of things (surprise, surprise). I still feel that it’s worth every single penny – and would probably spend up to $50 more than retail price to land this monitor if that’s what it took.
Overall, this monitor has it all. Refresh rate, awesome graphical capabilities, great brand name, and more. If you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks on getting a monitor that is superior to average monitors (those that break easily or are more prone to screen tearing), get the XL2720Z.