Gamers will like this BenQ XL2730Z monitor. Not only does it support AMD FreeSync for a smooth gaming experience (with a compatible AMD graphics card), but also it has a number of features that cater to gamers.
For example, you can hang your headset on a retractable hook at the left of the display. A carry handle makes it easier to take the monitor to LAN gaming parties.
You can plug your headset into the monitor, as it has headphone and microphone jacks. On-screen display (OSD) settings let gamers adjust the headset volume or mute the headset microphone.
The BenQ's screen can pivot 90 degrees to a portrait orientation. It lets you swivel 45 degrees to the sides - more limited than other monitors I've tried.
RESOLUTION: 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
The monitor comes with a unique feature that I find useful. The OSD settings can be adjusted using an external controller dubbed the S Switch. The wired round puck, which comes with large buttons and a scroll wheel, fits neatly into a circular indent at the base of the monitor stand.
I find the S Switch easier to use than traditional OSD buttons on other monitors. You can also save up to three different sets of display settings, and switch quickly between them using the S Switch.
Gaming-centric features include a Black Equalizer mode, which attempts to brighten dark areas of the screen so that you can spot concealed enemies more easily during a game. There is also a motion-blur reduction feature that helps reduce the amount of smearing during fast action games.
But both features have their downsides. The Black Equalizer mode makes everything look overexposed and affects colour accuracy. Turning on blur reduction leads to a reduction in screen brightness. So use them with discretion.
The AMD FreeSync feature on this BenQ monitor works for refresh rates from 40Hz to 144Hz - the widest range among the three AMD FreeSync monitors in this round-up. Its closest rival is the Asus MG279Q, which has a FreeSync range of 35Hz to 90Hz.
The viewing angle is decent, but not as wide as on monitors that use in-plane switching display technology. Nevertheless, the BenQ's twisted nematic screen has good colour accuracy - as long as you do not use its Black Equalizer mode.
- Verdict: The BenQ caters to its core gamer audience with useful features. While it does not have the best viewing angles, it is the most affordable monitor with a variable refresh rate feature.