Monitors, they really are one of the most important and most ignored parts of many people’s gaming setups. You have to use it for everything you do and in my experience, they are the last thing you upgrade on your computer and you only do it when you really have to. I run three monitors in my office setup. I would like four but that’s a whole nother fight. Out of my three monitors, one I bought over ten years ago, one five years ago and one 4 years ago. I bought what was cheap enough and what suited my needs but never really looked to hard at my choices.
Having the BenQ Zowie XL2735 for the past two weeks has taught me one thing, I need to research my monitors when I upgrade next time for sure. The XL2735 is the top of the range monitor from BenQ and is targeted at the esports player. However, their whole range really does have something for everyone, no matter the price range. Little features like two HDMI, to the S switch, to the easy adjustment, to the portrait mode and even to the “Dynamic Accuracy” helps you in very simple ways.
Let us focus on the two key features of the XL2735 that are not on the other monitors in their range. The first is the DyAc Technology or “Dynamic Accuracy” that will smooth out the motion blur when you move left to right in the game leaving you a far clearer picture of what is going on. This didn’t seem like a big feature to me at first, but when you see it in action it is purely mind-blowing. This is targeted solely at the esports player but it will make such a difference in that field of play. Being able to clearly put your crosshair on an enemy even while strafing left to right is just the edge high-end players need.
The second exclusive feature to this monitor is the shield. This is the wings you can add to the side of the monitors that help you focus on what is in front of you. Once again this is focused at the esports player as it can really help you block out what is happening behind your monitor and keep you mind in the game at all times. They do also help with privacy and glare on the screen but the number one reason for them is to help with focus. They are super simple to add and remove from the monitor depending on your need. Once again, such a small and simple feature for a monitor and such a big help to those PC players in the esports field.
Before I jump into the features of what the whole range has to offer to everyone I want to talk about size for a moment. Size does matter people, I have only just realised this and bigger is 100% better. The 27-inch monitor doesn’t seem like it adds a much more visible area to the screen but it really made a difference for me. I usually sit forward in my chair to game on the PC as I have 24-inch monitors. This always left me with a very sore back after hours of non-stop gaming. I have found myself sitting back in my chair with the 27-inch monitor and it is so much more relaxing to play now. Going to the higher resolution also helped with this as the XL2735 is 2560×1440 and that extra real estate on screen helps a lot. Just playing The Division, that jump in resolution was very noticeable and made life so much easier.
Common to most of the XL series of monitors is the S Switch. This little round switch really came in handy for me while I was using the monitor. This Switch can be placed almost anywhere with its long cable. It allows you to change the settings on your monitor without even touching the monitor. I used two HDMI inputs on the monitor and I found myself using the S switch without even looking at it to swap between the two inputs. It is really well laid out and the rotating wheel gives you great feedback so you can accurately fly through the menus to get everything perfect before you get to the serious gameplay. If I had this monitor full time I would mount this under my desk so it was out of sight but easily reachable. However, the monitor stand does have a little circle home for the S switch to live if needed.
All the monitors come with the height adjustable stand which gave me very quick and easy ability to get the monitor at my perfect viewing height whenever I needed to move in my chair and with my back, that is fairly often. Not only that but the ease at which I was able to change the monitor into portrait mode was ridiculous. This monitor just twisted around and it was ready to go. Portrait mode is something that everyone should have a try of one day as it is so much better for reading web pages and just about any other online content. If you want to mount the monitor on a bracket, however, this functionality is also included with the range.
Finally, the settings that are available with the monitor are astounding. Most of the range comes with black equalisation options, low blue light and different levels for colour vibrancy. You could really lose yourself in all these settings there are so many. You seriously could make the picture look however you wanted it to. Saying that, the monitors do come with a number of prebuilt settings for all your different genres of games. This means you can quickly jump to settings best for a shooter and then switch to settings best for a strategy game without having to go into all the depth of changing every setting manually. This is pretty standard for all monitors but with this range there just seemed to be a lot more gamer specific options.
Like I said at the start, the monitor I got to try for the last couple of weeks is the top of the line in the XL series of monitors from BenQ Zowie. The XL range is targeted at the PC gamer and the top of the range, in particular, is meant for the esports player. I truly do not need all the features in the XL2735 but after using it for 2 weeks I can clearly see why an esports player would need them. The RL series, on the other hand, is focused on the console gamer. Why play a console on a monitor must people would ask? Well after seeing the display run side by side with a TV at PAX Aus I could clearly see the delay that comes with playing on a TV. Only small but for the elite player, this can mean the difference between life and death.
I have just packed away my monitor to send back to BenQ Zowie and it is clear to me that I need to upgrade in the near future. Will I be going with a monitor from this range and should you take a serious look at the options BenQ Zowie provide? The answer is yes, I would definitely put them on my list of brands that I need to consider when buying my monitors in the future and so should you. They look amazing and will make your life in front of a screen so much better for doing it. Like I said before, choose the one that fits your needs. Personally, I feel the XL2730 is the one best suited to my situation but if you take your gaming serious then the step up to the XL2735 might be worth it.