Introduction

Equipped with HDR10 support, AMD FreeSync, 4K Ultra HD resolution, and a quick 1ms response time speed, the BenQ EL2870U is mainly aimed at console gamers and video home entertainment.

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

Image Quality

The BenQ EL2870U is a rather unique monitor as it offers HDR (High Dynamic Range) support yet it’s based on a TN panel with inferior colors and contrast to other panel technologies.

Covering just the basic sRGB color gamut with a peak luminance of mere 300-nits and a mediocre contrast ratio of 1,000:1, the HDR on this monitor is just software emulated.

This means that while the monitor can accept the HDR10 signal, it lacks display capabilities such as a wider color gamut and local dimming to actually enhance the viewing experience.

You will get a slightly brighter image with either over-saturated or washed out colors depending on the content; in most HDR content, the picture won’t be any better.

For a TN panel though, the picture quality is decent, but any similarly-priced 4K IPS monitor will provide you with a better image quality overall, HDR or not.

Performance

The main asset of the BenQ EL2870U 4K HDR10 monitor is actually its rapid 1ms response time speed which eliminates ghosting of fast-moving objects in video games and movies.

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

Furthermore, the BenQ EL2870U input lag amounts to ~10ms at 60Hz which is imperceptible.

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

AMD FreeSync technology can synchronize the refresh rate of the BenQ EL2870U display to the frame rate of a compatible GPU (most AMD graphics cards, GTX 10-series or newer NVIDIA cards, and Xbox One consoles).

This will eliminate screen tearing and stuttering as long as your FPS (Frames Per Second) rate is within 40-60Hz/FPS. Once your FPS rate dips below 40, FreeSync won’t work as the monitor doesn’t support LFC.

Update: FreeSync also works without any issues when using a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card.

Features

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

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

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

In the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, you will find the standard contrast, brightness, sharpness, gamma, color temperature, hue, and saturation settings.

You can also adjust the sensitivity of the sensors and the speed of the response time (AMA – Advanced Motion Acceleration option).

There are several picture modes available as well including Standard, HDR, Cinema HDR, Game, Photo, sRGB, Rec709, ECO, M-Book, etc. You can emulate HDR for non-HDR content too.

Design & Connectivity

benq el2870u amazon

The BenQ EL2870U connectivity consists of two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, a headphones jack, and two 2W built-in speakers. FreeSync works over both HDMI and DisplayPort connectors.

Moving on, the stand offers only tilt adjustment but it can also be detached. If you wish to mount the monitor on a dedicated third-party stand or the wall, you can use the 100x100mm VESA mount pattern.

Price & Similar Monitors

The BenQ EL2870U price is usually around $300.

We highly recommend checking out the LG 27UL500 with an IPS panel instead. Thanks to its IPS panel, it offers a much better image quality and wider viewing angles while its response time is basically just as fast.

Conclusion

All in all, the BenQ EL2870U offers a good image quality for a TN panel display with an excellent performance and some exclusive features. However, there are better alternatives out there for less money.

BenQ EL2870U Specifications

Screen Size28-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (UHD)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
Speakers2x2W
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)
HDRSoftware-enabled only

The Pros

  • Quick response time and low input lag
  • FreeSync over HDMI & DP
  • Innovative B.I+ technology
  •  

The Cons

  • Expensive, there are better alternatives for less money
  • Tilt-only design
  • HDR is software-enabled only
  •  
BenQ EL2870U Review
  • 8.5/10
    Design - 8.5/10
  • 8.1/10
    Display - 8.1/10
  • 9/10
    Performance - 9/10
  • 7/10
    Price/Value - 7/10
8.2/10

Summary

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

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