BenQ EW2880U 28-inch 4K HDR Entertainment monitor: Premium and satisfying – The Indian Express

Throughout the year, as work-from-home became the new normal, I tested several products that simplified our work life. Out of all the product categories, I somehow enjoyed reviewing desktop monitors, and for good reason. It’s a one-time investment, so the monitor has to have the latest features – and most importantly it should deliver the best picture quality in the given price segment.
But like smartphones and laptops, monitors too are becoming sophisticated with brands introducing the concept of entertainment monitors to cash in on pandemic use cases. The BenQ EW2880U is a 28-inch premium monitor that can not only be used for regular work-related activities but also becomes an entertainment hub of sorts. I spent days with the 4K HDR monitor, and here is my review.
BenQ EW2880U 28-inch 4K HDR Entertainment monitor price in India: Rs 32,281
BenQ EW2880U 28-inch 4K HDR Entertainment monitor specs: 28-inch LED-backlit IPS panel3840 x 2160 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio 1000:1 native contrast | HDRi with integrated sensor| HDR10, 60Hz refresh rate| AMD FreeSync|24P cinematic frame rate| 90 per cent DCI-P3 colour gamut| 2x HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, USB-C (60W powered)| 3W speakers|Eye-Care including TUV-certified flicker-free, low blue light, and ePaper modes| VESA wall-mountable|Remote control
I remember the time when monitors had a set image in consumers’ minds: boring and unexciting. That image is changing to some extent and the credit goes to the brands for reimagining monitors from the ground up. The BenQ EW2880U is designed to keep the modern interiors of a home in mind. This monitor has a thin frame around the display on three sides while the bottom has a chin where you will find an HDRi sensor that detects ambient light and adjusts the monitor. Although it is made of plastic, the monitor uses a metal-clad stand in bronze. It tilts back and forward and works with 100mm VESA mounts, but there is no way I can position the monitor vertically.
Connectivity options include dual HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, and a powered USB-C port. I like the fact that I can connect my Chromebook using USB-C, which also charges the notebook. Since this is pitched as an entertainment monitor, the more ports the better it is for consumers. On the back is a small joystick-style controller for navigating the menu. The joystick and buttons are snappy. A remote control is also a part of the entertainment monitor, which is a nice addition. The remote has buttons to change volume or enable the gaming mode. You can access a variety of preset modes, such as HDRi or Blue Light.
Over the course of a week, I tested the BenQ EW2880U in different scenarios, so that I know whether the monitor actually fits in my work-play life. This monitor is big, but smaller than a 32-inch TV. But I must say the monitor is perfectly fine for daily use. Its 4K UHD resolution looks sharp across the 28-inch screen, though not all users consume content in ultra-high-definition. This is a panel with HDR10 support, a high contrast ratio, and a 90 per cent DCI-P3 color gamut. The screen is bright and colours are good for a premium monitor.
Mind you, this is not a professional-grade monitor so if you are a graphics designer or a video editor, look for another option. Working from home for months, I was quick to adapt to the large-screen monitor. I connected my Chromebook/or sometimes Mac mini to the monitor. The 28-inch monitor is suitable for web browsing and office suits. Two windows side-by-side works fine and texts never become too small to read.
The monitor offers Eye-care technology, which prevents eye fatigue. I also liked the built-in e-Paper mode, which makes it easy to read long-form content, e-version of The Indian Express, or books. When you enable the e-Paper mode, it turns the display monochrome as if you are reading a book on a Kindle.
Sure, the BenQ EW2880U isn’t as capable in terms of responsiveness as many gaming monitors (the maximum refresh rate is capped to 60Hz instead of 120Hz or 144Hz), but it does offer AMD FreeSync support and a dedicated gaming mode. That said, thanks to a high resolution and the HDRi optimisation, this monitor is still better when it comes to playing AAA games than a regular monitor. As mentioned in the beginning, the monitor supports BenQ’s HDRi technology. A sensor is placed on the monitor’s bottom bezel which adjusts its screen brightness. Not only that, HDRi brightens dark regions without overexposing bright areas. This results in a more balanced image.
The EW2880U can handle videos well; 4K movies playing on this monitor are as good as playing them on a 4K UHD TV. The monitor supports 4K video with HDR 10 as well as a movie-friendly 24P cinematic frame rate.
The speakers are some of the best I have seen on a monitor. The results are impressive; they get really loud, though the bass is missing. Sure, you won’t get surround sound but these speakers are pretty good for a monitor.
If you are in the market for a premium monitor and don’t mind spending over Rs 30,000, the BenQ EW2880U feels like a good choice. Sure, it lacks support for the high refresh rate, but it is a great monitor for watching movies, working on a presentation, or simply web browsing. The monitor gets right on both the picture quality and sound.
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Anuj Bhatia read more

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