BenQ EX270QM gaming monitor review: High refresh rate & price
The BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM is quite an expensive monitor, but can it really justify its near $800 price tag amongst multiple excellent gaming monitors?
After a couple of weeks with the new third in the monitor arrangement cluttering the desk, BenQ’s Mobiuz EX270QM has proven a few things. One is that BenQ’s ability to put a monitor together is almost unparalleled. Two, Microsoft’s Windows HDR is still an oddity and not to be trusted. The third is that this monitor is nowhere near worth its asking price.
- Screen size: 27-inches
- Panel type: IPS
- Resolution: 2560×1440
- Brightness: 600 nits (peak)
- Contrast ratio: 1000:1
- Refresh rate: 240Hz
- Response time: 1ms
- Color gamut: 98% DCI-P3
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.4 x1, HDMI 2.1 x 1
- Price: $799
Included in the box: EX270QM monitor, Power cable & regional sockets, HDMI 2.1 cable, DisplayPort 1.4 cable
BenQ’s Mobiuz design doesn’t turn us off like a lot of gaming aesthetic products. The harsh edges and Ed Hardy-esque futuristic design is kept hidden at the back of the panel and never encroach on the front.
In fact, the front panel is this superb flat surface, with a minimal bezel surrounding it, where looking down is the only clue that it’s made the choice of pandering to gamers.
Even with this said, the stand, which looks like it could take an eye out – and almost did during setup – isn’t just designed for aesthetics. It feels firm and was fairly easy to clip on alone.
However, monitor manufacturers are still putting ports underneath the screen. While we didn’t attach this to a VESA mount for usage on an arm, we could see it being more beneficial for easy access. There’s a USB hub on the bottom, which connects through USB-B and is paired with two USB-A 3.0 ports. While we wouldn’t use these for storage purposes, running the ever-growing amount of accessories has been useful.
The EX270QM is a 240Hz monitor with a 1440p display, one that never really pops like the competition in the same market. After hours of fiddling with the display settings, there never was an exact setting that seemed to work out.
It’s not that games weren’t clear, or videos and images didn’t look right on the screen, but when compared to the other three panels accessible to us during testing, it felt like it had sacrificed the nuance of the screen in the name of power.
BenQ’s HDR isn’t the greatest on the planet. We should know, as it is our 4K, 60Hz panel from around 2018. Between using it for the Xbox Series S and a PC since we bought it with our PC, it has always looked odd when using HDR. Colors that should be looking juicier on the screen are constantly a far cry from the desired results.
Here, it seems they’re still utilizing the same HDRi technology to back their color science and it still looks washed out. Looking through BenQ’s promotional materials and comparisons, it seems this might be the desired effect.
It’s unfortunate that the panel quality lacks behind, as playing games on the EX270QM is blissful. Until you sit down with a high refresh rate monitor like this, you never realize how much you’ve potentially missed out on.
We’re not saying that your gaming skills will immediately jump through the roof, but aiming in the various first-person shooters (Counter-Strike, Destiny 2, and Half-Life 1) felt far smoother and more natural when compared to the 75Hz on the LG Ultrawide sat beside it.
This is where the BenQ monitor earns its stripes properly, as once you’re deep into a game, there’s no going back. Once you’ve sat in front of a monitor where everything, even down to the way the mouse glides across the screen or oddities out of the Steam library feels so much better than their lower refresh rate counterparts.
However, we did begin to notice something once we left the typical ranges of 60Hz to 144Hz. 165Hz and 240Hz, both higher than average for this branch of a gaming monitor, have minimal impact on the overall experience. At no point were we pining for 240Hz, nor did we see much benefit in using it over 144Hz.
It’s like a plateau has been hit and despite 360Hz, or even 600Hz existing, we couldn’t possibly recommend seeking them out because, at the end of the day, you’re only going to start noticing how little difference it makes in the moment-to-moment action on screen, unless you’re a keen-eyed esports pro.
Should you buy it?
At nearly $800, the Mobiuz EX270QM from BenQ really doesn’t begin to justify its price when the main attraction – 240Hz – isn’t that much more useful than 144Hz for some gamers.
While the gaming experience and performance are fantastic, and the support for HDMI 2.1 is a nice bonus, it never really coalesces into something that feels like it’s worth such a high price. Especially when you look around and see the competition – or even BenQ’s own repertoire on offer.
To esports players, that difference between 240Hz and 144Hz is monumental. However, there are also further, free additions on the software side, like Nvidia Reflex, which will be what makes or breaks a shot at the end of the day.
We had a blast playing on it, but its pricing becomes its Achilles heel. There are better panels available elsewhere.
Verdict – 3/5
This screen is a supremely great device to play games on, marred by issues with HDR and color accuracy. Once BenQ comes to its senses and begins to lower the price on a monitor like this, that’s when we’d say to grab it.
For now, 144Hz, 1440p monitors are a dime-a-dozen and can be found at much lower costs.
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