BenQ’s Screenbar Halo is the highest-end monitor light bar in the market, but is the eye-watering price worth what just appears to be a fancy bar of LEDs with a remote?
When we signed up to review the BenQ Screenbar Halo, we really didn’t know what to expect. We’d never used a monitor light bar before, forget the one that’s as expensive as this particular model from BenQ. But, clearly, there is an appetite to use these peripherals on your PC setup, with some benefits to colors on your monitor, and to protect your eyes. They can also serve as a smart solution for those looking for a desk lamp, but don’t want to impact their minimal desk space.
- Size (CM): Lamp : 50 x 9.5 x 9.7 / Controller : 7.4 x 7.4 x 3.8
- Connectivity: USB-C, Wireless
- Color temperature: 2700k – 6500K
- Luminance: up to 800 Lux
- Price: $179.00
Initially skeptical of the entire product, unboxing and setting up the BenQ Screenbar Halo was devilishly simple. All we really needed to do was take it out of the box, along with the controller. Pop the batteries into the controller, place the bar up on top of our monitor, and hook it up via USB-C.
The bar itself is made from premium aluminum alloy and has a distinctly professional look about it. We used it on our curved 27-inch monitor with absolutely zero issues. All you need to do is to place it at the top of your monitor, there, a slight clamping force will grip the device to your display, securing it in place. The lip around the front is small enough to allow clearance for a small, 0.5mm bezel on our display, and it caused absolutely no interference whatsoever.
The bar itself isn’t simply a lightbar, either, it’s also a backlight. This is paired with the adjustable bar around the front, which you can angle forward or backward to your liking.
The device also comes with a puck-style controller, where you can configure everything from color temperature, brightness, auto-brightness mode, and functions to turn the backlight, bar, or both, or either on or off. This is done via a capacitive display that needs to wake up, once you touch it. Once awoken, you can turn the puck either way to adjust settings.
In use, the puck is mighty convenient, however, waking it up can lead us to relentlessly tapping upon it to wake until it actually responded with what we wanted it to actually do.
The BenQ Screenbar Halo is just one of those products that we didn’t think we needed in our lives. What originally appears to be just a replacement for your desk lamp can easily turn into something essential that you just cannot live without. Or, at least that’s what we found after testing a unit for several weeks.
The parts of the Screenbar Halo that we adored was the ability to control brightness and color temperature. During the day, you can allow for more blue light, and in the evening, switch to warmer hues.
It’s pleasantly strong, too, and manages to illuminate our desk well enough during the day, and helps to protect our vision at night.
Too often are we sat in a horribly dark room at night, but the Screenbar Halo is powerful enough to completely change the ambiance of a room at the touch of a button. The difference it makes to your monitor is pretty minimal however, and manages to avoid glare, while making colors pop slightly better.
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The thing about this is that the BenQ Screenbar Halo is actually a fantastic accessory for your gaming setup, and one that is not laden with a “gamer” aesthetic, nor does it have gaudy RGB, it just has one job, and performs it incredibly well. But, its dear price point stings, especially for something that is essentially just a bar of lights and a wireless controller. However, it appears that BenQ does offer lower-end, slightly less feature-packed models for those looking for a similar experience.
Should you buy it?
The BenQ Screenbar Halo is one of those accessories that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. In just two weeks of use, we use it every single day to make sitting at a monitor for at least eight hours a day more bearable, making it an essential purchase for those looking for a more comfortable experience, whether you are working, or gaming.
It is expensive, and the control puck can be fiddly to use, but it’s an absolutely transformative accessory, to the point where we really don’t want to send our review sample back. But, this opens up a quandary, we don’t really want to spend the cash on it either.
So, we’re left split somewhere in the middle, It’s undoubtedly an unbelievably good desk accessory, but the price makes us think twice before recommending it to someone, and there are alternatives on the market that achieve most of what the Screenbar Halo offers for much less.
The Verdict – 4/5
We can’t help but feel that when a piece of kit of this caliber comes along, it’s still a fantastic piece of hardware, regardless of price. But, if it were a bit cheaper, then BenQ could have hit the full home run with how we feel about this absolutely fantastic piece of hardware.
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