BenQ Zowie XL2740 Review

BenQ turns attention towards eSports players with the XL2740

BenQ recently launched the 27-inch FHD BenQ Zowie XL2740, a dedicated gaming monitor as part of its eSports focused lineup. Designed to please hardcore gamers and professional players, the BenQ Zowie XL2740 comes loaded with a variety of features and capabilities. Thanks to BenQ, we got a chance to take an in-depth look at the XL2740.

Before we dive into the BenQ Zowie XL2740, what exactly makes a gaming monitor different from a standard monitor? To keep it simple, gaming monitors come with a higher refresh rate and faster response times as compared to its standard brethren. Used mainly in professional eSports, tournament grade gaming monitors are designed to focus mainly on these features, and the BenQ Zowie XL2740 does not fail to impress.

Built for Gamers

At a quick glance the BenQ Zowie XL2740 looks pretty straight forward and to the point. The base of the XL2740 is quite easy to install, and also allows quick and simple customization. Adjusting the height, viewing angle as well as the tilt of the monitor is quite simple and can be done with just one hand. BenQ has kept branding to a minimum on the XL2740. The only Zowie branding you can find on the monitor is on the back, which is just the logo.

In terms of display inputs, you get one DVI-DL, two HDMI ports and one DP 1.2 port all located along the back of the XL2740. Along these ports you can also find a USB 3.0 pass through port, which will support the two USB 3.0 ports on the left side along with audio ports. With these USB 3.0 ports, you will also find a headphone hangar, which seemed a little tacky at first, but it grows on you. The base also has a slot for the S Switch, which we will discuss later.

BenQ also provides a pair of Shields, which you can install on either side of the monitor to ensure that no one is watching your screen. I personally used this monitor at home, so this was not a feature I used. However, I did notice that installing these shields will block access to all the ports along the left side of the XL2740.

BenQ claims that the newly designed bezel will reduce reflection of light and minimize distraction, but to be honest it did not make a difference to me.

More than meets the eye

The BenQ Zowie XL2740 comes with a 27-inch TN panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 240Hz.  This alone is pretty good for high end gaming, provided you don’t want to game on 4K. However, a point to be noted is that the XL2740 is made keeping eSports in mind. eSports players tone down the graphics to get better frame rates as well as reduce input lag. Keeping it within FHD levels, keeps it that way, and from a gamer perspective it was quite satisfactory.

BenQ revealed the Zowie XL2740 with a slew of new features which allows gamers to customize every aspect of their gaming experience. These include Black eQualizer for better visibility in darker areas, adjustable Color Vibrance as well as several game modes to enhance gameplay. These settings can be saved to three player profiles as well. It is pretty easy to adjust, but I found myself playing on the standard settings most of the time.

One of my favorite features of the BenQ Zowie XL2740 however, is the S Switch. The S Switch is basically an additional peripheral for the monitor which brings all the options to a convenient switch. You can switch gaming profiles, switch multiple inputs and browse monitor options with the scroll wheel and back key. The S Switch has a small space built for it on the base of the XL2740 as well. Initially, I was quite skeptical about the S Switch, because all these features can be accessed through the monitor buttons itself. However, once I got to changing different features and multiple inputs, the S Switch became a life saver.

With a monitor you don’t really expect a wide range of features. What I liked about the monitor is how BenQ kept it quite simple. No RGB lighting, no fancy edgy designs and simple installation. There are a wide range of features that is said to enhance gameplay, but these seem more appropriate for the eSports gaming professional. This was expected as the BenQ Zowie XL2740 is made for eSports. However, as someone who relaxes and plays at home, a lot of the customization features did not really matter.

Gaming Experience

I hooked up the BenQ Zowie XL2740 to PC running a NVIDIA GTX 1070Ti via DP and my PlayStation 4 through HDMI. I ran some graphics intense games on both platforms as well as online games. The refresh rate was good and there was almost no input lag on both systems. Thanks to the S Switch, I could seamlessly switch between both systems.

I saved three different settings with the gaming profiles, turning on features like Instant Mode for gaming for bringing down input lag even further, and adjusting color vibrance for a better movie watching experience.

Final Verdict

The BenQ Zowie XL2740 is an eSports gaming monitor at heart, and a lot of the features are designed for that purpose. While other manufacturers release more powerful monitors, the XL2740 is more barebones allowing the players to customize every aspect to suit their style. To a casual home player this might not make much of a difference, but it is fun to play with to find your style.

In terms of pricing the BenQ Zowie XL2740 will cost you AED 2299, which is what you would expect for a 27-inch FHD display. Most dedicated gaming monitors are priced quite similarly, due to the improved refresh rates and adjustable features. If you are looking for a dedicated gaming monitor to complement your high-end rig, or if you are a budding eSports player, then this is a great choice. On the other hand, if you are looking for a simple monitor with multiple inputs, there are some cheaper options from various brands including BenQ itself.