An excellent all-round monitor that offers a huge 32-inch screen, a high 2560 x 1440 resolution and an affordable price tag.
- Large screen
- High resolution
- Good price
- Great image quality
- Easy to use menu
- Lack of features
- Not easy to adjust stand
- Speakers on back
- No DVI
At 32-inches, the BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor is one of the largest monitors you could plonk on your desk, but for an asking price of £440 (around $570, AU$770) it’s not the most expensive.
BenQ has an excellent pedigree when it comes to monitors, so to get this size of monitor for that price and from such a trusted name, is incredibly tempting.
The majority of monitors on desks these days are around the 24-inch mark, with some stretching to 27-inches. For a monitor to come in at 32-inches, it means you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of space on your desk.
However, thanks to the simple design of the BenQ EW3270ZL, it isn’t as much of a space hog as you may fear. The large screen size, along with high resolution (2560×1440), gives you plenty of desktop real estate for productivity, and while it’s not a gaming-focused monitor, it should still make games look fantastic on the large screen.
The extra size does come with a larger price tag, making it more expensive than the BenQ EW3270ZL ($220, £140, AU$285), the 27-inch Philips Brilliance 272P ($462, £295, AU$600) and the 28-inch Dell P2815Q ($299, £191, AU$385).
However, it’s quite a bit less expensive than the ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio monitors that are becoming popular, such as the Philips Brilliance BDM3490UC, which costs £670 (around $960, AU$1,350).
There’s nothing particularly flashy about the BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor, instead it does things with a quiet competency. It’s not quite as fancy as the gold-clad BenQ EW2440, but that doesn’t mean it’s a dull or boring design either. The bezels along the left, right and top sides are impressively thin, and even with the thicker bottom bezel, most of the size of the monitor is dedicated to the impressively large screen – which is what we really want.
The wider bottom bezel houses the control buttons for operating the onscreen display, as well as the power button, a light sensor and the ‘Bright Intelligence’ button. The light sensor is used to detect the ambient brightness of your surroundings and then adjust the brightness and contrast accordingly, which makes using the monitor easier on your eyes – and more energy efficient as well. This can be switched on and off via the ‘Bright Intelligence’ button, but with it switched on, we didn’t notice any jarring changes when the lighting environment changed.
Underneath the bezel are buttons for navigating the on-screen menu, which lets you tweak the display options and other features. This can often be a frustrating experience on monitors that hide those buttons on the underside of their bezels, as you struggle to navigate the menus. However, the BenQ EW3270ZL helpfully displays the functions of the buttons on screen when you press them, making them much easier to use.
The stand is sturdy, but it doesn’t allow you to rotate or change the height of the monitor (but you can change the angle), which is a shame. To be honest, the sheer size of the screen, along with impressive viewing angles, means you shouldn’t feel the need to adjust the monitor – we didn’t – but it would still be nice to have the option without having to resort to balancing it on a pile of books.
To the rear of the monitor are built-in stereo speakers. The fact they are rear facing means there’s a chance sound becomes muffled if the BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor is placed too close to a wall. Still, it’s a fool’s errand to use a monitor’s built-in speakers and expect decent sound quality.
Also in the back are two HDMI ports, a D-Sub port, a Mini DisplayPort, a full size DisplayPort, headphone jack, audio line in, a DC power input and a Kensington lock slot for securing the monitor from theft.
A pretty standard array of inputs, then, but we’d have liked to have seen a DVI port included, alongside (or instead of) the also-aging D-Sub connection.
Over all, this is a nicely designed monitor that doesn’t do anything too fancy – instead it lets the huge screen do the talking.
Of course, when it comes to monitors, display quality is paramount, so how does the BenQ EW3270ZL Eye-Care Monitor fare? It uses a VA (vertical alignment) panel, and monitors that use this (as opposed to IPS or TN panels) usually benefit from excellent contrast and black levels.
During our time with the BenQ EW3270ZL, that definitely appears to be the case, with dark scenes being particularly impressive, without any lightbleed that can sometimes make pitch black objects look cloudy, especially around the edges of a screen. It’s also pleasing to see that black remains black when displayed on the BenQ EW3270ZL, not gray.
The 3000:1 static contrast does a great job of displaying light and dark colors, and overall we were very impressed with the image quality of the BenQ EW3270ZL when it comes to color accuracy – with 10-bit color supported and a 178-degree viewing angle is mentioned in BenQ’s description of the monitor, and we certainly didn’t have any trouble viewing content on this monitor from a number of angles.
The 60Hz refresh rate is pretty standard, though it may disappoint gamers who want higher refresh rates – and of course it means it doesn’t support G-Sync or Free-sync technologies, which make for smoother gameplay. So, the BenQ EW3270ZL isn’t really a monitor for gaming, and it means without those technologies, those of us who don’t care for games won’t be paying extra for features they may not use.
Having said that, we played a number of games using the BenQ EW3270ZL, including the frantic Battlefield 1, and found they still played brilliantly – with the sheer size of the monitor adding to the immersion.
The image quality is helped by the BenQ EW3270ZL having a WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. This both sharpens and improves textures and graphics in games, but also gives you plenty of work space on the desktop. Very large monitors such as the BenQ EW3270ZL greatly benefit from higher resolutions – so text, windows and icons remain easily legible.
The BenQ EW3270ZL comes with a number of pre-set settings, as well as ‘Low Blue Light Plus’ modes that makes the screen more comfortable to use at night. Each one can be turned on using the onscreen menu and buttons on the bezel of the monitor, and each one can be tweaked as well to find the optimum image quality for your needs.
We found both the Low Blue Light Plus in default setting, and the sRGB setting to be particularly good for working and playing on.
As well as the previously-mentioned ambient light sensor which can alter the brightness of the monitor depending on the lighting conditions you’re using it in, the BenQ EW3270ZL also includes a flicker-free WLED backlight. These features help make the BenQ EW3270ZL a very comfortable monitor to use for long periods of time, which is essential due to its size. It certainly delivers on the ‘Eye-Care’ part of its name.
In many ways the BenQ EW3270ZL is a no-nonsense monitor that just gets on with the job – and does it very well. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you want – no extra bells and whistles that only add to the price tag without adding much to your overall experience, while detracting from the all-important screen.
BenQ has been wise to let the EW3270ZL’s huge 32-inch 2560 x 1440 screen do all the leg work here – it’s a joy to use, especially for day-to-day tasks.
The huge size of the screen is great for working and gaming on, and the high 2560 x 1440 resolution is perfect. The onscreen menu is easy to navigate – not something we can always say about monitors, and the various technologies to help reduce eye strain are very welcome.
The price is also very decent at £440 (around $570, AU$770) which makes it a compelling purchase.
We didn’t like
To reach such a low price for such a big monitor, sacrifices must be made, which is why the BenQ EW3270ZL lacks certain features such as G-Sync and Picture-in-Picture mode. This won’t be a deal breaker for many, but what is more annoying is the rigid stand that doesn’t let you manoeuvre the screen easily.
Apart from that, there’s not a lot to dislike about this monitor.
If you want a large, high resolution monitor that’s affordable and comfortable to use when working – and playing the occasional game – then we can enthusiastically recommend the BenQ EW3270ZL. The 32-inch screen offers plenty of space to work on, and thanks to its slim design it doesn’t dominate the desk like some large screen monitors have a tendency to do.
Thanks to an ambient light sensor, and flicker free technology, as well as plenty of pre-set display settings, the BenQ EW3270ZL is also easy on the eye without sacrificing image quality or color accuracy.
Its price is very good as well, though it does mean you shouldn’t expect certain additional features. If you’re looking for a monitor that specialises in gaming, you may be better off looking at a gaming monitor such as the AOC Agon AG352UCG.
Otherwise, you’ll be very pleased with what the BenQ EW3270ZL offers for the price.