BenQ GW2270H PC Monitor Review

Jack of All Trades

by hodg100
Tech Review

2

Recommended
BenQ GW2270H PC Monitor Review
SRP: £89.99

What is the GW2270H?

The BenQ GW2270H is marketed as a PC monitor suitable for the home and office, although with a marginal slant to the former, and can be picked up for significantly less than £100 at current (October 2016) prices. On paper it boasts better contrast than most office displays, with claims of a 3,000:1 contrast ratio and there are two HDMI ports making it a candidate for multimedia use. The GW2270H also uses BenQ’s eye-care features including Flicker-free tech and Low Blue Light Modes, both of which we’ve found successful in the past. So, if you’re looking for a bit if an all-rounder with no particular emphasis on individual disciplines, the BenQ GW2270H might just work out as a bit of a bargain – let’s see if it does…

Please note: there is also the BenQ GW2270, i.e. an 'H'-less version, which is very similar but lacks HDMI connectivity and doesn’t sport a headphone jack.

Specifications

The GW2270H utilises an LED backlight to illuminate the 21.5 inch, Full HD (1920 x 1080) VA panel with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a pixel pitch of 0.248mm. BenQ claims a native dynamic contrast of 20 million to one with the appropriate settings and pixel response time is quoted at 5 milliseconds, grey-to-grey. Viewing angles of 178 degrees for both the horizontal and vertical axes are quoted by the manufacturer.

Design & Connections

You have to love marketing departments; BenQ’s spins the design of the GW2270H to be inspired by the Bauhaus, ‘less is more’ philosophy when, in reality, what they’re saying is that it’s very basic. Everyone has a job to do, of course, and what is there to do with a monitor to make it attractive other than, perhaps, introducing a curve? To be fair, the slanted neck that marries the screen to the base stand is attractively sloped and the set of buttons used for the controls and menus are nicely hidden on the underside of the bezel, maintaining a sleek look. The buttons are used to power on and off, access and use the menus, control the volume and to enter, and toggle between, the pre-set picture modes. Unlike some of BenQ’s monitors, the GW2270H isn’t especially ‘multi-position-able,’ with just 5 degrees tilt forward and 20 degrees tilt back available.
BenQ GW2270H
The GW2270H has a fairly limited set of connections but a pair of HDMI 1.4 ports and a D-SUB VGA port will be sufficient for most. The option of DisplayPort would have been nice but it’s not something you would necessarily expect at the price-point. Other than that, you get a 3.5mm headphone output – the GW2270H doesn’t have speakers built-in so you’ll need to make provisions from your source if headphones don’t suit. The power supply of this BenQ is built-in so you don’t have to worry about an external power brick, which is always nice!
BenQ GW2270H

Menus

The menu system is split in to five submenus - Display, Picture, Picture Advanced, Audio & System. Navigation is more intuitive than on some other BenQ’s we’ve seen with the horizontal orientation of the buttons on the bezel easier to use than vertically positioned ones. The Picture Menu contains all the basic user controls – Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness and, if you select the User picture mode from the Advanced menu, you can also adjust other parameters such as Gamma, Colour Temperature, Hue and Saturation. There are a number of Picture Modes available, including sRGB, Photo, Movie, Game, Standard, Eco and Low Blue Light with the latter offering various pre-sets for multimedia, web browsing, office and reading.
BenQ GW2270H
BenQ GW2270H

Colour Accuracy

Ignoring the Low Blue Light Modes, there wasn’t an awful lot to choose between the various Pictures Modes available on the GW2270H, in terms of accuracy. Both the User and sRGB modes tracked fairly well in the greyscale, out of the box, with average errors of 3.6. Whilst we’re looking to get those under 2 for still images at least, in terms of video, or moving content, delta Errors can be closer to 3 and still be fairly unnoticeable. Colour accuracy, as mapped against the sRGB standard is less impressive, however, with both the Red and Green primaries over-saturated and, in the case of green, significantly off hue. As a result, the overall colour palette gives an average delta Error of over 5 which definitely leaves room for improvement.
BenQ GW2270H
Using Calman RGB software and an inexpensive meter we were able to quickly calibrate the GW2270H to very impressive levels of accuracy. Average greyscale errors were trimmed to comfortably below one and the colour checker measurements yielded even better results with average errors charted at 0.76, which is an excellent result. Having this level of accuracy certainly gives the GW2270H a little bit of extra scope beyond it being something just for browsing or office work.

Image Quality

The first thing that hit us – literally, right in the eyes, was that the GW2270H was not well equipped to deal with bright light hitting the screen, i.e. the anti-glare coating is basic, at best, if there is even any at all. This was an issue for overhead lighting but more-so for sunlight coming through a window so it might not be an ideal choice for the office and, certainly, placement will need to be a consideration for the prospective purchaser. Given the right environment, the GW2270H displayed good contrast performance, actually, with a Minimum Luminance Level (black) of 0.07 nits which compares favourably with the TN and IPS panels that proliferate at this price-point.

In theory, and given the two HDMI ports aboard the GW2270H, the colour accuracy, decent black levels and good contrast performance should make it a good candidate for video playback but this is only partially true. For really good video replay, we would want the display to have a 23/24 Hz mode as that’s what the overwhelming majority of films and major US TV series demand for best representation but depending on how you access your content, it might not be such an issue given that some apps (and devices) reprocess the signal to 60 or 50Hz – which the GW7720H can do - before it reaches the display.

Viewing angles are restrictive, however, so the GW7720H is only really suited to head-on viewing which is certainly no disadvantage when using it for gaming. We’re not suggesting that a real hardcore PC gamer would opt for this display – the motion handling is average and there’s no adaptive sync or 144Hz modes on offer – but we found it satisfying when hooked up to an Xbox One and the input lag, measured at 13.1 milliseconds with our dedicated device, is pleasantly low. To further the theme of narrow viewing angles, we’ll reiterate that this BenQ doesn’t have any horizontal swivel other than picking it up and moving it.

Video Review

Verdict

Pros

  • Good price
  • Impressive contrast
  • Capable of excellent colour accuracy
  • Low input lag

Cons

  • Restrictive viewing angles
  • Susceptible to glare
  • No 23/24Hz modes

BenQ GW2270H PC Monitor Review

Should I buy one?

The BenQ GW2270H is something of a jack-of-all trades and master of none but, given that it can be bought online (October 2016) for around just £80, you wouldn’t – and shouldn’t – really expect more than that. This 21.5-inch monitor is definitely a budget option yet still boasts good contrast performance, is capable of excellent colour accuracy and has low input lag for gaming. Connectivity options include 2 HDMI ports and D-SUB VGA, plus a headphone jack which you’ll need to get sound directly from it as there are no speakers equipped. Where the GW2270H is lacking is in its ability to reject ambient light, so placement will be key which also applies to the restrictive viewing angles. It doesn’t accept 23/24Hz video signals, either, so it’s not ideal for watching movies but, all things considered – especially the price – we think the BenQ GW2270H does enough to merit recommendation.

MORE: Monitor Reviews


Recommended

Scores

Design

.
.
.
7

Connectivity

.
.
.
7

Out-of-the-box accuracy sRGB

.
.
.
7

Calibrated sRGB

10

Bright Screen Uniformity

.
.
.
7

Dark Screen Uniformity

.
.
.
7

Viewing Angles

.
.
.
.
6

Input Lag

.
9

Pixel Response

.
.
.
7

Verdict

.
.
8
8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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