I’ve had gone through quite a few monitors over the years, but none has intrigued me more than BenQ’s EX2780Q. Everything from the bronze accents of the monitor to the fact that it comes with a remote (and a nifty little remote holder) instantly help the monitor stand out from the competition. Then under the hood you have a vibrant IPS display (with BenQ’s new HDRi technology) which is paired treVolo speakers that sound pretty damn great.
The BenQ EX2780Q has a slim black border, with the speaker portion of the monitor and the stand being a bronze/champagne colour. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d love it, but I have to say, after a while on my desk, it looks way more high-end than your standard all-black monitor. The colour definitely looks more overstated in images, but once it’s on your desk, it’s a nice blend of class with an extra bit of pizazz In terms of navigating your way around the monitor’s well-laid out settings, there’s a volume wheel (for those incredibly speakers that we’ll talk about later) and a 5-key navigator (which you won’t be using much due to the nifty included remote) for working your way around. In the way of ports, you’ve got two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DP 1.4 port, USB-C port and a headphone jack.
Putting the monitor on the stand is incredibly easy. It’s just two parts (the monitor and the stand) which go together using screws. The stand also helps with cable management and there’s a standard VESA mount there for mounting the monitor on your own stand or mount. I was a little bit disappointed to see that you can’t adjust the height of this monitor. Considering it packs in some features that simply outclass other monitors, I was definitely a little underwhelmed with the fact that there’s no height adjustment (something that should be included on any monitor let alone one that will set you back this amount. In the box, you can expect to get a power cord, the monitor, a stand, a HDMI 2.0 cable as well as a USB Type-C cable. You’ll also find a remote (which we’ll touch on a little bit later), a remote holder and the stand.
The screen on the BenQ EX2780Q is pretty damn great. If you’re upgrading from an older monitor, you’re in for a treat with the EX2780Q sporting a 2560×1440 resolution, 144 refresh rate and an IPS panel. You can also take advantage of Freesync and we’ve also confirmed that the monitor is G-Sync compatible (even if it doesn’t have Nvidia’s seal of approval). The colour accuracy is superb (which is important to me as a former Graphic Designer) sand the contrast ratio seemed decent enough to me. View-ability from different angles is fantastic, due to the fact that it’s an IPS monitor, so there won’t be any issues there.
The monitor is able to achieve a brightness of 400 nits which means that it’s Display HDR400 certified. There’s three HDR modes on this monitor. The regular ‘Display HDR’ as well as ‘Game HDRi’ and ‘Cinema HDRi’. The two latter modes are BenQ’s proprietary of HDR called ‘HDRi’. BenQ’s HDRi technology basically uses a built-in sensor which detects ambient lighting and then also looks at what’s on-screen to give you the best possible HDR experience. BenQ says that HDRi aims to get even more detail out of darker scenes, without overexposing the brighter parts of a scene.
Playing games on my PS4 Pro as well as Windows 10, the image definitely pops more in HDRi modes, providing more clarity, better contrast and more vibrant colours. However, the constant automatic dimming/brightning of the display (which is necessary for HDRi to work) was a little off-putting, and HDR support in Windows 10 is still atrocious, which unfortunately means you’ll needing to be turning the HDR/HDRi modes on and off if you choose to go down that path. The monitor has a Black eQualizer which helps increase visibility in dark scenes (and this can be used with HDR off), the ability to change colour vibrant and a number of game modes to choose from.
The worst thing about monitors are normally the controls. They’re always tiny or hidden behind the monitor and you can almost never see what you’re doing. BenQ has included a remote with the Ex2780Q and I don’t think I could ever go back to not having a remote for my monitor. You can change the input, turn HDR on/off, access the menu, turn the low blue light setting on/off, change your sound profile, control volume or quickly mute what’s happening. It seems like such a minor thing and I’m sure many people would be questioning why you’d need a remote for a monitor, but it works. It’s really practical and super handy.
If you’re putting together a brand new PC and you’re looking for an all-in-one monitor, this is the reason you should go for the BenQ EX2780Q. This monitor has a TreVolo sound system which includes 2.1 channel speakers and a 5w subwoofers. All I’m currently rocking for sound in my setup is this monitor. It’s the best speaker system that I’ve heard in a monitor and it’s perfect for listening to music, watching YouTube videos and playing games casually.
There’s five sound modes, which you can change using the 5-Key control or remote control. They are Game, Cinema, Pop, Dialog and Rock. I definitely swing between Game, Cinema and Pop depending on whether I’m gaming, watching YouTube videos or listening to music. Obviously, if you’ve gone and spent a bunch of money on a killer sound system for your PC, then this might deter you from grabbing this monitor, but if not, rest assured that you’re getting a solid speaker. As mentioned earlier, there’s a dedicated volume knob, which is easy to access or you’ve got your remote to change volume or mute.
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It's extremely hard to fault the BenQ EX2780Q. It has a great 144Hz QHD IPS display, a killer sound system, a nifty little remote and HDRi is decent enough. The only fault I have is the ergonomics, but if that doesn't bother you then you'll be hard pressed to find a better all-rounder gaming monitor.