Working from home is the new normal. This has changed the way we use our computers at home. And if you, like me, love working on the PC (as opposed to a laptop), the home computer must cope with multiple roles.
For example, my PC is used for daily mundane tasks, as well as some gaming. The monitor also does duty as a TV since its hooked up to my Airtel Xstream DTH box. And now, I also use it for office work. With the monitor being used in myriad ways, I thought it would be a nice idea to find out how the BenQ ZOWIE XL2746S—a premium gaming monitor—copes with this.
The 27-inch monitor comes in a large package, with a dust cover bundled. The build quality, as usual, is solid and the base inspires confidence. There are two things I like about BenQ’s gaming line-up: the ability to flip the monitor to portrait mode to connect the cables (there are 2 HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a DVI port); and the S-switch to quickly switch modes.
The monitor also comes with wings supplied to block out peripheral vision, which could be a godsend if you’re playing first-person shooters. I fired up the PC, and the first game I played was NFS: Most Wanted, one of my favourites, though it came out some many years ago. The majestic sunsets on the screen looked wonderful.
But this one’s specifically made for shooters, so I switched to CS: Go, and immediately realised that even if I have the best gear, my rusty skills could make survival a challenge. Let me explain: this monitor supports a technology called DyAc+, which reduces motion blur, especially when you pan from one end of the screen to another. What this means is that your enemies look like people and not blobs of colour, which help you shoot them, while you’re scanning your surroundings. I could see my enemies well enough, but they were faster than me.
To brush up my gaming skills, I launched Rainbow Six. I did get a bit better with time but was constantly missing enemies in dark corners. Normally, you’d need to turn up the brightness to avoid this, but that kind of ruins the experience. The monitor’s black equaliser adjustment feature came to my rescue—you can adjust the settings so that you can see stuff in the darker areas, without turning up the brightness of the full screen.
Next, I switched to browsing and office work. The text on websites and Word documents was crisp and easy to read; thankfully, extended hours didn’t tire my eyes. The best thing is that you also have three custom picture modes which you can set and switch to easily.
I wasn’t done as I needed to watch TV as well. I switched on the Airtel Xstream box and while watching news was a cinch, when it came to documentaries on the National Geographic channel, with all their vibrant colours, it did tend to look a bit washed out when compared to some other monitors I have used. But of course, this is a VA panel monitor, as most gaming monitors are. An IPS panel gives better colour reproduction. Another thing is, this monitor is a full high-definition monitor, not a 4K one, which could be a deal-breaker for some.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2746S isn’t for everyone and everything. But if you’re an e-gaming afficionado, who is hooked to first-person shooters, this is probably what you want.