Back in the early days of movie making, and I am referring to those first black & white offerings, the audience had to put up with a great deal of on-screen flicker as the images were being constantly updated. This flickering phenomenon was the reason why a visit to the cinema was later often referred to as “going to the flicks” or in some cases “going to the bug hut” but this was for another reason and had nothing to do with flicker. Nowadays flicker is not considered a problem, or even thought about, for our occasional visits to the cinema.
However the disease of flicker is present in another viewing medium although not as easily identifiable. Flicker is present and can cause problems for those who spend time using an LCD display such as a computer monitor. You might not actually realise that flicker is occurring but your optic nerve will register the fact as the LED backlight controller, built into your monitor, reacts to changes in brightness levels.
According to information supplied by BenQ, a regular monitor backlight can cause fast backlight flickering at a rate of 200Hz per second when brightness is reduced from the maximum level. Without you actually realising it, your eye will attempt to adjust to this imperceptible change in conditions. The result could well be eyestrain, eye fatigue or headaches which you will undoubtedly notice over a period of time.
BenQ’s solution to ease this situation has been the development of a unique De-flickering Backlight Circuit Controller to deliver a zero-flickering viewing experience. BenQ plans, over time, to incorporate this technology in its range of monitors which will be released under the Eye-care brand. The first of these monitors to arrive is the 27-inch GW2760HS model which is the focus of this review.
Setting up the GW2760HS is straightforward as you need to attach the two parts of the supplied stand together and then fix this unit to the 27-inch monitor. With the stand attached this display unit has dimensions of 488 x 641 x 215mm (H x W x D). With this monitor you have the choice of connectivity options. You can select from D-sub, DVI or HDMI with the connection options being arranged on the rear of the unit along with the mains power socket, headphone jack and a Line in option.
Surrounding the display area, with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080, is a thin black, lacquered bezel. The bezel is slightly thicker across the bottom than the top and sides. This is because it holds the pinhole size indicators showing the location of the various user adjustable controls plus the on/off switch with a small light positioned underneath to provide status feedback. The various controls are touch sensitive with the activation area being located at the rear of the unit so you do tend to work a little blind when making your selection by touch alone.
The functionality of these controls adapts to the current situation as you activate the OSD (On Screen Display) feature. As you select from items that include picture mode, brightness level, audio and system features, the buttons will change to reflect the different options you can make use of in setting up the monitor to act in the manner you would like.
The GW2760HS monitor belongs to the BenQ range of Eye-Care display offerings. As mentioned this model features BenQ’s flicker-free technology along with a number of other complementary features. When positioning this monitor you can adjust the unit’s tilt feature between -5 and +20 degrees but unfortunately I could find no built-in option to adjust the height of the screen.
When used for reading electronic documents, this monitor makes use of Senseye® Reading Mode. This feature attempts to simulate the experience of reading from a book but without the need to manually turn the page. It does this by automatically adjusting the monitor’s colour temperature and brightness levels while balancing the contrast ratio and sharpness.
At other times, the monitor’s built-in Eye-Care Automatic Eye-Protect Sensor technology will kick in and detect ambient light levels. When necessary, this technology adjusts the monitor’s brightness to optimise the clarity of images for greater eye comfort. Also helping with eye clarity is an Anti-Glare feature to reduce reflection especially when the monitor faces a light source.
The GW2760HS has an aspect ratio of 16:9 with a pixel pitch of 0.311, contrast of 5000:1 and brightness of 300 cd/m2. The overall effect is quite appealing with a clear impressive display in a variety of lighting conditions. There is one aspect of this product that I cannot comment on and that is the printed documentation because none was included with the review sample.
BenQ has priced the GW2760HS monitor at £279 but are currently offering the product with a £20 discount as a promotion. However a quick Internet search revealed that you might be able to source this product in the region of £210.
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