BenQ Zowie’s XL2746S gaming monitor is a 27-inch screen ally that’s meant for esports professionals and serious gamers. With a 240Hz refresh rate and lightning-fast 0.5ms response time (with overdrive), the gaming monitor offers a weapon-packed arsenal to those who indulge in games that demand quick reactions and pinpoint accuracy. Let’s find out more about this battle beast.
The Zowie XL2746S e-sports monitor is more or less similar in design as compared to previous BenQ Zowie monitors. The display on this device doesn’t come with an IPS panel or high-contrast VA one – instead, gamers will find themselves facing a classic TN panel that allows it to hit the quoted 0.5 ms response time (with overdrive) and battle-ready refresh rate. XL2746S’s panel measures precisely 27 inches diagonally and has a 1080p resolution, which may not sound very advanced, but combined with the 240 Hz refresh rate, users will be achieving pixels comparable to a 4K gaming monitor at 60 Hz. The gaming monitor also comes with wings attached to its sides that aid significantly in blocking out distractions – while their utility at home may be limited, they surely prove to be quite useful at tournament venues that are filled with distracting factors. Zowie XL2746S’ offers quite a wide selection of display inputs that include one dual-link DVI, one HDMI 2.0, one HDMI 1.4, and one DisplayPort 1.2 port – ensuring compatibility with a majority of the cards out there currently.
We were glad to see that the XL2746S supports BenQ’s exclusive technology for reducing eye-tracking motion blur – DyAc+, i.e. Dynamic Accuracy. DyAc+ is an upgraded version of the kind of technology that incorporates additional panel optimizations as it shifts its focus to recoil control. This turns out to be useful in helping gamers see the position of their crosshair and hit markers with enhanced clarity clearly. Being a gaming display, the BenQ Zowie XL2746S is equipped with FreeSync. Another helpful feature on the monitor is its Black eQualizer which boosts visibility in dark scenarios without overexposing the brighter parts of the visual – it can be customized to set the black balance of the gamer’s preference. It also comes with an exciting Colour Vibrance feature that allowed us to play around with the colour tones to change them as per the type of game – there are 20 levels of settings to suit all kinds of gameplay.
While BenQ claims that Zowie XL2746S is the first “true” 0.5ms grey-to-grey (GtG) response time TN panel currently available in the market, that response time can only fully be achieved with overdriving the panel which can often cause a minor amount of motion blur in our experience. Without overdrive, the panel’s native GtG response time stands at a still-worthy-of-appreciation rating of 3ms. Moreover, the panel has been factory-configured to ship with a slight overdrive of 1ms response time through the Advanced Motion Accelerator (AMA) settings.
Upon increased usage, we found that we could easily access settings for different scenarios using the S-switch that comes with this gaming monitor. It basically allowed us to customize the XL2746S with different usage scenarios, using this tool that is designed to provide easy access to monitor menu, switch between saved modes, and even command a quick change between the connected devices.
The much-praised 240Hz refresh rate that we were hoping could ensure that every visual feels silky-smooth and super responsive, could only deliver on those expectations one is equipped with hardware that can output a consistent 240FPS or more. Only then can the full advantage of this response time and refresh rate be harnessed. Being a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen, the availability of more powerful graphics cards might be able to make that full-potential performance possible too.
Coming to the image quality goes, the TN panel does a decent job, although it doesn’t offer much beyond its gaming credentials. While the static contrast is the ordinary 1,000:1, peak brightness, on the other hand, stands at 320 nits.
All in all, BenQ Zowie XL2746S has been explicitly designed for hardcore gamers and e-sports enthusiasts and does an excellent job at that. It is packed with features that enhance the gaming experience as a whole like a unique hood to reduce distractions and possible light glare, Black eQualizer to enhance dark scenes, Colour Vibrance to adjust colour tones to make scenes more defined and more to aid gameplay. We think, the BenQ Zowie XL2746S makes a decent buy for those looking to make some clean strokes while steering clear of visual distractions.
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