BenQ EL2870U: Concise Review of a Budget-Friendly 4K HDR Monitor

BenQ EL2870U: Concise Review of a Budget-Friendly 4K HDR Monitor

In the realm of 4K HDR monitors, prices often exceed Rs. 50,000, making them unattainable for many. Consequently, accessing 4K content remains a challenge for those on a budget.

Fortunately, technology’s downward pricing trend benefits consumers, exemplified by the BenQ EL2870U. Introduced late last year in India, this 28-inch 4K HDR monitor offers competitive pricing at Rs. 32,265, rendering it one of today’s most economical options. Notably, it’s crafted by the reputable brand BenQ.

Clearly, the price caught our attention, prompting a closer examination of BenQ’s latest monitor to assess its picture quality and features for our recommendation.

BenQ EL2870U Specifications

BenQ EL2870U: Concise Review of a Budget-Friendly 4K HDR Monitor
Dimensions and Weight 657.9×476.27×194.6mm, 7.2kg
Screen Size 27.9-inches
Resolution 3840×2160
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Panel Type TN (Twisted Nematic)
Backlight LED
Brightness 300 nits
Native Contrast 1000:1
Viewing Angles L/R: 170 degrees
U/D: 160 degrees
Response Time 1ms (GtG)
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Color Gamut 72% NTSC
PPI 158
Speakers 2Watt x2
Ports HDMI v2.0 x2, DisplayPort v1.4×1, 3.5mm headphone jack x1
Price Rs. 32,889

BenQ EL2870U Design and Build Quality

Upon first glance, the BenQ EL2870U may not impress, sporting chunky (by 2019 standards) bezels and matte black plastic components.

However, upon usage, its solid construction becomes evident, with bezels that are surprisingly unobtrusive. The monitor boasts a simplistic appearance, featuring a standard rigid stand and a prominent chin housing all the hardware buttons and the ambient light sensor.

In contrast, competitors like Dell and HP offer more modern-looking monitors in the same price range, with minimal bezels and stylish stands. Nevertheless, these alternatives fail to match the EL2870U’s extensive list of features, which should be the primary consideration.

While the competitions’ tiny bezels and swiveling stands may seem impressive at first glance, their novelty wears off quickly once you begin using them. At that point, your focus shifts from their appearance to the actual display quality. This is where the EL2870U excels.

Let’s now discuss what comes in the box with a brand new BenQ EL2870U. Each BenQ 2870U includes a heavy stand, shipped in three pieces requiring assembly with a Philips-head screwdriver. Additionally, there’s a power cord—no external power supply needed—along with a standard HDMI cable and some paperwork you’ll likely never use. With the box contents covered, let’s move on to the monitor’s buttons and ports.

Ports on the BenQ EL2870U

The hardware buttons on the BenQ EL2870U are positioned on the underside of the right corner of the bottom bezel, except for the dedicated HDR/BI button, which is placed up front with a copper-colored sticker above it.

Regarding connectivity, the monitor offers the essential ports for system connection: two HDMI v2.0 input ports, one DisplayPort v1.4 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a power input port. The absence of USB ports is a significant drawback.

All ports face downwards and are housed within the mounting cutout at the back of the monitor. The port placement, while keeping wires out of the way, complicates cable connection and disconnection. However, this design enables the monitor to be placed close to the back wall, maximizing desk space.

The monitor includes two 2 Watt speakers, but they are barely audible and offer poor sound quality. If purchasing for multimedia consumption, consider investing in a separate set of speakers to complement the 4K display.

BenQ EL2870U Picture Quality

The BenQ EL2870U flaunts a 27.9-inch 4K 3840×2160 TN panel, boasting LED backlighting, making it an excellent choice for media consumption. Sporting a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, it offers a pixel density of 158ppi and a maximum brightness of 300nits. With a rapid 1ms (GtG) response time, it’s ideal for gaming, albeit limited to a 60Hz refresh rate.

Viewing angles on the panel are robust, with the company claiming clear visibility up to 170 degrees vertically and 160 degrees horizontally. However, during my use, I observed noticeable color shifting when viewing the display from an angle, particularly pronounced at steep vertical angles.

With a native contrast ratio of 1000:1, the display falls short in reproducing deep blacks.

Featuring a matte finish, the panel effectively reduces screen glares, yet compromises color reproduction. Consequently, images and videos appear washed out, with blacks lacking depth compared to other LCD or OLED panels.

Color reproduction rates at 94 percent on sRGB and 74 percent on Adobe RGB, positioning the EL2879U as a viable choice for budget-conscious photographers or video editors. However, it does not match the standards set by professional-grade displays.

HDR Support

The display features HDR support, along with specific modes, which likely attracts prospective buyers. However, with a maximum brightness of just 300nits, it fails to fully utilize its HDR capabilities. Consequently, media consumption and gaming without HDR look noticeably better than with HDR activated.

With HDR on, there’s minimal detail and visual artifacts in blacks, and colors appear overly intense. Thus, if you’re eyeing the EL2870U for HDR, you’ll likely be disappointed. An IPS panel at the same price offers superior black and color reproduction, making it the preferable option.

Enhanced Display with Eye-Care Technology

The BenQ EL2870U boasts TUV Rheinland certification for flicker-free visuals and minimal blue light emissions, promoting eye comfort during extended usage.

Facilitating swift adjustments, the monitor offers a dedicated button for toggling between four presets: multimedia, web-surfing, office, and reading. Tailoring the blue light filter setting to your specific usage optimizes visual comfort.

The company bundles its Brightness Intelligence Plus technology with the display. Equipped with an ambient light sensor beneath the BenQ logo, it adjusts ambient light levels and color temperature according to surroundings. This feature ensures optimal output for media consumption, reducing eye strain during prolonged use.

Brightness Intelligence Plus also automatically adjusts brightness, preventing overexposure and improving detail in darker image areas. This preserves original color saturation and hue. Personally, I found the monitor preferable with this setting enabled.

AMD FreeSync Support

Moreover, the EL2870U boasts AMD FreeSync compatibility, ideal for gamers seeking an immersive experience. However, utilizing this feature necessitates a compatible AMD GPU. With a refresh rate capped at 60Hz, the impact of FreeSync may be limited. Unfortunately, due to the unavailability of a compatible AMD GPU, we couldn’t assess the monitor’s performance with FreeSync enabled.

  • Affordable
  • HDR Compatible
  • FreeSync Support
  • Decent Build Quality
  • Reduced Blue Light Emissions


  • 60Hz Refresh Rate
  • Low Native Contrast
  • Subpar HDR Performance
  • Limited Connectivity
  • Poor Audio Quality

BenQ EL2870U: Affordable 4K Monitor with Solid Features

The BenQ EL2870U offers solid value for its price, making it an appealing choice for budget-conscious consumers seeking a 4K monitor. Priced at Rs. 32,265, this feature-rich monitor excels in multimedia consumption, although it falls short for gaming.

Despite its AMD FreeSync support, the monitor’s 60Hz refresh rate restricts its gaming performance. With numerous alternatives boasting 120Hz or 144Hz refresh rates available in the market, gamers may find better-suited options elsewhere.

The LG 27UK650-W 4K HDR monitor competes with the EL2870U, priced slightly higher at Rs 33,895, but with a similar 60Hz panel and slower response time. Meanwhile, the Acer KG281K monitor, priced around Rs 24,000, lacks anti-Blue Light emissions and brightness adjustment features found in the BenQ monitor, making it less suitable for prolonged usage.

The EL2870U is also suitable for photographers and videographers due to its decent color reproduction capabilities, but calibration is necessary for optimal color accuracy. However, its HDR capabilities are subpar, so if exceptional HDR performance is important to you, the EL2870U may not be the best choice.