Review: Zowie XL2720 e-sports Gaming Monitor

This 27″ e-sports monitor offers a competitive 144Hz mode alongside BenQ’s usual eye for a good screen, creating a great e-sports option for those looking for fast refresh rates.

This is a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with a very impressive 144Hz refresh rate, currently retailing around the £360 mark on Amazon, which is fairly competitive for the small number of e-sports monitors with this spec.

Design

So what do you get for your money?  The Zowie standard design of the 2430 and 2730 is replicated in the 2720 as well, with thin matt black bezels running around the screen, avoiding glare and the odd red in the stand being the only thing to stand out.  That’s good, it avoids the issue of being distracted from what goes on outside the screen.


Round the back you’ll find a D-sub, DVI-DL, 2 HDMI ports, DP1.2, USB in, USB out and headphone jack.  The left side also sports two USB out ports to effectively make this a USB hub as well and save clutter on your desk.

While the other monitors use a puck-like system, the 2720 has a numbered bar on the end of the stand, called an S Switch. The S Switch is designed for easy access to settings and switching between saved picture modes, to avoid having to go through menus on the screen each time.  It means that the picture can be set up quickly for different game styles.

This is also useful as although the placement of the buttons on the monitor is fairly good (right hand side on the front, rather than on the side or the base as we’ve seen in other monitors), the menu system requires plenty of multiple presses to get the right setup.

 

The back of the monitor has a red handle that flips out to hold wires or headphones, with a red hole in the centre of the stand to feed wires through. BenQ obviously hate untidy desks!

 

Performance and Screen

As with the other Zowie monitors I’ve recently reviewed, the Zowie TN panel here is impressive, though only after some tinkering.   Having a TN panel also means it’s easier to provide the headline 144Hz operation and 1ms response time which are far more important to a professional gamer than the colour levels and would be something difficult to achieve on an IPS screen at the same price.

The viewing angles are fairly good, considering the panel, too, with little in the way of fading at 45 degrees, and the 1000:1 contrast seems to be met perfectly with no noticable backlight bleeding, either.  It is missing the Colour Vibrance options of the other models, though, which does make a slight difference to the range of colours.

But to get the best results, you really need to go and adjust the manual colour temperature controls yourself. This may take several hours if you’re really serious, but it can provide some fantastic results, far better than the original pre-sets that come as standard.

Contrast, in particular, is better when dialled back a little, and even seems to improve viewing angles to a certain extent.

 

Overall Impressions

The Zowie XL2720 provides yet another option for fast paced gameplay on a good quality screen with flicker free and anti-blue light options.  It may be on the more expensive side, but it earns the price in quality.

Zowie XL2720 e-sports Gaming Monitor

Zowie XL2720 e-sports Gaming Monitor
8.9

Overall

9/10

    Pros

    • Very fast 144Hz refresh
    • Useful USB ports on the side
    • Good flicker free technology
    • Great response time

    Cons

    • Still only a TN panel based LED screen
    • no G-sync
    • Colour Vibrance option missing on this model

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