On the lead-up to Christmas we’ll be looking at a few ideas to help you buy something special for the tech-head in your life. For those who want to spend a little more, there’s nothing like a gaming monitor to really make those PC games stand out.
The BenQ XL2720Z may be a few years old now but it is our go-to choice for a large, well performing gaming monitor at a sensible price for something this size, currently £329.99 from Amazon.co.uk. The 27″ Widescreen display provides ample room to make you feel a greater part of any open world game and all at 144hz refresh, which keeps the moving images smoother than many other similar budget models.
Be prepared for a hefty piece of equipment. The base alone is heavy and helps ground the large screen without any fear of it being unstable. The base is also pretty large, around 28cm from front to back, so ensure you have space on your desk. The monitor is connected via a large metal bracket which is easy to slot and lock into place but keeps the screen safely on the stand.
The remarkable thing about the stand is that it has a huge area of movement, allowing you to move the monitor up and down and adjust the angle to suit pretty much any desk. Large, it may be, but it certainly does a fantastic job.
There are several USB connectors on the side of the screen which provide outputs to devices, working in unison with the USB input on the base which can be connected to a PC, forming an easy to access built-in USB hub. Connection-wise, the base of the screen hides all of the main connections, with 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, Display Port, D-Sub and DVI-D, plus a port for the special S Switch controller which acts in place of a remote control to switch picture options.
It’s the picture quality and the deepness of the blacks which make this monitor really stand out, though. Playing at 1080p or a downscaled 1440p the XL2720Z colours really pop and the blacks feel deep. Action is also kept smooth, thanks to the impressively low 0.001-frame input lag and technology designed to reduce motion blur.
Fast action games like Call of Duty and Just Cause 3 benefit greatly from this hardware, refresh rates are optimised with the Gaming Refresh rate Optimization Management and you can even load gaming presets from professional gamers to the monitor.
A 27″ monitor may be considered a little large, but once you’ve tried it you won’t want to have anything smaller on your desk. It helps your immersion in the game and with the technology in this monitor adding to the quality of the picture, it’s a standout system.