Gaming monitor refresh rates are on the rise. It wasn’t long ago that 144 Hz was the pinnacle, but now that’s just a starting point. 360 Hz is already here, and Asus has just announced a 500 Hz screen. But with faster frame rates comes a sacrifice in resolution. Those speedy screens run at FHD (1920x1080) resolution and are usually 24 or 25 inches in size. If you want more real estate and a higher dot count, 165 Hz is a more realistic balance point between smooth motion and pixel density for the best gaming monitors.
BenQ brings another choice to the 27-inch QHD 165 Hz category with its Mobiuz EX2710Q. Featuring Adaptive-Sync, HDR, extended color and a 2.1 speaker system built-in, it aims to deliver a solid gaming experience for esports and enthusiasts alike.
BenQ Mobiuz EX2710Q Specs
|Panel Type / Backlight||IPS / W-LED, edge array|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||27 inches / 16:9|
|Max Resolution and Refresh Rate||2560x1440 @ 165 Hz|
|Row 3 - Cell 0||FreeSync: 48-165 Hz|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||G-Sync Compatible|
|Native Color Depth and Gamut||10-bit (8-bit+FRC) / DCI-P3|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||HDR10, DisplayHDR 400|
|Response Time (GTG)||2ms|
|Brightness (mfr)||250 nits SDR|
|Row 9 - Cell 0||400 nits HDR|
|400 nits HDR||1,000:1|
|Speakers||2x 2w + 1x 5w subwoofer|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
|Row 13 - Cell 0||2x HDMI 2.0|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|USB 3.0||1x up, 2x down|
|Power Consumption||28.5w, brightness @ 200 nits|
|Panel Dimensions WxHxD w/base||24.2 x 16.8-20.8 x 8.5 inches (615 x 428-528 x 216mm)|
|Panel Thickness||2.6 inches (65mm)|
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.3 inch (8mm)|
|Row 20 - Cell 0||Bottom: 1.3 inch (33mm)|
|Weight||16.3 pounds (7.4kg)|
The EX2710Q starts with an IPS panel rated for 2ms response. In practice, it refreshes at the same speed as other 165 Hz monitors I’ve tested, but has a tad less overall input lag. FreeSync is the native Adaptive-Sync technology, running over a 48-165 Hz range. G-Sync is also supported though there is not yet a certification from Nvidia. You also get an effective overdrive and a backlight strobe that works along with Adaptive-Sync.
Image quality is assured with a large color gamut that measured over 94% of DCI-P3, putting the EX2710Q above the norm. It also has an accurate sRGB mode that is ideal for SDR content and for users needing color accuracy in their critical apps. Speaking of accuracy, no calibration is required, and my tests showed no benefit from adjustment. But if you still want to tweak, there are plenty of options in the OSD to tailor the picture to your liking.
HDR10 signals are supported with three picture modes of their own, and if you want to emulate the HDR look with SDR content, BenQ includes its HDRi feature. It’s tied to a button right on the front bezel, so you can cycle through the different modes to see which one you like best.
Fans of good audio will find BenQ has paid attention to the EX2710Q’s built-in speakers. Not only is the sound tuned with multiple DSP modes, but there’s also an extra driver billed as a subwoofer integrated into the panel. Realistically, you won’t be hearing room-shaking frequencies from this monitor, but it does provide more bass than just about anything else I’ve experienced in this class.
Like all BenQ monitors, the EX2710Q has solid build quality and practical styling. There aren’t any LED lighting features here, but you can clearly see its gaming purpose. Priced at around $400, it sits in the middle ground between budget and premium. It looks like a decent value on paper so without further delay, let’s take a closer look.
Assembly and Accessories
The EX2710Q’s stand, base and panel assemble without tools to form a solid package. The panel snaps in place, and if you’d rather use an arm or bracket, there’s a 100 mm VESA mount back there with the fasteners included. A small plastic cover clicks in place to hide cables going into the input panel. An external power supply provides the volts while USB, HDMI and DisplayPort cables (one each) move the data.
BenQ monitors feature simple styling that make their statement with color rather than texture. The front bezel is black as it should be, but the back and base legs are a medium gray. Everything has a matte finish to keep light reflections and fingerprints at bay. At the base is red trim with a crosshatch pattern to accentuate the legs. Only the back has a gentle taper from center to perimeter, while the rest is all straight lines and flat surfaces.
In the back, you can see the Mobiuz logo and a small bit of text over the speaker grill that says, "Superior Sound by treVolo". This is BenQ’s branding for its built-in audio, and it is superior to any other monitor-integrated speakers I’ve heard. There are three drivers in a 2.1 configuration that play very clearly with a wide dynamic and frequency range. The OSD includes five audio modes that vary the size and shape of the sound stage using DSP processing. It’s very effective at creating a realistic environment when gaming or watching video.
The stand is a solid piece with firm adjustments. In addition to 100mm of height, there’s 5/15 degrees tilt and 15 degrees swivel to either side. You can also see in the back photo the OSD joystick flanked by two buttons. One toggles power and the other cycles through the active inputs.
On the input panel, you’ll find two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4. A 3.5mm jack feeds headphones or powered speakers. The USB is version 3.0 and includes one upstream and two downstream ports.
Pressing the EX2710Q’s OSD joystick brings up a quick menu that features different adjustments based on picture mode and input scenario. Yes, the somewhat confusing scenario feature is back. I’ll explain more below.
The quick menu is handy for making changes to picture mode, brightness and audio volume. Some of the ten picture modes also include the Light Tuner adjustment here. At the top is signal info with resolution, refresh rate, HDR and FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync status. If you scroll to the bottom, you can open the full OSD.
Each HDMI and and DisplayPort input can each be assigned one of three picture modes within the OSD. So changing the picture mode for the HDMI port won't disrupt your settings when connecting via DisplayPort. It’s a little confusing, but if you prefer, you can turn the Scenario feature off entirely. Each scenario can also have different items available in the quick menu.
In the Color Mode menu, there are 10 presets (seven for SDR and three for HDR), each with its own set of options. Light Tuner features in most of them. It tweaks gamma to bring out either shadows, midtones or highlights. None of the 20 settings provides ideal gamma, but some look better than others. I’ll talk about that more in my test notes on page four. BenQ also includes Brightness Intelligence Plus (B.I.+), which uses a front-mounted sensor to vary light output and color temperature based on the environment. It works reasonably well, but I could sometimes see it working when clouds darkened my sunlit window. This menu also allows adjustments to gamma and color temperature and includes a super-accurate sRGB mode.
BenQ takes eye care seriously with a TUV Rheinland certification and adjustments for Low Blue Light and Color Weakness. You can employ variable filters for red and green deficiency if needed.
The Audio menu includes five DSP modes that sound distinctly different. They manipulate phase and frequency balance to change the sound stage shape. My personal favorite for gaming was Cinema.
BenQ Mobiuz EX2710Q Calibration Settings
The EX2710Q ships in its RPG picture mode and is accurate enough out of the box without requiring calibration. If you want to tweak, the Custom mode unlocks all image options. I was unable to make an improvement using the gamma presets and RGB sliders. I noted skewed gamma that made midtones and highlights a bit dark. I was unable to correct this but mitigated it somewhat using the Light Tuner slider. This is a subjective adjustment. It won’t improve the measured gamma but by setting it -3, I increased perceived contrast a little.
HDR signals are best viewed in the DisplayHDR mode, which is the default. The Cinema and Game HDR presets are part of BenQ’s HDRi feature and can be used for SDR content if you wish. The look is something I would call an acquired taste. It’s not for me, but some users may prefer it. My advice is to try toggling the HDRi button on the panel’s front to see if it’s for you.
|Brightness 200 nits||79|
|Brightness 120 nits||33|
|Brightness 100 nits||21|
|Brightness 80 nits||10 (min. 64 nits)|
Gaming and Hands-on
I couldn’t help but begin with a Doom Eternal fragfest. The horde mode affords ample opportunity for fast-moving action. There was no hint of delay in any of my control inputs, either with the mouse or keyboard. Movement remained smooth and jitter-free with AMA (overdrive) on level 2. Higher settings produced a bit of ghosting. I also tried the Blur Reduction, which keeps Adaptive-Sync in play. It made a very subtle improvement in smoothness without any apparent artifacts.
The HDR image was solid with rich color and bright highlights but no more contrast than SDR. HDR games like Doom Eternal and Call of Duty WWII are slightly more colorful, but blacks are the same as SDR, more a dark gray. The EX2710Q is a great-looking monitor in every way except contrast which is merely average. However, detail rendering is top-notch. In first-person titles, the extra motion smoothness makes up for any difference in pixel density from an Ultra HD monitor. Frame rates are the key. Running at 165 fps makes a visible difference from UHD, which I rarely see move quicker than 120 fps.
SDR games look just as rich and impactful thanks to that large color gamut. With solid accuracy, there is balance and smooth tonality with all the detail intended by the original material. Again, I wish contrast were better, but it is enough to provide a good gaming experience and reasonably satisfying video quality when streaming movies or YouTube.
BenQ gets special kudos for the EX2710Q’s audio quality. It is more than just a cut above the rest. With treVolo tuning and an extra driver providing bass, this monitor delivers the best sound I’ve heard from integrated computer display speakers. Dialog is crystal clear with a fullness you would normally need good headphones or external speakers to experience. You can truly do without extra audio gear when playing on the EX2710Q.
For workday tasks, the EX2710Q hits the mark with plenty of color and clear imagery. Small fonts and icons are well-detailed and easy to interpret. When viewing the same material side-by-side with a 27-inch UHD monitor, you can see a slightly jagged line here and there, but for the most part, the difference in clarity is tiny.