BenQ EX2780Q review: a highly versatile gaming monitor

The BenQ EX2780Q is a jack of all trades that’ll be great for mixed use

BenQ EX2780Q review
(Image credit: BenQ)
T3 Verdict

The BenQ EX2780Q is a jack of all trades. It handles pretty much everything well but isn’t quite a master at anything. With its solid speakers, multiple HDR modes and great ports its versatility makes it a good monitor for mixed use, rather than something you’re picking up solely to play games on.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    A good all-rounder

  • +

    Great speakers

  • +

    Good Ports

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Low brightness for HDR

  • -

    Design won’t be for everyone

The BenQ EX2780Q is the sort of gaming monitor that BenQ has perfected. One of our best gaming monitors, there’s nothing overstated or flashy here, just some solid tech supporting a good monitor that’s great at home or in the office.

You’ll find a number of ways to build out your gaming rig from our guides, it’s not all about the flashiest or most expensive gear. So, if you’re in the market for the best gaming mouse, best gaming headset, best gaming keyboard or the best gaming chair you should be able to find something to match your aesthetic.

After spending a little time with the BenQ EX2780Q, I’d have to say my first impressions are really quite positive. It’s not going to compete with the most expensive gaming monitors or the best 4K monitors but, for the price you’re paying, it is a good monitor for gamers at this budget.

BenQ EX2780Q Review: Design and Setup

BenQ EX2780Q review

(Image credit: Future)

Setting up the BenQ EX2780Q is a relatively easy process. First, you attach the support to the stand with a simple screw, then slide that into the back of the monitor and screw it in. these pieces are simply designed, and light. As is the monitor, which means that moving into place wasn’t the struggle that some large-backed gaming monitors can be.

In terms of design, the EX2780Q is an interesting one. I am not a fan of the plain plastic aesthetic that a lot of dedicated gaming monitors use on the front of their displays. So, it is nice to see something a bit different here, with a sort of copper-brown grille forming a large band under the monitor.

It’s a bit retro, and it speaks to a desire for this monitor to be multi-purpose. Something that you could reasonably buy for the office as well as the gaming den. I’m not sure I like it, but at least it doesn’t look like everything else.

On the rear, it’s the reverse story. No big flash design, no multi-coloured programmable lighting. Just a basic black plastic. This will put some people off, but if you’re like me and push your monitor as far back as you can, it doesn’t really make any difference once it’s in use.

The stand is also very plain, which some people might not like but to be honest, I found a small solid stand to be much more manoeuvrable than on some others, so I’ll give it a thumbs up.

You’ll need to know about ports, this isn’t the most stacked monitor in this regard but it does go for the quality. You’ll find two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack, USB-C and a DisplayPort 1.4 – where a lot of monitors still go for the DisplayPort 1.2. It’s also just really nice to see a USB-C, an input that so many gaming monitors leave out I’m beginning to develop a complex.

 BenQ EX2780Q Review: Features & Picture

BenQ EX2780Q review

(Image credit: Future)

I’ll start here by returning to that front grille, it’s necessary because the BenQ EX2780Q actually has speakers. A bit of a rarity among gaming monitors these days. But necessary, I suppose, due to the jack-of-all-trades nature of the design.

What’s a bit more surprising is how good I found them to be. You’ve got two 2W at the front and a 5W subwoofer coming out the back and, while it won't replace a surround sound system, I found it created enough atmosphere to feel immersive.

It’s got several gaming pre-set configurations, although they’re named ‘Gamer 1/2/3’ which isn’t particularly helpful if you’re just looking to dive in and play. Other monitors will tell you which genre the configuration is designed for.  

The screen is a QHD 27-inch IPS panel running a resolution of 2560 x 1440. It’s also got a refresh rate of 144Hz and FreeSync enabled. It’s got a 5ms response time, which is not bad, but there are quicker in the price-bracket. If that is your number one priority then, this monitor might not be for you.

Really, we should talk about HDRi, which is BenQ’s proprietary HDR tech. It essentially allows you to make adjustments to your HDR with Game HDR, Cinema HDR and Display HDR options. Game mode will open up more visual details and works really well here.

It’ll hit 95% DCI-P3 on the colour gamut, and 99% sRGB. I do have a bit of an issue with the brightness. This is pretty much my standard position on all HDR400 monitors, but I don’t think 400 nits is enough. My monitor faces a window, which means that darker games can be unplayable during the day at this level. That’s a personal thing, but it’s worth noting if you’re in a similar boat.

BenQ EX2780Q Review: Price & Verdict

BenQ EX2780Q review

(Image credit: Future)

The BenQ EX2780Q is a solid all-rounder that specialises in gaming. It’s probably about par for the course at the recommended price of £449/$599, but you can get some good deals on it at the moment (which our widgets will tell you about). If you can pick it up for under £400 then you’ve got a bargain.

It’s hard to say who this is best for, it’s kind of the perfect gaming monitor for someone who needs something that does a bit of everything. Office work, colour work, that sort of thing. Not that it won't work as a dedicated gaming monitor.

If you want a solid gaming monitor with nifty tech, then this is a fine option. But outside of its surprisingly decent speakers, it doesn’t do a whole lot to distinguish itself for the wide range of options at this level. Of course, if your budget is a little lower and you can get a good deal on the BenQ EX2780Q then you’re in business.