BenQ RL2755HM Gaming Monitor Review
The console owner's answer to BenQ's lineup of specialized gaming monitors.
As a console gaming monitor, the BenQ RL2755HM (MSRP $299.99) has one performance focus: speed. The 1080p, TN (Twisted Nematic) panel is poised to offer response time and input lag results that leave most other displays in the dust, but it makes some concessions in other performance areas to do so.
To that end, the RL2755HM's color and grayscale production are not as accurate and brilliant as they could be, and its screen contrast is average. Fortunately, errors are mostly minimal, so while you wouldn't want to use it for color grading or professional design work, it's well within error margins for acceptably rendering most video games, especially competitive games with more focus on speed than pure graphical prowess.
Unlike a design or graphics monitor, the RL2755HM does not attempt to display a wider color gamut like Adobe RGB or DCI P3. The color production here matches the basic sRGB gamut for digital color, and while it's mostly accurate, you'll have to accept a few inaccuracies in how your games look.
For one, the RL2755HM's white/gray point production is a bit on the blue side, so some games may look "cooler" than you're used to. Secondary colors like magenta and cyan are also skewed into inaccurate areas, and hues created via color mixing may tend to band towards one color or another.
However, unless you're supremely familiar with the exact colors in a game you're playing, you won't notice anything that's way, way off.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
Displays produce grayscale (black, gray, and white) elements by combining the sub-pixels that create the three primary digital colors: red, green, and blue. Errors in emphasis between these three colors results in a collective visible error called deltaE, where a deltaE of 3 or less is considered an ideal result.
The RL2755HM tested with a very high deltaE of 10.38, which is much higher than the 3 or less ideal. This relates to the blue-tinting in the white/gray point we saw when measuring the color gamut—there's too much blue, and not enough red, in the signal emphasis. While this excess blue will make grayscale elements look a little brighter, they may result in some unwanted blue tinting in low-luminance areas of the picture.
If we take a look at the underlying RGB emphasis, we can see that the blue sub-pixel carries 110% to 115% of the luminance signal during light production, reducing the presence of red drastically as darker grayscale elements brighten into midtones and highlights. This may reduce the visibility of red picture elements and cast secondary magenta elements in an overly blue light.
Gamma is a measurement of how quickly (or slowly) a display adds light in proportion to electrical signals that correlate to different levels of the luminance spectrum, from 0 IRE (no black, or minimum input) to 100 IRE (the maximum reference input). If the same amount of light was added at each step, human eyes wouldn't be able to tell the difference between very dark or very bright elements, so light is scaled to increase in a non-linear fashion.
Monitors tend to adhere to a standard gamma sum of 2.2, which means light leveled for a room with a normal amount of lighting, such as an office or living room. The RL2755HM adhered to a "brighter" gamma of 1.97, closer to the standards of 1.8 or 2, meaning by default it's probably best in a room with at least a few lights on, and ideally with quite a bit of competing, ambient light.
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