BenQ’s exceedingly affordable GW2785TC is well-made and packed with features
- Great price
- Adjustable stand
- USB-C and daisy-chaining support
- No USB-A hub
- Mic isn’t great
The BenQ GW2785TC is a 27in office monitor with a couple of intriguing party tricks. Like its smaller 24in sibling, the GW2485TC (£200), this monitor has daisy-chaining capabilities and a USB-C port to reduce cable clutter. It also has a fully adjustable stand and a built-in noise-cancelling microphone, which is no mean feat given the price tag.
What makes this all the more remarkable is that the GW2785TC is only £20 more than the GW2485TC. Take it all into consideration and the GW2785TC is an easy sell: it’s a great office monitor for those who want a few premium features at a bargain price.
BenQ GW2785TC review: What do you get for the money?
The BenQ GW2785TC costs £220 via BenQ’s website, though it is a touch more expensive elsewhere. That gets you a 27in IPS monitor with a resolution of 1,920 x 1080, a refresh rate of 75Hz and a quoted response time of 5ms G2G. BenQ does not indicate that this monitor has adaptive sync support of any kind.
There’s one HDMI 1.4 port and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports on the rear, plus a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port capable of delivering 60W of power to a connected device and carrying a video signal at the same time. One of the DisplayPort 1.2 ports is a downstream “Out” port that bumps a video signal from the GW2785TC to a second monitor, allowing you to daisy-chain multiple monitors without hooking them all up to your laptop/PC.
The stand, meanwhile, provides 130mm of height adjustment, 90 degrees of pivot into portrait mode, 45 degrees of swivel left/right and 20 degrees of backwards tilt. You get a USB-C cable and a DisplayPort cable in the box as extras.
READ NEXT: Our pick of the best budget monitors
BenQ GW2785TC review: What does it do well?
It’s immediately clear that the BenQ GW2785TC is a thoughtfully designed and well constructed monitor. There’s nothing flashy here, just a lot of matte black plastic and a cross-hatched rear that lends the GW2785TC a faintly premium feel. At 7.8kg it’s not too heavy to move around.
The stand is an enormous boon. I suspect it raises the price of the GW2785TC a bit beyond the likes of the older BenQ GL2780 (£155) but I can guarantee it’s worth the £50 or so extra you’ll pay. For your posture and vision, nothing beats a fully adjustable stand. The monitor itself pivots, swivels, tilts and rises/sinks cleanly and the stand base is wide and solid with very little wobble.
As I’ll reiterate below, I think a couple of USB-A ports would complete this monitor’s feature set but I am happy with what’s on offer here. Simply run a USB-C cable from your laptop to the monitor and you’ve got a steady power supply, a microphone for Zoom calls and, of course, a boatload of extra screen real estate, which you can expand further still without stringing another cable between monitor and laptop.
While the microphone quality isn’t exactly class-leading, the noise cancellation works and, as an added bonus, there’s a mic mute button complete with status LED that’s located on the bottom edge of the monitor next to the OSD controls.
Now to the panel itself. The BenQ GW2785TC is definitely an office monitor inasmuch as there’s nothing flashy to note here, but it does the job well enough. Out of the box this monitor produced 95.6% of the sRGB colour gamut with an average Delta E of 2.13 and this improved to 1.76 when I switched to the monitor’s sRGB mode. These figures are good by the standards of cheap office monitors and they indicate the GW2785TC is colour-accurate and neither excessively dull nor over vibrant.
Beyond the traditional colour presets, BenQ also includes a few modes dedicated to very specific use-cases such as reading, which emulates an e-reader, or coding, which boosts colour saturation. The BenQ GW2785TC also has BenQ’s Brightness Intelligence sensor, housed in a small chin jutting out of the bottom of the screen, which automatically adjusts the backlight to match ambient lighting levels. This works effectively and subtly, which isn’t always the case with such technology.
Like its sibling, the BenQ GW2785TC does as much as a monitor can to ease the strain on your eyes. Unlike the GW2485TC, however, this monitor manages to keep IPS glow to an absolute minimum and has great panel uniformity, too.
BenQ GW2785TC review: What could be better?
I have already touched on my biggest grievance: the lack of a USB-A hub. The same modern laptops that rely on USB-C ports for video and power transmission – those that work well in tandem with this monitor – are often the ones that lack USB ports. Not having one or two here damages this monitor’s usefulness.
I should dwell on the microphone quality a little bit here, too. It’s not very good at all, unfortunately, recording muffled and slightly echoey audio. While you might not expect wonders from something built into a £220 office monitor, I’d expect something better than this.
READ NEXT: The best monitors you can buy
BenQ GW2785TC review: Should you buy it?
On balance, despite the negatives, there’s no arguing with what’s on offer here. The BenQ GW2785TC is the latest in a long line of BenQ monitors to deliver a great feature set at an even better price. Sure, it’s not quite as ludicrously cheap as predecessors such as the GL2780 or GW2480 but those monitors are barebones at best. If you want a proper, well-equipped budget office monitor, the BenQ GW2785TC is an excellent choice.