Want a 27-inch, 1440p, 240Hz monitor with HDMI 2.1? BenQ’s Mobiuz EX270QM deserves your attention

BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM Review


The BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM can seem a bit odd at first glance. It’s a 27-inch, 1440p, 240Hz monitor with an IPS panel that retails for $799.99 – a couple hundred more than several viable alternatives. BenQ justifies this price with the inclusion of HDMI 2.1 and excellent built-in speakers, which provides strong niche appeal.

BenQ EX270QM – Design


The look and feel of BenQ’s Mobiuz monitors continue to pace well ahead of most competitors in the monitor market. From the front, the EX270QM is tame but strikes a premium feel thanks to its wide, imposing stand and textured bottom bezel. The back, meanwhile, shows off the stand’s thick neck and the panel’s faux-metal finish. It all adds up to a premium look and feel that, though just short of Alienware’s best, is certainly superior to most competitors.
The EX270QM has sturdy plastic panels that feel tightly bound and don’t warp or wobble when handled. A sturdy, thick stand keeps the monitor planted and stable if the desk it’s placed on shakes. That's handy if you, like me, have an inexpensive IKEA desk with questionable stability.

While the stand is sturdy, its wedge-shaped legs take up significant space on a desk and make that space unusable. Most gaming monitors use a stand similar to the EX270QM, but I’d prefer a flat base, which can be found on competitors such as the Dell Gaming and Asus TUF Gaming line.
LED lighting is included and controlled through the monitor, providing nine color options and six mode options that pulse in different patterns. The lighting is easy to notice in a modestly-lit room, but it’s perfect in a dark gaming den. Lighting brightness can’t be adjusted, though, so what you see is what you get.

BenQ EX270QM – Features & Menu


Video connectivity is great with one DisplayPort 1.4 port and two HDMI 2.1 ports for a total of three video inputs, all of which can handle the monitor’s maximum display resolution and refresh rate. This is a key feature for gamers who want to connect multiple sources – like both a PC and one or more current-gen console – for high-refresh gaming, including over HDMI. Competing 240Hz monitors use HDMI 2.0 and do not support 240Hz when connected via HDMI.
USB connectivity is more modest, as there’s no USB-C port. This is common among gaming monitors, and a bit frustrating: a USB-C port can carry DisplayPort and handle high refresh rates. The monitor does provide a USB-B upstream port which passes through to two USB-A 3.0 ports.
The buttons on the monitor are a bit odd, as the monitor’s power button and menu joystick are placed next to each other, and the power button feels like a joystick when touched. I frequently turned the monitor off when I meant to open the menu.

This problem can be avoided, however, with BenQ’s bundled remote control. This handy feature, which is unusual among monitors, is a far better way to control a monitor. It’s intuitive and doesn’t require hunching over to find the monitor’s buttons.
The menus are simple to navigate, as menu options are clearly labeled and the font is easy to read. The menu responds quickly to either joystick or remote control input. I do find it odd that some features are only found in the quick menu, and not the main menu, and I think BenQ should reconsider this choice. Still, it's a great experience overall.
There’s one final feature to mention: the speakers. BenQ’s Mobiuz line is unique in offering a pair of two-watt stereo speakers and a five-watt subwoofer. The result is strong, clear sound that can replace a budget desktop speaker setup. This bundles value into the monitor and keeps your desk free of clutter.

BenQ EX270QM – Gaming Performance


The BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM makes a good first impression at default settings. It’s bright, but not too bright, with a maximum SDR brightness of 360 nits which, surprisingly, is adjusted down to a more comfortable setting in the monitor’s default game mode.
I enjoy the monitor’s wide color gamut, which spans up to 98 percent of DCI-P3 and 90 percent of AdobeRGB. This is excellent performance, beaten only by monitors that use an OLED panel or those with Quantum Dot technology. For gamers, a wide gamut creates a hyper-saturated look that’s wonderful in games with a bright, colorful presentation such as Overwatch 2 or Apex Legends.

Contrast, on the other hand, is limited with a maximum measured contrast ratio of 990:1. The BenQ EX270QM is an IPS monitor and it suffers the elevated black levels common to this technology. Scenes that should appear deep and foreboding are instead a bit hazy. This is most noticeable when gaming in a dark room and when playing games with a dark presentation, such as Diablo II: Resurrected. To be fair, however, the EX270QM’s contrast performance is typical of an IPS monitor.
The monitor’s maximum resolution of 1440p provides a pixel density of about 108 pixels per inch. This isn’t as high as a 4K monitor of the same size, which provides 163 pixels per inch, but high enough to offer good clarity in most situations. I only found the resolution’s limits noticeable when viewing fine fonts or small interface elements, which display hints of pixelation.
On the other hand, 1440p offers an advantage in performance, since it demands far less of a GPU than 4K resolution. The EX270QM is a 240Hz monitor, which implies it’s meant for playing games at a high refresh rate. From that perspective, 1440p is an ideal resolution.
I think most PC gamers will enjoy the EX270QM’s image quality. Games look bright, vivid, sharp, and can achieve high frame rates even on mid-range hardware. However, the EX270QM isn’t treading new territory, and a wide variety of competitors offer similar image quality. This includes less expensive models like the HyperX Armada 27 and Gigabyte M27Q X.

BenQ EX270QM - HDR Performance


The BenQEX Mobiuz EX270QM supports HDR10 and detects an HDR signal (as tested with a Windows PC and Xbox Series X). HDR mode is engaged automatically and looks good at default settings.
This monitor carries VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification. However, my testing found the monitor hit a maximum full-screen HDR brightness of 360 nits, which is low. This level of brightness is not high enough to deliver the eye-searing brilliance of great HDR. And while the monitor can support local dimming, it’s only edge-lit, and the IPS panel’s contrast ratio falls short of what's needed for a quality HDR experience.
None of this is a surprise or (relative to competitors) a problem. The simple truth is this: good HDR is only found on Mini-LED and OLED monitors, and those monitors remain above the $1,000 price point.
That said, the BenQ EX270QM makes the best of what it has to work with. The monitor’s tone mapping appears solid and the default settings offer some sense of added brightness without ruining detail in shadows or near-white areas.
I prefer to play in SDR on a monitor like this, but HDR gaming is acceptable. In a strange way, the limited brightness makes sense: HDR disables monitor brightness controls, and entry-level HDR monitors have a tendency to be overly bright and washed out. The EX270QM’s presentation offers a pleasant middle ground.

BenQ EX270QM – Motion Performance


It’s motion performance, not image quality, which is meant to justify the BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM. This is a 1440p monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate and a quoted gray-to-gray response time of one millisecond. A refresh rate of 240Hz remains the highest available on a 1440p monitor.
Motion clarity is excellent at 240Hz. Enemy units, health bars, and names remain legible when scrolling across the field of battle in League of Legends. Enemy units and health bars are legible on a 144Hz or 165Hz monitor, but names aren’t. The EX270QM retained significant detail in the Blur Busters’ UFO test, as well, with almost all elements of the funny little alien visible aside from his trio of eyes, which blurred into a pair of peepers.

I also noticed the monitor’s motion clarity is good at 120 frames per second, and ok even at 60 frames per second. Make no mistake: motion clarity is much worse at lower framerates, but it remains reasonable. That’s good news if you want to play both fast, high-framerate games and more demanding fare like Cyberpunk 2077 or Metro Exodus.
In short, motion clarity is a real highlight and, for some, will be the entire reason to buy this monitor. You can find better results in 360Hz monitors, of course, but those are still limited to a 24.5-inch display. The 27-inch, 1440p, 240Hz EX270QM is a better fit for gamers who are serious but not on the path to pro.

BenQ EX270QM – Day-to-Day Performance


The BenQ Mobiuz EX270QM has some potential as a multi-use monitor for both hardcore gaming and serious professional workflows. It has the color gamut many content creators will crave and 1440p resolution which, while not as good as 4K, remains an acceptable middle ground for a variety of content creation.
Unfortunately, the EX270QM doesn’t hit the mark due to its mediocre color accuracy. Overall color accuracy is behind a variety of competitors including the Gigabyte M27QX, HyperX Armada 27, and Asus TUF Gaming VG289Q, to name a few. The difference doesn’t leap out at a glance, but I felt colors were a bit too pastel and dark overall.
The default gamma curve of 2.4 and color temperature of 6000K may contribute to this. These numbers mean the display is both a bit darker and warmer than intended. BenQ provides alternative gamma modes that can put the monitor on the target gamma curve of 2.2, but no color temperature mode hits the target of 6500K. Software-based calibration will be necessary to dial in image accuracy.
I should mention BenQ doesn’t sell the Mobiuz EX270QM as a professional monitor, so these criticisms are not unexpected. However, given its price, BenQ should hold itself to a higher standard of color accuracy and professional-caliber controls. Monitor makers still don’t seem to understand that gamers and content creators are often the same demographic. I have similar criticisms of other high-end gaming monitors like the Alienware AW2721DW.
While the EX270QM’s day-to-day performance doesn’t hold up for professionals, it remains attractive in casual use. The monitor’s solid brightness, good text clarity, and wide color gamut provide good results when browsing the web or viewing YouTube. The monitor’s superior built-in speakers are another plus, offering strong sound that, for some owners, will make external speakers unnecessary.

BenQ EX270QM – The Competition


BenQ’s Mobiuz EX270QM has many competitors including the Samsung Odyssey 27, Gigabyte M27Q X, Asus ROG Swift PG279QM, Optix MAG274QRX, ViewSonic ELITE XG271QG, and Alienware AW2721DW. BenQ’s monitor, being a new face on the block, retails at a high MSRP of $799.99 – the highest in this pack.
All of these monitors have similar image quality, as they all have IPS panels which, though not identical across the board, are closer than they are not. That can make the BenQ EX270QM’s price hard to justify. From an image quality perspective, you’ll get far more bang-for-the-buck from Gigabyte’s M27Q X. It offers better overall image quality results for about $500.
However, the Gigabyte M27Q X – and all other similar monitors I could find – share a weakness relative to the EX270QM: they lack HDMI 2.1. BenQ’s inclusion of HDMI 2.1 is unusual for a 1440p monitor. Gamers who want that feature in a 27-inch, 1440p, 240Hz monitor will find the EX270QM is the only choice.

This story originally appeared on: IGN - Author:Matthew S. Smith

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