Not too long ago, I received an interesting email request about evaluating a product line. BenQ was a lineup that was familiar to me, but at the time I had been unaware that they had developed into a gaming peripherals manufacturer. The approach to get me to review their products was vastly different from what I had initially expected as well; rather than get me to look at an individual product, the team sent me a vast majority of their existing lineup to allow me to better get a feel for the company.
Of Mice and Mousepads
First thing to talk about was the various mice that were sent out to me. I had been testing three different series during the course of this almost two-month review: the EC series, the FK series, and the ZA series. The EC series focuses on mice for right-handed users, while the FK and the ZA series focus on ambidextrous use. At a precursory glance, the mice look almost all the same. They all feature wired connections, and ergonomic designs. They were all very light in the hand, and I never had comfort issues using them over periods of several hours. The FK and ZA series mice that I had been playing with were more favorable towards claw and palm-grip users, and in my opinion, were more comforting to my hand. The easiest way to summarize this, though, is to say that if you wanted options, you will have plenty to choose from. I found the experience using them favorable and similar to my experiences using the SteelSeries Rival mice – they’re perfect for budget players, and useful as a spare to have around.
Included in this bundle were several mousepads, the more normal-sized pads and a jumbo pad that took quite a good amount of space. The stitching was thorough on the pads, there was a nice bit of squishiness to them. I do think that a wrist rest helps significantly, though.
The XL2536 Gaming Monitor – I’m Missing Out…
The centerpiece of this product selection I was testing, though, was by far the Zowie XL2536 gaming monitor. Like I indicated in my subheading here, I’m seriously missing out on these and am actually considering purchasing a monitor like this in future, because there are an incredible number of small touches that make this monitor an easy standout.
Assembling this monitor takes all of five minutes. This could be really useful for quick setups and tournament organization. You can angle the monitor any way you’d like, and adjust the height to your viewing pleasure. The monitor is heavy, and doesn’t feel cheap in the slightest. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a microphone and a headphone jack port, and even has a headphone stand built into the monitor itself! I’ve quite honestly never seen anything like that, and it’s such a great touch that makes things extra convenient. The monitor also comes with a set of shields that can be used to further immerse the player in their gaming experience, but for my own purposes, I never needed them given they were used in a home office setup.
In the usage period I spent with it, I realized how much I had been missing out on the craze that is 144 Hz. It provides a cleaner, more fluid gaming experience. Playing games that have vigorous movements are much clearer, thanks to the monitor’s DyAc technology. In terms of eSports use, a great feature added in is the Black Equalizer technology, which brightens up darker environments while maintaining the exposure for brighter scenes. For the first-person shooter type games, it’s a useful function to have because it exposes potential players in the background that were trying to hide.
The biggest feature for me, though, wasn’t the DyAc or Black Equalizer tech. Interestingly, it was the inclusion of an S-Switch. The S-Switch technology makes adjusting settings so fast, and it’s a wonder how other manufacturers haven’t come up with a similar solution. The option to adjust settings on the monitor itself is still present, but with the S-Switch, it’s very difficult to go back to that. It comes with a scroll wheel not unlike those found in mice, and can save three different profiles that could be toggled instantly. These three settings for me were a setting that decreased the blue light, a cinema mode, and a gaming mode. Decreasing the blue light as the evening hours approach should come standard for all monitors, and the monitor does a great job at reducing the intensity of the display without coming off as too yellow. Having a cinema mode brought out the color in scenes, and they seemed to pop out at the viewer. Whether it was watching an intense episode of Game of Thrones, or a more visually bright show like The Rising of the Shield Hero, colors came out much more vibrantly than they would if I had viewed it on my Samsung monitor. The monitor has a max resolution of 1080p, which for me has always been fine, I haven’t made the jump to 4K yet.
A Company to Watch For
I was very pleasantly surprised by BenQ’s Zowie peripheral lineup. All of their options are quite good. The lineup of mice, as I stated earlier, has plenty of options to choose from, and they get their job done. Buying a monitor from this company has suddenly jumped on my radar thanks to the inclusion of a bunch of small, helpful features like instant profile switching with the S-Switch. Evaluating the company as a whole, I find them very favorable. I think they’re extremely underrated for what they offer, and I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of them until just recently when they reached out to me. That’s a mistake I will rectify, and Zowie will be having an extra set of eyes on their products in the future.