On September 15, 2022 I took delivery of a BenQ Screenbar.
The Screenbar was offered to me for free by BenQ, provided I would write my honest review on the item.
This is my initial review of BenQ's Screenbar.
BenQ promotes their line of Screenbars as a product build to reduce screen glare, eye strain and clutter in your workspace.
Let's see how the Screenbar does compared to the promises made on the box.
First of all, when I received the item, I had to unpack it. It came in a box in a bag in a box. Quite the amount of packing material. Maybe something to optimize a little bit. But, their product box, the one with product images was well laid out and pretty straight forward. BenQ places a nice inlay in the box with outlines of each item in the box with some descriptive text for each element on each item you should be aware of. This is also immeditaly all the manual you get in the box. If you are a person who wants to read a bit more, then you have to scan the QR code that's displayed on the inlay and get a digital manual that way.
But, all the information on the inlay is all you really need.
The box contains 5 things:
And that's it. Nothing else.
But I must say, the information on the inlay is all I really needed. Getting the Screenbar to go into the mount took 2 tries, but after that the whole assemble was easlily places on my computer screen. After that I plugged in the cable and it was done. I tapped the right most touch button to turn the device on.
I'll now look at each element individually and share my thouhts.
The bar itself is what I expected, A round metalic tube with LEDs on one side and touch buttons on top. WHen mounted in the mount the screenbar can be rotated a little bit to make sure the light bundle is aimed just right. The four touch buttons respond well. No pressing or wiggling needed in my case at least. Just a simple touch and it was good.
The assembly has 4 buttons.
The first two buttons took me a bit to figure out and I am not yet entirely sure how they work. I think it is either a cycle, like pressen and hold and it will cycle back and forth slowly between the extreen settings for both brightness and color temperature or it is a matter of tapping to lower the value and holding to increase the value. But I didn't play around much with these buttons anyway. The Auto button is where the best part of this screenbar is at. When you tap the auto button the screenbar automatically adjusts itself depending on the current ambient lighting. It adjusts both brightness and color temperature and in my case the auto setting gets it just right and keeps the lighting just right to my taste. And this works great. Especially with the way the screenbar remembers its settings when powered on over USB again. The On/Off button does what you would expect.
Now on to the screenbar memory. What I did, was plug in the Screenbar into an available USB port on my monitor. And this actually works great. My monitor only powers the USB ports on the back when the screen is not sleeping. So I plug in my laptop, this triggers the monitor to wake up, thus powering the USB ports. And then the screenbar activates with the setting it had previously, which in my case is probably the auto setting. The screenbar detects the ambient lighting and immediatly adjusts itself to a proper setting.
This is right in line with BenQ's slogan "Don't Settle for Less". This things just works. You mount it, you attach it and it just improved my desktop life significantly. I now have a well lit workspace. And when I get to my desk, I only need to plug in my laptop and everything starts working.
The screenbar is attached to your screen with a mount you place on top of your monitor. It works by putting a little lip over the front of your monitor and this places a bracked above and a bulky piece behing your screen.
The mount feels sturdy and once mounted the whole assembly does not feel wobly at all. It just sits there. A nice detail is that the weight that's behind your screen is covered in some sort of grippy padding which protect the back of your screen and adds a whole lot of grip for the mount. It just feels solid and shows that the people designing this thing have thought things through.
The one thing to be aware of, if you happen to have a screen with a really tiny bezel, the lip could potentially overlap with the visible screen area. Not on my setup, but it is something to be aware of for every screenbar mounted in a similar fashion.
Not much to say about the cable. It is a quality USB-A to USB-C cable. The screenbar itself has a USB-C port. A nice touch is the rubber band wrapped around the cable. Hang on to it, it is convenient to put on the amount of slack cable you will have dangling behind your screen. WIth this band you can keep things bundled up and look tidy from the front.
All in all, after a week with the Screenbar I really like the device. The best part is, I am not really aware of it's presence. It did not add any clutter to my desk, but it did improve the lighting of my workspace significanly without adding any glare.
So it seems BenQ made good on its promiseof the purpose and functionality of their product: Reduce eye strain (with proper lighting), withour adding clutter or screen glare.
I think the BenQ Screenbar is a solid product and you should not settle for less. The LED array and the color temperatures they can produce are very nice and I hav not experienced any flicker, not even when taking pictures.
If you have any questions or things you want me to share my experience on with this Screenbar. Let me know, easiest is a DM on Twitter. @appforce1.