There are two very specific kinds of computer desk lamps in this world; one is the forgettably dull side table lamp that has been used for as long as I can remember, the other, is the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading LED Desk Lamp. This is a different kind of beast entirely.
When BenQ decided to send us this lamp we admit, we weren’t overly excited by the prospect of reviewing it, no disrespect to lamp enthusiasts. However, I have been using this lamp for a good few weeks now and – I never thought I’d say this about a lamp but – it’s absolutely fantastic.
That being said, this thing comes to shelves at a price point that would be considered pricey by top tier keyboard standards. We put this advanced desk lamp through its paces to see exactly what it has to offer and whether it can justify that high price point.
Quality build materials
Decent light output
Colour temperature control
I’m going to keep this section nice and brief. The box the lamp comes in feels pretty basic but is quite robust. The lamp itself is packaged in a thin piece of plastic and sits in a plastic mold. The stand and controller do not have the same luxury as the LED light, however. They simply sit inside the plastic mold.
The lamp comes with a couple of BenQ product cards, but no instruction manual. BenQ has decided to make the outside sleeve the instructions manual instead; which we thought was pretty cool.
Below is a list of the lamp’s main specifications:
- Light source: Dual color LED
- Color Rendering Index: 2700K:Ra 82;6500K: Ra 87
- Illuminance: 1000 Lux in the center (height 45cm)
- Luminous Flux: 2700K : 300lm ; 6500K : 320lm
- Color Temperature: 2700~6500K
- Power Input: 5V , 1A USB port
- Power Consumption: 5W (max.)
- Materials: Aluminium alloy, PC / AB
- Dimensions: 45cm x 9.0cm x 9.2cm
- Controller: 7.4cm x 7.4cm x 3.3cm
- Net Weight: 0.68 kg
The first thing I noticed when unboxing the BenQ computer lamp was how premium the thing actually looked. The lamp is a simple tube design that is finished with quality materials. It has a brushed metal theme with a thin LED strip inside which can be tilted to your desired position.
Both the bracket and the controller have the same luxurious feel and fit in perfectly with most of the monitor themes we have in the office. The bracket has a cool design that doesn’t actually clip onto your monitor. It uses a counterbalance design and hangs off the lip of your monitor. As cool as the design is, we tested it on several monitors with varying levels of success. Some felt incredibly secure; others felt a little wobbly.
The cables that connect the lamp to your PC feel extremely robust, which is always welcome on any hardware peripheral. The controller is the main hub of the lamp and connects to both the PC (VIA USB) and the lamp (VIA Micro USB).
Most of the features for this lamp come from the controller itself and what adjustments it has to offer. Before we get onto the controller though, let’s touch on the performance of the LED lamp itself.
The LED is of very high quality and is exceptionally bright. It offers a maximum brightness of 500 lumens which, for me, provided plenty of light in the evenings. It’s worth mentioning that the lowest settings available is 300 lumens which is again, fairly bright.
Let’s get stuck into the controller.
The controller has a couple of different features which include auto-dimming, adjustable brightness, and light color temperature settings.
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The controller has a wheel at its center which acts as the main adjuster. There are two switches on the controller as well which activate the auto-dim settings, or toggle between brightness and temperature adjustments.
Simply select the brightness adjustment and dial in (using the wheel) to your desired brightness.
Light Colour Temperature
This again is pretty self-explanatory. After you have set your brightness, click the toggle button to activate the temperature controls. Now you can change the warmth of the light to your taste. Whether you want it looking cool, or warm, the choice is yours!
This lamp, unlike many we have seen, offers you an auto-dim feature which, in theory, provides the optimal levels of light in relation to how much natural light is in your room. It works by using a sensor built into the lamp, which senses natural outside light and adjusts the lamp’s brightness and warmth accordingly.
As we near the end of this review, the big question that lingers in the back of our mind is; is this product really worth the money?!
Well, if you break the product down in the bare essentials; build quality, longevity, functionality, features, and performance, you would probably have to say yes. It has all of the above in abundance and provides sleek and stylish looks to boot. However, when you realize that for the same price, you could probably buy yourself a top-level keyboard or a half-decent RAM kit, you start to reconsider that statement.
I suppose it depends on how you use your computer and how much you prioritize a light source of an evening. If you’re a gamer, for example, you probably aren’t going to rush out and buy one of these tomorrow. You are much more likely to splash your cash on the latest gaming mouse.
Alternatively, if you’re a designer or writer that likes to use a pen and paper from time to time, I can’t think of a better option than this right now.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below, is it worth the money? I still can’t give a definite answer.
The BenQ ScreenBar e-Reader LED desk lamp truly has it all. Excellent light luminance, temperature control, brightness control, an auto-dimming setting, and a sleek style that is sure to fit any workstation.
The only thing that’s going to put you off this thing is the price!