Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time has been proven to causes eye irritation. Most people nowadays spend the majority of their time working with computers which can take a terrible toll on your eyes. As a software developer, I spend most of the day looking at code and have learned to take breaks in between to avoid eye strain. When BenQ asked me to review their ScreenBar, I knew immediately I had to try it.
BenQ's ScreenBar is an impressive LED lamp designed to save you valuable desk space while at the same time help you concentrate by relieving eye strain. It's designed to fit on any display that has a screen thickness between 1cm and 3cm which means that it will cover the majority of the monitors out there without an issue. If you are using a curved display, the ScreenBar will fit but it will not cover the width of the panel. Size-wise, the ScreenBar is about 18 inches long which makes it great for displays in the 20" - 27" range.
BenQ's ScreenBar is USB powered so that means any USB outlet can power it, whether it is a computer, phone charger or power bank. It comes equipped with a 60-inch USB-A-to-Micro-USB cable which is long enough for most setups. BenQ has designed the ScreenBar with an aluminum build quality that gives it a nice premium feel to it and I love its elegant design. Most desk lamps utilize a plastic build quality so it's very nice to see BenQ use aluminum.
You can find the ScreenBar for $100 on Amazon and it comes with a 1-year of warranty. The majority of high quality desk lamps retail for between $60-$80 on Amazon so the ScreenBar at $100 is quite expensive but BenQ seems to be confident in their product by positioning it towards the higher end of the market. What I love the most about the ScreenBar is its ability to remember your last used brightness and color temperature settings so you don't have to re-configure it every time you plug it in.
The clip and bar do not come pre-assembled but the installation process is extremely simple and won't take more than a few seconds. All you need to do is attach the clip to the bar and plug in the USB cable and you are all set. BenQ has done a great job designing the clamp system because it automatically adjusts its size to fit most monitors.
|Light Source:||Dual color LED|
|Color Rendering Index:||> 80|
|Illuminance:||800 Lux in the center (height 45cm)|
|Power Input:||5V USB Port|
|Power Consumption:||5W (max)|
|Materials:||Aluminum alloy, Polycarbonate|
|Dimensions:||45cm x 9cm x 9.2cm|
The ScreenBar comes with four touch sensitive buttons; manual dimmer, Hue adjustment, auto dimmer, and a power button. To manually dim the brightness or adjust the Hue, you simply have to hold your finger. Tap the auto dim button for automatic brightness and the indicator will shine green. BenQ includes an ambient light sensor to detect the environment that you are in and change the brightness and color temperature accordingly which can help with reducing eye irritation brought on by prolonged computer use. BenQ claims that the built-in ambient light sensor automatically illuminates to 500 Lux which seems to be true because it gets extremely bright.
The touch buttons are located on top of the bar and they are quite responsive and easy to press. BenQ's logo is located in the front center and behind is where you will also find the USB port. When it comes to adjustments, you can tilt the ScreenBar by 20° backwards and forwards. A downside to the ScreenBar is that it blocks the top bezel of the monitor which makes it impossible to add a webcam or a microphone.
BenQ's ScreenBar has two types of LEDs, a warm-tinted LED and the standard blue LEDs. The color temperature can vary between blue (6500K) and very warm (2700K). When the color temperature is set to its warmest (2700K), the standard LEDs that produce the blue color are turned off. If you choose a setting between the blue and warm, the two LEDs mix to produce the temperature you want. Personally, I keep the auto dim mode on because I think it does a good job of auto adjusting itself and I also don't have to tweak the different Hue and brightness levels.
BenQ's ScreenBar is perfect for people with limited desk space. It has everything you can ask for in a high quality desk lamp such as a premium build quality, a clear and simple to navigate touch buttons, and I love that it is USB powered and that it can remember my previously used settings. I also like having the ability to adjust the angle of the light projection. The BenQ ScreenBar works exactly as advertised and does everything it claims to do perfectly well.
+ Good Build Quality
+ USB Powered
+ Frees Up Desk Space
+ Great Interface
The biggest drawback of the screenbar is its high price-tag which might be a deal breaker to some. If you are willing to spend $100 for a desk lamp, the BenQ ScreenBar is an excellent choice for users who want a top-notch desk lamp with great features. Overall, the BenQ ScreenBar deserves our gold award.
Final Score 9.3