BenQ is certainly not afraid of thinking outside the box when it comes to helping to improve their customer’s lives. Whether it is offering kick-ass 10-bit professional orientated monitors, or it is projectors… BenQ is there offering value in markets typically not associated with value. Though, of the various offerings, the BenQ ScreenBar is easily the most interesting. Interesting in that it does solve a problem that many people suffer from, but few monitor manufactures want to even acknowledge. This problem of course is eye strain, or more precisely balancing screen glare vs being in a dark cave of a work environment. Obviously the default, stand by option of simply turning on a low wattage bulb in a desk lamp and angling it away from the monitor does have a lot going for it (namely price, customizability… and price) but it is not an optimal option as typical lightbulbs are omnidirectional and screen glare can actually cause more eye strain than a darkened room would by itself.
The designers of the ScreenBar obviously were like us and wanted something better than an omnidirectional light source. However, they obviously didn’t want a solution that took up precious desk real-estate. The result of their so outside the box thinking they didn’t even see the box is a more focused – yet moveable – LED based light source that not only can adjust its light angle and brightness / Lumen output, but can also adjust the temperature (aka ‘color’) of the light it outputs. Better still as it hangs off the top of your monitor it does not take up any desk space, can be powered via a free USB port… and really does not look all that out of place when not being used.
On paper that certainly is a lot to like about the nifty little ScreenBar… but as we all know paper specifications can indeed lie. When thinking about spending $90 for a fancy LED light everyone has a right to be rather… skeptical to say the least. So with that in mind, when we heard of the ScreenBar we decided we needed to know what it actually can and can not do. Without giving too much away… it may not be perfect but it is actually an interesting little device that works surprisingly well. So lets go over what this actually is, and what it can – and cannot – offer people willing to fork over $90 USD to get a bit more comfort in their long term work area!