BenQ Screenbar e-Reading Review / Test – USB Lamp dimmable

BenQ Screenbar e-Reading Lamp Review – USB Lamp dimmable
Let there be light – product presentation and test

Almost everyone knows the problem: You sit at home in the evening, in the dark, in front of the monitor. And then you have to read a note quickly, read a password from the piece of paper, or type the e-mail address of the public authority from the letter of the office. Oh dear, the large room lighting is far away.

And when you turn it on, there is a large shadow too, because the lamp is usually placed behind you. And the normal desk lamp always dazzles so much that you can’t see anything at all on the monitor. Good would be a USB lamp, dimmable and flexible, without taking up much space on your desk.

German Version:

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So the question is: Is there a dimmable USB lamp for the PC workplace, which on the one hand provides reasonable light and on the other hand does not cause reflections on the monitor?

And the answer could be: A monitor clamp lamp. I got a test sample of the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading lamp from BenQ and would like to introduce it here.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - BenQ product preview - free desk
BenQ ScreenBar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – BenQ product preview – free desk

Manufacturer and price

The USB lamp presented in this article is manufactured by Benq. You may have heard of this company before in the PC monitor sector, as they have been known since the 1980s for their monitors and projectors. Benq is a former subsidiary of Acer, but that’s only a side story. Basically, you can say that Benq is not an unknown brand and I have an old 17″ monitor from Benq on my desk, which has been in use for 2 decades without any problems.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - cardboard preview
BenQ ScreenBar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – cardboard preview

But then we come to the biggest sticking point of this product, namely the price. And this is relatively high with 99€ for a USB desk lamp. That’s why the big question of this test will be, is the quality of the product sufficient to justify this price?

Scope of delivery

The Benq e-reading lamp comes in a stylish box where all parts are well and sturdily framed. Transport damage is therefore almost impossible unless the carton is almost completely destroyed. The packaging then contains the 3 parts that make up the device.

First, there is the USB connection cable for the power supply. This offers stable connections, on one side a normal USB plug, on the other side Micro-USB. This serves for the power supply and can be connected for example at the PC or with more modern monitors also directly at the screen.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - the scope of delivery
BenQ ScreenBar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – the scope of delivery

The next component is the retaining clip. Benq has come up with some ideas here. This clip mechanism is manufactured in such a way that you can attach it to almost any monitor. I’ll say a few words about this intelligently designed fastening mechanism in detail.

The third and last part is then the actual lamp. This consists of an approximately 35cm long LED strip with 90 individual LEDs. The diameter of the strip is about 4.5 cm. On this strip, there are three sensor switches with which you can switch the lamp on and off, regulate the color temperature in 8 steps and also dim the brightness. Then there is an environmental sensor that automatically adjusts the lighting to the ambient brightness.

Component quality

The cable is reasonably shielded and has normal stable USB plugs. The holder and the strip itself are made of high-quality plastic and look as if they are rather insensitive to shocks or falling down. One has the feeling of holding a stable and usable product in one’s hand.

The surfaces are smooth, except for the places where the holder can come into contact with the monitor. A rubber coating is inserted there to provide anti-slip stability. Once the holder has been attached, it holds the position very well thanks to this rubber coating.

The controls are motion sensors behind a clear plastic cover. They operate completely without mechanical components and are therefore insensitive to dust, dirt, or mechanical influences. This type of technical implementation should ensure a very long service life.

Assembly and mounting

Assembly and attachment to the monitor are ingeniously simple. Slide the round light strip into the 3/4 round holder on the mounting arm, turn the light strip so that the USB socket can be reached through the gap provided, and then plug in the USB cable with the Micro-USB.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - ingenious holding function
BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – ingenious holding function

The folding arm has a smallholding rail on one side, which is positioned in front of the edge of the monitor. It protrudes about 1cm from the edge so that the monitor should have at least an equally wide edge or at least an unused area in this width. Otherwise, the holding rail would protrude into the image. However, this should be the case with almost all monitors. I have an Acer XZ321qu, whose screen edge is really extremely small with only 2 millimeters, but which still has an unused edge of about 8 millimeters, so the mounting rail doesn’t cause any interference in the picture.

On the back of the monitor, the counterweight pressed against the monitor with internal springs will find its place. This protrudes about 6cm to the back and about 7-8cm from the edge of the monitor to the bottom. In all cases, this should not cause any problems with the monitor stand, a monitor swivel arm, or the wall behind the device.

This holding device is simply very cleverly designed, I think. It does not represent a significant obstacle in any direction around the monitor, does not require any modification to the monitor, should be suitable for almost any monitor, and requires almost no space. And this small folding arm offers a massively stable mounting. You can also bump into it and still keep the lamp in place.

The light strip can still be turned easily in its holder. This allows alignment to eye level within certain limits. This is particularly interesting for gamers who may be sitting in an armchair or gamer chair for many hours in front of the monitor and often sit playing not very upright as they would in the office on a desk chair. By this possibility of rotating (within limits) it is possible to adjust the lamp so that you don’t have to look directly into the light strip.

Operation and power of the USB lamp (dimmable)

benq screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - ambient light sensor
BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – ambient light sensor

The handling of the BenQ e-Reading lamp is very simple but effective. The mounting method provided has a recess to the right of the holder in which the on/off switch is located on the right-hand edge. Next to it is the trigger for the automatic dimming function, which can be restarted from here. Then the ambient brightness is measured and the lamp adapts to these conditions.

On the left side, there is also a well-felt depression, in which also 2 functions are arranged. More towards the middle, there is the selection switch for the color temperature. Here you can switch the light color temperature in 8 steps from 2700K to 6500K.

It is probably known that the color temperature of lighting has an influence on people. Warm light is more likely to relax and cold light with a high blue component improves concentration but also influences sleep patterns. Depending on the time of day, warm light is therefore recommended for work at night so that you can get some sleep at some point.

The switch on the far left is the manual dimmer switch. This has a special operating mode because it reacts to the time it is pressed. This means if you put your finger on the sensor, the brightness of the lamp is dimmed slowly, the longer you leave your finger on the sensor, the darker the light becomes. If one takes the finger away briefly and places it again on the sensor, the function reverses, and now, depending on the time, the light becomes brighter again. So this button changes direction with every operation. Somehow solved smartly, most other devices need two buttons for such functions.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - no reflections on the screen
BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – no reflections on the screen

A very important point with such a monitor lamp is the characteristics concerning reflections on the monitor. And here the BenQ ScreenBar scores enormously. The LEDs are exactly aligned in their beam direction so that spots in front of the monitor are not illuminated, but neither the viewer is dazzled in front of the monitor, nor there are reflections on the monitor. In this important point the ScreenBar leaves nothing to be desired, this task is solved perfectly.

Reading Recommendation:

More Reviews and Tests can be found here

BenQ ScreenBar and Curved Monitors

Large curved monitors are in vogue with gamers. Owners of such devices will ask themselves, a straight USB lamp on the rounded monitor? Does the Benq Screenbar also work with a curved monitor?

In my review, I tested the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading with a 32″ Curved Monitor. My Acer XZ321qu has an 1800 Curve and I think there is a limit here. At about 90-95% of the width of the lamp, the light is not reflected by the upper edge of the monitor, but at the very edge, a very slight reflection starts. I don’t know any tighter curve than 1800R so far (e.g., 1600R or less), but if you have such a monitor, this might be a problem. With a 1800R curved monitor, it could be annoying for very sensitive users, as I said, at about 5% of the width (2.5% on the right and 2.5% on the left) this curvature causes a reflection. For all curved monitors with a small curvature, which would correspond to higher values of 1900R or more, the lamp should show no reflection at all.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - mounted
BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – mounted

BenQ ScreenBar and multiple monitors

I used a 3 monitor setup in the test. The monitors are angled at about an angle of 10 degrees. The lamp was mounted on the middle monitor and I couldn’t see any disturbing reflections on the two outer screens. So I can recommend the Screenbar also for multi-monitor setups.

Other possible uses

Since the ScreenBar is supplied with a USB cable, I see all kinds of additional usage possibilities apart from the actual use as a monitor lamp. So you could use the lamp with a USB power supply anywhere in your home, where there is an edge for the mounting. And a USB lamp, dimmable, can be used in many places.

The lighting strip can also provide wonderful light for short-term lighting requirements, e.g., for handicrafts in dark corners of the home or in a garage.

If you combine the BenQ ScreenBar with a Powerbank, you have an almost unlimited useable mobile lamp with an enormous light output. I’m thinking of camping in a tent or caravan if you don’t have electricity. When fishing, on excursions, as an emergency lamp, at festivals, in accidents in the dark, etc., etc., etc… I think there are hardly any limits to your imagination.

My opinion on BenQ ScreenBar

This means that expensive stands for a desk lamp can be saved and valuable space gained on the desk and at the workplace. In general, this lamp is a space-saving wonder in comparison with almost all other solutions for desk lighting.

BenQ screenbar e-reading USB lamp dimmable - 8 color temperature levels
BenQ ScreenBar e-reading USB lamp dimmable – 8 color temperature levels

As a desk light and monitor lamp, it meets all my needs. Switching between cold and warm light, dimming, no space requirement on the table, no extra power supply, so many advantages combined in one device. Very often I sat in the dark in front of my computer, because most other lamps caused reflections and disturbances or couldn’t illuminate the actually necessary area anyway, because either the monitor or my body was in the way and cast shadows. Those days are over with the Screenbar. Exactly the right area is illuminated very efficiently without shadows and disturbances of the display on the monitor.

The BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading convinced me with its production quality, ease of use, and wide range of applications outside the monitor. This lamp provides light in a wonderful way.

Rating: BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading USB Lamp, dimmable

The product is a high-quality finished product and does its job very, very well. But the question is, how much is one willing to spend on the lighting wishes on the computer desk.

The BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading costs €99 here in Germany. And there is another luxury version, the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Plus, which costs another 30 Euro more. The only difference is that it still has an external control panel, which can be placed on the desk, for switching on and off and for dimming. In any case, there are offers with lower prices and there are a lot of cheaper offers (cheap in the sense of lower quality).

But if you sit a lot at your PC or in front of another monitor and there is a need for reasonable lighting, the BenQ ScreenBar can be a great solution. It’s certainly not the cheapest solution, but I think it’s one of the best in terms of quality, and if you get yourself to pay for this lamp, you’ll get great desk lighting for your money.

BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading USB Lamp

Zap from ZapZockt.de

benq screenbar e reading USB Lampe dimmbar benq produktvorschau freier schreibtisch
Almost everyone knows the problem: You sit at home in the evening, in the dark in front of the monitor, and then have to read a note quickly, read a password from the piece of paper, or type the e-mail address of the public authority from the letter of the office. Oh dear, the large room lighting is far away. And when you turn it on, there is a large shadow too, because the lamp is usually placed behind you. And the normal desk lamp always dazzles so much that you can’t see anything at all on the monitor. Good would be a USB lamp, dimmable and flexible, without taking up much space on your desk.
reliable holder
no reflections on the screen
quality of light
additional functions
price
fits any screen

Rating: BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading USB Lamp, dimmable

The product is a high-quality finished product and does its job very, very well. But the question is, how much is one willing to spend on the lighting wishes on the computer desk.
The BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading costs €99 here in Germany. And there is another luxury version, the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Plus, which costs another 30 Euro more. The only difference is that it still has an external control panel, which can be placed on the desk, for switching on and off and for dimming. In any case, there are offers with lower prices and there are a lot of cheaper offers (cheap in the sense of lower quality).
But if you sit a lot at your PC or in front of another monitor and there is a need for reasonable lighting, the BenQ ScreenBar can be a great solution. It’s certainly not the cheapest solution, but I think it’s one of the best in terms of quality, and if you get yourself to pay for this lamp, you’ll get great desk lighting for your money.

4.5

Buy BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading:

If you are now considering buying this lamp, I would be happy if you would use the following affiliate link. You get the BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading for the same price as usual, but I would get a small commission, and you support my work with it:

BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading: https://amzn.to/2YK1cup
BenQ ScreenBar e-Reading Plus (with external control unit): https://amzn.to/2G5Bjhu

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Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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