Monitors with E-Ink displays are expensive… like really expensive. But BenQ has a simpler, cheaper solution: some of the company’s latest monitors have an “ePaper mode” that lets you switch to a black and white view for a distraction-free reading experience.

Sure, you don’t get most of the benefits of a true E Ink display, but BenQ’s displays are a lot more affordable, with prices starting at $150.

The BenQ GL2780 is a 27 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel TN LCD display with a 75 Hz refresh rate, 250 nits of brightness, and 2 watt stereo speakers. It’s expected to sell for about $180.

It uses BenQ’s “flicker-free technology,” emits less blue light than a typical display, and has a “color weakness mode” that allows users with a color vision deficiency to adjust the green or red displayed on the monitor.

According to Tom’s Hardware, BenQ also has a $150 version called the BenQ GL2480 that features a 24 inch display and which lacks the integrated speakers, but this model doesn’t seem to be listed on the BenQ website yet.

I’m not sure how useful the ePaper mode will be on these screens. A real E Ink display doesn’t require a backlight and only draws power when content on the screen is changing. It’s easier to view in direct sunlight and offers long battery life for things like Kindle eReaders. BenQ’s solution… just turns a normal screen into a black and white display.

But BenQ isn’t the only company that figures removing the color from a display could be helpful in reducing distractions. Starting with Android 9 Pie, Google has included a “greyscale” option as part of its Digital Well Being “Wind Down” feature. Every night at 9:30 my Pixel 2 display switches to black and white to remind me that it’s time to put down my phone and get ready for bed… and even if I cave to the urge to open Instagram or YouTube, I know I’ll be stuck looking at black and white images.

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8 replies on “BenQ’s new monitors have an “ePaper” mode”

  1. In Windows 10, you can search Settings for ‘Adjust Color FIlters’.

    That also allows you to switch to a Black and White mode using a hotkey (WIN + CTRL + C).

  2. ViewSonic monitors have had this forever, it’s just called “Mono” under the screen profiles.

  3. IF they had had a transflective display it could have reaped some of the e-paper benefits by shutting off the backlight. Not as nice as actual e-ink but it would have had some of the benefits and skipped some of the drawbacks.

    1. Exactly. In fact that’s what I assumed this was doing at first before I read the post.

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