benq screenbar plus review: a futuristic desk lamp, but at a cost

© Provided by The Indian Express

Working long hours from home and sitting at a desk in an empty room can start playing with your mind. Gradually, anxiety starts to creep in, making things even worse. Which is why experts recommend taking short breaks between work to reboot your brain. But have you ever wondered how lighting affects one's state of mind? I thought about this a lot while reviewing BenQ’s ScreenBar Plus LED computer lamp for the past few days. It’s not a product to show off, rather it is something that lets you introspect and helps change your emotional state. This premium light for your work desk helps you create a cloak from the madness of the real world.

Also read |BenQ V7050i Laser TV review: You can bring the cinema home

Here’s my take on the BenQ ScreenBar Plus, which is more than a high-end desk lamp.

BenQ ScreenBar Plus price in India: Rs 12,990

Desk lamps are underrated

If the pandemic taught me one thing, it is to never compromise on a work-space setup. The stiff chair, the short desk, and the clunky laptop keyboard will only increase your discomfort while working. There is one more thing as important as a comfortable chair, a desk set at a proper height, or an ergonomic keyboard: proper lighting. Even a basic, but good, desk lamp has the ability to take your productivity to an entirely new level. But we never acknowledge it, because desk lamps are boring right?

benq screenbar plus review: a futuristic desk lamp, but at a cost

© Provided by The Indian Express BenQ ScreenBar Plus, BenQ ScreenBar Plus price in India, BenQ ScreenBar Plus review, BenQ ScreenBar Plus features, BenQ ScreenBar Plus amazon, BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED light, best desk lamps to buy in India On my iMac G5, the ScreenBar has been placed in such a way that it never obstructs the iSight camera. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

...but the BenQ ScreenBar Plus is different

You might argue against investing in a desk lamp, especially if it costs in the region of Rs 13,000. But the ScreenBar Plus is interesting. Even though a desk lamp, offers complete control over the light it produces, which a standard bar-style LED task light can’t. The core idea of the ScreenBar Plus is not only to improve lighting but also to protect your eyes from strain and fatigue.

A lot of the credit has to go to the design. This is a cylindrical-shaped bar that’s fitted on top of the computer screen and hence the LEDs illuminate your desk without being another light source distracting your eyes. With the help of a weighted clip on the backside, I was able to easily secure the bar on top of my iMac G5. The good thing about the ScreenBar is that it uses no adhesive or screws on the monitor to attach the light. It appears to be solid, and thanks to its top-notch anodized aluminum construction, it stays at the right spot even when the angle of the display is changed.

On my iMac G5, the ScreenBar has been placed in such a way that it never obstructs the iSight camera. While I liked the light bar and how it was perched perfectly on my iMac, it’s hard to place a webcam along with the ScreenBar Plus on a regular computer monitor. You can prop up the webcam on top of the light bar, but it won’t be a pretty sight.

benq screenbar plus review: a futuristic desk lamp, but at a cost

© Provided by The Indian Express BenQ ScreenBar Plus, BenQ ScreenBar Plus price in India, BenQ ScreenBar Plus review, BenQ ScreenBar Plus features, BenQ ScreenBar Plus amazon, BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED light, best desk lamps to buy in India The LEDs illuminate just on the front of the screen and provide focused light without glare. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The innovative dial controller

The ScreenBar Plus is unique, but the desktop dial is the real star. The hockey puck-shaped circular dial acts as the main hub and connects both the computer and the LED bar via a USB connection. The controller consists of two buttons, one for auto-dimming and the other one for switching between brightness and colour temperature control. The controller, which is constructed from premium material, has an adjustment knob in the center. Just select the brightness adjustment and use the dial to change brightness or turn the lamp on or off. Or press a button to select auto-dimming, which uses the light sensor to automatically adjust the ScreenBar Plus based on the ambient lighting.

benq screenbar plus review: a futuristic desk lamp, but at a cost

© Provided by The Indian Express BenQ ScreenBar Plus, BenQ ScreenBar Plus price in India, BenQ ScreenBar Plus review, BenQ ScreenBar Plus features, BenQ ScreenBar Plus amazon, BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED light, best desk lamps to buy in India With the help of a weighted clip on the backside, I was able to easily secure the bar on top of my iMac G5. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

What’s it like to use the ScreenBar Plus?

The ScreenBar Plus performed very well in my testing. The best part of the LED bar is that, unlike a traditional desk lamp that can sometimes be too tall or too difficult to use or move around the desk, I don’t have to position the ScreenBar Plus to get the best lighting when I am working in front of the computer. The LEDs illuminate just on the front of the screen and provide focused light without glare. The LED offers a maximum brightness of 500 lumens which is fine if you are working in the evenings or at night. I could also switch between the highest and lowest brightness or choose between the warmest and coolest temperature.

benq screenbar plus review: a futuristic desk lamp, but at a cost

© Provided by The Indian Express BenQ ScreenBar Plus, BenQ ScreenBar Plus price in India, BenQ ScreenBar Plus review, BenQ ScreenBar Plus features, BenQ ScreenBar Plus amazon, BenQ ScreenBar Plus LED light, best desk lamps to buy in India The controller consists of two buttons, one for auto-dimming and the other one for switching between brightness and colour temperature control. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Should you buy the BenQ ScreenBar Plus?

Investing in a desk lamp that costs Rs 12,990 isn’t necessary, but I think the ScreenBar Plus does strike a balance between the modern and functional for your home office. If you are someone who works late during the day and wants an undistracted work environment, without straining your eyes, then the BenQ ScreenBar Plus does offer that peace of mind you might be looking for. But the question is: how much money are you willing to spend on a desk lamp? It’s not an easy answer, but I can say if you have to spend on a luxury lamp it could be something like the BenQ ScreenBar Plus.

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