The vast majority of my work is done on a computer, but I do still need a desk lamp to read my notes of illegible scribble and the footprint of a large swing-arm desk lamp is surprisingly big for my desk that is already home to my laptop, a monitor, and my notepad. To save a bit of desk space, BenQ have come up with an innovative “ScreenBar” lamp that its on top of your monitor and can still illuminate your whole desk without getting in the way.
Lucky for me, just as I finished building my new desk (a modern/minimal desk made from a beautiful piece of pine with hairpin legs), BenQ were kind enough to send me a ScreenBar for review.
Look & feel
BenQ has made a name for itself making high quality monitors and projectors, so it is no surprise that the look and build quality of the ScreenBar is excellent. In the box comes the light, a 5cm diameter cylinder, and the weighted counterbalance clasp/bracket that attaches the lamp to the top of your monitor – both made out of a good quality mate-black plastic. It is very much a functional design, but manages to keep its looks slick and minimal, and its compact size means it doesn’t look out of place even on my relatively small 24″ monitor.
There’s not a lot of setup to do with the ScreenBar, it is as simple as attaching the lamp to the clasp to your monitor and then plugging it into a power source with the supplied Micro-USB cable. The clasp is designed to work on monitor thicknesses of 1-3cm, so it should fit snugly onto any reasonably modern monitor, and the counter-weight means it feels quite sturdy.
On the top of the bar there are four touch buttons (left to right):
- Manual dimmer – so you can adjust the brightness yourself
- Hue adjustment – so you can adjust the colour temperature from warm to cool white light
- Auto-dimmer – the lamp will try to find the optimal brightness setting from the light of the room
- Power – on/off
Once you have it attached, you will find that the lamp has 20 degrees of rotation, so you can point it either directly down towards the base of your monitor, or to cover more of the desk.
I have been using the lamp for the last couple of weeks and have found it a great space saver on my desk, and more importantly it has offered good illumination of my whole desk without glare into my eyes or reflection onto the screen.
My desk is relatively small, so I have the rotation at around the middle and the light set quite warm, as that is the sort of light I enjoy working with – and the ScreenBar has handled it with ease.
The ScreenBar is not a sexy new gadget with lots of bells and whistles, but it shines at illuminating your desk without getting in your eyes or causing reflections on your display. The ScreenBar is now a permanent fixture on my desk, replacing my traditional lamp, and I think that probably says all it needs to.
Price at time of review: £89.00 (on sale at Amazon)