Nowadays, we humans spend a great deal of our time in front of an electronic device of some sort. More often than not we’re on our devices all day and all night. For me personally, I’m on my desktop well into the night either writing a product review or catching up on emails. I tend to work in natural light until sundown and once it gets dark I would continue working and use the light of my monitor to see things, all things, whether it be on-screen or on a piece of paper in front of me. I bought a lamp for my desk and it helped but because of the space in my apartment or rather lack thereof, this didn’t work for me. I kept it anyway, after all, I paid for it. Well, recently BenQ gave me the opportunity to try its Screenbar e-Reading lamp (It’s a mouthful) and it’s been a godsend and I’ve found myself wondering “Where has this been all this time?”. It’s probably the best addition to my workspace that I have to this point. It’s great and it’s not just for students. My review of this product isn’t going to incredibly in-depth because with this product it doesn’t need to be. The BenQ Screenbar e-Reading lamp is just one of those products I think you should buy.

Design and function

The Screenbar e-Reading lamp is simplistic in its design. It’s 18″ wide in black aluminum and it comes in two parts. You just snap the Screenbar lamp into the anchor clamp and position it to the back of your monitor and that’s it. The unit also comes with a micro USB cable that you connect to the back of the lamp and you can either connect it to your monitor directly if it has an available USB port or you can connect it directly to your Mac or PC. There’s no power adapter required here. Once you sit it on top of your monitor, you’re ready to go. Aside from saving you space on your desk, it keeps an electrical outlet open for another device.

The Screenbar itself has 4 functions (3 if you discount the power button). There’s a button for temperature warmth, brightness and auto brightness. There isn’t any complexity to using the Screenbar and it’s incredibly helpful to how you use your computer at night. You’re almost left wondering “Where has this been all my computing life?”

Although using the Screenbar itself isn’t complex, there is quite a bit of science involved in how this lamp works. I’m no scientist and I won’t try to explain things in those terms but I can describe what the Screenbar is ultimately supposed to do based on how it provides you light. Ideally, when you use a lamp if you’re working in dark conditions or just working in the latter part of the evening then chances are you’re going to position the light of your lamp to face your desk. The thing about doing that is, the lamp that you’re using isn’t necessarily focused in one direction and in fact, it’s indirectly shining a light onto your monitor and giving off a glare that’s coming back to your eyes. Most of the time you won’t notice this immediately but after a while (if you’re like me) you’ll start to suffer from eye fatigue and eye strain and it will affect your productivity or just force you to have to take a break. Even if your lamp has a three-way switch that gives you different brightness settings it still doesn’t help the eventual effect to your eyes. Where the Screenbar takes that away is in how you clamp it on to your monitor.

The BenQ Screenbar focuses light on the desktop and completely away from the eyes thus allowing you to be more productive and greatly reduces eye strain and fatigue. The temperature button on the Screenbar allows you use more of a blue light or more of a yellow light depending on your personal eye sensitivity and preference. It has a maximum brightness of up to 500 Lux with color temperature ranges from 2700 to 6500K for you science nerds out there. For those who aren’t, this just means that the BenQ Screenbar is capable of getting really bright.

Final Thoughts

BenQ’s Screenbar e-Reading lamp is an essential desktop necessity. I didn’t realize until I got a little older and began to wear glasses how much light can affect my eyes, especially poor lighting. The BenQ Screenbar has “forced” me to give up my traditional lamps. While BenQ was nice enough to give me this one, I’ve since purchased two more, one for my iMac and one for a family member who like me finds themself up late in to the wee hours of the night working in front of a computer screen. At just $99 some may find that this lamp may be a little overpriced based on its minimalistic appearance but I can assure you that its worth every penny, don’t let it’s appearance fool you. The lamp I had been using prior cost me $150 and reluctantly fit on my desk, meaning I had to make it fit plus use a space on my UPS for the plug. The BenQ Screenbar is a space saver in more ways than one. If there is a drawback, it’s that you may not be able to mount a webcam on top of the monitor and have the screenbar on top of it at the same time especially if your monitor is under 32″. This is the ONLY con (If you can even call it that) that I found with the Screenbar from BenQ. It’s bright, space-saving and more than useful and it isn’t just for students, I implore anyone who works in front of a computer monitor for extended periods of time to consider the BenQ Screenbar e-Reading lamp. You can pick one up HERE or at Amazon right HERE

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Mike Bitter is a born gadget head and true lover of technology. It all started with computer classes at age 10 and his first PC the Tandy 1000. From then on he found his love and he became a gamer and a PC builder and has not stopped since. He specializes in hardware, troubleshooting and custom PC building. He’s known as the “fixer” amongst his friends whenever there is a problem with a PC or a Mac. He’s also fully immersed in all things that pertain to the world of computers and gaming. He's an 80's baby and he grew up watching technology evolve from the NES to PS4 and from the Commodore 64 to the iMac. He has a unique and minimalist perspective on technology and is here to help the average person to understand technology today.