After three iterations of BenQ ScreenBars designed for desktop monitors (2020’s ScreenBar, 2021’s ScreenBar Plus and 2023’s ScreenBar Halo), BenQ finally came up with a light bar for screens specially for laptop users. For those looking for a comfortable, well-lit environment to stare at their screen while on the go, the BenQ LaptopBar is a lightweight and portable screenbar that can now be carried around with the provided travel pouch.
Weighing in at just 180g, the LaptopBar is a magnetic attachable light bar measuring 23.5cm wide, which is more than sufficient for all laptop sizes without being too bulky. It also comes with a rechargeable battery pack that also acts as an adjustable stand, a 55cm USB-C cable, and two magnetic patches (black and silver) for sticking to the laptop’s surface. The LaptopBar also comes in two colours – matte black and ivory white.
Powering on and off the LaptopBar is a breeze, with the proximity sensor at the top of the bar that registers your hands waving over it (within 2cm), to turn it on or off. The controls for the light bar are also intuitively designed, with a touch button on the left that toggles between brightness and colour temperature control, and a touch bar on the right where you can slide your finger to adjust the brightness or colour temperature depending on which mode you are in. The colour temperature is beautifully shown with a colour gradient between blue and yellow, with seven steps of colour temperatures to slide between, from 2700K to 5700K.
As with all BenQ’s light bars, the LaptopBar has an auto-dimming mode as well. This can be activated by a long-press of the button for 2 seconds, and the lamp brightness will auto-adjust in real-time based on changes in the surrounding’s ambient lighting. This is especially handy for users who are unsure what’s the most ideal level of brightness for maximum eye comfort. There is also the option to set and store your lighting preferences, but this feature isn’t all that useful since it’s so easy to adjust the brightness or activate the auto-dimming mode.
According to BenQ, the rechargeable battery can power the light bar at 50 per cent brightness level for up to 160 minutes on a full charge, but our tests show it to last up to 190 minutes at 50 per cent brightness level. And if it so happens that your laptop can last longer than the LaptopBar, which means you’re using one of Apple’s newer M1, M2 or M3-powered MacBook Air or MacBook Pro devices, simply plug it directly into the laptop with the provided USB-C cable, and it will keep the light on while charging it.
The LatopBar’s battery pack comes packed with a foldable arm so the light bar can be attached magnetically at two different heights, depending on user preference. The downward shining angle can also be adjusted slightly with ease, to attain optimal comfort and minimal glare on the laptop monitor screen. The higher configuration comes in handy during video calls so there is minimal obstruction on the front-facing camera at the top of the laptop screen. The adjustable height of the LaptopBar helps to ensure a nice and wide well-lit zone of up to 50cm x 30cm around the laptop workspace.
The BenQ LaptopBar truly shines (heh) when utilised at night or in a poorly lit environment, providing great comfort for the eyes when working long hours and late into the night, and not having the glare from a traditional desk lamp or room light reflecting off the laptop’s screen.
BenQ’s first laptop light bar is excellent in every way, from being lightweight to versatile but there’s a limit on how many laptops you can attach it to as it only comes with two adhesive magnetic patches, and each is only for one-time use. This means you can only switch out your laptop twice before you’re out of luck as the patches are not transferable. The LaptopBar is fully reliant on these magnetic patches to mount it on any laptop. Fortunately, BenQ will be making the magnetic patches available as separate accessories from late January 2024 onwards.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The BenQ LaptopBar is a versatile and compact take on the monitor light bar and successfully brings shine to laptop users while on the go.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 9/10
Performance - 8.5/10
Value - 8.5/10
Geek Satisfaction - 8.5/10