In the test: The LaptopBar from BenQ – the laptop light is that good

benq laptop bar featured image

I have the large monitor lamp from BenQ (HaloBar). here already had it in the test. I have the BenQ ScreenBar with slightly fewer functions here tried out. And since these two monitor lamps were already great, I was happy when BenQ introduced me to their new development a few weeks ago: The BenQ LaptopBar, which can be attached to the MacBook or other laptops.

This is what the assembled LaptopBar set looks like: small and handy.
This is what the assembled LaptopBar set looks like: small and handy.

If you just need a quick bit of information about whether the thing is worth the money:

The LaptopBar from BenQ is very well designed, from the construction to the operation to the transport bag. If you want to have a monitor light on your MacBook or laptop when you're on the move, the LaptopBar is the perfect choice.

If you want to buy the LaptopBar, you can find it here in white and here in black at Cyberport.

As a small thank you to the Steady helpers, the LaptopBar will be raffled off there.
As a small thank you to the Steady helpers, the LaptopBar will be raffled off there.

Giveaway for Steady supporters

I will use my BenQ LaptopBar, which is presented here in the test report my Steady members pass on. There are currently very few people taking part and so the chances of winning the raffle are high. ;-)

I will provide more test products there to new owners in the future. A 3D printer is already ready to be tested and then sent to the Steady supporters.

You could hardly get better light when you're out and about: BenQ's LaptopBar illuminates the surroundings very pleasantly (photos: Sir Apfelot).
You could hardly get better light when you're out and about: BenQ's LaptopBar illuminates the surroundings very pleasantly (photos: Sir Apfelot).

Why a monitor lamp?

The first time I attached a monitor lamp to my monitor (an LQ Ultrawide at the time), I was frankly surprised by the positive change in lighting at my desk. I previously had a typical desk lamp with all the problems, such as reflections on the monitor, taking up space on the desk and you need an extra power connection - and they are usually ugly too.

I want to give you a few reasons why this little addition makes such a big difference for me:

  • Easy on the eyes: The lighting provided by a monitor lamp is even and glare-free, which really helps to reduce eye strain during long working hours. There are no annoying reflections on the screen, which I find particularly pleasant.
  • Saving space on the desk: The monitor lamp is simply attached to the top edge of the monitor and does not take up any additional space.
  • Pleasant lighting: The monitor lights primarily illuminate the space in front of the monitor where you have the keyboard, mouse and maybe some paper. This means the rest of the room is relatively dark and doesn't distract you while you're working.
  • Energy efficiency and few cables: The lamps work with LEDs and are powered via a simple USB port. This means you hardly have any cables and the lamp only uses very little power.

As you can see, I am very impressed with these LED monitor lamps. But I have actually been using them for many years and really appreciate them.

The color temperature can be displayed and changed using this strip.
The color temperature can be displayed and changed using this strip.

BenQ LaptopBar – the solution for mobile computers

Of course you can also use the normal one BenQ ScreenBar Simply hang it on a power bank and attach it to the MacBook Pro with a windy, self-made construction, but BenQ has something much better: the LaptopBar!

And I have to admit: After playing with the thing for 5 minutes, I was already convinced that it was a great product. The thing is really well thought out, very easy to use and I'm sure a lot of brainpower went into its development.

For anyone who would like to find out more about the laptop lamp, let's continue with the technical data...

Here you can see the scope of delivery of the BenQ laptop light. In the foreground are the two magnetic discs for attachment.
Here you can see the scope of delivery of the BenQ laptop light. In the foreground are the two magnetic discs for attachment.

Technical data

I grabbed the “specs” directly from the BenQ website:

  • light source: Dual Color LED
  • Color rendering index (CRI): Ra≥95
  • Central illuminance: 700Lux
  • Illuminated area: 34 cm x 25 cm at 500 lux
  • color options: Black or Ivory White
  • Materials: Aluminum alloy, polycarbonate
  • Power Supply: 5V/max.1,5A USB-C port
  • Performance: Maximum 7,5 watts
  • Runtime: 160 min at 50% brightness (80 min at full brightness)
  • Weight0,18 kg
  • Dimensions: 23,7 4,5 x x 10,2 cm
  • USB cable length: 55 cm
  • What's in the box: light element, battery element, charging cable, 2 pucks for attachment (silver and space gray), fabric transport bag
  • Price: 139 EUR RRP
  • Check white model at Cyberport
  • Check black model at Cyberport

And of course there is also an instruction manual in English, German and French, as well as a paper template that helps to attach the mounting puck to the center of the laptop lid.

Printed here shows how best to attach the magnetic disk to the lid of the MacBook.
Printed here shows how best to attach the magnetic disk to the lid of the MacBook.

How does the LaptopBar work?

Attachment

The attachment is magnetically released. However, since very few laptops have a steel lid to which the lamp would hold with the magnet, you have to stick a small disc on the “lid” of the MacBook or laptop to which you can then attach the lamp magnetically.

Since MacBooks are available in silver and space gray, BenQ has included two discs so that you can attach the appropriate color option to the lid. The “silver” worked best for me on the MacBook.

Before you stick the window on, you have to clean the area and ideally degrease it. I used Apple's recommendation: a microfiber cloth and 70% isopropanol.

Here you can see the process for sticking the magnetic plate on: Clean the cover and then attach it in the middle with a template.
Here you can see the process for sticking the magnetic plate on: Clean the cover and then attach it in the middle with a template.

Now use the paper template and place it in the middle of the top edge of the laptop (be careful, make sure that you choose the part of the lid that also folds up, otherwise the concept won't work!). Now stick the little “puck” in where the recess is in the template and press it firmly. BenQ then recommends waiting for 20 minutes so that the adhesive sticks properly.

Important: The two adhesive discs are for one-time use. You can remove them without leaving any residue by pulling the small plastic tab that you find on the adhesive side, but unfortunately you cannot stick them again. But they exist in the BenQ Shop for reordering.

The laptop lamp stays on the lid of the MacBook thanks to the magnetic sticker - unfortunately it doesn't work without the sticker.
The laptop lamp stays on the lid of the MacBook thanks to the magnetic sticker - unfortunately it doesn't work without the sticker.

Not compatible with all laptops

Since you have to attach an adhesive pad to the laptop lid, not every device is compatible with the LaptopBar. BenQ says the following points are problematic:

  • The surface is treated with special coatings such as leather, soft touch, etc.
  • The central area of ​​the top edge (2,5-6,3 inches down) has a non-horizontal or uneven surface.
  • Laptop with non-horizontal surface.
  • Laptop with Hall sensor on the laptop lid.

Nothing like that happens with MacBooks and the LaptopBar works accordingly on my 12 inch MacBook (yes, an old model!).

The only thing that was a problem with my laptop: The weight of the LaptopBar is not high, but my MacBook has a worn out display joint and is a very small model that is no longer available.
As a result, the display folded back due to the additional weight when I opened it wide.

My 14-inch MacBook Pro, on the other hand, had no problems with the weight. Every display angle I set stayed that way.

I should have cleaned up the desk, but here you can clearly see how far the light reaches when it is at maximum brightness.
I should have cleaned up the desk, but here you can clearly see how far the light reaches when it is at maximum brightness.

What the LaptopBar can do

Once you have attached the mounting disk to the back of the display, you can magnetically connect the lighting element and the housing with the battery. The electrical contacts also connect and the LaptopBar is ready for use.

Now you hold it with the flat side against the window and - if you have turned the right side to the window - the magnet holds the laptop light on the back of the display.

The light can now be corrected in two ways:

  1. You have a small margin in which you can tilt the light to adjust it so that it doesn't shine on the display.
  2. You can fold out a kind of arm that allows you to bring the lighting element even further up and in front of the monitor. However, this makes the construction a little more wobbly.

The arm can also be practical if you want to use the LaptopBar as a mini lamp from time to time. The housing is then the base that can be placed anywhere.

Here you can see the LaptopBar control panel. In the middle is the proximity sensor, which is used for switching on and off.
Here you can see the LaptopBar control panel. In the middle is the proximity sensor, which is used for switching on and off.

Brightness and color temperature

Of course, you can not only control the orientation of the lamp, but also regulate the light itself.

Here are a few bullet points showing the operating options:

  • Hover your palm over the control for a second to turn the lamp on or off.
  • A tap on the small, dark control panel next to the strip switches back and forth between color temperature and brightness.
  • If you hold your finger on this small control for 2 seconds, the LaptopBar switches to auto-brightness mode and adjusts the brightness to the ambient light.
  • When setting the brightness, the strip is black and white and you can adjust the brightness with your finger on the strip.
  • If you have activated the color temperature mode, you swipe your finger from the stripe, which is yellow-blue. This causes the light to become warmer or colder. There are a total of 7 color temperature levels to choose from.
  • If you have set a brightness and color temperature and wait 10 seconds, the LaptopBar will save these settings and they will be active again the next time you use it.

So you have all the operating options at the top of the laptop light at your fingertips and don't have to press any buttons that might loosen the magnetic holder.

On the box-shaped part of the LaptopBar you will also find the charging port (USB-C) and 4 LEDs that document the battery level and the charging process. A small charging cable is also included so that you have everything ready in the transport bag for on the go.

Luckily, the LaptopBar from BenQ comes with the right USB port for charging (photos: Sir Apfelot).
Luckily, the LaptopBar from BenQ comes with the right USB port for charging (photos: Sir Apfelot).
In this photo you can see that LEDs with different color temperatures are installed in the strip. This is how the 7 variants in color temperature can be achieved.
In this photo you can see that LEDs with different color temperatures are installed in the strip. This is how the 7 variants in color temperature can be achieved.

How is the light on the LaptopBar?

I tried the BenQ laptop light in both semi-dark and totally dark rooms. In both cases, the LaptopBar produced a pleasant light.

Even in a completely dark room, the area around the laptop was very well lit and reading a magazine in front of the laptop was no problem.

If you then unfold the LaptopBar, the light illuminates an even larger area and the brightness is still more than sufficient even at 50% - even for reading in front of the laptop.

With the setting of 100% brightness, the entire desk is essentially illuminated brightly. The small laptop lighting provides more than enough light.

You can of course adjust the color temperature as you like, but I usually work with a cold color temperature as this is close to daylight and tends to keep me awake while working.

The angle at which the LaptopBar radiates can be adjusted slightly. You can see it here in the red circles.
The angle at which the LaptopBar radiates can be adjusted slightly. You can see it here in the red circles.

LaptopBar as a reading lamp

If you want to use the BenQ LaptopBar as a reading lamp without a MacBook, you probably have the most expensive reading lamp in the world on hand, but it also works.

You can easily place it anywhere with the fold-out arm and even with minimal brightness you have enough light to read books or newspapers - or to go to the toilet in the motorhome.

With 50% brightness you already have a whopping 160 minutes of running time (over 2,5 hours) and at the lowest brightness level, which I would estimate at 10 to 20% due to the lack of a digital display, the LaptopBar should last for several hours.

And – if you do run out of power: you can charge the LaptopBar while it is in use using a power bank or a USB-C power supply. So very flexible in practical use.

As you can see, the LaptopBar also lights up while it is being charged via a second power bank - practical in everyday life.
As you can see, the LaptopBar also lights up while it is being charged via a second power bank - practical in everyday life.
A nice side thing: The entire packaging is made of cardboard and paper - very commendable.
A nice side thing: The entire packaging is made of cardboard and paper - very commendable.

Alternatives to the LaptopBar

While there are alternatives for the ScreenBar, i.e. the monitor lamp from BenQ, I couldn't find a laptop light that has a structure like the LaptopBar from BenQ.

The best alternative is probably one of those gooseneck LED lights that you plug into a USB port on your laptop. But in my opinion they are more of a threat to the port and not a purchase recommendation.

That's why, in my opinion, the LaptopBar is currently unrivaled - especially if you also want features such as adjusting brightness and color temperature.

Even in the lowest brightness setting, you can still read a magazine (here in MacLife) in front of the MacBook without any problems.
Even in the lowest brightness setting, you can still read a magazine (here in MacLife) in front of the MacBook without any problems.

My conclusion about the LaptopBar

If you have read the previous review, you will notice that I have not expressed any criticism of the LaptopBar. The reason for this is that I actually have nothing to complain about. Except perhaps that you have to stick a magnetic sticker on the lid of the laptop, but that is technically difficult to solve in any other way.

Of course you could argue about the price because you can get small clip-on LED lights for significantly less money, but that's like comparing a tent to a motorhome.

BenQ supplies a high-quality fabric transport bag in which all the individual parts fit.
BenQ supplies a high-quality fabric transport bag in which all the individual parts fit.
The workmanship of the bag is surprisingly good and feels very valuable.
The workmanship of the bag is surprisingly good and feels very valuable.

In my opinion, the LaptopBar is a purchase recommendation if you want to work with your laptop in a dark room in the evening without activating the room lighting. This lamp is also a good addition for people who work on the move and don't want a lot of luggage, with its low weight and small pack size.

If you are interested in the device, I would recommend Cyberport as a source of supply, because on Amazon the LaptopBar is more expensive than the manufacturer's RRP.

Here are the links:

FAQs about monitor lamps

What are monitor lamps?

Monitor lamps are special lighting units that are either attached to the monitor itself or placed near it. Their main purpose is to improve lighting in the work environment without causing screen glare or eye strain.

Why should I use a monitor lamp?

A monitor lamp can help reduce eye strain caused by long periods of working at a computer. It ensures even lighting of the work area, which relieves strain on the eyes.

What should I pay attention to when buying a monitor lamp?

When buying a monitor lamp, you should pay attention to the following features: adjustable brightness and color temperature, USB-C port would be good, mounting options (e.g. clamp), the length of the lamp in relation to your monitor and any additional functions such as a timer function, memory or automatic adjustments of brightness and color temperature.

Can monitor lamps be used with any monitor?

Most monitor lights are designed to be compatible with a wide range of monitor sizes and models. Some use a clamp that sits on the top edge of the monitor, while others can be placed next to or behind the monitor. However, curved monitor models can have problems with the attachment.

Do monitor lamps affect the color reproduction on the screen?

A good monitor lamp should not negatively affect the color reproduction on the screen. What is important for this point is a high CRI value, which can be found in the technical data of the lamps. With the LaptopBar, for example, we have a very good CRI value of Ra≥95.

Can using a monitor lamp increase energy consumption?

Monitor lamps are usually very energy efficient because they use LED technology. Most of the time, the monitor lamp replaces a desk lamp or the rest of the lighting in the room, so you tend to save money through reduced power consumption.

Did you like the article and did the instructions on the blog help you? Then I would be happy if you the blog via a Steady Membership would support.

4 comments on “In the test: The LaptopBar from BenQ – the laptop light is that good”

  1. Good test report. But there's still no indication that it's not just laptops with worn-out hinges that suffer from weight on the display. Display hinges that are still intact also suffer from this and therefore wear out more quickly.

    This can happen with these unspeakable protective covers that clip on. Take a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WoKtmSweQM

    But with a block like this it will go even faster. So I would never stick such a thing on my laptop display. It is better to place a slim desk lamp behind it and point it downwards like the lamp shown does. In the end it has the same effect.

    1. Hello Günther! I watched the video. But it is difficult to judge whether this is really as bad as it is portrayed there, because the hinges wear out in one way or another after many years. No one can say whether this is the case earlier in cases due to this light cover, because there is no comparison.
      What I can understand is the thing with the clamps when closing, which push the body and lid apart when closing. That's definitely not healthy.
      And the “pink stripes” that one customer had in her MacBook display after she had the Amazon case on her MacBook for years is not a problem with the case, but rather a problem with Apple, which made the flex cable in the folding mechanism too short . Whenever you open the MacBook completely, it is under tension and it also moves over an edge. At some point it breaks and you have the famous “Flexgate”. So any display problems like stripes or something similar.
      But of course I can't “prove” that the cases or the LaptopBar don't cause any damage. Everyone has to decide that for themselves. I personally wouldn't have any concerns, but thank you for making this point and the video. This helps everyone think things through. LG, Jens

  2. And regarding the photo with the MacBook: Be careful with these camera covers: the gap between the laptop bottom and top shell is too narrow and quickly leads to screen damage. One of the more common repairs in Apple workshops and really expensive!
    If you need a camera cover, it might be better to place a piece of aluminum foil over the edge of the screen. You can also slide this back and forth or stick it on and push it up.

    1. Hello Bernd! Yes, I can imagine that. The problem is probably that there is too much pressure on one point when you close it. But I rarely carry the little MacBook around and almost never in my backpack or anything like that. Therefore it would have to endure that. These removable stickers are probably more practical. I have them on another computer and they can be attached and removed quickly and they are only as thick as a sheet of paper. LG, Jens

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