The Premium Desk Lamp Experience – BenQ E-Reading Lamp Review

Since BenQ introduced the ScreenBar series of monitor light bars, they have been at the top of my list for lightning solutions. 

So I was reasonably excited BenQ provided me with their latest introduction in the world of lighting solutions: their E-Reading Intelligent Desk Lamp. This is a pricey desk light that looks and functions at a pretty high level. 

This will be an honest review of my experience with the desk lamp so you can see if it’s a good fit for you. Let’s find out how far your cash goes with this desk lamp. 

BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp

This modern LED desk lamp features advanced lighting technology, adjustable color temperature and brightness, auto-dimming mode, and no glare or flicker. It lights up your entire desk 150% more, creating the most comfortable lighting environment for your office or workbench.

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Overall Pros & Cons

Pros – What BenQ Got Right

  • Superb build quality down to the cable sheathing.
  • Auto-dimming modes give you the perfect brightness at all times.
  • Simple controls: capacitive touch ring & control dial.
  • Very wide beam spread.
  • Optional accessories allow the lamp to be placed anywhere.
  • The articulating arm lets you adjust the exact position as needed.

Cons – Room For Improvement

  • Comes at a high cost.
  • The shape of the light makes it hard to block the source from your eyes.
  • The top ball joint connection is stiff and not as easy to manipulate as the other joints.
  • Changing modes can be unresponsive once in a while.
  • The shape of the light source is a bit funky and not for all tastes.

Quick E-Reading Lamp Feature Overview

You will quickly notice the E-Reading Intelligent Desk Lamp from afar due to its unique shape. Instead of being a flat LED light source, it has a large sweeping curve. 

BenQ says that this curved light source gives it a 150% larger light coverage compared to typical desk lamps. It’s honestly easy to believe that as most traditional light bulb desk lamps just illuminate a circle of light on your desk. 

Because this is a premium desk lamp, let’s first talk cash money. Here’s what you will have to spend at the time of writing:

  • E-Reading Intelligent Desk Lamp – $229
    • Add on Desk Clamp – $20 (Optional)
    • Add on Floor Stand – $109 (Optional)
  • E-Reading Intelligent Floor Lamp – $319

If you know you want to use the floor stand, just go for the floor lamp configuration as you will save some money. You would spend more buying the desk lamp and adding the floor stand later. 

The standard intelligent desk lamp comes with a large circular base for your desk. It also comes in three different colors – blue, gold, and silver. I opted for the silver finish. 

BenQ e-Reading LED Desk Lamp

This modern LED desk lamp features advanced lighting technology, adjustable color temperature and brightness, auto-dimming mode, and no glare or flicker. It lights up your entire desk 150% more, creating the most comfortable lighting environment for your office or workbench.

Check Price on Amazon

Let’s do a quick feature breakdown so we know what we get at this price point.

Feature Breakdown

Here are the bullet points of what the BenQ E-Reading Intelligent desk lamp offers. 

  • Wide lighting coverage – 150% larger than typical lamps. 
  • Brightness control
  • Color temperature control
  • Ambient light sensor for auto-dimming modes
  • Auto modes include a “screen mode” & “paper mode”
  • Capacitive touch on/off & mode ring
  • Large encoder dial for brightness and temperature control

Unboxing And Using The E-Reading Lamp

Let’s talk about some real-world experiences with this E-Reading desk lamp. 

What’s In The Box

The desk lamp was packaged beautifully in a very Apple-esque clean white box. Here’s what comes in the box with your E-Reading lamp.

  • E-Reading Intelligent Lamp
  • Desktop Lamp Base
  • Wall Plug
  • Quickstart Guide & Warranty Info
  • Allen Hex Key

This is everything you need to get your lamp up and running. 

Setup & Installation

I immediately noticed that the base plate was very heavy. This is fantastic for lamps with articulating arms. It lets you adjust the lamp without the base walking around everywhere. 

When I went to place the base on my desk, I also noticed it was pretty large. I had to get rid of a desk plant I had because the base had such a large diameter. 

The diameter is 8.7 inches! That’s a significant area of my desk. The lamp is fairly large too, so if the size and weight of the base keep the lamp stable, most people won’t complain here.

This base was a little too large for me, thankfully they offered a table clamp accessory, we’ll touch on this accessory later. 

Setting up the lamp was pretty simple. Place the base on a table and attach the lamp to the little stud sticking out of the base. Even with the set screw loosened all the way, I had to push down with a bit of force to get the lamp to seat properly. Feels secure!

Then I used the provided hex key to tighten down the joint – done!

To turn the light on, you simply touch the large metal ring at the top of the lamp. This is a capacitive touch-sensitive switch. 

It is a nice large target which is nice for when you’re in the dark. You can simply reach out into the darkness and when you touch the large ring feature, the lamp is on!  

Build Quality

BenQ gives us a beautiful 6.5-foot nylon braided power cord. This cable is seamlessly routed through each of the lamp members. It’s a really clean look. I assume they left the cable this long to accommodate the optional floor stand accessory.

I love how they provided a power brick with the shortest cable length possible. This allows the nice nylon braided cable to be the main cable you see at all times.

The base is nice and solid, just as you would expect from a quality lamp. Each of the members is made from aluminum and powder-coated white. 

The braided nylon cable color matches the color of the top curved light fixture. The color scheme is very clean and cohesive no matter which you choose. 

Looking at the top section of the light where the controls and LEDs are located, it’s a full aluminum construction, very high quality. 

The curvature of the light is pretty aggressive and is a very unique design. It took me a minute to get used to the strange curved shape. If you want a better light spread, this curve will definitely give you that. 

Overall the lamp is pretty large compared to typical desk lamps, be prepared for that size increase. 

Desk Lamp Articulation

Right after setting up the lamp, I played with the articulation of the lamp to try and get the light in a good location. 

There is a handful of articulating points with this desk lamp that allow it plenty of travel. 

You can rotate the lamp around the attachment post, and pivot the members at the bottom joint and the middle joint. All the way at the top BenQ gave us a nice ball joint for maximum flexibility with the light source itself. 

As I was trying to adjust the lamp, I noticed all the joints were easy to manipulate except for the ball joint. It was pretty difficult to rotate this joint and was the only pain point for movement. 

BenQ claims this ball joint is stiff to support the long curved lamp section. After all, it is a pretty large LED panel.  

Due to the curved shape of the LED panel, I found it hard to orient the light in a way that I benefited from the beam spread while not blinding myself. The curved light makes the light source visible from so many different angles. 

This is a good thing and a bad thing. It’s good because the light reaches more places. It’s bad because this might reach your eyes too. I don’t like seeing my light source, it’s too hard on my eyes. 

If I angle the light away from my eyes, the curve might not serve the area directly in front of me well. So you have to find a balance here. How high you place the lamp will definitely matter here.

E-Reading Lighting Modes

BenQ calls this lamp “intelligent”, and this is due to the ambient light sensor built into the lamp. It is located right next to the ball joint under the curved section of the lamp. 

Most desk lamps don’t have a feature like this. It’s just a straight bulb. This light actually detects the light levels on your desk and adjusts the brightness as necessary. 

You activate this ambient light sensor in the auto-dimming modes. To enter or change the auto-dimming modes, you have to tap and hold the metal ring (the on/off switch) for about two seconds. 

I noticed that once in a while this control was a bit unresponsive. I was holding the ring for over two seconds sometimes with no change in lighting modes. Capacitive touch controls are super sensitive for some people and not others. Most of the time it was responsive so this is not a big issue.

Screen Mode vs. Paper Mode

There are two ambient light modes available. BenQ calls them Screen Mode and Paper Mode. BenQ added a handy little indicator LED at the base of the ring that changes color based on the auto-dimming mode. 

There is a little sticker at the base of the ring that reminds you what each lighting mode is for. If your lamp does not have this sticker, it is a different model that does not have an auto-dimming mode. 

Here is the difference between the two modes:

  • Screen Mode
    • Color Temperature: 4000K (slightly warm)
    • Brightness: 500 lux
    • Indicator Light Color: Green
  • Paper Mode
    • Color Temperature: 5700K (cool) 
    • Brightness: 1000 lux
    • Indicator Light Color: Orangeish Red

Here BenQ claims that the screen mode is lower to avoid high lighting contrast between the lamp and your screen. They mention that paper mode is brighter and cooler to keep your attention and better illuminate your books or documents. 

Personally, I always choose warmer tone lights. They give me a vibe that is inviting and less… let’s say “hospital-like”. 

For that reason mainly, I chose to use the warmer screen mode auto-dimming setting instead of the paper mode. To be fair, I do use a monitor at my desk way more often than books and paperwork. My college studying days are over!

Dial Control

The dial control easily lets you manually choose your brightness and temperature if you don’t like either of the auto-dimming modes. 

Rotating the dial will automatically exit any of the auto-dimming modes if you are in them. By default rotating the dial will adjust the brightness of the lamp. 

If you want to change the color temperature of the lamp, you can press the dial down to switch the dial to temperature control instead of brightness. You don’t have to hold it down, just a simple press and release. 

If you prefer a fixed lighting situation, manual mode is the way to go. 

Optional E-Reading Lamp Accessories

I was able to test out both optional accessories in addition to the standard desk lamp base. These accessories simply adapt your E-Reading lamp to different bases. One is a table clamp, and the other is a floor stand. 

Both of these accessories let you free up desk space considerably. We talk about using these types of alternatives in our article on getting more space on your desk

It’s great that BenQ offers these add-ons. If you wanted a different base for a typical lamp, that usually means buying a whole new lamp entirely. These different mounts keep the E-Reading lamp very adaptable. 

Table Clamp

The table clamp was by far my favorite of the two. The change in the lamp’s footprint is ridiculously dramatic. 

Instead of a huge 8.7-inch diameter base plate, you have a super small 1.7 x 2.2-inch clamp footprint. That means we go from 59in2 desk area used to 3.7in2 used. That is about a 94% decrease in desk space used. 

Lamp with standard base plate.
Lamp with table clamp base.

If you care about desk space, get the desk clamp. It’s a no-brainer. 

I thought that the small eye-bolt clamp was going to be hard to tighten down for a solid clamping force, but I was able to get a good amount of force with that bolt. 

The underside of the clamp is padded and so is the screw plate face, so your desk is well protected. 

Floor Stand

The floor stand is a great accessory if you want the desk lamp to take up 0% of your desk space. The floor stand adds about 30-32 inches of height to your desk lamp. 

Once the E-Reading lamp gets this tall, it can be a great light that fits well anywhere in the house. You’re no longer limited to the ‘desk lamp’ look. It starts to look like a proper house light fixture. 

If you place it elsewhere, I recommend placing it somewhere you typically read or work. This way you still get the benefits of the auto-dimming intelligent modes. 

Installing the floor stand was a pretty nice experience. BenQ added a little installing jig in the packaging of the stand itself. 

The stand comes in two pieces, a large and heavy baseplate, and an aluminum straight section that gives you the height. 

The packaging gives you a place to vertically stabilize the large and heavy baseplate so you free up your hands to install the upright post. I love when manufacturers find clever ways to make the assembly process easier like this.

BenQ included a little cable management clip on the post itself to ensure that braided cable goes along the member, just like the lamp itself. Another nice touch.

Is The BenQ E-Reading Lamp Worth It?

Overall, this desk lamp does a lot of things that other lamps don’t do. It has a wild curved light that lights up more than other lamps hope to. It also has an ambient light sensor to constantly adapt to your environment. 

You get enough manual control with color temperature and brightness if you have a fixed light preference. The capacitive touch on/off toggle is the easiest way to turn lights on and off. No more searching for a tiny switch in the dark. 

The build quality and aesthetics are very clean as long as you like the sweeping curve of the light source. Optional accessories keep this lamp adaptable in the long run, no need to go purchase another lamp entirely. 

BenQ put a lot of attention to detail across this lamp, so if you do have the cash to spend on a lamp like this and you like the aesthetic, you definitely get what you pay for.

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I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!