BenQ LaptopBar Review – The Best On The Go Lighting?

Since the release of BenQ’s original ScreenBar, monitor light bars have become a popular and effective form of desk lighting. They have no footprint, a large beam spread, and a very sleek design.

BenQ’s ScreenBars are great for a well-lit desk setup at home or work. But what about when you grab your laptop and leave your desk behind?

The LaptopBar is BenQ’s latest lighting solution that gives you the benefits of a full-size ScreenBar in an ultra-portable package. Though this LaptopBar was provided by BenQ, we’re going to be giving an honest and in-depth review to cover the good, bad, and ugly.

Quick Review

This LaptopBar attaches to your laptop magnetically. You must first attach a small adhesive back magnetic disk to the lid of your laptop.

Though the laptop bar is small, you have most if not all features of a full-size light bar. This includes brightness control, temperature control, auto-dimming mode, and a favorite mode. It does all this with fancy capacitive controls!

BenQ LaptopBar Laptop Monitor Light
  • Light and portable
  • Multiple placement modes
  • Brightness & temperature control
  • Wireless design with integrated battery
  • Sleek controls & design
  • Reduces eye strain dramatically in poorly lit environments
  • Magnetic attachment plate on laptop doesn't look great.
  • On/off sensor can accidentally be triggered
Check Price on Amazon

The LaptopBar even comes with two different placement modes: an expanded mode which places the light further away, or a folded mode for a closer light source. This lets you control the beam spread, not even monitor light bars can do that.

The beam spread is very usable and lights up your entire keyboard & trackpad area along with the area around your laptop. A small notebook beside your laptop can be very well-lit with this LaptopBar.

Designed for complete portability, the light bar is just over 9 inches long and comes with a very handy carrying case. The magnetic base is also the powerhouse of the light bar with an internal USB-C rechargeable battery.

The LaptopBar has a max illuminance of 700 lux and a battery life of around 2.7 hours when used at 50% brightness.

Overall, this is a great tool for those who often use their laptops in poorly lit environments. It reduces the contrast of your laptop screen by illuminating your keyboard and working area very well.

The release date of the LaptopBar is October 30th, 2023, and is priced at $139. The price point seems pretty fair with all the convenience features crammed into such a small and light package.

LaptopBar ProsLaptopBar Cons
-Light and portable
-Multiple placement methods
-Brightness & temperature control
-Wireless with integrated battery
-Sleek controls and overall design
-Can reduce eye strain greatly in dark environments
-Magnetic plate attachment on a laptop doesn’t look great
-On/off “wave” is easy to accidentally trigger

Unboxing & Setup

The first thing I noticed when unboxing the BenQ LaptopBar was that the packaging had zero plastics. No bubble wrap or plastic bags.

BenQ mentions that all the packaging for the light bar has been made from recycled wood fibers! Awesome.

What’s In The Box

Here’s what you get in the box with the LaptopBar:

  • Carrying Case
  • LaptopBar Light
  • Magnetic Battery Base
  • USB Type C Charging Cable
  • Two Magnetic Pads
  • Microfiber Cloth

Installation & Setup

Typical monitor light bars latch onto the front of your monitor with a little lip. With laptops having super thin bezels these days, like my own Dell XPS 15, you can’t have a little lip anymore.

Fortunately, BenQ already thought about this and implemented a magnetic attachment method.

To set up the LaptopBar, the first step is to install the magnetic pad onto your laptop lid. BenQ gives you two color options, silver or black, a convenient touch.

The printout that holds the magnetic pads is actually an installation guide itself! BenQ’s steps are as follows:

Install Steps

  1. Clean the laptop surface with the provided microfiber cloth
  2. Place the printout template on the front edge of your laptop lid
  3. Apply one of the magnetic pads inside the cutout
  4. Add some pressure to the pad and wait 20 minutes before using

Unfortunately, even with the color matching, the pad is a bit of an eyesore on a laptop in my opinion. Here’s the installation process of the magnetic pad on my Dell XPS 15 (9510).

It’s not the worst look, but it’s not pretty either.

The nice part of these little magnetic pads is that BenQ made them easy to remove. You can’t tell, but the bottom of the pad is actually flexible making it easy to remove and install.

You can easily remove this pad without any leftover residue on your precious laptop. This is a pretty important touch that BenQ provided. I wouldn’t consider trying this out if the pad was a pain to remove.

BenQ states this is a one-time use adhesive pad, and they will sell these separately in the future if you need a replacement or want to add a pad to all your laptops.

After that, the battery pack can magnetically attach to your laptop!

BenQ added witness lines to the battery base which you are supposed to align with the top edge of your laptop’s screen. This way you are always using the light bar in the exact position it was intended.

The last step is to attach the magnetic light bar to the battery pack. Once you do this, your LaptopBar is set up and ready to go!

To remove the light, simply reverse the steps. Lift the light bar from one of the far edges. Lastly, remove the magnetic battery from the back of your laptop.

BenQ LaptopBar Features

Though this is likely one of BenQ’s smallest lighting solutions, it doesn’t skimp on the features front. There is a ton of functionality packed into the light bar.

Placement Methods

BenQ describes the LaptopBar as a “Dual Form” light bar. You can have the LaptopBar positioned in the default folded mode or an expanded mode.

The folded mode is closer to your laptop, so there is a bit less beam spread. On my Dell XPS 15 laptop, this position illuminated the top edge of my laptop pretty brightly, so it’s not my favorite mode.

The arm that is mounted to the battery can unfold and hold the LaptopBar at a much taller height. This height gives you a much larger beam spread and is my preferred way to use the LaptopBar.

To use the expanded form, you must rotate the battery back 180 degrees on the back of your laptop. Then unfold the arm and install the light bar.

The result is a pretty adorable and bright light hanging out over your laptop.

Another thing I noticed with the expanded position, is that you can actually rotate the arm pretty far back. So far back that the light can illuminate your own face.

I don’t think this is an intentional feature from BenQ. However, it can be a perfect solution for those who are always poorly lit when video conferencing.

Look at how big of a difference this LaptopBar has on illuminating my face in this position. It fills in a lot of the shadows on my face and is way more professional.

Another fun little fact, because this light bar is battery-powered and magnetic, you could literally place it on any metal surface and it would work fine.

Lighting Modes & Controls

All the controls for this LaptopBar are ultra sleek. For example, to turn it on, you just wave your hand over it. Feels like I’m using the force!

There is a little sensor at the top that sees the motion and turns the light on or off.

While the on/off wave is pretty nice, I find myself accidentally activating it when I go to adjust the angle of the light bar. After a while, you have to learn not to handle the light bar from the central top area.

On the top view of the LaptopBar, you can see the large sensor that detects the wave along with the smaller light sensor for auto-dimming mode.

Brightness & Temperature Control

There are two capacitive touch areas on the LaptopBar. There is a small pad on the left and a long backlit capacitive touchpad on the right.

The long backlit area is how you control your brightness and color temperature. To toggle between brightness control and temperature control, you simply tap the small pad on the left side.

In brightness control mode, simply glide your finger along this indicator light to adjust the brightness. The indicator light bar turns white and fills up depending on the brightness level.

The brightness level is stepless so you can dial in the perfect brightness.

Minimum Brightness
Maximum Brightness

When going into temperature control mode, the indicator light turns blue and yellow. Sliding your finger across the indicator light adjusts the temperature between seven different temperature levels ranging from 2700K to 5700K.

The indicator light shows what temperature light you’re using by showing the blue/yellow color ratio!

Balanced light temperature (~4200K)
Cool light temperature (5700K)
Warm light temperature (2700K)

Auto-Dimming Mode

Auto-dimming has been present on all the BenQ lighting products I’ve used. It’s nice to have the light automatically adjust based on your environment.

To enter auto-dimming mode, you simply tap and hold the small capacitive touchpad for two seconds. The LaptopBar will then “breathe” by ramping the light power up and down and then settle on the appropriate brightness level.

Left touchpad toggles brightness/temperature. Hold for auto-dimming.

Favorite Mode

Because BenQ made it very easy to control brightness and color temperature, I don’t see myself using the favorite mode much at all.

The favorite mode lets you set a preferred brightness and color temperature. The unique thing about this LaptopBar’s favorite setting is that it can still automatically adjust brightness for you based on where you initially set your preference.

If you wish the auto-dimming mode was a bit brighter, simply set the ideal brightness as your favorite. The light bar will use that as a starting point to auto-adjust brightness.

Light Output & Beam Spread

BenQ advertises a max illuminance of 700 lux which is decently bright! You can tell the light is working hard to deliver the lumens because it warms up a bit after some use.

The expanded form of the LaptopBar will have a larger beam spread than the folded form, which is why it’s my preferred way to use it. Here’s the difference between the folded form beam spread and the expanded form beam spread:

Folded LaptopBar (closer to table)
Expanded LaptopBar (further from table)

You can tell the folded form focuses the light much more and creates harsher shadows with the laptop screen. The expanded version feathers the light more softly further out, but they both do a pretty good job.

Another thing I noticed that is very different from the ScreenBar series and other monitor light bars is that there is no sharp light cutoff.

Though the lighting is focused forward towards you, there is still light that spills behind your laptop. Notice in the image below how the area behind my laptop is illuminated slightly.

This is by design from BenQ. It’s a great feature because it adds some ambient light behind your laptop which is healthier for your eyes.

Battery Life

I haven’t tested the limits of the battery myself on the LaptopBar but BenQ advertises 160 minutes (2.7 hours) of runtime at 50% brightness.

The battery base is pretty light and has a 2550 mAh capacity. The max charge rate for this battery is 5V at 1.5 amps. This means it should charge from 0% to 100% in around two hours when using the appropriate charger.

BenQ includes a USB type C cable for charging.

There are four battery-level indicator LEDs on the side of the battery pack. This way you can tell what charge you have in 25% increments.


BenQ is serious about making the LaptopBar very portable. They include a very nice carrying case that holds the LaptopBar, your USB-C cable, and the included microfiber cloth with room to spare.

The magnetic light bar and the battery pack actually magnetize together in the specific orientation shown below. This keeps them in place when inside of the carrying pouch.

A nice bonus feature due to the design of the LaptopBar is that there is no power connection when the light is detached from the battery.

That means you can’t accidentally turn on and drain the battery while it’s packed away! I’ve drained so many headlamp batteries by packing them and accidentally turning the light on. That’s not possible here.


If you primarily work on your laptop and you use it in areas that are often poorly lit, the BenQ LaptopBar can be a super handy tool to keep in your laptop bag or backpack.

If you are one to keep your laptop docked at your desk all the time, the LaptopBar is probably not for you. There’s no need to add an unattractive magnetic pad to your laptop.

BenQ LaptopBar Laptop Monitor Light
  • Light and portable
  • Multiple placement modes
  • Brightness & temperature control
  • Wireless design with integrated battery
  • Sleek controls & design
  • Reduces eye strain dramatically in poorly lit environments
  • Magnetic attachment plate on laptop doesn't look great.
  • On/off sensor can accidentally be triggered
Check Price on Amazon

However, if you take your laptop over to the couch, on the train at night, or in any other dim environment, the LaptopBar can relieve your eyes of the intense screen contrast. This lets you work longer and more comfortably.

It has a great light spread, is adaptable, has decent battery life, and can simply be recharged from your laptop if needed. You have all the lighting controls you could really need in such a light and compact package.

Photo of author


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!

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