BenQ VW2420H Monitor Review

by Chris Heinonen on 12/10/2011 2:45 AM EST


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  • blueeyesm - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    "When initially hooked up and set to 200 nits of light output, the average dE of the BenQ is in the single digits, which unfortunately is very good for a consumer class LCD monitor."

    I think you may have meant "is not very good..."
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Close. That was supposed to be "high single digits". Which actually is fairly good for a consumer LCD. It's only the professional LCDs that have good-to-decent accuracy out of the box. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    the last benq monitor i bought had an external power supply that failed twice before i finally ebay'd the monitor. as a credit to benq (a company with traditionally bad rap for support) they did replace the power supply both times, the second time being out of warranty! but the power supply ran super hot, and the monitor drew 160 watts from the wall when measured with a kill-a-watt.

    hopefully they've changed 'wall-wart' manufactures.
  • Rolphus - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I've found BenQ's support to be excellent. I have an XL2410T that had a manufacturing defect (really bad light bleed on the right hand side), and getting it swapped out was extremely easy. I've also got a BenQ FP241W I use for work, and that has been very reliable, and with excellent picture quality.

    Neither of them use wall-warts for power: perhaps it's a component supply issue.
  • cheinonen - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I will go clear that up, but yes, for a consumer display straight out of the box, anything below double digits is unfortunately considered to be good. The consumer video realm is finally getting to where displays and projectors have modes that are reasonably (dE < 5) accurate out of the box, so hopefully PC displays will get there as well. Reply
  • joelypolly - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Lack of VESA mounts means that even though this is a pretty nice monitor it means that I won't be buying it Reply
  • Makaveli - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    "The main negatives for the BenQ in my book are the total lack of adjustments beyond tilt, which you can’t remedy with a different stand due to the lack of VESA mounting holes, and the OSD interface."

    Ditto for me also this would be a no buy just for this fact.

    Goodjob Benq thanks for coming out.
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I've had this monitor for over a year now. Maybe it has just hit the US? I paid around £170 a year ago.

    It's extremely thin - which the review doesn't mention - and it uses a wall wart because of this.

    It's a shame they didn't built the power supply and signal inputs into the base, as that would have been very tidy, instead cables hang out the back of the monitor (like any other) which rather lets down the point of creating a 'stylist monitor' in the first place, and losing VESA mounts, etc.

    The picture quality is very good, for a consumer monitor, and far better than TN monitors in my opinion. Of course for serious gaming the TN monitors do have the fastest response times and the 3D options.
  • Torrijos - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Black shiny edges are horrible for me...

    They reflect the light fixture directly into your eyes, incredibly annoying, I had to put tape on my last screen avoid the strain.

    When are manufacturers going to understand buyers don't care about shiny just about functionality.
  • toyota - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    yeah bright shiny bezels are asinine for a monitor because they reflect everything around you. even the screen gets reflected on the inside edges of the bezel and that drives me nuts when playing a game or a movie. Reply
  • JediJeb - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    The only thing worse is when the make the screen shiny too. It is why I haven't bought a new notebook as most lower priced ones now days have the reflective glossy screens that are useless unless you are using them in the dark. Reply
  • danchen - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Will the 16:10 layout ever make a comeback ?
    Seems only Dell & apply are still making them.
    and yeah, i agree that the shiny thick bezels are unwelcome. I am looking for 3 monitors to do an eyefinity setup, and despite any good reviews, the bezel alone will turn me away.
  • dingetje - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    benq can shove its 16:9 panel where the sun don't shine.
    16:9 is useful for movie watching and not much else.
  • kesbar - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    ^^^^ This.
    Stop encouraging the 16:9 market.
  • BansheeX - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Clinging to some tiny deviance like 16:10 is asinine. We don't want a recorded desktop to be chopped off vertically or downsampled when played back on a television or projector. We need uniformity with regards to aspect. Maybe someday they will release a 3840x2160 monitor and you resolution junkies will shut the heck up about aspects. Reply
  • TegiriNenashi - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    16:10 should have been HDTV standard to begin with. (I personally find ratio 16:11 even more pleasing). It is silly living in 21st century and being forced to watch content in aspect ratio one hates (yes, I'm speaking of ridiculous short letterbox 2.41:1) . Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Letterbox 2.41:1 really requires a 100" display or more. The idea is to totally immerse the viewer even if the edges aren't where the action is happening.

    I think that until such large TVs are mainstream DVDs and BluRays should just stick to 16:9 formats that fill the entirety of the TV screen.
  • TegiriNenashi - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I have 100" projector screen in 4:3 ratio for almost a decade. Its ginormous (for a small room). 100" letterbox image is much less spectacular, as you would could clearly feel the lack of height. It's all about virtual reality, filling out the full field of view -- IMAX (4:3) pushing the viewing excellence. Again those 1950 ideas of "impressive" visual are out of touch with today's reality. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I treat it as being a 1680x1050 monitor but with 240 more pixels on the edge, and 30 on the bottom, rather than being a cut down 1920x1200.

    What I want is a 24" 2560x1440 monitor. And in a couple of years why not a high DPI 3840x2160!
  • TegiriNenashi - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Do you know that given two displays with the same diagonal, the narrower one has less area? That is 16:10 being 6% smaller than 4:3, and 16:9 being even smaller: 7% less than 16:10. That is why manufacturers are so in love with "True HD" -- at consumers expense.

    Nevertheless 4K displays (to appear next year) are welcome development in this stagnated field. The price for 30" 2500x1600 display has been flat for 5 years -- the situation unheard of in electronics.

  • justaviking - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    I just bought a 16:10 TV/Monitor.

    Very cheap, but after recently buying a smaller yet similar product for my wife, which she loves, so I thought I'd give it a whirl mostly because of the aspect ratio, and the bonus of doubling as a TV, and an unbeatable price..

    Hannspree ST289MUB 28" Class LCD HDTV - 1080p
    1920x1200, 16:10
    800:1 Native, 10000:1 Dynamic, 5ms, 60Hz, 2 HDMI, Black

    It was (still is) $200 after the sales price and a $50 rebate at TigerDirect.

    I wonder how a budget item like this would stand up to an AnandTech review. Is it a great deal or a waste of money?
  • JWatson - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    The Hannspree use TN panels. Meaning the black levels/contrast aren't nearly as good, as well the viewing angles. I used to have the older non-TV version of the Hannspree. It was a great monitor at 27.5 for just everyday computer purposes, but when it came to movies and gaming...well the blacks were not great, nor the viewing angles, or backlight bleed.

    To see what I mean by poor viewing angles try this link

    Those letters should all be the same color. If you have a *VA or *IPS the text will have the same color. If you are using a TN panel, it'll show different color for the text depending on your angle.

    If you need to do any professional photo editing on the Hannspree...forget about it. You can't calibrate to be accurate enough. You need a *VA or *IPS panel monitor.

    If you just want a large, web browsing, office work, semi tv and movie watching, then the Hannspree is great for the price. I still recommend it as a budget monitor. However, If you're looking for quality...look elsewhere.
  • justaviking - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the great link. It provides wonderful examples and offers a great tip of viewing at a distance equal to your diagonal size when evaluating the screen.

    I viewed the images on the $15 montior I have a work. At least I hope they only paid $15 for it. Ewww.

    I can't wait to try it on a few of my monitors at home. I figured there would be compromises on the Hannspree. But for the price and features I'm hoping it'll be acceptable.

    I don't have very demanding needs (no professional photography work, though I do enjoy video editing). But it'll be fun to compare a couple of the Samsung monitors I like with the Hannspree TV/monitor.

    There's no need to test my wife's laptop. It is horrible. A nice i5 processor paired with a screen that has about a 10 degree viewing angle. Gahh!

    Thanks again.
  • SirGCal - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    With most games locked to console specs and vertical fov, 16:9 actually has more viewable space. If they don't have locked vertical FOV (rare), then the 10's can show more due to their increased vertical pixel space... But still, since 16:9 is the 'industry' standard in everything accept desktop's, I fully expect the 10's to disappear. Besides, the higher res 16:9's are right around the corner anyhow with Ultra HD. 1200 and 1600 vertical pixels are most likely going away. 1080 will likely be the default standard with 1440 and 2160 being the higher end models. Maybe we'll even see some 4320s... I suspect we'll start to see these more often very soon (some already available...)

    Personally, I like the wider screen of the 16:9 anyhow, especially with vertically locked graphics engines in many of today's games.
  • JediJeb - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Honestly I still prefer the 1280X1024 ratio, (4:3 I think it is) since most of my work deals more with vertical space than horizontal. Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    1280 x 1024 is a 5:4 ratio. LCD monitors with a 4:3 ratio were rare (and now extinct) , but I'm typing on one now (1400 x 1050). It's great very general work, and I prefer it over 16:9, but not 16:10. Reply
  • kkwst2 - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    I have a 19" 1280x1024 next to a 24" 1920x1200 at home, and used to like this setup a lot. But now at work I have a 30" 2560x1600 next to 1200x1900 (24" oriented vertically) and I like this much better.

    I use the vertical 24" for displaying Outlook, Word docs, and some more vertically oriented Excel workbooks. Also good for code. The 30" I use for graphics and layout stuff, as well as side-by-side spreadsheets. I used to think I would always want one screen that is more square, but now I really like the two screens with opposite orientation. The 30" is a luxury, but not necessary. When my 19" dies I'm going to two 24" at home with opposite orientation.
  • ibtar - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    I purchased an EW2420 (essentially the same panel) to compare to a ZR24w and just didn't care for it. The only thing it had going for it was it's contrast and black level. Colors just never looked quite right and A-MVA viewing angles simply do not come close to IPS. Despite the contrast ratio being nearly 5 times as high, I simply couldn't keep it. Reply
  • jabber - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    And whilst I assume its just a budget E-IPS panel its a very nice monitor to work with.

    Reasonable adjustment, good viewing angles, calibration report in the box and a matte effect bezel!

    All for just £125! For a day to day work monitor its a bargain.
  • jabber - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    In fact just plugged my Spyder3Pro calibrator and ran the full calibration on the USER and sRGB modes.

    Other than a adjustment on the brightness the difference in calibration was minimal so pretty accurate out of the box.
  • jigglywiggly - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    stop doing these cruddy display reviews
    do more 120hz reviews
  • snuuggles - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link


    This is a high-end site. I'm not clear on why anyone here would buy anything but either:

    1. an excellent s-ips screen
    2. 120hz input screen

    Also, Chris, please do not encourage people here to purchase a "3d" TV as a monitor. As you *must* know, there is no TV on the market today that can accept a 120hz signal and display it, and most TVs have *horrible* input lag. To even suggest that a 3d tv is an acceptible monitor is to further confuse an already confused public.
  • DanNeely - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    For the most part sites review what vendors send them for review. Reply
  • gmkmay - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Just out of curiosity why would you review this when you already reviewed the EW2420? They use the same panel with just slight differences in inputs and presentation. The time spent reviewing this seems like it would have been much better spent reviewing the 750d Samsung TN 120hz monitor that you've said was forthcoming. Reply
  • cheinonen - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    BenQ provided both and I reviewed both of them. The Samsung is coming very, very soon. Reply
  • jmunjr - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Same old story. LCD makers, if you keep making 16:9 LCDs many of us will run the other way... We don't care if it is cheaper, we want better. Reply
  • seapeople - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    I want 16:16 aspect ratio, I really like my vertical space. Actually, I'd prefer something like a 9:16 aspect ratio, but I just don't think we'll ever get there. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    Haha, you mean you like to pivot your screen? Just do it. Reply
  • JediJeb - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    With the lack of VESA mounts these days most monitors won't pivot unless you tear them apart and use some sheet metal screws to mount them to a post. Reply
  • TegiriNenashi - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Yes pivot that 16:9 screen to see how ridiculously narrow it is. Reply
  • mike55 - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    BenQ's website says this monitor has an 8-bit panel with 24-bit interpolation. I don't understand why interpolation is used for a panel that's capable of displaying 24-bit color. Could someone explain this, please? Reply
  • marraco - Saturday, December 10, 2011 - link

    If I need a machine to tell the color accuracy of a monitor, well, then I don’t care much about it. I’m not sensible on color accuracy.

    But If I read an Anandtech article about a monitor, then I buy the monitor, and text looks blurry when I scroll web pages, PDF, and word documents, then I blame the Anandtech article which said NOT A WORD about things that matter.
  • snuuggles - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    Man, I couldn't agree more. I'm not sure who these reviews are for. There are so few people that really care about color accuracy.

    - input lag
    - 120hz
    - ?? what else matters? I'm personally a little hazy on why any gamer would settle for 60hz when 120hz is just *so* much better.

    Now that I think about it, my guess is that the market for people who care about quality monitors (ie, people that know anything at all about displays) and who *aren't* photographers/graphic artists must be vanishingly small, which is why the reviews seem to cater to that crowd.
  • cheinonen - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    There are people who care about color accuracy and those who care about input lag, and those who care about both. I can't venture to assume what percentage of people care about which unfortunately, though I care far more about color accuracy than input lag myself as I rarely game but do a lot of image and general work where the colors annoy me. However, I know I don't represent everyone so I try to cover everything I can.

    The next display up is a 120 Hz display, so there will be comments on that of course. I'm attempting to find a better way to measure the actual motion resolution on displays, but have run into a couple issues on that so far:
    - The test patterns max out at 1920x1080
    - The output is limited to 60 Hz
    So the 120 Hz display can't take full advantage of the panel for that. I'm trying to find a way to measure that better, as motion resolution is something that is hard to really get across right now.

    I'm trying to cover all the bases for reviews, and trying to clear out the backlog of monitors that are here so I can start to better select what the comments are interested in.
  • sulu1977 - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    60 Hz monitors give me eyestrain every time. My next monitor absolutely has to be 120 Hz or higher. Reply
  • Zan Lynx - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Exactly how does the refresh rate on a LCD cause eye strain for you? I can see that with a CRT it would because the low phosphor persistence on high refresh rate CRTs would cause flicker when used at a lower refresh rate.

    With an LCD the pixel stays set until the displays gets a refresh. It doesn't flicker. At all.

    You might be seeing a 60Hz flicker of the LCD's fluorescent backlight tubes. If that is the problem, then you need to find a monitor manufacturer that uses a better backlight..

    It could also be caused by your eyes being badly affected by interference patterns generated by room fluorescent lighting flicker combining with LCD backlight flicker.

    In none of these cases will a 120Hz refresh LCD solve your problem except by a new display coincidentally using a different backlight.
  • sulu1977 - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I thought my new LED LCD laptop would finally get rid of eyestrain forever, but I was very wrong. Just passing my fingers across the screen reveals obvious flicker. Without getting into deep technical analysis, the bottom line is this:I can stare at a tree in my yard and never get eye strain/fatigue, but staring at my new 60Hz LED LCD gives me eye strain/fatigue every time. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Next-generation panels from the maker of the panels used in these BenQ monitors are being produced and are about to be produced:

    Some have a 5000:1 contrast ratio rating (up from 3000:1). Some are 120 Hz. They have a faster response rating of 6 ms g2g rather than 8 ms, and 12 ms overall rather than 25 ms.

    The first announced panel that appears to use one of these is the Phillips 241P4QPYEB/27 and 241P4QPYES/00. The only difference between the two is the color of the frame.

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