A Closer Look at the BenQ FP241VW
Okay, we've talked about LCD panel technologies, and based on some of the discussion you should have a fair idea of what the FP241VW brings to the table. Even though the display is discontinued, you might be able to find one on sale somewhere, and there's a reasonable chance we'll see the same A-MVA panel in displays from other manufacturers. If you happen to know of some A-MVA 24" LCDs that use the AU Optronics panel (any 24" A-MVA display should meet that criterion), please leave a note in the comments section.
|BenQ FP241VW Specifications|
|Video Inputs||DVI with HDCP support
|Panel Type||A-MVA (AU Optronics)|
|Colors||16.7 million (8-bit color)|
|Brightness||500 cd/m2 advertised|
|Contrast Ratio||1000:1 advertised|
|Response Time||6ms GTG|
|Viewable Size||24" diagonal|
|Viewing Angle||178 horizontal/vertical|
|Power Consumption||<95W max stated|
|Screen Treatment||Matte (non-glossy)|
|Tilt||Yes - 20 degrees back/5 degrees forward|
|VESA Wall Mounting||Yes - but you can't (easily) remove the frame/stand|
|Dimensions w/ Base (WxHxD)||27.6" x 18.6" x 5.3" (WxHxD)|
|Weight w/ Stand||22 lbs.|
|Additional Features||2 x USB Ports|
|Audio||Headphone/Line out (no built in speakers)|
|Limited Warranty||3-year limited warranty, M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM PST|
|Accessories||HDMI, DVI, USB, VGA, and power cables|
|Price||Online starting at ~$450 - (Original MSRP ~$850)|
Like the upper-end 24" S-PVA displays, as well as some of the better 24" TN panels, the FP241VW comes with a large selection of input options. VGA, DVI, HDMI are there, along with component, S-Video, and composite connections. You wouldn't want to use S-Video or Composite if you can avoid it, but all of the other inputs are viable choices. We didn't complete our full set of tests for resolution support, so we can't say how well the display works in every situation, but we can say that resolution support is a bit more finicky than some of the better LCDs. The native 1920x1200 resolution always worked well, but other 16:10 aspect ratio resolutions did not function as well. 1440x900 in particular failed to work properly when we forced that mode via the display drivers. HDMI also appears to target 16:9 resolutions, despite the 16:10 AR, so 1680x1050 and many other resolutions didn't work well with HDMI and we would recommend 1920x1080 for the best overall image using that connection.
One item that immediately caught our attention in testing is the OSD (On Screen Display), and unfortunately it wasn't in a good way. The OSD is by far the most sluggish UI we've used on an LCD, often requiring over 1 second to change selections. You shouldn't need to use the OSD all that much after initial setup, but aspect ratio scaling options didn't always work as expected and overall the OSD feels like it needs a major overhaul - or at least a processor upgrade. It does offer plenty of options, as you can see in the above gallery, but option overload isn't the same thing as working well.
Something else that will make this display immediately stand out from other LCDs is the base stand. Instead of a traditional stand, BenQ has a large frame that supports the LCD, connected to the panel on the sides. This might not seem like a big deal at first - and for some users it won't be - but it does create some drawbacks. The frame means that there is no height adjustment, no pivot or rotate functionality, and while the back of the LCD has a VESA wall mount, you can't (easily) remove the stand - so in other words, using the wall mount will look silly at best. It also means the LCD is bulkier than other 24" LCDs. The OSD controls are located on the left support of the base stand, so even if you do manage to remove the stand you will still have to keep that circuit board around - likely dangling by a wire. Frankly, while it's sometimes good to be different, in this case we think it would be far better to stick with the tried-and-true approach of removable base stands that attach to the back of the LCD.
Okay, we've said enough about the FP241VW, especially considering you can't easily find this display for sale anymore. Let's move on to the evaluation of the performance characteristics of this A-MVA panel and see how it stacks up against the competition.