Brightness and Contrast

With the previous LED monitor I saw from BenQ, the exceptional thing about it was native contrast ratios that exceeded 3000:1 at all levels of light output. These superior contrast levels result in better highlight and shadow detail across the screen, and an image with more “pop” than other displays.

With the monitor set to its maximum light output, I managed to record 272 nits of output, which should be more than enough for most users. With the brightness set to the minimum value, we dropped down to 81 nits, which provides enough range for people that want to use the display in total darkness for print work. It’s very unlikely that anyone would need to use a monitor above or below these peak values, so the BenQ provides plenty of light output for everyone. (Note that it's possible to get the white output even lower if you tune the RGB colors in the "User" mode, though we didn't feel this was necessary.)

White Level - XR Pro and Xrite i1D2

Of course if the black levels are very high to go with those white levels, you’ll lose a lot of image quality. With the brightness set to maximum, our minimum black level was recorded at 0.062 nits. This black level is lower than many other panels can manage with their brightness set to the minimum value, which is good to see. Setting the brightness to the minimum gave us a reading of 0.019, which is a very good value as well.

Black Level - XR Pro and Xrite i1D2

Putting these numbers together gives the BenQ a contrast ratio of right around 4,400:1 at both minimum and maximum brightness levels. This is even better than the previous panel and is easily the best contrast we have recorded for a monitor (without any dynamic contrast at play). Unless we start to see LED backlight monitors, or OLED monitors, that can potentially put out absolutely no light on a solid black screen, it might be a while until we see numbers much better than these. There are a lot of LED lit panels out there now, but the BenQ currently performs better than any of them when it comes to contrast ratio.

Contrast Ratio - XR Pro and Xrite i1D2

Contrast ratio is one thing that can really make a huge difference in the quality of the image and is often not valued as much as it should be, but here it is just fantastic. BenQ has a huge advantage over everyone else it seems and hopefully this will motivate everyone to improve their own contrast ratios. [Ed: Please, can laptops get some of this high contrast love?]

Viewing Angles and Color Quality Uniformity and Gamut


View All Comments

  • 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

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