Benq is attempting an interesting combination this time. With the BenQ VW2420H, you get a 24-inch Full-HD monitor of course. Unique in the VW2420H is the fact that it has an LED backlight and an 8-bit MVA panel. This means better color reproduction and wider viewing angles. All LED-backlit monitors that we have seen until now have been using TN-based panels for their screen, but the VA-based panel in the VW2420H goes one up on those products. The slim and light nature is another plus point, useful for both home and office users. It makes for a very good general purpose monitor.
Viewing angles of 178 degrees horizontal and vertical, mean that you can still see what is on the screen even if you are not seated directly in front of it.
The Benq VW2420H subscribes to a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 and a Full-HD resolution of 1920x1080, also known as a 1080p display. It offers a (grey-to-grey) response time of 8ms and uses an LED backlight (unlike normal CCFL backlights in most LCD monitors). Since it uses a VA panel (Vertical Alignment), its horizontal and vertical viewing angles stand at 178 degrees, which is better than most budget monitors. Package contents consisted of the user manuals, a CD, and VGA/DVI/power cables.
VESA wall-mounting is not supported. Benq rates this monitor's power consumption at a maximum of 40W. If that number sounds higher than other LED monitors, remember that this number is firstly a measure of the maximum power used, and secondly that other LED monitors did not have a VA based panel. It weighs 3.9 kg along with the stand. Benq offers a three year warranty on this monitor.
Style is certainly on its side. It is nice and slim, a glossy black bezel entirely with no heat vents at the rear, has a rounded base with golden color borders, and a short/slender stalk for a neck. The base stand's design of being at an angle itself, means that the display has a limited "tilt" ability, but it does not feel odd in any way. The screen is neither matte nor glossy, which has its own benefits and pitfalls, as seen in the Performance section further below. The screen itself has a deep black color to it when it is turned off, somewhat like a TV, which feels good.
The placing of the ports is very convenient indeed. Jutting straight out at the rear side, were the display input connectors – HDMI, DVI, VGA – besides a headphone jack and power input. This power input socket was not of the usual 3-pin type, it bore more resemblance to a laptop charger with a power brick as part of the cable. This is one of the ways in which Benq manages to reduce thickness and heat within the monitor's body, but on the flip-side you cannot simply inter-change cables in case the one provided stops working, since it uses a non-standard design. For a table of specifications, either go to the "Specifications" tab of this review, or view the details on Benq's own webpage for the monitor.
As has been the case with other recent Benq monitors, the VW2420H has its OSD buttons located out of eyesight. The buttons to summon and change options on the OSD (On Screen Display) are situated at the bottom right side, facing downwards. The symbols and names of the buttons can be seen in front on the bezel. Getting used to the buttons takes no time. The OSD menu itself, is well laid-out with all the options desired and the neatness we have been seeing in the higher-end Benq monitors.
Multiple Preset color modes exist, including the normal sRGB, and a power-saving Eco mode that dims the screen. However, the lightness of the monitor and the placement of OSD buttons conspire to lift the screen slightly on the right side, whenever you press any of the buttons. This is a very tiny but strange usability blunder, for a monitor that is pretty well thought-out in other aspects.
Performance - Objective Tests
We first calibrate the monitor using Spyder Elite 3 and its hardware-based solution, ensuring that what we see is the best that the monitor can provide. Then we run a battery of tests including those from Lavalys Everest, Lagom, and DisplayMate, measuring them with a Chroma meter. There were no dead/stuck/colored pixels on the unit that came to us for review, as confirmed on 5 uni-color screens (completely dark, white and the 3 primary colors).
The Benq VW2420H LED monitor claims a dynamic contrast ratio (DCR) of 20,000,000:1 (that's right, the number did read 20 million!). This does well for movies and games, however we disable DCR to measure the true contrast ratio. The claimed native contrast ratio is 3000:1 and our Chroma meter measured this to be 783:1 which is really good. We measured an actual brightness of 221 cd/m2 and a black level of 0.24 cd/m2 which is positively great for a monitor in its price range. See the subjective tests for interpretations of what these numbers mean in real world usage.
It did well with regard to the RGB (colour accuracy) levels. The color temperature measured higher than the benchmark of 6500K, which was disappointing. But brightness and black levels across the screen remained stable. We saw slight backlight bleed, which was barely there and noticeable only when you go looking for it. As expected, it offers a color gamut of 72% as measured on the CIE1976 standard. For more details see the "Performance" tab of this review.
Performance - Subjective Tests
Our subjective tests consisted of web browsing and productivity apps, viewing photos, movies and playing games. The colors and vibrancy felt good. For movie watchers, the depth of the black levels was very good during our movie playback, even when DCR was off. Photos looked better on this monitor, than they did on normal (TN) LCD monitors.
Viewing angles of 178 degrees horizontal and vertical, mean that you can still see what is on the screen even from an abnormal angle. This would usually imply that multiple people could sit around the monitor to watch a movie, or that you regularly work while keeping it at an unusual angle. Unfortunately, this is not an IPS-panel, it is a VA panel at work behind the scenes. The result is that the screen itself and the image are still visible well when viewed from a non-perpendicular angle, but what you see is a slightly color-tinted screen. Even those who don't perceive the tint of a VA panel will still have to contend with a slight gloss coating on the screen and a color shift towards the "whitish" side (although not quite washed-out).
Text that scrolls by fast (as in really fast) can get hard to distinguish, as borne out by PixPerAn tests and possibly attributable to the monitor's response time of 8ms. However, there was no noticeable blur or ghosting in games and movies – it remained visually sharp, audio remained in sync while watching movies, although there was miniscule mouse lag in fast-paced FPS games.
Being one of the first LED monitors with a VA panel, the Benq VW2420H acquits itself honourably. Performance in the objective tests is emphatic proof of that. It has better contrast, color reproduction and viewing angles than cheap LCD monitors. However, the "Cons" mentioned above (color shift, response time, premium) position it as more of a higher-end general purpose monitor.
Despite the Benq's remarkable show, an IPS panel monitor is still the more palatable option for those who need to work with graphics, considering the attractive pricing of a monitor like the Dell UltraSharp U2311H. Similarly, those who play fast-paced FPS shooter games might prefer the comfort of a TN-panel's raw response times, like the Alienware OptX AW2210.