Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
BenQ V2420H LED monitor
This slim, LED-backlit LCD monitor from BenQ is stylish but requires tweaking for best colour performance
- Super-thin and exceedingly stylish, low energy consumption
- Dynamic contrast is imperfect, poor static black levels, slight green colour bias in default settings
BenQ's super-thin V2420H LED monitor has lower power consumption and higher contrast levels than a regular CCFL-backlit LCD monitor. Combined with its sleek and stylish design, it is a well-rounded product. Picture quality is merely good rather than great. However, if style is important to you the BenQ V2420H delivers it in spades.
Price$ 479.00 (AUD)
The BenQ V2420H is a 24in, LED-backlit LCD monitor that has a super-thin chassis. At only 15mm thick it is much slimmer than a conventional, CCFL-backlit LCD monitor. LED lighting also means the BenQ V2420H delivers better contrast than a regular monitor, with a claimed 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. The screen's simple glossy bezel makes it look very stylish, and the round base is attractive without taking up too much desk space.
The BenQ V2420H has a 24in diagonal panel with a 1920x1080 Full HD resolution. A 1000:1 static contrast ratio is on par with other LED monitors on the market like the BenQ V2400 Eco, as is the 5ms grey-to-grey response time. The rear of the monitor houses DVI, VGA and HDMI 1.3 connectors, as well as a DC power port for connecting the monitor's external power brick. Having an external power brick helps keep the BenQ V2420H's chassis thin, but you'll need to find somewhere near your power point to place it. The power brick gets reasonably warm while the monitor is on.
We connected the BenQ V2420H to a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook via VGA and a Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-ray disc player. Switching between the two inputs is easy using the monitor's bottom-mounted controls. The on-screen interface simple to get to grips with — changing picture settings such as colour temperature, brightness or contrast is quick and the menu's layout is intuitive.
With the BenQ V2420H set to its sRGB picture setting, picture quality is good but not spectacular. While the colours aren't as accurate and evenly biased as the Dell UltraSharp U2410, we found the BenQ V2420H to be adequate for Web browsing and general graphical work. Running through a range of DisplayMate image quality benchmarks we noticed a slight bias towards greens. This can be compensated for through the manual colour controls — after a few minutes of dialling in individual settings for red, green and blue we reached a compromise where pictures looked vibrant without being oversaturated, and no colour bias was evident. Raising the BenQ V2420H's contrast too far resulted in bloom and oversaturation in bright coloured areas of the screen.
A 250cd/m2 brightness rating is nothing special — it is roughly equal with CCFL and LED panels from other manufacturers — but we found it was high enough for general usage. If you use your monitor in a brightly lit environment, such as in direct sunlight, you will need to raise the brightness level to its maximum. We found that unless the BenQ V2420H had its brightness below half, black levels were poor and tended towards grey.
The BenQ V2420H's dynamic contrast mode deepens black levels and delivers clean, bright whites. However, a lack of local dimming capability means the screen cannot do both simultaneously. When we tested the screen with the difficult-to-render opening scenes of The Dark Knight on Blu-ray, displaying the pin-pricks of bright white light on screen meant that deep black levels were abandoned and the entire image tended towards an unattractive grey. We opted to turn dynamic contrast off for a more consistent viewing experience.
Sharpness and geometry is where the BenQ V2420H is most refined. In default settings both text and images are detailed without looking over-sharpened. Simple graphs and charts, which are a good measure of a screen's geometric display abilities, were reproduced with no evident distortion. The screen's internal scaler also does a good job of displaying lower resolution content, tending towards smooth representations rather than jagged hard-edged ones.
The BenQ V2420H handles motion acceptably, without any ghosting evident. Its 5ms response time is fast enough that even quick video transitions don't leave content lingering on screen. It may not be as fast as a 120Hz monitor, but it handles gaming and fast video motion with no issues.
In our view, the attractive design is the main selling point of the BenQ V2420H. Its picture quality is good but has a few flaws that stop it from being great — significant manual adjustment does help a lot though.
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