BenQ FP241VW 24in Widescreen LCD Monitor

Admin - 2007-06-30 15:57:11 in Monitors
Category: Monitors
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: July 4, 2007
BenQ
BenQ
Price: $556.51

Introduction:

One little, two little, three little Indians, four little, five little...Actually, I’m not referring to Indians, I’m referring to bits. Is there a difference between 6 bit and 8 bit color depth when using an LCD monitor? Technically yes, 24 bit true color, which is comprised of three colors 8 bits each, will yield 16.7 million colors, while 6 bit will yield a total of 262,144. This difference in color is noticeable by the human eye, so a 6 bit monitor uses dithering (an effect where nearby pixels use slightly varying shades or color). Dithering will trick the human eye into seeing the full amount of color, even though it isn’t truly there.

The BenQ FP241VW 24 inch LCD Monitor is 8 bit, and also comes with a number of features, including two on board USB ports and the BenQ senseye and AMA Z technology, which I will explain later in this article.

“BenQ consists of three main business groups — Digital Media, Integrated Manufacturing Services and Mobile Communications. These business groups encompass a broad range of products and each retains a focus on providing consumer-oriented solutions designed especially for the networked digital lifestyle.”

 

Closer Look:

The BenQ FP241VW comes packaged in a black box with the BenQ logo and an image of the monitor in silver. This was truly eye catching since the package is really big.

 

 

Unlike other monitors I have used in the past the box opens from the top, where the monitor and the rest of the contents can be pulled out easily.

Closer Look:

The monitor is pre-assembled, so there is no need to attach a base. It also comes with a top bracket that clips into the monitors frame, which can be useful if you would like to place your speaker or other functional objects above the monitor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The frame of the monitor is silver, and the left side contains a very legible function panel with two USB ports and a headphone input port.

 

 

The rear of the monitor has a removable panel for the ability to wall mount.

 

You will also have three choices on how to hook the monitor up to your computer or HTPC: DVI, HDMI or D-Sub. There are also S-video, composite and USB Hardwire connectors.

 

 

 

The Power Cable, DVI, USB and D-Sub are included. You will need to purchase an S-Video, Composite or HDMI cable if you choose one of those options.

 

 

Installation:

Once you place the monitor on your desktop, depending on your video card, all you will need to do is choose the desired cable (HDMI, DVI, D-Sub), connect it to both your computer and monitor, turn the monitor's power on, reboot your computer and you're ready to go. The BenQ FP241VW does come with a CD which contains a screen saver, online manual and test pattern program.

Configuration:

After placing the supplied CD in your CD/DVD drive, a menu screen will pop up and guide you through a small configuration to fine tune and help you learn about what the BenQ FP241VW can do.

 

 

 

After choosing the language you prefer, you will be brought to an installation screen. Here you will be able to install the ikey auto adjustment test screen, the BenQ screen saver and read the online manual.

 

The ikey program is used to calibrate the monitor's auto adjustment settings. This can only be used if you are using an analog D-Sub connection; auto adjust will not work with a digital connection. After clicking on the ikey hypertext, you will be prompted to install the program. Once installed, run the program, press your ikey button, then bring up your menu, scroll through the auto adjustment settings, and adjust to achieve the best picture possible.

 

 

 

Also included is a BenQ screensaver.

 

 

 

 

The BenQ FP241VW is a true plug and play monitor. There is no need to use the CD to calibrate or install drivers. WIth that said, I'm getting anxious to test the monitor.

Specifications:

 

Screen Size

24.0"

Resolution

1920 x 1200

(WSXGA+) Pixel pitch (mm)

0.270 mm

Display Colors

16.7 million

Horizontal Frequency (KHz)

30-81

Vertical Frequency (Hz)

56-76

Video Bandwidth (MHz)

25-165

Viewing Angle (L/R;U/D) (CR>=5)

178/178

Display Area

20.4"x12.8"

Contrast Ratio

1000:1

Brightness

500 cd/m²

Response time

16 ms (6ms GTG)/12 ms MRPT

Colour temperature

Reddish/sRG B/Bluish + user mode

Input connector

1) HDMI
2) DVI-D
3) D-sub

Power Consumption

95W (max)

Power supply

Built-in

Net Weight

22 lbs.

Dimensions (W x H x D) (with stand)

27.6" x 18.6" x 5.3"

Speakers

No

USB

Yes

VESA Wall Mounting

100x100mm

Swivel

No

Pivot

No

Tilt

-5 ~12

OSD language

8

i key

Yes

Signal cable

1) VGA cable
2) DVI Cable 3) HDMI Cable

Regulations

TCO'06

Motion Picture Response Time

12 ms

1:1 Pixel Mapping

Yes

 

Features:

 


Key Features:

Additional Features:

The BenQ FP241VW has some additional features that many LCD monitors do not have. These range from patented BenQ technologies to USB hubs. Below, I will highlight these additional features and patents.

 

Picture in Picture:

Oddly enough, the BenQ FP241VW does have PIP, which allows you to view multiple sources at once. These can be viewed through composite or S-Video.

 

Gaming Mode Display Settings:

 

Display mode Settings:

 

USB:

 

Headset Input w / Volume Control:

 

Senseye:

The BenQ FP241VW utilizes a patented “Senseye” technology; an Image Processing Unit (IPU), “Senseye” will optimize color and sharpness by separating color signals and adjusting each one individually to avoid distortion and reveal a richer image.

 

AMA Z (Advanced Motion Acccelerator Z):

"AMA Z dynamic video technology which can eliminate ghosting and motion blur around the screen edges. This technology uses two steps to counter ghosting problems: firstly, it reduces the grey-to-grey response time using AMA techniques, and secondly, it eliminates the artifacts present on hold-type displays due to deficiencies of the human visual system. The technology inserts a black frame between each motion frame in order to override the human visual smooth pursuit tracking."

Testing:

Overclockersclub uses DisplayMate Multimedia Edition to benchmark all monitors. After many hours of research, eye straining testing, and coming to the realization that the cost to purchase any mechanical piece of equipment that could truly benchmark a monitor costs in excess of five thousand dollars, DisplayMate Multimedia Edition is the perfect solution.

"DisplayMate Technologies is a company devoted exclusively to video testing, evaluation and optimization. The company develops state-of-the-art video diagnostic products for the consumer and professional markets."

"DisplayMate Technologies is widely recognized throughout the computer and video industries as the worldwide leader in video diagnostics, which are used in the calibration, testing, evaluation and optimization of image and picture quality for all types of displays, such as CRTs, analog and digital LCDs and plasma displays, video projectors, microdisplays, HDTVs and more."

 

Testing Setup:

 

Benchmarks:

 

Set Up Display:

"This selection will show you how to properly and precisely set all of the controls on your display and video board to produce Optimum Geometry, Grayscale and Contrast. All of the other picture quality enhancements in DisplayMate assume that this procedure has been followed carefully."

Tune Up Program:

"The Tune-Up Program further improves and enhances display picture quality by searching for every possible potential weakness of a computer display at high sensitivity, and then showing how to improve the image at every step. The program selections include the following:

Script LCD Test:

"A set of test patterns to setup and check LCDs."

Video System Info:

Upon boot up no changes.

Screen Pixels
1920H x 1200V
Screen Colors
16,777,216
System Colors
16,777,216
Intensity Levels
256
Screen Orientation
Landscape 8:5
Reported Screen Size
520 x 325 millimeters
Screen Aspect Ratio
1.60 H/V
Square Pixels
1.00 H/V
Color Capability
True Color
Color Depth
24 Bits per Pixel
Color Palette
Not Available
Color Planes
1
Pixel Pitch
0.27 x 0.27
Dots per cm
37 x 37 dpcm
Dots per in
94 x 94 dpi
Total Pixels
2,304,000
Screen Memory
9000 Kbytes
Pixel Memory
32 Bits per Pixel
System Font Pixels
7H x 16V
System Font Format
274 Columns x 75 Rows
System Font File
Vgasys.fon
Display Driver
VGA
Driver File
vga.dvr
Driver Version
64.0
Enhanced Lines
Yes
Wide Lines
Yes
Styles Lines
Yes
Filled Lines
Yes
Block Lines
Yes
Polygon Lines
Yes
Curved Lines
Yes
Flood Fills
Yes
Clipping
Yes
Curves
Yes
Polygons
Yes
Device Fonts
Yes

 

Compare the BenQ FP241VW (8 Bit) to the BenQ FP222WH (6 Bit)

Testing:

Set Up Display:

DisplayMate suggests using the “Set Up Display” option to properly set up your monitor before beginning any tests. “Set Up Display” runs through many screens to help you adjust brightness, contrast and other picture quality enhancements. Up until now, I have not reviewed a monitor of this size or of true 8 bit color depth. On previous monitors, “Set Up Display” consisted of 34 screens; without actually counting, this monitor alone had over 300, including its different variations of screens and variables. Added were more black and gray and white level test screens along with color tracking, image overscan, aspect ratios, advanced picture level, image expansion and color misregistration or convergence.

Many of these added test screens are due to the fact that the BenQ FP241VW can be compared to an actual TV or projector. When you are gaming or watching a movie, you should be concerned with how images/colors are tracked, how they converge, etc. As scene lighting and backdrops change. transitions should be smooth, blacks should be the truest black and color changes should not have any fluctuation or streaks, commonly know as ghosting.

 

The first block of test screens are focused on brightness and contrast, which focus on black and grayscale.

 

 

The following progress from grayscale to white, while later testing color purity, color tracking, and so forth.

 

 

 

Color intensity, Gamma tracking, size and position, sharpness and moiré interference patterns are also included.

 

 

Last but not least are text readability, font size, bandwidth, and a master screen that you can use to perform a quick setup.

 

 

So far what differences have I seen between this monitor and the others tested (Acer 17 in LCD, Princeton 19in LCD, and BenQ FP222WH LCD)? Looking at four monitors with test screens up for any amount of time makes you dizzy.

When placed next to a 6 bit monitor, you can clearly see a difference in color and clarity. I now understand what dithering is. Setting up this monitor was easier than the others. Once I set my contrast and brightness to the first screen, I did not have to readjust it through the rest of the setup; all others required a constant readjustment (some less than others). The video bandwidth readings acquired (checkerboard matching) were at 100%, 255/255 with a contrast and brightness being 47/26.

The BenQ FP241VW also has a 500cd/m2 rating (cd/m2 or candela per square meter indicates how well you can view a monitor/TV in bright light conditions). The higher the value, the easier it will be able to see in bright light conditions (the average monitor/TV is 350 cd/m2). Being 500 cd/m2 made a big difference during the day, and at night, when I had my overhead lamp on, there was less need to actually close a shade or dim the light as I needed to with the other monitors.

Testing:

Tune Up Program:

Testing:

LCD Test Script:

DisplayMate comes with many scripts that can be run to test your monitor (CRT, LCD), video cards, projectors and even a setup for printers. My reason for using the LCD script was to check if my settings that I had made while using the Set Up and Tune Up programs had made a difference. I ran the LCD script prior to adjusting the monitor and after adjusting the monitor.

The LCD script test has a timer and I set it to 30 seconds a screen; included in the test are screens from all the other tests. The differences that were achieved after running it the second time were the same or better. My brightness and contrast were set somewhat high before running any of my testing, and the sharpness of some of the models was more vibrant the second time around. Overall, the quality of the picture and transfer of images was increased.

 

Subjective Viewing:

 

Gaming:

Words cannot define how much of a difference a widescreen monitor makes when gaming. The view and your perspective changes so dramatically, it takes some getting use to. I don’t think anyone would choose to go back to a normal screen again.

Out of the four monitors tested, by far the BenQ FP241VW is the winner. With the BenQ FP222WH coming in second, Princeton 19D third and the Acer AL1714 rounding out the end. I played two games on the BenQ 241VW, Call of Duty 2 and Need for Speed Most Wanted. Each was chosen for their genre as I wanted to test both action and racing game modes. Along with the two mentioned modes, Standard mode was also tested for comparison.

Call of Duty 2:

I don't normally play at such high resolutions, but I did play COD 2 at 1920 x 1200 just to see how well the monitor could handle it. In standard mode I did notice some minor ghosting and at times some slight waves when moving quickly. When changed to action game mode, it all disappeared. Action game mode automatically changes the AMA Z setting and locks it to 2 out of 3. How I could best describe the difference would be that it seemed to add contrast, and at the same time increased luminescence, while getting rid of all ghosting.

 

Need for Speed Most Wanted:

NFS Most Wanted was played at both 1280 x 1024 and 1600 x 1200 (using a program that enables higher resolutions). I’m not positive if it was because of the game's limitations, but at 1600 x 1200 both standard and racing game modes were somewhat blurry at time, like when going through overpasses or passing a lot of background. Racing game mode locks the AMA Z 3,which added even more contrast and luminescence than the Action Game Mode. I would be lying if I said it didn’t do what it was meant to do, but at least in this game I still prefer standard mode.

Video:

I happen to be a Japanese monster movie buff, so two of my all time favorite monsters happen to be Godzilla and Gamera, the flying fire breathing turtle. Since I watched Godzilla (Final Wars 2004 WS) in my last review, I figured I’d do it again and see how movie and dynamic mode work compared to standard. AMA Z does not lock in these modes, and can be changed from 0 to 3. I wasn’t too impressed by dynamic mode. Even with changing the AMA Z settings, it seemed to add noise or speckles. Movie mode worked great and I found that I prefer AMA Z to be set to 2. It made the picture crisp, while enhancing deep colors. Transitions were flawless and I felt as if I were watching the movie again for the first time due to the many changes in the quality I was seeing.

 

Applications:

I use Photoshop and MS Word almost every day, so it is important for me to have a clear, crisp, vibrant picture. Different fonts need to be clear and not blurred or they tend to hurt my eyes. Fonts deal with the monitor's capabilities to transfer sharpness and contrast toward the inner and outer edges of the font itself. Font readability was good with this BenQ, they were well defined and clear. For Photoshop, I was more interested in seeing saturations and hues of colors. I like to change things and create a nice blend of color when I am creating images or just trying to enhance an image. I decided to use Photo mode and yes, it did make a difference. The transfer of color and transitions were clear and concise, pictures were more vibrant, and while working, a picture in higher zoom pixels looked sharper instead of a blob like I am used to seeing.

Conclusion:

So is an 8 bit monitor worth the extra money and will you notice any differences? I was skeptical at first, but after placing a 6 bit and 8 bit monitor side-by-side, there are many distinct differences.

8 bit monitors have better color transition than 6 bit because they produce a true 16.7 million colors. 8 bit monitors usually have a higher cd/m2 rating than 6 bit monitors, allowing you to view in brighter light and see a clearer picture. Due to dithering, a 6 bit monitor is more susceptible to color misregistration since the colors you are seeing aren’t truly there.

An 8 bit monitor is more expensive than a 6 bit monitor, but normally comes with some nice extras that 6 bit monitors usually don’t have, such as  S-Video and composite inputs. If you are leaning toward an HTPC, these two features can help. You can actually watch movies in HD, and for those of you who just can’t get enough with watching one thing at a time, the PIP comes in handy too.

The BenQ FP241VW is not only a workstation monitor, it is a monitor that can do just about anything you want it to do. Its added features help enhance your viewing experience with the availability to change viewing modes, hook up USB hardware, listen to a movie without waking up the house, and even watching a TV show in HD.

 

Pros:

Cons: