BenQ G2400W Review

Propane - 2008-06-15 12:52:25 in Monitors
Category: Monitors
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: July 15, 2008
Price: 399.99 USD

Introduction:

If you are visiting this website, or any website, you will probably agree that computers are a great tool for doing work, having fun, and learning. However, without a monitor, our home computers become nothing more than number crunchers. A good monitor can make the difference between being able to enjoy using your computer to getting a headache after using it for 15 minutes. As monitors become larger and larger, more things are possible. More realistic and immersive gaming environments start to pop out, the ability to see a lot more data, and, of course, larger high definition movies. While we look for larger and larger monitors, however, we cannot forget quality. The difference between a high quality monitor and one that just downright stinks can make the difference in whether you enjoy working at your computer or not.

Today, I am going to be taking a close look at the BenQ G2400W, a 24" widescreen monitor that runs at a resolution of 1920x1200, which is slightly over the Full HD specification (which comes in at 1920x1080 resolution). A monitor this big needs a pretty large amount of bandwidth to display everything without losing data, and because of that, it supports DVI and HDMI. However, if you have a computer with VGA output, there is no reason to fear as there is a VGA port as well. With a monitor larger than some TVs that supports over 1080p, it should be a joy to use and I am excited to put it through its paces.

 

Closer Look:

I got the BenQ G2400W from Newegg and it came shipped in a plain monitor box. It would have been nice if it had shipped in another protective box, but this isn't BenQ's fault. The box shows some of the features of the monitor and some nice pictures. I was shocked about how large the box was, but when you buy a large monitor, you expect a large box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As exciting as the box is, I'll bet most of you want to see what is inside the box even more. Let's take a look!

Closer Look:

The first thing I noticed when pulling out the BenQ G2400W was that it had a very small bezel all the way around the monitor. They get away with this by not including speakers with the monitor and placing the configuration buttons on the bottom of the bezel. You might be asking yourself now "well, if it has HDMI, wouldn't you want to have speakers?" This is a great point since HDMI carries sound as well as video. To account for this, BenQ added a 1/8th inch TRS (headphone) jack on the side of the monitor so you can plug in any speakers you want or use headphones. Another nice feature that is already apparent with this monitor is the limited amount of lighted buttons on the face of it. The only light (besides the actual screen) that this monitor will emit will come from the front placed power button and it isn't very bright either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base that comes with this monitor is a little small and flimsy for a monitor of this size. However, it does serve as a fairly sturdy base and holds the monitor well. As long as there isn't a lot of movement on your desk, it should be just fine. Finally, there is a small amount of documentation that comes with the monitor. Let's get this monitor set up and take a look at how it does.

Configuration:

Setting up the BenQ G2400W is a breeze. All you have to do is plug the cable into your computer and the matching port on the monitor. When you turn the monitor on, it should figure out what type of connection you are using and go straight to it. Using the OSD (On Screen Display), you can change pretty much any setting you want. Some of the settings that stand out to me are the ability to turn on 1:1 mapping. What this does is keep the monitor from stretching the display if you run at a resolution that is not native to the monitor. This is really useful if you plug in a device designed to run on an HDTV as it will keep things from getting stretched vertically. You can also adjust the volume output for the audio out jack and change color settings. Also, when you press the second to the right button (from the power button) you can cycle through all the inputs on the monitor. This is one of the best features of the monitor for me as it allows me to use my PC and XBox360 on the same device. No software was included with the G2400W, so there was no software to install.

Let's take a quick look at the official specification for this monitor.

Specifications:

 

Brand BenQ
Screen Size 24" Widescreen
Resolution 1920x1200 (WUXGA)
Pixel Pitch 0.27 mm
Brightness 250Cd/m^2
Contrast Ratio 1000:1
Response Timed 5 ms
Display Area 518.5 x 324 mm
Colors 16.7 Million
Viewing Angle 160/160 (L/R;U/D) (CR>=10)
Input Signals D-sub / DVI-D / HDMI
Horizontal Frequency 31-94 (KHz)
Vertical Frequency 50 - 85 (Hz)
Video Bandwidth 25 - 135 (MHz)
Color Temperature Reddish/Normal/Bluish/User mode
Power Consumption 55W (Max)
Power Supply Built in
Adjustments Tilt -5/20 (down/up)
Dimensions 558 x 442.7 x 170.5 mm
Weight 6.15 Kg
Included Accessories VGA Cable
Emission Standard TCO'03m

 

Features:

Testing:

To test the BenQ G2400W, I will use the DisplayMate Multimedia Edition program. The DisplayMate Company has a short quote that sums up what it is all about:

"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."

This program should give me some indication of just how well this monitor stacks up to other monitors. I will be using the the Acer P243W and the BenQ FP241VW monitors as comparison.

 

Testing Setup:

Benchmarks:

Comparison Monitors:

 

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
677 x 423 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
0.35 x 0.35
Dots per cm
28 x 28 dpcm
Dots per in
72 x 72 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

 

Testing:

Set Up Display:

The DisplayMate program recommends running the setup utility before running any tests. The setup utility helps you set your monitor's settings (via the OSD) to the best they can be.

 

The first sections of the test deal with brightness and contrast.  By adjusting these settings, you can get your monitor to show the largest dynamic range possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After setting the brightness and contrast up for greyscale, the program starts testing color purity, color tracking, and other similar functions. Further adjustments are made to the brightness and contrast during these steps.

 

 

 

Next up is color intensity wich checks gamma tracking, size, position, sharpness, and moiré interference patterns.

 

 

The last set of tests allow you to see a few situations where you might find yourself in, such as reading text on the monitor. A screen at the very end gives you a shrunk down overview of most of the tests that you ran.

 

 

One thing I noticed about the BenQ G2400W monitor throughout these tests is how dim it gets. When turning the brightness down much past 90, the screen seemed very dim and whites appeared to take on a light grey appearance, even though this produced the "optimal" viewing conditions.

Testing:

Tune Up Program:

Testing:

LCD Test Script:

DisplayMate has a unique feature that combines a lot of tests into several different scripts for different situations, such as running them on a CRT or LCD monitor, or a projector. I ran the LCD monitor script twice, once before I did all of the modifications suggested by the tune up and setup programs, and once afterward. The LCD script has a timer that allows you to change the time per screen, so I set it to 30 seconds. After running the script the second time, the brightness and contrast settings I changed seemed to have a positive effect on the appearance of my monitor.

 

Subjective Viewing:

To get the best feel for this monitor that I can, I will use the monitor in several different real world situations, including the following:

 

Gaming:

Over the years I have become accustomed to gaming at what I thought was an awesome resolution: 1280 x 1024. However, as soon as I fired up my favorite game, World of Warcraft, on this 1920x1200 monitor, I realized that I had been missing a lot. Not only did I have the additional viewing angle, giving me the ability to see farther to either side of my character, I also had plenty of room to add custom interface elements without making my UI look overly cluttered. I also played Counter Strike: Source using the huge resolution and really enjoyed the immersion and added range of view that the high resolution provided.

 

 

Video:

Another activity that a lot of people enjoy doing on their computers is watching movies. The BenQ G2400W, with its massive 1920x1200 resolution, will let you see every last detail in these movies. Videos with a resolution up to 1080p can fit on this monitor with 1:1 pixel mapping, leaving you with a crisp, unstretched image. For the curious, this resolution is also high enough that you could watch four standard DVD movies in a grid without any overlap. While watching The Pirates of the Caribbean, I noticed that the blacks were reproduced with excellent quality and motion was smooth and crisp. Basically, the only thing this monitor can't do when you watch a movie is give you IMAX resolution (10,000 x 7,000).

 

Document Editing:

One thing I do a lot on my computer is write code, and having a monitor with such a high resolution allows me to view a lot of code at the same time, or easily debug a complex program. Using PuTTY, a program that allows SSH connections, I had a huge number of characters that can be displayed. Using Eclipse, I was able to see a lot of elements and code very easily, and did not feel cramped for room. I rarely use plain word editors, but after firing up Microsoft Word 2007, I found it was easy to place two pages of text side by side.

 

Conclusion:

The BenQ G2400W is a great monitor at a reasonable price. Supporting the most popular types of data connections, HDMI and DVI, this monitor should be able to take you quite a while into the future. Also, if you own an older computer that doesn't have a digital monitor connection, you can still use this monitor with its VGA connection. The ability to quickly switch between inputs on this monitor is another very nice feature, especially if you own a current generation gaming console that can output in HDMI. An included headphone jack allows you to hear what is coming over that HDMI connection, which is very important since this monitor has no speakers. Having no speakers might seem like a let down, but it allows the bezel to be thin, making the monitor be very space efficient.

While this monitor has a ton of pluses, there are a few small downsides. The first, and most noticeable, is the placement of the buttons that control the OSD. These are all placed underneath the monitor and have no easily readable buttons, leaving you guessing which button does what. The second let down is how bright the monitor is. Unless you have brightness raised over 90, everything just seams dim, and it hurt my eyes after viewing it for a short time.

All in all this is a great monitor for a great value. While it might not be the brightest, it is also a long way from the most expensive.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: