It’s no secret that gaming enthusiasts rely on the fastest PC components available to stay competitive, but not all monitors can keep pace with today’s fast moving RTS (Real-Time Strategy) games. To avoid motion smearing and lag you need a monitor with a fast pixel response; a monitor like the BenQ RL2450HT, for example. Designed for gaming, this 24-incher boasts a 2-millisecond (gray-to-gray) pixel response and a stand that lets you make all sorts of adjustments. It also offers special gaming specific settings and delivers a sharp picture. It uses a TN (twisted nematic) panel, which means you don’t get the deep color saturation of an IPS panel, nor do you get the wide viewing angles that come with IPS technology. That said, if you don’t mind making a few sacrifices, it is an affordable alternative to our favorite gaming monitor, the BenQ XL2420TX.
Design and Features
The RL2450HT has a design similar to its more expensive sibling, the XL2420TX. Both are housed in a matte black cabinet and both use a splash of red trim on the stand. Unlike the XL2420TX, which uses a wedge-shaped base, the RL2450HT has a round one. It has a Lazy-Susan swivel mechanism on the bottom and the mounting arm provides a little over 4-inches of height adjustability. The hinge used to attach the cabinet to the stand offers tilt maneuverability and allows you to pivot the panel 90 degrees.
The cabinet is 2.4-inches thick and sports 0.75-inch matte black bezels. On the right side of the cabinet are five function buttons and a power switch. The buttons aren’t labeled but they don’t need to be; pressing any one of them brings up on-screen labeling that corresponds to each button, making it easy to change settings in the dark. Three of the buttons are customizable hot keys that are set at the factory for changing Picture Mode, Display Mode, and Smart Scaling. Picture mode includes nine presets including the usual Standard, Movie, Photo, sRGB, and Eco modes. It also offers an RTS mode that is optimized for gaming; it’s a hot picture that enhances shadow detail. There are three additional gamer modes that you can customize with your own specific settings. Display Mode allows you to change the aspect ratio and emulate various panel sizes, and Smart Scaling lets you save display size setting for future use.
The RL2350HT offers a boatload of picture setting options. In addition to brightness and contrast you can adjust sharpness, enhance dark shades with the Black eQualizer, choose one of five gamma settings, adjust the color temperature, and tweak hue and saturation levels. If you’re experiencing lag while playing you can enable the Instant Mode option to enhance image processing and speed things up.
The rear of the cabinet is home to DVI, VGA, and HDMI inputs, and all are downward facing. There’s also a headphone jack for use with an HDMI signal (the RL2450HT does not have speakers). The monitor comes with VGA and DVI cables but does not include an HDMI cable. It also comes with a three year parts, labor, and backlighting warranty.
The RL2450HT’s color quality is good but could be better with some tweaking. I measured its color accuracy using a colorimeter, images from the DisplayMate LCD diagnostic utility, and SpectraCal’s CalMan5 software. The chart below shows where red, green, and blue colors are in relation to the CIE (International Commission On Illumination) values for each color (inside the box is ideal). In this case, reds are a bit weak while greens and blues are slightly oversaturated. None of the colors are off by much, though, and tinting is not an issue.
Grayscale performance was good for a TN panel but not ideal; light and middle shades of grays on the 64-Step Grayscale test were well defined but the two darkest shades of gray were crushed (they appeared black). Viewing angle performance was typical of a TN panel; there was minor color shifting and darkening when viewed from an extreme side angle.
The 2-millisecond pixel response handled fast motion gaming wonderfully. I couldn’t detect any ghosting or smearing while playing Company of Heroes and Far Cry 2, and game play was smooth and fluid with no discernable lag.
The RL2450HT used 25 watts of power during testing, which is average for a 24-inch panel. However, enabling Eco mode brought that number down to 15-watts without making the picture to dim. That kind of energy efficiency earns the RL2450HT our Greentech stamp of approval for low energy consumption.
The BenQ RL2450HT offers gamers a fairly reasonably priced monitor with a pixel response that can keep up with the fastest games. It also features plenty of game-centric presets so you don’t have to tweak settings whenever you switch games. Its color quality is good, but you may need to calibrate the monitor if you require very accurate colors. A few extra features such as USB ports and speakers would be welcome here. That said, if you have an extra $200 to spend, the BenQ XL2420TX offers more features and better performance, and it is 3D ready, which is why it remains our Editors’ Choice for mid-sized gaming monitors.
|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
|Diagonal Screen Size||24 inches|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc