BenQ has been steadily building a reliable reputation for multifunction monitors that suit a variety of sources, but until recently hasn’t given much research and development time to pushing back the style boundaries.
However, that changes with the 24-inch widescreen V2400W HD monitor which is currently basking in art-world glory after winning both the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award. You can see why when you lift it out of the box, as it comes with a slinky silver base stand firmly attached to a wafer-thin, jet black bezel surround.
BenQ heralds this as the world’s thinnest 24-inch monitor, measuring approximately 6cm at its thickest point. The base (which is, contrary to appearance, made of toughened plastic) has a deliberately asymmetrically positioned mounting arm and there’s a matching silver surround outside the bezel that ends with large, prominently displayed controls set into the bottom left of the screen. They are touch-sensitive, beep when activated and are backlit by striking blue LEDs so you can find them in the dark.
Round the back you’ll discover VGA, DVI and HDMI ports as well as an earphone jack for the HDMI feed. There are no external speakers and, while the display can be tilted 20 degrees up and 5 degrees down, there’s neither a pivot facility nor any possibility of height adjustment. It would also have been a courtesy to have included a DVI cable as well as the basic VGA one, now that most of us are in the digital age.
As you’d expect, the maximum resolution is 1920 x 1200, with the Picture Modes offering Standard, Movie, Dynamics, Photo and sRGB configurations as well as an Auto mode. Dynamics is best for playing computer games, where you can make the most of the top 2ms response time (using BenQ’s own Advanced Motion Acceleration) to race through Call of Duty deathmatches without blurring or ghosting.
A separate aspect ratio menu allows you to select from Fill, 1:1 direct pixel mapping and Aspect. We did find the touch-screen controls to be very sensitive, though, so you may find yourself whizzing through the menu options quicker than you expected
The matte screen avoids the obvious glare problems of the glossy alternatives (you have 250cd/rm brightness to play with) but the viewing-angle performance deteriorates long before you get to the 160 degree optimum suggested by BenQ, so it’s wise to keep the screen as straight on as possible.
While picture sharpness and colour vividness were particularly good when playing back Blu-ray movies via the HDMI input, there’s less clear definition on shades of grey and black on photos.
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