With its soft white finish and slightly rounded corners the BenQ VW2430H looks like it came straight out of Cupertino. That’s not a coincidence; BenQ touts this 24-inch monitor as a MacBook companion, as well as a Windows multimedia display. It uses a Vertical Alignment (VA) panel to deliver a high native contrast ratio, bold colors, and inky blacks, but it’s plagued by narrow viewing angles and slightly oversaturated reds. It could use a few multimedia friendly features, too.
Design and Features
Done up in a cool-looking soft white finish the VW2430H can’t help but stand out in a market dominated by matte and glossy black monitors. Everything is white, including the cabinet, the stand, and the BenQ logo etched into the lower bezel. Even the power cord is white. The only touch of color comes from a little green gizmo that can be placed on the base stand to hold a phone or an mp3 player.
The 24-inch VA (Vertical Alignment) panel has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution and a matte anti-glare coating. The cabinet sports thin 0.68-inch bezels with rounded corners on all sides and has five tiny white function buttons running vertically along the right hand bezel. A larger power button (also white) sits in the lower right corner. The nine-pound cabinet is attached to a mounting arm and rectangular base assembly that is slightly off center to the right. The panel can be tilted forward and backward but you can’t adjust its height or swivel the cabinet, nor can you pivot it to view the image in portrait mode. A round indent in the base can be used to hold small accessories like USB keys or paper clips and also holds the aforementioned green gizmo.
Features are scarce. At the rear of the cabinet are HDMI, DVI, and VGA video inputs and a headphone jack for listening to audio supplied by an HDMI signal but you won’t find speakers, USB ports or a webcam on this model. The VW2430H comes with a resource CD, a Quick Start guide, and a three year warranty. It also comes with a white VGA cable but does not include DVI or HDMI cables.
The menu interface is a pleasure to use. Pressing any button brings up on screen icons that correspond to each button’s functionality. The Picture Mode menu offers eight settings optimized for specific viewing scenarios and includes Standard, Movie, Game, Photo, sRGB, Reading, Eco, and User modes. It also features an M-book mode that enables the VW2430H to emulate the color characteristics of the MacBook and bring it to the big screen. The Reading mode offers a softer picture that is meant to ease eye strain while reading text, but it’s a bit too dim. I found the Standard mode delivers the best all around picture and is the setting I used for testing.
Picture settings include brightness, contrast, sharpness, gamma, and color temperature (hue and saturation settings are available when creating a custom picture mode). If using an analog signal you can adjust horizontal and vertical position settings as well as pixel clock and phase settings. Color space choices include the RGB and YUV formats.
Vertical Alignment panels are known to provide superior black levels, a high contrast ratio, and more vibrant color reproduction than their TN (twisted nematic) counterparts. Indeed, the VW2430H delivers vibrant, well saturated colors against an inky black background. The panel’s 3000:1 contrast ratio helped deliver clean shadow detail and brilliant highlights. It was able to reproduce every shade of gray on the DisplayMate 64-Step Grayscale test but produced noticeable red tinting in the middle of the scale. As a result flesh tones were a bit too warm and were tinged with red highlights.
The knock on VA panels is that their viewing angle performance, while better than most TN screens, can’t match the wide angles provided by IPS (In Plane Switching) panels such as the one used on the Dell UltraSharp U2412M. As was the case with the BenQ GW2450, the VW2430H loses luminance when viewed from a top and bottom angle and suffers from color shifting when viewed from a side angle. The shift is more subtle than what you get from a TN panel but it exists nonetheless.
The VW2430H used 32 watts of power during testing while operating in Standard mode but you can cut that number in half (16 watts) by enabling the monitor’s Eco picture mode, which is certainly dimmer than Standard mode but still quite acceptable. That kind of energy efficiency is matched only by the Lenovo LS2421p Wide and earns the VW2430H our Greentech stamp of approval.
While not perfect, the BenQ VW2430H is still a solid choice for users seeking the bold colors and high contrast ratios that are the hallmark of VA panel technology. Its pure-white finish is a refreshing change from the basic black cabinetry used on so many monitors, and its $250 price tag and low power characteristics won’t put a huge dent in your savings. That said, there are better performing VA monitors out there, including the BenQ GW2450, which is around $70 cheaper than the VW2430H but is not as pretty and lacks an HDMI port.
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|Native Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Supported Video Formats||1080p|
|PC Interfaces||Analog VGA, Digital (DVI-D), HDMI|
|Video Inputs||DVI, HDMI|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc