An attractive, slimline 24in LCD monitor costing £185 isn't an everyday occurrence - and the BenQ VW2420H isn't just another mainstream flat-panel.
And the BenQ VW2420H is undoubtedly eye-catching to look at. Its elegant framing and beautifully slimmed-down black casing (just 18mm thick in some places) allows it to blend beautifully with the furniture in the typical modern house or office.
The BenQ VW2420H's control panel is reasonably easy to use. The buttons may be hidden away underneath the frame, but they're clearly marked on the front of the screen, and their positive touch makes them simple to operate. The menu system itself is clean and intuitive.
The back of the BenQ VW2420H is relatively uncluttered, despite DVI, HDMI and analogue D-Sub ports competing for attention. A number of the BenQ's specifications are fairly standard, and the screen offers full HD resolution of 1920x1080. The 250cd/m2 and 0.276mm are par for the course too.
So far so commonplace. But it's about here that the BenQ VW2420H starts to branch away from your everyday sub-£200 flat-panel. For while many of these models force the user to make do with a cheap TN (Twisted Nematic) panel, the BenQ furnishes its viewers instead with a VA (Vertical Alignment) screen.
This ups the quality of the BenQ VW2420H's colour from 6bit to 8bit and, in theory, can display a much wider range of shades without recourse to software dithering.
It's undoubtedly true that the BenQ VW2420H has superior image quality to the majority of TN screens we've seen, with a balanced but attractive colour palette that gets that bit of extra depth from its source material. You'll probably dismiss the claims of a 'maximum' contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1, but even with the Dynamic Contrast Ratio feature turned off, the BenQ promises an impressive-sounding contrast-ratio of 3000:1 - competing screens typically offer a third of this. That may help when you're looking at the far extremes - the blackest blacks and whitest whites. It also helps when doing text work, and the well defined characters on the BenQ make it a great choice for more serious use.
Not everything on the BenQ VW2420H is perfect. TN panels tend to offer fast response rates. This measure of how quickly the screen can refresh the image is important for fast moving games, for example, or movies. A faster (lower number) response rate will be needed to keep the motion smooth.
In contrast to TN panels, the BenQ VW2420H's VA alternative comes with a quoted figure of 8ms (grey-to-grey). That 8ms isn't particularly slow, but under some conditions, the rate is actually recorded as 25ms.
For the most part, the BenQ VW2420H looked smooth and fluid. The odd game did show up the occasional quick defect, but unless you're set on detecting such faults, we doubt you'll be bothered by this response rate.
Viewing angles are a distinct improvement on those of TN panels, and while the BenQ VW2420H's image does deteriorate more quickly than on more expensive IPS panels, the image remains fairly intact on off-axis viewing.
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