BenQ XL2411

Custom PC - - CONTENTS -

Since it bought the gam­ing brand Zowie, BenQ has set about re-re­leas­ing al­most its en­tire gam­ing mon­i­tor range with a few added Zowie tweaks. In sev­eral in­stances, these re­vi­sions have meant lit­tle more than spray­ing a Zowie logo onto the mon­i­tor and adding a new box, and such is the case with the BenQ XL2411. This mon­i­tor can trace its roots back to the XL2411T, a dis­play that was re­leased in 2013. It looks iden­ti­cal and has nearly the same fea­ture set.

This sit­u­a­tion is ev­i­dent in sev­eral ar­eas, the most ob­vi­ous of which is the slightly dated de­sign. The bezel is chunky by modern stan­dards, and although the ex­tended sec­tion on the right that houses the OSD but­tons has a fun jaun­ti­ness to it, the overall im­pres­sion is still one of yes­ter­day.

The same goes for the se­lec­tion of con­nec­tions. You don’t get any Dis­playPort, for ex­am­ple, with the XL2411 in­stead re­ly­ing on DVI to pro­vide its 144Hz re­fresh rate, while the HDMI and VGA in­puts add a few ex­tra op­tions. Not hav­ing Dis­playPort on a dis­play in this league just isn’t ac­cept­able to­day, not least be­cause it con­trib­utes to the BenQ’s lack of FreeSync sup­port, but also be­cause some graph­ics cards don’t even have DVI con­nec­tions any more.

In most other re­gards, though, this mon­i­tor holds up fairly well. The sturdy stand of­fers a full com­ple­ment of ad­just­ments, and no­tably, the height ad­just­ment goes far higher than most 24in dis­plays. What’s more, there’s a handy re­cessed sec­tion in the base for stor­ing your knick­knacks. The stand can also be re­moved, with the op­tion to use the 100 x 100mm VESA mount in­stead.

On the au­dio front, you don’t get speak­ers but there’s a head­phone jack so that you can lis­ten to au­dio passed through the mon­i­tor, and there’s an ana­logue au­dio in­put for use with the DVI and VGA in­puts as well.

Mean­while, the on-screen dis­play (OSD) uses phys­i­cal but­tons on the un­der­side of the bezel, which work rea­son­ably in­tu­itively in con­junc­tion with the menus, although it isn’t al­ways easy to pin­point each but­ton by feel alone. The menus them­selves are also clearly laid out and quick to re­spond.

You get plenty of im­age pre­sets and a cou­ple of cus­tom op­tions, and there are oo­dles of im­age-tweak­ing op­tions. These op­tions in­clude BenQ’s Black Equal­izer, which can be used to boost the vis­i­bil­ity of dark ar­eas in games, as well as an over­drive boost called AMA and an In­stant Mode that aims to re­duce in­put lag by min­imis­ing pro­cess­ing. Plus, there are all the usual colour, con­trast, gamma and bright­ness set­tings.

All of this makes it dou­bly strange that BenQ ships the mon­i­tor set to an aw­ful­look­ing FPS1 pre­set that halves con­trast to just 574:1 and has a colour tem­per­a­ture of 8,293K – that’s 1,793K off the ideal of 6,500K. Thank­fully, switch­ing to the Stan­dard pre­set com­pletely sorts out the im­age qual­ity. We then only needed to drop the bright­ness to a sen­si­ble level and slightly drop the blue RGB chan­nel, from 100 to 93, to get this mon­i­tor per­form­ing very well in­deed.

We have few com­plaints when it comes to gam­ing ei­ther. There’s no FreeSync sup­port, but up­ping the re­fresh rate from the de­fault of 60Hz to 144Hz re­sulted in next to no change in im­age qual­ity and the panel per­formed ad­mirably at high frame rates. What’s more, this mon­i­tor also has a back­light-strob­ing blur re­duc­tion set­ting, which works well, mak­ing for an even clearer im­age than con­ven­tional 144Hz dis­plays. For pure gam­ing, it’s the best­look­ing screen on test.

Con­clu­sion

The BenQ XL2411’s good overall im­age qual­ity and blur re­duc­tion tech­nol­ogy are great for gam­ing, and the lat­ter tech is gen­er­ally re­served for pricier dis­plays. How­ever, the lack of Dis­playPort and FreeSync, as well as the aw­ful de­fault colour tem­per­a­ture, takes off the sheen. It has an ap­peal­ing price, though, mak­ing it a solid pure gam­ing mon­i­tor for the money, as long as you’re happy to tweak the OSD and you’re aware of its short­com­ings.

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