BenQ XL2420G G-SYNC Monitor Review

Author: AkG
Date: January 14, 2015
Product Name: XL2420G
Part Number: XL2420G
Warranty: 3 Years
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Image Quality (Uniformity / Panel & Gamma Performance)

Calibrated Settings

Please remember that the settings below have been calibrated for our specific environment and your viewing conditions may differ from ours.

Mode Used: Factory Default "sRGB" Picture Mode

- All tests done at default settings at 120 cd/m2.
- Unless otherwise noted, the tests were carried out via DisplayPort or HDMI

When it comes to image quality and so-called gaming monitors we typically find ourselves wishing for a lot more. However, TN technology has been gradually improving over the last few years and while it still can't keep up with IPS in the color reproduction, contrast and black level departments, BenQ has launched what is arguably one of the best looking 144Hz monitors on the market. Even without any calibration, it is a force to be reckoned with.

Panel Uniformity

In a perfect world a screen’s brightness output would be equal throughout the entire panel. This is not a perfect world, but the lower the variation the less chances you will notice overly bright or dark sections on the screen. For the consumer LCD marketplace a variance of 10% is our gold standard but anything below 15% can be considered excellent as we doubt anyone will notice a -7.5 to +7.5 variation. A variation above 15% but below 24% can be considered adequate, but anything above this does not meet our basic minimum standards.

A variation of 13% in this test is fairly decent for a 24" monitor, we were hoping for even better. Thankfully, we doubt many will ever notice the center 'bright spot' but if you intend to use this monitor for image manipulation you may want to take multiple readings from multiple locations on the panel, and then average these results instead of just taking a reading from the center - as it the usual procedure with a colorimeter.

Panel Performance

In a perfect world a screen’s real world response rate would be so high that motion blur, ‘ghosting’, ‘reverse-ghosting’ would be a thing of the past. No matter how fast the action on screen all images would be represented in pristine condition similar in quality to a static image. This is not a perfect world, but the less amounts of blurring which occurs the less chances you will notice the issue in real world scenarios. While the panels response rate (ms) and and frame rate (Hz) can give a fairly rough idea of how much blurring to expect it is not the end all and be all.

To this end we have taken PRAD’s Pixel Persistence Analyzer ‘Streaky Pictures’ program and using a high speed camera captured exactly how much and what kind of motion blur you can expect from a given monitor.

This right here is the raison d'etre of the XL2420G as it may not be able to create entirely blur free images but to the naked eye it will be crystal clear. Unless you routinely take a magnifier to moving images the so called 'streaky pictures' race car will appear to move from right to left in a seemingly perfect manner without any of the typical judder or ghosting. In fact it is so perfect that the car almost seems to be moving lackadaisically from one side to the other, as we all have been trained to equate blur with 'speed'.

Gamma Performance

Gamma correction is one of the hardest terms to explain. However, for our purposes the gamma correction of any electronics device is how bright or dark an image will be displayed on a screen.

All PC devices now use 2.20 gamma as the default. Any variance from this will result in an image being either underexposed which will create black crush and underexposed shadow detail or washed out with too little black level detail (aka being over-exposed).

While 2.20 is the gold standard, a minor deviation of 0.10 will in all likelihood never be noticed by anyone other than professional photographers. Higher levels of deflection however will be noticed by just about everyone.

Quite honestly the BenQ 2420G's gamma range may not be perfect but it is close enough that few will ever be able to tell the difference between the default color gamut and the professional color calibrated results.

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