BenQ XL2420TX review

Pros

  • Excellent selection of ports
  • Vivid colours
  • Ergonomic stand
  • Great 3D gaming performance

Cons

  • Viewing angles aren't so great
  • It isn't cheap

The BenQ XL2420TX uses the same exact panel as the BenQ XL2420T, and that’s a good thing. It benefits from the same superb image quality and smooth 120Hz gaming performance, not to mention the generous feature set. Actually, it’s even more fully-featured as this time around BenQ has added a built-in 3D transmitter, and bundled the XL2420TX with everything you need to start 3D gaming out of the box.

Design and features

The XL2420TX (which retails at £375) not only uses the same 1,920 x 1,080 LED backlit panel as the XL2420T, it shares the same design as well. Both are encased in a matte black cabinet sporting a shiny black rear panel and thin (20mm) bezels, and both feature a T-shaped stand that provides height, tilt, swivel, and pivot adjustments. Built in to the top of the stand is a bright red hook for hanging a headset, and there's a bright red cable organiser slot at the bottom.

This model also comes with a neat 3.5in wedge-shaped S-switch that attaches to the base and plugs into the rear of the monitor. Using the toggle wheel and three programmable buttons, you can access the OSD (on screen display) and change picture settings without having to use the five function buttons located on the right side of the monitor cabinet. The three S-switch buttons can be used to switch between custom picture settings without having to enter the OSD, a handy feature if you use specific settings for certain games or applications.

The XL2420TX offers a multitude of I/O ports, including two HDMI inputs, a DisplayPort, DVI and VGA ports, one upstream USB port, and 3 downstream USB ports, two of which share space on the left side of the cabinet with a headphone jack.

Picture settings are plentiful. In addition to brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour temperature, gamma, hue, and saturation settings there's a “Black eQualizer” that enhances shadow detail, plus seven picture modes. You get the usual Standard, Movie, Photo, sRGB, and Eco presets, along with two first person shooter presets optimised for Counter Strike 1.6 and Counter Strike Source. Several other gaming presets are available for download from BenQ's site.

You can also adjust the size of the image being displayed with the Smart Scaling feature, or choose one of seven display modes to emulate different sized monitors ranging from 17in to 23in.

Performance

The XL2420TX uses Nvidia's 3D Vision 2 (with LightBoost) technology to deliver realistic 3D imagery. The transmitter is built into the monitor's lower bezel so there are no external components to deal with, and you get one set of 3D glasses included in the box.

Nvidia's LightBoost technology delivered a well-lit 3D picture with very little crosstalk (image ghosting) as long as you don't stray too far from dead centre. Assassin’s Creed II also looked fantastic in 3D with objects appearing to fly off the screen during the heat of battle.

The one downside in the picture stakes is that the XL2420TX's viewing angle performance isn’t optimal. Colour shifting is noticeable from the side and top angles, and the screen is almost completely darkened when viewed from the bottom. This becomes more of an issue when the screen is pivoted to portrait mode.

The non-reflective screen did a great job of eliminating glare while delivering vivid colours against a nice, dark background. Swatches from DisplayMate's Colour Scales test were uniform and evenly saturated, and the panel was able to reproduce every shade of dark grey on the 64-step Greyscale test. Light greyscale performance was a bit weaker (the two lightest shades were washed out) but not terrible. Gaming action was smooth with no lag or smearing thanks to the panel's 2-millisecond (grey-to-grey) pixel response.

The XL2420TX used 28 Watts of power during testing, which is about average for a 24in monitor. However, there are more energy efficient LED models out there, such as the Lenovo LS2421P Wide, which used only 16 Watts.

Verdict

The BenQ XL2420TX boasts a 120Hz panel, great colour fidelity, inky blacks, and a wealth of features. Throw in Nvidia's 3D Vision 2 technology and a pair of active shutter glasses and you’ve got a great deal, even with this display costing the best part of £400. It’s value for money even at this price, which is why this excellent mid-sized gaming monitor picks up our Best Buy award.

Specifications

Manufacturer and Model

BenQ XL2420TX

Native Resolution

1920 x 1080

Interfaces

Analog VGA, Dual-mode (DVI-I), HDMI, DisplayPort

Supported Video Formats

1080p24

Diagonal Screen Size

24in

Widescreen

Yes

Aspect Ratio

16:9