The picture quality for this LED monitor wasn’t quite up to the standards I’d been hoping for. It’s very sharp at standard, and everything feels a little bright and too punchy. You can fiddle with the menu system and dull things down a little which smooths out some of the harsher bits, but it’s still not quite comfortable on the eyes. It feels more professional orientated than more relaxed user like. I know that’s a little of an odd description, but it does have that feel to it. In reality, this is probably the case with the pro-gamer inspired features.
Some of these include different gaming genre picture and colour adjustment settings. Some of these are Eco, FPS, Movie, Picture and others, but they’re all awful. FPS is blanched out and shadow killingly bright, whereas “Picture” is heavily oversaturated making the real world feel dull in comparison. Leaving it at stock settings with your own tweaks is certainly the best way to get the picture you like.
Shadows in-game were handled reasonably well, but I’ve seen much better black and white contrast on other monitors in this price range.
Here’s where the BenQ should shine, this is what it’s designed for. Indeed it does perform well, with its 120hz refresh rate and 2ms response time making sure there’s no lag or ghosting at all. However, this is hardly a feature to blow your trumpet over, LCD and TFT screens have all been around the 2ms mark for years.
While I didn’t have that many problems with the monitor when it came to gaming, in reality, I far prefer the Dell 2408 that it replaced. The colours were better, it too features a low response time, but despite operating at “only” 60hz, I couldn’t tell that much difference between them; certainly in games where the FPS is hovering between 30 and 60 anyway.
Here’s one thing that my older TFT/LCD monitors can’t handle, 3D Vision from nVidia. While this monitor does support it as standard, it comes with no glasses or dongle that allow the 3D to be seen by the viewer; the 3Ds may have a glasses-free 3D screen, but we’re a ways off full displays having them yet.
It seems odd that BenQ would include a gaming mouse and mat instead of 3D glasses, but oh well. Once you’ve got yourself an nVidia GPU and a pair of the 3D enabling specs, you can sit down and enjoy stereoscopic 3D; something that only displays like this with a refresh rate of 120hz can handle.
The verdict? It’s a nice feature, but nothing that I’ll be using consistently. For a few 3D enabled video clips I saw, it was quite nice to have; like moving from 720p to 1080p, you prefer it certainly, but you’re not going run out and upgrade for it alone. In games I found it less useful and in-fact a bit eye-strain and headache inducing. The game in question was Dawn of War II Retribution. I was able to see units as if they were beneath the HUD which was cool, and explosions seemed to have more depth.
Ultimately I love the 3D effect of looking through a window instead of on a flat screen, but it’s really not there yet. I don’t want this type of eye strain just to get a bit of visual jazzery.
If you wish to pickup one of these LED displays, you’re looking to spend between £250 and £300; though this is dependant on whether you get the Zowie special edition or not. This isn’t massive for a monitor, indeed the dell I mentioned earlier was around £450 when new; but that was several years ago.