BenQ M2400HD review
Very good picture quality and plenty of connections, but it's not the prettiest thing.
Good quality 24in TFTs are now hitting the £200 floor, what with Samsung's excellent SyncMaster T240 a few months back and now this offering from BenQ. Both have TN panels rather than anything high-end, but despite this they offer a picture quality that's beyond the reach of cheaper TFTs.
With a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, the BenQ M2400HD is set up for home entertainment use and comes with the choice of HDMI, DVI and VGA inputs accordingly. Hook up a USB cable and you get two free ports on the left side, and there's a two megapixel webcam included too, though it slots a little unsteadily into a USB port on the top.
Picture quality is great out of the box. We didn't need to tweak it much at all, with the Normal colour mode producing accurate, bright tones, and at the default brightness we were highly impressed with the deep, even black level. The backlight was a little patchy in the corners, but this was barely noticeable on anything but an all-white screen.
Wall-E in 1080p looked fantastically sharp and colours were rich and vibrant, while the 5ms response time handled motion without difficulty. Viewing angles weren't perfect, and the panel was a little darker at the top than the bottom, but the contrast was excellent and colour gradients were smooth throughout.
It's not all good news though. There's a 3.5mm audio input, but the integrated speakers are very poor. They entirely lack bass, and the volume isn't high enough to fill even the smallest of rooms. If you want to use this monitor as a media centre display, you'll need your own speakers.
And then there's the styling. You'll have noticed the M2400HD most definitely doesn't appeal in the same way as the Samsung. While Samsung's 'Touch of Color' design is gorgeous, BenQ's white bezel with a dash of silver gives it the sterilised style of old-school Apple. With the mock-leather pattern on the rear plastic only adding to the odd look, it generated plenty of curiosity in the Labs but few positive comments.
Which is a shame, as the BenQ is a very good screen at this price. With its good colours and wide range of connections it's a strong choice for gamers, and the webcam is a nice, if wobbly, touch. If only it hadn't been hit with the ugly stick it would be up on the same pedestal as the Samsung; as it is, we can recommend it only to those who value substance over style.
|Price ex VAT||£200|
|Price inc VAT||£230|
|Features & Design||3|
|Value for Money||5|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Pixel response time||5ms|
|Speaker power ouput||N/A|
|TV tuner type||N/A|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|USB ports (downstream)||1|
|3.5mm audio input jacks||0|
|Other audio connectors||None|
|Internal power supply||yes|
|Pivot (portrait) mode?||no|
|Dimensions||583 x 64 x 450mm (WDH)|