BenQ EW2420 review

7 Jan 2011

Affordable for a VA-based display, but poor presets and disappointing image quality extinguish its appeal

BenQ EW2420 monitor
Price when reviewed 
181
3

Take a glance through its specs and BenQ’s monitor looks like a bona-fide bargain. Not only does it offer 24in of screen space and Full HD resolution, it also eschews the cheaper TN panels of the competition for a high-quality A-MVA panel from AU Optronics.

It even looks pretty good. The smart, unfussy design doesn’t stretch to luxuries such as an adjustable stand, but DVI, D-SUB and twin HDMI ports are present, while a four-port USB hub provides two sockets at the rear and two more at the side. There’s also a handy 3.5mm headphone output at its side.

BenQ EW2420 monitor

Image quality, however, is decidedly mediocre. At its default settings, poor colour reproduction left our test images looking unnatural, with skin tones and subtle pastel shades rendered completely incorrectly. An average Delta E of 10.6 wins the BenQ the dubious accolade of being one of the least accurate monitors we’ve reviewed in recent times.

Delta E

Delta E is a figure that represents the difference between the desired colour and the colour displayed onscreen. Below 1.0 is indistinguishable to the human eye; an experienced viewer may notice differences around 3-4. We measure Delta E with a colorimeter before and after calibration.

Any hope that BenQ’s preset image modes might help matters are soon dashed, most adding a horrible, over-sharpened effect that ruins fine detail and text clarity. We also observed horrendous smearing on moving images. We managed to mostly fix this by switching on the panel’s overdrive feature, a setting that really should be enabled by default.

It’s a shame as the panel itself is obviously quite capable. The typical VA panel strengths are in evidence: deep, lustrous blacks combine with measured contrast ratios of well over 2,500:1. And tweaking the EW2420’s settings by hand yielded much better results. After carefully adjusting the monitor’s RGB controls we managed to get the Delta E down to 2.9, but only thanks to the guidance of our X-Rite colorimeter.

Had BenQ paid more attention to providing well-calibrated presets, the EW2420 could have been an unqualified bargain. Instead, it’s a big disappointment.

Details

Price ex VAT £151
Price inc VAT £181
Overall rating 3
Image quality 2
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 3

Main specifications

Screen size 24.0in
Aspect ratio 16:9
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Screen brightness 250cd/m2
Pixel response time 8ms
Contrast ratio 3,000:1
Horizontal viewing angle 178 degrees
Vertical viewing angle 178 degrees
Speaker type Stereo
Speaker power ouput 3W
TV tuner no
TV tuner type N/A

Connections

DVI inputs 1
VGA inputs 1
HDMI inputs 2
DisplayPort inputs 0
Scart inputs 0
HDCP support yes
Upstream USB ports 1
USB ports (downstream) 4
3.5mm audio input jacks 1
Headphone output yes
Other audio connectors none

Accessories supplied

Other cables supplied VGA
Internal power supply yes

Power consumption

Peak power consumption 40W
Idle power consumption 1W

Image adjustments

Brightness control? yes
Contrast control? yes
Colour temperature settings Bluish, Reddish, Normal, User

Ergonomics

Forward tilt angle 5 degrees
Backward tilt angle 20 degrees
Swivel angle 0 degrees
Height adjustment 0mm
Pivot (portrait) mode? no
Bezel width 25mm

Dimensions

Dimensions 581 x 180 x 439mm (WDH)
Weight 5.100kg