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BenQ EW2420 review

BenQ EW2420 monitor

Verdict

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

Review Date: 7 Jan 2011

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £151 (£181 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
3 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
3 stars out of 6

Image Quality
2 stars out of 6

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.

Author: Sasha Muller

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User comments

Worth the effort?

Does this mean then, basically, that if you have the calibration equipment and are prepared to spend some time tweaking the settings then this is a really good monitor for the price?
Or is it still a bit naff after all the effort?

By ChilliBoom on 12 Jan 2011

Calibration will definitely help...

...but when you could buy the Viewsonic VP2365wb for about £190 inc VAT, I wouldn't bother.

And, don't forget, a calibrated VP2365wb would blow the EW2420 away.

See the review here:

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/monitors/363808/vie
wsonic-vp2365wb

By SashaMuller on 12 Jan 2011

Good point

Yeah, that does look a much better bet. Research fail on my part... ;-)

By ChilliBoom on 12 Jan 2011

I find my unit absolutely brilliant!

This monitor is of great value and the reason why is because of the package of goodies that comes with the monitor at such a low price tag. With this monitor you get a VA panel which delivers a spectacular 3000:1 true contrast ratio. The difference between true contrast ratio and DCR is that true contrast ratio makes a difference. With the EW2420 you will see plenty of dynamism and deep blacks which are especially prominent when it comes to watching videos or browsing pictures, but especially when you are watching high definition blu ray content, where the richness of depth comes to your favor. I would definitely agree that the colors are brilliantly perspiring and wide defined, as few reviews have claimed the VA panel series from BenQ (including EW2420) is comparable with e-IPS monitors such as U2311H. Although the viewing angles may not be as spot on as IPS panels, for the mere price you pay for the EW2420 you are certainly getting a lot in return. Also to mention that with the extreme clarity you also get clean whites and extremely sharp text for work or browsing the net. And when it comes to connectivity, the EW2420 is extremely generous by offering 2 HDMI, 1 DVI, 1 D-Sub, USB ports, and 2 onboard speakers. The speakers are fair, and nothing substantially promising, but that is no surprise as I have yet to see a monitor with superb speakers. Overall I would say great performance, great value, and great product.

By mederic on 5 Apr 2011

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