BenQ XL2420TX Review
The BenQ XL2420TX is a well equipped 24-inch monitor designed for 3D gaming. It?s an excellent performer and comes with everything you need for multi-dimensional gaming, but it doesn?t come cheap.
(5) Editor’s Choiceout of
- Great selection of ports
- Superb color and 3D gaming performance
- Ergonomic stand
- Narrow off angle viewing
When I reviewed the BenQ XL2420T it garnered an Editors’ Choice award for its superb image quality, generous feature set, and smooth 120Hz gaming performance. The BenQ XL2420TX follows suit, which isn’t surprising considering it uses the same exact panel and offers all of the features as the previously reviewed model. However, this time around BenQ added a built-in 3D transmitter and bundled the XL2420TX with everything you need to start 3D gaming out of the box. It also lowered the price from $649 to $549 (though it’s still at the high end of the price scale). All this is why it earns our Editors’ Choice for mid-size gaming monitors.
Design and Features
The XL2420TX not only uses the same 1,920-by-1,080 (120Hz) 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 (0.75-inch) 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 organizer slot at the bottom.
This model also comes with a neat 3.5-inch 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 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, color temperature, gamma, hue, and saturation settings there’s a Black eQualizer that enhances shadow detail and seven picture modes. You get the usual Standard, Movie, Photo, sRGB, and Eco presets and two first person shooter (FPS) presets optimized 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 17 inches to 23 inches.
The XL2420TX uses Nvidia’s 3D Vision 2 (with LightBoost) technology to deliver realistic 3D imagery. The transmitter is built-in to 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 (additional glasses are available for $129 per set).
The 3D performance was outstanding. The Devo-style glasses are slightly bigger than the original Nvidia glasses and a bit lighter, too. The added size helps keep ambient light out of your field of vision. Depth of field was excellent while playing Far Cry 2, an FPS (first-person shooter) that is one of more than 600 titles on Nvidia’s list of certified 3D Vision games. 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 center. Assasin’s Creed II also looked fantastic in 3D with objects appearing to fly off the screen during the heat of battle.
As with the BenQ XL2420T, the XL2420TX’s viewing angle performance is not optimal; color 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 colors against a nice, dark background. Swatches from DisplayMate’s Color Scales test were uniform and evenly saturated and the panel was able to reproduce every shade of dark gray on the 64-Step Grayscale test. Light grayscale 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 (gray-to-gray) pixel response.
The XL2420TX used 28 watts of power during testing, which is about average for a 24-inch monitor. However, there are more energy efficient LED models out there, such as the Lenovo LS2421P Wide, which used only 16-watts, and the Samsung SyncMaster S23A550H, which used 19-watts.
You’ll pay a bit more for the BenQ XL2420TX but its money well spent. Great color fidelity, a 120Hz panel, inky blacks, and a wealth of features make this a good deal. Throw in Nvidia’s 3D Vision 2 technology and a pair of active shutter glasses and you’ve got a great deal, which is why the XL2420TX replaces the BenQ XL2420T as our Editors’ Choice for mid-sized gaming monitors.
By John R. Delaney, PCMag
- Diagonal Screen Size: 24 inches
- Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Supported Video Formats: 1080p24
- Widescreen: Yes
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Video Inputs: DVI, HDMI
- PC Interfaces: Analog VGA, Dual-mode (DVI-I), HDMI, DisplayPort