The BenQ FP202W is the most bare-bones 20-inch wide-screen LCD we've reviewed, yet also one of the most expensive. At $649, it's $120 more than the generously equipped
From the thick bezel to the large base, the BenQ FP202W's design is basic: You can't swivel, pivot, or adjust the height on this monitor. The panel is fixed at 3.5 inches above the desk, which is pretty low for the average user; we prefer a minimum of 4 inches, and the only adjustment the FP202W offers is screen tilt, which is limited to 20 degrees back and 2 degrees forward. Even this simple adjustment is difficult to make because the hinge between the panel and neck is stiff, so you have to use both hands. The FP202W's cable feed system is minimal: it consists of a flimsy plastic U-shaped loop that clips over the cables. The DVI-D and D-Sub connectors (both cables are included) are a bit tough to access for screwing in cables.
Though hiding the onscreen menu (OSM) buttons along the right edge of the display makes for a cleaner appearance, it makes it difficult to navigate the OSM using the eight buttons. For monitors with side-mounted control panels, we prefer an OSM that eliminates having to search for buttons, such as the OSM on the , which lines up adjustment options with the appropriate button. The BenQ FP202W features dedicated enter and exit keys; a button that toggles between the DVI-D and D-Sub inputs, which we like for hooking up two systems to one monitor; and a Senseye button, which launches BenQ's image presets. The presets themselves are useful, though their descriptions (Standard, Movie 1, Movie 2, and Photo) aren't particularly edifying. We prefer task-specific settings, such as Text, Internet, or Games as offered on the .
Although we wouldn't recommend it to graphics professionals, the BenQ FP202W performed well on most CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based tests. Tested at its native resolution of 1,680x1,050, the FP202W produced sharp, contrasted text and did a good job of moving evenly from black to white on our grayscale tests. We did, however, notice some tints of color in what should have been pure gray. The display produced colors that looked overly bright at high intensities and somewhat dingy at low intensities, but these errors are minimal and are acceptable levels for basic productivity computing and amateur photo editing. BenQ says the FP202W has a fast 8-millisecond pixel response rate, and the LCD performed well on our gaming tests, though colors looked slightly muted. DVD playback was average, however, displaying a considerable amount of digital noise in the form of grainy backgrounds and blocks of color; the Dell UltraSharp 2007FP with a slower 16ms response time showed less noise. The FP202W, featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio, is not HDTV compatible, while the Dell 2007WFP is.
BenQ backs the FP202W with the industry-standard three-year warranty on parts, labor, and backlight. Tech support options are average by our standards: toll-free phone support is available Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT, and BenQ's support site offers driver downloads, FAQs, and an e-mail support form. We appreciate that BenQ makes its phone support number plainly visible on the Web site, and when we sent an e-mail support query about the HDTV compatibility issue, we received a somewhat terse reply within three hours.