BenQ FP231W 23-inch wide-screen LCD monitor
The BenQ FP 231W is a half-baked multimedia monitor. It has composite and S-Video inputs and a 23-inch-wide screen that's conducive to movie watching or working with multiple windows, but it lacks the task-specific brightness and contrast settings for games, movies, and text that we've seen on most other multimedia displays. What's more, it lacks the Portrait/Landscape pivot function that many multitasking professionals desire. It has a picture-in-picture (PIP) window that you can enlarge and adjust, but there's no quick-launch key for it--you have to go through the onscreen menu. Though the $1,499 BenQ FP231W's performance and image quality are good enough for basic productivity work and watching videos, it's hard to overlook its shortcomings when theoffers more features and an extra inch of viewable area for $300 less.
Sensibly designed but not necessarily attractive, the FP231W's narrow, silver 3/4-inch bezel puts the focus where it should be: on the screen. No buttons distract the eye; they're hidden behind the bezel on the left side. The neck, a solid, dark-blue plastic cylinder within a cylinder, is easy to raise and lower from 5 inches to 10.25 inches off the desktop; though taller folks will appreciate this setup, this monitor may be too tall for some. Although you can't pivot the display, it's otherwise fairly adjustable; it tilts 30 degrees back and 5 degrees forward and swivels 45 degrees to the left and right. The long parabola-shaped base is stable--essential for a large, top-heavy monitor. The back panel hosts easy-to-access digital and analog signal connectors, composite and S-Video inputs, a power input, and one upstream and one downstream USB 2.0 port; digital, analog, and USB 2.0 cables come with the monitor. A plastic hook on the back of the neck corrals the cables well enough to keep the cords out of sight. Atop the display sits a USB port that BenQ intends for use with a Webcam. The adjustment controls and two more USB 2.0 ports are located along the left edge of the display.