If you're looking for a low-priced 24-inch monitor, the BenQ E2400HD comes close to, but can't beat out, the Dell S2409W. For as little as $300, the BenQ E2400HD gives you VGA, DVI, and HDMI connections, great games and movies performance, and a redesigned footstand that virtually prevents any wobbling. Compared with the $690, 24-inch Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP, the BenQ lacks connection options and ergonomic features, its onscreen display (OSD) is less intuitive, and its black level in movies is not as deep. If price is your focus, the BenQ E2400HD provides good quality for the money, but ultimately we recommend the Dell S2409W over the BenQ.
Design and features
The BenQ E2400HD's bezel is a glossy reflective black that measures just 0.8 inch on all sides. Along the bottom of the bezel is a gray "lip" that extends 0.7 inch with a raised silver BenQ logo on the middle and a green LED power button on the far right. The panel is just over an inch deep, which is longer than the Dell S2409W; however, this is still shorter than most 24-inchers. A thin 3-centimeter strip wraps around the outer end of the panel, bringing the panel width to 22.9 inches. That's an average width for a monitor this size.
The footstand continues the glossy motif and is shaped, appropriately enough, like a foot, including a heel. The footstand is 7.5 inches long, and nearly 8 inches wide. Thanks to its foot-like shape, the display has a very solid foundation and does not wobble one bit when we knock it around, unlike the S2409W.
As mentioned previously, the BenQ E2400HD costs as little as $300, but not without some sacrifices. To get the price that low, BenQ skimped on a few ergonomic features, including screen height adjustment, rotation, and pivoting. The screen tilts back 20 degrees and forward 5 degrees, but that--and a hole in the display's neck to route your cables--are the only ergonomic benefits you get.
The BenQ E2400HD's connection options include the video connection trifecta of VGA, DVI, and HDMI. Although the VGA and HDMI are easy to reach, the DVI port sits just a little too close to the display's neck to rule out hand cramping when connecting the cable. Sadly, BenQ only includes a single VGA cable with the monitor, so if you don't want to risk hand cramping, you'll have to invest further.
On the E2400HD's left side at the middle is an easy-to-reach headphone jack. To complement this, the monitor also includes built-in speakers.
The OSD button labels are located on the bottom right side of the bezel and consist of five buttons (located on the right side of the panel): an Auto button, a Menu button, an Up button, a Down button, and an Enter button. Calibrating the display using the OSD is easy, but the room must be light enough to see the labels. Thankfully, the buttons are flush with the panel and have enough space between them that they can be easily differentiated by touch as long as you've memorized the layout.
Of course, if you'd rather not deal with the sometimes headache-inducing process of calibration, the OSD includes five preset modes including Standard, Movie, RGB, Dynamics, and Photo. Each mode alters the brightness, contrast, sharpness, hue, color saturation, and color temperature of the monitor in an attempt to make it more suited for the task at hand.
We found that the Standard preset was the best all-around setting for movies. The Movie preset's picture is over-tuned to the point that dithering was noticeable and details that should be smooth looked slightly bumpy instead. For games, we preferred the Standard preset.
The OSD interface is the same used in BenQ's previous model, the
The most-touted feature of the 24-inch BenQ E2400HD is its 16:9 aspect ratio, which supports a resolution of 1,920x1,080. BenQ and other vendors refer to monitors capable of this resolution as "Full HD" monitors, which is interesting given that a 16:10 24-incher would have an even higher native resolution of 1,920x1,200, but we digress. More and more monitor vendors arestarting to move toward 16:9, from 16:10, mainly because hi-def content, in particular 1080p movies, can fit onto a 1,920x1,080 screen without necessitating that the image being stretched or scrunched.
Pixel-response rate: 2ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Connectivity: HDMI, DVI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? VGA
We tested the BenQ E2400HD with its DVI connection. The display posted a composite score of 85 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests compared with the 24-inch Dell S2409W's score of 87. The two displays exhibited similar performance in most of the DisplayMate test screens, but the Dell scored slightly better in our color tracking tests as it exhibited no noticeable compression or expansion at the dark or light ends of the color scale. A color-tracking error occurs when the intensity of red, green, and blue (RGB) do not adjust identically with signal-level changes. During two color tests, Low Saturation Colors and 64-256 Intensity Color Ramp, the BenQ showed clear signs of expansion at the light end of the scale, while the Dell displayed the colors in the scale smoothly.
The BenQ E2400HD posted a brightness score of 246 candelas per square meters (cd/m2), according to our test, which is lower than the 300 cd/m2 maximum claimed by BenQ. The Dell S2409W came in just below it with a 242 cd/m2 brightness rating. The BenQ missed its vendor's 1,000:1 contrast ratio claim by more than 100, scoring an 892:1. Contrast ratio was more favoring to the Dell as we measured it at a 1,001:1 contrast ratio, virtually the same as Dell's claimed 1,000:1 rating.