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With the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 ($300) costing $50 less than the BenQ, there is simply no good reason to purchase V2400 Eco. Overall, the Samsung monitor has better performance, facilitated by its wider viewing angle and brighter screen. The BenQ gets points for its unique, stark white aesthetic and the fact that it has virtually no backlight bleed through; but in the end, it's too little, too late for this LED-based display. While not a bad monitor, the V2400 Eco just can't compare with the best LED monitor out there.
Design and features
The 23-inch BenQ V2400 Eco has a completely white chassis, including a white power cord and a white VGA cord. The bezel is 0.8 inch wide all around and the full width of the panel is 23.8 inches. The display measures a short 0.75 inch in depth--a considerably thin measurement--although not as thin as the 0.5-inch of the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370, but much thinner than the Dell SP2309W that measures more than 2 inches thick. The screen has a matte finish and the neck of the display measures nearly 4 inches in height. The rectangular footstand is 11.8 inches wide and 7.1 inches deep, and even with such a wide footstand the display wobbles considerably when pushed; however, it never felt in danger of toppling, mostly because of its relatively short neck and flat footstand.
The bottom of the display's bezel sits about 3.75 inches from the desktop. Unfortunately, you can't adjust the screen height, and there isn't a screen rotation or pivot option for portrait mode. The capability to tilt the screen back 20 degrees is the only included ergonomic feature. On the top of footstand is a small round pocket that looks almost like a cup holder. In it, BenQ has placed a removable small white cup and in it, plastic green grass. According to BenQ, the spot is perfect for "small keepsakes or mini plant pot"; however, we don't advise planting anything that would require pouring water into your $350 monitor.
Video connection options are limited to VGA and HDMI, and unfortunately, BenQ only includes a VGA cable for connections. Both connections are on the back of the monitor on its right side, and are easy to access since they're not obstructed by the footstand's neck. The monitor includes a headphone jack on the left side of the panel.
The onscreen display button array is located along the right edge of the panel and consists of five buttons aligned vertically: a Menu button, an up and down button, an Enter button, and an Auto button. Each button has a small knot on it so that you can easily distinguish them by touch. The menu consists of the usual brightness, contrast, and color options. The latter allowing you change its red, green, and blue values individually as well as change its color temperature. The OSD includes six presets: Movie, Game, Standard, Photo, SRGB, and Eco. The Eco preset caps the brightness as 43 of 100. Navigating the interface is not as intuitive as the Dell's recent offerings or even the Samsung SyncMaster Xl2370.
The BenQ V2400 Eco's 16:9 aspect ratio supports a "Full HD" 1,920x1,080-pixel native resolution. This continues the trend of more and more monitor vendors moving toward 16:9 from 16:10 because high-definition content--in particular 1080p movies--can fit onto a 1,920x1,080-pixel screen in full-screen mode without stretching the image.
Resolution: 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel-response rate: 5ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
Brightness: 250 cd/m2
Connectivity: HDMI, VGA
HDCP compliant? Yes
Included video cables? VGA
Panel type: TN
We tested the BenQ V2400 Eco with its HDMI connection, using a HDMI to DVI cable--not included with the monitor. The display posted a composite score of 93 on CNET Labs' DisplayMate-based performance tests, lower than the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370's 96 score and higher than the Dell SP2309W's 90 score. In our dark screen test, the V2400 Eco showed only a small amount of backlight bleed through, less than the Samsung SyncMaster XL2370.
The XL2370 achieved a brightness score of 228 candelas per square meter (cd/m2)--much lower than the Xl2370's 344 cd/m2 and the Dell SP2309W's 297 cd/m2. The difference between the monitors is readily apparent as the V2400 Eco's screen looks dim in comparison. When we set the brightness of the V2400 Eco and XL2370 to 100 and 75 respectively, we found that when looking at the same image, the XL's whites were noticeably brighter without compromising the dark detail and deep blacks of the image. The V2400 Eco displayed whites that looked almost blue in comparison.
We used the V2400 Eco's Movie preset to check out "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" on DVD and a number of 1080p movie files from Microsoft's WMV HD Showcase. We noticed the same bluish-white problem we mentioned, and as a result, other colors didn't have the same pop as they did on the Xl237.
We looked at World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 3 and noticed no signs of input lag or any streaking or ghosting during fast movement. We found that the Standard preset was the best all-around setting for games. The Game preset's picture is over-tuned to the point that polygonal models show more aliasing than when in standard mode. Again, like in movies, colors in games didn't have the same pop as the XL2370, thanks to the V2400 Eco's relatively low brightness.
Most monitors use cold cathode fluorescent lamp-based backlights--several fluorescent tubes stretched horizontally across the screen. The BenQ relies on individual LEDs all over the back of the screen that turn off or on independently, giving the display more precise control over the amount of light that comes through. The purported advantages of an LED backlight are better energy efficiency, more accurate color reproduction, a conceivably thinner panel design, and a higher potential brightness level. Unfortunately, BenQ doesn't use these features as well as Samsung did with the XL2370.
The optimal viewing angle for a monitor is usually directly in front, about a quarter of the screen's distance down from the top. At this angle, you're viewing the colors and gamma correction as they were intended. Most monitors are not made to be viewed at any other angle. Depending on its panel type, picture quality at nonoptimal angles varies. Most monitors use TN panels, which get overly bright or overly dark in parts of the screen when viewed from nonoptimal angles. The BenQ V2400 Eco uses a TN panel, and when it is viewed from the sides or bottom, we perceived the screen to darken about 4 inches off from center and we noticed that from the left, right, and top, the display darkened and colors shifted quicker than the SyncMaster XL2370. Of course, when viewed from the optimal angle, we had no problems.
In our power consumption tests, the BenQ V2400 Eco had a high On/Default power draw of 23.52 watts. Its standby power is a fairly low 0.3 watts. Based on our formula, the V2400 Eco would cost $7.22 per year to power, compared with the XL2370's $9.96 per year and the SP2309W's $12.98.
|BenQ v2400 Eco||Average watts per hour|
|On (Default luminance)||23.52|
|On (Max luminance)||23.52|
|On (Min luminance)||11.04|
|Calibrated (200 cd/m2)||23.52|
|Annual energy cost||$7.22|
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Service and support
BenQ backs the V2400 Eco with a three-year parts and labor warranty that also includes support for the backlight. Free phone support (as long as you are under warranty) is provided weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pacific, but there is no weekend phone support available. BenQ's Web site only has the warranty information and user manual available for download.