CNET First Look
BenQ EW2420With its large number of features and low price, the BenQ EW2420 is one of the best monitor bargains available.
-I see a lot of LED-backlit monitors come past my desk, but what I don't see are a lot of LED-backlit monitors with AMVA panels. That's kind of a new thing and the BenQ EW2420 is the first monitor I've seen to feature it. Spec-wise, it offers larger viewing angles and better color reproduction than a TN panel. Specs are one thing though and realization of those specs is something else entirely. I'm Eric Franklin and today, we'll take a first look at the BenQ EW2420. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the BenQ would have a tough time standing out in a room full of monitors. It has a typical black chassis, a semi-glossy black bezel, and an oval-shaped foot stand. Honestly, I could be describing about 90% of the monitors released in the last year, the takeaway being that the BenQ doesn't offer much in a way of visual flourishes. The screen has a semi-glossy look, and while it doesn't provide 1 to 1 reflection of the environment, at off angles, reflections become much clearer. Under the bottom of the bezel is a panel-wide thin, gray cylinder--one of the BenQ's few unique aesthetic flourishes. Each connection option is denoted with a clear label carving on the back of the monitor. On the left side of the panel are 2 USB downstream ports and a headphone jack. On the bottom right of the bezel sits the on-screen display, or OSD, array. The OSD includes several presets, color and color temperature options, as well as motion acceleration support, which is great for gaming or fast-moving images. Although we did see deep blacks in movies, there was a definite green push most noticeable in the faces of the actors. Minimizing the green was a challenge, but with a little patience, it can be improved. Characters in games were jaggy and colors were oversaturated in the game preset, but things improved when switching to the softer and smoother look of the sRGB preset. Available for about $250, it's difficult to fault the BenQ. Any imperfection that crops up could just be explained with a, "But hey, at least it's cheap." And with the number of features it has, you definitely get something for your money. While the LED-backlight AMVA panel combo didn't deliver the kind of performance we were hoping for, we did see wider viewing angles than what TN panels deliver, and much higher contrast ratio than even IPS monitors. Movie performance displayed deep blacks and games looked good if in the right preset, but color reproduction wasn't up to our standards out of the box. If you're looking for a top performer, this isn't it. However, with a surprising number of useful features and a low price, you'll have a hard time finding a better bargain than the BenQ EW2420. Once again, I'm Eric Franklin, and this has been a first look at the BenQ EW2420.