BenQ xl2420t incoming

When we reviewed the XL2410T last year we were left fairly uninspired by the overall performance that we observed. The contrast and colour performance was lacklustre, screen uniformity was poor and high levels of negative ‘overdrive trailing’ could be observed. The contrast issues were largely down to a poor unit for our review sample but the overdrive issues, poor presets and many of the uniformity issues were much more widespread. BenQ were very grateful for our feedback and the responses from other websites (both positive and negative) and are always keen to improve their products based on this. They managed to iron out some of the creases with some newer revisions of the monitor. These boasted better colour balance, superior panel uniformity and improved pixel overdrive but things were still a bit below par in the price to performance stakes. BenQ have done enough ironing and now it’s time to put on a new shirt with the impending launch of the XL2420T.

BenQ XL2420T from the front (picture: BenQ)

The BenQ XL2420T builds on the successes of their ‘gaming monitor’ brand and once again gets the approval of ‘Counter-Strike Legends’ such as ‘SpawN’ and ‘HeatonN’ who were involved once again in the design and the development process. This is built with smooth 2D gaming in mind and doesn’t include any potentially superflous 3D transmitters and suchlike. For those interested in 3D gaming it is certified as ‘Nvidia 3D Vision 2′ ready meaning that users can take advantage of the enhanced viewing area and ‘LightBoost’ technology of Nvidia 3D Vision 2 (Nvidia GPU and 3D Vision 2 set required). The basic specifications are similar to that of the XL2410T with some key differences, including; a 24″ screen size (versus 23.6W of the XL2410T), some additional inputs and a 350 cd/m2 rated luminance (vs. 300 cd/m2). The monitor once again uses an LED-backlit TN panel with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a stated 2ms stated grey to grey response time. The monitor supports a full 120Hz refresh rate and this time is able to drive this through DisplayPort 1.2 as well as DVI Dual Link. Dual HDMI 1.4 inputs and VGA are also included to connect a wide range of devices but these will run optimally at 60Hz.

In terms of features the monitor has retained some useful additions including ‘Smart Scaling’ which can simulate smaller screen sizes to suit preferences and a fully adjustable stand; height, swivel, tilt and pivot adjustment. The monitor also includes an FPS mode for those who want the competitive edge and aren’t too bothered about eye-candy – it basically whacks out the monitor gamma and colours to increase visibility. BenQ has also made some welcome new additions including an ‘S Switch’ which allows rapid scroll-based switching between 3 sets of custom monitor settings. This can be latched onto the right side of the monitor base or detached as a wired remote control according to preferences. Another very interesting addition is a feature called ‘Black eQualizer’ which specifically adjusts the gamma of dark areas to enhance visibility without affecting lighter areas. The XL2420T is now available to buy in the United Kingdom with an RRP of around £299 (and retail price at time of writing of around £280). Availability within the United States and other non-EU regions is expected in February. BenQ have confirmed that the XL2420TX model which will include an integrated Nvidia 3D Vision 2 IR transceiver and a pair of the new Nvidia active shutter glasses will only be launched in the United States and possibly other select non UK and EU markets. This is apparently due to market conditions and projected demand for the ‘TX’ versions being sub-par in these territories (UK and Europe). The XL2420T currently has a US RRP of around $399 although a release date has not yet been confirmed.