There's no doubt about it, the latest BenQ monitor is aimed squarely at gamers.
The BenQ XL2420T is backed by a group of well known Counter-Strike players and has a host of features designed to let you make the most of your latest digital obsession. At 24in the BenQ is also right in the sweet spot for gaming, as anything less is a bit too small but the big jump to a 27in is arguably too much.
Importantly, the BenQ has a full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and a decent 0.276 pixel pitch. It uses a TN panel which means fast 2ms GTG response times. It has a dynamic contrast ratio of 12 million to 1 thanks to the LED backlight, but in typical use it’s 1,000:1. It also has a 120Hz refresh rate to ensure there's no ghosting. The stand on the XL2420T is quite amazing and will suit just about any setup. It can be raised and lowered by 13cm and rotates and twists through to portrait mode. It also has a very handy hook at the back to hang your gaming headset out of harm’s way. A red framed cut-out at the rear is ideally placed to keep your cables neatly routed. The base of the stand is somewhat angular and ugly but is sturdy without taking up much space. The stand can be quickly released for transport or if you want to attach a VESA mount.
Round the back you get a legacy VGA port, two dual-link DVI ports, two HDMI connectors and a single DisplayPort input. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack that feeds out audio from HDMI, as well as a three-port USB hub.
Considering the effort behind it, it’s no surprise that the BenQ has excellent image quality. While we always recommend tweaking the settings, by default the colours are vibrant without being overwhelming -- even when viewed off-angle. Blacks are deep and there's little light bleed. The BenQ has a special Black eQualiser engine that adjusts dark areas of games without overexposing the light areas so you can more easily see your opponents skulking in the shadows. If you enjoy customising your settings for different games, then you'll love the included S Switch. This little wired remote lets you configure three image preset modes and quickly change between them. It also lets you easily navigate the OSD and you can even download and use the specific presets various professional gamers use.
Like most new gaming monitors, the 120Hz refresh rate on the BenQ lets it provide Nvidia 3D Vision support. It doesn’t come with any of the 3D equipment itself, but if you're thinking of upgrading down the line it’s a good option to have.
The BenQ is certainly not the cheapest 24in monitor and since it’s so new you’ll being doing well to find it for much under $500 online. Still, if you're a dedicated gamer, it has all the features you need for both PC and console gaming.Available from BenQ, retailing for $500
.APC rating: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)