Top positive review
25 of 28 people found this helpful
Excellent on-axis image, so-so off-axis, and white frame looks nice
on January 14, 2013
To start, I haven't done a lot of recent comparison shopping for monitors, and I had the privilege of getting this monitor for review. That said, I have used and seen a number of monitors at work and at home, so hopefully I can help you as you do your shopping. I use two 24" IPS panel monitors at work, and this monitor replaced the 22" VA panel that I was using at home.
In short, I really like the on-axis image quality, am a bit disappointed in the off-axis quality, really like the clean look of the monitor, and wish that it had more adjustment options (like height, rotation, pivoting). I recommend that you give it consideration.
Before getting into specifics, here's a quick note on LCD panels (and you can look up a lot more details online). The three main categories are IPS (In Plane Switching), VA (Vertical Alignment), and TN (Twisted Nematic) panels. TN panels are the least expensive and have very good response times, but they are the worst of the three for color reproduction, contrast, and viewing angles. VA panels, which this monitor uses, have better color and excellent contrast, but the colors shift as you view them from an angle. IPS panels are usually considered the best for color accuracy and viewing angles, but they are also the most expensive.
This monitor has a very good on-axis (i.e. you're looking straight at it with no angle) image. Very good. Contrast is excellent with whites and blacks looking true, and colors are also excellent. I have not compared the colors side-by-side with another monitor, so I'm going off of memory. However, after looking at the same background images and icons for months on my old panels, I didn't notice anything stand out when I connected this one. Last year, I got a Dell TN panel, and it was immediately and blatantly obvious that the colors were off. There are also several built-in picture modes that you can choose from, along with quite a few available image adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature, etc.), so you can tailor it.
Unfortunately (but true to VA technology), the image quality degrades as you start moving off-axis. The image gets somewhat washed out and the colors do shift a bit. For normal computer activity in which you're stationary, this monitor can work great. One thing to note is that the stand doesn't offer any height adjustment, so you might need to set it on something if you don't want to have to look down at an angle (like I'm doing right now). Also, I will watch Netflix while I do other things in my office, so the off-axis degradation became obvious to me.
The VA panel on this is much better than the TN panel on one of my Dell monitors. Much better. Colors are much more true, and the off-axis viewing is significantly better.
It took a day or two to get used to a white frame versus the black ones that I've used for many years, but I really like it. Then again, I used light-colored monitors for several years back when they were the norm. :) The whole monitor has a nice, clean uncluttered look to it (I don't use that green accessory, btw). It's refreshing.
This thing is quite a bit thinner and less bulky than the Dell 24" monitors that I have at work. The Dells have their pluses, but for a nice setup at home, I'd pick this BenQ over them due to it being much easier to move around. I was shocked by how lightweight it is, but it isn't flimsy.
I'll admit...I'm baffled by the green accessory. Maybe very cool and useful to others, but I don't like the looks of it. Without it, the dimple in the base doesn't stand out, so it's not a con to me.
Not too shaby, with VGA, DVI, and HDMI. I wish that it also had a DisplayPort input, but I'm using a DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapter that works great. I've used all three inputs, and they all provide a good image. The VGA input has an "Auto Adjustment" feature that worked well for me. Initially, the image was fuzzy until I used that, and then it was nice and crisp.
The headphone jack could be useful if you're using the HDMI input, but I think most people won't use it. I also wish that it had USB jacks.
HDMI STANDBY ISSUE
There is one issue with this monitor that has nothing to do with VA panels or the features listed, so I want to point it out (and other reviews have, too). The monitor typically goes into standby mode just fine...unless the last input that you used is the HDMI input. If that's the case, then it will continue to flash "No Signal Detected!" until the monitor is shut off (manually or using the built-in shutdown) or until a source is turned back on. Depending on the HDMI switching option that you choose, this flashing with either just be that message, or it will be the message with a bright blue screen. A bit annoying. I haven't found a way to stop this, yet, and I contacted BenQ and will update if/when I hear back.
(*) Excellent on-axis image quality, with good color, contrast, and clarity
(*) Convenient resolution of 1920 x 1080, so you can watch 1080p HD video without any cropping or stretching
(*) Attractive white frame and stand with a very uncluttered, clean look (I don't use the green accessory)
(*) Lightweight and very easy to move around
(*) VESA mount holes on back
(*) Image quality degrades once you get just a few degrees off-axis
(*) "No Signal Detected!" flashes continuously until monitor shuts off if the last used input was HDMI and no other inputs are active
(*) Supplied stand only allows monitor to be tilted. You can't adjust it up or down, rotate it sideways, or pivot the monitor 90 degrees like some other monitors let you do
(*) No integrated USB ports (I've grown to like those on my Dell monitors)
(*) The menu buttons are just raised dots on the right side of the monitor, and it takes longer for me to find them than the regular buttons on my other monitors.