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BenQ XL2420G G-Sync Monitor Review

Even though FreeSync is starting to appear, G-Sync is still the go-to tech for gamers seeking an image free of frame-tearing. Today we’re checking out BenQ’s latest feature-laden display – the 24-inch XL2420G.

Premium Performance At A Premium Price

If you researched the XL2420G before reading this review, then you know its price is fairly high. BenQ's current MSRP is $650, and at the time of writing, this monitor sells for roughly $560 online. We’ve already lamented the premium Asus' ROG Swift PG278Q still commands, and we hope BenQ’s new display will come down in price over time. Like the Asus, this is a top-shelf product in every way.

Big money should translate to excellent performance, and the XL2420G certainly delivers, earning its way onto our list of monitors that don’t require calibration. If you do make adjustments, you’ll be rewarded with professional-level color accuracy. Contrast levels are high as well, at least in Classic mode, with both calibrated and ANSI results touching the underside of 1000:1.

Our complaints are fairly minor. First, the gamma tracking could use improvement. In Classic mode, we measured an aberration at the upper brightness levels that robs the image of depth. In G-Sync mode, tracking is a little better. But the entire gamma curve rides slightly above 2.2, which also reduces image depth. This flaw seems to affect overall contrast as well. When you’re using the DisplayPort input, the picture loses a tiny bit of its dimensionality. We acknowledge that these are small issues. However, at the XL2420G’s asking price, perfection should at least be close at hand.

Feature-wise we love this monitor. The S-Switch is by far our favorite way to control an OSD. When we get a display with traditional push buttons, it seems like a throwback in comparison. It’s a nice added touch that is currently exclusive to BenQ. We also applaud the inclusion of three user-programmable profiles. The ability to create your own picture modes should be standard on every computer monitor, regardless of its target audience. And assigning those memories to dedicated buttons on the S-Switch is a great bonus.

Of course the main reason to spend extra on a gaming monitor like this is for its G-Sync support. We’ve already extolled the virtues of frame rate-matching in previous reviews, so you know we enjoy the experiential improvement G-Sync introduces. Adding a 144Hz refresh rate just increases quality and usability. Even working in Windows looks and feels smoother when the stutter is mitigated.

We expect the XL2420G to be a tough sell though, given that there are other 24-inch G-Sync-capable screens available for less money. As far as gaming monitors go, its main draw is that final one-percent performance factor. Most displays will perform to the 99th percentile when they have similar feature sets. But to get that last bit - that slightly better color, contrast or build quality - you have to spend disproportionally more cash.

We do expect affluent enthusiasts to give the XL2420G a serious look. And perhaps if the price drops in a few months, more gamers will consider it. BenQ makes an excellent effort with its first G-Sync screen by building on the strengths of the company's other displays. For excellent performance and build quality, we’re giving the XL2420G our Tom’s Hardware Approved award.

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs. Contact him as ceberle on the forums.

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  • bloodshotlol
    For $500+ I was expecting at least 1440p, pretty over priced tbh.
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    I can understand why the display folks thread lightly, here. This price point is a minefield and miss-mash of tech. This monitor might be a bargain at $300.

    Otherwise, $500-$600 is Eyefinity/Surround, HD Projector, 60-inch Plasma TV territory. It's a tough sell for a display port-capable monitor these days in Adaptive/G -Sync, being that we are only moments before the flood.

    And, the market is not in the high-end, at least, not for long. It's back where us poor slubs with 'pitiful' $200 gaming cards :lol: need the help.

    Reply
  • bogda
    Finally a G-Sync monitor with more inputs than one DP. Now give me 1440p resolution and price below 500 and I will consider it.
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Just throwing out there - saying that the brighter the monitor the better is absolutely far from the truth. If you're in an office environment under florescent lighting, then sure, but if you're interested in a gaming computer, it's probably in your room or a den, and, well... brighter is only better if you only game at night, or have every possible light on while you do.

    From all the gripes about how the monitor gets so dim, that's actually a HUGE benefit for me - nobody every bothers to test what the minimum brightness a monitor can achieve, and many monitors, especially gaming monitors, fail miserably. I'd much rather have less eye strain than picture-perfect colors when I'm gaming at night.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    DP has better bandwidth, so why does the HDMI here have better contrast and colour accuraccy?
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    Here's that $200 nVidia premium kicking in. Could have made it IPS or 1440p guys come on...
    Reply
  • blakphoenix
    I'm sorry but there is no way this monitor could be classed as having "professional-level color accuracy". For starters it doesn't even get 100% sRGB, let alone the terrible sub 70% AdobeRGB performance. Is it good enough for games? It may well be. Is it professional level colour? Not even close!
    Reply
  • bystander
    Just throwing out there - saying that the brighter the monitor the better is absolutely far from the truth. If you're in an office environment under florescent lighting, then sure, but if you're interested in a gaming computer, it's probably in your room or a den, and, well... brighter is only better if you only game at night, or have every possible light on while you do.

    From all the gripes about how the monitor gets so dim, that's actually a HUGE benefit for me - nobody every bothers to test what the minimum brightness a monitor can achieve, and many monitors, especially gaming monitors, fail miserably. I'd much rather have less eye strain than picture-perfect colors when I'm gaming at night.
    Brightness does have one important use; ULMB. In ULMB, because the backlighting pulses, it causes these monitors to be very dim. Extra brightness helps to counteract this issue, but I do agree, testing the minimum might be useful, as there are some people out there that have to play at nearly the lowest levels due to headaches.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Wow very sweet for a monitor. I would highly consider this monitor if I can afford it. Since I use my computer for both work and play.

    However, for that price I'm disappointed it's only 1080P. I hope they come out with a free sync 1440P version that's cheaper than this monitor.
    Reply
  • Bezzell
    1080p, TN, $550? No thanks.
    Reply