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.

BenQ has always catered to gamers with its many different monitor offerings. Currently, the company sells six qualifying displays between the RL and XL families, with prices ranging from $159 to $650. The XL screens represent the high-end with fast refresh rates, lots of gaming-specific features and now G-Sync.

Today we’re checking out BenQ’s first G-Sync-capable screen, the XL2420G. It builds on the feature set we saw in the recently-reviewed XL2720Z and XL2430T. Both models performed well enough to earn awards for their top performance and build quality.

Equipped with motion blur reduction, gaming-specific picture modes, a zero-flicker backlight with no pulse-width modulation and a 144Hz maximum refresh rate, the latest XL model adds a totally new G-Sync mode with its own OSD settings. It’s like having two monitors in a single chassis.

Panel Type & Backlight
TN / W-LED, edge array
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio
24in / 16:9
Max Resolution & Refresh
1920x1080 @ 144Hz
Native Color Depth & Gamut
8-bit (6-bit+FRC) / sRGB
Response Time (GTG)
1ms
Brightness
350cd/m2
Speakers
-
Video Inputs
1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI
Audio
3.5mm headphone output
USB
v2.0 - 1 x up, 2 x down
Panel Dimensions
WxHxD w/base
22.5 x 21.5 x 9.5in
567 x 542 x 239mm
Panel Thickness
2.5in / 63mm
Bezel Width
.75in / 19mm
Weight
13.4lbs / 6.1kg
Warranty
Three years

BenQ starts with a fast 144Hz TN panel like the one in its XL2430T, and then adds a G-Sync module. But it’s not just an extra board. This is a true hybrid display with completely independent modes called (appropriately) Classic and G-Sync.

At its heart, the XL2420G is similar to competing screens; it sports a 24-inch white LED-backlit panel with eight-bit color depth courtesy of frame rate conversion. The similarities end there, though. Rather than simply adding G-Sync functionality to an existing design, BenQ implements a separate menu system and even omits the DisplayPort input from Classic mode. With an HDMI connection, you get a color-accurate and bright display with a 60Hz refresh rate, along with plenty of picture modes and gaming features. It works equally well as a general-purpose monitor and as an enthusiast's tool for titles that don’t require speed or the elimination of tearing.

When you get more serious about gaming, however, the Engine Switch option takes you to G-Sync mode and the DisplayPort input, where you can adjust the XL2420G independently of Classic mode and crank the refresh up to 144Hz. You also get variable pulse-width blur reduction thrown in the mix.

Although this sounds a little overwhelming, we're here to help sort the XL2420G out for you. We’ve never seen a design quite like this before. But after spending some quality time testing and playing on it, we’re confident we have it figured out. Once you read the rest of the review, you’ll see that this is a unique and interesting piece of display technology. Let’s take a closer look.

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  • bloodshotlol
    For $500+ I was expecting at least 1440p, pretty over priced tbh.
  • Other Comments
  • bloodshotlol
    For $500+ I was expecting at least 1440p, pretty over priced tbh.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • PaulBags
    DP has better bandwidth, so why does the HDMI here have better contrast and colour accuraccy?
  • Shankovich
    Here's that $200 nVidia premium kicking in. Could have made it IPS or 1440p guys come on...
  • 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!
  • bystander
    Quote:
    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.
  • 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.
  • Bezzell
    1080p, TN, $550? No thanks.
  • uglyduckling81
    Why even bother having an option to turn G-Sync and the refresh down? Who is spending over $500 on a 24" monitor and then turning all the expensive features off?
    Be like buying a Ferrari and having a button that makes it drive and run like an old Datsun Sunny.
  • Raheel Hasan
    $550 for 1080p lol
  • Grognak
    TN, 24 in, 1080p for $500+

    No thank you.
  • Bob2Help
    I would love a 1080p monitor, just not for that price
  • Eggz
    Good features, but it's WAY too expensive for a 1080p monitor.
  • aberkae
    Acer 4k gsync monitor was on sale at newegg for $599
  • n3cw4rr10r
    Expensive. Pass.
  • scottoOH
    This is nothing but Nvidia trying to ring out every penny of profit from G-Sync.
  • mabrams
    Quote:
    This is nothing but Nvidia trying to ring out every penny of profit from G-Sync.


    Not really understanding this. Are you saying that Nvidia was responsible for BenQ making this monitor? If that was the case, why would BenQ even bother adding in a second scaler so you could use sources other than nvidia video cards?

    About the XL2420G itself, I've owned one for about a week before returning it due to some dead pixels. Other than that, it was great. It was easily the most color-accurate TN panel I've ever seen. Motion was great with very quick pixel response times with low motion blur, and it was overall a great monitor even without gsync. With gsync I'd say it's worth $550 I spent.

    Regardless of the politics behind why Nvidia made gsync or why they made their own custom scaler for it... once you see it, play games with a dynamic refresh rate locked to GPU FPS without the noticeable input lag and microstutter of vsync, you realize it's worth the price premium. it sounds subtle on paper, but the persistence and immersion it brings is anything but.

    In a world where we pay hundreds of dollars for incremental improvements in framerates, complaining about gsync seems like missing the forest for the trees, IMO. It does everything it was advertised to.
  • Eggz
    Anonymous said:
    This is nothing but Nvidia trying to ring out every penny of profit from G-Sync.


    Corporations can actually get in trouble for NOT seeking to maximize shareholder value, whether through profit or otherwise. Mabram's point is also a good one, but I do think that Nvidia was probably happy to land the BenQ contract. That said, increasing shareholder value and customer satisfaction aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, customer satisfaction often increases shareholder value.


    Anonymous said:
    [Gsync] does everything it was advertised to.

    Gsync is pretty kick-ass, and it also brings VESA's adaptive sync technology to market faster than normal. People complain that it's proprietary, but I think having a proprietary solution is good when it accelerates an otherwise slow adoption of useful technology. Think of DisplayPort 1.2. It's already getting phased out, but it has been so slow to make its way into the market that most people still don't have it. The most used display connector continues to be HDMI. Why? Well, in large part because it's a proprietary solution - just another example of how certain proprietary tech can in people's favor.

    The corporate marketing funds spent on implementing proprietary tech gets the word out, which spurs adoption, increases production, and drives down prices. Maybe I'll change my mind about Gsync once VESA's adaptive sync becomes a standard feature in monitors, but for now, Nvidia is justified in charging their price premium.