Brightness And Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Today’s comparison group consists of gaming monitors running at 120 or 144Hz. Non-G-Sync screens include the LG 24GM77, BenQ XL2430T and Monoprice G-Pro 120Hz IPS. G-Sync is represented by the BenQ XL2420G and AOC G2460PG.
BenQ rates the XL2730Z at 350cd/m2 and our sample meets that spec. We’d prefer to see more output to better offset the brightness hit from blur-reduction. But in this case, the pulse width slider can be set at its lowest value while still improving image quality noticeably. And the hit to max white level is only 35 percent. If you leave the pulse width at the default setting, the reduction is 58 percent, which is still good. A result of 145.1965cd/m2 is perfectly usable.
Of course, black level drops as you increase the motion blur-reduction setting. At either setting 10 or setting 1, the test result tops the list.
Here’s the best part of all – contrast is slightly higher with motion blur on the lowest pulse width setting. Normally we’d just use it for gaming, but the XL2730Z is the first monitor that let us use motion blur-reduction all the time. And don’t forget, this is one of the few displays that lets you use the feature at its 144Hz refresh rate. Most other screens limit you to 120Hz.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
We turned off blur-reduction for the minimum backlight tests; the image is just too dark otherwise. A 59.5077cd/m2 measurement is great for gaming in a dark room. The 144Hz refresh rate makes the loss of motion blur-reduction bearable.
The minimum black levels almost track the white levels, except for LG's 24GM77, which has higher contrast than the rest. The XL2730Z’s .0619cd/m2 result is perfectly respectable.
You give up a little contrast by turning off blur-reduction, but at least the ratio stays consistent at all backlight levels. Though it doesn’t quite top 1000:1, it comes close.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
Calibration costs very little in terms of contrast or black levels. As you’ll see later, it isn’t absolutely necessary. However, there are gains to be had in color quality if you can make the adjustments.
We didn’t have to touch the contrast control or make large changes to the XL2720Z’s RGB sliders. Hence, calibrated contrast is only a bit lower than the unadjusted figure. LG is certainly the king, though, with an excellent 1104.4:1 result.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast stays solid at only two percent below the calibrated result. We wish this monitor had an IPS panel, but at least the TN part chosen by BenQ is well-built. Still, if contrast is the most important factor in your purchase decision, the LG 24GM77 is a better choice.