The BenQ Zowie XL2546K forces one to ask the question, “what do I really need for competitive gaming?” If the answer is speed, response and high motion resolution, the XL2546K is a top-tier contender in the 240 Hz category. If the answer is great out-of-box color, a wide gamut and HDR, this BenQ won’t deliver. It presents a bit of a conundrum, but, ultimately, its value is in the eye of the beholder.
On the positive side, it has, hands-down, the best backlight-strobe feature we’ve seen yet. DyAc+ smooths the image perfectly with no reduction in brightness. That’s the first time we’ve said that. It makes gaming even better than FreeSync or G-Sync does, and that’s the first time we’ve said that too. The overdrive doesn’t work well which is unusual, but at speeds above 200 fps, that doesn’t matter. Just turn AMA off and you won’t miss it. After trying every combination of video-processing settings, the most engaging gameplay came with DyAc+ set to Premium, and AMA and Adaptive-Sync turned off.
The downside is that BenQ has made a poor choice for the default picture mode, holding the XL2546K back from its full potential. And though we don’t consider HDR and extended color important for competitive gaming, those features broaden a monitor’s appeal. Not every gamer is an eSports professional looking to cash in at the next tournament. At this price point, those image enhancements should be available.
So while the BenQ Zowie XL2546K leaves a few things out, it can, with a few key adjustments, be a superb gaming monitor. Its fast response and low input lag will appeal to players at all skill levels. It isn’t cheap, but 240 Hz is still a premium feature. Gamers looking for a speedy display should give it a look.