BenQ Zowie XL2546K 240 Hz Monitor Review: Brilliant Blur Reduction

No-frills speed for a premium price

BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K 240 Hz
(Image: © BenQ)

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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.

(Image credit: BenQ)

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.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • shaolin95
    I find this statement very interesting
    "When it comes to copying folders of data, Samsung’s 980 Pro delivers performance that is second to none. However, when reading back our large zip file, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and WD Black SN850 demonstrated faster performance, though only by 60-80 MBps. "

    Why do you downplay the advantage of the WD and Rocket by stating "only by 60-80 MBps" but overhype the Samsung advantage copying folders when it's only 69MBps over the WD????