BenQ XL2430T, Super Build Quality, Accuracy And Speed
To say BenQ's XL2430T exceeded our expectations would be something of an understatement. We expect gaming monitors to come packed with features, have a speedy and responsive panel, deliver decent contrast and have reasonably accurate color. This display over-achieves on several counts.
Color accuracy is important, whether you’re playing games or just plowing through workaday tasks. But we look for the finest accuracy from expensive professional products, not gaming monitors. The out-of-box color and grayscale numbers we recorded handily exceed other monitors in the class and make calibration a choice rather than a requirement. The only area where a bit of trial-and-error is needed is the gamma preset selection. Change the setting from three to five and you’re in business with a near-perfect 2.2 curve.
We’ve seen a steady increase in the quality of gaming monitors’ blur reduction functionality, and the XL2430T is now our class leader. The checklist for doing it properly is short, but important. You need at least 350cd/m2 of max light output – check. You need a pulse-width adjustment with fine resolution – check. And the pulse-width adjustment shouldn’t take away too much light output – check. This is the first display with blur reduction that is truly usable. At level 10 of 25, the pulse width is long enough to only cost you 51-percent output, while pretty much eliminating most blur artifacts. BenQ sets a new benchmark.
Now there may be users out there thinking, “Not another TN panel!” We want to emphasize that the XL2430T image quality is every bit as good as any IPS monitor we’ve reviewed. There are no washed-out colors, there are no clarity issues and there are no uniformity problems. The only flaw is off-axis quality. In our opinion, this is the only area where IPS is superior. It’s certainly a deal-breaker for some, just not for us. When TN looks this good, we have no problem using it ourselves and recommending it to others.
At this point, the only consideration has to be price. Do you want to pay extra for that 144Hz refresh rate? Even on budget-oriented gaming rigs, we think the answer should be yes. A computer monitor is something that will sit on your desk through many system upgrades. It seems illogical to carefully choose your components, only to finish off the build with a $150 monitor. Nothing in the desktop PC world is future-proof. But your display will not become obsolete overnight.
Just as we think calibration is worthwhile, we also believe in buying the best monitor you can afford. There is no substitute for a quality image when you’re staring at the same glowing rectangle for hours on end. If you love to play games, the XL2430T is a choice that’s hard to ignore. For its excellent build quality, out-of-box accuracy and full feature set, we’re giving it the Tom’s Hardware Smart Buy award.