BenQ XL2430T 144Hz Gaming Monitor Review
To G-Sync or not to G-Sync? That is the question gamers are asking when they shop for a proper addition to their high-performance computer system. Now that Asus, AOC, BenQ and others are offering G-Sync support either with or in addition to fast-refresh models, it comes down to whether you want to spend an extra $150 to $200 or not.
The premium-priced ROG Swift notwithstanding, 24-inch G-Sync-capable monitors are selling for $550 and up. If you just want 144Hz and perhaps adjustable motion-blur reduction, you can buy in for around $400 or less.
BenQ is no stranger to speedy gaming displays, having introduced us to the excellent XL2720Z (BenQ XL2720Z Monitor Review: A 27-Inch, 144 Hz Gaming Display) a few months back. Today we’re checking out its 24-inch brother, the XL2430T.
|Brand & Model||BenQ XL2430T|
|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 w/FRC) / sRGB|
|Response Time (GTG)||1ms|
|Video Inputs||1 x DisplayPort, 1 x DVI,2 x HDMI, 1 x VGA|
|Audio||1 x 3.5mm input, 1 x mic input,1 x headphone output|
|USB||v3.0 - 1 x up, 2 x down|
|Panel DimensionsWxHxD w/base||22.5 x 20.6 x 7.9in568 x 520 x 199mm|
|Panel Thickness||2.5in / 63mm|
|Bezel Width||.7in / 17mm|
|Weight||15lbs / 6.8kg|
Let’s look at what giving up three inches of diagonal screen size means if you opt for a smaller display. The first thing to remember is that neither monitor supports G-Sync technology, so if you’re an Nvidia user looking for an end to screen tearing, check out BenQ’s brand-new XL2420G instead. It literally just arrived in our labs, so you’ll be seeing the full review very soon.
Both screens enable 144Hz refresh rates with nary a hiccup, though. This is a boon in just about any fast-paced game, since the display can keep up with your speedy graphics subsystem. We know how frustrating it is to spend four figures on the best in 3D processing only to have a 60Hz panel holding you back from your full fragging potential. We also love how Windows just glides smoothly along when you move the mouse cursor or shift applications around. It’s almost intoxicating for a display professional like myself.
The second item on the checklist is motion blur reduction. It’s a feature we first saw implemented through software on Asus' VG248QE. The XL2720Z has it built-in, though you can’t adjust the pulse width without a special utility from BlurBusters. As we’ve found in testing, simply turning on a backlight strobe with a short pulse results in an extremely dim picture bordering on unusable. Newer screens sometimes include that adjustment in a fine 100-step resolution. Then you can create a better balance between blur reduction and light output.
We found the XL2720Z a bit lacking in light output to the point that even a little blur reduction darkened the image too much. The XL2430T we’re looking at today corrects that flaw with a healthy maximum output of over 360cd/m2. BenQ also adds a pulse-width adjustment with 25-step resolution. In our brightness tests, we found a setting that provides an acceptable level of blur reduction at a light output cost of 51 percent.
BenQ’s motto is “gaming is in the details.” To that end, it includes a tremendous number of extra features and options specifically designed to enhance gameplay. Over the next two pages, you’ll see what that means on both the outside and the inside of the XL2430T. Let’s take a look.