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BenQ XL2420G G-Sync Monitor Review

Even though FreeSync is starting to appear, G-Sync is still the go-to tech for gamers seeking an image free of frame-tearing. Today we’re checking out BenQ’s latest feature-laden display – the 24-inch XL2420G.

Our Verdict

The BenQ XL2420G delivers everything a hardcore gamer could wish for. Even though it uses a TN panel, it’s a high-quality part that delivers excellent contrast and color accuracy. Aside from a slight hiccup in our gamma test, it easily meets all our standards. If you like BenQ and you want G-Sync it’s your only option for now. Hopefully as more competition becomes available the price will drop.

For

  • Build quality • Color accuracy • G-Sync • Independent settings for Classic and G-Sync modes • Refresh rate • S-Switch • Sharpness

Against

  • Blur reduction • Gamma performance • Price

Introduction

BenQ has always catered to gamers with its many different monitor offerings. Currently, the company sells six qualifying displays between the RL and XL families, with prices ranging from $159 to $650. The XL screens represent the high-end with fast refresh rates, lots of gaming-specific features and now G-Sync.

Today we’re checking out BenQ’s first G-Sync-capable screen, the XL2420G. It builds on the feature set we saw in the recently-reviewed XL2720Z and XL2430T. Both models performed well enough to earn awards for their top performance and build quality.

Equipped with motion blur reduction, gaming-specific picture modes, a zero-flicker backlight with no pulse-width modulation and a 144Hz maximum refresh rate, the latest XL model adds a totally new G-Sync mode with its own OSD settings. It’s like having two monitors in a single chassis.

Panel Type & BacklightTN / W-LED, edge array
Screen Size & Aspect Ratio24in / 16:9
Max Resolution & Refresh1920x1080 @ 144Hz
Native Color Depth & Gamut8-bit (6-bit+FRC) / sRGB
Response Time (GTG)1ms
Brightness350cd/m2
Speakers-
Video Inputs1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 1 x DVI
Audio3.5mm headphone output
USBv2.0 - 1 x up, 2 x down
Panel DimensionsWxHxD w/base22.5 x 21.5 x 9.5in567 x 542 x 239mm
Panel Thickness2.5in / 63mm
Bezel Width.75in / 19mm
Weight13.4lbs / 6.1kg
WarrantyThree years

BenQ starts with a fast 144Hz TN panel like the one in its XL2430T, and then adds a G-Sync module. But it’s not just an extra board. This is a true hybrid display with completely independent modes called (appropriately) Classic and G-Sync.

At its heart, the XL2420G is similar to competing screens; it sports a 24-inch white LED-backlit panel with eight-bit color depth courtesy of frame rate conversion. The similarities end there, though. Rather than simply adding G-Sync functionality to an existing design, BenQ implements a separate menu system and even omits the DisplayPort input from Classic mode. With an HDMI connection, you get a color-accurate and bright display with a 60Hz refresh rate, along with plenty of picture modes and gaming features. It works equally well as a general-purpose monitor and as an enthusiast's tool for titles that don’t require speed or the elimination of tearing.

When you get more serious about gaming, however, the Engine Switch option takes you to G-Sync mode and the DisplayPort input, where you can adjust the XL2420G independently of Classic mode and crank the refresh up to 144Hz. You also get variable pulse-width blur reduction thrown in the mix.

Although this sounds a little overwhelming, we're here to help sort the XL2420G out for you. We’ve never seen a design quite like this before. But after spending some quality time testing and playing on it, we’re confident we have it figured out. Once you read the rest of the review, you’ll see that this is a unique and interesting piece of display technology. Let’s take a closer look.


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  • bloodshotlol
    For $500+ I was expecting at least 1440p, pretty over priced tbh.
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    I can understand why the display folks thread lightly, here. This price point is a minefield and miss-mash of tech. This monitor might be a bargain at $300.

    Otherwise, $500-$600 is Eyefinity/Surround, HD Projector, 60-inch Plasma TV territory. It's a tough sell for a display port-capable monitor these days in Adaptive/G -Sync, being that we are only moments before the flood.

    And, the market is not in the high-end, at least, not for long. It's back where us poor slubs with 'pitiful' $200 gaming cards :lol: need the help.

    Reply
  • bogda
    Finally a G-Sync monitor with more inputs than one DP. Now give me 1440p resolution and price below 500 and I will consider it.
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Just throwing out there - saying that the brighter the monitor the better is absolutely far from the truth. If you're in an office environment under florescent lighting, then sure, but if you're interested in a gaming computer, it's probably in your room or a den, and, well... brighter is only better if you only game at night, or have every possible light on while you do.

    From all the gripes about how the monitor gets so dim, that's actually a HUGE benefit for me - nobody every bothers to test what the minimum brightness a monitor can achieve, and many monitors, especially gaming monitors, fail miserably. I'd much rather have less eye strain than picture-perfect colors when I'm gaming at night.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    DP has better bandwidth, so why does the HDMI here have better contrast and colour accuraccy?
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    Here's that $200 nVidia premium kicking in. Could have made it IPS or 1440p guys come on...
    Reply
  • blakphoenix
    I'm sorry but there is no way this monitor could be classed as having "professional-level color accuracy". For starters it doesn't even get 100% sRGB, let alone the terrible sub 70% AdobeRGB performance. Is it good enough for games? It may well be. Is it professional level colour? Not even close!
    Reply
  • bystander
    Just throwing out there - saying that the brighter the monitor the better is absolutely far from the truth. If you're in an office environment under florescent lighting, then sure, but if you're interested in a gaming computer, it's probably in your room or a den, and, well... brighter is only better if you only game at night, or have every possible light on while you do.

    From all the gripes about how the monitor gets so dim, that's actually a HUGE benefit for me - nobody every bothers to test what the minimum brightness a monitor can achieve, and many monitors, especially gaming monitors, fail miserably. I'd much rather have less eye strain than picture-perfect colors when I'm gaming at night.
    Brightness does have one important use; ULMB. In ULMB, because the backlighting pulses, it causes these monitors to be very dim. Extra brightness helps to counteract this issue, but I do agree, testing the minimum might be useful, as there are some people out there that have to play at nearly the lowest levels due to headaches.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Wow very sweet for a monitor. I would highly consider this monitor if I can afford it. Since I use my computer for both work and play.

    However, for that price I'm disappointed it's only 1080P. I hope they come out with a free sync 1440P version that's cheaper than this monitor.
    Reply
  • Bezzell
    1080p, TN, $550? No thanks.
    Reply