One of its best features sits round the back, next to an array of ports laid out almost identically to the Dell. In addition to DVI, VGA, component, composite and S-Video ports, you’ll find an HDMI port – the first we’ve seen on a LCD of this size. This essentially allows the BenQ to double up as a full 1080p HD display with a simple connection to upscaling DVD players, HD DVD and Blu-ray players, and the upcoming PlayStation 3. If you prefer to stick with DVI, the port is HDCP-compliant, so it will play protected content from your PC.
But all this is academic if the image quality isn’t up to scratch, and thankfully the FP241W doesn’t disappoint. We had to raise the brightness initially, which wasn’t straightforward because of the awkward side-mounted buttons, but the OSD is easy to navigate.
Technically, the only flaws we found were a slight red hue in the colour tracking test screen, which we couldn’t eliminate, and a slightly compacted dynamic range on the greyscale ramp. We thought this could lead to poor contrast in our real-world tests, but the level of detail in shadows and highlights was excellent, just as we’d expect given the 1000:1 contrast ratio. Plus, we saw no
blurring in fast-moving scenes thanks to the 6ms response time. The colour tone in our test DVDs was slightly pale next to the vibrant Eizo, but it bettered the Dell, which is the more relevant comparison.
Another highlight is the flexible stand, lifting a full 140mm from an already high starting point. Plus, it pivots, tilts and swivels. You’ll find two USB ports on the left of the screen, while, as a final piece of great design, there’s a further port under a flap on the top, perfectly placed for a webcam.
But the real treat is the price. Despite the presence of the HDMI port, the FP241W weighs in at only $1269. The Dell costs over $100 and is more stylish, but if you want the most future-proof, flexible and high-quality 24in monitor currently available the BenQ FP241W is certainly worth the money.
Not as stylish as the Dell, but the BenQ’s image quality and HDMI port make it our top 24in LCD.
• BenQ: www.umart.com.au
• Price: 1269 • Viewable screen size: 24in • Native resolution: 1920 x 1200 • Refresh Rate/Response Time: 6ms • DVI-D HDCP: Yes • Brightness: 500cd/m2 • Contrast ratio: 1000:1 • Viewing angle vertical/horizontal: 176/176 degrees • Manufacturer: BenQ • Supplier: http://www.umart.com.au/