BenQ RL2240H £110
13th Jan 2012 | 09:30
A 22-inch screen and Full-HD for the gamer on a budget
You're a gamer, you're on a tight budget and you need an LCD screen. Five years ago, we'd have pitied your predicament. Whatever you ended up with, it wasn't going to be pretty. Fast forward to today and the BenQ RL2240H gaming-optimised 22-inch panel is yours for just £110. And it's full HD. Yippee.
That's right, a full HD screen from a proper brand for £100 and the cost of a packet of fags. Ish. Give it up for globalisation and preposterously low electronics prices – but we digress.
Cost and relatively modest screen diagonal aside, this BenQ also claims to improve your gaming prowess in RTS games. What you're actually getting is an operating mode with colours and contrast tweaked for the demands of RTS games.
If we're really honest, as with most preset modes, we probably wouldn't bother. The difference is marginal at best, and where it is noticeable, not unambiguously for the better. It's better to concentrate on the screen's traditional TN virtues when it comes to gaming.
Okay, it's a classic TN panel, and that means black tones are corrupted with the slightest hint of blue, and there's a bit of bleed around the panel edge. Inevitably, you'll discover some compression of whites if you can be bothered to fire up the Lagom scales. This isn't the most accurate monitor ever made.
Great for gaming
But here's the thing – in many ways, this screen looks nearly as good as the low-cost IPS panel in Dell's Ultrasharp U2412M. The colours are in the same ball-park for richness and vibrancy. Indeed, thanks to the tighter pixel pitch and smoother anti-glare coating, it's sharper and clearer.
The colours aren't as accurate and the viewing angles fall short, but there's no denying HD video looks great and games look even better. What's more, the TN tech makes for excellent pixel response.
That's not a surprise, but what we weren't expecting at this price was BenQ's AMA or Advanced Motion Accelerator. It boils down to switchable pixel overdrive and offers just two settings. So it's not quite as sophisticated as the name suggests. But once enabled the response performance is fantastic.
Hell, even the chassis doesn't look half bad with its Stormtrooper-style glossy white plastics, even if the tilt-only stand is a very basic affair. Meanwhile, DVI, HDMI and VGA ports are all provided.
All of which brings us to the following remarkable conclusion. Regardless of cost, you could argue this is the best gaming monitor here. If £100 or so is your limit, that's awfully good news.
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