BenQ XL2411T £220
20th Mar 2013 | 09:30
A brilliant TN panel? Sounds like an oxymoron to me...
So, we've established that 3D is dead, right? Good. And we've also established that the only thing that would have us accepting a TN panel over an IPS one is the beauty of a high 120Hz+ refresh rate, right?
With the Asus VG248 we've established that paying over £300 for a 24-inch screen - even if it does have a 144Hz headline spec - is something we just can't get behind.
With all those foundations firmly established, all BenQ needs to do with a new gaming screen is chop out the integrated IR receiver and bundled 3D goggles, hack up the asking price and supply a monitor with a high refresh rate and an excellent TN panel. Sound like a lot to ask? Well, BenQ knew what we wanted before we even asked and has sent us the new XL2411T to play with.
And it's just, well, brilliant. It may be around £100 cheaper than the equivalent 24-inch 144Hz screen from Asus, but there's not a hint of budget aspiration in sight. This is a great screen, with top TN technology inside it and all for an excellent price.
BenQ's XL2420T and TX screens were great examples of quality 3D-capable monitors, but both were the same size as this screen and were vastly more expensive. The XL2411T has cut out a few of the luxuries, namely that funky little profile switcher and the natty red and black stand. But when the panel is this good, I think we can happily forgo the pleasures of a splash of red and a mostly unnecessary break-out controller for our screen.
The XL2411T still has a fully adjustable stand, allowing you to rotate the display 90° for portrait mode - and it's VESA-compatible, unlike a lot of the IPS screens we've seen recently.
BenQ has also carried over the design decisions it made for the onscreen display (OSD) on its pricier panels. Instead of being sidemounted, the controls are in the more familiar location under the bottom bezel, and they're still context sensitive, displaying onscreen what the buttons do in any situation. BenQ has nailed the OSD, and we hope other manufacturers are taking notes as most controls feel like Torquemada himself designed them.
But it's not just the price and design that have impressed me, the quality of the display itself is fantastic. It's got that lovely 120Hz smoothness to everything you do on the desktop, and because of the improvements in TN tech the image quality is great too. The contrast is excellent, the black levels are impressive and the white saturation is solid if not perfect - and there's minimal pixel-walk and zero banding in the colour gradients either.
Compared side-by-side, it looks to be a better panel than the Asus VG248, despite being £100 lower in price. The XL2411T is the most affordable 120Hz screen we've seen so far - being only just north of £200 - and it's arguably one of the best quality ones.
The design of the panel's surrounds may be less inspiring than a Lance Armstrong motivational video, but it's more than functional and it has that excellent screen. Thankfully, we can forget about 3D and enjoy this brilliant TN.