bit-tech.net

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review

Manufacturer: BenQ
UK price (as reviewed):
£239.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable

Zowie, popular for its gaming peripherals, most notably for its mice which are well respected among gaming pros, was quietly incorporated into BenQ in late 2015. Since then, BenQ has re-released a number of its more gamer-oriented screens under the Zowie brand. One of these is the XL2411, a monitor aimed specifically at eSports professionals. It sports a 24in, 1080p panel with a 144Hz maximum refresh rate, which will help users take advantage of the very high frame rates achievable in easy-to-run eSports titles and reduce the perception of input lag: The more frames a monitor can display in a given second the quicker your inputs will be translated into visual information.

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review
Click to enlarge

Monitors rarely vary wildly in design, other than those described as 'lifestyle' screens. As such, the abundance of black plastic here is no surprise; the XL2411 keeps things sensible. After all, the bit that you really want to look good is the display itself. In fact, BenQ says the edging around the frame is specifically designed to minimise reflection and distraction, although we can't it was a game-changer. The thicker bit along the bottom houses the menu control buttons and is the only part you might consider a slight eyesore.

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review
Click to enlarge

The XL2411 is very easy to assemble: Slot the stand into the base and secure it with a single tool-free screw. It's also highly adjustable, offering the full range of motions. You can swivel left and right, 45 degrees in either direction, adjust the height through 130mm, tilt downwards 5 degrees and upwards 20 degrees and even rotate the entire monitor through 90 degrees to have it in portrait mode. Such flexibility is all the more important when using a TN panel, as this screen does, since viewing angles are typically poor. The clip at the back used to activate the height adjustment mechanism, but this niggle is more than made up for by the range of motion available.

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review
Click to enlarge

The display inputs face downwards so some fiddling may be required when connecting devices, but most people don't do this with any regularity. HDMI and VGA ports are included, but it's the dual-link DVI port you'll need to use to run the screen at 144Hz. The absence of DisplayPort or a HDMI standard capable of driving 144Hz at 1080p is a bit concerning and indicative of laziness of BenQ's part. AMD's latest cards, for example, do not include a DVI connector at all by default; some board partners may include them, however. When refreshing this screen under the Zowie brand, we think BenQ could easily have given users a few extra options for taking advantage of one of its key selling points instead of forcing some (a minority, admittedly) to buy adaptor cables. Thankfully, a dual-link DVI cable is at least included in the box.

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review
Click to enlarge

Other connectivity options are slim. The screen doesn't sport any speakers, although this definitely isn't a complaint. Most users will be using the DVI connection anyway and this doesn't carry audio, and monitor speakers are invariably rubbish anyway. You do get a side-facing headphone jack to utilise the audio output of the HDMI port if needed (maybe with a console, for example), but there's no USB hub here.

BenQ Zowie XL2411 Review
Click to enlarge

The menu buttons are hidden on the underside of the thicker bezel section. Pressing any of them will bring up the context-sensitive menu, with symbols onscreen indicating what the button beneath will do at any given time. It's an effective system and the menus are logically laid out, although some options do take a few more presses than we'd like to access.

As ever, there's a variety of settings for image control, and most of the usual ones you'd expect are there. Most notable, perhaps, is 'Black eQualiser', which is designed to bring out the visibility of darker in-game areas without overexposing brighter ones. You also get a series of image modes for things like movies, photos, and a trio of gaming ones as well as three custom profiles that you can edit and save.

Specifications

  • Screen size: 24in
  • Panel technology: TN
  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Maximum refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Variable refresh rate: No
  • Brightness: 350cd/m2
  • Contrast ratio: 1,000:1
  • Response time: 1ms
  • Connectors: 1 x dual-link DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x VGA
  • USB: No
  • VESA wall-mount: Yes, 100 x 100
  • Adjustments: Height, pivot, rotation, tilt
  • Speakers: No