BenQ EW2430 review
A monitor with all the features you might need - a 4-port USB hub and twin HDMI inputs are the highlights - but image quality was disappointing considering it's a VA panel
Review Date: 5 Oct 2011
Price when reviewed: £175
Reviewed By: Barry de la Rosa
BenQ's EW2430 is a Full HD 24in monitor with an LED backlight, two HDMI inputs and a four-port USB hub. What sets it apart from the vast majority of LCD panels out there is that it's a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel rather than the more common TN (Twisted Nematic) type - the names refer to the way the liquid crystals are arranged inside each LCD sub-pixel. VA panels are known for producing better colours, deeper blacks and wider viewing angles and we were amazed that the EW2430 only costs £175.
You get a lot for your money. A Full HD (1,920x1,080) resolution is now the norm on monitors over 22in, but you also get a choice of VGA, DVI or two HDMI inputs, so you could have your PC, a games console and a media streamer all connected at the same time. A four-port USB hub means you won't have to reach under your desk to plug in your mobile phone, MP3 player or flash drive.
The EW2430 doesn't have an adjustable stand, so you'll need to arrange your work space around it. It's an attractive monitor, with a glossy black casing and a stand made with brushed metal and chrome highlights that give it a slightly retro look. The on-screen menus are controlled with buttons behind the right-hand edge of the screen with labels pointing to them on the front, so are easy to find and use.
The monitor has BenQ's standard menu system, which is clear and logically laid-out. Picture controls include contrast, brightness, gamma and sharpness, and a Color section lets you choose between Bluish (cold), Reddish (warm), Normal and User - oddly, the Normal setting actually has Blue turned down to 88/100, making the image rather warm.
These controls are overridden for the most part by the separate Picture Mode setting, with Standard, Photo, Game, Movie and Eco presets, as well as an sRGB setting that locked down all other controls. The sRGB standard is meant to provide a baseline colour gamut, and we'd normally expect to see it under the Color section, but this way BenQ has made sure it's a reference colour mode which can't be changed.
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