The S-Video and composite-video inputs make this display ideal for watching DVDs or VHS and the picture-in-picture function lets you watch video while you're computing. The display also has a proliferation of USB ports: one upstream and four downstream (one USB cable is included). A 12V DC audio port on the back panel lets you connect a set of speakers to the display. Given the number of input options, you could accumulate lot of cable clutter with this display. Fortunately, a little cable-feed loop tucked discreetly behind the neck keeps things under control.
The FP2091's elegant design extends to the rest of the LCD. The base is an unusually shaped arched rectangle, and it remains stable as you adjust the display panel. The panel can be tilted backward and forward through a range of 30 degrees, it swivels smoothly from left to right, it pivots between portrait and landscape modes (PivotPro software is included), and the neck telescopes about 13cm. You push a button on the base of the neck to release the telescoping function, which helps you avoid accidentally raising or lowering the display. There's a similar button on the back of the display panel that quickly releases the panel from the neck, making it easy to attach the FP2091 to a VESA wall or swing-arm mount.
The BenQ FP2091 performed reasonably well in our DisplayMate-based tests. It produced sharp, clear text with good contrast and was especially good at reproducing bold, bright colours, as well as Web graphics. In greyscale test screens, it did a nice job of rendering a range of light-grey shades, but it did not achieve the same level of nuance on the charcoal-to-black end of the spectrum, and we noticed that as the greys got darker, they took on a greenish tinge that gave several test screens a dingy look. Also, we would have preferred a darker black. DVD playback was pretty smooth, although we noticed some digital noise in skin tones and coloured backgrounds. But unless you're a graphics professional (in which case you should get a CRT), you will be quite satisfied with this monitor's performance.
The FP2091 comes with a standard three-year warranty. Phone support is available at 75p a minute. The service and support page on BenQ's Web site allows you to email tech support, download new drivers and search a knowledge base for setup and troubleshooting information.
Edited by Charles McLellan
Additional editing by Tom Espiner