Nowadays, people won't take you seriously unless you have a big screen. The absolute is minimum 20 inches, with 22 and 24 inches fast becoming the norm. BenQ stands proud as one of our favourite manufacturers in the 24-inch category, thanks to its FP241W, and it's now trying to woo the rest of the world with its latest effort, the G2400W. It's simple, it's attractive and it only costs £250. Are these the makings for some serious monitor envy?
Right off the bat, the G2400W is an impressive monitor. Not because it's packing any crazy aesthetic features, but because it's simple and no nonsense. The minimalist styling really appeals to us, particularly on the all-black model. The bezel is thin, there are no trendy glossy bits: the whole thing is just nicely presented. It also comes in silver, but we'd only go for that model if you needed it to match your living room -- and your house is a space ship.
Considering it's half the price of other 24-inch monitors, the G2400W's specification impressed us. It runs at a WUXGA resolution of 1,920x1,200 pixels, which provides plenty of room for you to play with on-screen documents. The 5ms response time isn't the lowest we've seen quoted, but it's nippy enough not to cause any ghosting or blurring. We certainly didn't see any on the movies we subjected it to.
Three kinds of video connector are present on the underside of the G2400W. The analogue D-Sub port will prove useful to anyone with an older graphics card or a laptop with an analogue-only port. Those with newer laptops or desktops will appreciate the HDMI and DVI ports, which are Vista-ready so they'll accept HDCP-encrypted Blu-ray or HD DVD movies.
Being a BenQ monitor, the G2400W features the company's patented "Senseye+Photo" technology. This modifies the monitor's settings to give you the best picture depending on what you're doing at any given time. Modes include Standard, for everyday usage; Movie, for watching flicks; and Photo, which comes in handy when you're looking at party pictures on Facebook. A fourth mode, Dynamic, does its best to switch between the other three modes automatically, although this didn't work particularly well.
The G2400W delivers good image quality. It ran through our DisplayMate tests -- a virtual assault course for monitors -- without any problems. Colour separation was as good as you'd expect from a modern monitor, as was the greyscale reproduction.