OSD Menus

The OSD controls for the EW2420 are broken down into five main screens: Display, Picture, Picture Advanced, Audio, and System. For most users the Display screen will go unused as it only applies to the non-digital D-sub input. It would probably be better if BenQ moved this screen to a lower selection in the menu instead of being the initial choice, as it will be used so much less compared to the other choices. Picture contains your standard Brightness and Contrast settings, as well as a Sharpness control, a Gamma control that is welcome to see, Color for an advanced Color sub-menu, and AMA. AMA enables panel overdrive to take the Gray-to-Gray times from 25ms down to 8ms. If you are using the panel for gaming, this sounds like an option you will want to enable, but we’ll see later how much it actually helps.

If you venture into the Color sub-menu, you will find a single set of RGB gain controls for the white balance, as well as a hue and saturation control. These are only enabled if you select the User Mode choice from the different color modes available. The Normal and User modes were closer to 6500K in temperature than either the Reddish or Bluish choices, which were so far off the mark I can’t imagine someone using them as their choice.

Picture Advanced lets you pick between different picture modes that claim to be designed for different content types, but the majority of these are very skewed and not likely to be used. The Standard and sRGB modes provided the best results of the available choices, and I went with Standard as it allowed for the most customization. The Senseye Demo mode allows you to compare the Standard mode in a split screen to the other picture modes, in case you want to see how drastically they affect the image. Dynamic Contrast affects how aggressively the LED lighting operates (it’s automatically disabled on sRGB, Standard, and Eco modes) and Display Mode lets you choose if you want to have images scaled to use the entire screen, or if you want to maintain the correct aspect ratio on a signal that isn’t 1080p.

Color format lets you choose between YUV or RGB encoding for your digital video signal, which we will test in a later section for color handling capabilities, and finally the HDMI RGB PC Range lets you select between RGB PC video levels (0-255) and RGB Video Levels (16-235). As the EW2420 is designed to serve as a multi-purpose display, this will be very important if one of the HDMI inputs is used with a digital TV tuner, PS3, Xbox 360, or other device that uses the video range. Having the incorrect range would lead to crushed highlights and a lack of shadow detail on all of your video material, since the monitor would be optimized for the wrong range.

Audio lets you set the volume of the speakers, mute the audio, and select the source for the audio. Using a Mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter on my MacBook Air, I was able to send audio perfectly fine to the BenQ, though even at bare minimum the volume was louder than I would have preferred it to be. The sound wasn’t anything fantastic, but it was better than the speakers in my laptop and will work just fine for occasional use. If you want higher quality sound, I’d recommend using the headphone jack on the left side of the display, or a separate set of speakers. Finally, the System menu provides your standard functions such as input selection, OSD positioning and time out, DDC/CI control, and information on the signal being received.

The OSD is reasonably easy to navigate through, though I often found myself hitting a button to go in the wrong direction than I intended. A label on the screen that showed which direction each button would move the cursor would be nice. Additionally the Auto button at the top is going to be used very little by people now that analog connections are so uncommon for people to use on their display. Much like defaulting to the Display screen initially in the menus, this seems to be a design touch that is out-of-date now.

Introduction and Hardware Impressions Viewing Angles and Color Quality
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  • dcollins - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    That makes absolutely no sense. How could less resolution in the same size possibly be worse for working? You get more vertical and horizontal space.
  • mi1stormilst - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    It seems to me that it is really hard to make choices about which monitors are the best for gaming and photo editing below $400.00. What I want is a good IPS or VA based monitor that is great on color reproduction, but fast enough to game with and then pair it with two decent TN based panels (sides) for some fun eyefinity stuff. I need to replay Deus Ex in triple portrait mode soon or I am going to go crazy ;-P
  • LordSojar - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    The choice is actually very easy....

    The ASUS PA246Q is by far the best gaming and photo editing monitor available, period. Turn off trace completely for gaming and you've got one wicked gaming monitor... and it's 98% Adobe RBG space. I own one, and will NEVER go back to any TN garbage nor will I ever "upgrade" to a 16:9 monitor that has an IPS panel. Blasphemy!
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    That monitor should be a few bucks over $400 though.
  • mobutu - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    People really should educate themselves and never ever buy crappy TN.
    In notebooks/laptops/nettops/ultrabooks too. Crappy TN with crappy Glossy ... yuck!
  • dcollins - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    I don't do print or serious color work, don't play first person shooters, and only use my monitor sitting in the same spot at my desk.

    I can get a 23" Acer TN panel monitor for $150 that serves my needs. Why waste $200 on features I do not need?
  • cactusdog - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    People should educate themselves about changes in the computer industry and changes in technology, instead of regurgitating old out of date information from 2004.

    120Hz is the new must have for gamers and will be standard kit within the next year or so. Only people who never tried a 120Hz say they will only use 60Hz IPS.

    I know guys selling their U2711's for SA950's thats how good they are.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    "The BenQ EW2420 has LED backlighting but still only covers the standard sRGB colorspace"
    That reads a bit strange (though not wrong). As far as I know, normal LED backlighting has inferior color range than CCFL (which is used in most wide-gamut and professional monitors). The only way for LED to offer competitive color range is to use RGB LEDs. Your statement above makes it sound as though LED generally has superior color range, but just this one monitor doesn't make use of it. :-) Or am I wrong?

    Otherwise, I don't see the appeal in 1080p @ 24". But good review!
  • cheinonen - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    Correct. I know many people that see LED backlighting and think "Oh, it has a wider color spectrum then!" since many of the initial LED displays did use RGB LEDs to have that larger spectrum, or at least promoted it as a major feature of being LED based. I just wanted to be clear that it wasn't the case here. It's always a fine line between assuming too much or too little when you try to figure out how detailed to be on every point.
  • dingetje - Thursday, October 13, 2011 - link

    no thanks BENQ....16:9 panels are crap

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