Not everything I wright makes sense because I am from Texas, but not really and I will probably have to further edit this. Please keep this in mind when reading my overly long review, don't kill me and have fun.
I don't care about viewing angles so don't expect any real information regarding them. I sit in front of my monitors and don't shift my head side to side or try and view it from 45 degrees off angle and complain. There is little gamma shift and the viewing angles are better then any TN panel on the BenQ EW2420, but not as good off angle as they are on the Samsung F2380MX.
BenQ EW2420 A-MVA 3,000:1 ANSI Contrast LED Monitor Review
Being listed as an 8ms GTG BenQ's new A-MVA panels may put off some buyers simply because of the qouted response time. Being a VA panel is strike #2 agaisnt the BenQ's, and the recent performance of Samsung/Eizo's C-PVA panels with their color streaking is strike #3.
First off lets dismiss the myth around VA panels always being slow. As a previous owner of Samsung's 2007 S-PVA 275t I can prove the contrary. In fact the 275t is one of the fastest 60hz panels I've seen next to the current 60hz king the Samsung PX2370.
For this review the 275t is going to be the reference image for response time. Though it has 30ms of input lag, it is still an extremely fast panel:
Now for the sake of comparison here's Samsung's current C-PVA panel the F2380MX which has 7ms of input lag and can have color streaking galore depending on the content:
Some background on the F2380MX. The PixerPixAn race car and flag test results are quite good. In fact motion blur is pretty scarce on the MX, it just can't handle certain color transitions which leads to color streaking on faces and usually low contrasted scenes including reds and greys.
Both the Samsung F2380Mx and BenQ EW2420 fail the Prad red box test and have a clear dark red ghost image trailing the box at all times.
PRAD | Testprogramme | Schlierentest
Note: AMA must be set to ON under the Picture Menu in the OSD to achieve this result.
As you can see the BenQ shows some dark trailing by comparison to the Samsung F2380MX, and neither panel is as fast as the Samsung 275t. Despite performing identically to the MX in the Prad Red Box test the BenQ barely suffers from color streaking in games or films.
There is some noticeable motion blur/over drive trailing with fast camera pans or fast moving objects across the screen and color streaking with desaturated low contrast colors/scenes (think Left 4 Dead 2 The Sacrifice or Perfect Dark on XBL) however despite being noticeable it's certainly not enough to become annoying or disrupt a gamers vision/skill level in fast paced games.
Keep in mind that very high contrast ratio should be the main reason for purchasing a panel like the BenQ. This is a monitor that should be purchased by picture quality enthusiasts that don't need the response time a 120hz panel offers and don't want to be stuck with the much lower contrast most other monitors offer.
Right now the BenQ is the only "affordable," option as the Eizo EV2333W-BK which features a C-PVA panel costs around 600$, but also has 20ms of input lag and color streaking. It will give overall better image quality but at twice the price (BenQ only costs 256$+12% HST in Canada)
Eizo EV2333WH-BK Review:
The Eizo's succeser the Foris FS2311H should be released soon if one truly wants the best in class image quality and response time:
Review (they measured 9ms of Input Lag):
Again it's important to note that the Foris FS2311-BK will most like cost around 600$. I wanted to mention it just in case people are put off by my Response Time Impressions and want something else to look forward too.
Response Time Score:
Is reservered for 120hz panels only.
Unforunately I have no way of measuring input lag so it comes down to my subjective experience with multiple panels.
Having the BenQ EW2420 next to a 7ms panel
PRAD | Review Samsung F2380
I can safely say from experience with multiple panels ranging from the Samsung PX2370 (3ms) to the Samsung 275t (30ms) that input lag is easily under 1 frame (16.7ms). I found it mostly nearly impossible to tell the difference between the Samsung F2380MX and BenQ EW2420 because both essentially have negligible input lag, though I did find the MX to feel slightly faster.
I hope this is a good enough evalution as it may be a while before we some some Professional Reviews from TFT Central, Digital Versus, or Prad that will give us some reliable numbers.
Input Lag Score:
Default Color Accuracy
Default color accuracy simply sucks on the BenQ EW2420 unfortunately. All of the presets are totally off in terms of Color Temperature (closet to the 6500K standard is 6900k) and reaching an accurate DeltaE value of 3.0 (none come close). I guess one point is that the BenQ reaches it's qouted maximum brightness value of 250cdm/2 easily and can put out an incredibly bright and oversaturated picture which some people may love. If you want an extremely oversatured picture with a deep black level the BenQ is for you.
Default Contrast/black depth is impressive though @ 253cdm/2 brightness the black value is 0.09cdm/2 which almost every other panel tech to shame as even the best PVA panels struggle to get down to 0.10cdm/2 black depth @ half the brightness.
Default Color Accuracy Score:
Using my Eye One Display 2 Colorimeter and the Eye One Match 3/BasICColor calibration programs I calibrated the BenQ EW2420. I calibrated it with both Eye One Match 3 and BasICColor twice on two different days just to make sure I got the same results and my colorimeter hadn't drifted during calibration (resulting in measurement errors).
Eye One Display 2 Product Page
X-Rite: Get exactly the color you need, every time, anywhere in the world.
BasICColor Product Page
Being a VA panel one should expect best in class black depth, great viewing angles (IPS remains king) and excellent color accuracy.
The BenQ EW2420 uses an A-MVA panel and has a qouted 3,000:1 static contrast ratio. So far only the Eizo/Samsung C-PVA panels have been proven to reach such a high value while most TN's average around 850:1 and IPS panels generally have medicore contrast ratios from around 500-750:1 with a few exceptions lately (Dell U231H, NEC PA231W, Fujitsu P22W-5 ECO IPS).
Disapointingly the Default Color Accuracy on the EW2420 sucks, especially considering TN panels like the Acer G245H, Samsung PX2370/XL2370, Acer H243H all come with accurate presets.
Fortunately fixing the BenQ's poor out-of-the box settings is simple enough.
121cdm/2 Calibrated Settings
Color-Color Temperature: User Mode:
AMA (RTC): ON
Calibration was very easy. The OSD Menu is easy to navigate and has a lot of options, though not as good as Samsung's OSD, there's really nothing wrong with BenQ's. After messing around with the default color presets I simply set the Brightness to 50, Contrast to 90 and the RGB values to 75 as this usually seems to get good results that are close to Calibration universally across most of the monitors I've tested.
Aiming for the Color Temperature Standard of 6500k, Gamma 2.2 and a brightness value of 120cdm/2 I achieved these results with the BenQ EW2420:
Eye One Match 3
3,000:1 contrast ratio is easily achieved! On top of that yout get a nice deep black of 0.04cdm/2, matching the Samsung F2380MX! There is no point in having a review if you don't have results to compare to:
Samsung F2380MX Results
Eye One Match 3
While both have nearly identical Contrast/Black Level and Color Temperature results all of which are outstanding, the Samsung F2380MX has the edge due to it's Delta E averaging under the 1.0 mark, meaning their is less room for error. Though when side-by-side it's extremely hard to tell the 2 panels apart especially considering once you fall under a Delta E average of 3.0 only extreme color enthusiasts and the most experienced reviewers will be able to tell the difference.
One thing to note is that the F2380MX retains it's deep black level when raising the brightness to lets say 160cdm/2 (only rises to 0.05cdm/2 while the BenQ rises to 0.06cdm/2). Due to slightly better Color Accuracy and Contrast performance the Samsung F2380MX out shines the BenQ EW2420
Calibrated Results Score:
Overall Image Quality
It's time for the final showdown, and the sad downfall of the BenQ EW2420. I have taken 5 pictures of each monitor to highlight the weakness of the BenQ EW2420. It may be that I just received a bad panel (I plan on exchanging it this week).
The BenQ EW2420 suffers from being and edge lit LED panel. As a result of being LED all four corners are tinted blue, which becomes a problem during dark content and dark room viewing.
Left 4 Dead 2
Constantine HD-DVD Xbox 360 HDMI Play Back
Back Light Comparison in a Dark Room
Acer G245H(TN Panel 930:1 Contrast/0.13cdm/2 Black Depth @ 120cdm/2 Luminance)
The Left 4 Dead 2 "No Mercy," picture clearly shows how dark scenes are tinted blue, as do the backlight unifmormity pcitures. I am no photography expert and my Camera (Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS) isn't exactly accurate so take these photos with a grain of salt and don't make conclusions. These pictures were taken simply to try and demonstrate the blue tinge the BenQ EW2420 exhibits and the poor backlight unifmormity. In "real life," the 2 monitors are nearly indistinguishable except during Widescreen movies with letter box bars and dark content.
In terms of overall image quality the BenQ EW2420 lags behind due to the poor screen uniformity. It may just be my unit which I plan to exchange (will update later), but for now I have to detract some points. Generally both the BenQ and Samsung have indistinguishable image quality. The BenQ would receive a 5 star rating and I would even give it the upper hand due to the Semi-Gloss screen in terms of overall image quality if it weren't for the disapointing backlight.
Over All Image Quality Score:
AG Coating/Glossy Evaluation+Comparisons
Another positive for the BenQ is the lack of AG coating and it's use of a Semi-Gloss Screen. Many people hate the thick AG coating that alot of IPS panels come with while others hate Glossy Panels due to them always being prone to reflections. The BenQ only suffers from minor reflections during completely dark scenes.
Acer G245H (Glossy TN)
This is an old picture with different camera settings which is why the colors look far more Vivid. In reality both the BenQ and Samsung look much better due to the much higher contrast ratio. This picture is simply here to show how you can clearly see my reflection due to the Acer's Glossy Screen.
BenQ EW2420 (Semi Gloss Screen)
Samsung F2380MX (extremely minor AG coating=perfection in my books)
I'm not going to assign a rating as screen coating is a completely preferential matter. Having experience with all types of screen coating I must admit I am biased towards the minimal AG coating the Samsung F2380MX has which is less then a typical TN's AG coating.
The BenQ EW2420 is the perfect compromise between screen coatings. My Glossy Acer G245H is very prone to relfections, especially in dark scenes to the point where I can see myself completely when the lights are out. The BenQ barely relfects any light to the point where I don't think it can be captured on camera unlike with the G245H. Whites look whiter and colors look vibrant without the dirty screen effect AG coating will reveal. This makes the BenQ suitable for any enviroment and it should definately satisfy those who can't stand either end of the screen coating spectrum and are putting up with their current set up due to having no other option.
I was extremely hyped for the BenQ EW2420, to say it's not a grand disapointment would be a lie. My disapointment lies with the EW2420's poor backlight where all 4 corners are tinged blue and there is significant dark content ruining light bleed and the terrible color presets. Though the default color accuracy is meaningless to me as I can calibrate the panel, the BenQ is still going to lose some points as the default presets are unaceptable compared to some of the more recent TN panels.
I didn't rave nearly enough about the EW2420's deep blacks and saturated colors. It's not a phenomenon for me, but I certainly do welcome the BenQ into the "1st Class Deep Black," plane section which currently only has 2 members (Eizo/Samsung C-PVA panels). The Semi-Gloss screen means I no longer have to put up with the dirty AG coating effect the Samsung F2380MX exhibits (though very minimal compared to a typical Matte TN panel).
Calibrated Contrast and Color Accuracy would be essentially indistinguishable to the Samsung F2380MX, I would even give the upper hand to the BenQ if it weren't for the backlight bleed as it's Semi-Gloss screen is a major selling point to me.
Because of the backlighting the BenQ even loses out to my previous Glossy TN the Acer G245H in terms of dark scene performance and shadow detail as it exhibited very minimal bleed despite only clocking in with a black level of 0.13cdm/2 @120cdm/2 luminance.
BenQ EW2420 +/-
+Semi-Gloss screen=no more dirty AG coating with minorl relfections.
+Colors look slightly more Vivid over a Matte screen
+3,000:1 Static Contrast Ratio
+Very Accurate Color after Calibration
+Deep Black level of 0.04cdm/2 @120cdm/2 Luminance
+Improved Response time over the Samsung F2380MX
+Very Low Input Lag
+Ergonomics (refer to product page)
+Price point of 256$ in Canada
-Medicore Backlight Uniformity ruins dark content
-Blacks Tinge Blue resulting in poor shadow detail
-Unacceptable Default Color Accuracy in all the Preset Modes
-Minor but visible over drive trailing and color streaking with low contrast/desaturated content and fast movement
-Can't match C-PVA's deep blacks at higher luminance
Ergonomically speaking the BenQ gets a , so being rated out of 6 categories the BenQ EW2420 gets a