At the end of March I looked at the Samsung SyncMaster 244T and was amazed at how much it offered considering the price. At the time, finding a good 24in 1,920 x 1,200 monitor for around £800 was quite impressive, but it seems that things have moved on considerably since then. Sitting on my desk right now is the BenQ FP241W 24in monitor, which has even more tricks up its sleeve, while hitting a price point that makes the Samsung look expensive.
The first thing that you notice when you take this BenQ out of its box is that it comes in two pieces, like the Dell 2405FPW did. This makes it really easy to lift the FP241W out of the box – you simply place the stand on your desk then just clip the screen to the front of it. I was actually amazed at how easily the screen clipped into place and how secure it was afterwards.
Once set up you’ll see that despite the large screen size, BenQ has managed to surround the panel with a very slim bezel, at just under 2cm. That said, this is only very slightly slimmer than the bezel surrounding the Dell 2407WFP, but somehow it looks far slimmer, perhaps due to the silver, rather than black finish. The bezel and fascia are also kept very clean, with only a BenQ logo in the bottom left and an LED at the bottom right. There are some stickers in the top right corner, but you’ll probably remove those so that they don’t spoil the clean lines.
In order to achieve this clean fascia, BenQ has moved all the buttons to the right hand edge of the screen. At first this can be a little annoying since you have to stick your head around the side of the monitor in order to see which button does what. However, once you’ve been using the FP241W for a while, you just instinctively know where each button is and what it does, so there’s no need to crane your neck.
There are eight buttons in total at the side. The power button is at the top and is slightly separated from the others to avoid accidental activation. Below this is the Enter button, which also doubles as the Picture-in-Picture switcher. Next up are the up and down arrow keys, which also act as shortcuts for brightness and contrast adjustments. There’s the Menu/Exit button next which brings up the OSD and exits from it when you’ve finished making your adjustments.