BenQ FP241W 24in Widescreen Monitor - BenQ FP241W

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

10

The last three buttons comprise an input switch, an auto adjust button and finally what BenQ calls a mode button. The latter works much like Samsung’s MagicBright button and switches between multiple pre-set screen configurations – you can choose between Standard, Movie, Dynamic and Photo. Obviously each mode adjusts the brightness, contrast and colour settings to match what ever task you’re undertaking at the time. Switching to Movie for example makes the image really punchy, with bright, vivid colours.

Looking at the rear of the FP241W reveals the feature that makes this monitor stand out from the crowd of other 24in widescreen displays – an HDMI port. Not only is there an HDMI port, but it’s an HDCP compliant HDMI port, so you’ll have no problem hooking up a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, or like I did, a Sky HD box.

There were absolutely no issues hooking up my Sky HD box to the FP241W, which would indicate that BenQ has certainly implemented its HDCP support correctly. With a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, I was getting the full benefit of the 1080i signal of the Sky box’s output and I have to say that the image looked superb. Playing back some Premiership football footage proved suitably breathtaking, with the pitch looking amazingly green and lifelike, while the vivid colours on the players’ shirts were superbly resolved without being oversaturated.

High definition movie footage looked equally impressive – in fact Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Garner have never looked so good as Mrs Smith and Elektra respectively. Obviously my choice of movies was all about the breadth of the footage rather than who was in them, honestly. What I did notice when watching films is that the BenQ does a good job of picking out detail in low light scenes, while blacks managed to look, well, black rather than grey. The 1000:1 contrast ratio is pretty good for what is, essentially a desktop monitor rather than a TV, and the results show that BenQ is being very honest with its specifications.

Despite the fact that HDMI carries digital audio as well as video, the FP241W doesn’t have any integrated speakers. I don’t see this as a big issue though, since integrated speakers are usually pretty poor, and it’s unlikely that any high definition source wouldn’t have separate digital and analogue audio outputs.

Jesper G

August 20, 2008, 12:04 am

Ok Its 2008 now... Is this still the best 24" monitor around? Really?? I read the review about the Dell 2408WFP, it seems to have some small (?) afflictions. I can not find this monitor on Benq´s homepage. Is the FP241WZ an update of this one, with the same excellent performance? Please answer this question pleeeeeeeeeeeaaase!!!!

Hans Gruber

August 21, 2008, 4:56 am

Yes, it's the same model but with the improved 'black frame insertion' motion smear reducing model. so technically better. LCD tech suffers from persistence in pixel switching - ie - they can't quite change colour fast enough and so there's a faint ghosting left behind. Inserting a black frame (faster than the human eye can really detect) is meant to kill this light residue off a fair bit so fast moving action doesn't display ghost artifacts. I'm using the original but am a lot less than 100% impressed with it. It does however have very good colour reproduction, contrast, black level support and is mighty bright. I personally don't have any problem with the above ghosting described though it does affect some more than others, however for standard definition material (I view tv on the monitor at times too) it can suck big time, especially for sports. Watching the football is not do-able which is pretty disappointing for a 'perfect' monitor really.





I don't think BenQ's technical support division is up to much though. The first monitor I had had significant banding and in attempting to sort this (relatively minor) issue out, they sent me two duds (DOAs) and then a screen that's even worse than the one I started out with. On top of the colour banding I now have a nice under-the-screen dirt mark permanently smeared so it can't be cleaned off plus regular intermittent monitor black outs, which is a very disconcerting effect when you're busy playing an online game and people are trying their best to kill you.





The 10/10 score needs to be taken into context by the offerings of more recent models, and particularly by other manufacturers as I don't think BenQ have even matched this level of performance let alone beaten it. The new Dell's with a very wide colour gamut range look good (the higher price usually signifies greater specification).





I'm not completely unhappy about this monitor (who could be?) but BenQ really need to sort their technical repair sub-contractors out to get the credibility of a reliable company. I've fallen into melancholy since I'm aghast and now apathetic with their defective support department. Giving up is easier.

Jesper G

August 22, 2008, 4:19 pm

Thanks Azro!





"The 10/10 score needs to be taken into context by the offerings of more recent models, and particularly by other manufacturers as I don't think BenQ have even matched this level of performance let alone beaten it."





But I don't understand why the reviewers of this site keep referring back to this display as the one the other brands can not beat (see the recent review of the Dell 2408 for example)? Does not the newer offerings bring more to the table (wide gamut, new technology..) that puts this Benq display in the shade? I would like the reviewers comment on this as well. Two years in technology development is like normal millennium

Hans Gruber

August 23, 2008, 10:51 am

Best place to ask is in the TR forum, Jesper G. You can read through the (long) BenQ FP241W thread and weight the pros and cons yourself. I doubt you'd be unhappy with the monitor if you bought it, but that would rather depend on the price you paid.





http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/ar... TFT Central is a good place to go if you wish to get updated info on any popular TFT (LCD) monitor. Here I've linked you the Dell TR reviewed and note Dell have since issued two or more firmware revisions, updating the monitor's internal software and thus dealing with some of the issues the monitor was purported to display (pun slightly intended). The BenQ FP241W series were NOT problem free and pretty much had a million people griping about some issue (however significant) or other. There's a magnum opus of a thread over at the http://www.hardocp.com/ forums all about this monitor. I've recounted my own problems with it and you should not expect absolute perfection from a monitor unless you really go very high end indeed with an Eizo or similar with proper colour calibration built in.





It all depends on what you want your monitor for, a general do it all monitor like the Dell or BenQ or absolute colour accuracy as with NEC, Eizo et al's professional range. Scout about.

Msat

November 10, 2008, 6:58 pm

I have bought this monitor after reading the reviews here and it was a real dissapointment.


First it is so slow you can't really use it for gaming. I haven't had the chance to compare it with another LCD but as first impression, it's just too slow for gaming.


Second, as it comes out of the box, the contrast and brightness are so high, the picture is distorted. I had to put both brightness and contrast to 0 (zero) before I could start using it.


Third, it can not make a true red color. The red on this monitor is orange. So for graphics sucks.


And YES I have benn trying all kind of calibrations. It's just not it. I wouldn't give it more than 6 on a 1 to 10 scale.





Control buttons, are on a side so if you need to do adjustments on it you need to turn the screen so you can see the labels on the buttons. It's really inconvenient.








I am selling it and will go for a dell ultrabright. My laptop is a dell with ultrabright screen and it's a dream. If they made the 24" screens as good as the screen on my laptop, I'll be more than happy.

James 9

December 20, 2008, 10:52 pm

About two years ago I bought this monitor. I cannot afford to upgrade my PC so am going to get a PS3 / X-Box 360. As the monitor has no speakers, does anyone know how I can connect the screen (via HDMI) and my Logitec X-530 to, for example, a PS3; I have read about a Logitech games consol adapter which I do not have - would that still work as it was meant for the PS2?





Thanks,





James

Cros

January 14, 2009, 10:56 pm

James:


A PS3 can be set to output sound on a "regular" sound cable while still outputting video through HDMI. Video and sound settings are separate, so there would be no problem for you to get the sound through a regular PC sound system or similar.

Ian 10

March 10, 2009, 3:40 am

Hi,


I'm looking at getting a 24" widescreen with HDMI so that I can attach an Xbox 360 Elite as well as my PC to it. I was wondering how you reckon the BenQ FP241W shapes up against the NEC MultiSync 24WMGX3, and if there are any other alternative 24" monitors with HDMI.





Thanks


Ian

Vacationer

April 22, 2009, 10:54 am

I got BenQ FP241WZ - a bit newer model. As a photographer I can give 9 for image quality. I don't like tones in-between black and white and sometimes in-between some colour and white. On white side it's giving to you a some kind yellow tone. I'm not black and white photographer so it's not a big problem to me. I think for designers that ghostly yellow can be annoying too...


Full HD movies and games looks just stunning.


When I bought a monitor I paid 𧼮 and it's came faulty with some spot on the screen. I called to BENQ and it was changed in few days (15 days policy after purchasing).


I'm using monitor 8 - 12 hours a day and after almost 3 years I got on the screen some ghostly lines. There is a few some kind lines or liny mark on 2x5 inch area that you can see sometimes and very hardly. I see it maybe a few times a month when I'm working with pictures. I don't know causality of this failure but because it's almost not troubling me I'm don't bother about it.

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