Like our computers, which went from boring beige boxes to sleek LED-lit designer machines, monitors have become ever more style conscious. But despite some real stunners making their way through the TR offices, LCD monitors that focus primarily on looks are still an emerging market. Perhaps the most successful example of such a monitor to date is Samsung's Pebble range, and the company doesn't look to be letting up, with its gorgeous Touch of Colour series stealing quite a few headlines and hearts.
One company you would not necessarily associate with eye-catching looks is BenQ, but that might be set to change, because its V2400W under review today is probably the most attractive 24in monitor we have ever seen.
And BenQ is not modest about its achievement either. In its marketing, it refers to things like "magic through unexpected asymmetry". It has even come up with a new category of design; Kinergy-Design, setting a "new trend in the world of design which is found between minimalism and luxury: simple, yet extraordinary". To me it just sounds like its new monitor wasn't the only thing BenQ applied asymmetrical principles to. But cutting past literally a page of near-poetic marketing fluff, what does the V2400W actually bring to the desk to cause such unusually extensive praise?
Apart from having already received 2008 iF and Red Dot design awards, the V2400W is the thinnest 24in LCD monitor in the world, measuring a mere 6cm (2.44in) at its maximum depth. The bezel is also among the slimmer ones in the market, and the entire affair is set on a uniquely positioned, off-centre base.
But before getting caught up in describing its inspired design, let's get a major disappointment out of the way. Even though the V2400W comes equipped with HDMI and DVI connections in addition to VGA, the only video cable you will find in the box is the latter: analogue VGA. This might have been acceptable in the days when DVI was just emerging as a standard, but those days are thankfully long gone. By failing to provide digital connectivity out of the box, BenQ is not only doing a disservice to its customers, but also to its display, for not allowing it to show its best.