As recently as three years ago, buying a good monitor – in other words, one not based on TN panel technology with its poor viewing angles and colour characteristics – meant shelling out serious money. More recently, however, affordable yet high-end displays like the IPS-sporting NEC MultiSync EA231WMi and the even cheaper cPVA Samsung SyncMaster F2380 meant even users on a budget could still get displays that were a level up.
BenQ got into this game with its 24in VW2420H, which we found to be impressive for its price. Now the monitor giant has a new model for the same tantalizing £177 as that display originally sold for. The BenQ EW2430 not only offers 24 inches of PVA goodness, but also gives you dual HDMIs as well as a USB hub, and packs it all into an attractive chassis with a brushed metal stand. Let's find out if it's the new budget champion for those discerning in their monitor taste.
The EW2430 arrives in two parts which are easy to assemble. We were afraid the display's low price might be evident in its build quality, as has been the case with past BenQ models such as the V2400W. Thankfully, this is not the case, and the EW2430 feels solid throughout. In particular its stand is one of the more solid examples we've come across.
There's only so much you can do with a monitor's design within a tight budget, but BenQ has managed to make its latest model stand out from the crowd with an all-metal stand that utilises a combination of brushed metal and chrome. The screen itself is surrounded by the usual glossy black plastic, but a brushed metal strip at its base and silver outer rim help to maintain a stylish slant.
One thing the EW2430 isn't is thin. Despite featuring LED backlighting, it would need a few months on a strict diet to match the VW2420H. But that's not necessarily a bad thing; after all, at 4.8cm it's already thin enough to be practical.
Though it's hardly unexpected, we're also slightly disappointed by the lack of extensive ergonomic adjustability. As with most sub-£200 monitors, there's no height or rotation available, just tilt. You'll get about 25 degrees of movement, and the action is nice and smooth.
One area where the EW2430 doesn't compromise is in energy savings. Once calibrated in sRGB mode, even watching a relatively bright video kept the amount of juice consumed below 17.5w, though obviously this will increase if using the hub and audio. The monitor doesn't get hot to the touch, and there's no noticeable buzzing