Controls and OSD
The controls for the BenQ GW2250HM are accessible and easy to use. They’re a set of six physical buttons along the monitor’s right side, the middle four of which control the OSD.
We nearly always prefer the tactile feedback of these compared to touch ones, and thanks to clear labels on the monitor’s bezel, it’s fairly easy to know which one you’re pressing. Shortcuts are intelligently assigned too.
If we have any complaints, it’s that all the buttons are the same shape and size, even the ‘Auto’ button up top and power one at the bottom. The power button does have a green LED which makes using these controls in the dark easier.
The GW2250’s OSD is typical BenQ fare. It’s colourful and fairly straightforward, with all the options you might want. It’s just a pity some of them don’t have straightforward names, colour temperatures are measured in “Bluish” and “Reddish” rather than degrees Kelvin, and every preset except sRGB or Standard is horribly configured.
As mentioned, the BenQ GW2250HM uses a 22-inch, 1,920 x 1,080, matt VA panel. And apart from one little niggle, it holds up brilliantly. To get that niggle out of the way first, there’s an almost dithering-like variant of the slightly grainy effect that you most often see on matt IPS panels like the Dell UltraSharp U2410. But it’s only really visible against a pale background, and it’s subtle enough that you don’t notice it after a while.
In almost every other regard the image quality of the GW2250HM is superb, especially for the price. On the sRGB preset colours are relatively realistic, and on Standard you can manipulate everything from Gamma to Color Temperature (do not, we repeat not, use the other presets).
Contrast is excellent too, with even the subtlest dark detailing being visible. Viewing angles, meanwhile, are virtually indistinguishable form a decent IPS panel, with virtually no sign of contrast or colour shift.
There’s also no sign of backlight bleed and backlighting overall is fairly even, though on our sample there was a slight concentration on the right side. Still, watching a movie with black bars or playing a gloomy game in a darkened room, there is little sign of the distracting light variances that often crop up on monitors.
Last but not least, one of the main advantages that VA-type panels can have over IPS is their faster response time. BenQ claims a GTG of 4ms for the GW2250, and we didn’t notice any significant ghosting while playing an FPS title. This means that gamers after an affordable high-quality display will be better served with this 22-inch monitor than the 23-inch IPS ViewSonic VX2336s-LED.
Integrated invisibly into the monitor’s rear with its audio projecting out the top, the BenQ GW2250HM’s speaker is, in a word, pathetic. Mind you, it actually manages a nice level of clarity and detail without distortion, but its maximum volume is so weak you’re unlikely to use it for more than YouTube videos.
At £99.99, the 22-inch GW2250HM is undoubtedly one of the best-value monitors on the market. There really is no reason to buy a display with an inferior TN panel anymore when you can get this VA-based model for a price that most TN monitors can’t even match.
If you want a slightly larger display without the minor grainy effect and don’t play games that require lightning reflexes, the 23-inch ViewSonic VX2336s-LED can currently be found for £120 - but it’s not as pretty and doesn’t offer as many inputs or carry audio either. As such, we’re crowning the BenQ GW2250 our new budget champion.
BenQ has taken quality to new heights while taking price to new lows with this incredibly affordable VA monitor. The GW2250HM is the final nail in the coffin of cheap and nasty TN displays with their frequently terrible viewing angles and colour quality. It offers generally excellent image quality, decent build and generous connectivity in a slim package. Basically, if you’re after a nice Full HD monitor on a tight budget, you won’t find better than the BenQ GW2250HM.