This is a monitor with a USP. The 21.5in BenQ RL2240H has been designed in co-ordination with a professional South Korean Starcraft 2 team known as Startale. We've heard of specialist FPS monitors that focus on getting the fastest response time possible, but what on earth can an RTS gamer demand from a monitor when they have the next 50 gaming commands stacked-up already?
As a TN monitor, the RL2240H predictably has a nice and fast quoted response time of 2ms (grey-to-grey), but that's not what makes this a strategy gaming-focused monitor. It's the array of scaling options and dedicated RTS mode that win it those real time strategy cred points.
We'll cover what these do later, because the first thing that struck us about the BenQ R L2240H is how little it looks like a "pro gaming" monitor. It's smooth and glossy white, an unusual choice where we would have expected something black, and either simple or over-the-top gaudy, in Alienware style. This is an anomaly BenQ's publicity pictures seem to support. Look below - yes, the Startale chaps may be using the RL2240H, but it doesn’t look anything like their monitors, visible in the background, does it?
The Startale crew, as seen on BenQ's website
The monitor is also very light, with no extra stabilising weight in the base, should you get a bit excited during a skirmish and give it a knock. Its featherweight nature will make it easier to take around to friends' houses and such, but in these days of connected gaming, we imagine most buyers will do their playing at home rather in a room full of humming PSUs.
Connectivity is decent for an entry-level model. It has DVI, HDMI and VGA inputs, where some models still lack HDMI or DVI at this price - only a few, mind.
There is no built-in speaker, although as performance offered by speakers of LCD monitors is so poor, it's not something we mourn. More of an issue is that you can't configure the RL2240H's orientation much. There's about 25 degrees of up-down tilt available, but no height adjustment and no horizontal swivel room severely limit the flexibility of the monitor.
The BenQ RL2240H doesn't make a great first impression. It feels unsubstantial, a bit cheap, and we'd imagine many gamers would be happier with the more stylish looks of something like the Samsung B2230N than the glossy white here - which will stand out like a pin-stripe suited business man at a LAN party next to most people's computers.