BenQ EW2430 - Connectivity, Controls and Speakers

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Connectivity is where the BenQ EW2430 really sets itself

apart from similarly-priced competition. For video there are two

HDMI ports and a DVI connector. If your laptop doesn’t offer a digital

output, fear not, as good old VGA is also invited to the party. This is a

superb selection of video connections, and means you can hook up your PS3 and

Xbox 360 along with a PC and laptop or netbook without needing to purchase a

separate HDMI switcher.

A USB port at the back provides the link to the integrated

four-port hub that’s easily accessible at the monitor’s left side. Of course

the HDMI ports carry audio, but BenQ also provides 3.5mm line in and out jacks,

in addition to a dedicated headphone jack. BenQ has truly outdone itself here,

and our only niggle is that it maintains the habit of not including a digital

video cable in the box, though you do get ones for VGA, audio and USB.

A metal power button that’s circled by an LED ring sits on

the front. It glows green when active and orange

when in standby. The rest of the controls are located around the monitor’s

rear, though they’re easy to find with your fingers and icons on the front

bezel let you know which button you’re pressing. The buttons themselves are a tad too stiff but

otherwise quite usable.

The OSD is BenQ’s usual colourful affair, offering plenty of

options for fine-tuning while remaining straightforward to navigate through. There’s

a handy list of presets, including Movie, Standard, Eco, sRGB, Photo and Game

presets. None of them are configured ideally, with most setting the brightness

way too high. Thankfully though, they’re all adjustable to some extent, so they

can be set up to be truly useful. It’s interesting to note that none of them

activate Dynamic Contrast by default, leaving you to activate it, with a choice

of how intensive it is. To be honest we would leave it off, as it’s not needed in this case and can lead to noticeable jumps in the level of brightness.

We’re usually a little wary of inbuilt monitor speakers, but

we’ve come across a few good examples over the years. Unfortunately, the EW2430

isn’t one of these. Its subtly integrated 2W speakers lack volume and bass,

and they’re not maestros in terms of clarity or fine detail either. They’re

just about usable, but frankly belie the monitor’s ‘Room Theatre’ entertainment

centre ethos, as you will want to hook up external speakers or some good

headphones to get decent quality in movies, games, and especially music.

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