On first use you’ll probably find the X2200W very bright. It’s a common facet of consumer monitors, which often arrive out of the box with excessively high brightness settings since manufacturers believe this to the best way to “wow” the customer straight away. It’s also very vibrant, which is another common occurrence where high colour gamut displays are concerned. Greens are the most noticeable in this respect and some may see the need to tone things down a little.
Once tweaked, though, we found the X2200W to be a very capable display. In DisplayMate it performed admirably, with good colour fidelity and gradation in the Colour Scales and very smooth gradients on the intensity tests with only the smallest hint of banding. A dark screen showed some minor light bleed from both the bottom and top edges, but nothing bad enough to truly affect the overall image. Unfortunately, though, despite advances these new TN Film panels still struggle in the Dark-Grey Scale, with compression on the dark end of the scale that suggests that detail in dark scenes will be a problem. This was repeated in the White-Level Saturation test, with compression on the brighter end of the scale.
Still, these are synthetic tests and in general use these aspects won’t affect the majority of users. Video playback was good, with high definition content looking the part thanks to predominantly smooth motion, vibrant but not overwhelming colours and neutral skin tones. Much the same can be said of games and it ought to be noted these impressions are based on using normal settings, not any of the picture modes on offer. Black levels were also decent for LCD monitor, though the aforementioned lack of detail in dark scenes was evident.
Yet, despite this decent effort we can’t quite wholeheartedly recommend the X2200W. It has many good qualities, with a good selection of inputs and an attractive design. Indeed, had it boasted more adjustability and a more competitive price, it might have become more attractive. However, there are a few too many niggling doubts, which for a monitor in this price bracket isn’t ideal.
Even accepting the headphone offer and the fact that retailers will see fit to reduce the price over time, it’s a rather expensive monitor that doesn’t add enough tangible benefits to justify that price tag. And, when you consider that the 24in TN Film monitors like the Samsung SyncMaster 245B and the Iiyama ProLite B2403WS are available for the same price or less, it’s hard to argue the case for a smaller display with very good but not quite excellent image quality.
We like the design, input selection and the bundled headphones don’t hurt either, but despite many good ingredients the BenQ X2200W doesn’t quite convince. Its PerfectMotion technology is of dubious value, while the price puts it right in the way of the juggernaut of bargain 1,920 x 1,200 24in monitors and it doesn’t quite offer the premium performance required to set it apart from them or the cheaper but more than capable 22in competition. This doesn’t make it a bad display by any means and in most respects it’s very good, but unless the bundled headphones are a major draw you’ll probably want to wait until it’s available for closer to £250 or so before taking the plunge.
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Score in detail
Image Quality 8