Now, having no buttons on the front of the monitor does make it look good, but it brings with it a new set of problems. Although this isn’t the first time I’ve looked at a screen with the controls mounted on the side, there are usually labels on the front telling you what each button does. However, BenQ has put all the labelling on the side, along with the buttons, which means that you have to crane your head around to the side of the screen every time you want to adjust anything. I guess if you’ve got a very good memory and an uncanny sense of touch you could manipulate the controls without having to peer around the side, but I’m afraid I wasn’t up to such feats.
There’s the usual array of controls on offer – along with the power button you’ll find the menu/enter button, up, down, exit, input select, luminance presets and an info button. The luminance preset button is pretty handy and cycles between Standard, Movie 1, Movie 2 and Photo settings – although I would have thought it would make more sense to have lost one of the Movie settings in favour of a gaming setting. I also noticed that BenQ has done away with the normal colour temperature settings of 9300 and 6500, in favour of Bluish and Reddish. At first I found this quite bizarre, but to be honest it probably makes a lot more sense to most users than Kelvin levels.
Despite the clean lines and stylish look of the FP202W, the range of adjustment is very limited. There is no height adjustment, no panning and definitely no pivot feature. In fact, the only adjustment it will manage is tilting forwards and backwards. It’s the lack of height adjustment that I find most disappointing, since when you’re settling down to play a game, you really want to get that viewing angle perfect.
Talking of gaming, the FP202W is a joy to use when you fire up your favourite game. I’m not a big advocate of the “response time is everything” myth, but playing a fast moving first person shooter on this screen is very impressive. One thing that BenQ has definitely done right is that it hasn’t sacrificed quality in order to achieve a low response time – while some manufacturers have resorted to 6-bit panels to get the response time as low as possible, the FP202W uses an 8-bit panel, producing the full 16.7 million colours.