Despite a few other minor flaws, however, the Hyundai W241D is a pretty good display. As expected from its S-PVA panel, viewing angles are fantastic, with only the slightest hint of colour shift beyond 160 degrees. Though it does suffer from some backlight bleed, this is hardly uncommon, and only really noticeable in the bottom right corner. Subjectively, contrast seems to almost match the stated 1000:1 ratio, with bright colours mingling smoothly with inky blacks.
Crucially, the monitor manages to deliver these deep blacks without any dynamic backlighting, and strikes an acceptable balance on the loss of dark detailing that so often plagues supposed high-contrast LCD screens. This is borne out by our DisplayMate tests, where the W241D was able to distinguish between every shade of black and white – though never the brightest and darkest at the same time, requiring you to lose one step from either. But this is already more than most TN panels on the market can manage: I haven’t encountered one yet that could differentiate the two deepest blacks at usable settings.
The only other fly in the ointment when it comes to performance is some noticeable banding, especially in reds. But unless you’re a graphic professional, don’t let this put you off too much. The excessive brightness is only a potential problem if you’re spending a lot of time working at the screen, and might not bother you if you’re mainly a gamer. For most other uses, the W241D is exemplary. Gaming is generally a real pleasure: colours are vibrant without being oversaturated, while blacks maintain reasonable depth. Although very fast motion does result in some smearing, the average user probably woouldn’t notice.
Movies are similarly enjoyable, if a tad noisy. Everything is helped along by some excellent scaling (interpolation), which in addition to the superb aspect ratio options means the W241D will display any source as well as it can.
So overall we have a solidly constructed S-PVA panel monitor, with a large selection of inputs, excellent ergonomics and (largely) above average image quality, marred only by awkward controls and (for some) excessive minimum brightness. Certainly, anyone who buys this display for entertainment will not be disappointed.
However, the energy conscious should keep in mind that at 85W, the W241D uses almost double the energy of some more efficient 24in models. In terms of value, the W241D was one of the more affordable PVA monitors on the market upon its debut, but displays using equivalent – or at least comparable – panel technology have since come down in price dramatically. Also note that the 241 is supposedly nothing more than an incremental update to Hyundai’s previous (and still available at £100 cheaper) W240D S-PVA, only adding USB ports and slightly wider horizontal viewing angles.
The Hyundai W241D PVA is a solid monitor in every sense. It is attractive, well-built, has great ergonomics, a good selection of inputs and above average image quality. Despite a few flaws, it is a great multi-purpose screen, especially for gaming and movies. Its only real problem is that competition has come down in price to match it. Unless you really prefer the W241D’s (admittedly more attractive) looks or (shudder) want the speakers, you can get the excellent BenQ FP241W for around £20 pounds more, which offers everything the W241D does in addition to easier controls, slightly better image quality and more inputs.
Score in detail
Image Quality 8