Quality peripherals are a necessity for any enthusiast with a gaming PC or console player who wants the very best sensory experience. One manufacturer trying to capture the burgeoning e-sports market share is BenQ, with their gaming line of products under the Zowie brand. They recently added to their XL line of gaming monitors with the XL2411P, which was the chosen monitor for the PUBG Global Invitation 2018 in Berlin this past July.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL Series XL2411P Gaming Monitor can purchased at Newegg for $249.00.
The XL2411P is a Full HD (1920×1080) 24” monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. The TN panel has a 1ms GTG response time, a 1000:1contrast ratio, and a dynamic contrast ratio of 12,000,000:1. Rear I/O consists of one DVI, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort 1.2, with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The monitor frame and stand are dark gray colored plastic. The stand offers extensive height, tilt, rotation, and swivel adjustments.
Build Quality and Features
From a design standpoint, there’s very little about the XL2411P that makes it stand out. Thick bezels surround the panel, so multi-monitor gamers be aware. If you’re going to use several of these monitors as one display; there will be a 1 ¼-inch gap between screens. Style is clearly not the focus here, and though it’s not unattractive, it has a utilitarian aesthetic that sets it apart from other heavily branded gaming monitors.
What the display lacks in looks, it makes up for in stability. It’s as if this model was designed for heavy use at a gaming event where several of these monitors would be deployed and, therefore, needed to be durable. Not only does the plastic casing feel like it can take a beating, but its rear heat vent feels like it was purposefully molded to act as a handle for easy transport. Being able to carry this monitor one-handed was a great convenience, as opposed to my home monitor that I usually have to handle with care and with two hands.
The stand can swivel the monitor in 45 degrees left or right, and allows for vertical tilt. The height can be adjusted, and it can rotate the monitor a full 90 degrees. However users adjust the stand, they can feel confident that the monitor won’t readjust on its own, because the articulation points are very stiff.
There are a handful of observations that deserve calling out, starting with the cable management on the spine of the stand. A small plastic hook allows users to route the power and video cable neatly down the middle of the stand to help keep desktops looking clean.
Regrettably, this convenient hook looks like it was designed for horizontal orientation only, and not for ad hoc monitor rotations. The stand also has a locking mechanism at its lowest point. Once again, this aids in transporting the monitor. Finally, the XL2411P only rotates in one direction – clockwise. This means that the headphone jack will always be at the top of the monitor, and the controls will always be on the left whenever the monitor is in portrait orientation. Not only could this be a cabling challenge, but users who want to stand this monitor in portrait orientation to the right of a main landscape monitor will have to plan around the extended chin that houses the monitor controls.
The monitor offers the normal customizations that users can expect from any modern monitor, like brightness, contrast, color temperatures, and more. There’s also a blue light reduction feature to help with eyestrain, especially in the late evening hours. Also, as with most monitors in this class, there are number of factory installed presets that are ostensibly geared for various viewing activities, like playing different game types, watching movies, or working on images. As an added bonus, Zowie included three user slots that are available for saving custom presets.
What the XL2411P lacks are some of the more gimmicky offerings found on other monitors of this ilk. Namely, users won’t find any on-screen crosshairs, timers, clocks, or other OSD trickery provided by the monitor. Instead, Zowie provides their own gimmicks, starting with a feature called Black eQualizer, which is supposed to make dark areas on the screen lighter without affecting the light areas on the screen.
By doing so, Black eQualizer should make it easier to see enemies in dark areas. When I tried the feature in both games and movies, I did not notice any significant difference. Another function is the ability to force different aspect ratios to display. So, if you were playing an old game that required 4:3 aspect ratio, you could have the game display natively by artificially adjusting the aspect ratio on the monitor. There are other aspect ratios available, but I can only see this feature coming in handy in very limited scenarios.
Finally, there’s a strange Highlight function that essentially darkens the screen except for a rectangular area that the user can adjust. Since the highlight is provided by the monitor and not the PC, it’s visible to the user only and wouldn’t be captured even with screen recording. So, unless the user really needed to focus on a specific area on the screen, I don’t see how the highlight feature is useful.
This display does not use G-Sync and Freesync. During testing, I didn’t notice any kind of ghosting, blurring, or anything else that could have degraded the viewing experience. With a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time, it’s still a solid performer despite the lack of GPU communication.
Viewing angles are good, and I didn’t notice any discoloration or darkening of images at anything less than extreme angles. The lighting is also even throughout the panel. I also didn’t notice any light bleed around the edges.
Interestingly, the monitor is extremely bright. It defaults at a supernova-like 100%, but even reducing brightness to zero, it’s still quite bright. Those gaming or working in very bright conditions may appreciate this aspect, but those with sensitive eyes might want to keep this quirk in mind.
No Frills, high performance
The BenQ XL2411P won’t win any awards for its looks, but the many points of articulation make up for its aesthetic shortcomings. As a monitor that’s designed to simply present the best viewing experience, the XL2411P performs admirably.
It’s a solid panel in a durable chassis, and enough features to help it stand out.