BenQ Zowie XL2540 Review: 1080p 240Hz FreeSync Gaming Monitor

Benq Zowie Xl2540 Amazon

Introduction

Looking for a 240Hz gaming monitor for the smoothest and most responsive gaming experience?

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is an excellent model with plenty of extra features you might find useful.

Image Quality

Just like most 240Hz 1080p gaming monitors available, the BenQ XL2540 is based on a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel with a 400-nit peak brightness, a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 8-bit color depth, and a quick 1ms response time speed.

The viewing angles are 160°/170° which means that the picture will shift in color, contrast, and brightness if you look at it from skewed angles. So, as long as you’re sitting in front of the screen, this is not a big issue.

In comparison to the other panel technologies such as IPS and VA, TN panels have the worst color quality, but they also have the fastest response time speed.

So, if you care more about the performance than the image quality, it’s a fair trade-off.

The panel does cover a decent amount of sRGB color space (~92%), but calibration is required for the optimal picture quality.

Lastly, 1080p resolution provides a satisfactory image quality in terms of pixel density as you get crisp details and a fair amount of screen space.

More importantly, reaching higher frame rates will be easier on your GPU and CPU as 1080p is not very demanding.

Performance

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 input lag performance is impressive at just below 4ms.

Further, the response time speed is remarkable as well; the pixels take ~1ms to change from one shade of gray into another which is quick enough to eliminate almost all ghosting of fast-moving objects.

For the best response time performance, set the overdrive (AMA – Advanced Motion Acceleration) setting in the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu to ‘High’.

Gaming at 240Hz does feel smoother than gaming at 144Hz, but the difference isn’t nearly as noticeable as it’s between 60Hz and 144Hz.

In addition, you can enable backlight strobing which can further remove motion blur and ghosting in fast-paced games.

To enable this feature, however, you’ll need to open up the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 service menu as it’s not available in the regular OSD menu.

In order to open the service menu, you need to turn off the monitor first and then hold the fourth monitor hotkey from the left and simultaneously press the power button to turn on the display.

Now, the fourth hotkey will open up the service menu instead of OSD. To reverse this, simply turn the monitor off and on again. In the service menu, you’ll find the Blur Reduction feature and its intensity settings with the minimal frequency being 100Hz and the maximum 240Hz.

Features

Benq Xl2540 Amazon

Other gaming features include AMD FreeSync with a 48-240Hz range and LFC support. This technology allows the monitor to change its refresh rate dynamically if connected to a compatible graphics card.

In turn, all screen tearing and stuttering is eliminated with virtually no input lag penalty. However, FreeSync cannot be active at the same time as the motion blur reduction technology.

Update: FreeSync now also works without any issues when using a compatible NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card. The monitor has been added to the list of G-SYNC compatible gaming monitors certified by NVIDIA.

Additionally, you will find the Color Vibrancy feature which is basically color saturation with 0-20 values and Black eQualizer which brightens up dark areas in video games for better visibility of objects in shadows.

Lastly, with the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540, you also get the S. Switch external device that you can use to navigate through the OSD settings and remotely change picture presets including two FPS modes, RTS, Movie, Standard, and three customizable profiles.

Design & Connectivity

Benq Xl2540 Review 2020

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 features a fully ergonomic design with up to 140mm height adjustment, -5°/18° tilt, +/- 45° swivel, 90° pivot, and 100 x 100mm VESA mount.

Further, the bezels are somewhat thick (14mm) but the frame is designed to reduce reflections. The monitor also has a matte anti-glare coating and a shading hood for minimal distractions while gaming.

Connectivity options include DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0, Dual-Link DVI-D, a headphones jack, a microphone jack, and a dual-USB 3.0 hub. For 240Hz and FreeSync, use either HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort.

Price & Similar Monitors

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 price is around $400 which is reasonable considering the monitor’s performance and exclusive features.

However, for $50 less, you can get the Acer XF252Q instead which is based on a slightly upgraded 24.5″ 240Hz panel that has a bit faster response time speed of 0.5ms. It supports FreeSync and MBR up to 240Hz too.

For a more affordable 240Hz model, check out the Dell Alienware AW2518HF.

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is also available as a 27″ model – the BenQ ZOWIE XL2740 and as a 25″ model, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546, with DyAc (Dynamic Accuracy) which is a more advanced motion blur reduction technology.

Conclusion

Overall, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is an exceptional 240Hz gaming monitor that will provide you with everything you need for an enjoyable and immersive competitive gameplay. There are more cost-efficient options available though.

BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 Specifications

Screen Size24.5-inch
Resolution1920×1080 (Full HD)
Panel TypeTN
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate240Hz
Response Time1ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (48Hz-240Hz)
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 1.4, HDMI 2.0
Other Ports2x USB 3.0, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack
Brightness400 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors16.7 million (6-bit + FRC)
VESAYes (100x100mm)
Backlight StrobingBenQ Blur Reduction

The Pros

  • Quick response time and low input lag
  • Plenty of gaming features including MBR and FreeSync up to 240Hz, G-SYNC Compatible
  • Fully ergonomic design, shading hood, and rich connectivity options

The Cons

  • Narrow viewing angles
  • Inferior image quality to IPS and VA panels
  • Enabling Blur Reduction requires opening the service menu
BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 Review
  • 10/10
    Design - 10/10
  • 7.9/10
    Display - 7.9/10
  • 9.9/10
    Performance - 9.9/10
  • 8/10
    Price/Value - 8/10
9/10

Summary

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is premium 240Hz gaming monitor for competitive gameplay with no compromises when it comes to the performance. It also offers a bunch of useful features including FreeSync and Motion Blur Reduction as well as a versatile design with rich connectivity options.

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