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

Bottom Line

The BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is a premium 240Hz gaming monitor for competitive gameplay with no compromises when it comes to 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. Note that there are newer models of this monitor available though.

Design:
(5.0)
Display:
(4.0)
Performance:
(5.0)
Price/Value:
(4.0)
4.5

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 have a very fast pixel response time speed.

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; with a 1ms GtG pixel response time speed, there’s no prominent ghosting or trailing behind 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.

Moving on, 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 are eliminated with virtually no input lag penalty. However, FreeSync cannot be active at the same time as the motion blur reduction technology.

FreeSync also works with compatible GeForce cards without any issues and the monitor is certified as G-SYNC Compatible 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 is priced around $400, which is quite expensive for a 1080p TN display.

Keep in mind that there are newer models are available too: the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546S and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K.

These two models offer better MBR implementation with a lower brightness penalty and there’s no need to enable Blur Reduction in the service menu.

Additionally, they use a newer and faster 0.5ms GtG TN panel.

Note that you can get a 1080p 240Hz TN gaming monitor using the same 0.5ms GtG TN panel for $300 – $350 as well, the Acer XF252Q.

The reason BenQ’s models are more expensive is because they have the best MBR implementation. So, if you want that CRT-like motion clarity, they are the way to go.

For casual gamers, the Acer XF252Q or a 1080p 240Hz model with an IPS panel, such as the ASUS VG259QM, will do just fine.

You may also want to visit our best monitors for FPS buyer’s guide for more information and the best deals available.

Conclusion

Overall, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 is a remarkable 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.

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

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Rob Shafer
Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.