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BenQ G920WL review

The G920WL has good contrast, natural colours and a functional design, but the low resolution and two year warranty let it down even at this low price.

BenQ’s G920WL has edge-mounted LED backlighting, which reduces power consumption and has a longer lifespan than standard CCFL lighting. It has a similar functional design to other BenQ monitors we’ve seen recently, with a ridged vent running along the top of the case that doubles as a carry-handle, and a small panel at the bottom right of the screen that houses the menu controls.

We found the menu system easy to use; it has reasonably clear icons to mark each section, and labelling is in a light font on a dark background. In Standard Picture Mode, you can’t enable or change Dynamic Contrast, but we found it to have the more natural colours of all presets (Movie, Game, Photo, Eco and sRGB). We noticed a slight blue cast compared to other monitors, but were able to use the User colour setting to reduce the blue level to 80 per cent to fix this.

Contrast was good, with details still visible in the shadows of dark scenes such as the view of early morning New York in The Dark Knight. Plus, contrast can be turned up to 100 per cent without over-saturating light scenes. However, the promise of better contrast thanks to the LED backlight proved to be unfounded when compared against traditional screens, and we noticed some unevenness in our white-screen test.

Dynamic Contrast not only forces you to choose one of the over-saturated preset modes, but we found the changes in brightness during transitions between dark and light scenes in films far too obvious and distracting.

The 1,440×900 resolution is quite low, and doesn’t provide much room to open two documents side by side. A choice of VGA and DVI inputs is useful, and you can use an HDMI-to-DVI converter if you want to plug in a device that has an HDMI output. There aren’t any internal speakers.

For less than £100, the G920WL seems reasonable value, but it has a shorter-than-usual two-year warranty. For only £5 more, you could buy Iiyama’s 20in ProLite E2008HDS-1. This has a 1,600×900 resolution and a three year onsite warranty, and is better quality. The choice between the two is simple.

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