BenQ FP202W review

£299
Price when reviewed

Although it sits in the same low-end price bracket as the Belinea and Philips models, the FP202W from BenQ can’t quite produce the same impressive image quality. It’s perfectly usable and the difference is only clear when you look at them all side by side, but it had a few problems in our technical tests.

BenQ FP202W review

When displaying our white test screen, it wasn’t close to matching the brightness and purity of the best models. Conversely, when displaying our black test screen, it came across as a little too bright, taking on a purple tinge. This resulted in a lot of detail in the dark scenes of our DVD test, but the lighting was too strong. Supposedly atmospheric interior scenes seemed almost ethereal due to the blue tone, and sunny outdoor scenes came across as a little cold.

So it isn’t the best for video viewing, but the quality of the Desktop is excellent for everyday use. Text appears clear and the lighting in Windows is perfect, so for work and the Internet it’s absolutely fine.

Gaming is reasonable thanks to the decent score in our response-time test. The jungles in Far Cry appear bright, even in the shadows, which show a lot of detail at the slight expense of the atmospheric quality. It doesn’t reproduce greys very well, though, as evidenced by the failure in our greyscale tinting test.

Unfortunately, this monitor doesn’t exactly go overboard when it comes to features either. You can use the OSD to choose between DVI and D-SUB connections, and also to decide on a choice of the descriptively titled Bluish, Reddish and Normal colour temperatures. And that’s it. It’s not the easiest OSD to manoeuvre through either, as the thin buttons are located on the right-hand edge out of sight.

One of these buttons switches from standard into one Picture and two Movie modes. While these do result in a more vivid picture, they tend to make video seem even bluer than before, and certainly do nothing to improve the atmosphere. If you like your screen as bright as possible when editing pictures, the Picture mode does a good job.

The black design is minimal, but looks good when compared to the plastic grey stands of many of the others. The stand is black and feels solid, although it’s only tilt-adjustable. Should anything go wrong, BenQ also provides excellent three-year on-site support.

It’s a reasonably good monitor overall, with average picture quality at a good price. But that’s the problem: you can keep £10 in your pocket and still walk away with a superior TFT if you choose the Philips. Better image quality and features make the decision a simple one.

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