BenQ PG2401PT, 24-inch Color Accurate Monitor Review

Photographers and printing pros look for the ultimate accuracy when they choose a monitor. BenQ answers the call with its 24-inch PG2401PT IPS display. It’s industry-certified for color accuracy, even without calibration. Today, we put it to the test.

With LCD monitor prices seemingly at a standstill, it’s common for manufacturers to call their high-end products "professional" when they really mean "expensive." This is especially true of 27-inch QHD screens currently selling for around £400. A real professional-grade display doesn’t necessarily need a high pixel count or a large panel. What it should offer is an Adobe RGB color gamut and perfect color accuracy.

BenQ carries 23 different monitors in its portfolio. But only one comes with a certification for color accuracy. It’s a 24-inch 16:10-aspect IPS-based screen with 1920x1200 resolution and a pixel density of 94 PPI. That product is subject of today’s review, and it's called the PG2401PT.

We’ve seen many readers lament the apparent death of 16:10, and we agree wholeheartedly. Almost all computer displays now match the 16:9 aspect ratio of HD televisions, which is certainly great for games and entertainment. But when it's time to edit a document in Word, read email, or browse the Web, the extra screen height of 16:10 really comes in handy.

Street Price
£850
Panel Type
AH-IPS
Backlight
GB-r-LED, edge array
Screen Size
24.1-inch
Max Resolution
1920x1200
Max Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Aspect Ratio
16:10
Native Color Depth
10-bit (8-bit w/FRC)
14-bit 3D LUT
Native Gamut
Adobe RGB
Response Time (GTG)
5 ms
Brightness
350 cd/m2
Speakers
-
VGA
1
DVI
1
DisplayPort v1.2
1 standard, 1 mini
HDMI v1.4
1
Audio In
via HDMI or DP
Headphone
1
USB
v3.0 - 1 up, 2 down
Media Card Reader
1 SD
Panel Dimensions
W x H x D w/base
22 x 21.5 x 10 in
555 x 543 x 254 mm
Panel Thickness
2.7 in / 69 mm
Bezel Width
.7-.9 in / 18-22 mm
Weight
15.4 lbs / 7 kg
Warranty
One year

Our eyebrows rose a bit when we first saw the PG2401PT’s specs. The 16:10 aspect ratio is great, but what's up with the 1920x1200 resolution? We still don't have an answer to that. However, once we started working with this screen, its purpose became crystal clear.

I just mentioned that any screen purporting to be professional-class has to offer supreme accuracy. And once I started pulling measurements from BenQ's PG2401PT, I was frankly astonished at just how good it is. If you read our review of the NEC PA272W, you know we were impressed by the accuracy of that display after calibrating it. The PG2401PT nearly matches NEC’s numbers before calibration.

To achieve a wide color gamut, BenQ uses a GB-r-LED backlight instead of the more common W-LED. As you may know, white LEDs aren’t actually white. They shine blue light through a yellow phosphor. As such, their spectral properties are more skewed towards blue and require extra processing to make them color-accurate. GB-r uses green and blue LEDs that shine through a red phosphor. The resulting spectra peak more evenly for red, green, and blue. Not only is accuracy improved without extra processing, but it makes the larger Adobe RGB gamut possible.

We’ve applauded BenQ’s efforts to shed traditional pulse-width modulation backlights in favor of the constant-current type. Flicker can be an issue for some sensitive users, and it contributes to eye fatigue during extended work sessions. Unfortunately, the PG2401PT is one of only four remaining models in BenQ’s line-up that still uses PWM. On the upside, its frequency is extremely high at 16,500 Hz. We doubt anyone will actually see flicker at lower backlight settings. The fatigue factor should not be a problem; it certainly wasn’t for us.

You'll see us revisit the subject of accuracy over and over in this review. The out-of-box numbers we generated were better than many monitors’ calibrated results. As such, we’ve created a special comparison group consisting of high-end wide-gamut displays that all come with individual factory calibrations. Let’s take a closer look.