Technology often seems to be running along at a breakneck pace; many people are still trying to find good uses for quad-core Core 2 processors, and yet already those are yesterday's news. Every year, users can count on new CPUs, GPUs, and other hardware to make their once great computer system seem old and outdated. Thankfully, there are areas where progress occurs at a more sedate pace. Yes, once again it's time to talk about displays.

That's not to say that displays haven't changed a lot over the years; besides lower prices, we have seen some technological innovations particularly in the LCD arena. Five years ago, the best you could hope for was pixel response times that weren't atrocious. These days, numerous displays boast 2ms response times, and while the reality may be that typical response times are quite a bit higher, at least that's one area where technology has reached the point that you don't need to worry about it too much anymore.

BenQ is a company that has been around for a while in one form or another. Originally established in 1984, the BenQ name officially came into existence in 2001, when they separated from Acer. While they do make other peripherals (Joybook laptops, optical drives, digital cameras, phones, and even a mobile Internet device), BenQ is best known among computer users for their displays and projectors.

Their latest "innovation" is that they are leaving behind 16:10 aspect ratios and instead going with 16:9 FullHD/1080P displays (at least for some models). Why is that important? Honestly, if all you ever do on your PC is surf the web, play games, and do office work there's a very good chance you will not appreciate the difference. Where this is useful is in support for native HDTV resolutions. Instead of a vertically stretched image filling your 16:10 display or black bars on the top and bottom, you can watch HD content at its normal aspect ratio and have it fill the whole display. This is supposed to help with watching the latest Blu-ray movies, but there's just one small problem: a lot of HD content doesn't use a 16:9 (1.78) aspect ratio. Instead, many DVDs and Blu-ray movies now use a 2.39 AR, so you still end up with black bars on the top and bottom.

Certainly there is an amount of marketing involved in promoting FullHD/1080P LCDs, but 16:9 video content does exist (and gaming content as well -- Assassin's Creed being a prime example) so there are occasions where this isn't pure marketing hype. How big of a benefit the 1080P resolution is will depend largely on how much multimedia content you view. Note also that the two displays we are looking at today support HDMI, so besides functioning as computer LCDs they can also stand in for an HDTV, or you can hook up an Xbox 360 or PS3. In that case, the native 16:9 AR can be very important!

Today we are looking at the BenQ E2200HD and E2400HD. Both have a native resolution of 1920x1080, with the difference being that one is at 24" panel and the other is a 22" panel (technically 21.5"). In terms of features and appearance, the two LCDs otherwise look identical. Naturally, the larger E2400HD does cost more, but depending on your eyesight the extra ~$100 may be money well spent. If you only plan to use your display as a computer monitor, we wouldn't worry too much about the debate over 16:9 vs. 16:10 AR -- instead, get whichever display offers the best image quality at the most reasonable price. What we want to find out then is how well these new BenQ displays perform. After all, if image quality, processing lag, or other aspects are really poor, aspect ratio support may be the least of your concerns. So let's get to it.

BenQ E2200HD Overview
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  • shithead3656 - Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - link

    Very nice revie. I only read the e2200hd review bcoz i plan to buy that model once my 17" CRT goes BOOOOM. xD

    Anyways, I wish you guys can review the Samsung 2233SW(which is benq's E2200's rival)(Guys, i know the samsung has no speakers and HDMI, but usually monitor speaker ain't good and you can buy HDMI>DVI converter). But im my contrie, Samsung 2233SW is steadily going up in price, so bcoz of that I'm also looking at Samsung 2033SW. I will be waiting. And you guys at anandtech ROCK!
  • swordenium - Friday, May 1, 2009 - link

    Go for the 2233SW!! or preferably Its older bro 2243SWX which has more features and includes a DVI cable!!! Both Asus Vh226H and Benq E2200HD are gr8 monitors for price yet Image quality and colors(too unnatural Benq) leaves a lot to be desired!!!! so so......but Samsung 2233SW (reviewed by techtree and pcworld)and 2243SWX are accurate in colors!!! and have awesome IQ!!! Just it lacks HDMI input! which I dont care!! DVIs handle HD resolutions well!! of course, u have a hdmi to dvi converter!!
  • tofool - Monday, February 23, 2009 - link

    how do you remove the base stand as pictured in the article?
  • Jalamari - Monday, February 23, 2009 - link

    hi i had some trouble with the base stand too but got it finaly.

    the screws holding stand are behind the small silver plastic piece where the monitors tilts, it has 4 clips on top and bottom so you should be able to remove it by squeezing the plastic from top and bottom and pulling it away from monitor if its too tight try to help it with flat screwdriver

  • virtuoso5 - Monday, December 1, 2008 - link

    Is it true that this display does not work good with 720p signals?
    I wanted to buy this to connect also the Playstation 3 and most games are 720p (the console makes no upscaling to 1080).
  • zzzxtreme - Monday, December 1, 2008 - link

    I just tested connecting my laptop to a 32" Samsung 720p LCD TV through VGA. LCD TV's brightness are typically from 450nits-500nits.
    It is freaking beautiful. You get all the quality panels and chipsets.
    The days of monitors are over.
  • Benyss - Sunday, November 30, 2008 - link

    Please HELP. Benq 2400HD ror PS3? Yes or No? Thanks.
  • Tonyjr - Wednesday, November 19, 2008 - link

    They further dropped the price of E2200HD for "early black friday" $209 promo code "E2200HD".
  • Cashmoney995 - Monday, November 10, 2008 - link

    The best thing that I have going on in my APT is my cheap 12$ VGA clone box I got from monoprice. I currently have my 16:10 1680x1050 display cloned to my Samsung 50 inch LED DLP tv in my living room. Added in a wireless kb and mouse and I can access the same computer in my office in my living room. Ahh the beauty. EXCEPT that 1680x1050 has some weird cut offs on the DLP. With a real 1080P monitor I can clone my desktop perfectly on the tv.
  • nubie - Wednesday, November 5, 2008 - link

    I am looking for a real 1080p display for about this price as a TV, but the lack of 1080i or 720p support is kind of a deal killer.

    I am just assuming 1080i isn't supported, but what do I know?

    If you have a tuner/DVD player that will support 1080p output then I would love to use this screen. Pixel splitting is a pet peeve of mine and I love the crispness of a 1:1 source and display ratio.

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