BenQ’s Cheap, Mac-Oriented Monitors: 5000:1 Contrast Ratios and More

by Reads (2,366)

BenQ unveiled a pair of new displays this afternoon targeted at a pretty small sliver of the market – Mac users who find themselves in need of additional or external displays. Despite the Apple aspirations, these new models look impressive enough on paper that anyone, Mac or PC user alike, should give them a looksee when it comes time to pick up a new monitor.

Calling their new VW30 series a pair of displays at “the forefront of design and performance”, BenQ clearly has high aspirations. Maybe they should. The pair does stand out from the crowded aftermarket display segment, with a bright white plastic exterior and off-center stand. To be honest, it looks like Samsung hooked up with eMachines, and this is the result – which I totally get sounds like an insult, but I mean it with the best of intentions.

BenQ VW Series

So, from color and design alone, the 21.5-inch VW2230H (targeted at 21.5-inch iMac users) and 24-inch VW2430H look different. 

The left-hand of the base has this odd little divot, perfect, says BenQ for storing various “smalls”. We’ll take that to mean items like change and SD cards. You can also plop in an odd little green stand to hold an iPhone or other smartphone. 

BenQ added a new display mode known as M-book mode to the displays’ firmware, which promises to mimic ‘MacBook picture quality’ on your external display, though we aren’t quite sure how that works. A Reading Mode setting raises the temperature of the displays’ color space in order to give a more paper-like feeling.

The real stars here aren’t the color or design of the external frame. It’s the panels themselves. Inside each monitor is a 1920×1080 *VA panel. While VA panels might have quite the color fidelity of IPS displays, they still quote 178° viewing angles both horizontally and vertically, as well as a staggering 5000:1 static contrast ratio.

LED backlights give the displays an average power draw of a little over 30 watts. Their green cred extends to using BFR- and PVC-free plastics, and they use an eco-friendly ink on all of the VW series’ packaging products.

Available now, the BenQ 21.5-inch VW2230H carries an MSRP of just $179 (on sale for $169), while its bigger brother, the 24-inch VW2430H runs $249 (but is currently on sale for $239).

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