On the surface, 4K is still very much a fledgling technology. Consumer televisions have only recently started offering 4K at affordable pricing in the last year or so, despite being available since 2010. Graphics cards have only just recently been able to deliver the levels of oomph required to keep games at a consistent frame-rate with such a high resolution, however, 4K monitors have other suitable applications than gaming, and it’s in these where the BL2420U sets its sights, by being labeled as a “CAD/CAM” unit.
Out of the box, you get all of the usual accessories, including DVI, DisplayPort and SuperSpeed USB cables, allowing you to get connected almost regardless of the setup you have. The actual setup was a breeze, with the monitor clipping onto the stand easily. This is one of BenQ's better stands from the models I've tried, where there's ample adjustment room for both height and angle to ensure you can get it placed exactly where it's most comfortable to use. But that's all part and parcel, what you really want to know about is it's 4K ability.
And trust me, the BL2420U is certainly no slouch in this department. With it's 100% sRGB IPS panel, colours were vibrant and made images look and feel more alive than the monitors I had it beside. And that had me excited to see what games were like on this monitor, so, without hesitation, I fired up Rocket League for a couple games of hoops, mostly because the colour shift between the blues and the oranges here would really let this monitor shine, which it did with absolute aplomb. Then, I fired up Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. It was beautiful, and photo mode produced some truly stunning results at the full resolution.
After trying the monitor by itself for a while, curiosity got the better of me and I hooked up one another monitor at the same time, though it was only capable of a lesser 1920 ⨉ 1080 resolution. Whilst it did work, there were certainly oddities between the two, with the switch between the higher DPI on the BL2420U and the pre-existing monitor causing some odd sized windows when moving between them, as well as oddities caused by the different scaling on each monitor. This isn’t anything against the BL2420U’s ability, as it would affect any 4K monitor, but it’s worth mentioning if you’re planning to match this up with some existing monitors - you’ll be in for a learning experience whilst you get used to the differences between the two.
Overall, the BL2420U was an admirable addition to my desk. It was great for doing design work and especially so for web development, as the additional screen resolution made it easy to have both the IDE and the site being worked on in the same space. For gaming, whilst it certainly did look beautiful, you’re going to need a beefy graphics card to ensure you can play the latest and greatest at it’s full potential.
BenQ BL2420U Review
A hard-working 4K monitor from BenQ which further pushes 4K into the mainstream. Great all-rounder that shows off just how nice it is at every opportunity.