This is the second part of my review of the BenQ EW2440L monitor. You may read my initial impressions of the monitor by clicking here. In this part , I’ll be taking a look at the features of the BenQ EW2440L monitor to do a check if they are really what they claim to be or it is just a hype or cool-to-have-functionality-but-it-is-not-practical
Unlike other monitor makers out there in the market , BenQ is taking a rather different approch and I do hope (honestly speaking) that they set the standard for other monitor manufacturers to follow. They are mostly focusing on a ‘healthy’ monitor (yes I’ve invented that word just now , much like ‘healthy/organic’ food). They have invented. According to TFT Central database , BenQ (at this time of writing) seems to be the only manufacturer that is pushing for flicker-free experience
Now let’s take a look at each of the functionality of this monitor shall we
Flicker vs Flicker-Free Monitor
Gone with the days of CRTs (the old tube-like display) whereby it is very visible to see a flicker , when you point your camera phone to it. It would be very very obvious. However in the current era , it would be very difficult to spot flicker in LCD monitors , however they do exist.
Basically changing the way how the CCFL/LED display reduces the backlight (aka brightness) is by using a technique called Pulse Width Modulation or which is known as PWM. You can read an excellent article written by the folks of TFT Central (Holy Grail for Monitor related things).
There are some drawbacks of using PWM is that well it can cause eyestrain , dry eyes , fatigue and headaches and other associated issues. If you have been staring at your monitor for a long time , and you are experiencing such symptoms , it could be related to this – especially to the sensitive folks out there !
Now let us do a simple test. You can even carry this out by yourself. All you be needing is a camera phone and as well as a monitor
Firstly reduce the brightness of your monitor to zero or the lowest possible brightness. Next up is take up a camera and snap and take a look if your monitor does flicker. In my case , my Philips monitor did have flickers whereas the BenQ monitor does not
To prove it to you as well , I’ve recorded a video in YouTube and you may have a look at it
As you can clearly see from the pictures and from the video , the BenQ monitor does not flicker. Yes I tried doing all sorts of things and na-da it did not flicker at all. Good job , BenQ ! So I can conclude that the flicker-free functionality is not really a gimmick at all. Kudos Kudos !
Honestly speaking I did play World of Warcraft the other day for about 2-3 hours , generally I would experience some kind of headache after starting at the screen for long , but strangely with this BenQ monitor I did not experience such a headache.
Low Blue Light Mode (Good for your eyes)
The BenQ monitor also does include another functionality , it is known as Low Blue light mode functionality . What basically this mode does is that it cuts down the blue light that is known to cause a headaches , sleep disorder and eye strain. This is extremely useful during the night when you are glued to your computer doing your assignment/work or just simply playing a computer game. There are softwares which do this such as F.lux , but the nice thing about BenQ is that the monitor does that for you. All you have to do is with a touch of a button and you are presented with several options
Depending on the selected option . it would reduce the amount of blue light , in other words it simply makes the screen to mimic indoor light instead. Let me quote an article from American Medical Association’s Council
Recognizes that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents. This effect can be minimized by using dim red lighting in the nighttime bedroom environment
Also there are a lot of research which are out there which states that blue light can disrupt sleep patterns , here is one from Harvard
Unlike F.lux , it does not automatically adjust it for you according to the day and time – it would be great to do , but nevertheless it offers 1 functionality which F.lux does not is that it will work with any OS , any system. You can even connect your gaming console such as PS3/PS4 and take advantage of this as well.
So far from my experience , it takes a little bit getting used to adapt to the low-blue light condition , once you are used to it , it wouldn’t be a problem. Plus , I highly recommend to have it on especially if you plan to do office work during night time or assignments !
MHL Support (Connect your Smartphone to the Big Screen or alternatively works as a charger for your Smartphone)
BenQ EW2440L also supports MHL , which is a fancy word for linking your smartphone to a HDTV. If you have a MHL-compatible smartphone , BenQ has supplied a MHL cable (which is basically a HDMI to miniUSB cable) that allows you to plug it into your phone and view it in the big screen.
This is great if you want to watch a movie from your smartphone to your LCD Monitor , or if you just want to play games on a big screen.
However I was not able to test this out as I do not have any MHL-compatible smartphone. I do have an Android phone but it is not MHL-capable. The good thing about it is that even if you do not have MHL-capable smartphone , you could use the cable to charge your phone from your monitor. At least it frees up your USB port 🙂
I find it handy charging my Bluetooth headset
The Rest of the Functionalists (SmartFocus, Super Resolution ,etc)
I’ve tested and it is nice to have functionality. For instance SmartFocus allows you to pretty much focus on a particular section of the screen , dimming the rest. It is ideal for YouTube videos and such , however configuring it – is not. You would have to manually specify which area you want to focus and such. Another functionality that it comes along with it is Super Resolution which claims to enhance picture of low resolution video. Honestly , I’ve tried it and it just made it look much more unreal.
The experience may vary from one person to another.
What’s Next ?
Power consumption , justification on the pricing and my final thoughts about this monitor. Please do so by clicking it here
The monitor is a review unit given as a loan by BenQ Malaysia for reviewing purposes. This is not a sponsored post. The review can be negative or positive and like many other things I’ve reviewed in my blog. I would also like to thank goldfries as well