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Review of the Benq XL2411T 3D Vision-ready 3D Monitor

March 12th, 2013 · 19 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

benq-xl2411t-monitor


Benq XL2411T is the latest 24-inch 3D Vision-ready monitor from BenQ, you can say that is the third generation of 3D-capable displays that BenQ releases with the first one (XL2410) having some issues with backlight bleeding at first and the second ones (XL2420T/TX) a bit more expensive and with limited availability of the TX version. Benq XL2411T comes as the successor of the Benq XL2420T with some improvements and with some extras removed, making the price much more attractive for a 120Hz gamer-oriented 3D-capable display that does not come bundled with integrated Ir emitter or 3D Vision glasses, so you need to buy them separately (a full kit, not just the glasses) or already to have them if you do plan to use it in stereo 3D mode. But how good is the XL2411T considering the fact that it is a gamer-oriented product and featuring some specially designed features for gamers, even though these re mostly available for 2D gaming, letus find out…


Benq XL2411T Specifications:

Panel Size: 24-inches
Monitor Type: TN TFT-LCD with LED Backlight
3D Technology: Active 3D, 3D Vision Ready
Pixel Pitch: 0.276mm
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio (typ.): 1000:1, 12,000,000:1 (dynamic)
Response Time (typ.): 5ms, 1ms GTG
Viewing Angles: 170° (H) / 160° (V) @ C/R > 10
Input: D-sub, DL-DVI, HDMI
Power Consumption: On Mode 22W (typ.); Sleep (Standby) <0.5W Phys. Dimension (WxHxD): 420x652x251 mm Weight with stand: 6kg


benq-xl2411t-3d-monitor-at-120hz-3d-mode


BenQ originally advertises the Benq XL2411T as a 120Hz monitor, however the display fully supports 144Hz refresh rate out of the box, this is actually one of only the three 144Hz-capable monitors currently available on the market. Have in mind though that the 144Hz refresh rate is only available for 2D, when you activate the stereoscopic 3D mode using 3D Vision you are going to be limited to 120Hz max as this is what is supported by 3D Vision. This is probably the reason that BenQ has decided to advertise the display as a 120Hz model, even though it supports 144Hz in 2D mode, however the 24Hz higher refresh in 2D mode is something that is going to attract the attention of gamers not interested in using the display for stereo 3D. The focus of this review is going to be mostly on the stereo 3D capabilities and performance of the monitor should you decide to go for it for using in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision. Unfortunately I’ve had access to the display for just a few hours, so I was not able to do a very thorough testing and I’ll have to get one unit later on for some extra testing, but I still have managed to test the most important aspects in order to be able to compare it with other 3D monitors I’ve already tested here.

Before going on to the tests I should make one thing clear, and that is the fact that the BenQ does not have support for HDMI 1.4 and thus no 3D frame packaging mode will be available die to the fact that there is no IR emitter for the 3D glasses built in. The monitor can only be used in 3D mode via the Dual-Link DVI port and in frame sequential mode and is only supporting the Nvidia 3D Vision technology. The fact that it does not have built-in emitter and glasses bundled makes it available at a more attractive price for people that already have an older 3D Vision monitor and want to upgrade to a newer one and already have 3D Vision kit that they can use with it.


benq-xl2411t-monitor-uncalibrated


Now, let us move into the tests of the BenQ XL2411T. I’m starting with the usual check of the default color accuracy of the display which isn’t very good, something that I’ve noticed even before measuring the color performance. The monitor does seem very bright and the colors are looking washed out with the factory settings, even though the measured maximum brightness is just a bit over 300 cd/m2. I’ve seen 3D displays with higher brightness perform better than this one and the BenQ has the potential to go even higher in terms of maximum brightness as the factory settings are far from bringing it to maximum.


benq-xl2411t-monitor-calibrated


What has surprised me even more was the fact that after trying to calibrate the color reproduction of the display the results were far from great, even though there was a significant reduction of the brightness (the image above shows the best achieved results). Even playing with the advanced settings such as the RGB sliders didn’t help much in improving the situation. I’ve even tried different inputs and different systems with various hardware as I was expecting to be able to get more accurate results after a calibration, even though we are talking about a TN panel. I’ve seen many 3D-capable TN-based LCD displays get surprisingly good color accuracy after calibration, but I’ve also seen others that could be even worse than the results shown by the BenQ. I suspect that some of the extra features available in the menu of the BenQ could be influencing badly the color reproduction such as the Black eQualizer or the AMA mode (Advanced Motion Acceleration) set to High by default (essentially a control for the monitors Overdrive to make the pixel response faster), but I did not have enough time to play with them to see.


benq-xl2411t-extreme-crosstalk-test


I was pleasantly surprised that the BenQ XL2411T did not have issues with backlight bleeding, and the screen’s backlight seems quite even, at least to the naked eye, though there are some slight variations when measuring it. The extreme crosstalk/ghosting test to black and white I’m using to compare 3D monitors also did show very good results, perfect on the white and very good on the black. I was a bit surprised to see that the BenQ XL2411T has the Contrast level set to a value of just 37 by default when in stereo 3D mode, it is a very bright panel, so this does not make it a problem and apparently it could help to drive down the level of crosstalk/ghosting as we’ve seen in other 3D monitors where lowering the Contrast value can help.


benq-xl2411t-sailboats-test


The sailboats crosstalk/ghosting test is also showing very good results with very faint traces of ghosting that you may not even see normally, so we can consider the result here to be really good indeed.


benq-xl2411t-tru-top
benq-xl2411t-tru-bottom


The test for crosstalk/ghosting with the game Tomb Raider Underworld reveals some interesting results, the top of the screen has not problems with the crosstalk, however the bottom part shows the familiar color ghosting/crosstalk that is a direct result of too aggressive Overdrive leading to the inversion of the image. And playing with the Contrast level has little effect of the strength of this effect, so it can be effected only by playing with the Overdrive if possible on the BenQ XL2411T. In fact you don’t need to have very aggressive overdrive when running in stereo 3D mode at 120Hz like you may need in 144Hz 2D mode, but unfortunately many of the additional functions for controlling the monitor are locked out when you are in stereo 3D mode and you have no control over them.

So what is the conclusion for the Benq XL2411T 3D-capable monitor? The monitor comes at a very reasonable price unlike the previous XL2420T for example that was more expensive due to some extras that you could easily live without, it performs quite well in both 2D and stereo 3D mode, feels very responsive with minimum input lag, something that is a must for a gamer-oriented product such as the XL2411T. What I did not like that much was the color accuracy, not that this monitor would be used in color critical applications anyway, but it could’ve been better and calibration should’ve helped more as well as the fact that the Overdrive could be more aggressive at times without the need for that resulting in more crosstalk/ghosting. There is a possibility that these two negatives for the display could be improved, but I’ll need some more time with the BenQ playing with it and tweaking it to figure out if it is possible to further improve the results. Another thing that could be just a bit annoying is the slower transition time in and out of the stereo 3D mode, something that is probably related to the activation/deactivation of the 3D Lightboost technology (the advanced control of the backlight), not a problem if you force the 3D Lightboost to be always on even in 2D mode to reduce the motion blur. The monitor has high brightness and has the potential to use the 3D Lightboost technology while in 2D mode as well, though this will limit you to 120Hz maximum refresh, but the combination of 3D Lightboost in 2D mode at 120Hz could prove better than 144Hz in 2D mode without the 3D Lightboost active (also a matter of preference really). In the end the Benq XL2411T 3D Vision-ready monitor can turn out to be a quite good choice for 2D gamers switching for a 60Hz monitor and for stereo 3D gamers that are using an older 3D Vision-ready monitor already an need to upgrade (pre-Lightboost model). If you however already use a 3D-capable monitor with 3D Lightboost support for gaming in either 2D or stereo 3D, then you can safely skip the BenQ and wait for something even better.

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Be Aware That 3D Vision Does Not Work at 144Hz on 3D Monitors

March 9th, 2013 · 1 Comment · GeForce 3D Vision

benq-xl2411t-3d-monitor-at-120hz-3d-mode


With the release of the first LCD monitors capable of running at 144Hz refresh rate that are also 3D Vision-ready there has been some confusion going on around regarding the stereoscopic 3D support that these displays can provide. There are already a few models on the market using 144Hz-capable TN LCD panels and these are: ASUS VG278HE, ASUS VG248QE and BENQ XL2411T. All of these are apparently targeted at 2D gamers as they do not have a built-in IR emitter or bundled 3D Vision glasses, but they do support 3D Vision if you have a 3D Vision kit and plug in an IR emitter for the glasses in your PC. The catch here is that these monitors can only work in 144Hz refresh rate when used in 2D mode (or plain 3D mode), but not in stereo 3D mode. If you use 3D Vision you will be limited to 120Hz as apparently 3D Vision does not support higher refresh rates yet, though it is not sure if it is just a software limitation or a hardware one like the glasses not being able to work at he higher refresh rate. Another variant is that the 3D Lightboost technology cannot function at the higher refresh rate, though that probably isn’t the case.

Nevertheless buying one of these tree models so far of 3D monitors supporting 144Hz you should be well aware of the fact that using them in stereo 3D mode will be forcing maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. Even if you are able to select 144Hz refresh and the game seems to be running at the higher refresh rate in stereo 3D, it will be forced back to 120Hz and you can easily check that from the monitor’s OSD menu in the Information panel where you can see the current input resolution and refresh rate. Now, for non stereoscopic 3D gamers the fact that stereo 3D works on up to 120Hz also means that you will not be able to take advantage of the 3D Lightboost technology at 144Hz in order to reduce motion blur. Playing at 120Hz in 2D mode with the 3D Lightboost enabled can bring significant reduction of the motion blur, making the moving images on the screen much smoother and going for 144Hz without the 3D Lightboost technology available may not be able to bring comparable results. So if you already have a more recent 120Hz-capable 3D monitor with 3D Lightboost technology support and you are considering of replacing it with a more recent 144Hz-capable solution you might want to reconsider about that, regardless if you are using it for 2D or stereo 3D gaming.

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Taking Advantage of the Lightboost Technology for 2D 120Hz Gaming

January 28th, 2013 · 10 Comments · Other S3D Tech


By now all of you should be aware of the fact that the newer 3D Vision ready monitors (including 3D displays in gaming laptops) supporting the Lightboost technology are a much better choice for stereoscopic 3D gaming than the older models, but it turns out that going for a Lightboost-enabled 3D monitor can benefit 2D gamers that want to take advantage of the supported 120Hz refresh rate. What the Lightboost technology does is to strobe the backlight instead of having it always on like on traditional monitors, and while this leads a lower overall brightness in 2D mode (actually making it look brighter in stereo 3D mode and with less crosstalk). The strobing of the backlight with Lightboost enabled makes the backlight turn on only when the pixels have reached their final stage in building the new image and the backlight stays off while the pixels transition from one stage to another. As a result all motion blur is being eliminated, making fast movements appear much smoother now. You can see how the image is being shown on the display without Lightboost enabled and with Lightboost on on the slow-motion video above made by Mark Rejhon who has experimented a bit with Lightboost and shared his interesting findings in our forum.

If you already have a 3D Vision ready setup and are using Acer HN274H B, ASUS VG728H or BENQ XL2420TX Lightboost-enabled 3D Vision ready monitor with integrated IR emitter, or have ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T along with an external 3D Vision IR emitter you can easily enable Lightboost in 2D mode as well. In fact some of you may have unintentionally seen this happen after exiting a game played in stereo 3D mode with the monitor remaining in 3D mode when back in the desktop (it seems darker than normal). All you have to do is set the Nvidia driver to always have the 3D monitor set in 3D mode from the Stereoscopic 3D panel int he Nvidia Control Center. The only disadvantage of having Lightboost enabled in 2D mode (have the monitor always run in stereo 3D mode) is that the brightness is lower than it is with Lightboost not being enabled, so you may need to increase the contrast more than you need it in stereo 3D mode. And while the lower brightness caused by the backlight not being constantly on due to the Lightboost being active can be considered as a disadvantage, these 3D monitors have way too high brightness in 2D mode anyway, so the reduction isn’t that bad, it actually brings the level of brightness closer to the level that won’t tire your eyes that much over a long periods of use… and you have no motion blur anymore.

And if you are not using 3D Vision and only have a 3D Vision-capable display, but no integrated IR emitter or an external one you would have to resort to using and EDID INF override driver to make the Nvidia drivers think that you actually have a compatible 3D monitor with full support for 3D Vision. This actually makes the ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T 120Hz capable monitors a lot more interesting for people that are willing to be able to play games in 120Hz 2D mode and don’t care much about stereoscopic 3D gaming. The reason you need to trick the video drivers you have 3D Vision is that the Lightboost technology has been developed for use in stereoscopic 3D gaming, and though it can also benefit people playing in 2D, probably nobody though about that at the time is has been developed. So without the drivers thinking you have support for 3D Vision (even if you don’t actually have IR emitter) you can still enable Lightboost in 2D mode.

You can take a look at Mark Rejhon’s blog for some more details on the topic…

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