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Reviewed on Mar 22, 2018 , Ian Cumming, Mehdi Azzabi, Martin Leduc, Eric Bousquet

BenQ Zowie XL2540
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
7.4
Mixed Usage
Score components:
Size : 25 "
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 240 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
TN
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 is 240Hz gaming monitor with a TN panel that is full of gaming features. It is incredibly responsive due to the high refresh rate and exceptionally low input lag, and also has the ability to flicker the backlight to clear up motion. It supports FreeSync which allows the refresh rate to adjust to the game, however, the picture quality is below average, and the edges of the screen lose accuracy due to the narrow viewing angle.

Test Results
Design 8.0
Picture Quality 6.2
Motion 9.6
Inputs 8.6
Pros
  • Incredibly responsive due to 240Hz refresh rate
  • Input lag is extremely low
Cons
  • Sub-par picture quality
  • Poor viewing angle

Check Price

8.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Design Picture
Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand) : 9.2lbs (4.2 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 16.4lbs (7.4 kg)

The design of this BenQ XL2540 is great. It is well supported by the stand despite the small footprint. The stand also provides a wide range of ergonomic movements so it is easy to find a comfortable viewing position. The monitor also has external quick settings buttons and privacy flaps which can also prevent reflections or glare. The build quality is also great, even though the monitor feels almost entirely plastic. The inputs are located on the back and can be a bit difficult to access, but the ability to rotate the monitor makes it much easier.

Stand
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Stand picture
Width : 11.9" (30.2 cm)
Depth : 7.8" (19.9 cm)

The stand of the BenQ XL2540 has quite a small footprint, but it still supports the monitor well and feels stable. There is also an indent in the stand to hold the quick settings buttons fairly securely.

8.4 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Ergonomics picture
Height Adjustment : 5.6" (14.3 cm)
Switch portrait/landscape : Yes
Swivel Range : -45° to 45°
Tilt Range : -17.5° to 5°

The monitor has a wide range of ergonomic adjustments available. The height, tilt, and swivel are all adjustable to suit any viewing area and the monitor can easily be rotated to portrait which is great.

Back
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Back picture
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The rear of the monitor is quite simple but still looks good. It is all made of plastic, but there are holes in the stand for cable management which is a nice touch. The VESA mount also makes it easier to add to an existing stand or setup.

Borders
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Borders picture
Borders : 0.6" (1.4 cm)

The borders of the monitor have an average thickness. When placed side-by-side in a multi-monitor setup, there is a small gap between screens.

Thickness
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Thickness picture
Thickness (with stand) : 5.7" (14.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand) : 2.5" (6.4 cm)

When placed close to a wall, the BenQ Zowie XL2540 sits quite far forward. However, the monitor itself has an average thickness and won't stick out much if mounted on a VESA stand.

7.5 Build Quality
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Build Quality picture

The build quality is great. Although almost entirely plastic, the monitor does feel high quality and the parts fit together well.

The picture quality of BenQ XL2540 is below average. The contrast ratio is quite low, so blacks appear gray in a dark room such as when watching movies at night. It is better suited to a bright room though, as it can get quite bright and the screen finish works well to reduce the intensity of reflections, which is useful for a bright office environment or open-plan room. The image is unfortunately quite inaccurate out of the box, and the edges of the screen lose accuracy due to the poor viewing angle. It also doesn't support any features to improve the picture quality further such as local dimming or a wide color gamut.

6.1 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
1037 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

The contrast ratio of this BenQ XL2540 monitor is below average, as a result of the TN panel. This results in blacks that may appear gray when viewed in a dark room.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Edge

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.

8.3 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
:
444 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
459 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
459 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
460 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
459 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
0.000

The SDR peak brightness is great. At around 460 nits for all window sizes, the image is bright enough for almost any use or to overcome glare. The brightness is almost constant due to the lack of local dimming or frame dimming.

0 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
HDR Real Scene : N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window : N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window : N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window : N/A
HDR ABL : N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

5.3 Horizontal Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Horizontal Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
29 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
31 °
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Horizontal Brightness Picture
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
48 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
51 °
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Horizontal Black Level Picture
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
20 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
22 °
Curve Radius : N/A

Poor viewing angle, but fairly typical for a TN panel. The BenQ XL2540 doesn't have noticeable degradation while sitting directly in center but even a slight lateral movement causes the color accuracy and contrast to go haywire.

5.6 Vertical Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Vertical Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
11 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
52 °
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Vertical Brightness Picture
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
11 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
53 °
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Vertical Black Level Picture
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
23 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
22 °

The vertical viewing angle of the BenQ XL2540 is bad, but this is fairly typical of a TN panel. When viewed off-axis vertically the picture degrades very rapidly, so even when viewed from a normal distance the angle to the top and bottom edges of the screen result in a non-uniform image.

7.9 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
6.101 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.109 %
BenQ Zowie XL2540 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
1.251 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.063 %

The gray uniformity of the BenQ Zowie XL2540 is great, which is good for watching content that has large uniform areas such as sports or browsing the web. Almost no uniformity issues are visible near the center of the screen, and most of the uniformity issues, when viewed from in front, are a result of the poor vertical viewing angle.

5.8 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
2.154 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

The black uniformity is poor, which is bad for watching movies at night as dark scenes are blotchy. The edges of the screen appear a bit darker, and the top and bottom of the screen also look non-uniform due to the poor vertical viewing angle.

5.1 Pre Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Pre Calibration Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Pre Gamma Curve Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Standard
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
428 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
100
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
50
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
100-100-100
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6276 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
5.91
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.08
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.24

Disappointing accuracy out of the box for this monitor, and this when set on the most accurate picture mode. With a white balance near 6, this inaccuracy is noticeable for most people. The color accuracy is a bit better and the white points are a bit more accurate than seen on other monitors, but with a dE of 4.08, this is still noticeable for enthusiasts.

Note that the 'Standard' picture mode is the most accurate one, followed by the 'Movies' picture mode. Most of the other picture modes available have a white dE and color dE over 10, so if you use those modes without a calibration, you won't have the best picture quality.

9.5 Post Calibration
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Post Calibration Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Post Gamma Curve Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Standard
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
98 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
10
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
55
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
97-100-92
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6514 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.50
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.05
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.19

After calibration, the monitor accuracy is excellent. The white balance and color inaccuracy are well under what most people would notice, even professionals. The gamma is not tracking right on our 2.4 target and the curve is almost spot on. Not much problem can be pointed out, besides the 100% primaries being a bit off target compare to the other color, but not by that much.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here.

8.3 SDR Color Gamut
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Color Gamut s.RGB Picture
s.RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the s.RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
92.7 %
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Color Gamut ARGB Picture
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
73.5 %

The BenQ XL2540 covers standard color gamuts well. s.RGB is reproduced well enough that most content does not look muted, but its coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space is a bit too restrained to be useful for more professional use.

8.5 SDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 s.RGB Color Volume ITP picture
s.RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the s.RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
92.9 %
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Adobe RGB Color Volume ITP Picture
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
76.9 %

The s.RGB color volume coverage is excellent, which is good for most uses. Only the darker colors aren't covered as a result of the monitor's inability to produce very deep blacks. For those interested in the Adobe RGB color space, the volume coverage is not improved over sRGB.

0 HDR Color Gamut
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
No
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A

HDR gamuts are not supported.

0 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
N/A

HDR color volumes are not supported.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

No image retention is visible on this monitor, which is excellent. Even after 10 minutes of a high contrast static image, no remnants are visible.

8.9 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
8 Bit

The gradient performance of the BenQ XL2540 is great, despite the 8 bit panel. 8 bit gradations can be seen however there are no obvious errors in shades which is good.

9.6 Color Bleed
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Color bleed horizontal
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Color bleed vertical
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.077 %

Some color bleed is visible in the vertical color bars. This won't present itself as an issue in most circumstances but may be visible when looking at large areas of uniform colors.

7.5 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Average room BenQ Zowie XL2540 Average room off picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Bright room off picture

The BenQ XL2540 is good at handling reflections. The light matte finish diffuses reflections across the screen, reducing their intensity. This is good for most rooms but reflections may be noticeable in bright rooms.

9.6

Motion

Score components:

The motion handling of the BenQ XL2540 is outstanding. It has an amazing response time, which results in very short trails following moving objects. It uses DC dimming, so the screen is flicker-free, and BFI can be enabled to clear up motion further. The monitor has a very high native refresh rate of 240Hz and can use FreeSync to display variable frame rates lower than its native refresh rate when used with a compatible video card.

9.8 Motion Blur
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Motion Blur Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
3.3 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
7.9 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
High

AMA Off
AMA High
AMA Premium

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 has an extremely fast response time, which is excellent when watching fast-paced content such as playing action games or watching sports. Pixel transition speed can be modified by changing the 'AMA' (Overdrive) setting. We recommend using the 'High' setting for fast response with minimal overshoot, while the 'Premium' setting is slightly faster but introduces more overshoot artifacts. If you are bothered by the lighter trails following moving objects caused by pixel transition overshoot, you should use the 'AMA Off' setting.

9.3 Image Flicker
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Backlight Picture
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
BenQ Zowie XL2540 BFI Picture BenQ Zowie XL2540 BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
240 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
100 Hz

Like most monitors, the BenQ XL2540 doesn't flicker and shows each image for a full frame. Without flicker, motion appears slightly smoother, which is good for smooth motion while browsing the web or working on documents. This does result in more persistence blur, but it is possible to use Black Frame Insertion (BFI) to add flicker and help reduce persistence blur. This is useful for playing fast-paced games such as shooters.

The BFI setting on this monitor (called BenQ Blur Reduction) isn't available in the OSD menu but can be activated in the monitor's service menu or by using the BlurBusters.com BenQ Strobe Utility (see here). The service menu is activated by turning the monitor off, holding down button #4 (4th button from the left), then pressing the power button. When the monitor is powered on, button #4 will bring up the service menu (rather than the OSD). To bring back the normal OSD simply turn the monitor off and on again.

9.6 Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
240 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
240 Hz
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : DisplayPort, HDMI

The monitor has a very high native refresh rate of 240Hz, which is great for a very responsive feel. FreeSync on this monitor can adjust the screen's refresh rate to match the frame rate of a compatible graphics card, which allows playing graphically-intensive games with significant framerate drops without tearing or stuttering.

8.6

Inputs

Score components:

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 has excellent low input lag, but only a fairly common FHD resolution and 25" size, which are good enough for most people but may disappoint enthusiasts.

9.6 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
3.7 ms
Non-Native Resolution
What it is:

Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:

Native Resolution Non-Native Resolution Tested
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
3.7 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
14.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
3.6 ms
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
5.5 ms

The input lag of this Zowie gaming monitor is exceptional. At the native 240Hz refresh rate the input lag is around 3.7ms, which is excellent even for the most competitive gamers. At 60Hz the input lag is higher, however, this is expected due to the longer scan out period.

7.2 Resolution and Size
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
Native Resolution : FHD, 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 2.1 MP
Pixel Density : 91 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 24.5 inches
Screen Area : 254 sq inches

The screen area and native resolution are decent. A 1080p resolution is about a minimum for most monitors now, so it doesn't provide as much productive screen area as higher resolution models.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 2.0), 1 (HDMI 1.4)
DVI : 1 (DVI-D, dual link)
VGA : No
DisplayPort Out : No
USB : 2 (USB 3.0)
USB C : No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Microphone In 3.5mm : 1
Digital Optical Audio Out : No
Analog Audio Out RCA : No

Features

This BenQ Zowie XL2540 monitor has a few additions which improve the usability. There is an external quick settings button which works well to swap between presents (for example, different settings for gaming and web browsing), and the on-screen display is easy to navigate.

Additional Features
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Score components:
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : No

They are many common features such as 'Black eQualizer' to improve the visibility of dark scenes, and 'Low Blue Light' to produce a warmer image.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
BenQ Zowie XL2540 Controls picture

The controls are located at the border on the bottom right-hand side of the monitor. The buttons are clear and provide good tactile feedback when pushed. They also stick out a bit, when makes then easy to use.

In The Box
BenQ Zowie XL2540 In The Box picture

  • Manual
  • Cover
  • Display port cable
  • USB cable

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 25" BenQ Zowie XL2540, but it is also available with different refresh rates, and with the 'DyAc' feature. 'DyAc' adds image flicker by default (similar to enabling 'Blur Reduction' on the XL2540 in the service menu).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their monitor doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Refresh Rate Resolution Other
XL2540 25" 240Hz 1080p  
XL2546 25" 240Hz 1080p DyAc
XL2411P 24" 144Hz 1080p  
XL2536 24.5" 144Hz 1080p DyAc

Compared to other Monitors

BenQ Zowie XL2540 Group Shot Picture
Left: AOC AGON AG271QX. Middle: BenQ Zowie XL2540. Right: Dell U2715H
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 is a great monitor for gaming (it is one of the best 1080p gaming monitors for PC we've tested) and it feels very responsive due to the 240Hz refresh rate and very low input lag. Unfortunately, the picture quality is sub-par and the 1080p screen is quite limiting compared to higher resolution competitors.

ASUS VG248QE

The BenQ Zowie XL2540 is better than the ASUS VG248QE. The Zowie XL2540 has a faster refresh rate, great for gaming, although not all computers will be able to benefit fully from this. The BenQ also supports FreeSync VRR. The Zowie also has a slightly better stand that has a wider range of motion for the adjustments.

ASUS ROG PG279Q

The ASUS ROG PG279Q is much better than the BenQ Zowie XL2540. The PG279Q has a higher native resolution and larger IPS screen that has much better viewing angles. While both support VRR, the ASUS uses NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology whereas the BenQ uses AMD's FreeSync technology, so it is important to match the monitor with whichever graphics card you have to be able to get the most out of either monitor.

Acer Predator XB271HU

The Acer Predator XB271HU is better than the BenQ Zowie XL2540. The Predator has a higher native resolution and larger screen, so you can see more fine details in games. The Predator also has wider viewing angles, which is especially important as the edges of the screen won't fade if you are sitting too close. While both support VRR, the Predator uses NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology whereas the Zowie uses AMD's FreeSync technology.

Dell U2715H

The Dell U2715H is marginally better than the BenQ Zowie XL2540, unless your main usage is for gaming. The Dell has a larger IPS screen with a higher native resolution, so you can see more details when working. The Dell has wider viewing angles so the image remains accurate when sitting very close to the screen or if sharing your work with someone else. If your main usage is for gaming, the Zowie has less motion blur, less input lag and a much faster refresh rate, plus it supports FreeSync VRR.

AOC AGON AG271QX

The AOC Agon AG271QX is a 27" gaming monitor with a TN panel. It has a higher 1440p resolution, which combined with the slightly larger size results in more screen area for multitasking. The refresh rate is lower, at 144Hz, which feels smooth but isn't as responsive as the 240Hz Zowie for gaming. Overall, the higher resolution of the AG271QX is better for editing media or office work, but the XL2540 is better for gaming.

Dell S2716DG

The S2716DG is a gaming monitor from Dell which supports G-Sync and refresh rates of up to 144Hz. It has a higher 1440p resolution which is better for multi-tasking due to the extra screen area. Unfortunately, the TN panel loses accuracy when viewed at an angle (similar to the XL2540) so the image quality is sub-par. Go with the Dell S2716DG for productivity, but for fast-paced games, the more responsive BenQ XL2540 is a better choice.

Samsung CHG70

The Samsung CHG70 is an HDR gaming monitor. It has better than average picture quality, as the VA panel can produce blacks that appear deep even in a dark room. HDR support is also decent, as the monitor has a wide color gamut and decent HDR peak brightness. Overall, the better picture quality and higher resolution 1440p screen is a better choice for those that can afford it, but it comes at a premium.

+ Show more

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.4Mixed Usage
Score components:
Above average monitor for mixed usage. Motion handling is excellent, which makes it a good candidate for gaming and other fast-paced activities. However, the picture quality is sub-par. When sat close the edges of the screen lose contrast and saturation due to the narrow viewing angle.
Average monitor for office use. The monitor feels very responsive due to the low response time and input lag, but the picture quality is below average. There also isn't a lot of screen real estate for multitasking due to the low native resolution.
Great choice for gaming. The BenQ XL2540 supports a 240Hz input and FreeSync, so games feel very responsive. The input lag is also exceptional. Unfortunately, the picture quality is below average, and the edges of the screen appear non-uniform due to the poor viewing angle.
Decent for watching movies and TV shows. The monitor can get bright to combat glare and the light matte finish is good at diffusing reflections across the screen. Unfortunately, the picture quality is below average due to the low native contrast ratio, and the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.
Decent for creating media or editing photos. The BenQ Zowie XL2540 feels responsive due to the excellent motion handling and is good at fighting glare and reflections in a bright room. Unfortunately, the picture quality is below average and the image degrades when viewed at an angle.
Doesn't support HDR or more advanced features like local dimming or a wide color gamut. This is normal for most monitors, as only a few monitors such as the CHG70 support HDR at the moment.

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