The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is an excellent gaming monitor that delivers exceptional motion handling. It has a quick response time and a 240Hz refresh rate that result in clear images in fast-moving scenes, and it has both FreeSync support and G-SYNC compatibility to reduce screen tearing. Its 25 inch screen and 1080p resolution should satisfy most people; however, it might feel a bit cramped if you're using it for work. Its excellent ergonomics let you place the screen at your optimal viewing position, but its TN panel has poor viewing angles, causing images to look inaccurate from the sides. Also, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks appear gray, and it doesn't support HDR.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is a decent monitor overall. It's excellent for gaming due to its low input lag, fast response time, and high refresh rate. The 25 inch screen size and 1080p resolution should be satisfactory for most people, but it might be too small for productivity, especially if you have multiple windows opened side-by-side. Sadly, it doesn't support HDR.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is decent for office use. It has a 25 inch screen that should be big enough for most people, but it might feel a bit cramped if you have multiple windows side-by-side. You can adjust the screen easily thanks to its excellent ergonomics; however, it has a TN panel with poor viewing angles, so it isn't the best choice if you want to share your work. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most lighting conditions, but it may not get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is an excellent gaming monitor. It has an exceptionally low input lag and a high refresh rate to deliver a fluid and responsive gaming experience. Its fast response time results in clear images in fast-moving scenes, and it supports variable refresh rate technology to reduce screen tearing. Unfortunately, it's not the best for gaming in the dark due to its low contrast ratio, and its poor viewing angles aren't ideal for playing co-op games.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is decent for media consumption. Most people should be satisfied with its 25 inch screen and 1080p resolution, and it has excellent ergonomics so that you can adjust the screen for the best viewing experience. However, images look washed out from the sides due to its narrow viewing angles, which isn't ideal for sharing content. Additionally, it has a low contrast ratio that makes blacks look gray in the dark.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is decent for content creation. It has an excellent SDR color gamut with near full sRGB coverage and decent accuracy out of the box. However, the 25 inch screen might not be big enough for some people, and the pixel density is a bit low, resulting in a less detailed and blurrier image. Also, it has a TN panel with a low contrast ratio, and its poor viewing angles aren't ideal if you want to share your work.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K doesn't support HDR.
We tested the 25" BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K. There are two other variants with slightly reduced features, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546 and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546S. It's been replaced by the BenQ ZOWIE XL2566K, which ups the refresh rate to 360Hz and offers a customizable overdrive setting. There are many monitors in the XL lineup of gaming monitors; you can see some of them in the table below.
|Model||Size||Resolution||Refresh Rate||Panel Type||Notes|
|XL2566K||24.5"||1920 x 1080||360Hz||TN||4-way Scroll S Switch, XL Setting to Share, DyAc+|
|XL2546K||24.5"||1920 x 1080||240Hz||TN||4-way Scroll S Switch, XL Setting to Share, DyAc+|
|XL2546S||24.5"||1920 x 1080||240Hz||TN||2-way Scroll S Switch, DyAc+|
|XL2546||24.5"||1920 x 1080||240Hz||TN||2-way Scroll S Switch, DyAc|
|XL2540||25"||1920 x 1080||240Hz||TN|
|XL2411P||24"||1920 x 1080||144Hz||TN||No VRR|
If someone comes across a different type of panel or their BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as the gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.
Our unit was manufactured in August 2020; you can see the label here.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K is an excellent gaming monitor that delivers remarkably smooth gameplay. However, it's expensive for a 25 inch 1080p TN panel, so it's better suited for esports players who need the greatest responsiveness at the cost of other features like HDR support. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best 1080p monitors, the best 24-25 inch monitors, and the best 240Hz monitors.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K and the ViewSonic XG2431 are both 240Hz gaming monitors with a few differences. The ViewSonic has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles, and while the BenQ has a TN panel. The response times are similar between both. The overall picture quality is better on the ViewSonic because it gets brighter and has better accuracy. It supports HDR, which the BenQ doesn't, but the HDR doesn't add much.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2566K are extremely similar overall, but the newer XL2566K offers better motion handling and a customizable overdrive setting. When comparing the same settings across both displays, the XL2566K delivers a faster rise/fall time and significantly less overshoot, resulting in clearer motion with less ghosting or white trails behind fast-moving objects.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG259QM is much better than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K. The ASUS has a better contrast ratio, higher peak brightness, and wider viewing angles. It has a stand with a much wider swivel range, and it supports HDR. The BenQ has better reflection handling, and its input lag is much lower when playing at 60Hz.
The Dell Alienware AW2521HF and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K are both 25 inch, 1080p, 240Hz gaming monitors but with different panel types. The Dell uses an IPS panel, while the BenQ has a TN panel. Motion handling is about the same, but the Dell has slightly better response times. It also has wider viewing angles, and it gets brighter to combat glare. The BenQ has a Black Frame Insertion feature, but it isn't usable simultaneously with VRR, and the flickering might bother some people.
The Dell Alienware AW2521H is better than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K. The Dell has a higher refresh rate of 360Hz and a slightly better response time, resulting in smoother motion and greater responsiveness. It also has a better contrast ratio, wider viewing angles, and gets brighter to combat glare. The Dell has more features, like HDR support and a USB hub with four USB 3.0 ports.
The ASUS ROG Swift 360Hz PG259QN is better than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K for most uses. The ASUS has a higher 360Hz refresh rate compared to the BenQ's 240Hz, gets brighter to combat glare, and supports HDR. It also has wider viewing angles and better accuracy out of the box. Its response time is faster, but there's more overshoot. The ASUS is a native G-SYNC monitor, while the BenQ supports FreeSync natively with G-SYNC compatibility. The BenQ has better ergonomics due to its wider swivel range.
The ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM is a bit better overall than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K, but they're both excellent for gaming due to their similarly fast response times. That said, the BenQ is better for gaming at 60Hz because it doesn't have the same input lag and response time issues that the ASUS does at 60Hz. They both use TN panels and suffer some of the same problems typical of that panel type, like narrow viewing angles and low contrast ratio. However, the ASUS gets significantly brighter, so it's better for well-lit rooms, and it feels better built.
The Acer Nitro XV252Q Fbmiiprx is much better overall than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K. The Acer has a faster refresh rate and much faster response time, especially when gaming at 60Hz, resulting in clearer motion with less blur behind fast-moving objects. The Acer also has much better viewing angles, and it supports HDR, although this doesn't add much, as it has low contrast and it's not very bright in HDR.
The Gigabyte M27Q performs better than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K for most uses. Although the BenQ has a higher refresh rate and a better response time, it has more motion artifacts in fast-moving scenes than the Gigabyte, which might bother some people. The Gigabyte's larger IPS panel has a higher resolution and provides wider viewing angles than the BenQ's TN panel. It also gets brighter, supports HDR, and offers more features, like USB-C input and a Picture-in-Picture mode.
The MSI Oculux NXG253R is much better than the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K overall, but just a bit better for gaming. The MSI has better viewing angles, better gray uniformity, better colors, and better gradient handling. For gaming, the differences are less noticeable. The MSI has a faster refresh rate and much better motion handling at 60Hz, but the BenQ has a slightly better response time at the max refresh rate.
The BenQ Zowie XL2546K has a plain and simple design that isn't too heavy on the gamer aesthetic, so it should fit easily into most office environments. The borders are a little on the thicker side compared to other recent monitors. Like the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540, anti-glare shields are included in the box.
The stand is relatively small and entirely plastic. Unfortunately, it isn't stable, and the monitor wobbles a lot when nudged.
The ergonomics are excellent. It allows for all manner of adjustments, making it easy to adjust the screen to your ideal viewing position.
The back is plain except for the branding and the headphone hook on the right. There's a cutout on the stand for cable management and a quick-release feature to remove the stand for VESA-mounting.
Both the monitor and the stand are of moderate thickness.
The build quality is okay as it's entirely made out of plastic and feels a bit cheap. The stand isn't particularly stable, and the monitor wobbles a lot. The adjustment hinges are sturdy, but adjusting the display doesn't feel smooth and causes the whole monitor to move. Also, you can easily separate the bezels from the screen.
As is expected of most TN panels, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has a sub-par contrast ratio, resulting in blacks that look gray in dark rooms. It's a bit lower than the advertised 1000:1; however, contrast can vary between individual units.
The Benq XL2546K doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has decent SDR peak brightness, a bit lower than the advertised 320 cd/m². It's remarkably consistent when displaying different scenes, but it might not be bright enough to overcome glare in well-lit environments. If you want a monitor that gets significantly brighter, check out the ASUS TUF Gaming VG258QM.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration in the 'Standard' Picture Mode with Brightness set to max. Calibration seems to reduce the screen's overall peak brightness, as we were able to reach 335.2 cd/m² before calibration, which is much closer to the advertised brightness.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
The BenQ XL2546K has mediocre horizontal viewing angles. You lose image accuracy almost as soon as you move off-center, which isn't ideal if you want to share content or play co-op games.
Poor vertical viewing angles. This makes the image look inaccurate if you have the monitor mounted above eye level.
Gray uniformity is good; however, this can vary between units. The upper edge of the screen is darker, and although it's better in near-dark scenes, you can still see the difference in shade between the top and bottom half of the screen. Thankfully, dirty screen effect is pretty minimal.
Our BenQ XL2546K has mediocre black uniformity; however, this may vary between units. The whole screen is blue/gray, and there's some clouding here and there.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has decent accuracy out of the box. Most colors and shades of gray are slightly inaccurate, and the cold color temperature gives the image a slight blueish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve all that well, resulting in most scenes appearing brighter than they should. Note that accuracy can vary between units.
Accuracy is exceptional after calibration. The remaining color inaccuracies shouldn't be visible with the naked eye. White balance is nearly perfect, and the color temperature is much closer to our 6500k target. Gamma is much improved, but some dark and bright scenes are over-brightened.
You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.
The BenQ XL2546K has an excellent SDR color gamut. It covers the commonly-used sRGB color space almost entirely, and it has good Adobe RGB coverage, a color space that's mostly used for photo editing.
Excellent color volume. It only has trouble displaying dark colors due to its low contrast ratio.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K doesn't support HDR.
This monitor doesn't support HDR.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K doesn't show any signs of image retention; however, this can vary between units.
Great gradient handling. There's banding in most colors, but it's more noticeable in the grays and greens.
There's a little bit of vertical color bleed, but it isn't noticeable in regular content.
Great reflection handling. The matte anti-reflective coating works very well at reducing the intensity of reflected lights. However, visibility can still be an issue as the screen might not get bright enough to overcome intense glare. That said, there are anti-glare panels included if glare is a problem.
Decent text clarity. Enabling Windows ClearType (top photo) improves diagonal lines such as on the R and N. The pixels are blurry due to the monitor's matte anti-reflective coating.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has exceptional response time at its max refresh rate. Images are clear in fast-moving scenes, but there are some dark artifacts, most notably on the moving object's leading edge. It's recommended to leave the overdrive setting at 'Off' because the other options add too much overshoot. The replacement model, the BenQ ZOWIE XL2566K delivers a better response time and a customizable overdrive setting, ensuring you get the best motion possible.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The response time at 60Hz is great. The image is blurrier than at max refresh rate, but there are less dark artifacts. The recommended overdrive setting is 'High' because it provides the best performance with an acceptable overshoot level. This means you have to change the overdrive setting if your game's frame rate drops to 60Hz.
The backlight is flicker-free at all backlight levels, which helps minimize image duplication and reduce eye strain.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has an optional Black Frame Insertion feature that can improve motion clarity called DyAc+. It can be enabled at any refresh rate, but the flickering doesn't match the refresh rate below 100Hz, which results in visible image duplication due to crosstalk. Also, it isn't usable while VRR is active.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has a high refresh rate to deliver smooth gameplay and supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing. It's compatible with G-SYNC as well, but it only works over a DisplayPort connection.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has remarkably low input lag. It's higher at 60Hz, but it shouldn't be noticeable for most people.
The BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K has a decent resolution and size. It should be big and sharp enough for most gamers, but it might feel a bit cramped for multitasking.
There's a mini-USB port to plug in the S Switch module.
The BenQ XL2546K has few additional features. It has a Black eQualizer feature that makes objects more visible in dark scenes and a blue light filter to reduce eye strain. It also comes with a wired remote control that makes it easier to access the monitor's settings called the S Switch.
The controls are located on the right backside of the monitor. There are three buttons and a joystick, allowing you to turn the monitor On/Off and navigate the on-screen menu. There's a remote control called the S Switch included in the box that makes navigating the settings menu easier. However, it's wired and needs to be plugged into the mini-USB port.