This monitor is spectacular, and everything you could possibly want. Firstly, it has a nice glossy, black finish, with a matt black stand. The delay time is unnoticeable and gaming can be carried out fine without any delays. The screen stands out amazingly and is super bright. The built in speakers aren't great, but they will suffice for the odd bit of music and the occasional youtube video. The DVI and VGA are more than enough for the average user but some might be after an HDMI connection which sadly isn't present here. Personally, I'd recommend that if you have the budget and the space you should perhaps go for a bigger screen size than 20". Going for a smaller screen size is the one thing I regret about getting this monitor and feel a 22" or 23" would have been alot better. Overall, if this is the size you're looking for then buy it.
I was looking to replace my small, aged computer monitor before the VAT rise in January, but on the run up to Christmas, could not really justify spending so much on myself. I had however, accumulated some Amazon vouchers from survey sites but not enough to cover the costs of a wide screen monitor. Then - miracles do happen - Dooyoo gave me a bumper £50 voucher reward for one of my reviews. After I had semi-recovered from the shock, I spent a little of it on my dogs and put the rest with my other vouchers and ...well here we are, reviewing my purchase.
~~~~My hunt for a suitable monitor~~~~
When I searched through Amazon's large catalogue of monitors, I realized that I needed to get straight in my mind what exactly I did want from a monitor; size was one consideration to take into account, and one with speakers. Many monitors on Amazon do not have speakers, so this narrowed my search considerably. The next thing to consider was brand, and compatibility with Windows 7. I decide to go for well known and trustworthy brands, such as Samsung, AGneovi and BenQ.
Having narrowed my selection down to size, brands with speakers and that all-important price tag, the monitor that ticked my boxes was the BenQ GL2040M 20.1 inch wide screen LCD/LED monitor. An added bonus was its comparatively low power consumption 27watts, almost half the wattage of some of the other LCD monitors.
~~~~The BenQ LCD/LED Monitor~~~~
Two days after ordering, my well-packaged monitor arrived from Amazon, the total cost to me was £96.94 with free postage and packaging.
Included in the parcel was the monitor screen, a monitor stand, power lead, audio cable and a DVI-D cable to connect monitor to the PC. Also included was a short Quick Start guide with diagrams showing how to assemble the monitor onto the stand and where the cables were to be inserted and a CD-ROM disc with manual that could be printed if required.
~~~~Is it an LCD or an LED monitor? I ask~~~~
Before I go any further, I must tell of the confusion I encountered about the monitor description. It is listed as an LCD monitor but has LED stamped on the front. To untangle the mystery of this double identity, I emailed BenQ and asked the differences between LCD and LED and to tell me if my monitor was a LCD, LED or a hybrid.
Back came the reply that LCD (liquid crystal display)monitors and LED monitors are based on the same basic technology for image display, but differ in the kind of backlighting used. LCD monitors use the more energy hungry, cathode fluorescent lamps for backlighting, LED monitor use light emitting diodes, which are more cost effective and environmentally friendly because they use less energy.
Then came the info that all their LCD monitors are LED -so, am I still confused? Yes. I could only assume that the monitor is a sort of hybrid.
Like a dog with a bone, I just had to find out, and emailed them again, to inquire if it was indeed a hybrid. I also wanted to know what the initials TFT and Senseye, stood for; both terms used in its description.
For anyone who may be interested, here in brief, was the reply:
"You may see a monitor from 2 aspects; display and backlight. LCD is the display technique. LED is one of the backlight techniques. Therefore, you are right, LCD display - LED backlight means this model is a sort of hybrid of LCD and LED technology."
Now I understand and can let go of the bone. They went on to tell me that "TFT stands for Thin-Film Transistor."
The transistors embedded within the monitor panel, work like a switch to activate LCD to control the brightness of light passing the colour filter and hence form different colours. The Senseye is the latest technology which helps intensify the brightness of colours and contrasts.
All far too complicated for me to understand, so will take their word for it that the technology is used to enhance the picture quality.
~~~~The LCD GL2040M monitor specifications ~~~~
The glossy black monitor has six controls inset on the right outer edge, their functions clearly marked on the front border surrounding the screen.
Although flat screen, the rear cover is smoothly, convexly curved, rather like that of a shallow basket for gathering flowers.
The LCD screen size is 20.1 inches measured diagonally and LED backlit.
Overall dimensions: Height of the monitor plus stand: 36.4cm. Width: 49.2cm. Depth: 15.98cm
Gross Weight: 4.8 kg
The maximum resolution achievable is 1600 x 900.
This, I am reliably informed, is the number of pixels on the screen that make up the whole image, but is dependant though, on the quality or grade of the computer graphics card or image processor.
Pixel pitch 0.276 mm.
A Pixel is a coloured dot of light on the screen, which forms a small part of the picture. The Pixel pitch is the distance between each pixel. Short pixel pitches are used on the average desk monitors when viewed up close, to give a sharp, crisp picture, but the larger distances are used on the massive monitor screens used in public places such as football matches when they are viewed at a distance.
Brightness 250 cd/m2 (Candelas per square meter.)
A brightly lit screen is important when working in a brightly lit room, this apparently can be adjusted using on screen controls.
Contrast ratio: 1000:1
The Ultra High Dynamic Contrast: (DCR) is 12,000,000:1
Response time: 5ms (5 milliseconds)
This is how quickly the image is drawn onto the screen and refreshed. A fast response is important for gaming or viewing high definition video camera footage on the computer. A low response time would result in blurring of images leaving a sort of ghosting trail. However, a good quality resolution would normally have a high response time.
I believe that the better choice for gaming though, is one with a 2ms response time. Even so a 5ms response is more than adequate for videos.
Maximum power consumption: 27W
Most LCD monitors, these days consume about 45W of electricity, but because of the LED backlighting, the power consumption has been reduced on the GL2030M to 27W
Windows 7 compatible.
The latest Windows 7 will recognise and accept this monitor
Means that the angle of the monitor can be adjusted up or down to suit individual requirements.
The monitor clipped easily onto the stand. The tilting mechanism was simple to adjust. Each of the terminals on the underside of the back of the monitor was clearly labelled, so there was no chance of attaching cables incorrectly.
I downloaded the manual from the CD-ROM but did not bother to print it, since the set up was simple enough without further instruction.
All I needed to do was connect the three supplied leads to the back of the monitor, and the PC tower and switch on. The monitor was immediately useable.
Since I have no interest in fast gaming, this monitor is perfect for my needs. The on screen picture is crisp, with good, adjustable sound quality. I feel confident, that should any problems occur I will be able to contact the BenQ Service and Support team and receive a speedy response to my queries.
I have now been using this monitor for twelve months, it is still as good as new, with no loss in sharpness or colour and has remained trouble free throughout. I thoroughly recommend this monitor.
The monitor is almost three years old now with many more years of life ahead of it. Still perfect for all my computing needs.
2013: Still in perfect condition.
The links to view the vast selection of BenQ monitors is: http://benq.eu/products/LCD/index.cfm/page/specifications/product/1180