BenQ has built a strong repertoire of gaming displays, making the company well reputed as a brand for gaming monitors. They also feature their displays in many gaming competitions, notably Major League Gaming. We earlier reviewed their XL series Monitor and today we have the RL. The RL series is built to be optimized for RTS (real time strategy) gaming, like the recent Total War: Attila. BenQ co-developed this display in collaboration with pro gamers of the genre. Today we take a look at the RL2455HM, a professional gaming monitor for RTS players.
This 24¨W LED monitor features some proprietary technology like the Black eQualizer, RTS Mode, along with some high end features like Smart Scaling, 1ms GTG, HDMI and 12M:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It packs all of this for a retail price of around INR 15,000. As per the price this falls under the low to mid tier gaming range. We will test the monitor not only through RTS for also through various other genres and media to find out how if their is any significant merit to all the RTS technology or is it just marketing plow.
Design, Build and Construction
Setting up the monitor is simple and straight forward. Once setup, the monitor offers a very self-assured suave look. The build features a matte finished border of the bezel which is quite large. It measures around 435mm x 579mm x 189mm. Physical menu buttons are on the right hand side for menu control. They do have small markings on them making them easily distinguishable by touch. BenQ have done away with assigning each key to a different function rather pressing anyone of them will bring up the entire menu. The menu buttons are black, the power button is transparent which glows green, yellow while the monitor is on or in sleep mode. The main screen is at a depth of a few millimeters from the bezel on the side. This makes the UI on the sides reflect on the screen, something I’m personally not fond of. Also the inner lining of the bezel is slightly more smoother that the rest of it, making light reflect more.
When facing the back you have the power socket on the left side along with Audio in and out ports. There are 2 speakers built in for stereo sound, which run at 2 watts per channel. The speakers are just functional enough to make due when you don’t have anything better, like when travelling. You can connect a 3.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable from your cabinet to the monitor and then plug in your headphones directly to the monitor. This offers a great level of comfort and a reasonable feature at the price range. There is however no USB port, something seen with high end displays. The said cable is not included in the box and will have to be bought separately. On the right side you have 1 VGA, 1 DVI and 2 HDMI connectors all well spaced out. On the back there are sockets for wall mounting support as well. There is only on vent on the back which is located on the top of the rectangular mount.
The monitor’s stand that has the same matte finish as the bezel itself. The shape of the foot stand makes it convenient to place your phones or controllers on it. The stand also has a red streak going through it on the form of a U shaped thick line adding some color to the otherwise pure black display. Straight out of the box the monitor is really easy to setup with a click and lock-in mechanism of the stand to fit on the display. To remove the stand all you need to do is press the release button on it. Easy, quick and tool less. There is no option for the screen to swivel left or right with the stand, neither does it allow for height adjustment. The only movement it offers is to adjust the tilt of the display up or down.
The BenQ RL2455HM has a Screen Size of 24 inches, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The native resolution 1920 × 1080 operates at a 60Hz refresh rate. PC gamers who are now adopting 120Hz display might find this lacking, it a great fit for those that game primarily on a console, even the latest Xbox One and PS4. The BenQ RL2455HM has average viewing angles with the colour reproduction remaining accurate at a good range, although the brightness and gamma suffers. The viewing angles from the side also look much better than from the top or bottom where the colours and contrast are lost much quicker at even the slightest shift in position. Similar to other monitors in the price range, the RL2455HM also uses TN panel with an LED backlight. TN panels are preferred for their fast response times and the RL2455HM display offers 1ms response time. This is already a step above the competition, most of which offer a 2ms response time. Reduced response time helps reduce ghosting (when the ghost of the last frame is super imposed on the next one causing a smearing or blurring visual effect).
The display comes with a set of preset profiles, Standard, Movie, Photo, sRGB, Eco then there are the RTS 1 and RTS 2,and Gamer 1,2 and 3. This makes for a lot of choice which can be custom setup for on-the-fly quick swapping. I found myself mostly using standard with a few tweaks and RTS 1 for gaming. As a bonus feature the monitor comes out of the box pre configured for the current top two RTS games. With the RTS 1 mode for StarCraft 2 and the RTS 2 for Dota 2.
Even though the colours may not be as bright and vibrant as a IPS panel, the RL2455HM makes up for in its 1ms response time (grey to grey). This makes the images crisp even during high motion.
The monitor includes Flicker-free Technology witch aims at eliminate flickering at all brightness levels, effectively reducing eye fatigue. I tested it with some high speed fighting games and racing games and indeed it works wonderfully. The Black eQualizer lights up the darker areas on the screen without affecting the rest of the game, which would happen if you turn the brightness or gamma high. This sounds great on paper but in most of the games I played it lead to shallow blacks without the deep dark contrast that makes the rest of the colours pop. While it may offer slight benefit for some games it comes at a big cost.
Another big feature on the label is AMA (Advanced Motion Accelerator). It is supposed to reduce/eliminate any motion blur in games that force the setting on, even during high motion video and text. However, this feature does not work all that well as it leaves behind a very noticeable glow when turned on, causing a ghosting like leftover to appear on the page, which is especially noticeable when working with text.
For games that do not follow the 16:9 ratio you can use either the Display Mode to Interchange instantly between different screen sizes from 17″, 19″ and 19″W, 21.5″W, 22″W, 23″W to 24″W. Or use Smart Scaling that scales and stretches the content made for smaller screens to fit your. When used in combination it can allow for maximizing compatibility and display for many older or poorly optimized games.
The BenQ RL2455HM is easy to overlook as it lacks any distinguishable feature. The use of 60Hz on a 1080p display makes it just one of the many displays out in the market. If you are however on a budget or perhaps looking for a good monitor to pair with your console, this is one of the best choices. This monitor has decent features, noticeably its flicker-free technology and 1ms response time. On the display quality side, it won’t be winning any accolades but will do the job, for gamers atleast. For people into image and video processing, an IPS panel is advised. Viewing angles on the RL2455HM are average too. BenQ have combined the best features in a nice looking display with little extras in every corner, a mark of a product with good detail, making it one of the best displays offered in budget gameing range.
+ Easy To Set Up and Use
+ Preconfigured RTS and Gamer display profiles
+ Crisp sharp pictures even during fast motion
+Low fatigue on the eye
- AMA causes ghosting when enabled
- Stand does not swivel
- Average viewing angles