Price/Where to Buy
US:$399 – Zowie XL2540 Esports 240Hz Gaming Monitor
PH: Php –
There are two sides in the monitor performance race and this has been largely between the resolution side and the refresh rate side. As more and more monitors have pushed their resolutions to 4K Ultra HD, many manufacturers have moved on to 21:9 or other resolutions to offer to their consumers. Gamers who prefer eye candy and have the power to drive these monitors have been the main target of these offerings. The other side of the coin is the Esports market where games are literally easier to drive and don’t tax GPUs that much but a fraction of a second is the difference between the top prize and being second. With the stakes getting higher and higher, dedicated esports monitors have popped up and right now its a stiff rivalry between the seasoned veteran BenQ and the relative newcomer to the monitor, scene ASUS.
Today we have the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 240hz monitor for review and it is their flagship esports monitor under the ZOWIE branding and features the fastest refresh rate to date from the company. Read on to find out more about this top-end competitive gaming monitor!
- Native 240Hz refresh rate delivers smoothest ever gameplay experience
- Shield helps you focus on the game by blocking out distractions
- Built-in black equalizer technology brightens dark scenes without over-exposing the bright areas
- The effortless one-finger height adjustable stand provides personalized viewing angles
- S switch allows you to easily access settings
BenQ’s packages the ZOWIE XL2540 in a black box with red highlights. The model name is printed in large fonts at one side of the front.
Inside the packaging we have a large array of inclusions all sorted in their own compartments separated by cutouts on the styrofoam.
Taking out all the package inclusions aside from the monitor parts are an accessory package including an AC cable, a USB3.0 cable, a DisplayPort Cable, the S Switch, a screen cover and an installation disc with documentations and warranty card.
The package divides the monitor into 3 components: the base as seen above, the stand and the panel itself. Here we have the base it features a metal structure covered by a matte plastic shell for aesthetics.
Here’s another shot of the base where we can view the locking mechanism for the vertical stand.
The vertical stand twists into place and is locked by the screw key at the bottom.
The base has guide keys for panning. The base itself can be rotated so the primary arrow marker is where you want it. Perfect for those that want to remember their position as they like.
The main monitor panel slots into the tabs on the vertical mount and locks into place.
The height of the monitor can be adjusted as seen above.
There is also another sliding guide as well as markers on the vertical mount so you can mark your preferred height. The gradation are a nice touch adding some precision to the height adjustment.
From the back we can see the rather bare matte finish of the XL2540 with some red labels to denote which is which in the input ports. The vertical stand has a handle on the top for easy handling of the monitor. The circular cutout on the base serves as a routing hole for cable management purposes and adds a slight touch of design to the rather simplistic take on the stand.
Aside from adjusting up and down, the main panel can be tilted up or down by a few degrees for better viewing depending on your position.
The screen can also be rotated to portrait mode where you can configure them in multidisplay format for a really large display array.
BenQ includes two side flaps you can screw on the sides and they serve to block out lighting or colors from your peripheral vision, maximizing your focus on the screen itself. The flaps can be swung inwards and outwards a good bit. They’re mostly seen in action on production and professional displays and BenQ has seen it fit to equip their top-end gaming monitors with a similar feature as well. As for their benefits, that’s completely up to the user.
Going over the I/O on the monitor lets take a look at the side first. We have a pair of USB3.0 ports as well as a microphone and audio out ports. The red dot at the side is the retractable headphone hook which as the name suggests, can be used to hang your headphone or whatever you feel like hanging there.
The input ports for the XL2540 include a USB3.0 Type B (cable included) a DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. To fully use the 240hz of the XL2540 you will need to use DisplayPort or HDMI 2.0. Only one HDMI port on this monitor will allow full 240Hz. Dual-link DVI is also present. At the far end we have the audio inputs for the side interface as well as the port for the S Switch module.
BenQ did a good job on this monitor with no evident bleeding even in higher exposure.
In a more natural setting the black screen would look like this.
As a TN panel, the XL2540 does have limited viewing angle but not as bad as the more cheaper ones in the lower end models. The XL2540 has a significantly improved viewing angle from left and right and only starts washing out at a certain angle. Top and bottom angle wash out faster though as seen in the images above.
The monitor scores a good 4.5/5 in DataColor’s Spyder5 Elite Analysis tool which is a very good score. The rest of the results are below for your reference. Note that we used the built in sRGB setting for all tests unless stated otherwise. The monitor defaults to FPS1 out of the box.
User Experience and Conclusion
As this monitor is intended for gaming, its function sits mainly on its fluidity rather than color accuracy and despite its quite excellent performance in terms of color presentation, the actual value of the monitor lies in its refresh rate and 240hz is no easy feat to perform. With a GTX 1080 Ti in tow, we put our display to the firing up the most popular of eSports titles including DOTA2 and Overwatch at their highest settings in 1080p. If you want to see the performance of the GTX 1080 Ti in these titles kindly see our review of that card here. From that we can see that 240FPS is no easy task and while in idle situations and low graphic scenes, the game will hover at 240FPS, it is in the key clash heavy moments and intense fights where it boils down and while a single GTX 1080 Ti will drop to around 150FPS in heavy clashes in DOTA2, Overwatch provides a smoother experience just sitting at 189FPS in the most complex of scenes. It ultimately becomes evident that to maximize the experience and offering of this display, one has to remove all the bottleneck involved to deliver such performance and that means investing in a really powerful machine OR sacrificing visual details.
Focusing in on actual gaming experience, the perceived fluidity will vary but if barring the system behind it, a constant 240FPS is unlike anything you’ve seen before on an LCD screen. Games that take the most advantage of these are FPS games like Overwatch which are built for high-frame rates and offer the best example of a modern game taking advantage of high-end systems and with the ZOWIE XL2540 esports monitor delivering a constant 240hz, the game simply flows to your eyes and if you’re heavily competitive it is just one more advantage you have over the competition and it is simply the only monitor that can keep up with high-reflex gamers.
US:$399 – Zowie XL2540 Esports 240Ghz Gaming Monitor
PH: Php –
Ultimately, it boils down to the player at how he wants to experience the game and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 esports monitor is the gateway into the experiencing the most fluid gaming experience ever. At $500 or Php27700 locally, its a premium product but if you’re playing at the big leagues and you want every bit of an advantage, displays dont get anymore fluid than 240hz and the BenQ ZOWIE XL2540 esports monitor manages to deliver in both color and performance.
Update: 8/28/2019: The BENQ XL2540 is now retailing for $399 making it an even more competitive deal. The addition of Gsync Compatible (NVIDIA verified) also makes it a greater deal for swinging between esports and AAA games.
We give the BENQ ZOWIE XL2540 esports monitor our B2G Gold Award!