Dedicated gaming monitors are about demanding performance above everything else, this also means coughing up a lot of dough for the privilege of gaining that edge; in that respect the advantages seldom seem justifiable to most, let alone attainable if you’ve been dreaming of pulling the trigger. Fortunately, the idea of affordable benchmark displays have not gone unheard and the BenQ RL2460HT 24″ Gaming Monitor easily fits in any mainstream rig at a comparative bargain.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then the styling could be considered gorgeous in terms of function. With a thick bezel done all in black matte the only thing that stands out is a red accent on the round base, which also happens to employ a Lazy Susan swivel design. The stand provides up to 4.4 inches of height adjustment with a visible scale for reference, while the mounting arm itself can be used to tilt the monitor 20° and pivot 90° for both horizontal (landscape) or vertical (portrait) orientation. Finally, the RL2460HT is VESA-compliant and wall mountable for clean installs, if you prefer a more permanent look.
On the right side are the expected function and power buttons for changing settings with on-screen display (OSD) labeling, there isn’t much to say other than it’s logical and helps when navigating through menus – another trait typically reserved for business monitors. Connectivity in the rear is also accounted for with two HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, DVI-DL, and VGA inputs, and you also wouldn’t realize it but there are embedded speakers with line-in and headphone jacks that’s delivered in a flat, and otherwise forgettable manner.
The RL2460HT looks solid out of the box, even before touching the various settings that include an Instant Mode for input lag correction, AMA for gray level response enhancement, and a Low Blue Light option that reduces exposure and eases potential eye fatigue. With initial impressions there was little to complain about with luscious and saturated hues seen throughout The Lego Movie, contrasted by the heavy darks and grays seen in Godzilla (2014).
Essentially, many will want that ideal image and a fair number of picture presets help somewhat. With nine choices (standard/movie/photo/sRGB/Eco (energy saving)/RTS1/RTS2/Fighting/FPS) that are supposed to replicate the real-world game environments, but is hit-or-miss depending on what your eyes are already accustomed to. Aside from the option of making up to three personal user presets, we largely stuck with sRGB while RTS1 and Standard modes were the next best fallbacks that were accurate enough without a dim or overly contrasted image.
Despite the RL2460HT only having a 1920×1080 60 Hz Twisted Nematic (TN) panel, games such as Wolfenstein: The New Order, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and the Type-X² coin-op of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition all benefited from minimal motion blur and 1-millisecond pixel response. The action is smooth and negligibly lag-free but mediocre off-center viewing angles, occasional grayscale clipping, and a tendency to produce slightly misaligned red and cyan tints (a trait which is also common for many TN displays) are the trade-offs here. Admittedly, some of these issues are actually so minor that they don’t affect image and color detail in the long run – even a quick CalMAN rundown shown almost spot-on color chart results to help back up those claims.
Also unique is the single HDMI output that allows uninterrupted gameplay streams after the feed goes through the monitor itself, eliminating the delay associated with video recorders or linked monitors; this is something of a godsend if you’re into making YouTube videos or impromptu game nights of DotA. It’s a nice rarity that usually comes at a premium and even then is reserved for only a few specialty displays that cost hundreds more.
Truth be told, the BenQ RL2460HT isn’t the sleekest display around but it is a great option aimed for those with budgeted aspirations. The entire package provides respectable picture quality, rich colors, and continues to deliver with fast pixel response for almost anything you throw at it. Of course, the viewing angles could be improved and some of the built-in advanced picture presets aren’t as remarkable as I would have liked, but there’s plenty to work with if you decide to tweak things to your liking. Overall, it’s definitely an Editors’ Choice pick if you need mid-size performance without totally breaking the bank.