BenQ acquired eSports fanatics Zowie last year, and has been busy stamping the name on its gaming monitors. The latest display bearing the Zowie name is the XL2540, a 24.5" 1920x1080 monitor whose claim to fame is its native 240Hz refresh rate.
This isn't the first 240Hz monitor we've seen; Asus' PG258Q also supports a 240Hz refresh rate. This is the first one we've seen with blinders attached, though. Zowie refers to the rotatable plastic panels as a "Shield" and claims that the peripheral-vision-blocking plates will improve gamers' focus. The XL2540 uses a TN panel, of course—possibly this one from AU Optronics. BenQ offers no word on the panel's viewing angles or color reproduction, so we wager those characteristics aren't priorities for this display. The company does say the brightness can hit values up to 400 cd/m², so folks who hate their retinas can burn them right out.
Curiously, there's no mention of FreeSync on the monitor's product page despite AMD listing it as supported on its own site. According to AMD, the XL2540 supports a variable refresh range of 48Hz to 240 Hz via DisplayPort or HDMI. Given the extremely high refresh rate and 1-ms response time, this should be one of the sharpest monitors for CS:GO players and arena FPS fans.
As a convenience feature, the XL2540 includes a puck-like "S Switch" to allow for quick switching between display presets. Users can hook up the XL2540 using a dual-link DVI input, a DisplayPort, and two HDMI ports. Additional connectivity options include audio ports and a three-port USB hub.
Even though BenQ is only now announcing the XL2540, B&H Photo Video has had it available to pre-order for $499 for almost a month. The site says it expects the display to be available on November 15.