BenQ Zowie XL2546 strobes its way to smooth motion at 240 Hz


— 1:30 PM on July 18, 2017

Back when we initially saw BenQ's competition-ready Zowie XL2540 monitor, the first question on my mind was whether it supported the company's blur reduction mode. Not long before, BenQ had released the Zowie XL2735 featuring an apparently-new technology called "Dynamic Accuracy," or DyAc. DyAc isn't actually new, though; it's a new name for the company's austerely-named BenQ Blur Reduction feature. Firestarter, ready your wallet, because BenQ's latest Zowie monitor is the 25", 240-Hz, DyAc-equipped XL2546.

In every perceptible way, the Zowie XL2546 is essentially an XL2540 with Dynamic Accuracy. That means its 1920x1080 TN panel has the same 24.5" viewable display area, 1000:1 static contrast ratio, 240-Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time. BenQ specs a slightly lower typical brightness on the XL2546—320 cd/m², versus 400 cd/m² on the XL2540—but judging by the XL2735's example, that's probably because this monitor has the DyAc strobing technology permanently enabled.

If you aren't familiar with motion blur reduction features on gaming displays, they aren't snake oil or marketing magic. LCDs, OLEDs, and all other types of "always-on" display are susceptible to "sample-and-hold" blurring. This is actually caused by your eye's tendency to blur moving objects. Strobing the backlight simulates the effect that CRT monitors achieved by coincidence, and restores the truly clear motion that old farts like me grew up gaming on. Folks first figured this out by hacking the "Lightboost 3D" feature (intended to eliminate eye-to-eye crosstalk in 3D content designed for shutter glasses) to work in 2D mode.


A BenQ video demonstrating DyAc in action.

BenQ was one of the first companies to offer blur reduction as an intentional feature in its XL2411Z and XL2420Z monitors back in 2015. It's slowly creeping across the market as more gamers discover the beauty of clear motion. LG, Samsung, and Eizo all have monitors featuring custom blur reduction features now. Additionally, every G-Sync monitor supports Nvidia's Ultra-Low Motion Blur (ULMB) mode. ULMB works in a fundamentally similar way to BenQ's DyAc, except that it's not always-on.

That always-on feature is a major part of DyAc, because it means that the monitor was designed with strobing in mind from the get-go. Strobing the backlight has various side effects, most obviously reduced apparent brightness. Reducing the brightness also throws the color profile all out of whack, though, and some monitors exhibit major tint issues in strobe mode as a result. Since DyAc is always on, BenQ may have compensated for the resulting changes in image quality from the get-go. We don't explictly know that DyAc is always enabled on the XL2546 like it is on the XL2735, so we've requested clarification from BenQ on the matter.

Gamers will be able to hook up to the XL2546 using DL-DVI, Displayport 1.2, or HDMI 2.0. Getting that sweet 240-Hz refresh rate will require using one of the latter two connections, though. The monitor has both microphone and headphone jacks, as well as a three-port USB 3 hub. BenQ's stand supports pivot, swivel, tilt, and height adjustments, but if you prefer, you can VESA mount this monitor instead. B&H Photo Video has the BenQ Zowie XL2546 up for pre-order right now for $549.

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