Picking up a screen for £135 is pretty easy right now. There is no shortage of displays at the budget end, however, how do you know if you are getting value for money. There is more to a screen than just a price tag and finding a large one for £135 might not be to all tastes.
The BenQ GL2580HM is an office screen. Using it in the home for anything other than work will land the user with extreme disappointment. Whilst you can use it for gaming and media consumption you will find more merit in dropping another £20 – £50 for a better offering, BenQ have several displays a little over £150 that easily best this in every way.
The BenQ has two models, the GL2580H, without speakers and, this model adding an M (for Music?) for £5 adds speakers. Honestly, there is little reason to go for the M over the Non-M as the speakers in the screen are good for nothing more than notifications. You won’t listen to music or media on this for anything longer than two minutes.
Sitting proudly at the from is the main contender, a 24.5inch TN display with a native resolution of 1080p. Certain luxuries do not extend to this display as there is no swivel or twist mechanism built into the stand. A shame as one thing this could be recommended for is a second screen for Outlook or Spotify, or a vertical screen for lines of code, whilst interacting with the main screen. Without adding a little more positionality the GL2580HM misses out on being a useful allie. Otherwise, the construction is solid and BenQ has added a VESA 100 mount and a rather cool cable management system to the stand.
A minimal bezel encases the panel constructed from fairly solid plastics. The black plastic always looks smart on BenQ products.
Around the back BenQ have popped in one of each of the main ports, DVI, HDMI and VGA. There will be a connector for your computer, regardless of age. Some may grumble there is no DP however you can’t expect everything and BenQ have kindly bundled an HDMI cable so you can be up and running out of the box. There are also a 3.5mm audio line in and headphone jack.
The underside of the screen has a lonely speaker alongside buttons for the onscreen menu. BenQ do good on-screen menus and this is no exception. Whilst the screen needed minimal tinkering out of the box, the interface here is easy to use and not terribly cumbersome.
The TN display is a little lacking. The viewing angles are a little limited as you would see on an IPS display, however that is to be expected. However, a 2ms response time while displaying 1080p resolution at 60Hz serves as a decent concession.
Scrolling up and down on a regular webpage shows signs of ghosting and it can be a little pain on the eyes after a whilst. Whilst colour representation can be well realised it’s the ghosting that severely lets it all down and on the most used combination. Text documents, spreadsheets, websites all suffer from ghosting and it’s most noticeable when black text is on a white background, serving to be distracting and annoying.
According to BenQ at 60Hz a single frame lasts 16.6ms, so less than that value allows the monitor time to decode each frame before the next one comes along, avoiding any frame drops.
Elsewhere the screen does not have a problem with frames, input lag sits around 10ms, and the screen keeps up. This is a hard one to recommend as the overall picture quality is good, for a TN panel, BenQ has managed to get every bit of juice from the technology, as long as you don’t use black text on a white background too often. This budget offering from BenQ, the GL2580HM is almost good value for money, but dropping a small amount extra will give to you a vastly superior experience