Explore the game-changing features of ZOWI XL2546 and XL2546K monitors in this comprehensive Esports review... Read more
Test of BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K 24.5-inch 240Hz Gaming Monitor
- Innovative hook mechanism for easy installation
- Ergonomic design for improved gaming experience
- Distinct lack of buttons reduces clutter
- Convenient joystick navigation feature
- Advanced S-Switch for easier control
- Space-saving headphone hanger design
- Slimmer form factor saves space
- No USB inputs might inconvenience some users
- Slimmer design may feel less sturdy
- High refresh rate not noticeable to all
- Use of TN panel limits viewing angles
- Headphone hanger moved to the back
“After thoroughly exploring the ZOWI XL2546K, I am absolutely impressed by its numerous gamer-friendly innovations. The design tweaks clearly indicate that BenQ seriously considered feedback from pro players, resulting in a substantially improved product. The user-friendly design, ergonomic form, increased dynamic range, unparalleled refresh rate, and the exclusively innovative S-switch showcasing BenQ’s commitment to enhancing the gaming experience are noteworthy. However, while these features are incredibly beneficial for professional gamers, casual players might not perceive a dramatic difference. The alternate 144Hz XL2411K model is a compelling offer for those seeking high-quality performance without the need for professional-level specs. Ultimately, the ZOWI XL2546K is a standout product in the eSports market and a splendid indicator of the shape of things to come in the monitor manufacturing industry.”
Why trust Shaper Mint Review? Our analysts and reviewers specialists spend their days testing products and analyzing other users’ experiences to help you find a verified unbiased opinion on the product. See how we review
|Screen Size||24.5 Inches|
|Display Resolution Maximum||1920×1080 Pixels|
|Special Feature||Flicker-Free,Height Adjustment,Pivot Adjustment,Swivel Adjustment,Tilt Adjustment,Wall Mountable,Blue Light Filter|
|Refresh Rate||240 Hz|
Welcome to this comprehensive, unbiased review of the impactful Esports monitors that have rocked the gaming world recently – The ZOWI XL2546 and the upgraded version, the XL2546K. In this review, we’ll be exploring the specifics of each, delving into the design differences, and evaluating practicality based on pro player feedback.
Unveiling the Kings of Esports Monitors: ZOWI XL2546 and XL2546K Models
You might just be hearing about these models, but let me tell you, in the Esports landscape, they are a big deal. Comparably, they’re like the royal family of gaming technology, asserting unquestionable presence and unignorable influence. Let’s sit back and dig deeper into their intriguing kingdom. The XL2546, already a force to reckon with, we’re going to understand what the XL2546K brings to the table to warrant its recognition as an upgrade.
A Sneak Peek of Pro Players’ Feedback
Being an avid admirer of the Esport monitors, I have to set the scene by commending ZOWI for investing heavily in user experience. Interesting how they value feedback from pro players who spend hours on these devices, exploiting every feature, and pushing these devices to the limitation. They constantly tweak and continually improve based on this feedback, and that’s what keeps everyone, including me, intrigued. We’re not just talking about an upgrade here, we’re talking about a product that has been redesigned, reimagined, and re-engineered to address specific concerns of its most crucial users – the pro players. Indeed, a valuable lesson there for other technology product manufacturers.
I’ll be detailing these feedback-inspired improvements later in the review. But before that, let’s dive right into the initial experience of these products – their unboxing. Buckle up!
First Impression: Unboxing
- ZOWI XL2546K’s base plate is smaller, sleeker
- Includes Monitor Stand, Power Cord, S-Switch Box
- Uses innovative hook mechanism for installation
Within minutes of unboxing the ZOWI XL2546 and XL2546K, it’s clear what kind of thoughtfulness and precision has gone into each part of this product’s development process. The entire unwrapping process is a mix of excitement and curiosity as you scour each piece, considering its individual purpose.
Delighting in the Differences: XL2546K vs. The Previous Generation
The base plate of the ZOWI XL2546K stands out, presenting a refreshing departure from the monitors of the previous generation. The plate itself is considerately smaller, providing a sleeker, more streamlined look that takes up less space on your setup. Even at first glance, it shows that the manufacturer isn’t just rehashing older concepts but has taken keen steps to innovate and adapt according to the feedback.
Investigating the Inclusions: Monitor Stand, Power Cord, and More
- Monitor Stand: With a typical ZOWI style, the monitor stand includes an indicator for rotation. Convenient and handy, it enhances the user-friendly feel of the product.
- Power Cord: Striking a balance between flexibility and durability, the lightweight power cord is far from heavy or cumbersome. It’s easy to handle and maneuver, which is a plus for the overall setup process.
- S-Switch Box: Included in the package is a small S-Switch box, an innovative little device that promises impressive usability – a point we’ll delve into further along in the review.
It’s worth noting that while the inclusions are well-designed and add to the overall package, practicality would have been improved with a dedicated safekeeping space for the S-Switch. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves yet; there’s still the assembly process to discuss!
An Innovation in Installation: The New Hook Mechanism
Gone are the traditional screws and screwdriver. This model introduces an innovative hook mechanism. Simply slots, snaps, and you’re done. It’s a refreshing change, as it simplifies the installation process significantly. This efficiency, coupled with the promise of a more streamlined gaming experience, sets the scene for the in-depth exploration that ensues.
Design and Assembly Analysis
- Monitor stand is smaller, better for compact settings
- New design is ergonomic, allows improved gaming
- Absence of buttons reduces clutter, enhances control
One of the key elements I noticed right out of the box was the striking change in design and assembly compared to its predecessors. I have to say, I was quite charmed by the modern and innovative approach to its setup and usability.
Comparing Footprints: The Stand Evolution
Most notably, the footprint of the monitor’s stand stood out. Smaller than its previous generation, the stand of the upgraded version, the XL2546K, showed a lot of improvement for the better. It took up considerably less space, making it more convenient for a compact setting. Moreover, the stand displays typical Zowie style – sleek and subtle indicators that add a practical touch to design.
Reveling in Range of Motion: Smaller, More Ergonomic Design
The smaller, more angled design of the new monitor certainly has its perks. Not only is it visually appealing, but it’s also quite ergonomic. It caters to specific needs of the gamers, such as providing more room for mouse movement and the adjustment of the keyboard grip. Pro gamers will certainly love this for the level of comfort and adaptability it brings.
Taking Note of the Surprising Absence of Buttons: Clutter-Free Gaming Experience
This particular detail really caught my eye. The bottom bezel was cleared of any buttons, all thanks to the S-switch that now controls every aspect of the monitor. Initially, I was sceptical but this unexpected shift actually made the design less cluttered and the user interface less disruptive, minimizing distractions during intense gaming sessions. At the back of the monitor, there’s a handy little joystick – a smart addition that further improves accessibility and control. It’s refreshing to see how thoughtful changes can enhance user experience so much.
Overall, the design and assembly analysis of the XL2546K show that it has been crafted with the end-user in mind. It’s a blend of aesthetic appeal, ergonomic design, and improved functionality. Definitely a step up from its predecessor and a delight for any gamer.
A Closer Look: Navigational Features
- Monitor has an efficient, game-changing joystick
- Upgraded S-switch enhances navigation control
- ZOWIE focuses on enhancing user experience
Delving deeper into the monitor’s features, it was apparent that the designers at ZOWIE have carefully thought through the best way to optimize the user experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting, user-friendly features that caught my eye during review.
Discovering the Difference: The Revolutionary Joystick
A prominent difference I’ve noted between these two models is a novel addition – a niftily-positioned joystick at the back of the monitor. This new control apparatus proved to be a game changer! With a swift maneuver of the thumb, the joystick provides easy access to the gaming settings, delivering an intuitive and efficient tune-up experience. Eliminating the need to fumble with buttons, this intuitive addition holds great promise, maximizing the control and comfort for the user.
A Tale of Two S-Switches: An Evolution in Usability
Comparing the S-switches of the two models, it was evident that ZOWIE invested heavily in enhancing the design and functionality of this gem. The newer model features an all-black S-switch that exudes a clean, sleek, aesthetically-pleasing look. To my delight, not only does it visually appeal, but it also comes bolstered with functionality.
The S-switch now boasts a scroll-wheel with the capacity for left or right clicks, providing better navigation control. This tweak conveys a distinct edge to the updated model, facilitating seamless adjustments, and contributing to an exceptionally user-friendly experience. Although this might not seem like a drastic shift, it indeed enhances the monitor’s overall usability – something that won’t go unnoticed by immersed gamers.Notable changes, like the joystick at the rear and the upgraded S-switch design, prove that ZOWIE is undoubtedly focused on enhancing the user experience and continues to push boundaries with its intuitive design choices.
However, while I appreciate the time and thought put into these features, I wonder if all users will make use of these enhancements. Those who are accustomed to the traditional button use may require some learning curve. Nonetheless, these innovative features make a remarkable difference, demonstrating the company’s commitment to gamer-centric design and user comfort.
Focused Features: Headphone Hanger and USB Inputs
- Headphone hanger relocated for accessibility and neatness
- USB inputs removed for simplicity and practicality
- Each change enhances usability and aesthetic
In delving into the particulars of the ZOWI XL2546K, we cannot possibly overlook the evolution in focused features, notably the headphone hanger and USB inputs. Both serve as elements which, while miniscule, contribute greatly to the overall satisfaction of gaming experience.
The Design of The Headphone Hanger
The most striking change lies in the movement of the headphone hanger from the left side of the monitor in the older model to the rear in the newer version. The side-located headphone hanger in the older XL2546 model, although theoretically convenient, presents limitations in practice. With the monitor itself restricting movement, positioning the headphones proves to be more of a chore than an advantage.
In contrast, the headphone hanger’s new place in the XL2546K offers a refreshing ease of access. The hanger is neatly implemented into the monitor’s design with a handy folding mechanism. To use it, you only need to pull it out and then fold it back after use. The hanger, being concealed, does not interfere with the monitor’s clean look. It’s a minor but significant improvement that speaks volumes of the design intent – thoughtful and relevant changes to enhance user experience.
The Absence of USB Inputs
Moving on to USB inputs, or rather, lack of them – this is another key element that distinguishes the older XL2546 model from the newer XL2546K. In the older model, the USB inputs are noticeably present on the side of the monitor. With the newer model, however, these have completely been done away with. This might seem like a disadvantage initially, but upon further reflection it becomes clear – this change instills greater simplicity and tidiness, without compromising overall functionality. Given that most gamers rarely use monitor USB ports, their removal does not impact practical usage while contributing to a sleeker aesthetic.In conclusion, these modifications are instrumental in enhancing the gaming setup’s overall cohesion and usability. Every change, no matter how small, matters in the quest of achieving a design that resonates with user needs.
Design Dissection: Slimmer Form Factor and More
- Newer XL2546K model has slim, sleek design.
- Slim form factor maximizes performance and space.
- Design evolution from bulkier XL2546 to streamlined XL2546K.
Stepping into the design dimension of both models, I found a few striking differences that left quite an impression. The ZOWI XL2546 and XL2546K took divergent paths when it came to their form factor, footprint, and overall aesthetic details. Right off the bat, one of the most noticeable differences is how the newer XL2546K has shifted from the bulkier, box-like design of the XL2546. This slim and sleek design focuses on saving space while maximizing performance.
Into the Slim Lane: The XL2546K Design
First, let’s deep dive into the XL2546K’s design. The model boasts a slim form factor, especially noticeable when placed on the stand. Compared to the older model, the XL2546K has tapered edges and a more compact body. This relatively demure footprint allows for greater table-top space, granting you ample room for your keyboard and mouse. It’s a tidy and efficient design that accentuates the minimalist vibe while upraising the potential gaming or working space.
Now, having a slim form factor is more than just pleasing to the eye. The XL2546K, with its streamlined design, significantly benefits users who find themselves in relatively tighter spaces or simply want to maximize table space for their peripherals. It shows thoughtful consideration of space optimization for improved user experience.
A Shift from the Boxy Design: Farewell XL2546!
Turning the time wheel back to the older XL2546 model, it’s hard not to notice its “boxier” design. With the monitor firmly on the stand, the XL2546 exhibits visibly significant width. And although it’s nothing too excessive, when compared side by side with the newer model, the design seems slightly dated.
While it does have a certain charm to it, it’s evident that ZOWI has decided to retire this look in favor of a more modern, slimline aesthetic. It’s an interesting evolution from its predecessor’s bulkier style to a more streamlined, attractive design with the new XL2546K model.
In conclusion, the slimmer form factor of the XL2546K, while seemingly a small detail, adds a significant touch of modernity and practicality to the overall product design. An impressive upgrade that distinctly sets apart these two models, it does make a difference in your desk setup and space usage phenomenon.
Monitor Makeup: A Detailed Analysis
- TN panels offer superior refresh rates and response times
- 240Hz refresh rate ensures smooth, seamless gaming visuals
- DIAC+ technology by ZOWI eliminates motion blur in esports
Understanding the Tech: Tn Panel, 240Hz Refresh Rate and More
Diving into the more technical aspects of the ZOWI XL2546K, there’s a lot to take in and appreciate. Straight off the bat, it’s important to note that these are not IPS panels, rather they utilize a TN panel. You might think, “So what does it mean for a non-techie like me?” Well, here are the facts: TN panels are renowned for their superior refresh rates and response times, and they absolutely don’t disappoint in this regard.
With a refresh rate that reaches a whopping 240Hz, you’re getting lightning fast refresh cycles. To the uninitiated, it simply means that the images on your screen are updating at an incredibly swift rate— creating a smooth, seamless gaming visual. And the best part? Even if you are not a professional player, you will still see and feel the difference this makes to your gaming, particularly in those challenging, high-speed scenarios where every millisecond counts.
Diving into DIAC+: Pro-Level Gaming Experience
The DIAC+ is designed explicitly by ZOWI for Esports. It’s basically a technology that works to eliminate motion blur, ghosting, screen tearing, etc., from your gameplay. Initially, using it in high mode felt just about fine, but crank it up to the premium mode and there’s an immediate noticeable difference.
The higher mode offers clearer images during high-speed motion gameplay, allowing us to truly see just about every frame that’s critical for an immersive gaming experience. It’s an incredible feature that enhances the sequence of images in the fast-paced gaming environment. It’s where professional gamers will see the value and will greatly appreciate.
However, being transparent, for someone who’s not playing competitively, the difference may not be as pronounced in everyday gaming scenarios. So, I can confidently say the extent to which this feature would be beneficial will be contingent on the type of user. Needles, to say the tech works impeccably well, and for those who can harness it, it is an absolute game-changer.
Unique Features: Portable Settings and Dynamic Range
- S-Switch allows portable personalized configurations
- Improved dynamic range enhances contrast in games
When you’re dealing with high-caliber esports monitors like these, every feature counts. In examining the ZOWI XL2546 and XL2546K, two key elements really stand out: the ability to take your preferred settings with you and an improved dynamic range. So let’s dive a little deeper into what makes these features particularly noteworthy.
Portable Settings: A Game Changer
The S-Switch, which is included with each monitor, isn’t just a slick piece of tech – it’s a game-changer. The switch has in-built memory, allowing you to save your personalized configurations directly on it. What does this mean in practical terms? Simply put, if you’re visiting a friend who owns the same monitor or attending a gaming tournament, you can plug in your S-switch into any monitor of the same model and instantly apply your custom settings. This feature brings consistency to your gaming experience, no matter your location or the specific unit you’re using. It’s a thoughtful touch that elevates these monitors from good to great, showing that the manufacturer is genuinely considering the user’s needs.
Dynamic Range: An Improvement Worth Noting
The dynamic range is basically this monitor’s version of HDR – a function that increases contrast for a more vivid, immersive visual experience. Especially in darker game scenes, having a boost in contrast can provide a crucial competitive edge – it allows you to spot details that may otherwise be hidden in the shadows. The ZOWI XL2546K shows clear improvements in dynamic range, particularly when compared to its predecessor. The black equalizer feature, for example, has been significantly enhanced, making sure that even dark corners don’t hide any game-changing details. Furthermore, DIAC+ technology, which helps to eliminate motion blur, ghosting and improves the overall image quality, works excellently alongside the dynamic range to provide an in-game experience that is as immersive and smooth as they come.
In conclusion, while these two features may not be the flashiest or most outwardly impressive, the portable settings and dynamic range a truly significant part of what sets these monitors apart from the competition. They signify an overall trend found in the ZOWI XL2546 series; smart, convenient features that improve not only the gaming experience but also the routines and practicalities around gaming.
- ZOWI XL2546K monitor offers improved ergonomics and brilliant clarity
- DIAK+ technology eliminates motion blur, ghosting, and screen tearing
- 144Hz XL2411K is a budget-friendly alternative with similar features
Concluding Remarks: Gamers’ Dream Turned Into Reality
This monitor’s developments, specifically the ZOWI XL2546K, are generally grounded in user feedback – a touch that really elevates the overall feel of the monitor. By combining features such as clarity, a slim design, and improved ergonomics, it undeniably stands out as a significant upgrade for avid gamers. The DIAK+ technology provides a seamless gaming experience, effectively eliminating motion blur, ghosting, and screen tearing – definitely a ‘win’ in my books. Also, the transformative Joystick adds a touch of user-friendly functionality that underlines the thoughtful design process.
Considering the Alternatives: A Look at the 144Hz XL2411K Model
If you’re tempted by these features but find the 240hz refresh rate of the XL2546K a bit extravagant for your gaming needs, consider the alternate 144Hz XL2411K model. Offering similar ergonomic and build qualities at a cut-rate, this alternate model can satisfy your competitive gaming needs without the high-end specs. It presents an opportunity to dip your toes into competitive gaming waters without the more significant investment that the XL2546K represents.
So, in nutshell, the ZOWI XL2546K seems to tick all the right boxes for pro gamers, while the 144Hz XL2411K serves as a commendable alternative for those operating on a tighter budget. Both monitors exhibit thoughtful design improvements that cater to what gamers truly want, making them noteworthy contenders in the esports monitors realm.
So, there you have it, folks. Our comprehensive and unbiased deep dive into the ZOWI XL2546 and the XL2546K, the kings of Esports monitors.
A Summary of Our Experience
Right from the unboxing, it became clear that BenQ took their feedback seriously. The changes in design, size, and even assembly mechanisms were noticeable and seemed to be driven by the user preferences. Moreover, factors like better ergonomics, a cleaner design, and advanced features like the innovative joystick and the improved s-switch made the user experience more streamlined and pleasurable.
While the monitors performed exceptionally well when it came to aspects like enhanced dynamic range, DIAC+ premium for minimal motion blur, the lack of USB inputs in the newer model might not sit well with some users. In terms of display, color reproduction, and viewing angles were surprisingly impressive for a TN panel. However, those looking for IPS-level color accuracy might find this lacking.
Considering the Alternatives
If one is considering a budget-friendly alternative or doesn’t need the power of 240Hz, the 144Hz XL2411K could be a good option. It also provides a similar build quality and design, making it a smaller yet equally competitive contender in the gaming realm.
Taking everything into account, it’s safe to say that BenQ has made a laudable effort to improve the next generation of their Esports monitor line. Balancing gamer-centric features with evolution in design and technology, these devices are poised to enhance gaming experiences for pro-players and casual gamers alike.
Should you buy the BenQ ZOWIE XL2546K 24.5-inch 240Hz Gaming Monitor?
Buy it if…
You’re a pro or aspiring esports player
The monitor was developed based on feedback from professional esports players. Enhanced features such as the 240Hz refresh rate, DIAC+ technology, and transmittable presets offer a top-notch competitive gaming experience.
You value the combination of aesthetics and functionality
It’s sleeker, slimmer, and designed with ergonomic considerations, offering more desk space while maintaining great design aesthetics.
You require enhanced gaming visuals
The improved dynamic range (black equalizer), absence of motion blur, and clear visibility of each frame can significantly enhance your gameplay even in games with darker visuals.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re a casual gamer
The advanced features and high refresh rate might be an overkill if you only game casually.
You prefer an IPS panel
While the product is optimized for fast response and refresh rates, it is a TN panel and may not have color vividness of an IPS panel.
You’re on a tight budget
The ZOWI XL2546K is a premium product with advanced features and therefore, may not be the best choice if budget is your primary concern.
- What are the major differences between the XL2546 and XL2546K models?
The XL2546K model has improved form factor, more ergonomic design, increased dynamic range, and absence of buttons on the front bezel for an undisturbed gaming experience. The headphone hanger position and lack of USB outputs are other major differences present in XL2546K as compared to its predecessor.
- What is the purpose of the joystick on the XL2546K monitor?
The joystick present at the back of the XL2546K monitor is used for easier navigation and selection.
- What kind of panel does the ZOWI XL2546K monitor have?
The ZOWI XL2546K monitor uses a TN (Twisted Nematic) panel, which allows it to output a fast response rate and refresh rate time.
- What is DIAC+ on the XL2546K monitor?
DIAC+ is a feature specifically designed to improve your gaming experience. It provides an immersive experience by making each frame visibly clear and eliminating any motion blur, ghosting or screen tearing.
- What is the functionality of the S-switch in the XL2546K model?
The S-switch in the XL2546K model allows you to control all the settings of your monitor. Additionally, it contains a storage inside that lets you save your configurations, enabling you to use the same settings on another monitor.
- What does the improved dynamic range mean in the XL2546K model?
Improvement in dynamic range means that the black equalizer of the ZOWI XL2546K model has significantly improved as compared to its previous model. This boost provides a better focus and clearer view of dark details in games.
- Is there an alternative model to the XL2546K if I do not want a 240Hz refresh rate?
Yes, if you’re looking to upgrade your setup but do not wish to spend on a 240Hz refresh rate monitor, ZOWI offers the XL2411K model that provides a 144Hz refresh rate.