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BenQ FP731

The FP731 is another variation of the inexpensive LCD monitor concept, second in this review. The monitor’s case is made simply, without any extravaganza: the front panel is silvery plastic, the rear panel and the base are black, but there’s also a version fully made of white plastic. The monitor is rather compact, although thick due to the integrated power adapter. The base only allows adjusting the tilt of the screen.

The FP731 comes equipped with one analog input only.

The control buttons are lined up below the screen and provide quick access to brightness and contrast settings. Other settings are accessible through the screen menu, which is cute-looking and easy-to-use with its BenQ’s standard multicolored icons on a dark-blue background.

The menu offers four color temperature settings: “sRGB” (the measured temperatures of white and gray were 6700K and 8400K with this setting), “Reddish” (5480K white and 6670K gray), “Bluish” (7810K white and 10,770K gray) and “User Preset” (by default, this setting produced 5850K white and 9340K gray colors).

The monitor’s settings of brightness and contrast were set to 80% and 50%, respectively, by default. And if you were to try to raise the contrast control above this point, the screen takes a slight, but quite noticeable pinkish hue on. To reach 100nit screen brightness, I set the brightness control to 35%, leaving the contrast one intact.

The color reproduction capabilities of the FP731 are rather average – there’s no talking about working with colors on that one. The viewing angles are subject to blame, too. White color becomes yellowish on a horizontal deflection of more than 45%; when viewed from below, the onscreen image becomes dark; when viewed from above, it gets inverted. Of course, these annoying effects are common for TN+Film matrixes, but they usually show up only at much bigger angles with newer monitor models.

The quality of color reproduction is acceptable, and even quite good for the class of monitors that the FP731 belongs to. I can only complain about a too-intensive blue color and undulations of the color curves –they are above the theoretical gamma curve somewhere, but below it elsewhere.

With a specified response time of 25msec, the monitor did much better in practice, notching up 18msec. However, the pixel rise time grows to 33msec on black-to-gray transitions, as is normal for inexpensive 25msec matrixes (the Acer AL1715 got the same numbers, for example).

The contrast ratio is good, up to 400:1. Of course, this is still below the manufacturer’s claims, but a very nice result for a monitor with a TN+Film matrix, especially one belonging to the low end of the price range.

Although the BenQ FP731 is an inexpensive model (it was selling for about $380 at the time of my writing this), it boasts good technical parameters. Its responsiveness even exceeded that of many 25msec models, and the contrast ratio was high enough. This monitor would do well as an inexpensive office model for text-work. However, you should first ensure its relatively narrow viewing angles suit you if you’re about to purchase this device for home or professional use.

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