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BenQ EX3200R review: 144Hz gaming with one giant problem

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The BenQ EX3200R has presumably the weirdest mixture of monitor specs I’ve seen in fairly a while. It’s a large 31.5in display screen with a big-ass stand and 1800mm curvature radius, so it sits proper up in your grill and encompasses a big a part of your general imaginative and prescient, but it’s solely obtained a 1920×1080 decision.

1920×1080, unfold throughout a 31.5in display screen! That’s like having your telephone’s font measurement set to 512. A decision like that’s downright preposterous on a monitor this massive, and at first look I believed it couldn’t presumably be best gaming monitor materials within the slightest. And but, it’s most likely one of many solely methods you’re going to get a display screen at this measurement with a 144Hz refresh price and AMD FreeSync assist – all for simply £315 / $430 besides. Can it presumably be value it? Let’s have a look.

Credit score the place it’s due, the EX3200R appears and feels much more premium than its mid-range-ish value would possibly in any other case suggest. Its shiny steel ft, versatile stand, smallish bezels and clear, elegant curves are a world away from the gamery design college of different 144Hz displays on the market, such because the Acer Predator XB241H and MSI Optix MPG27CQ, and it’s positively not one thing you’d be embarrassed to have in your desk.

Nicely, you would possibly really feel a bit sheepish when you clap eyes on what 1920×1080 appears like unfold throughout a 32in show, however hey, for those who’re the sort of one who prefers seeing every thing blown up by 500%, this, my good friend, could be very a lot the monitor for you.

Personally, I get a bit antsy every time I see a 27in monitor with a 1920×1080 decision, as I discover that even at that measurement a display screen’s pixel density simply isn’t sharp sufficient for comfy, on a regular basis use. Stretch the identical variety of pixels throughout 31.5in, and naturally it’s going to look even worse. Certainly, textual content appears visibly fuzzy spherical the perimeters, pictures look blurry and compressed, and I continuously felt like I wanted to get my eyes checked.

Don’t get me incorrect, I’ve nothing in opposition to 1920×1080 when it’s on the precise measurement display screen. 24in shows are completely excellent for it. However actually, for those who’re after something larger than 27in, I’d implore you to get one which’s not less than 2560×1440 – and for those who’re fascinated by one thing within the 32in area, then ideally you ought to be 4K.

After all, extra pixels normally means forking out so much more cash for them, which is a giant cause why the EX3200R appears so enticing on paper – it’s a giant display screen for not a lot money. And I do must admit that, whereas I most likely wouldn’t need to use this as an on a regular basis PC display screen, there’s something to be mentioned for enjoying video games in such bizarre ginormo-vision – particularly once they’re whizzing previous your eyeballs at 144fps.

No matter recreation I loaded up, I felt instantly immersed in that world and what I used to be taking part in, and the pixel density concern wasn’t fairly as noticeable because it was after I was simply doing normal desktop duties. There have been some video games, although, resembling Doom, the place 144fps was simply an excessive amount of for me at that sort of proximity – each by way of how shut I used to be to it due to its deep stand and the way massive every thing appeared – and it really made me really feel a bit nauseous. Possibly I’m simply too outdated and decrepit for 144fps now – not less than in fast-paced video games – however except you’ve a very big desk to stay this factor on, the EX3200R can typically be a contact overwhelming.

The standard of the display screen itself isn’t that spectacular, both. Like many different curved screens I’ve seen not too long ago, BenQ have put a VA panel within the EX3200R, however its color accuracy leaves one thing to be desired. Regardless of which of its 9 color profiles I picked – together with its two tweakable Customized modes – I couldn’t get its sRGB color gamut protection to go any greater than 89.6%.

It appears respectable sufficient within the flesh, nevertheless it’s removed from one of the best sRGB protection I’ve seen from such a display screen panel expertise (see our monitor buying guide for more information on all of the totally different panel varieties), and doesn’t do a lot to assist persuade me that, sure, this actually could be well worth the cut price it’s making an attempt so desperately onerous to be.

In its defence, the EX3200R’s black ranges and distinction are each wonderful. The previous got here in at a stunning low zero.06cd/m2 (the nearer to zero.00cd/m2, the higher), whereas the latter was all the best way up within the 4270:1 area. That’s implausible, because it ensures good inky blacks if you’re one thing darkish onscreen, however there’s nonetheless a lot of juicy shadow element that will help you pick what’s lurking within the gloom.

The monitor’s most brightness stage was additionally fairly respectable – it usually hovered across the 275cd/m2 mark on most of its color profiles, however switching to Customized noticed it push as much as 310cd/m2. You received’t want anyplace close to this more often than not, however for those who occur to have your monitor close to a sunlit window, not less than you’ve obtained sufficient leeway to crank it up if needed.

The EX3200R’s multitude of various image settings additionally supply a number of methods to assist make the monitor extra usable every day, too. Annoyingly, lots of them are locked off for those who’re not utilizing one of many Customized color profiles, however I discovered that setting the monitor’s gamma setting to five (the very best) helped to make textual content look so much clearer. It didn’t have an effect on the monitor’s color accuracy both – if something, it gave every thing a bit of bit extra distinction and definition. There’s a low blue mild mode as properly to assist scale back eye pressure.

The EX3200R comes with an honest choice of ports, together with DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI and a mixed headphone and microphone jack.

As comparatively low cost because the BenQ EX3200R is at £315 / $430, although, I’m nonetheless undecided I’d really need to have it as my major gaming monitor. I may need made an exception if it had completely excellent image high quality, however even that’s pretty mediocre regardless of its wonderful black ranges and general distinction. I’d simply take a look at it on a regular basis second guessing whether or not my eyes have been failing me or not, pondering, ‘I actually want I’d spent a bit of bit extra on a better decision monitor.’

Personally, I’d suggest going for the 27in 2560×1440 MSI Optix MPG27CQ as an alternative of the EX3200R, as that also has a curved display screen and a 144Hz refresh price. In case your price range doesn’t fairly stretch to £502 / $464, then there’s at all times the an identical 1920×1080 mannequin, the MPG27C, as an alternative, which matches for £433 / $355.

If that’s nonetheless too costly, although, then you definitely’re going to must make some compromises, as the subsequent finest guess in your cash is the a lot, less expensive BenQ’s EW277HDR, which is flat and has a daily 60Hz refresh price, however has significantly better color accuracy than the EX3200R and throws in HDR assist as properly. That prices simply £166 / $230, and can be a significantly better use of your cash than its larger, curvier cousin.


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