BenQ EX3200R gaming monitor
“The BenQ EX3200R does the impossible. This makes 1080p look good again. "
Excellent picture quality
High refresh rate
1080p resolution on a big screen
In 2017, a 31.5-inch monitor with a 1080p panel is no longer as attractive as it used to be. With new 1440p and 4K displays that come onto the market every day, 1080p looks almost strange. That's why our BenQ EX3200R test was so surprising.
We were skeptical that a $ 400 1080p display could withstand some of the best curved ultra-wides on the market. But as we've learned, it would be unwise to underestimate the EX3200R.
Elegant, simple, straightforward
The BenQ EX3200R sits on two silver blades and looms over the mouse and keyboard. Its mighty wings spread wide and showcase its luxuriously smooth 31.5-inch display. It is ready there. Eager.
Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration – but the EX3200R has a classy and understated chassis with narrow plastic bezels all around. The huge 31.5-inch display is mounted on an extra wide polished metal base, which keeps the monitor beautiful and stable. Despite its slim design with blades, it takes up a lot of space.
With the stand, the display can be tilted forward or back and easily rotated back and forth. You can also wrestle it up or down a bit, but it's not the most adjustable stand we've ever seen. Fortunately, the EX3200R is VESA compatible, so you can easily remove the stand and attach it to your wall or other stand.
The Samsung CF791 is characterized by a similarly stylish design. It is covered with glossy white plastic and glossy matt aluminum and sits on a large silver round base and offers a very unusual and luxurious look. The BenQ EX3200R isn't as bright or dramatic, but the chrome blades that serve as stands offer a variation on the typical black plastic monitor design.
It's a little touch, but the stand gives the EX3200R a certain professional look. This may be a gaming monitor, but it takes itself seriously. It doesn't need red accents or a predatory name to make it one of the best gaming monitors on the market, and it knows it.
A few ports shy
The BenQ EX3200R has a single HDMI 1.4 connector, a DisplayPort 1.2 connector and a Mini DisplayPort 1.2 connector. That was & # 39; s, next to the power cord and the headphone jack.
With new 1440p and 4K displays that come onto the market every day, 1080p looks almost strange.
With a monitor like the Samsung CF791, there is no big difference in what types of connections are offered, but the inclusion of at least two HDMI connections has now become a standard. The CF791 had two HDMI 2.0 ports, a single DisplayPort 1.4 port and a USB port.
It's not exactly an omission of the EX3200R, but it's disappointing and a little strange. If you plan to use it as a TV replacement, you'll be juggling cables back and forth from your desktop to a game console and back.
Sure, with many options
There are numerous buttons under the right front of the display, which are more or less aligned with the raised dots at the bottom of the front panel. The power switch and the input switch are labeled. The rest are marked with simple black dots.
Pressing one of the unlabeled keys opens the on-screen menu, in which you can adjust the brightness, contrast and color temperature or switch between several presets. There are modes for games, movies, and some open slots where you can save custom color settings.
Press one of the unlabeled buttons a little further to the left to open the quick menu, where you can only adjust the brightness or contrast. It's not the clearest control scheme we've ever seen, but it does the job – even if you accidentally press the wrong button and occasionally switch to the quick menu instead of the full menu.
This is the type of headache you would avoid with a monitor like the Dell U3417W, which has a clear and intuitive button system and robust on-screen menu controls.
Breathe in 1080p life
Once you start the EX3200R, it is clear that something is different. All these little operating system animations you've seen a thousand times slide across the screen as if they were running on glass. They move with unearthly grace.
All thanks to the monitor's refresh rate of 144 Hz. If you update more than twice faster than a typical monitor – most monitors have refresh rates of 60 Hz – everything you do on the EX3200R is glassy smooth as it quickly opens up the screen can be updated. It also supports AMD's FreeSync. This means that Radeon cards can synchronize their output with the refresh rate of the display, preventing tearing of the screen and dramatically smoothing the graphics.
And that's not the only good news. Check out our test results.
Just look at this contrast ratio. As you can see, 2060: 1 is an unusually high score. Half of that would have been a mind-blowing contrast ratio for a desktop gaming monitor, but at 2060: 1, the BenQ EX3200R is well above its weight – and its price tag.
In practice, this contrast ratio contributes significantly to the excellent image quality of the EX3200R. Because this monitor can reproduce very bright colors in addition to bright colors without losing fidelity in between, games and films look fantastic.
With some other measurements, however, the EX3200R loses some of its sheen. The color gamut is only average here. The EX3200R could only render 75 percent of the tricky AdobeRGB color space, while a high-end monitor like the Samsung CF791 reproduced 85 percent.
This is not the difference you would notice while playing or doing other everyday tasks, but it is important if you want to use the EX3200R for photo editing or other creative purposes. Another metric to look out for in this case is color accuracy.
Operating system animations you've seen a thousand times slide across the screen as if they were running on glass.
With an average color error of 1.29, the EX3200R was able to assert itself well against the competition and is therefore the most color-accurate monitor in the series. This is slightly above average, since most monitors end up between 1.5 and 2.0. The high-end Samsung CF791 reached 2.56, while its smaller cousin, the CF591, posted a disappointing 6.26. The Dell U3417W, a 34-inch Ultrawide, reached 1.69.
In practice, this means that the EX3200R and any other monitor in the 1.5-1.8 range is accurate enough to barely notice any discoloration in daily use or even in games.
This score could be a problem when color-correcting photos or videos, but the EX3200R's AdobeRGB color gamut would be a bigger problem. All in all, these results support what becomes apparent the first time you use this monitor – it offers a lot of money for your money.
Even with less than outstanding color gamut, the EX3200R's excellent contrast ratio exceeds what you'd expect from almost any other monitor – and certainly from any monitor within the same price range.
No calibration required
Sometimes calibration turns a good monitor into a great one like the Dell S2417DG. In other cases, messing around with the monitor's factory calibration will lead to disappointing results. The BenQ EX3200R is one such monitor. After connecting it to a Spyder colorimeter and getting the delicate little device up and running, we found the EX3200R to be a little less impressive.
Contrast and brightness decreased slightly, but the color gamut increased by one percentage point, so not everything was bad. It's really not a big surprise. The calibration can sometimes be mixed, and if a display like the EX3200R is already fine-tuned and ready for use, home calibration can have a negligible effect.
The BenQ EX3200R offers a three-year standard warranty to protect against manufacturing defects. This is the kind of guarantee we would expect on a monitor that costs more than $ 1,000, but it's a pleasant surprise to see it on a $ 400 monitor.
With high quality craftsmanship, excellent display quality and a silky smooth refresh rate, the BenQ EX3200R is an excellent gaming monitor. At 1080p, it's just not as sharp as it could be. If you sit close enough, you can really see these pixels. We can forgive this because of the reasonable price of this monitor and the excellent results in other areas.
Is there a better alternative?
There are better curved gaming monitors on the market, but none that offer the EX3200R's low price and high performance. If price isn't that much of a problem and you really want 1440p or 4K, you have a lot of options. Boss among which would be the Samsung CF791.
The contrast ratio is not as high as that of the BenQ EX3200R, but is still 980: 1, which is excellent and ensures a rich viewing experience. It's a 1440p monitor, so the lush, curved 35-inch display is incredibly sharp. Not to mention that it is a very attractive monitor even when it is switched off. Dressed in silver and white, with an elegant and wafer-thin bezel that runs all around, it's a nice addition to any office – or gaming hideaway.
For high refresh rate options, however, 1080p is still the best choice. If you don't have a first-class gaming desktop, it is very difficult at 1440p and almost impossible at 4K to achieve high frame rates to get the most out of a 144Hz or 200Hz display – without really monstrous gaming -Rig.
If the EX3200R's 144 Hz panel is not fast enough for you, there is always the Acer Predator Z35. It's another 1080p that's extremely wide curved, but it increases that refresh rate up to 200 Hz. That's almost as big as jumping from 60 Hz to 144 Hz. If the EX3200R is buttery soft at 144 Hz, the Predator is Z35 Teflon smooth.
However, both other options cost a lot more than the EX3200R. The Acer Predator Z35 costs from $ 900 and the Samsung CF791 from $ 750.
How long it will take?
The BenQ EX3200R will likely last for some time. It's well crafted and sturdy, the solid metal legs don't bend or bend, and the stand holds on no matter how hard you try to wiggle it. However, the resolution will look dated much earlier than with a 1440p or 4K panel.
Thanks to this refresh rate of 144 Hz, the EX3200R will likely be able to prevent the inevitable, if only for a few years. It will make your games look incredibly smooth long after the poor pixel density has made it a chore for surfing the internet.
Should you buy it
Yes you should The BenQ EX3200R is a powerful gaming monitor with the price of a decent mid-range monitor. It offers the best for your money in its price range and clearly outperforms more expensive monitors.
With a 144 Hz display and a luxuriously high contrast ratio, the EX3200R at $ 400 is an absolute bargain.