BenQ EW3270U Review – 4K HDR monitor

BenQ EW3270U Review – 4K HDR monitor

BenQ EW3270U Review. The BenQ EW3270U is a 32 inch 4K HDR monitor with FreeSync, but just how well does it do and is it a monitor you should consider? Let’s find out.

The 31.5 inch panel has a 16 by 9 aspect ratio and runs with a 4K resolution, so 3840 by 2160 which gives us 140 pixels per inch. It’s got support for AMD’s FreeSync, however as I’ve got an Nvidia card here I wasn’t able to test that out for myself.

4K HDR Monitor Review
4K HDR Monitor Review

The panel also runs at 60Hz, the same as all the other current 4K monitors out there at the moment. It’s got a 4ms response time, so again, not as fast as other gaming monitors I’ve reviewed but not too bad, I had no issues with it in terms of ghosting but I don’t think I’m that sensitive to it.

I’ve run the UFO test and recorded it at 180 FPS which is as high as my camera goes, so hopefully with this slowed down you can see any ghosting for yourself. It’s got a peak brightness of 300 nits, so unlike other monitors that have the full 1000 nits for HDR it’s not going to get anywhere near as bright.

These are my own measurements while testing outside of HDR mode. It’s a VA panel which is why we’re getting decent contrast, and In terms of colour gamut, BenQ just note that the it’s capable of 95% of the DCI-P3 colour range with support for 1.07 billion different colours.

In my own testing I can only really test sRGB, NTSC and Adobe RGB with the Spyder 5 Pro, as that seems to be all the software supports, and these are my results while testing with the standard preset, pretty good. This was my second time using a monitor with HDR support, and the software side of things in Windows has definitely improved since then with the latest 1803 version.

In Windows you get a slider that allows you to adjust the brightness of SDR content while the HDR content is unaffected, it looks a little strange while changing it but it’s good to have the option. Aside from some HDR content on Netflix and a select number of videos on YouTube, there still isn’t really that much available yet, but this will improve going forward.

4K HDR Monitor HD
4K HDR Monitor HD

While watching some 4K HDR demos on YouTube there was a definite noticeable improvement to the overall video quality with HDR enabled. Although I can’t really show you how it looks as I’m not recording with HDR, this isn’t a HDR video, and you may not even have an HDR monitor, this is the best I’ve been able to do.

These photos were taken of the same scene from an HDR demo with and without HDR enabled, and with HDR on there’s just more depth and contrast, it just looks better in my opinion, and I think you can kind of see that a bit here, although it looks way better in person.

I didn’t notice any changes even when looking at the screen on sharp angles, BenQ list that it’s capable of 178 degree viewing angles both vertically and horizontally. I’ve also performed my usual backlight bleed test, which involves having the screen completely black in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding.

I then take a long exposure photo to display any bleed, so this is a worst case scenario test. There was a little noticeable difference on the left and right sides, although it wasn’t really noticeable during normal use, but this will vary between monitors. It’s not all just about the panel though, taking a look at the rest of the monitor it’s got a glossy black stand which connects to the silver plastic base.

The stand can be removed, but you have access to the 100mm VESA mount on the back of the display if you’re prefer to mount it some other way. The bezels aren’t too thick, around 8mm or so based on my own measurements for the sides and top, then thicker down the bottom.

At the base of the panel below the BenQ logo there’s a light sensor which is used as part of their brightness intelligence plus technology, basically it detects ambient room lighting and colour temperature and adjusts the display settings appropriately, but you can quickly change this with the button on the bottom front right corner of the panel, which is also used for easily turning on the HDR mode.

The power button and 5 additional buttons for navigating the on screen display are found underneath the right hand side of the screen, and the OSD was fairly easy to navigate through. There are a fair few options, and you can change through the 10 image presets, I spent most of my time using either Standard or HDR profiles.

This worked well for me as I mostly used the monitor to edit videos or watch some HDR content. The back of the monitor is a matte black plastic, nothing fancy going on just a clean professional look. I think the two two watt speakers are underneath the screen, they sound ok, but a little distant.

The IO is on the back toward the bottom and faces down. On the left there are two HDMI 2.0 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 output, USB Type-C output which you can also use for video signal, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the right there’s just the power input.

As for the included cables you get a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable, USB Type-C cable, and a power cable, no external power brick with this model. Although the stand isn’t that big it’s doing a good job of preventing the panel from moving around, even while bumping my desk.

As for the overall dimensions, the whole monitor, so with the panel attached to the stand, it comes in at 72.6cm in width, 21.5cm in depth, and 52.2cm in height. Both the stand and display together weigh in at around 7.5kg. In terms of adjustments you only have the option of tilting the screen by -5 to 15 degrees, no pivot, swivel or height adjustment here.

So how was the monitor to actually use? Going from my cheap 27 inch 4K monitor to this was a nice change, if just for the extra size. I mostly use my computer to edit videos, and as I don’t edit in HDR I didn’t personally make too much use of the HDR modes outside of my testing, but even so it was still a pretty decent monitor.

As for gaming, if you plan on playing games at 4K you’ll need a seriously powerful graphics card to actually push that many pixels, 4K at 60Hz equates to just under 500 million pixels being displayed every second, crazy stuff! I’ve previously compared the Nvidia 1080 against the 1080Ti and included 4K benchmarks in that video if you need to get an idea of which you need for 4K gaming, although it depends on the game and settings used.

I don’t think I’d want to go above 32 inches personally, the corners start to feel like they’re too far away. As for the price it’s going for about $850 AUD here in Australia, or around $750 USD on Amazon for my international viewers, so it actually seems to be priced pretty competitively when compared to other 32 inch 4K HDR monitors available today.

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So what did you guys think about the EW3270U monitor from BenQ? Overall I think it’s a pretty decent monitor for the price compared to similar specced panels from the competition, but as I’ve said before we’re still in the early days of HDR, and although this is only the second monitor with HDR support that I’ve tested it still looked pretty good to me, better than without the HDR mode with HDR content as you get extra contrast and dynamic range, despite it not being a full HDR experience with 1000 nits of brightness.

Louise Martin

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