BenQ PD3200U Gaming Monitor Review
4K UHD Screens are very popular among gamers nowadays. They offer a great resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels that serves great images to the eyes while playing heavy games on consoles or PC. However, one big problem with such kind of monitor is regarding the scaling. This this is more visible when you have smaller sized screens in front of you. But the monitor we are going talk about in this review is something that takes care of all these problems. We are talking about the BenQ PD3200U gaming monitor which features a screen size of 32 inches, thus reducing the problem of scaling to a large extent. Despite having the huge display size, the PD3200U BenQ monitor does not fail to offer a high pixel density to you.
There are a lot of positive points that we are going to discuss in this detailed review comparing it to the predecessor BenQ BL3201PT monitor as well. Find more about this new BenQ PD3200U monitor below.
BenQ PD3200U Specifications
The BenQ PD3200U features a 32 inch IPS display panel with a screen resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. The monitor has a 10-bit color with a special grey to grey response of 4ms. We are going to discuss more it in later part of this section.
BenQ PD3200U Design
The BenQ PD3200U has a smart as well as sleek design which is very different from the predecessor monitor from BenQ. You will find the bezels a bit slender with the width of just 0.9mm at the top side and just 20mm on the bottom side. There is a sensor suite present on the bottom bezel which also incorporates the “Eye Protect” light sensor that prevents your eyes during long gaming sessions, and an “Eco” proximity sensor as well.
The outer chassis of the monitor is made up of black matte plastic, with satin black finish and powder coated metal finish. There is a stand neck with a blue hole in the middle which helps you to keep the table tidy by managing the different wires connected to it. The best thing in the looks was the 32-inch large screen with matte as well as anti-glare finish.
The gamers can control the OSD or On Screen Display with the help of touch-sensitive controls on the bottom bezel or using the remote that you get along with the monitor. You can see the touch-sensitive are brightening up when you bring your fingers very close to it. On the other hand, you can use the puck in order to connect Mini USB drive.
You get the real technical image of the monitor by looking at it from the right-hand side. You will find a lot of ports on the back right side of the monitor which include 2 x HDMI ports, 1 x mDP 1.2, 1 x DP 1.2, 2 x USB 3.0 port, SD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Having HDMI 2.0 port is a plus point as you can then utilize the high-resolution with 60Hz refresh rate using a DP or HDMI. This also means that if you have a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, you can play 4K games on this monitor up to 60 FPS.
The stand of the monitor is very adjustable as well as robust and you can tilt is 5 degrees forward, 20degreese backward, height adjustment till 5.91 inches, 45 degrees right and left swivel and 90 degrees clockwise rotation as well. The total depth of the monitor with the stand is 8.43 inches so that you can comfortably place it at some distance from your eyes and face for comfortable gaming.
On the back side of the monitor, the stand is attached to the center of the monitor along with a quick release bracket that you can use to de-attack it from the main monitor. All you have to do is press the button that is present under the attachment point, hidden behind the neck of the stand. You will also find two 100mm x 100mm VESA holes on the back side that could be used for mounting the monitor on the wall.
There are also two 5 W speakers on the back end which offer you basic, dynamic as well as bassy sound which is not the best and you will require a good speaker if you wish to get full high definition gaming experience. All the other ports are present on the downside at the back as well which include a Mini USB port, 2 x USB 3.0 ports, AC power input, a zero watt power switch and a 3.5 m audio jack.
As a part of the box, you get an HDMI cable, a MiniDP cable, a power cable and a USB cable too.
BenQ PD3200U Performance
BenQ has applied a very light matte surface on the screen which offers a leas haze value and kind of direct emission of the light coming out of the monitor. However, this results in very vibrant images as they appear very close to the monitor screen and does not look like they are under a matte screen surface. On comparing it with the previous BenQ BL3201PT/PH monitor, the surface texture is a bit grainier which we didn’t like in this new monitor from the company. You might not find the smoothness you are looking for while observing the bright white and the dark spots, like the previous one, had.
BenQ has used the standard Red, Green and Blue stripe subpixel layout in BenQ PD3200U which is something that is expected in default by the modern Windows operating systems. So, in case you are using a Windows OS along with the monitor, you won’t have to run through the ClearType in order to get clear colorful images. However, you can still change it as per your preference. If you use a Mac, you may find some text fringing, but do not worry too much about it since it is a very common complaint coming from the MacOS users which used subpixel layout instead.
There are a lot of presets that you get in the BenQ PD3200U monitor. There is a ‘CAD/CAM’ mode, ‘Rec. 709’ mode, ‘sRGB’ mode, ‘Low Blue Light’ mode, ‘Animation’ mode, ‘Standard’ mode, ‘User’ mode and ‘Darkroom’ mode. You can also play around with the setting of the monitor manually by varying the ‘Gamma’ level and other parameters.
On using the monitor, we found it really bright as well as well balanced. We found the gamma tracking as the company has promised and falls close to ‘2.2’. The white point was also close to 6500K or D65 as mentioned by the company. The users do have the option to increase or decrease the gamma setting, but in the default mode, the overall color representation was quite good. BenQ also features a whole huge range of Low Blue Light setting which you can activate or deactivate as per your requirement. You can directly access few of these modes from outside the main menu. The users also have an option to assign a special button to the preset so that you do not have to scroll all the way through the huge list. If you prefer using different game screens throughout the day, this setting will turn out to be very useful to you.
The average contrast ration of BenQ PD3200U, with only brightness adjustment, comes close to 972:1 which is not bad and way above the expectations if you look just at the specifications of this monitor. However, there is some drop in contrast when you switch to the ‘Low Blue Light’ screen modes but that is something that is bound to happen. The maximum luminance of the monitor is 299 cs/m2 and the minimum goes to 54 cd/m2. With this huge range of luminance value, you can easily adjust it to any point you find comfortable to your eyes.
You may also find some graininess in the areas of lighter shades. But that is not a big thing to worry. All in all, BenQ PD3200U offers a good performance to you.
You also have the option to activate the “Dynamic Contrast” setting from the Standard preset and could set its value to anything between 1 and 5. More will be the number you set, higher will be the screen response to change in the brightness. The Dynamic Contrast setting gives the control of the brightness to the monitor itself that increases or decreases it based on the overall darkness of the image which is being displayed on the monitor screen. The change is not very drastic but offers comfort to your eyes when if you plan to stay glued to the monitor for a long period of time.
Pulse Width Modulation
We would like to inform you that this BenQ PD3200U monitor does not make use of the Pulse Width Modulation to adjust at any brightness level. Instead a Direct Current of DC supply is used for altering the brightness. This is the reason why you will find the backlight coming from the screen free from any kind of flicker.
We checked the monitor by playing Battlefield 1 on it. Both the shaded as well as dark areas had good reasonable depth. The details are not bad and are spread equally across the screen. However, due to AHVA glow, the corner on the bottom side lose some amount of details, but that is fine. The white areas or the bright areas contrasted better when compared to the shaded and dark areas.
You get a small tool named SMTT 2.0 along with a sensitive camera which measures the input lag that BenQ PD3200U suffers from. On calculating we found 7.05ms of input lag as a combination of pixel responsiveness and signal delay.
However, we found some blur while playing Battlefield 1 on it. But there were no problems while running Blu-ray HD movies. Even playing movies with over 60 FPS frame rate, there was no noticeable weakness.
4K UHD Experience
BenQ has been boasting the ‘4K UHD experience’ in the monitor, and we checked how this huge 3840 x 2160 4K UHD resolution works out on a 32-inch screen. You will be easily able to work and watch movies on the monitor without any kind of scaling. The scaling is more prominent when the screen size is less, especially below 28 inches. On the other hand, the 3-inch screen helps in bringing a good pixel density of 139 ppi, thus offering you great clarity as well as detailed images while you are busy gaming. You won’t need any extra anti-aliasing because the monitor offers you way extra clarity.
The new BenQ PD3200U is no doubt a good upgrade to the BL3201PT/PH. You won’t find much change in the written specifications, but on using the monitor, it tells a whole new different story. It is way better than what it seems on paper. The monitor is very made up of strong plastic offering your superb ergonomic flexibility as well. The screen resolution and size is perfect for watching movies and deep gaming sessions with well-detailed images free of scaling. The introduction of the matte finish on the screen is nice and does not produce any graininess. However, you might experience some when light from any other source is falling on it. But that is something you have to deal with if you want an anti-glare screen for gaming. It is a small change that most of the general users would won’t even mind, but it is something that we found on close inspection.
The BenQ has kept the factory calibration very tight in the new monitor. We would especially like to mention the sRGB mode. Which handles the white point matching as well as the gamma reproduction perfectly. In addition to this shade consistency, the AHVA panel together makes up a great combination. You get good contrast performance from BenQ PD3200U which is a bit better from the predecessor monitor. The static contrast of the new monitor is a bit less from the previous one but matches the specification. Responsiveness of this monitor remains same and we can’t see any improvement in that.
Addition of HDMI 2.0 is a good idea and good addition to the monitor which stays tighter to the factory calibration. We still don’t know why BenQ did not notice the screen graininess, but that is definitely not the show stopper here. The BenQ PD3200U is quite pocket-friendly, but the performance and specifications that this monitor brings along is definitely top notch.