Review: BenQ EW3270U 4K/HDR Display

Review: BenQ EW3270U 4K/HDR Display

Product: BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR Display
Release Date: March 2018
Manufacturer: BenQ
Original MSRP: $699.00
This product was lent by the manufacturer for review purposes to be returned when the review is complete.
PS Nation Review Policy.

For quite a while now, I’ve been keen on getting a PC/Console display for my desk that supports HDR (HDR10). While a few have been delayed numerous times, BenQ hit the ground running with a few different models, and this 32-inch beast was exactly what I was looking for.

Because I record and stream a lot of game footage in my office, I’ve wanted to find a monitor that I could use for some serious gaming. I also wanted HDR support since the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and the PS4 support that technology, as does my new PC with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

The folks at BenQ were gracious enough to let me take an extended test run with this monitor, and overall, it’s what I was looking for. There are a couple of caveats, but nothing that would make me not want to have one of them.

BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR Display PS Nation Review 01

The biggest negative is the fact that, officially, since the display supports up to 300 nits brightness, from a technical standpoint it doesn’t support HDR fully since the minimum needed is 500 nits brightness.

In the two months that I’ve been using this display though, that’s seriously never been a problem, in part because essentially every HDR source so far doesn’t fully utilize the brightness controls nearly as much as the extended color palette that HDR affords. Since this sits pretty close to my face on the desk, the extended color makes a much bigger impact to me than brightness zones, unlike my 55-inch Ultra HD display in the living room.

Using my Datacolor Spyder and knowing that this display has full 10-bit color support, the EW3270U is capable of full coverage of the sRGB gamut plus a bit more which is essentially equal to 90% Adobe RGB and DCI-P3. It displays a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, 3000:1 contrast ratio, and 4ms response time, which is fantastic for my needs.

Connectivity options include two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, one USB-C, and a 3.5mm audio port. There are also stereo speakers built-in, which are nice to have, but nowhere near the quality you’d want for day-to-day gaming.

The audio jack is nice to have though, since you can just plug headphones in and listen to audio sent via any of these digital inputs. I’d suggest headphones with their own volume controls though, simply from a simplicity standpoint. In my setup, one HDMI is used directly from my PC, and the other connected to an Xbox One S and Standard PS4, all of which support HDR output.

BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR Display PS Nation Review 02

The rest of the aesthetics are quite pleasing, with only one button on the front, which allows you to turn HDR and “Brightness Intelligence Plus” on or off individually. The other six buttons are on the bottom of the bezel, and easy to find and use.

It’ll definitely take you a few attempts to get comfortable with navigation through the menus and options, and of course, it took me a couple of minutes to figure out that the power button was underneath, instead of being the one on the front of the display.

Available options are plentiful and easy to understand, and I especially like that there’s a night time mode that automatically adjusts when the room gets dark. There’s a small sensor at the bottom of the bezel that handles that for you if you’ve activated the option, so don’t cover that up. Lastly, the stand is minimalistic and incredibly easy to install, and it even supports tilting the display a bit, but there’s no swivel.

BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR Display PS Nation Review 03

Okay, enough of the design, what about the display itself? First, having a 32-inch display that supports 4K is amazing, especially with how many windows I need to have open for my job when I work from home. Brightness, color, and refresh are fantastic, making things very easy on my eyes. It even supports AMD FreeSync, but since I don’t have an AMD/ATI video card, and since the FreeSync update isn’t available for the Xbox One yet, I can’t test that functionality.

For gaming, it’s been great! Both consoles display deep color outputs similar to what I’m used to in my living room. It’s also nice not needing to buy a 4K/HDR TV for the office, so this is saving me some space and enabling some simplicity in an already complex setup.

I normally use the PlayStation 3D Display for consoles in my office, but everything has been moved to the EW3270U now, and I’m so hooked on it that I’ll be requesting that I be able to purchase this one so I don’t need to send it back. Even as a smaller display simply to use for a PS4, it’s feature-rich at a great price point. I’m not kidding when I say that I want to keep this, I’m totally spoiled now.

Conclusion:
While other display manufacturers have stumbled numerous times out of the gate, BenQ came out swinging and hit just about every bullet-point possible.

Some tech-heads will probably balk at the lower nits for HDR, but it hasn’t bothered me yet. Everything looks sharp, with some of the deepest color that I’ve seen on a display of this type.

Personally, I’d like to see the menu navigation simplified a bit, even if that means putting the buttons on the front of the bezel. I’ll take functionality over aesthetics any day, and if that’s the only issue that I can think of, $699 is a steal for this display.

Score:
8.5

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Written by Glenn Percival

Glenn Percival

Just a guy that loves games, movies, Golf, Football, and Baseball.

Editor-in-Chief, Video Producer, and whipping-boy

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