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BenQ EW3270U 4K HDR Monitor Review

BenQ’s latest EW3270U is quite possibly the best value 32-inch 4K Ultra HD monitor with High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology that you can get right now. This monitor is from BenQ’s EW series of “video enjoyment” monitors, which means they’re made for movies and games. The EW3270U seems to be great for all that.

While HDR support is quite well-established in TVs, it’s still coming along in computer monitors. In most cases, HDR-capable monitors are still quite costly. The BenQ EW3270U, however, stands out as being very affordable. With 4K HDR  content gaining more traction, the EW3270U will go well with new gaming PCs and 4K HDR consoles like the Xbox One X.

The BenQ EW3270U looks like a regular monitor for the most part. Its design is quite standard, and in fact, looks largely similar to other BenQ monitor models. The actual diagonal size is 31.5 inches across, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, using a matt-finished VA display panel.

Most people seem to go with glossy displays for multimedia enjoyment, but whenever I need to get any work done, I often prefer a matt display. The EW3270’s display quality is good enough that the matt finish doesn’t reduce my multimedia enjoyment.

The 10-bit VA panel on the EW3270U delivers good 3000:1 contrast ratio, 300 nits brightness, and 4 ms GTG time. You can find no end to debates on the pros and cons of VA versus IPS panels. I think this VA panel, for the most part, is great. Other reviews have reported the EW3270U covers the full sRGB, 100% Rec. 709 and 95% DCI-P3 colour gamuts. For the layman, this means it is pretty colour accurate, more so than other average “consumer” monitors.

Overall, the EW3270U delivers great image quality. 4K content on the EW3270U comes out sharp and true-to-life.

Where the EW3270U suffers is the slightly compromised viewing angles. The large display, and the closer proximity typical of how monitors are used, means it’s easier to find yourself viewing at awkward angles. Colour shifts are noticeable if viewing from anywhere more than moderately off-centre, say over 45° angle. Fortunately, this problem is avoided as long as the monitor is more-or-less in front of you, like when you’re using it as your primary display, which you probably should be.

The EW3270U tilts up and down to help achieve a better view angle. Unfortunately, that’s the only adjustment the monitor can make. I do find the monitor a tad too low, and would dearly have loved a vertical adjustment. It would be so inelegant to stack books below the otherwise very nice display.

The BenQ EW3270U supports three display inputs: USB-C and 2x HDMI 2.0, all at 4K up to 60 Hz. There is also a headphone jack for audio output.

I do find the ports on the back of the monitor rather hard to reach. Fortunately, plugging in the cables should, hopefully, be a one-time affair, or at least somewhat infrequent.

The monitor controls are under the right bottom side of the monitor. Their positions are indicated by indents on the front facing side, so it helps you locate the buttons which would be otherwise not visible from your normal viewing position. The right most button, which is larger, serves as the power button.

The more prominent button on the front face of the EW3270U monitor is easily mistaken for the power button. It actually serves as mode buttons for HDR and Brightness Intelligence Plus (BI+) technology.

The BI+ feature uses an ambient light senor, located in an appendage below the centre of the display, to measure brightness and colour temperature in your environment to automatically adjust display settings. It achieves a balanced display brightness and colour temperature that matches the environment, and helps take care of your eyes by reducing eye strain. This is very convenient if your environment has varying lighting conditions. It’s a bit like adaptive brightness on smartphones, but better.

That mode button also turns on a pseudo-HDR mode which boosts the dynamic range of non-HDR content.

Gamers will be happy to know the BenQ EW3270U supports AMD FreeSync. This is a technology that effectively eliminates image tearing, broken frames, and choppy game play, delivering an improved, smooth, gaming experience.

I find the Super Resolution Mode a bit gimmicky, but if you watch lower-quality videos, the EW3270U can simulate high resolution by boosting pixel density of the original video to deliver higher clarity and more vivid colours.

There are two 2-watt built-in down-firing speakers. They can get quite loud, but sound no better than typical monitors speakers, which is to say they aren’t good. If you are going to be enjoying movies with the EW3270U, you will need headphones or a good, proper, set of external speakers.

In the box, the BenQ EW3270U comes with a power cord, USB-C cable, and DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cable.

The BenQ EW3270U retails at S$899, and it is available in the BenQ official store on Lazada. You can find more information about the EW3270U on BenQ’s official website.

Conclusion

The BenQ EW3270U performs very well and is probably the best value 32-inch 4K HDR monitor you can get right now.

Pros:

  • Sharp images with accurate colours
  • HDR support
  • Excellent matt-finish display panel
  • Auto-adjusts brightness and colour temperature

Cons:

  • No vertical adjustments (or tilt or swivel)
  • Some colour shift beyond moderate off-centre viewing angles

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