Following an enlightening article by Martin Moelle (the Managing Director of BenQ ANZ) about the importance of eye health in selecting your monitors, we have been using BenQ’s two new display monitors – the 32-inch BenQ EW3270U and the 35-inch curved screen BenQ EX3501R – for the past couple of weeks.Here’s a review of both models.
Is a bigger screen better?
More screen is always good, and this one’s a good size without feeling overwhelming. But the UHD doesn’t necessarily make that big a difference day-to-day when compared to a regular QHD monitor, since the display elements (e.g. text, UX etc.) have to be scaled up to 150% to stop them from feeling super tiny (at least for my non-20-something eyes!).
Chunky bezels and a thick display – not quite 2018
The matte screen helps with reflections, and is much easier on the eyes. But as shallow as this sounds, the monitor doesn’t look as attractive and dramatic as you’d want a fancy $900 monitor to seem (the matte grey housing and the relatively chunky bezels are also quite nondescript). My contention with it is that in 2018, surely displays can be thinner and more bezel-free than this (Apple has been doing this for years).
This is probably a result of having a single type of monitor housing that can range from a basic 1080p panel all the way up to this high-end 4k HDR. I’m sure it saves BenQ a lot of money, but it does feel a little skimped on the premium experience!
Blue light is super useful
The EW3270U has a pretty comprehensive set of display settings – while the HDR didn’t make a big difference to my eyes, the blue light setting was really useful (especially since the monitor is being used for long hours at work or for gaming). It’s also nice to have the sRGB mode there.
Input and sound
This monitor has a wide range of input options to suit pretty much any kind of device, which is particularly useful if you want to plug in a laptop with limited display outputs into multiple screens at once.
The speakers are decent enough, but I didn’t get to test them much since I’m generally using headphones when I want to work.
Conclusion: All in all, the BenQ EW3270U is a pretty sturdy display monitor – quite suitable for long hours at work. But it pales in comparison to its much fancier cousin – the curved screen BenQ EX3501R below.
This 35-inch curved screen is meant to optimise your viewing experience of panoramic entertainment, with enhanced brightness and contrast that help bring out the details of HDR videos.
Looks so good, that’s half the battle won
It’s certainly the most dramatic screen I’ve ever used, by a fair distance. The shape and aspect ratio alone make it instantly different from any normal monitor.
Working across multiple windows or documents? The more the merrier!
LOVE the aspect ratio on this monitor for working across multiple documents or Chrome windows. It works really well with side-by-side windows – effectively giving you a dual screen setup on a single screen.
While it was nice to view movies at a full aspect ratio with no horizontal bars at the top and bottom, the monitor didn’t serve its purpose for when we were watching TV shows which have bars on either side anyway – somehow, that felt more distracting.
The display settings and input options are great, just like the BenQ EW3270U; this one doesn’t have an eye saver mode though, so give your eyes a rest when you’re bingeing Netflix! It does, however, have eye care technology like Brightness Intelligence Plus, low blue light and flicker-free, which you can access via the menu settings on the monitor.
While this screen does not have speakers, there are still audio settings in the menu – which according to BenQ, are there to modify the volume of your headphones.