If there’s a word that comes to mind when describing BenQ’s latest dedicated home monitor: it’s versatile. If you’re looking for a high-end gaming monitor or one that’s ready-and-able to play the latest 4K video content, the BenQ EX3200R might not be the best tool for the job – but it’s up to the task regardless. If you’re looking for a monitor that do a serviceable (and occasionally exceptional) job when it comes to the everyday, it’s hard to look past it.
On paper, the EX3200R features a 1000R curvature, a refresh rate of 144Hz, AMD’s Freesync and a fully-featured cinema-mode. In reality, the monitors proves an apt fit for most of what you find yourself doing in a day. It looks good and, in most situations, as sharp as you need it to be.
It’s also got a number of customer-care additions to the features-list as well (specifically, flicker-free and Low Blue Light display tech) that promise to reduce eye fatigue and ensure a more comfortable long-term viewing experience – which are neat and do make a notably difference during heavy use cases.
When it comes to watching video content, the EX3200R provides results both bright and clear. Even if it’s not capable of true-4K content, well-lit images look great on the display. That said, we did have some problems with content on the darker side of things. There’s not a lot of color depth to speak of and if you’re watching a movie or TV show with plenty of shadowy exteriors (Game of Thrones), we found the detail didn’t always carry through as clear as it might. The built-in “Cinema-Mode” can sometimes accentuate the 3200R’s strengths but, again, it can be very dependent on the quality and style of the content you’re using it to watch.
In terms of gaming: the EX3200R’s 144Hz refresh rate isn’t the best BenQ have got but unless you’re playing something particularly demanding or competitively-focused like Counter-Strike or Overwatch, you’ll probably be able to get by with it.
That said, the biggest potential complication here is likely to come in the curved design. If you’ve spent much time with a curved monitor before, you’ll know what to expect. If you haven’t, you’re probably as likely to love it as you are to hate it. Curved displays aren’t for everyone. In some respects, the decision to stick to curved is as radical as the EX3200R gets when it comes to design. On most other fronts, BenQ have played it pretty safe and stuck with what most people tend to say works.
Still, it’s easy to respect how easy the EX3200R snaps together. It boasts a design that manages to look nice enough on its own merits – but not nice enough that it distracts from what’s on the monitor. Design-wise, It’s packing a slick metal stand that clicks together nicely and with minimal fuss. We found that the EX3200R’s 25 degrees of tilt and 60mm of height adjustment gave us a big of room for messing around with it – even if we would have liked further flexibility.
The admittedly-traditional placement of the input ports in this case sometimes made switching or messing with cables a less-than-perfect process, even if that says less about this monitor than it does about monitors as a broader category and the way that they are designed.
As an overall package, the EX3200R ends up pretty easy to recommend. Provided you’re game to go curved, it provides a really versatile and sharp picture at a strong price-point. It’s by no means the best monitor on the market but for the going price you’d be hard pressed to find one that can “do it all” as well as this one.
The BenQ EX3200R is available now from most official BenQ partners, with an RRP of $699.