BenQ EX3210U Review: 4K 144Hz FreeSync IPS Gaming Monitor

The BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U is a 32" 4K 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with MBR, FreeSync Premium Pro and DisplayHDR 600.

Bottom Line

The BenQ EX3210U is a decent 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS monitor. It has plenty of premium features that some users might find useful, but it’s also rather expensive. In addition, it has subpar factory calibration and SDR brightness; there are better alternatives for the money.

Design:
(4.7)
Display:
(4.5)
Performance:
(4.5)
Price/Value:
(2.0)
3.9

The BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U is yet another 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS gaming monitor with a wide color gamut, FreeSync, HDR and HDMI 2.1; however, it also offers some unique and premium features – here’s how it compares to its alternatives.

Image Quality

Thanks to its quantum dot enhanced backlight, the BenQ EX3210U has a wide color gamut that covers 99% Adobe RGB and 98% DCI-P3 color space, which is equivalent to ~150% sRGB gamut size.

As a result, you get saturated and vibrant colors, especially when it comes to blue, green and cyan colors. There’s also an sRGB emulation mode available, in case you want to clamp the gamut down to ~100% sRGB for better accuracy.

DCI P3 vs Adobe RGB v sRGB Comparison

The monitor’s IPS panel also ensures consistent color reproduction and 178° wide viewing angles, so the image will remain accurate regardless of the angle you’re looking at the screen.

Now, while the sRGB mode has a decent factory calibration, the 2.2 gamma preset in the Standard/Custom mode is too high on most units, resulting in raised blacks. So, changing the gamma to ‘2.0’ might provide you with better results, closer to the 2.2 target. You can use Lagom’s gamma calibration to see how your particular model performs.

So, if you want to use the monitor for color-critical work, you will need a colorimeter for proper calibration and profiling.

Another widespread issue with the BenQ EX3210U monitor is SDR peak brightness, which ranges from 250-nits to 280-nits, depending on the unit, shy of the specified 300-nits.

For a lot of users, even 250-nits will be too bright, but if you’re in a room with particularly strong lighting, the monitor might be too dim for you even at its highest brightness setting as it won’t be able to overcome glare.

The static contrast ratio amounts to 1,000:1, as expected from an IPS panel, so you won’t get as deep blacks as that of VA or OLED panels. Some IPS glow is also present, which is another expected drawback of this panel technology. Its intensity varies from unit to unit, but it’s manageable in most cases.

BenQ Mobiuz EX3210U

Moving on, the 4K UHD resolution provides you with plenty of screen space with sharp details and text on the 31.5″ viewable screen of the monitor thanks to the high pixel density of roughly 140 PPI (pixels per inch).

Keep in mind that 4K UHD is quite demanding on CPU and GPU, so make sure your system will be able to handle it.

When it comes to HDR content, the BenQ EX3210U gets a boost in peak brightness up to 600-nits for punchy highlights and it can put its wide color gamut to good use. However, the mediocre contrast ratio holds back the overall viewing experience.

There’s a local dimming solution that can help with the contrast ratio, but as there are only 16 zones across the entire screen, only HDR scenes with bright and dark objects far apart will look better than SDR. In short, you’re not getting the true HDR viewing experience, which requires full-array local dimming or OLED technology.

Performance

BenQ EX3210U Overdrive 144Hz
BenQ EX3210U Overdrive 60Hz

The BenQ EX3210U has four response time overdrive modes called AMA (Advanced Motion Accelerator), ranging from Level 0 to Level 3.

Based on the ghosting UFO test by Blur Busters, we recommend sticking with the default Level 2 mode as Level 3 introduces a lot of inverse ghosting.

There is still some minor trailing visible behind fast-moving objects, but it won’t bother most users. You won’t see any dark level smearing associated with considerably slower VA panel displays.

If you’re mostly playing competitive first-person shooters, you might find the amount of ghosting bothersome, especially if you’re used to a faster display, but a 32″ 4K monitor isn’t really suited for serious fast-paced gaming anyway.

On the positive side, input lag is low at just around 4ms of delay, which is imperceptible.

BenQ EX3210U Review

Variable refresh rate (VRR) is supported with AMD FreeSync Premium Pro certification for better gamut and tone mapping in compatible games if you have a Radeon GPU.

In case you have a GeForce GPU, VRR is supported via the ‘G-SYNC Compatible’ mode and you get smooth and tear-free performance up to 144FPS despite the monitor not having official NVIDIA certification.

The BenQ EX3210U also supports Motion Blur Reduction, which uses backlight strobing to reduce perceived motion blur at a cost of picture brightness. It can be activated at the same time as VRR, but your refresh rate must be over 120Hz.

Lastly, the backlight of the monitor is flicker-free (unless Blur Reduction is enabled), and there’s an integrated low-blue light filter.

Features

BenQ EX3210U Remote Control

Beneath the bottom bezel of the screen, there’s a directional joystick for quick and easy navigation through the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu. You also get a remote controller with access to the most important features and adjustments.

Noteworthy gaming features include Black eQualizer and Light Tuner for better visibility in darker scenes. Besides the standard image adjustments, such as brightness, contrast and color temperature, you also get gamma (from 1.8 to 2.6), Color Vibrance and sharpness settings.

There’s an integrated sensor that can automatically adjust the screen’s brightness according to ambient lighting via BenQ’s Brightness Intelligence Plus technology – which can be used in conjunction with HDR via the HDRi feature.

You’ll also find four RGB LED strips at the rear of the monitor with customizable color and pattern effects, but the LEDs aren’t strong enough to reflect off of the wall and create atmospheric lighting.

Design & Connectivity

BenQ EX3210U Back

The stand of the monitor is robust and offers a good range of ergonomics, including up to 100mm height adjustment, -5°/15° tilt, +/- 15° swivel and 100x100mm VESA mount compatibility, but no pivot option.

The screen has a light matte anti-glare coating that prevents reflections without making the image too grainy.

Connectivity options are abundant and include two HDMI 2.1 ports with full 48 Gbps bandwidth, DisplayPort 1.4 with DSC, a headphone jack, a quad-USB 3.0 hub and two 2W integrated speakers with a 5W subwoofer. The speakers offer decent audio quality for a monitor, but they’re not as good as dedicated budget speakers.

There’s also a built-in microphone with active noise cancellation and an LED indicator that shows when the microphone is in use.

Price & Similar Monitors

BenQ EX3210U Side

The BenQ EX3210U price amounts to $1,100, which we find too steep.

For just $200 more, you can get the Dell AW3423DW with a QD-OLED panel that offers a significantly better image quality and performance.

The Samsung Odyssey Neo G7 with an 1196-zone mini LED FALD backlight can also be found for $1,100 – $1,300.

If you want a 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS monitor, check out the Gigabyte M32U. It goes for $800 yet offers a faster response time speed, better factory calibration and a higher SDR peak brightness, though it doesn’t have as wide Adobe RGB gamut coverage.

In case you want a model with full Adobe RGB color space coverage, check out the MSI MPG321UR-QD. It goes for $900 and has a better factory calibration, higher SDR peak brightness, dedicated sRGB, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB color modes and a built-in KVM switch.

Conclusion

BenQ EX3210U Close up

Overall, the BenQ EX3210U is a decent 32″ 4K 144Hz IPS monitor.

However, its mostly gimmicky features, such as the built-in microphone and sensors, 2.1 channel integrated audio and remote controller add a hefty premium to the price yet the more important aspects are lackluster, including factory calibration and peak SDR brightness. There are better yet cheaper models available too.

Specifications

Screen Size31.5-inch
Resolution3840×2160 (Ultra HD)
Panel TypeIPS
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate144Hz
Response Time2ms (GtG)
Response Time (MPRT-Sync)1ms (MPRT)
Adaptive-SyncFreeSync (48-144Hz)
Speakers2x2W + 5W Subwoofer
PortsDisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.1
Other PortsHeadphone Jack, Built-in Microphone,
4x USB 3.0
Brightness300 cd/m²
Brightness (HDR)600 cd/m²
Contrast Ratio1000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
99% Adobe RGB, 98% DCI-P3
HDRDisplayHDR 600
Local Dimming16 zones
VESAYes (100x100mm)

The Pros:

  • High pixel density, consistent colors
  • Wide Adobe RGB color gamut with sRGB emulation mode
  • DisplayHDR 600
  • Good response time speed
  • Plenty of features, including VRR + MBR up to 144Hz
  • Ergonomic design and extensive connectivity options, built-in microphone, sensors and speakers

The Cons:

  • Design lacks pivot option
  • IPS glow and mediocre contrast ratio (as expected from this panel technology)
  • Expensive
  • Low SDR peak brightness

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Rob Shafer

Rob is a software engineer with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver. He now works full-time managing DisplayNinja while coding his own projects on the side.