The BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor has one thing that most current monitors do not. It has a Thunderbolt 3 connection for direct connection to Thunderbolt 3 ports and docks.
In many respects, I feel like I am reviewing the BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor is like the 28-inch BenQ EL2870 reviewed last week. But this model uses a VA panel (TN on the 28-inch). It is worth a read of the 28″ review if only to cover Benq technology that I won’t cover again here.
The 28-inch got our 4K value recommendation. The 32-inch is going the same way at $899 (buy online from $749 plus delivery) so, it is going to score well there too. I venture it is the best value of all when you take the screen real estate into account.
No, you are not buying a three-legged dog. This is genuinely an excellent monitor with 4K, HDR10 and top-drawer specifications. Even if you can’t use the Thunderbolt 3 connection now, there seems to be no price penalty for it.
Spoiler Alert: I have been using it for a week, and there are several things I like.
Such a big screen still with 16:9 format. Most of this size are 21:9 – long and wide but narrow. This gives nearly 700 x 400mm usable space (A4 is 210 x 297, so it shows over three sheets wide at 100%). Movies fill the screen.
Thunderbolt 3 connection is just another way to connect. It supplements the two HDMI or DisplayPort. It makes it easy to add a 4K monitor if you have Thunderbolt else use the other ports.
Colours are glorious. It is the best so far at 95% DCI-P3 and HDR10 coverage and offers so much flexibility in calibrating the screen to your needs. I venture that even photographers and videographers will find it useful.
I suspect the price and value is unbeatable
What don’t I like
BenQ’s menu system is fiddly taking several button presses to change for different types of work. Still, no one has it right in making a Windows app to do it all.
Review. BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor
Australian website here.
Specifications and comments
Executive summary: All the ports you could ever need, loads of pixels, outstanding colours, HDR10 and BI+, and great response times mean this monitor can handle anything you throw at it.
|BenQ 4K 32 EW32270U monitor||Specs||GadgetGuy comments|
|Resolution||3840 x 2160, 158ppi||4K makes a huge difference – four times the pixel count of FHD.|
|Ratio||32″, 16:9||Still the best for desktop use enabling 3 x A4 pages side-by-side. Antiglare coating is excellent|
|Panel||VA edge lit||Viewing angles quoted at 178° horizontal and vertical but you will notice some colour shift after about 90° of-angle.|
|Brightness||300 nits||Tests achieve that|
|Contrast||3000:1 (native) 20M:1 (dynamic)||Tests achieve that|
|Colour||10-bit 1.07 billion||Good out-of-the-box accuracy but not for professional use. Modes for Reddish / Normal/ Bluish /user mode and six Gamma pre-sets. You can allocate custom profiles to two physical buttons. You can also scroll through the colour presets from a physical button (without accessing the menu).|
|Colour gamut||95% DCI-P3||
Good enough for a video or still editor. |
100% Rec. 709
2x HDMI 2.0
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
|HDCP 2.2 compliant. Thunderbolt 3 port is a bonus so buy this monitor even if you don’t use it.|
|Speakers||2 x 2W||
Sound reaches 70dB|
Signature is below
Low Blue light
Brightness Intelligence +
Freesync 60Hz (requires Radeon card)
All of these add up to a top-end monitor with thigs like
FHD upscale (not quite as good as a 4K TV) and excellent 10-bit colour and
I would classify it as a good casual gamer monitor, but it is more for the home and office user.
|Stand and size||522.2 x 726.4 x 215mm x 10.2kg||The stand has good fixed height and minor tilt adjustment.|
|Power||240V socket||No external brick required)|
What about Thunderbolt 3?
Thunderbolt 3 can transmit full duplex data at 40Gbps. In practice through a dock it is about half that – still amazingly fast. 4K streaming is only 25Mbps (.025Gbps)
My only issue is that it does not have a Thunderbolt 3 out port (hub) to daisy chain other Thunderbolt 3 devices. That is not an issue – a hub costs more.
Of course, you have HDMI and DisplayPort as well.
HDR – you need content
You need content HDR Blu-ray, HDR game or HDR streaming services (Internet connection that’s fast enough to stream high-quality HDR content).
You also need a video card like the Intel Graphics 630, Radeon 5 or GTX 10 series or later.
BenQ HDR monitors implement the HDR standard that displays images by enhancing the brightness/darkness of signals and colour range. HDR monitors can show details more clearly and vividly and achieve a more natural-looking image.
HDR on monitors, especially edge-lit will not achieve the same effects as an HDR TV, but it will look a lot better than a standard monitor.
How does it sound?
It is very similar to the 28” EL2870U although louder and with more bass.
Bass creeps in at 100Hz and builds to 500Hz. Mids are very strong, and treble falls off from 10kHz.
This is called a mid-signature and its fine for clear voice but lacks any subtle nuances you want for movie or music enjoyment.
Loudness is a maximum of 80dB, and that verges on bedroom/study room-filling sound. My advice is to get a Bluetooth stereo speaker or even a 2.0 or 2.1 soundbar (from about $200) if you intend to stream movies.
GadgetGuy’s take. BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor wins in value and performance
The BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor is priced competitively with other Ultra HD monitors that don’t offer DCI colour or HDR. It is
BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor, BenQ EW3270U 32-inch 4K HDR monitor