Price (RRP): $1099
The BenQ EX3501R, 35-inch, UWQHD, USB-C is a monitor with curves in the right places. If it was possible to fall in love with an inanimate object – this is it.
The BenQ EX3501R is one of those new breeds of USB-C connectivity (as well as HDMI and DisplayPort) monitors and stretches the images to 21:9 ratio delivering 3440 x 1440 crisp, clear pixels and 16.7 billion colours (we counted them😁). Seriously it has 100% sRGB (about 81% DCI-P3) and BenQ Cinema HDR – more on that later.
BenQ touts this as part of its ‘Video Enjoyment’ range, and it certainly is that. The range includes 4K (3840 x 2160, 16:9), QHD (3440 x 1440, 21:9 ultrawide), and one FHD (1920 x 1080, 16:9) model in curved or flat panels.
I really like the 21:9 ratio, the 1800R curve and narrow bezels (for dual monitor use). No, it is not a professional grade 10-bit, 1 billion colour monitor like its cousin the 32” 16:9 EW3270W (GadgetGuy review here) but it is at the top of those I have tested in this class.
Review: BenQ EX3501R, 35-inch, QHD, USB-C monitor
Australian website here
While I have covered the most important specs in the preamble above, I wanted to focus on use.
It is an AMVA (Advanced multidomain vertical alignment), W-LED (White-LED) edge-lit (bottom) screen. AMVA has extremely deep black colour depth because each RGB pixel is actually 8 smaller ones and the extra white LED accounts for the 20,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
The 21:9 ratio or ultrawide (UW) is about as far as you can stretch 3440 x 1440 pixels (QHD) without dropping below the magic 100 pixels per inch (ppi). Although I have seen some brands touting ambitious 38” UWQHD vista’s – I will be getting my magnifying glass out with these.
The result is a clear, crisp image although I suspect BenQ is doing some interpolation (filling in any missing pixels) and that is a good thing.
A 21:9 ratio means your computer must support that. Most recent models do but watch out for older Macs and PCs. If the image looks elongated – stretched – rather than perfect, then Houston you have a problem.
In office use cases a 35”, 21:9 provides just the right height for Word and Excel documents allowing up to four 100% A4 sheets to show side-by-side (screen size is 819.41 x 345.89mm).
GadgetGuy content creators have largely changed from flat to curved 21:9 monitors because they are better on a desktop allowing more focus. The extremities (corners) are closer than a flat screen.
Of course, artists/designers need 4K, 100% Adobe RGB or DCI-P3 and flat screens to avoid unintentional image distortions.
1800R is one of the tightest curves (we have seen 1600R), but it is perfect for a desktop where you sit close to it. As with all VA panels, you start to see issues over about 45° off angle – it is a desktop monitor, not a TV substitute.
For me as an ‘office’ worker it gives a vast vista for Excel spreadsheets or multiple A4 Word pages, real-life sRGB colours (important for a website publisher), heaps of brightness (300 nits) and contrast (2500:1 to 20,000,000:1) as well as 100Mhz panel capable of BenQ’s cinema HDR.