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by Rob Follis

13th November, 2018


To up your gaming and your work game, try this competitively priced 32-inch curved monitor from BenQ.

If you are like many people and work from a laptop, adding a desktop monitor to your home office is one of the best upgrades you can make, but the most important thing is to get a quality display.

The 2K QHD BenQ EX3203R takes the fashionable curved look to a new height (or depth!) and is a very curved design with a 31.5-inch display. Both the screen and the curve work well for computers, immersive gaming and even for use as a TV or streaming hi-def movies from your computer.

Running off my MacBook Pro USB-C output, the BenQ fired up immediately, and a correctly sized image appeared at the optimum 2560 x 1440 dpi resolution. The automatically selected BenQ colour profile was pretty accurate, and no image tweaking was necessary for general use apart from the usual turning down brightness and contrast using the OSD and monitor controls.

The Flying V monitor stand is slim and comes with useful height and tilt adjustment making it easy to find a good position for use, and it is exceptionally stable. There are two HDMI inputs, plus DisplayPort, USB-C and USB 3.1 connectivity, and the extremely narrow side bezels mean you can easily line up two or three of them in an ultra-wide array if you have the cash.

Overall colours were natural, and the sharp 1440p resolution delivered crisp and clear detail both for images and text, especially when we put up big spreadsheets and the like. This is where adding a big monitor to a 13-inch laptop pays dividends. Noticeably absent were problems that are often seen on cheap monitors, such as ghosting, uneven backlighting, bleedthrough or colour washout, all in all, a good image scorecard.

'Low Blue Light' and 'Brightness Intelligence Plus' are BenQ features aimed at making the monitor more restful on the eyes. They do work, although after some experimentation and the use of a hi-res HDMI USB-C to HDMI adapter, we were able to get Apple's "Night Shift" mode working on the MacBook and the BenQ making sure both screens stayed colour-matched and in sync. The built-in controls and On Screen Display are fearsomely comprehensive and RTFM is recommended, we used them very little but every tweak under the sun is there. There are no speakers, but then most enthusiasts will have a good pair of desktop speakers anyway. There is a headphone jack.

In a quick gaming test with an X Box One X, the 4ms response time minimised any input lag and the 144Hz refresh rate seemed to give generally very smooth motion on the games we tried. The immersive curve was a real benefit here as all players said they did feel better immersed and drawn into the game than with a standard flat screen.

The EX3203R has nearly all the tech features that anyone would need, including Radeon FreeSync 2 (which allows the monitor to dynamically adjust frame rates to match the input source) VESA Certified HDR 400 for detailed, natural-looking lighting; and BenQ's eye-care technology to reduce the strain of long viewing times. The only feature we could not test properly was HDR as we had no matching source to hand, however, movies from Netflix popped off the screen, so we'll take that as a positive.

The BenQ EX3203R is on sale now, priced at around $800.

Key features:

  • 31.5-inch 2560 x 1440 LED screen
  • HDR support
  • 3000:1 native contrast
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 4ms response time
  • 2 x HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, USB 3.1 sockets
  • Dimensions (HxWxD mm) 536x712.69x223.87
  • Tilt (down/up) -5˚ - 20˚
  • Height Adjustment (mm) 60mm
  • Net Weight (kg) 8.1 kg

GadgetNET says: Considering the size, quality and feature set, the BenQ EX3203R is something of a bargain at $799 and I will be sorry to see it leave my desk.

For more information visit BenQ.


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Tags: benq  computer  gaming  monitor 

Rob Follis's avatar

Written by:

Rob Follis

Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.

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