Gamer’s Paradise – Review Geek

0
Evaluation:
8/10
?
  • 1 – Absolute hot waste
  • 2 – A kind of lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $600

Josh Hendrickson

Monitors are a dime a dozen, but good gaming monitors that pack in features like HDR support, ultrawide dimensions, and controls that won’t drive you crazy are a lot harder to find. You can’t look any further than BenQ’s Mobiuz EX3410R gaming monitor. It ticks pretty much all the boxes.

Here’s what we like

  • Excellent HDR support
  • I love the remote
  • Affordable for what it is

And what we don’t do

  • LED lights aren’t great
  • VA panel instead of IPS

As the name suggests, this monitor is primarily intended for gaming, and BenQ has gone all out for specs. It starts with a 34″ 3440×1440 WQHD 21:9 display housed in a curved 1000R form factor. Naturally, the back of the thing has LED lighting, a 2ms (GtG) pixel response time, and Freesync support. These, my dear reader, are necessary player specs with a pinch of unnecessary flash. Packing it all into a monitor for $599 sounds great on paper. And turns out to be pretty good in practice too.

Specifications

  • Display size: 34 inches
  • Curvature: 1000R
  • Resolution: 3440 x 1440 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz
  • Maximum brightness: 400 nits (rated), 401.4 nits (tested)
  • HDR support: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Contrast ratio: 3000:1
  • The depth of color: 10 bit
  • Pixel Response Time (GtG): 2ms
  • VRR support: Yes, FreeSync Premium Pro
  • Ports: 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 2x USB 3.0
  • Additional Features: 2.1 channel speakers, remote control, adjustable stand, VESA wall mount, ambient light sensor

Easy Setup Anyone Can Enjoy

A close up of two multiple USB ports, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort
Josh Hendrickson

Listen, I’m not going to dwell on this because, in general, “setting up your monitor” is not worth it. But when a company really does something right, it deserves praise. Getting this monitor out of the box and setting it up for first use is a joy. At least as much as any monitor setup can get. BenQ pondered.

For one, you won’t need any tools. No need to find that flathead screwdriver that’s never where you swear to last or try to fit it in a deep, tight place only to find you can’t turn it at all. You take the legs out of the box and use a tool built right into the unit to attach them to the stand. Then you can connect the stand to the monitor while it’s still in the box. This isn’t the first monitor I’ve seen using this simplified setup method, but it’s not common at the moment. And I appreciate that BenQ thought about how to make it easy to assemble and even pack it to help achieve that goal.

And if you’d rather go with a VESA mount, you’ll be happy to hear you can go that route instead.

Easy on the eyes when playing

'Halo' running on a gaming monitor
Josh Hendrickson

So the specs are all there for gaming, but what does it actually look like? In a few words ? Very well. But first we have to address the elephant in the room. Windows and HDR. To be frank, Windows fears HDR support. Anyone who has a compatible monitor and has enabled HDR in Windows has probably disabled it later, because while it works well enough when you’re actively consuming HDR content, the rest of Windows (and every other program) looks like garbage. .

This is the case here too. Turn on HDR, and things like Chrome, Slack, and Office programs look terrible. Turn it off, and all is well. It’s not BenQ’s fault, but it’s still a problem because turning HDR on and off requires digging into the settings, and it’s just tedious. And that’s where BenQ saves the day: the monitor can emulate HDR without enabling the feature in Windows. And dare I say, for all the times you’re not gaming, it looks way better than what Windows can do.

But to be fair, it’s not enough as good as real HDR when playing a game or watching a movie. If you want the best experience, dig into Windows Settings and deal with tedious tasks. But if you’re like me and just want to get into gaming, use BenQ’s emulation. Yes, I can tell the difference, but it’s more than enough.

I can’t help but appreciate the included BenQ remote to change HDR settings (emulated or not) and access the rest of its interface. BenQ has wisely placed the monitor’s control buttons on the bottom edge, where they belong, but the remote is even more convenient. Every game treats HDR differently (if they even support it), and having a quick remote option to switch between multiple HDR presets is great.

Other features Slap, Too (except lights)

Generally, at this part of the review, I would lament the monitor speakers as a waste of space and money that could have been better spent improving other monitor features. But I’m going to say something shocking here: this monitor’s speakers don’t suck. They are doing quite well. And look, I know that doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it really is. Usually monitor speakers sound like garbage. These are the first monitoring speakers that I haven’t hated for a long time. They even have bass!

And I’m not saying you won’t use headphones instead for your gaming system or that you wouldn’t be better off with proper dedicated speakers. Of course, it’s true. But when you need speakers in a pinch, these will get the job done and do it well.

I also appreciate the USB hub. You’ll find this on the back of the monitor, and while I’ll admit I’d prefer sideways placement for maximum convenience, anything that can reduce cable clutter is welcome. You’ll also find enough ports to cover most of your needs, including two HDMI 2.0 ports and a Display 1.4 port. The monitor doesn’t support 4K 120 FPS, so while it’s a shame you’re only getting the HDMI 2.0 port, it wouldn’t matter if it had the new spec anyway.

And again, I can’t help but appreciate the “extras” that frankly should be standard, but many companies no longer include. You’ll find a USB-B cord for hub functionality, an HDMI cord, and a DisplayPort cable in the box. Not to mention the remote control, as mentioned earlier.

The only “extra” that isn’t great are the LED lights. I think BenQ wanted to be subtle here, but if you’re going to stick LED lights on your gaming product, then that’s clearly a “flash” move, well, those lights don’t have much flash. During the day or in a well-lit room, you might not even notice the LEDs light up. The lights come on in all the photos in this review, but they are so dim that I had trouble getting them to appear. In the dark is better, but seriously, don’t play in the dark. Not if you care about your eyes.

Buy it if you play

A monitor playing 'Rocket League'
The LEDs light up and you can’t see them in this photo, but you can see the lights on my keyboard. Josh Hendrickson

So should you buy this monitor? If you are a gamer then yes. For an ultra-wide 34-inch curved gaming monitor with 4K HDR support, it’s reasonably priced. It’s true that you can buy monitors with better features, but they also cost a lot more (around $800 to $1,000). And yes, you can buy cheaper monitors with almost (or even the same) features, but none of them are as high quality.

It’s the goldilocks of gaming monitors, just right in price, specs, fit and finish. If you’re an absolute hardcore gamer who needs the best of the best, this is the one for you. But for all other gamers, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R monitor is easy to recommend. Just get it.

And if you’re not gaming, well, this monitor is made for gaming. You better buy a monitor designed for your situation. I probably won’t buy this monitor specifically because my main use case for my computer is my daily work. But if I ever spend more time gaming than writing, I’ll probably return to this monitor wholeheartedly.

Here’s what we like

  • Excellent HDR support
  • I love the remote
  • Affordable for what it is

And what we don’t do

  • LED lights aren’t great
  • VA panel instead of IPS
Share.

Comments are closed.