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BenQ BL3201PT 32-inch Ultra HD Monitor Review

The first-generation 32-inch Ultra HD monitors came out at over $3000. They’ve dropped in price of course, but BenQ’s new BL3201PT is debuting at a more aggressive MSRP of $1100. We've even seen it selling for under $1000. Today we test its performance.

BenQ BL3201PT: A 4K Price Breakthrough

The prices on Ultra HD-capable displays have fallen from once-stratospheric levels thanks to the passage of time and an increasing number of choices. With the BL3201PT now available, it seems that more expensive IGZO-based panels will have to become cheaper or start incorporating better features. Right now, only the Dell UP3214Q with its wide-gamut option is viable competition for this new BenQ.

We’ve written many times before about the importance of having the correct pixel density rather than the highest pixel density. Mac users, you don’t have to worry about this since your operating system handles high-res screens much better than Windows. In the world of Microsoft, however, going much beyond 109ppi means looking at really tiny text or using font scaling, which degrades clarity.

Performance of the BL3201PT is exemplary given its price tag. For starters, it can be used with no issue right out of the box. We know that only a small percentage of enthusiasts have the means to calibrate. If a monitor measures well in its factory default mode, we want to let you know. This is one of those screens. With an un-calibrated error of 2.25dE for grayscale and only 1.72dE for color, the only real reason to make adjustments is because you can. Topping that off is some of the best gamma performance we’ve ever recorded.

If you’re looking to game in 4K with a 32-inch UHD screen, the BL3201PT has some of the lowest input lag we’ve measured from any 60Hz display. Sixty-four milliseconds means you’d need a fast-refresh model to get significantly better performance. In fact, out of all the Ultra HD monitors we’ve tested, this BenQ ranks a very close fourth place. And guess what? The top three are all TN-based panels. Knowing BenQ’s reputation for pushing the envelope with gaming monitors, it would not surprise us to see an overclocked version of this panel running at 120Hz someday.

There will still be those who consider $1000 too much to spend on any computer monitor. And we understand that it’s still a relatively high-end price, regardless of performance or features. But BenQ is bringing the cost of jumbo Ultra HD a lot closer to realistic levels than anything else we’ve seen so far. Diversity of choice is what will continue chipping away at the 4K premium, and BenQ's BL3201PT is a really good choice.

For its excellent build quality, image quality and value, we’re giving the BenQ BL3201PT our Tom’s Hardware Editor Approved award.

  • blackmagnum
    I wouldn't want to bump it over and drop it from the table, because the stand looks so tipsy.
    Reply
  • avatar_raq
    I wonder why all the links to Amazon belong to the BL3201PH not the reviewed "PT" model. Am I missing something?
    Reply
  • I Hate Nvidia
    I Don't Know Why monitor vendors can't make a decent 28 inch IPS UHD monitor below 500 $ whereas I bought my LG UB820T 42 inch IPS 120 Hz UHD TV for only 630$ ,and it comes with the amazing magic remote and TV tuner and smart TV support, WIFI and LAN , USB 3 and 3 HDMI 2.0 ports!
    Reply
  • qwfgbn
    Dell P2415Q and P2715Q are 4K 60HZ IPS panels which can be found for around 600$ on amazon.
    Reply
  • ohim
    Why is everybody stating about Luminance / Brightness as "higher is better ". I had an Iiyama 27" IPS pannel that had over 350 cd you can`t even use that monitor at 100% brightness, you can actually feel the heat from the monitor on your face. Best use was at around 25 to 50% brightness ...had to return it though due to flickering .. my eyes were going insane with that monitor.
    Reply
  • beshonk
    Been waiting for that xl2420g review you promised us! This monitor's way too pricey!
    Reply
  • nukemaster
    I hate to ask, but how is the glow?

    I wouldn't want to bump it over and drop it from the table, because the stand looks so tipsy.
    The stand is sturdy since the 3200PT(2560 x 1440 MVA) was very solid with the same stand.

    Why is everybody stating about Luminance / Brightness as "higher is better ". I had an Iiyama 27" IPS pannel that had over 350 cd you can`t even use that monitor at 100% brightness, you can actually feel the heat from the monitor on your face. Best use was at around 25 to 50% brightness ...had to return it though due to flickering .. my eyes were going insane with that monitor.
    I think the brighter is better has carried over from cell phone reviews or something. Working in a very bright area could also benefit from extra brightness. On the plus side almost all BenQ screens use voltage based dimming and not PWM. This should allow you to get a dimmer screen without the flickering(not that it bothers me).

    I personally have my screens at a much lower setting as well.
    Reply
  • Eggz
    Siiiick! This is the first 4K screen I've seen that seems reasonable in terms of price, performance, size, and image quality.
    Reply
  • burmese_dude
    "it’s selling on the street for under $1000." I wonder if they sell these on my street. I need to call and ask.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    I thought we'd start seeing some sort of adaptive sync technology on just about every monitor by now. I can't get excited about anything that doesn't have it.
    Reply