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.