BenQ EW3270U 32" Ultra HD Monitor Review: HDR For The Enthusiast

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Grayscale, Gamma & Color

Grayscale Tracking

As noted up top, the BenQ EW3270U is a two-gamut monitor, covering both sRGB and DCI-P3 with equal precision. Both modes include the correct 6500K color temp, which can be calibrated in the User picture preset. Unfortunately, doing that commits you to the larger DCI gamut. If you want sRGB, you must accept a slightly warm white point.

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

When left unadjusted, the EW3270 exhibits a barely-visible red tint, regardless of picture mode. Most of the brightness range posts numbers under 3dE, the point where errors can be seen. At 100% though, it’s a little more obvious. Perfection is within reach in the User mode, which offers pro-level accuracy with DCI-P3 color. It would be nice to have RGB sliders available in the sRGB and Rec.709 modes.


2.63dE is a very respectable average grayscale error for any monitor in the enthusiast category. The BenQ EW3270U doesn’t come with a factory calibration, so its default performance is in line with many of the gaming and business display we’ve reviewed. A couple of tweaks to the User mode turns it into a usable mastering screen if DCI is the intended color gamut. While this is by no means an inexpensive product, it’s priced well below comparable professional screens of the same size and capability.

Gamma Response

BenQ nails its gamma tracking in all the EW3270U’s modes. The other presets offer the same linearity at levels above and below 2.2. The default sRGB trace shows a slight dip at 10%, but that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Our adjustments have a small impact from 70-90%, but again this is not an issue of consequence. You’ll see the positive effects of this in our color saturation tests below.


The BenQ EW3270U has a very small range of gamma values across its luminance range. And it sticks closely to the 2.2 standard both before and after calibration, with an average of 2.15. One can expect the same performance in all picture modes, given the results we measured. This is critical to proper color saturation tracking, which we’ll show you now.

Color Gamut & Luminance

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, please click here.

As we said earlier, the EW3270U is a two-gamut monitor. It hits the targets for both DCI-P3 and sRGB through the full range of color saturation. Aside from a slightly-red white point, there is no need to calibrate this display. When gamma is set to 3, every point is in contact with the target box, which represents 1dE. Luminance values are neutral, with none exceeding 5% except blue. That primary is dialed back a little to compensate for its oversaturation at 100%. Aside from that, this BenQ is as close to perfect as any monitor can be, delivering professional-level performance.


Only the NEC PA243W can best the BenQ EW3270U in the color accuracy test. And that monitor sells for quite a bit more money while being smaller and delivering lower resolution. All the HDR monitors we’ve tested so far exhibit better-than-average color performance, in fact. Hopefully, that will be a trend we see in future monitors in lower price categories as well.

In the volume chart, we’ve mapped gamuts for DCI-P3 rather than Adobe RGB, along with the usual sRGB. All six monitors have that color mode, and all come close to the 90% mark except the BenQ EW277HDR. The BenQ EW3270U has the largest gamut volume we’ve measured so far, by a small margin.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: Best Professional Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: How To Choose A Monitor

MORE: All Monitor Content

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • milkod2001
    I'd be happy to pay $1000 for the same thing with Gsync instead, 120Hz refresh rate and if it was properly calibrated from factory. It that so much to ask? What do yo guys think?
  • davidgirgis
    Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 35" / 21:9
    Should Be:
    Screen Size & Aspect Ratio: 31.5" / 16:9
  • jfkeenan
    I'd also be happy to pay a premium for 43", 4K HDR, 120Hz, G-Sync, factory calibrated.
  • 10tacle
    Too-blue mid-tones in HDR mode cannot be adjusted

    Can you not use an aftermarket monitor calibration tool like from Datacolor or X-Rite with this in HDR mode? I am VERY interested in this monitor at this price point.
  • derekullo
    I'd be happy with a 40" OLED.

    Literally nothing else would matter to me lol
  • Icepilot
    "this is one of the best HDR 4K monitors we've tested yet--especially given its roughly $700 asking price."

    Score - 7/10.

    The score doesn't seem to match the words - am I missing something here?
  • cryoburner
    20990505 said:
    I'd be happy to pay $1000 for the same thing with Gsync instead, 120Hz refresh rate and if it was properly calibrated from factory. It that so much to ask? What do yo guys think?
    Unfortunately, you're likely going to need to pay double that for anything close any time soon. : D

    4K, high refresh rate HDR displays with G-Sync are coming soon, and they're going to be very expensive. Keep in mind, that's only a 27" screen for $2000. And at 27", you'll probably have a hard time even distinguishing the difference between 1440p and 2160p while gaming, so it would probably make a lot more sense to get a screen with the more moderate resolution and get much higher frame rates instead, at a fraction of the cost. After all, what good are high refresh rates at 4K when even today's best graphics cards will struggle to hit 60fps at max settings in many games.
  • hannibal
    In this size, trible this price!
  • Ninjawithagun
    20990505 said:
    I'd be happy to pay $1000 for the same thing with Gsync instead, 120Hz refresh rate and if it was properly calibrated from factory. It that so much to ask? What do yo guys think?

    I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, reality won't be so kind. Acer plans to sell their 27-inch 4K HDR 120Hz panel for no less than $2000 :( I'm usually an early adopter of tech, but that price tag is just to steep for me. I had the patience to wait for the formerly very expensive Dell AW3418DW 3440 x 1440 IPS 120Hz G-Sync monitors to drop in price and bought two fo them for only $900/each through Best Buy (with 3-year warranties). I guess I can wait for these to come down in price once there is competition in the market place.
  • happoman
    How did you managed to get that Freesync range? Mine only does 40-60hz.