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

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Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response & Lag

EW3270U Viewing Angles

VA panels lag a bit behind their IPS counterparts in the off-axis quality department. While not as bad as TN, you can see a loss of detail to the sides, and even more so in the vertical plane. This gamma change will wash out an image to the point where it's largely unwatchable past the 45° angle mark. Color shifts toward green in both dimensions as well. But in a normal desktop environment, with a single user, there are no issues here. You could even use multiple BenQ EW3270U’s without any image degradation.

Screen Uniformity

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

The EW3270U scores a little above our 10% threshold in both the black and white field uniformity tests. The sample we received isn’t expressly bad, but it finished last in our comparisons. In the black field test, the center and lower lef- zones are the brightest. But the screen doesn’t quite achieve the level of light bleed or glow, and even a 5% rise in brightness erases any notice of a problem. The white field test shows a center hotspot, again barely visible. Color uniformity is excellent at a quite unnoticeable 1.87dE range of values.

Pixel Response & Input Lag

Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

The EW3270U is billed as a “video enjoyment” monitor which in our opinion, should include gaming duty. That’s supported by the inclusion of FreeSync over a wide 24-60Hz range. But like all available Ultra HD monitors, 60fps is the upper limit. Unless you have an expensive video card, that isn’t a big deal anyway as you won't be ale drive games at high settings above that, but someday soon it will be a more serious limitation. Hopefully now that we’re seeing DisplayPort 1.4 on the latest monitors, higher refresh rates will be here soon on UHD displays.

Despite that limitation, the EW3270U boasts a decent draw time of 22ms and a usable input lag of 64ms. First-person shooters are comfortable for the casual player, but serious competitive types will need a faster-refresh monitor to remain dominant.

Gaming With FreeSync

We’re still gaming with a Radeon R9 285, so Ultra HD means turning down detail levels to the mid-point. The High preset in Tomb Raider delivers framerates in the high, 40s which means no tearing and control response that’s good enough for our casual skills. There is no motion blur to speak of when using the High overdrive setting. Premium shows a bit of ghosting, but isn’t necessary for smoothness and good motion resolution. We’re glad to see LFC in play here, because there’s no way we’ll see 60fps in any games with our current gaming test system.

Some users make resolution their highest priority, and while we understand that position, we don’t agree with it. Ultimately, a speedier monitor will look better, though it puts fewer pixels on the screen. The EW3270U is one of the more-capable Ultra HD gaming screens we’ve played on, but it won’t compete with a 120Hz QHD or 240Hz FHD display. Panels like that have spoiled us. Ultra HD still has a bit of catching up to do as a gaming category. This monitor however, is a great choice if mega-pixels are important to you.

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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.

  • 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.