BenQ PD3200U 32" Ultra HD Monitor Review

Brightness & Contrast

To read about our monitor tests in depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs.  Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.

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Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level

We tried to stick with lower-priced 32" monitors for today’s comparisons, but we couldn’t resist including the premium NEC PA322UHD just to see what you get when the cost goes up. It’s a professional screen with a factory-certified calibration and a wide gamut option. The remaining displays are sRGB-only. They are BenQ’s BL3201PT, Acer’s XB321HK (also expensive because it includes G-Sync), Asus’ PA328Q, and Philips’ VA-based BDM3270.

32” UHD monitors are not particularly bright, and few can reach 350cd/m2, but the PD3200U comes reasonably close at 317.8757. For typical indoor use, it’s plenty of light, especially since many users don’t need much more than 200 or so. Black levels are pretty much the same as most of the IPS monitors we test, but in this group, the BenQ is the best of the rest. VA is the king, and will likely remain so for the near future. Resulting contrast is comfortably over 1000:1, which means plenty of depth and dynamic range for video, gaming, and productivity apps. And the extra pixel density afforded by its 3840x2160 resolution doesn’t hurt either.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

Dropping the brightness slider to zero takes output to a very comfortable 56.5460cd/m2. This is a great level for working or playing in a dark room. The black threshold moves the PD3200U to third place but only by a hair. Contrast is still consistent at 1033.6:1. All settings of the backlight offer the same dynamic range, which is to be expected of any monitor in this class.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

You’ll see on the next page that calibrating the PD3200U is unnecessary, but we tried it anyway. Fortunately, there is no loss of contrast with a value that stays above 1000:1. Even though the RGB sliders can only be reduced, they don’t impact gamma or dynamic range in any way. Image quality here is about as good as it gets for an Ultra HD IPS panel.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

Our uniformity tests show a little extra output in the corners of our sample. While it’s barely visible, it affects the ANSI result, though not too grievously. 905.5:1 is a perfectly respectable intra-image contrast level for any monitor. You’ll soon see that the PD3200U’s color accuracy is so good that you won’t find yourself wishing for more dynamic range. This BenQ’s image quality is exemplary in every respect.

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  • sparkyman215
    Wow these last two monitors you've reviewed have been killer. Where was that NEC during the tests, huh ;)
  • Larsenexx44
    I am looking at something in this screen size as UHD. Can you game on this monitor, say Far Cry 3 or Ashes of the singularity?
  • mohamed_ali140
    wow nice monitor
  • Realist9
    Still waiting on a 32" or greater 4k monitor with g-sync and >60hz. I guess I should stop holding my breath.
  • joex444
    4K at more than 60Hz requires DP1.3 or better. HDMI simply can't.
  • Realist9
    49243 said:
    4K at more than 60Hz requires DP1.3 or better. HDMI simply can't.


    So? 1080's have DP 1.4. They have been out for almost a year, and I would think monitor vendors knew well in advance that they, and more cards with that, would be coming. So they would have had, what, 2 yrs? That's not enough?

    I think the more likely cause is that monitor vendors know that it will be a while before MANY people will be able to use and want 4k at >60Hz. And they just don't think they can make $$ releasing one anytime soon.

    Since the visual difference between 1080 and 1440, IMO, is not enough to warrant an upgrade, I'm stuck waiting for this "may never get here" monitor. First world problems I guess.
  • Jung
    I wanted to wait for 4K GSYNC >60Hz, but seems like those things aren't coming together soon, so I popped for the Acer Predator XB321HK... 2 out of three ain't bad.
  • VincentP
    Spec table in the introduction lists the panel type as AMVA (a type of vertical alignment panel). This isn't correct.
    BenQ lists the panel type as IPS, and this is how it is listed in performance results in this article.
    The article also mentions AHVA, which is possible since this is an IPS type technology (unlike AMVA).
  • JackNaylorPE
    240114 said:
    I wanted to wait for 4K GSYNC >60Hz, but seems like those things aren't coming together soon, so I popped for the Acer Predator XB321HK... 2 out of three ain't bad.


    Quote:
    I think the more likely cause is that monitor vendors know that it will be a while before MANY people will be able to use and want 4k at >60Hz. And they just don't think they can make $$ releasing one anytime soon. Since the visual difference between 1080 and 1440, IMO, is not enough to warrant an upgrade, I'm stuck waiting for this "may never get here" monitor. First world problems I guess.


    The Asus ROG PG27UQ and the Acer Predator XB272-HDR are slated to arrive in Q2 2017, that starts tomorrow (and no, not an April Fool's joke) . That puts it some time in the next 90 days though I expect we will see them released right around the big outer shows in May.

    AU Optronics AH-IPS panel, w/ 3840 x 2160 native resolution and 144Hz
    Dynamic Range Support via HDR10
    384-zone backlighting system
    Enhance color palette via Quantum Dot filter
    1000 nits of brightness (3x that of the monitor in the review)
    DisplayPort 1.4 connector
    HDMI 2.0a display controller (60 Hz only)
    AHVA IPS Panel

    And with AIB 1080 Ti's dropping this month, you will actually have something to drive it, tho it will take two of them to really make the monitor shine. Only question that as yet hasn't been answered, at least I haven't found it, is confirming ULMB support. It has G-Sync and ULMB comes with that ... in the past was no ULMB at 4k cause DP 1.2 couldn't support the high refresh rates needed for it.
  • Novell SysOp fire phasers 5 time
    Now review the BenQ BL2711U. You can't do their 32" and neglect their 27". I don't buy the BS that 4K is better on a 32, and the 27 has 167ppi.
  • Novell SysOp fire phasers 5 time
    I forgot to add you need to use a Quadro card to get 10-bit color on a 10-bit monitor. Adobe only supports the Quadro and AMD cards.
  • Qoelet
    Would this be recommended for graphic design work?