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.
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.