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BenQ PD3200U 32" Ultra HD Monitor Review

Conclusion

It’s becoming clearer every day that there will never be a monitor with too many pixels. Even though most users are still looking at and are satisfied with 1920x1080 resolution, QHD and UHD are becoming more commonplace and more affordable. Interestingly, QHD screens, though cheaper than they were, have only come down perhaps 20-30% in price. Ultra HD is now available for less than half what it cost just three years ago. The BenQ PD3200U is perfect example.

Here at Tom’s Hardware we typically call a monitor “professional” when it features a factory calibration and a wide gamut. But now it’s possible to have that same level of performance in an sRGB screen for a lot less money. The PD3200U doesn’t have that magic data sheet, and it doesn’t offer Adobe RGB, but in every other way it is the equal of premium panels like NEC’s PA322UHD.

With new standards like Rec.2020 color and HDR coming our way, it’s likely that within a short time we’ll be seeing more displays with extended gamuts and the wider dynamic range afforded by HDR10 and Dolby Vision. But until that day comes, we can enjoy products like the PD3200U.

BenQ calls it a designer monitor, and after our tests, it’s clear that it is a monitor for designers and that statement has nothing to do with aesthetics. While not a styling tour de force, it has rugged build quality thanks to a solid metal stand, heavy base, and a super solid chassis. At nearly 30 pounds, that built-in handle is more than welcome.

We’ve seen many user comments on the default image quality of most monitors and that they usually require calibration for best results. More and more displays come to us with excellent performance and accuracy right out of the box. We think that is at least in part due to those comments and our thorough testing regimen. First the Philips BDM3270 and now the BenQ PD3200U; perhaps we won’t have to calibrate monitors at all soon!

At less than $1000, this panel represents a stellar value. It’s likely more than most users want to spend on a monitor, but considering the Ultra HD resolution and the 32” size, we don’t think it’s too much to pay. And the PD3200U is likely to last through at least several computer upgrades. For that, and its incredible out-of-box performance, we’re giving it our Editor’s Choice Award.

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  • sparkyman215
    Wow these last two monitors you've reviewed have been killer. Where was that NEC during the tests, huh ;)
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • mohamed_ali140
    wow nice monitor
    Reply
  • Realist9
    Still waiting on a 32" or greater 4k monitor with g-sync and >60hz. I guess I should stop holding my breath.
    Reply
  • joex444
    4K at more than 60Hz requires DP1.3 or better. HDMI simply can't.
    Reply
  • Realist9
    19496250 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    19497321 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.

    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply