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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