Choosing an entertainment display has become complicated. Do you go for an all-out gaming monitor with speed, adaptive sync and super-fast response? Or do you sacrifice some of that performance for HDR and extended color? Right now, there are no games that can take advantage of HDR. So for the near term, that extra dynamic range is far more useful for watching movies.
By choosing a VA panels you can enjoy more dynamic range at roughly the same prices as the non-HDR competition. And the extra color is there too. Some screens hit 90% of DCI-P3, and the EX3501R isn’t far behind at 80%.
Taken purely as a gaming monitor, the EX3501R is a good display. 100Hz and FreeSync will guarantee a smooth and tear-free experience if your PC is equipped with a mid-grade video card or better. High contrast in SDR mode means a stellar image and solid detail, and 3440x1440 resolution with 8-bit color lightens the processing load a bit more, increasing performance.
As an HDR movie machine, this monitor does some things very well, like exemplary grayscale and EOTF accuracy. Color isn’t quite as full as others, but the gamut is only 5-10% smaller. Plus, 24p film material is processed like a television eliminating the cadence stuttering usually seen on 60Hz monitors. Our only wish is for a vertical stretch mode so we can enjoy all of that beautiful 21:9 screen. Hopefully this'll come in a firmware update.
The EX3501R is a good gaming monitor that adds HDR to enhance the movie experience. There are better screens for video and faster displays for gaming, but none combine features like this BenQ. If you’re looking to add a jumbo curved display to your gaming rig, the EX3501R is a great choice.
MORE: Best Gaming Monitors
MORE: How We Test Monitors
MORE: All Monitor Content