Anyone who works with or uses a computer a reasonable amount each day will know the great feeling that comes with upgrading your equipment. Whether it is getting a new keyboard and listening to the clean, crisp sound of the keys or a new mouse that is more responsive and fits better in your hand, the feeling of satisfaction is hard to shake.
As your primary source of feedback and display for all your games, videos, and work, seeing that higher refresh rate, higher resolution, or better color quality at work is more than enough to get you excited to get to work putting your new monitor to the test.
So if you're looking for that feeling of excitement and satisfaction read on as we cover and review the BenQ EX3501R monitor, which might be the next monitor for your computer setup.
BenQ EX3501R Review
BenQ has been around for quite some time and manufactures some of the better options out there when looking to upgrade your computer setup. Their monitors are pretty popular as they offer great picture quality and a bunch of extra features like HDR and FreeSync. Available on the market since 2017, the monitor boasts great specifications that will impress any gaming enthusiast.
What’s In the Box?
The first item is the monitor itself that comes along with an adjustable stand. In addition, you are getting a power cable and a display cable, both essential for setting up the monitor. The manufacturer also provides a detailed user manual with instructions on the setup process and how to get the most out of the product.
Summary of box contents:
- Adjustable stand
- Power cable
- Display cable
- User’s manual
The BenQ EX3501R is an excellent monitor for anyone looking for something other than serious, hardcore, or professional gaming. In professional or serious gaming, the input lag and response times will hurt quite a bit. However, if that isn't a problem for you, then this is an excellent option if you can afford it.
Breaking that down, the display itself is on the larger side, measuring at 35 inches from corner to corner, so you'll want to clear some desk space and make sure there's enough vertical height to work with. The stand the monitor comes with compensates quite nicely for its bulkiness, allowing you to adjust the height and tilt of the display up to 60mm vertically with a -5 degree to 15-degree tilt.
More space gets taken up by the monitor thanks to its curvature. The monitor boasts a 1800R panoramic curvature on its 35-inch screen, which gives you a much more cinematic viewing experience. This is, of course, at the cost of space, but for those that swear by curved screens, this will certainly satisfy.
- Diameter: 35 inches
- Stand: adjustable tilt from -5 to 15 degrees
- Curvature: 1800 R Panoramic
- Ratio: 21:9
- Resolution: 3440x1440
- Connectivity: 2xHDMI 2.0; 1xUSB Type C; 2xUSB 3.1; 1xHeadphone jack
- Color capacity: sRGB with 8-bit color depth support
- Response time: 7ms
- Refresh speed: 100Hz
- Modes: Photo; Standard; Cinema; HDR
- Brightness: 300-nit (at peak)
What We Liked
This monitor is made with gaming in mind, as with most monitors nowadays. Gaming has sort of set a precedent for manufacturers in terms of what makes a monitor good, and by most gaming standards, this monitor is excellent. However, it also serves as an everyday-use monitor for anyone looking for a decent display in their home office to work on or use entertainment during downtime.
The cinematic experience that this monitor offers is pretty hard to find anywhere else. In addition, the AMD Free Sync and a wide variety of connection ports make it suitable for versatile use. While the response time is a bit laggy, the 100Hz refresh rate is essential for running games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V.
What Could Be Better
The monitor is slightly hampered by a 4ms response time and 7ms input lag delay, which is relatively low when it comes to serious gaming. Unfortunately, there is also a slight problem with ghosting and motion blur when it comes to fast-moving objects on the screen, but this is primarily noticeable on darker screens and scenes. A higher framerate can mitigate this.
The EX3501R boasts many different options for connectivity, including two HDMI 2.0 ports, one USB type C port, one DisplayPort 1.4, two USB 3.1 ports, and a headphone jack for convenience. This means you have more options to try out based on your needs and what you have available.
Be aware that the USB type C port doesn't have power delivery for laptop use, but it can still be used as an upstream USB port or DisplayPort Alt mode. When used in these ways, you'll get 5 Gigabytes of bandwidth or 480 megabytes, respectively.
Moving onto the display capabilities, the ultrawide curved monitor has an Ultra WQHD aspect ratio of 21:9 and a resolution of 3440 x 1440, which is quite impressive when it comes to gaming. This leaves you with 106 pixels per inch of display, which is quite rich and gives you a lot of room to work with on a singular monitor.
Be sure to check if your games can support a 21:9 aspect ratio, too, as you might encounter black bars to either side of the display while you play or even a stretched aspect ratio which is very unpleasant to look at.
Opting for a VA panel over IPS or TN displays, you'll enjoy a higher static contrast ratio, so your darks may be darker, and your lights may be lighter. To put a number to it, you'll enjoy a contrast ratio of 2 500:1, so you'll notice a difference at some points.
The monitor's color capabilities are another excellent point. It covers the entirety of the sRGB color space with true 8-bit color depth support. Unfortunately, while it does feature HDR support, the monitor lacks much in the way of affected display capabilities, so the improvement is altogether minimal. This is mainly due to a low 300-nit brightness peak and standard sRGB color gamut.
Also included is AMD FreeSync technology to reduce or entirely remove any sort of fragments, tearing, frame drops, and altogether 'choppiness' for more smooth and fluid gameplay. The FreeSync will also work if you use an NVIDIA G-SYNC graphics card that is compatible.
We also see the use of BenQ staple features, namely their patented Brightness Intelligence Plus technology, which uses a built-in sensor that will detect the brightness of light around the monitor and then adjust the brightness and color temperature of the monitor accordingly.
This includes blue light and zero flicker filters, so using this technology means your eyes will be far more protected when using a computer for an extended period. In addition, you can adjust the BI technology using different presets, even allowing the change to be gradual and barely noticeable.
You also get all the standard adjustment features to manually adjust brightness and contrast, gamma, and color settings. Additionally, you'll get Picture in Picture and Picture by Picture modes, and an OSD menu that will allow you to choose between pre-calibrated presets for picture quality and three gamer profiles. Some of the picture presets include two customizable options, Photo, Standard, Cinema (which is offered in 24p, 25p, and 30p video formats), and an HDR mode.