An entertainment monitor that delivers.
The BenQ EW3280U again succeeds to deliver a great performing monitor. It’s good enough for casual gaming or an extended display, but the EW3280U works best when watching HDR content that’s made better by the audio system.
Most of the monitors we’ve tested from BenQ usually are made for gaming or for work use. But with the EW3280U, it’s focusing on entertainment experience that actually delivers from image quality to audio output. Let’s check it out.
The EW3280U comes in at 32-inches and features an IPS panel with a 4K resolution of 3,840-by-2160. The matte black exterior is similar to other monitors, but the EW3280U gets a unique bronze-colored base. The stand lets you tile the monitor but that doesn’t let you pivot or adjust the height. Since I’ll be using this to play games and watch videos, the lack of those functions isn’t really a deal-breaker.
At the back, the EW3280U houses a decent I/O panel that includes dual HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort, USB-C, and a 3.5mm audio out port. The HDMI 2.0 ports are essential to delivering 4K HDR signals from the source to the monitor, to which your HDMI cable also needs to support. The USB-C port also allows you to connect a compatible device for mirroring and extending displays, as well as charging it using the port’s power delivery.
Behind the display, you will find a small joystick that you can use to navigate the OSD menus and use other basic functions. Alternatively, BenQ has included a remote with the EW3280U for easier navigation. The OSD Menu lets you cycle through different menu choices from adjusting the image to choosing the input port.
The EW3280U supports HDR, and BenQ has its own HDRi that enhances it even more. Through a combination of hardware and software, the display is able to give you a great image quality no matter the lighting condition. This is done through a sensor on the bezel that measures ambient light. From there, it can automatically adjust the screen brightness that’s optimum for viewing.
For testing, I hooked up the EW3280U with an Xbox One X so I can check out how it performs with HDR gaming along with 4K HDR movies. And how are the results? Impressive I must say. Forza Horizon 4 shines with absolute clarity highlighted by the gorgeous detail provided by HDR. The same goes for Assassin’s Creed Origins, where the screen was bright enough to make me squint my eyes as my character walked around the Egyptian desert.
The EW3280U also performed well with 4K Blu-ray movies. In John Wick Chapter 3, night shots remained dark but were still visible enough to see the action. Scenes in the desert offered great colors and detail without being oversaturated which at times happen to HDR screens.
Built-in speakers rarely impress, but the EW3280U comes with a great-sounding audio system that we didn’t even have to connect to an external speaker when watching and playing games. You can play with different audio modes that suit your ears, but all of them managed to deliver clear trebles and bass that’s deep enough to rumble the water bottle on my desk.
Overall, the BenQ EW3280U again succeeds to deliver a great performing monitor. It’s good enough for casual gaming or an extended display, but the EW3280U works best when watching HDR content that’s made better by the audio system.
+ 4K HDR support
+ Great sound output
+ Decent image quality
We Didn’t Really Like:
– Price is on the expensive side
Final Rating: 4/5