I’ve been checking out a lot of different monitors lately. The latest screen on my desk is the BenQ BL3201PT Designer Monitor. This model stands out in a number of ways and is certainly worth a look if you’re in the market for a nice and big 4K display.
Looking at the raw specs you’ll find that that this screen showcases a 32″ 4K UHD display panel which features a 60Hz refresh rate. The native resolution on this screen comes in at a glorious 3840 x 2160 pixels with a typical maximum brightness of 350 cd/m², 1000:1 contrast ratio, 1.07 billion colors, and a very snappy 4ms response time. With all of that under the hood, the whole setup comes in at a hefty 12.5kg in weight. The screen has a nice and wide 178 degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle so the picture will look great no matter what your orientation relative to the screen. Clearly this is a very capable monitor sporting lots of power for fantastic performance.
This monitor’s base is fairly well designed. It has a nice simple look with a subtle blue accent to give it some flair. The stand has the ability to adjust to different heights without much effort. That is great for ergonomics and being able to make changes without putting much work into it means you’ll never hesitate to adjust it to your needs. The base also pivots and tilts to whatever angle you fancy just as easily. Going beyond mere ergonomic adjustments, you can also rotate this display to portrait mode which I love. It is great being able to do so with a 4K monitor. Unfortunately the process is a little clunky as you have to tilt the display back first in order to rotate it, which is the only point of friction in the whole process. I can completely forgive that, however, since the display features auto-pivot technology to detect the screen orientation and automatically adjust the picture accordingly. The stand itself has a built in porthole for basic cable management. It does the job but unfortunately doesn’t do as much as I might hope in the efforts of keeping cables tidy or out of sight.
This display supports some interesting multifunction features which I think take it above and beyond your typical monitors and make it significantly more compelling, if having a big, beautiful 4K display with full adjustment wasn’t enough already. BenQ Display Pilot can work with Windows to control your various software windows and configure them to specified layouts. On such a big, and detailed display this can be a great feature to help you multitask more efficiency and make better use of all of those pixels. This display is clearly made with designers, and creative professionals in mind with all of this attention to detail. You can even set it up as two virtual displays so you have a pair of virtual 19″ displays sid by side, filling the 32″ screen. Alternatively you can set it to Picture-in-Picture or Picture-by-Picture mode. This is wonderful to have for any working professional who might want to work off of two different sources simultaneously (ie a desktop and a laptop) using only one display.
A nice little touch with this screen is BenQ’s dedicated controller puck. You simply plug it in to the dedicated USB port on the back of the screen and the puck lets you adjust the brightness and all the OCD settings with ease such as switching between CAD/CAM, Animation and Low Blue Light modes. With other monitors you have to use the onboard buttons which often are inconvenient or clunky. I much prefer this solution. You can put the puck anywhere on your desktop you like, but BenQ has designed the base with a nice little divot perfect for placing this control puck.
As for inputs, this display is nicely loaded. Onboard you’ll find DVI-DL, DP 1.2, mDP 1.2, two separate HDMI 1.4 ports, a headphone jack and an audio line in port which drives the 5W speakers. In addition you’ll even find a built in 5 port USB 3.0 hub which I absolutely love. More monitors should have such functionality as convenient USB ports become increasingly rare and valuable. It doesn’t end there either. This monitor goes so far as to even include an SD/SDHC card reader too to further streamline your deskscape.
I took this monitor for a spin with both productivity and entertainment. Starting with productivity, I found that this monitor performed fantastically well. The large 4K display helped me see more work at once, with finer detail, and made me more productive overall. Plugging in multiple video sources was easy and the picture-by-picture mode as well as auto-pivot made a world of difference for me. Movies of course looked fantastic on it, but the sound wasn’t quite spectacular. While the speakers perform well for built-ins, if you’re taking your entertainment so seriously that you want a 32″ 4K monitor, you’ll probably have your own headphones or speakers to use which will sound better. Gaming was where the screen really excelled. That really did a fantastic job of showcasing the rapid response and general high performance of this display.
This is a glorious display that is absolutely amazing for anybody who is serious about gaming, or any creative professional who needs a detailed and accurate screen to work from. Of all the screens I’ve taken for a spin so far, this one is the most impressive, not only for its astonishing performance but also for its ease of use, added features, and the general care that seems to have been put into it’s design. Really the only thing close to a fault I might give it is that the cable management is merely average. Everything else about this screen knocks it out of the park as far as I’m concerned, and exceeds my expectations in impressive fashion.