Gamer Paradise - Geek Review

Gamer Paradise – Geek Review

Assessment:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – A kind of lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Strongly imperfect design
  • 4 – Some pros, many cons
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Excellent, but not the best in its category
  • 8 – Great, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $ 600

Josh Hendrickson

Monitors are a dime a dozen, but good gaming monitors that integrate features like HDR support, ultrawide size, and controls that won’t blow your mind are a lot harder to find. You can’t look beyond BenQ’s Mobiuz EX3410R gaming monitor. Check almost all the boxes.

Here’s what we like

  • Great HDR support
  • I love the remote
  • Affordable for what it is

And what we don’t do

  • LED lights aren’t great
  • VA panel instead of IPS

As the name suggests, this monitor is primarily intended for gaming, and BenQ has gone to great lengths for the specs. This starts with a 34 “3440×1440 21: 9 WQHD display housed in a curved 1000R format. Of course, the back of the thing has LED lighting, 2ms Pixel Response Time (GtG), and Freesync support. Those, my dear reader, are player specifics needed along with a dash of unnecessary flash. Putting all of this into a monitor for $ 599 sounds great on paper. And it turns out to be pretty good in practice too.

Specifications

  • Display size: 34 inches
  • Curvature: 1000R
  • Resolution: 3440 x 1440 pixels
  • Refresh rate: 144 Hz
  • Peak of brightness: 400 nits (nominal), 401.4 nits (tested)
  • HDR support: HDR10, VESA DisplayHDR 400
  • Contrast ratio: 3000: 1
  • Color depth: 10 bit
  • Pixel Response Time (GtG): 2 ms
  • VRR support: Yes, FreeSync Premium Pro
  • Ports: 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x USB 3.0
  • Additional features: 2.1 channel speakers, remote control, adjustable stand, VESA wall mount, ambient light sensor

A simple setup that everyone can appreciate

A close-up of two multiple USB ports, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort
Josh Hendrickson

Look, I won’t spend much time on it because “configuring the monitor” is usually not worth it. But when a company really does something good, it pays to praise it. Getting this monitor out of the box and setting it up for first use is a joy. At least as much as any monitor configuration can be. BenQ has thought thoroughly.

For one, you won’t need any tools. There’s no need to find that flathead screwdriver that’s never where you swear you last put it or try inserting it in a deep, tight position only to find you can’t turn it at all. You can take the feet out of the box and use a tool built into the unit to attach them to the stand. Then you can attach the stand to the monitor while it’s still in the box. This isn’t the first monitor I’ve seen using this simplified installation method, but it’s not common at the moment. And I appreciate that BenQ has thought about how to simplify the assembly and even how to pack it to achieve this.

And if you’d rather use a VESA mount, you’ll be happy to know you can go that route instead.

Easy on the eyes when playing

Josh Hendrickson

So the specs are all there for the games, but what does that actually look like? In a couple of words? Really good. But first we need to address the elephant in the room. Windows and HDR. To be fair, Windows sucks at HDR support. Anyone who owns a compatible monitor and has the HDR feature turned on in Windows will likely turn it back on later because while it works quite well when actively consuming HDR content, it makes the rest of Windows (and every other program) look like junk.

This is the case here too. Turn on HDR and things like Chrome, Slack, and Office programs look terrible. Turn it off and everything is fine. It’s not BenQ’s fault, but it’s still a problem because enabling and disabling HDR requires digging into settings, and it’s boring. And this is where BenQ saves the day: the monitor can emulate HDR without activating the feature in Windows. And dare I say, for all the times you don’t play, it looks a lot better than what Windows can do.

But to be honest, it’s not enough as good as real HDR when you are gaming or watching a movie. If you want the best experience, dig into your Windows settings and tackle the boring. But if you’re like me and just want to start playing, use the BenQ emulation. Yes, I can tell the difference, but that’s more than enough.

I can’t help but appreciate the included BenQ remote for tweaking HDR settings (emulated or not) and accessing the rest of its interface. BenQ has wisely placed the monitor control buttons on the bottom edge, where they are, but the remote is even more convenient. Each game treats HDR differently (if it supports it), and having a quick remote option to switch between different HDR presets is excellent.

Other Slap features (except lights)

In general, in this part of the review, I would complain about the monitor speakers as a waste of space and dollars that could have been better spent on improving other monitor features. But here I’ll say something shocking: the speakers on this monitor don’t suck. They look pretty good. And look, I know it doesn’t sound like a compliment, but it really is. Usually, monitor speakers sound like garbage. These are the first monitor speakers that I haven’t hated in a long time. They even have some bass!

And I’m not saying you won’t be using headphones for your gaming system instead or that it wouldn’t be better off with proper dedicated speakers. Sure, it’s true. But when you need a few speakers in a pinch, these will do the job and do it just fine.

I also appreciate the USB hub. You’ll find it on the back of the monitor, and while I admit I’d prefer side-to-side placement for maximum convenience, anything that can reduce cable clutter is welcome. You’ll also find enough ports to meet most of your needs, including two HDMI 2.0 ports and a Display 1.4 port. The monitor doesn’t support 4K 120 FPS, so while it’s a shame you “only” have the HDMI 2.0 port, it wouldn’t matter if it had the latest spec anyway.

And again, I can’t help but appreciate the “extras” that frankly should be standard, but many companies no longer include. In the box you will find a USB-B cable for hub functions, an HDMI cable and a DisplayPort cable. Not to mention the remote, as mentioned earlier.

The only “extra” that isn’t great is the LED lights. I think BenQ was going for subtle here, but if you’re going to stick LED lights on your gaming product then it’s clearly a “flash” move and well, these lights don’t have much flash. During the day or in a well-lit room, you may not even notice the LEDs light up. The lights go on in all of the photos in this review, but it’s so dim that I had a hard time getting them to see. In the dark it’s best, but seriously don’t play in the dark. Not if you appreciate your eyes.

Buy it if you play

A monitor that plays
The LEDs are lighting up and you can’t see them in this picture, but you can see my keyboard lights. Josh Hendrickson

So should you buy this monitor? If you are a gamer, then yes. For a 34-inch Ultra-Wide Curved gaming monitor with 4K HDR support, it’s a good price. It’s true that you can buy monitors with better features, but they also cost a lot more (in the $ 800 to $ 1,000 range). And yes, you can buy cheaper monitors with almost (or even the same) features, but none of them are of high quality.

This is the Goldilocks of gaming monitors – right for price, specs, fit and finish. If you are an absolute hardcore gamer who needs the best of the best, this is the one for you. But for all other gamers, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R monitor is easy to recommend. Just take it.

And if you don’t play games, well, this monitor is for gaming. You’d be better off purchasing a monitor built for your situation. I probably won’t buy this particular monitor because my main use case for my computer is my day job. But if I ever spend more time playing games than writing, I’ll probably come back to this monitor without reservations.

Here’s what we like

  • Great HDR support
  • I love the remote
  • Affordable for what it is

And what we don’t do

  • LED lights aren’t great
  • VA panel instead of IPS

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