BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R review: Pushing prices down

0
109

BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R monitor

MSRP $599.00

“BenQ’s EX3410R is the bar for ultrawide gaming monitors thanks to excellent performance and price.”

Pros

  • Bright, vibrant colors
  • Solid DisplayHDR 400 performance
  • Excellent integrated speakers
  • Automatic source/preset mapping
  • Included remote
  • Decent overdrive settings

Cons

  • Menu is a little clunky
  • Not well-suited for color work

Ultrawide monitors have become increasingly popular over the last few years. What used to be a high-end product reserved for only the most dedicated enthusiasts has morphed into a class of gaming monitors available to anyone, and BenQ’s Mobiuz EX3410R is a showcase of that.

It’s a monitor that, if it released a few years ago, would have easily crossed the $1,000 mark. Now, BenQ is offering it for around $600. It’s a testament to how far ultrawide gaming monitors have come, with BenQ meeting an obtainable price point while still packing in premium features.

Goodies like a remote and excellent integrated speakers make the monitor feel worth more than what BenQ is asking, and the gaming performance alone is worth the price of admission. Those dealing with sensitive color work can get by, but this is a true gamer’s monitor.

Specs

  BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R
Screen size 34 inches 21:9
Panel type VA
Resolution 3,440 x 1,440
Peak brightness 400 nits (HDR)
HDR DisplayHDR 400
Contrast ratio 3,000:1
Response time 1ms MRPT, 2ms GtG
Color gamut 90% DCI-P3
Refresh rate 144Hz
Curve 1000R
Speakers 2.1 audio (2x 2W speakers, 1x 5W subwoofer)
Inputs 2x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4
USB ports 2x USB 3.0
Adjustments 100mm height, 20 degrees tilt, 30 degrees swivel
Dimensions (HxWxD) 20.9 x 31.3 x 10.6 inches
Weight 21.7 pounds
List price $599

Design and features

Mobiuz logo on the rear of the BenQ EX3410R monitor.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s clear immediately that the EX3410R punches above its price. The tool-less stand is hefty with plenty of adjustments, and the back of the monitor has just enough RGB lighting for a subdued gaming setup. This is a beautiful gaming monitor, which you don’t typically find at budget price points.

BenQ went beyond looks as well. The stand includes adjustments for height, tilt, and swivel, though you can’t rotate it to portrait mode. The VESA mount can help you there if you need a vertical ultrawide, but I’ve never liked using an ultrawide in this orientation.

For adjustments, you can use the buttons on the bottom of the display or the included remote. The remote is basic, but I’m a fan of having a way to quickly adjust parts of the monitor without having to navigate a complex menu. BenQ could have easily cut the remote to save some money, but it didn’t. I mostly used the remote to adjust the speaker volume.

The remote for the BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The EX3410R includes a 2.1 audio system, which wouldn’t be the case on any other monitor. BenQ is the only monitor manufacturer that has committed to speakers as an essential feature on its monitors, and that’s immediately apparent on the EX3410R. You don’t need a pair of PC speakers with this display.

They’re surprisingly deep, with a solid bass response and plenty of volume to fill a room. BenQ includes several audio profiles to shape the sound, too (though, I would’ve liked a custom audio setting). The included remote only makes the built-in speakers shine more. It’s not an earth-shattering audio experience, but it’s just as good as hooking up a Bluetooth speaker to your PC.

It’s no secret that a lot of PC gaming happens with headphones, and display makers have moved away from including speakers as a result. The EX3410R takes into account all of the other times you’re using your PC when you don’t want a pair of cans strapped to your head, and few other display makers pay that much mind to how people use their products.

Ports and controls

Controls on the BenQ EX3410R gaming monitor.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I don’t often refer to parts of a product as a mixed bag, but that’s the most fitting description for the ports and controls on the EX3410R. There are parts that are excellent, like the included remote and easy-to-access buttons, while others have some issues, like the bloated, multistep on-screen display (OSD).

For the basics, you have access to two HDMI 2.0 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connection. There’s no HDMI 2.1 here, but 4K at 120HZ isn’t possible on this display anyway. In addition to those inputs, the EX3410R includes two USB 3.0 ports. I like the side placement of the USB ports on the Acer Predator X28 more, but it’s hard to complain at this price.

The more interesting bits are directly under the display. The EX3410R includes a joystick for the main menu, a power button, and a quick mode selection button, all of which are under the front of the display. I’m sick of monitor controls being put in some obnoxious spot on the right back side of a monitor, and clearly BenQ is too.

Controls are easy, but the EX3410R’s OSD could use some work. If you press up or down, you’ll adjust the volume, and if you press left, right, or in the center, you’ll pull up a quick access menu. I like this menu a lot, as it allows you to cycle picture modes and access three user-set options. The options are specific to the preset, too, so you could have brightness on your cinema mode and overdrive settings on your gaming mode, for example.

The problem is that the full OSD is locked behind the quick menu. You have to scroll to the bottom to open the full menu; there’s no other way to access it.

The OSD itself isn’t great, either. It’s clean and easy to understand, but you can’t adjust universal picture settings right away. You have to scroll down to the presets screen, select your preset, and then adjust your brightness, contrast, or whatever setting you’re trying to get at.

Still, the EX3410R handles the on-screen controls better than most monitors. This isn’t the blissful menu on the LG 27GN850 or Samsung Odyssey G7, but it gets the job done just as well — in a few extra steps.

Image quality

I put the EX3410R through its paces with a diet of movies, video games, and text documents. Out of the box, the display looks much more vibrant than a typical VA monitor. It’s as if BenQ turned up a saturation dial just before the point it would be off-putting. The colors have an extra oomph to them.

The SpyderX calibration tool on top of the BenQ EX3410R.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Strapping the SpyderX Elite calibration tool to the front showed why. The sRGB preset has a gamma of 2.3, slightly above the industry standard 2.2. You can adjust the gamma, but I like the out of the box look. It’s a little more punchy when it comes to contrast, which looks great in movies and games, even if it’s not the best for sensitive color work.

With some adjustments, you can do color work on the EX3410R. I measured 100% coverage of sRGB, as well as 87% coverage of DCI-P3 — just slightly below what BenQ advertises. The monitor also shook out with an average Delta E (difference from real color) value of 1.19 after calibration — well below the Delta E of 2 that color work calls for.

Although you could edit photos or videos on the EX3410R, you probably shouldn’t. As I’ll get into in the next section, the monitor comes with a range of display tech that messes with color, luminance, and tone response. Those adjustments are meant for consuming media, and they work great for that, but not for sensitive color work.

HDR

The HDRi button on the lower-right corner of the BenQ EX3410R.

HDR lives in two buckets on the EX3410R: Real and emulated. Like several other BenQ monitors, this one comes with HDRi (the “i” stands for “intelligence,” in case you were wondering). HDRi can emulate HDR when you have it turned off, and it can also enhance HDR when you have it turned on.

The emulated HDR doesn’t look great. It looks like a nasty ReShade filter in games — if you know, you know — and like a broken contrast slider in Windows. It almost makes the screen look dirty, with blinding color assaulting your eyes.

This is the first DisplayHDR 400 monitor I’m comfortable saying supports HDR.

It’s much better with HDR turned on. The EX3410R is only certified with DisplayHDR 400, which usually looks terrible (read our HP Omen 27c review for an example of that). That’s not the case here. It’s a combination of BenQ’s color saturation and HDRi, but this is the first DisplayHDR 400 monitor I’m comfortable saying supports HDR.

What makes the HDR experience even better is that BenQ includes a dedicated button for it. On the front of the monitor, you can cycle through the three HDR presets in seconds. Anyone who has tried to enjoy HDR content on PC knows how sporadic support can be. BenQ seems to know that, too, and it has added a dedicated button to tailor your experience.

Gaming performance

Wow, can this monitor game. I’m still not a fan of using HDR in every game, but with it turned on in Windows and HDRi running, games looked incredible on the EX3410R. This is the first monitor I’ve used where the horrendous HDR in Destiny 2 was usable.

Destiny 2 running on the BenQ EX3410R monitor.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

This is definitely in the immersive class of gaming monitors, not in the hyper-competitive class like the Asus ROG Swift PG259QNR. To that end, BenQ offers several tools to tailor your experience — Light Tuner to balance the shadows in open-world games and B.I.+ to adjust HDR automatically based on the built-in light sensor.

Most of these settings are gimmicks on other displays, but the EX3410R offers so much bandwidth with them. I spent almost a half-hour tweaking image settings in Cyberpunk 2077 and came away with a half-dozen distinct looks that I liked. The other half were looks I didn’t like, but there were still plenty of gems to uncover.

On the technical side, the EX3410R includes AMD FreeSync Premium for tear-free gaming, as well as a 1-millisecond moving picture response time. Erm, or at least that’s what BenQ says. The EX3410R can achieve ultrafast response times with overdrive settings, which introduce visual artifacts on the VA panel.

The biggest fault of the EX3410R is how many options it has, and how those options can interact to create a nasty image.

BenQ’s overdrive setting is called AMA, or Advanced Motion Accelerator, and it has three levels. The highest level is terrible, as is typical of VA panels, with clear black smearing on any moving object. AMA puts in some work at the lower levels, though. Simply turning it to the lowest settings results in a massive reduction in motion blur without any clear visual artifacts.

Like a lot of other BenQ monitors, the EX3410R is packed with display tech. When the pieces fall like they should, the monitor punches above displays that cost twice as much. They don’t always fall that way, though. The biggest fault of the EX3410R is how many options it has, and how those options can interact to create a nasty image.

The good news, especially for gamers with multiple systems, is that you can save everything. BenQ uses an automatic system to change all of your settings based on the input, so you can find the balance of the features you like and save them for different systems.

Pricing

The EX3410R sits in an interesting spot. It’s $600, which was unheard of for an ultrawide with the feature set of the EX3410R a few years ago. BenQ’s own EX3501R cost $300 more when it came out in 2018, and it came with worse features. We’ve come a long way.

The EX3410R is a premium monitor priced like a budget one.

There are cheaper monitors that match the EX3410R — namely the $500 Gigabyte M34WQ. Most are more expensive, though, including the $700 MSI Optix MPG341CQR and the $800 (or more) LG 34GP83A-B. You can buy a monitor with the same specs as the EX3410R for less, but not one nearly as nice.

Even ignoring BenQ’s range of features, the EX3410R is built like a monitor that should cost close to $1,000. It includes RGB backlighting, a chunky and attractive stand, and speakers that put basically everything else to shame. The EX3410R is a premium monitor priced like a budget one.

Our take

The BenQ EX3410R is built for media consumption, and it succeeds with vibrant colors, a list of must-have gaming features, and speakers that go toe-to-toe with dedicated PC speakers. The swath of extra features makes it a poor choice for professional work, though with enough adjustments and some attention to detail, you can get decent color performance.

What stands out most is the price. You’re not going to find a monitor that offers as much as the EX3410R does for less, at least in 2022. If you’re a gamer looking for immersive single-player experiences, or a little extra room on the sides in fast-paced shooters like Destiny 2 and Doom Eternal, the EX3410R is for you.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes, there are a few alternatives to the EX3410R, but none of them balance features and price quite like this monitor does:

  • $500 Gigabyte M34WQ — Matches the EX3410R on features, but comes with a cheaper stand and uses an IPS panel (less contrast).
  • $550 Samsung Odyssey G5 C34G55T — Almost identical to the EX3410R, though slightly less bright and lacking built-in speakers.

How long will it last?

Most LCD monitors last at least a decade, and some last even longer. It’s hard to say how long the backlight will hold up, but you’ll probably want to upgrade your monitor before the EX3410R gives out.

Should you buy it?

Yes. If you’re a gamer and want a massive, immersive display, the EX3410R is a great and inexpensive option. If you need color performance first, something from BenQ’s DesignVue range is probably better, such as the BenQ PD3420Q.

Editors’ Recommendations




BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R review: Pushing prices down Source link BenQ Mobiuz EX3410R review: Pushing prices down