BenQ EL2870U, EW3270U, and EX3501R marry function and FreeSync

Some monitors are specifically designed for photo editing, while others are meant for chugging through spreadsheets, emails, and memos. The new members of BenQ's E-Series display family are made for "video enjoyment," which we take to mean a combination of different entertainment-related uses. The EL2870U, EW3270U, and EX3501R monitors all offer big panels with high resolutions and AMD's FreeSync adaptive-refresh rate technology. 

BenQ EX3501R

The most gamer-focused of the bunch is the EX3501R, a 35" 1800-R curved ultrawide monitor with a resolution of 3440×1440 and a 21:9 aspect ratio. If the extra immersion in FPS and racing games isn't enough to sell the screen to players, the VA panel with a 100-Hz refresh rate might put the EX3501R into some virtual shopping carts. BenQ says the EX3501R has a 4-ms response time, 100% coverage of the sRGB color space, a 2500:1 contrast ratio, and 300 cd/m² maximum brightness. Users can connect the display using its two HDMI 2.0 inputs, DisplayPort 1.4, or USB Type-C connectors. BenQ calls the monitor an HDR unit, though the panel's 8-bit color capability and brightness don't meet VESA's expectations for that kind of badging.

BenQ EW3270U

The EW3270U is a plus-sized all-rounder with a 32" panel with a resolution of 3840×2160. This VA display has an impressive 95% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. This monitor isn't as fast as the EX3501R, but it does have a wider color gamut and a 10-bit panel with a 3000:1 contrast ratio. The connector assortment is the same as its 35" ultrawide sibling, except the DisplayPort only meets the 1.2 specification. The EW3270U has a pair of 2-W speakers built in.

BenQ EL2870U

Buyers looking for a 3840×2160 panel for an affordable amount can check out the 28" EL2870U monitor. The panel is a TN unit, but BenQ claims it has 170° horizontal and 160° vertical viewing angles, as well as the ability to display over 1 billion colors. The upshot of the screen's TN technology is the 1-ms response time. BenQ claims the EL2870U can display 72% of the NTSC color space, roughly the same range as the EX3501R's 100% sRGB coverage. Inputs are limited to one DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI 2.0 connectors, but the screen does have a pair of speakers and a headphone jack.

The company touts the eyestrain-relieving benefits of its Brightness Intelligence Plus tech baked into all three new models. The feature offers automatic brightness and color temperature adjustment technology. We figure any kind of eye relief has to come in handy during long gaming sessions or streaming-video binges.

BenQ's EX3501R and EL2870U monitors are already available. The EL2870U will set buyers back $499, and the EX3501R trades hands for $899. We couldn't find the EW3270U for sale anywhere just yet, but it's probably not long in coming.

Comments closed
    • Helmore
    • 2 years ago

    Am I correct in assuming the refresh range for FreeSync on the EW3270U is from 24 to ~76 Hz? These things aren’t always clear to find, but that’s what I read from the spec sheet on BenQ’s website. Anyone know if this is correct? If so, that’s actually pretty decent for a 4K display.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 2 years ago

    Could TR do a guide on selecting monitors? There’s a lot to consider with panels, blur, refresh rates, interfaces, HDR, interfaces and capabilities (like HDCP), etc. I’d like to buy a new one in the next few years but it’s really a lot to cover.

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      We do make regular-ish staff peripheral picks. Monitors are a part of that.

        • DragonDaddyBear
        • 2 years ago

        I know, but that’s not the same as an in-depth article explaining all of the stuff one should look for. There’s a lot more going on now with monitors than there used to be.

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          [quote<] There's a lot more going on now with monitors than there used to be.[/quote<] Right? There's all the panel types, refresh, input lag, ghosting, VRR, HDR, strobing, resolutions, curvature, BLB, glow, viewing angles, color spaces, FRC/dithering etc. that's intimidating for new consumers and probably old hands alike.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      TFTCENTRAL.co.uk will drown you in relevant information. 🙂

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    New GSync monitors, where art thou?

      • sweatshopking
      • 2 years ago

      They’ll still cost way more than they should.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        What’s interesting is that prices are actually going UP for some configurations.

        Generally there were 2-4 options around $600 for a 27″ IPS 144+Hz GSync screen last year, but the manufacturers have either abandoned the idea (probably due to QC headaches around the AUO IPS panels) or switched to crappy MVA panels. It’s possible to still get a 27″ IPS around $600 on some sales, but I think that this might be the final gasp before we lose that tech forever.

        I want to spend money to grab a nice GSync IPS with ULMB, but the industry seems to want to settle on MVA. Ugh.

      • Voldenuit
      • 2 years ago

      Alienware AW3418 DW came out in Nov last year. Acer X34P, Jan/Feb this year.

      Both 34″ 3440×1440 100 Hz IPS (overclockable to 120 Hz) with 1900R curvature and G-sync.

      hp Omen X 35 and AOC Agon AG352UCG are both 35″ ultrawides with G-Sync and 100 Hz but are VA.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        The AW3418 and X34P lack ULMB or HDR, so they’re not going to be noticeably better than the existing X34 (I challenge anyone to discern between 120Hz and 100Hz in blind testing).

        X35 and ACG352UCG are both ghosty trash. AOC is going to release a 120Hz refresh of that monitor, but Hz doesn’t matter if your response times can’t keep up.

          • Voldenuit
          • 2 years ago

          The X34P does not have HDR, but it does have a 8-bit+FRC that simulates 10-bit color (it probably won’t be as good as a true 10-bit panel, naturally).

          I personally feel that I can tell the difference between 100 Hz and 120. Not only in games (it does depend on the game, and I will concede that framerate dips are often due to CPU/engine stalls, which no VRR system can correct for), but also in movies, where I find that 120 Hz gels much more nicely with 24/23.976 fps content than 100 Hz panels.

          However, the biggest advantage that the AW3418DW and the X34P have over the X34 (and the PG348Q) is that they are native 100 Hz panels compared to the native 60 Hz of the X34/PG348Q. The 120 Hz overclock (+20%) on the newer models is much more reliable than hitting 100 Hz (+67%) on the older models.

          I wouldn’t be rushing out to replace an X34 with the X34P, but if one were currently shopping for a new display, the X34P is *more* than worth the ~$100 premium over the older model.

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            No they’re definitely an improvement, but being released without ULMB or HDR in 2018 is unacceptable.

          • cynan
          • 2 years ago

          Asus (PG35VQ), Acer (X35)and AOC (AG352QCX) are all releasing updates to these with a supposedly much improved (response times) VA 200Hz panel with HDR.

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    For an $899 monitor, that EX3501R isn’t great for gaming:
    *VA panel – ghosting city
    No ULMB – this makes sense given VA response time issues, but it’s a feature that every gaming display should have

    The XG35VQ is better and cheaper.

      • tay
      • 2 years ago

      I would be weary of VA panels as well. Can you have *good* ULMB below 120 Hz?

        • RAGEPRO
        • 2 years ago

        My primary gaming display is an ASUS ROG XG27VQ. It uses a VA panel, and supports Asus ELMB (essentially OSD-enabled Lightboost strobing) at 120 Hz. I’m reasonably happy with it; I use Nvidia DSR to run it at 3840×2160 which looks quite nice downsampled 4:1 to 1080p.

        When I first bought it, it had excellent motion clarity with very minimal strobe crosstalk. However, it failed barely a month after I got it in the exact same way as the Samsung monitors I [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=119717<]had so much trouble with[/url<]. I sent it back to ASUS and asked for a different monitor; they offered me a ridiculous 60Hz monitor with a subwoofer (wtf) and I declined politely. After an extended period they sent me another XG27VQ that they said had had the specific flaw affecting mine resolved. I don't know what the actual fix was, but it seems to have worked. However, it also seems to have drastically worsened the strobe crosstalk on the monitor. It still looks good in motion, but not as clear as it was originally. It's certainly much better than any non-strobed display, anyway.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        I’ve tried it at 100hz and 80Hz when I demoed a PG279Q. 80Hz was an insanely dark experience, but 100Hz was perfectly workable in a dark room.

    • cynan
    • 2 years ago

    I guess the day that manufacturers begin to show some love for 3840×1600 on 35″ 21:9 panels has not yet come.

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Thanks goodness.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      It’s a niche that will rarely be filled. There is a 38″ monitor with that resolution, though:
      [url<]http://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-38UC99-W-ultrawide-monitor[/url<]

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        Also, this:
        [url<]http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/news_archive/39.htm#lg_38wk95c[/url<]

          • cynan
          • 2 years ago

          Acer makes one as well, with the same LG panel…

        • cynan
        • 2 years ago

        No reason to be a niche product other than a mostly arbitrary decision was made to make 34 and 35″ 21:9 panels at 3440×1440 instead (due to the process for 27″ 1440p panels already being in place, perhaps). Obviously, a popular sizes for 16:9, 3840×2160 is 28″ and 32″ (31.5″). Even the 32″ would have a higher PPI than a 21:9, 3840×1600 35″. And many, especially those who use their monitor for video editing and media consumption would arguably benefit from having the ability to play a 4k 21:9 at full resolution.

          • Kretschmer
          • 2 years ago

          *shrug* It is what it is.

    • EzioAs
    • 2 years ago

    The BenQ EW3270U ticks almost everything I want for a monitor these days. Dang it, why can’t VRR be more universal and follow just one standard?

      • euricog
      • 2 years ago

      I hear you!

      In theory, nVidia could easily support Freesync, being a open standard, but unfortunately they prefer to take advantage of their market dominance and make some extra…

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, it’s only Nvidia’s fault. Not the panel manufacturers or anything.

          • sweatshopking
          • 2 years ago

          Most manufacturers are making freesync monitors.

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            Weak ones a lot of the time, with poor panels. It’s not like I said Nvidia isn’t to blame in this ordeal, but to only blame Nvidia is uneducated.

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