BenQ EX3203R is a colorful HDR display with FreeSync 2 support

The product page for BenQ's latest gaming display just showed up on its global site. The new EX3203R appears to be an update of the older EX3200R, but don't let that dim your interest. This 31.5" display is a major upgrade in almost every way from the previous model. Let's check it out.

First, the relevant numbers. The EX3203R is a 31.5" curved monitor with a resolution of 2560×1440 and a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz. Thanks to its VA LCD panel, it has a native contrast ratio of 3000:1, and BenQ says it can reproduce 90% of the wide DCI-P3 color space. The EX3203R is also one of the few displays with support for AMD's FreeSync 2 adaptive-refresh-rate technology. BenQ doesn't specify the range of refresh rates supported by the feature, but FreeSync 2 mandates support for Low Framerate Compensation anyway, so that should be of relatively little concern.

If you're up-to-date on your understanding of FreeSync 2, you'll also be aware that the tech requires some level of HDR support from displays so labeled. Indeed, the EX3203R has an HDR mode with a maximum brightness of up to 400 cd/m². That's high enough to satisfy the baseline requirements for FreeSync 2. There's no mention of a blur-reduction mode on the EX3203R, but thanks to FreeSync 2 and the display's 4-ms response time, things should be pretty darn smooth anyhow.

Mac users will surely be pleased with the EX3203R's USB Type-C port that can be used as a display connection, for charging (up to 10 W), and as a connection for the two USB 3.0 Type-A ports on the monitor. The rest of us will have to make do with the two HDMI 1.4 ports and a full-size DisplayPort connection. The monitor's stand only has tilt and height adjustments, so the VESA mounting capability might come in handy.

Since right now all we have to go on is a product page, we don't know how much the EX3203R will cost. Its predecessor, the EX3200R, debuted at $449 with a 1920×1080 resolution and without HDR support.  We'd guess that the EX3203R might run a bit more than that when it hits e-tail.

Comments closed
    • not@home
    • 2 years ago

    This has everything I want in a monitor, but it is curved. I refuse to buy a curved monitor or TV. Its a “feature” I want nothing to do with. I was at one of those big box stores the other day looking at monitors and TVs and the curved ones really turned me off.

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]Since right now all we have to go on is a product page, we don't know how much the EX3203R will cost. [/quote<] It's the same exact specs as the [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824025164<]Samsung C32HG70[/url<] which goes on sale for $550, so I'd say that's a pretty good place to start. +1 for USB-C +1 for BenQ premium pricing. -1 for HDR400 instead of C32HG70's HDR600

    • The Egg
    • 2 years ago

    Looks identical to the Samsung C32HG70 on paper, aside from the USB-C port. Maybe worth mentioning that is uses a proprietary power connection, which always make me nervous (the Samsung uses a standard PC power cord). Lets say you accidentally damage the cord with the proprietary connection in 4 years….

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    Oh hey that’s cool let me check out the GSync version that’s releasing…never.

    GSync monitor releases in 2018 have me wondering if there is some sort of supply chain issue with the components or imminent demise, because the new offerings are very scarce (and many of those are refinements to existing tech, not new panels).

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      Maybe the monitor makers are waking up?

        • tay
        • 2 years ago

        But are they woke?

      • DancinJack
      • 2 years ago

      Supposedly, April/May is when you’re gonna see G-Sync HDR models come to fruition. Cross your fingers. (and i hope you’ve been saving)

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        TFT Central has been quiet with news.

        I picked up an X34 last year, so I’m out of the market unless something tasty drops (like a good IPS ULMB monitor) and I find a buyer.

        I still need to sell my MG279Q. 😮

      • kvndoom
      • 2 years ago

      Well [b<]first[/b<] you have to join the Gsync Partner Program, you see...

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    No VESA mounting holes, no sale.

    Once you’ve bought a gas-lift VESA mount, you have [i<]the[/i<] best monitor arm available and you never want to go back.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      My IKEA desk’s cord organizer blocks arm mounts, to my recent distress. GG neck.

      • jihadjoe
      • 2 years ago

      BenQ sells something they call a “VESA wall mount transfer kit” that plugs into the slot and gives you 100×100 mounting holes.

      [url<]https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/91oO4ZIQsxL._SX679_.jpg[/url<]

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        lol only 40 euros for something they should have put on the monitor. No thanks.

        [url<]https://shop.benq.eu/store?Action=pd&Env=BASE&Locale=en_GB&SiteID=bqeu&productID=326078700[/url<]

          • willmore
          • 2 years ago

          And all the many people who don’t want the feature save 40. Thank you!

            • DancinJack
            • 2 years ago

            You think that’s how it works? lol

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Good find!

        That’s also sadly stupid; Nobody buying a gaming monitor cares what the back looks like, but there’s a much higher chance than most consumer monitors that it won’t be using the original stand. (either a multi-monitor stand, wall mount for a games console, or VESA mount for those wheel/pedal/seat combos).

        Even if the adapter was included for free, it looks like it adds over an inch of extra bulk, which matters for wall-mount people immensely. (then again, wall-mount buyers won’t be interested in curved screens….)

          • gerryg
          • 2 years ago

          I guess you’ve never taken your kit to a LAN party before, eh?

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            Pfft, don’t be silly. That’s what laptops are for.

    • enixenigma
    • 2 years ago

    Give me a 27″, non-curved version of this with VESA HDR600 support and I will literally throw all of my money at it.

      • Kretschmer
      • 2 years ago

      Panel companies have decided that we need to curve ALL THE THINGS, despite it being more annoying than useful at >40″. I’ve tried 34″ flat and 34″ curved and prefer the flat (similar immersion with less geometric distortion).

      • gerryg
      • 2 years ago

      I’m actually more interested in this 31.5″ size than 27″. And at this larger size the curve makes more sense. I have two 30″ Dells at work, and the lack of curve is actually annoying. Mostly ok with one monitor, but when I got the second it was more noticeable and I actually have to shift my position when spending more time looking at the other display, it feels jarring to move eyes from one to the other when glancing back and forth because of the big flat surface. +1 to large screen curves….

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        In the past, I’ve arranged 2×27″ monitors on a slight angle (say, 160 deg) to allow for glances at the secondary monitor.

        Curves kill usage from a distance (e.g. watching movies from the bed or couch) and distort geometry in Powerpoint or your favorite CAD program. No thanks!

          • jihadjoe
          • 2 years ago

          I have two 27″ monitors at a slight angle right now. No variable sync of any sort though, just plain old 1440P IPS from Dell.

    • DancinJack
    • 2 years ago

    Actually looks pretty decent. 400cd/m is pretty meh, but that’s what we get I guess .AMD specifying their own HDR standard in Freesync 2 is p lame. I wish everything was just required to use VESA’s standards.

    Freesync 2 HDR
    Gsync HDR
    VESA HDR 4/6/10
    Dolby Vision
    HDR10/+

    cluser f—-uzz.

      • NoOne ButMe
      • 2 years ago

      The display likely has HDR400 support. Especially likely it has the VESA HDR400 certification due to this near identical monitor also just announced.
      [url<]https://www.anandtech.com/show/12662/aoc-announces-agon-ag322qc4-32inch-curved-lcd-with-freesync-2-hdr-400[/url<]

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        I guess you didn’t see where I said…

        “VESA HDR 4/6/10”

        And if this monitor had that HDR400 spec, they should have said so. Entirely possible it still does, but it’s stupid not to say it.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        It may also be comparable to the Samsung CG32HG70.

      • gerryg
      • 2 years ago

      AMD donated Freesync to VESA, which adopted it… AMD has been all about open standards for a while now, but they still like to put a fancy name on it. AMD has been anything BUT lame when it comes to standards. Nvidia on the other hand…

      But the Dolby vs. HDR10 vs. VESA is an issue for consumers. Former two are trying to push proprietary tech in order to make money. Weird, right?

        • DancinJack
        • 2 years ago

        Nope. That’s not how Freesync works.

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