|Screen Size||32 inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||3840x2160 pixels|
BenQ 32-Inch IPS 4K Ultra High Definition LED Monitor (BL3201PH), 4K2K HD 3840x2160 Display
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- ULTRA HIGH RESOLUTION MONITOR: 32 inch LED 4K2K HD (3840x2160 resolution), 20,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio for exceptional color accuracy.
- PROFESSIONAL GRAPHIC DESIGN DISPLAY: CAD/CAM and Animation Mode. Incredible image detail with 4ms GTG and 10-bit, 100% sRGB and Rec.709 Optimal Color Precision.
- CONNECT AND COLLABORATE: USB 3.0 and OSD controller for easily switching modes and multiple digital inputs, 5Wx2 Speakers.
- LATEST IPS PANEL TECHNOLOGY: 178/178 Wide Viewing Angle plus Picture-in-Picture (PIP) & Picture-by-Picture (PBP) to enhance convenience and productivity.
- ERGONOMIC DISPLAY: Height Adjustable Stand, Eye Protector Sensor, Zero Flicker and Low Blue Light, plus Pilot software for customized monitor setting.
There is a newer model of this item:
|Product Alert: IPS (In-Plane-Switching) is a technology for LCD displays that offers users wider viewing angles and bolder colors by allowing more light to pass through the panel. As a result, IPS panels can exhibit a slight glow around the edges and corners (also known as light bleed), which is entirely normal.
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From the manufacturer
Revive the Moment
Preserve the true colors you captured with BL3201PH's 100% sRGB color space, providing you with brighter, accurate and consistent colors, whether you're working on digital images for sharing your photos or publishing on the web. Capture the moment and never let it fade away.
Enjoy the Clarity with Sharp 4K/UHD and IPS Panel
Get crisper, gorgeous images brought by 4K image resolution (3840x2160). That's four times the detail of full HD (1920x1080) often found in Blu-Ray and digital TV.
Wide Viewing Angle with IPS Technology
BL3201PH is equipped with IPS technology offering a wider viewing angle (178° in both horizontal and vertical planes) to users for exceptional clarity and vivid image quality in all angles.
Tailor-Made for the Finest Details
The revolutionary CAD/CAM Mode offers superior contrast on 3D color lines. You can clearly distinguish details in complicated object wireframes, alter monitor color and never miss a line again.
Animation Mode enhances details in dark shadows so you can fine-tune creations effortlessly, while areas that do not require this function remain unaltered.
A large working plane and precision UHD image quality make it easier to work in multiple windows or on multiple programs at one time. Rec. 709 color space ensures that every color is faithfully represented with precision.
Featuring UHD resolution, ultra-refined 10-bit display, advanced IPS technology, and 100% sRGB color rendering; BenQ Designer Monitors will exceed your expectations for richness, contrast, and visual dynamics.
Comfort with a Simple Yet Intuitive Design
Switch between CAD/CAM, Animation, and Low Blue Light Modes, or you can customize with a simple click of a button with the OSD Controller.
Stable feedback technology prevents the harmful effects of flickering from tiring or damaging the eyes.
Low Blue Light
The unique BenQ Low Blue Light Technology is designed to filter out harmful blue light, effectively diminishing eye fatigue and irritation.
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|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||—||Amazon.com||Frugal Buys CA LLC||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Action Gear|
|Display Resolution Maximum||3840x2160 pixels||3,686,400 pixels||3840 x 2160 pixels||8,294,400 pixels||3840 x 2160 pixels||3840 x 2160 pixels|
|Screen Size||32 in||27 in||27 in||27 in||32 in||27 in|
|Item Dimensions||9.13 x 29.14 x 19.3 in||10.6 x 28 x 20.2 in||21.2 x 25.2 x 8 in||25.16 x 21.65 x 9.41 in||13.8 x 33.4 x 21.8 in||25.3 x 13.7 x 18.5 in|
|Item Weight||28.6 lbs||18.3 lbs||16.7 lbs||17.6 lbs||25.8 lbs||18.8 lbs|
We know what it takes for ideas to become reality. The passion to craft every detail until it leads to brilliant work. The BenQ BL3201PH Designer Monitor with 4K high resolution (3840x2160), 100% sRGB and a variety of modes including CAD/CAM, animation. Make inspirations come alive.
Top customer reviews
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- The picture is gobsmackingly beautiful. Bright, sharp. I don't have color calibration equipment, but the factory default colors look great to my fairly sensitive eye... except for the non-uniform backlight issue below.
- Build quality seems excellent. No bleed. No dead pixels. Relatively thin bezel with no unnecessary lights on it.
- The Anti-Glare coating is well calibrated... effectively prevents glare, but not grainy. I can still easily see each pixel.
- Unlike the first round of 32" 4K monitors, which used IGZO panels and required MST (Multi-stream Display Port), this new round uses IPS and only needs SST. I only know if 3 models currently: Samsung U32D970Q, Eizo EV3237, and this BenQ which is far less expensive than the other 2, and unless you need Adobe RGB I can't see that it gives up anything to those others. So it seems like quite a bargain.
- With Windows 8.1 it was plug-n-play and spectacular right out of the box with both my machines. In fact when I tried to install the supplied drivers it said I was already using the latest.
- I like the "Eye protect" feature, which adjusts the brightness of the display based on sensed ambient light. Seems to work well.
- I like the ECO sensor, which detects my presence and puts the display in standby after I'm away for 40 sec. When I come back, by the time I've sat down the display is back on and ready to go.
- A hockey-puck like remote control has customizable buttons for direct access to some settings, particularly picture modes.
- Biggest issue I'm seeing is non-uniform color across the display. This is most noticeable by making a blank white document take up the whole screen, the white looks warmer on the left and cooler on the right. See the attached pic. If I can get this 1 thing improved, I will give it 5 stars.
- Since I tend to use 2 computers at the same time connected to the monitor, I need an efficient way to switch between them. A DisplayPort KVM switch would be ideal, but they tend not to support KVM resolutions, except for "secure" ones that run up around $800 and don't work with keyboards and docking stations that have usb hubs. So I was hoping the monitor would support efficient switching between its 2 display port inputs, but it doesn't. It would be so easy for BenQ to allow assigning inputs to the customizable buttons on the remote control, but they don't. They provide "Display Pilot" software which lets you choose settings, including, input selection from software, but weirdly it includes every input except the mini-DP!? So 3 button presses on the remote is about the best I can do.
- The accompanying CD comes with Display Pilot 2.12, which allows you to adjust pretty much everything you can do through the OSD, but more easily. However, when I had it check and install updates, it downloaded version 2.22, which seems to have gotten rid of all the monitor controls and only gives the desktop partitioning controls that allows you to, for example, snap windows into quadrants. (This is a feature coming with Windows 10, and something I set up Autohotkey scripts to do on Win8)
- When the ECO sensor is enabled, after 2 hours of non-presence it does a hard shut-off and you need to hit the power button to turn it back on. I wish this was optional. I may just use Windows to sleep the display with inactivity.
Here are some Windows/App settings that work well for me:
- I ultimately found nothing on the CD worth installing.
- I like 125% scaling in Windows best... gives more resolution to features, while still giving more real estate than on my 2560x1600 display.
- Also 125% scaling in IE and Chrome.
- Lightroom font size to Medium.
- I found the font for plain text emails in Outlook didn't scale well. To fix open MS Word: File->Options->Advanced->General->Web Options->Fonts. - Change the proportional and Fixed-width fonts to something that Windows can scale better. I picked Calibri Light and Consolas.
- Turn the sharpness down to the 5-7 range for smoother looking fonts.
Stunning. Fantastically built and extremely sturdy/solid. The colors and sharpness are something you really need to experience. I am a huge critic of electronics and normally can always find several things I don't like about something, but I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this monitor. Without a question, the best monitor I've ever touched and seen. Absolutely zero light bleed unlike all of the current ultrawide IPS's. Over a billion colors due to 10-bit. The difference between this monitor (IPS, 4K, 32", 4K, 10-bit color) and my old monitor (VA, 1080p, 24", 8-bit color) is truly jaw-dropping. This monitor really is breathtaking. It amazes me how much different the experience has been, and I've only had it for a day. Every component of this model is top notch. The stand is outstanding. The mechanism to raise/lower/tilt/rotate the screen is super smooth. The remote thing is pretty neat, normally trying to change anything in monitor menus is a huge pain, but the included remote doohicky makes that process a breeze. Not being able to set any of the 3 presets to PiP though is a little annoying, since that would have been really helpful for me to be able to instantly put my Windows laptop in a tiny screen in the corner whenever I need to use my work laptop or Windows for something. All in all though, I am blown ... a ... way. I just can't get over how awesome the clarity is, and how beautiful the colors are. The only downside IMO is the brand. But more on that later.
Thoughts on 4K resolution at 32"
This resolution and this size instantly reminded me of going from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 with the first retina display, or going from the iPhone 3GS to the 4 with retina. I sit approximately 2 feet away from the monitor, and 32" 4K seems to be the perfect pixel density (138ppi) for a retina experience (supposedly 25 inches away from the monitor is considered 'retina' with a 32" 4K monitor). Going back to the old 1080p gets me to wonder how I've gone so long with such a small screen and without retina pixel density. Highly highly recommend. The only downside with this pixel density, and it can be a huge one, is the scaling. Because it is retina and everything appears way smaller, the scaling can be less than desirable. On a Mac, it is fantastic. I'm not sure how they do it, but everything so far has acted as I would expect. Webpages and programs look how they are suppose to and the size I want them, just way sharper. I've read numerous times over a dozen different places that mentions the scaling in Windows does not yield the results you would expect. Windows 7 is supposedly way worse than 8 but Windows 10 is supposed to fix all scaling issues, so eventually this won't be a big deal. For those that don't understand exactly what scaling issues really could be, imagine shrinking your current monitor by 40%, all the text gets smaller, all the tools for programs get smaller, webpages and font sizes shrink. Everything just gets smaller and might be harder to read, see or click on, BUT gets way sharper and less pixilated. Similar what might of happened when some of you went from anything less than 720p and jumped up to a 1080p (HD). So scaling will increase that size back to what you were used to except now it will be sharper (less pixilated). I can update this review once I get a chance to test it over a day or 2 on Windows to see just how bad Windows does at scaling.
Personally, I have gotten used to having scaling turned off with everything just smaller because my graphics card had issues with scaling the 4K AND having my other 2 monitors on (GTX 660 glitches browsers out when 4K is scaling on Mac, text and parts of images start dancing all over the screen). I am sure 32" without scaling is going to eventually grow on me, to where I'm going to hate having to work on something with bigger text, but I don't really see me ever wanting text and icons any smaller than this (big reason why I wanted 32" over 28"). This is almost too small already. But like I said before, Mac scaling is really wonderful, just hope your graphics card can handle it. The GTX 660 does fine with just the 4K scaling, but once I add 2 1080p monitors to it and play a movie on one of them, trying to do much else causes those severe graphical issues when scaling is enabled. I will update this when I get a GTX 970 or better graphics card to share with you all the difference.
If you are a hardcore gamer, you probably want to pass this one up. I would recommend any of the GSync models available or wait for the Freesync models that will come out in march if you have an AMD video card. Also, this monitor is only 60Hz. Although I believe 60Hz is plenty good for 99% of people, If you are predominately only gaming on the monitor, a 27-28" 1440p 120Hz+ monitor preferably with GSync would be much better for you. Not only that but current graphics cards just don't have enough ooomph for optimal performance for the most demanding games and 1440p right now is the sweet spot for graphics cards performance. If you can afford it, the best possible monitor for gaming will be the XB270HU when it comes out. 27" 1440p 144Hz and IPS with Gsync.
If you are any other type of gamer and care more about screen real estate and sharpness for everything else that you do besides gaming, this might be the monitor for you. I play games like Starcraft and Left for Dead and those games do struggle on ultra settings with my GTX 660, but it is bearable, at least for now. BUT the majority of the time I am coding and designing, and that is where this monitor really shines. It is a dream come true.
Graphics Card Recommendations
I would without question recommend the GTX 750 for anybody wanting 4K and not planning on crazy gaming (or get the comparable AMD that has a displayport or HDMI 2.0). The GTX 750 has the best performance / $ ratio of all the Nvidia cards and if you go with the GTX 750Ti, you will have something that is better than both Xbox One and PS4 (but not quite up to snuff for 4K gaming, you will probably have to set the game at 1080p/1440p). If you want normal gaming @ 4K (MOBA's such as LOL/DOTA or RTS such as Starcraft) a GTX 960 would run those decently but a GTX 970 would run those fantastically. For Battlefield 4, Crysis 3, Metro Last Night, GTA5 or anything crazy like that, a GTX 980/Titan Black may not even be super smooth (and those are $550 to $1000). It will run some of those at 30fps and games like Crysis at only 15fps (on ultra settings of course). It will be best to wait for their 980ti or whatever they might call it that will have a minimum 30% improvement and have the 6gb or 8gb vram that is really needed for super high end games. You could always SLI (which is running 2 of the same card) but it's always better to buy the best card you can get now, and then double it up later down the road. If you have to game in 4K today with the most demanding games out there and can't wait for the GTX 980ti/TitanX, I would say SLI with the GTX 980 or Titan Black (for a low low price of only $1100 or $2000 for Titan Blacks), or preferable 3-way SLI. Needless to say, I'm waiting for the 980Ti/TitanX since those will be the first cards really geared towards 4K gaming, and rumors say TitanX in Feb/Mar and 980Ti hopefully by summer when AMD launches 380x, which could actually turn out to be the card to get out of all of them.
Warnings about BenQ
If you plan to ever buy a BenQ, I would definitely advise buying it from Amazon because of their return policy. The last BenQ monitor I bought through Newegg had a softball sized dark spot in the lower left corner and Newegg doesn't pay for return shipping for RMA's (like the majority of all other online stores). So even though it wasn't working properly, I had to pay to ship it back to Newegg, and shipping a monitor is pretty expensive. So then I emailed BenQ and they said yea yea no problem, just email this person. So I did and no reply. Emailed again and again over the next few weeks and still didn't get a response. I emailed the previous guy who gave his apologies and some excuse and to email this other person, so I did with no reply. Before I new it, 30 days had past and I could no longer return it to Newegg. Long story short, don't count on BenQ offering you any kind of service if you have a problem with your monitor without going through some hoops. I'm sure I could have gotten it replaced if I would have been constantly ontop of them, but after that experience, I didn't really trust them getting it back to me in a timely manner since that was the only monitor I had and really needed it. So I've just lived with the annoying darkness for the past few years. So 'why buy BenQ again' then you might ask. After a dozenish hours of research on monitors, I came to the conclusion below.
Competition and why BenQ is Current King (at time of writing)
The current competition in this price range would be the 34" ultrawides (3440x1440) being offered by Samsung, LG, Dell, HP and the 32" 4K (3840x2160) Acer (all other 32" 4K are at least $500 more at the time of writing and the next size down, 28", is too small for this many pixels IMO). I immediately dismissed the HP and Samsung after finding out they are VA and not IPS. After using both before, IPS monitors just look way better. It's subtle but VA monitors just look more dull and washed out. Some other competition is the Seiki and Panasonic 40" 4K monitors but alas they are also VA but unlike the ultrawides, these 40 inchers are only 8-bit, so that means 16 million colors or something like that instead of a billion. No thank you. That leaves the LG, Dell ultrawides and the 32" BenQ/Acer. Now, the current problem with all IPS ultrawides right now, is light bleed. That means a corner or multiple corners are noticeably lighter than the rest of the screen because the backlight `bleeds' on the sides and makes them brighter. This is especially noticeable on black backgrounds. This was a major concern for me, so that pushed me pretty far over into the 32" 4K camp.
Then the pixel density calculations. The ultrawides are only 109ppi and you'd have to sit over 31" from the screen to get a true retina experience. This is definitely better than most 1080p screens (91ppi @24in which you have to sit around 38" away from screen for retina like graphics), but not as sharp as I was really looking for since I sit around 22-28" away. It is worth mentioning 28" 4K are definitely cheaper, but everywhere I was reading mentioned how much scaling just doesn't give you the optimal performance in Windows (so it got me worried about when I might bootcamp for gaming). People were saying 32" 4K text is smaller than they were used to, but still bearable without scaling and I completely agree. I really don't think any smaller than 32" would be tolerable without needing Windows or Mac to scale. Some people unfortunately though, still might not be able to handle how small text is on the 32" 4K's, so if you are worried about that, go to Best Buy or somewhere that has a Windows machine setup with a 32" 4K so you can see the text size, and see how the scaling looks. The scaling issues, pixel density, light bleed, and the fact that the curved 34" ultrawides are around $200-$300 more, has 100% placed me in the 4K camp. If it's any consolation LG does make a non curved 34" 3440x1440 for around $900 but I really wonder if 34" is just to big without some sort of curve. 32" might actually be right on the border of `to big without a curve.' If you love the look of the ultrawide and need to save money, that might be your only option (unless you don't mind a lower resolution, then theres always the LG 34" 2560 x 1080 for $580 but I would not recommend that over a 28" 1440p that is much cheaper.
So that leaves Acer vs BenQ (unless you want to spend $500 or more). Acer stand is pretty cool having the grippy surface and the magnetic base for keys or whatever metal things you throw on it, but the stand was more blah than the BenQ. The BenQ has a sort of elegance to it, simple yet eye catching. It also has more features. Wherein the Acer stand can only tilt and slide up/down, the BenQ can do that AND rotate, plus it has easy menu navigation thanks to the round controller thingamajig that fits perfectly in the base of the stand. It comes with 1 displayport & 1 mini displayport (both handle 4K @ 60Hz), 2 HDMI 1.4 and 1 DVI (which are basically useless for 4K since HDMI 2.0 is needed for 60Hz and DVI maxes out at 30Hz). I suppose the HDMI and DVI could be used for PiP, but 30Hz @ 4K would lead to a pretty terrible experience if you tried to use them as the main 4K input.
And last thing that really did it for me, was the response time. BenQ lists 4ms and Acer is 6ms. Now, this has to be taken with a grain of salt, because manufacturers are known to severely skew these depending on what methodology they came up with to rate their monitors since there isn't an industry standard. The response time isn't a huge deal, but if it is in fact 33% faster, that is something to take into consideration.
For me, I think the decision is obvious. BenQ.
To anyone considering a 4K, what I would say to you is do whatever you can to afford the 32" and make sure you get an IPS. I can really see some major scaling issues with a 27-28" 4K. I suppose if you are not a fan of reading text that is 30% smaller than what you are used to and you are going to scale anyways, than 28" might be better for you if you really need to save that extra money, but 4" really does make a pretty big difference and in the long run I think it is more than worth it for the extra real estate you get. Now, I can see for some people that don't really do anything productive such as design, photo/video edit, CAD, etc and really only browse the internet and watch movies, the 28" would probably be just fine, but at that point, I would give some serious thought into a 1440p 28" IPS because the savings is pretty substantial (the ppi is 105 with a retina @ 32 inches away from the screen). So if you want retina for the cheapest possible price and you sit approx. 25" from the screen, 28" 4K will have to work out.
Now we've come full circle all the way back to discussing the actual monitor being reviewed. After countless of hours of research and final decision making, I have to say I couldn't be more happy with my decision. It truly is worlds better than I was ever hoping for. And it feels like a fantasy compared to what I would have imagined just 3 years ago. There is something to usually complaint about on something that costs this much, but really, so many things caught me by surprise. Even down to what was included in the box, you got every cord you would need, HDMI, Displayport, audio, USB, and even DVI. Also I did not expect a card reader to be built right in. There's even a cute little clip that clips in the back to organize the cables. The picture in picture seemed gimicky when I read about it, but boy was I wrong. It's pretty useful when you might have a laptop for instance that you need to do something on. For instance, when you use a Mac and you have to do something on your Windows laptop, you just turn on PiP and go to town. I bet phones would even work with PiP, how cool would that be. It even has different PiP sizes and allows to move to any corner of the screen or have both inputs side by side. The senseye or whatever it is called that allows like 11 different color profiles is kinda useful too. Especially those that do CAD or enjoy easily changing settings for reading (low blue light), or changing the settings when your browsing photos or watching a movie. The attached controller thingy makes 1-bottom switching between these color profiles actually useful since I couldn't be bothered to use the monitor buttons to ever switch between these profiles with any other monitor type due to how huge of a pain it is to navigate those monitor type menus. Oh, and when you do decide to use the buttons on the monitor instead of the controller, a really subtle but super cool little feature they added was that it senses your finger is close so it illuminates the buttons. This does this too when the monitor is off, so it is completely lightless until your finger gets close, then the power button illuminates so you know where to press. All very cool stuff.
So if you've got $1000 (or $830 and lucky like me and find it on special somewhere) there is no question in my mind that this should be your monitor of choice if you value sharpness and screen real estate. All other options just can't beat what BenQ is offering with their BL3201PH. And that's all there really is to say about that.
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