BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The life cycle of products on the computer market rarely exceeds three years, after which the manufacturer tries again to attract customers and produces an updated and improved device. Recently released BenQ PD3200U is most affordable 32-inch 4K IPS monitor among the new products.

The BenQ range is rapidly expanding. The number of available options grows by leaps and bounds, and it becomes more difficult for the closest competitors to fight for a place in the sun, because, in addition to long-earned popularity, BenQ has another trump card – attractive prices.

Today we will consider a novelty in the class of UHD 4K-solutions – model BenQ PD3200U. This is a direct replacement for the popular BL3201PT, which we tested back in 2015. The monitor, as it is clear by name, refers to the new series, but the message remains the same – a quality and affordable solution for amateur color work. So what has changed?

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

BenQ PD3200U: Specifications

First, let’s talk a bit about the family: under the abbreviation PD in BenQ we mean Professional Design (Designer). Simply put, the hero of today’s review is designed for people working with animation, CAD / and color, which is sufficient standard color coverage.

The BenQ PD3200U is based on the AHVA matrix manufactured by AU Optronics (AUO), model M320QAN01.0, which we already know from its predecessor. Release this panel began in 2014, but it easily finds application in the novelties of 2017.

This is a semi-professional 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) 32-inch resolution with a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels (UHD 4K standard), a 16: 9 aspect ratio, standard sRGB color coverage and standard W-LED backlighting, Modulation (Flicker-Free).

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The declared maximum brightness is 350 cd / m2, and the static contrast ratio is 1000: 1. The pixel density of the monitor with such a diagonal and resolution is small by modern standards of 138 ppi. Viewing angles are maximum for modern panels – 178 degrees in both planes. The response time measured by the GtG method is 4 ms, which is the norm for AHVA matrices of AUO with factory overclocking of OverDrive.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The design of the BenQ PD3200U is classic, with wide and rather deep frames, – this appearance will still meet for a long time in solutions for working with color. Also, displays of this class are given an ergonomic stand with all available degrees of freedom. For the convenience of switching preset modes and navigation through the menu, there is a separate external control unit with nine physical keys, complementing the touch control system of five buttons with a smart backlight system, activated when the hand is approaching.

The manufacturer speaks of a 100% coverage of similar color spaces sRGB and Rec.709 (in fact it’s sRGB with other gamma settings for Full HD TV). In addition to this, the company added special preinstalled CAD / CAM and Animation modes in BenQ PD3200U, which enhance the picture contrast for more comfortable work with thin lines and their better working. Well, for work in poor lighting it is suggested to use Darkroom Mode (dark room mode) with reduced brightness, color temperature (warm tones) and visual contrast for better distinguishing of extreme dark shades and less eye strain. Factory calibration and the ability to perform hardware calibration for BenQ PD3200U are not claimed.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

Standard 60 Hz can be obtained using any of the available interfaces, and there are a lot of them: two HDMI 2.0, Display Port 1.2 and mini Display Port 1.2. From the most widespread DVI-D the manufacturer refused because of the permission used. For working with the periphery, the monitor provides four USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5 mm audio output and an audio input. For the built-in sound, a stereo pair with a total power of 10 W is responsible.

Among the new features: built-in KVM-switch (switch), which allows to use one pair of “keyboard-mouse” for working with two system blocks – switch from one to another by pressing a button. Also there is a function DualView for dividing the screen into two parts, each of which will work in its mode of displaying the picture.

In the continuation of the tradition of the BL series of monitors, the PD novelty features ambient light and proximity sensors (turns off the screen in the absence of the user). For the first one, the initial setup is necessary, and the second one works in conjunction with a reminder system to make a break in the work, which, if desired, can be turned off.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

At the time of testing, the monitor BenQ PD3200U has already gone on sale at a price of 50 000 rubles, being thus one of the most affordable 32-inch 4K-displays. If this goes on, then soon it will be more affordable than its predecessor – for this you need to lose another 1-2 thousand rubles in price – and will not leave a chance to the nearest competitors, who offer fewer opportunities at a higher price.

Package Contents and Appearance

Monitor BenQ PD3200U comes in a large box with a simplified design – there is no photo or enumeration of the features of the model. There is not even a plastic handle for carrying – just cutouts in cardboard on both sides.

The sticker on the box contains information about the main technical characteristics of the display. The date (November 2016) and the place of production (China) are also indicated. The version of our instance is 00-006-AA.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The scope of delivery of the display includes everything you need:

  • Power cable;
  • HDMI cable;
  • Cable Display Port → miniDP;
  • USB cable for connecting the monitor to a PC;
  • External control unit;
  • CD with drivers and user manual;
  • A quick start-up guide for the user;
  • Instructions for safe handling of the device;
  • Service information.

In the case of the review hero, the user can use any of the available interfaces, each of which will maximize the capabilities of the model. However, if you want to shield yourself from all possible problems and the need for additional configuration actions, then we recommend using the DisplayPort connection.

A series of monitors BL during its existence mainly related to semiprofessional solutions. Over the years, the priorities of the company have changed, but in the end, the original position remained at the head of everything. So for the new 32-inch model, translated into the PD series, nothing much has changed – slightly worked with the color of the details, changed certain strokes, but in general everything was as it was.

BenQ PD3200U monitor looks stern and modern. Boring, but practical matte black plastic is diluted with a small amount of glossy inserts, textured elements and a figured metal column with a translucent plastic circle of blue color and a cutout in the center. Changing the color scheme has gone the model for good – it looks more interesting and more expensive than its predecessor.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

In the front part of the body behind the translucent plastic are placed sensors of external illumination and presence (proximity). Next to them proudly located the inscription “UHD”, which speaks about high resolution of the screen.

The base of the stand is the size of the case and the matrix. It is very large and in many cases (at a table depth of 55-60 cm) will not allow the monitor to be moved to the optimal distance from the user. You have to get used to, move away from the screen, change the table or use a VESA-compatible bracket – there are plenty of solutions to the problem.

The central column is attached to the monitor in just a few seconds and disconnects just as quickly – just press the button from the bottom. The holes for the VESA brackets are slightly recessed into the case, but in most cases this will not cause problems.

The cable laying system is realized due to the oval notch in the central column. The option is not very, but better than nothing. Also, the monitor is equipped with a metal handle in the upper part of the central column for a more convenient carrying of the device – for the first time for monitors of the BL / PD series.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The ergonomics of the stand will satisfy the demands of all consumers without exception: change of slope, height and turn of the case is available. There is also the possibility of a coup into portrait mode (Pivot), but because of this, the centering of the case on the stand is made at an average level.

After each position change, the monitor will have to be aligned strictly along the horizon. The classic problem of most monitors with Pivot, which affected the hero of the review.

All fastening elements of the monitor, including the inside of the stand and the base, are made of metal. For reliable adhesion to the working surface, eight rubber feet are used – they are good at keeping the monitor in one position, including thanks to the large weight of the assembly.

The display is equipped with an AHVA-matrix, which is of the IPS type, with a semi-matte working surface, which must combat not only the glare on the screen, but also with an annoying crystal effect. She copes with this task well.

By sticker on the case of the device, you can check all the numbers (serial, batch number, etc.), the date (November 2016) and the place of production, as well as the instance version (00-006-AA).

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The main interfaces for the connection are on the right side of the chassis. The solution is interesting, it allows you to connect various signal sources quickly and without problems. A power connector with an additional switch, USB and audio ports are located in a more familiar place and oriented down.

Two more USB 3.0, headphone or external acoustics and SD-card reader found a place in a separate block on the right side of the case.

Built-in speakers are located behind the plastic mesh in the upper part of the case. The sound quality, unfortunately, is far from desired – it, like the maximum volume, is below average.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

To the quality of the materials used and their practicality, we have almost no questions, except one: why did you need such a large glossy insert next to the ports for connection? Was it really impossible to get rid of it?

The processing of the elements is carried out at the highest level, the gaps are uniform throughout the length of the joints. The monitor does not creak or crunch when twisting and changing the position. To paint, too, do not carp. In general, the performance of the BenQ PD3200U is at the level of more expensive competitors, and in some cases even higher. The first credit is received! Go ahead.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

BenQ PD3200U: Menu and control

The main control element of the monitor is a sensor unit with five buttons and a smart backlight system activated when the hand is approached and pressed. Nearby is a physical power button with an integrated white backlight, which can not be turned off.

The speed of the menu is high. The system instantly responds to user actions – annoying delays we did not find. And thanks to the backlight and on-screen prompts to control the monitor easily and easily – both during the day and at night, in the absence of external lighting.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

For fans to press the physical keys, the manufacturer has provided a separate control unit, connected to a special mini USB-connector in the monitor. It allows you to instantly select from three user-selectable image modes and navigate menus. The choice is great. Everyone will find a suitable option for controlling the display.

When you click on any of the control buttons at the bottom of the screen, a navigation box with five icons appears. By default, the manufacturer has set up quick access to switching image modes, selecting the source of the signal and adjusting the brightness of the backlight. In the future, the user can select the necessary partitions and parameters.

The design menu of monitors BenQ for working with color has not been changed for a long time – before us is the usual color scale and 2-4 sections depending on the selected section and submenu. Originally installed Russian language. In the case of the BenQ PD3200U, eight sections are located in the main menu. Let’s go through each of them.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The first one contains the settings of the PiP / PbP functions and the choice of the video signal source.

The section called “Image” contains the settings for brightness, contrast, sharpness, gamma, color temperature, hue, saturation and the degree of matrix acceleration (AMA).

In the next section, most of the settings are available only in some picture modes and with an HDMI connection. Controlling the size of the image is done here through the “Display Mode” parameter. Through the “Two Types” subsection (such strange translations into Russian), the picture on the screen can be visually divided into two, displaying the second with different color settings. This is convenient for those cases when you need to quickly see how the picture on the display with other operating parameters will look.

Set the volume of the built-in speaker system or turn off the sound completely offered in the fourth section with the appropriate name.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

The new section responsible for KVM functions allows you to select a work device. No more KVM settings – everything is very simple.

The “System” section offers to reassign three touch keys for quick access to the necessary sections or parameters, adjust the operating modes of the interfaces, the OSD menu, DDC / CI, activate the automatic power off. Configurable and three physical keys on the external control unit. Also in the section you can see the main working information on the monitor and reset all parameters to the default values.

Control of the ambient light sensor and a reminder system for the need to take a break in the work is done in the “Ergonomics” section. Unfortunately, some of the features are only available in certain image modes.

The second sensor, ECO, which turns off the panel lighting, can work in any conditions. His settings are concentrated in a special section. We did not have any complaints about his work.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

BenQ PD3200U: Testing

Test procedure

The BenQ PD3200U monitor was tested using the updated X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter in combination with the X-Rite i1 Pro reference spectrophotometer, the Argyll CMS software package with the dispcalGUI graphical interface and the HCFR Colormeter program. All operations were performed in Windows 8.1, during the testing the refresh rate was 60 Hz.

In accordance with the methodology, we will measure the following monitor parameters:

  • Brightness of white, brightness of black, contrast ratio for backlight power from 0 to 100% in 10% increments;
  • Color coverage;
  • Color temperature;
  • Gamma curves of the three primary RGB colors;
  • Gamma curve of gray color;
  • Color deviation DeltaE (according to the standard CIEDE1994);
  • The uniformity of the illumination, the uniformity of the color temperature (in kelvins and deviation units of DeltaE) with a brightness at the central point of 100 cd / m2.

All the measurements described above were carried out before and after calibration. During the tests, we measure the main monitor profiles: default, sRGB (if available) and Adobe RGB (if available). Calibration is carried out in the default profile, except for special cases, which will be discussed additionally. For monitors with extended color coverage, we select the sRGB hardware emulation mode, if available. Before the beginning of all tests the monitor warms up within 3-4 hours, and all its settings are reset to the factory settings.

Also, we will continue our old practice of publishing calibration profiles for the monitors we tested at the end of the article. At the same time, the 3DNews test lab warns that such a profile will not be 100% correct for the disadvantages of your monitor. The matter is that all monitors (even within the limits of one model) will necessarily differ from each other by small errors of a color rendition. Making two identical matrices is impossible physically, so for any serious calibration of the monitor you need a colorimeter or a spectrophotometer. But the “universal” profile, created for a specific instance, in general can correct the situation for other devices of the same model, especially in the case of cheap displays with pronounced color defects.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

Operating parameters

In the BenQ PD3200U monitor, the manufacturer uses seven preset modes and one optional for fully manual tuning. While testing, we used the Display Port 1.2 interface, but we still could not achieve 10-bit color representation by using specialized video adapters and software with the support of such color representation.

By default, the settings for the main parameters are as follows:

  • Image mode – standard;
  • Brightness – 60;
  • Contrast – 50;
  • Sharpness – 5;
  • Color temperature – normal;
  • AMA – high;
  • Gamma – 2.2.

During the manual tuning (100 cd / m2 and 6500 K), the parameters took the following form:

  • Image mode – user;
  • Brightness – 12;
  • Contrast – 50;
  • Sharpness – 5;
  • Temperature – id. User. (95/94/99);
  • AMA – high;
  • Gamma – 2.2.

To access the full list of required parameters, user mode was used. The value of “Gamma” during the experiments was decided to be left by default. The desired brightness and color temperature of the white point were achieved by adjusting the two corresponding parameters. The degree of overclocking AMA (Overdrive) did not change, because the optimal value was selected by the manufacturer by default.

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor

Brightness of white, brightness of black, contrast ratio

The check was carried out in the “Standard” mode with the default settings.

The maximum brightness was 377 cd / m2, and the lower value was 67 cd / m2. The contrast ratio is 1160: 1 on average, which is slightly higher than stated in the technical specifications.

The obtained range of brightness variation of the illumination turned out to be ideal from all points of view. On the upper border, the monitor exceeds the manufacturer’s specified value, and the lower limit will significantly reduce the load on the eyes in conditions of weak ambient light or its complete absence.

Results with default settings

The monitor has a matrix with standard color coverage. In particular, the manufacturer relies on a 100% coverage of the standard sRGB and identical to it on the coverage of Rec.709.

By default, the triangle of color coverage exceeds the sRGB work area in several zones, but slightly inferior to it on purple and green hues. Because of this, the BenQ PD3200U corresponds to sRGB by 98% – less than stated, but more than its predecessor. This is a very high result, but without the use of CMS and software with its support the most correct color rendition is not achieved.

The point of the white is set at a level above the average, and the stability of the CG of shades of gray – to the envy of many professional models.

The divergence of gamma-curve channels is practically absent, the lines lie as close to the reference as possible.

The average deviation of the monitor’s color rendering when using the system profile sRGB was 1.36 units DeltaE94, the maximum – 4.45. Red color patch in accuracy exceeded the maximum allowable rate of deviation. If not for him, the results would be even higher. But even without this, the BenQ PD3200U demonstrated a level that you did not even expect at first, especially remembering the absence of the declared factory calibration and the corresponding report in the delivery package.

Results after configuration and profiling

Based on the results in the previous section, we decided to do without a full calibration, confining ourselves to precise manual tuning and further profiling (creating a device profile).

Switching to user mode and editing the original RGB values ​​changed the color gamut of the display quite insignificantly. You will not be able to see the difference.

The point of white came back to normal, but the points of gray tones slightly sprawled from each other, violating the original ideal stability.

The accuracy of setting the gamma curves has changed. Better just did not become, but there is still nothing to edit here. The possible difference will not be worth the damage of the gradients due to the changes in the LUT of the video card.

The final result was the average deviation of DeltaE94 of 0.36 units and a maximum deviation of 1.42. Excellent result!

Results in sRGB mode

Among the preset image modes, a new preset with the name sRGB was found in the new BenQ PD3200U – and we were required to check it in action.

The results of color matching in it were the highest: 98.2% sRGB and 72.8% AdobeRGB. But, unfortunately, the regions outside the main standard were not cut off. The reason here is one and only – the monitor does not have an advanced built-in LUT with recalculation of color spaces. This BenQ only occurs in a series of monitors PV, PG and SW.

The white point is close to the factory settings, and the stability of the color temperature of the shades of gray is still high.

On the gamma curves we note an obvious rise in the zone with dark shades, which results in a good discrimination of the extreme halftones, which leads the BenQ PD3200U to the requirements of the corresponding standard. Work in such conditions is somewhat more comfortable than in the “Standard” mode.

The mode under consideration became the leader on the final results of color accuracy: 1,15 on average and previously received 4,45 units of DeltaE94 at maximum. Useful mode, we advise!

Illumination uniformity

The uniformity of the backlight of the display was checked after the brightness in the center point of the monitor fell down to a level of 100 cd / m2 and the color temperature was set to ~ 6500 kelvin.

The picture above shows a photo of a white field at a certain exposure during shooting (in the dark) and further program processing for a more graphic representation of the uniformity of the backlight. Obviously, the uniformity is not the highest.

The average deviation from the central point was 12.4%, and the maximum deviation was 21%. The result is relatively low, and the nature of the blackouts is slightly different from what I saw on the BL3201PT. Probably, the difference between the instances and the new version of the AUO panel used is affected. Separately, we note that with such a large screen diagonal, the importance of such an estimation parameter as the uniformity of the backlight is lower than for smaller models – the human eye is simply unable to cover the whole workspace at once.

The scatter of color temperature values ​​for the hero of our review was 534 kelvin, the average deviation from the central point was 2.2%, the maximum deviation was 5.9%. The result is average, the color temperature drops from top to bottom, the right edge of the panel is the most different from the center.

The surface diagram with deviations of the color temperature, expressed in units of DeltaE, confirms the above. The maximum deviation is 7.3, the average deviation is 3. However, if we take into account the cost of the monitor on the market and the use of the exact same matrix in its direct competitors, it is still not necessary to choose. The difference will be between the instances, not between the display models. The manufacturer, unfortunately, can not affect the quality of the matrices supplied to it.

Uniformity on the black field is relatively low, as, indeed, in most other solutions such as IPS / PLS / AHVA, especially with such a large screen diagonal. Our copy of the BenQ PD3200U was heavily illuminated by two right angles and much weaker – two left ones. Various parasitic shades are in each of them. We did not see any obvious differences from its predecessor.

The first photo is presented for a more vivid demonstration of uneven illumination, and the second is close to what the user will see when working behind the monitor in the absence of external lighting. It makes it clear that in real work with special problems you will not have to face (unless you, of course, work exclusively in software with a dark or black interface), especially if you reduce the brightness of the backlight to an optimal level (80-120 nits). Where the Glow-effect, which does not get rid of it, is much more difficult.

Gradient quality and response speed

The 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) used AHVA-matrix in the BenQ PD3200U was able to demonstrate outstanding gradients in all preset modes and after adjusting the operating parameters via the OSD menu in user mode. A good factory setting allowed us to do exclusively with profiling, without making corrections to the LUT of the video card, so the quality of the gradients was preserved at its initially high level.

As for the matrix response speed, it is quite typical for modern IPS-type solutions with a vertical scan rate of 60 Hz – exactly the same as the predecessor in the person of BL3201PT.

The default overclocking value is optimal, although the AMA switch to “Off” does not actually change anything. There are no artifacts in both cases. In the “Premium” mode, the trains increase, and there are a lot of artifacts.

Viewing angles and Glow effect

Due to high-quality AHVA-matrix BenQ PD3200U was able to demonstrate good viewing angles, at the level of many similar solutions.

With minor changes in viewing angle in the horizontal plane, the picture on the screen does not change at all. If you increase the angle to 30-45 degrees, then the image becomes slightly less contrast, the saturation of some colors decreases slightly, the shadows are lightened – nothing unusual. When moving in the vertical plane, the picture on the screen spoils faster and stronger, especially when viewed from above.

From the Glow-effect test monitor is not spared, because it is built on the basis of an IPS-type matrix. Depending on the user’s position in front of the screen with black fill, the parasitic tint and the degree of its manifestation vary greatly.

Demonstrates himself Glow-effect on color images, but to a much lesser extent. In addition, much depends on the color scale and the brightness of the picture on the screen.

Crystal effect, Cross-hatching, PWM

The BenQ PD3200U monitor uses a matrix with a good semi-matte protective surface.

The picture on the screen is pleasing to the eye. The crystalline effect is barely noticeable, many will not be seen at all. When you change the viewing angle, its visibility does not increase. From the effect of Cross-Hatching this model is completely freed.

According to the manufacturer, the display has Flicker-Free-backlight, which was confirmed during our tests. At any level of brightness, SHI modulation is not used or its frequency is several kilohertz or even tens of kilohertz. Users can be calm for their eyes. It remains to remember about the need to take breaks in work and not expose too high brightness at low or medium ambient light.

BenQ PD3200U: Conclusion

The new monitor BenQ PD3200U is an exemplary example of how to approach the design of a model replacing a previously presented product that, during its existence, received high marks from both experts and end users. The main thing is to not spoil anything and improve what can be improved.

The hero is ahead of his predecessor in many points of assessment. It looks better and is configured better, it adds several really useful features and features, HDMI ports 2.0 installed, a metal “handle” for carrying. All other advantages are preserved, and the price, even at the start of sales, is as close as possible to the cost of the three-year BL3201PT , The most accessible in its class. Well, what is not gold for fans of the 4K-standard on the big screen of the monitor?

From the file server, you can download the color profile for this monitor, which we received after manual configuration and profiling.

Advantages BenQ PD3200U:

  • Strict design;
  • Excellent quality of materials and assembly;
  • Ergonomic stand and VESA mounting;
  • USB hub with four USB 3.0 ports, support for KVM function and built-in SD card reader;
  • An excellent set of modern interfaces for connection;
  • Good delivery set;
  • Two control systems – touchscreen with smart backlight and a separate unit with physical keys;
  • Built-in speaker system, as well as ambient light and presence sensors;
  • High color matching to the sRGB standard in all modes;
  • A good factory setting, although the factory calibration is not declared, and the most comfortable mode for operation is sRGB;
  • Excellent gradients in any setting;
  • High stability of shades of gray;
  • A wide range of brightness control with a consistently high contrast ratio (higher than stated in TX);
  • A decent uniform illumination in terms of color temperature (for such a diagonal screen);
  • W-LED-backlight without flicker (Flicker-Free);
  • Absence of Cross-hatching and well-distinguishable crystalline effect (CE);
  • Good viewing angles;
  • The most affordable monitor in its segment among the new models.

Disadvantages BenQ PD3200U:

Low uniformity of illumination on the black field – a classic of the genre for IPS-type-solutions, especially with a large diagonal.

Can not arrange:

  • Very large stand;
  • The average accuracy of the factory setting of the white point;
  • No noticeable difference between the two main modes of overclocking the AMA panel.

Source: benq

BenQ PD3200U Review 4K monitor was last modified: March 27th, 2017 by Tomas Shellby