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The EX3415R is a curved, ultrawide 34-inch gaming monitor with a 3440×1440 QHD resolution and a 144Hz response time. This makes it a powerful high-end primary monitor, with a price of $1,000 to reflect its premium specs. This begs the question, is it worth the price tag?

Curved monitors are slowly entering mainstream gaming and BenQ did everything in its power to make this thing as desirable as a nice graphics card or a great keyboard. During our testing we found this behemoth to be more than capable and well worth the price tag.

Speeds, Ports, and Feeds

The EX3415R features a number of inputs as well as a headphone jack and 2.1 Channel (2Wx2 + 5W woofer) speaker along the bottom edge. It has two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, USB Type B, and two USB 3.0 ports. The EX3415R hands Adaptive-Sync via FreeSync Premium but is not G-Sync-certified. This means some taxing games might not be able to max out this monitor’s capabilities. Built-in HDRi makes color and graphics pop. The black levels, measured to about 870:1, are not excellent but overall brightness is solid which makes up for the contrast issues.

In other words, this is the full package. Sound quality is excellent for the monitor and I loved the addition of a curved speaker. The small USB hub allows you to add a webcam or other devices directly to the back of the monitor and you can even slap a gaming console or laptop to this thing with relative ease thanks to the multiple HDMI ports.


We Love the Curved Screen

One of the most obvious differentiators between this monitor and other monitors is the curved screen, which gives you a more centered view of the action as it wraps slightly around your position. I’ve been using flat monitors for years and never fell into the curved gimmick. That said, I’m very impressed with how this monitor performs and The effect is barely noticeable and slightly increases immersion. The curve, while noticeable, is actually quite delicate and the resulting experience is more like a gentle reminder of immersion than a definite gimmick. Because the monitor is matte you get little of the reflection associated with curved monitors and the entire image is crisp from edge to edge. On a primary monitor like the EX3415R, it greatly complements the crisp resolution and refresh rate, giving you a better experience overall. 

Ultrawide Screen Is Almost Too Much

The 21:9 ultrawide screen can be both a blessing and a curse. While significantly more screen space allows for enhanced workspace management and a higher field of view within select video games, with other fullscreen applications, most prominently within older games, the widescreen property is annoying and ruins all immersion with a stretched resolution. Within most games, an aspect ratio setting is changeable, which can negate this effect, but an overall lack of widescreen support within most games and applications can cause jarring black bars and stretched icons to completely ruin all immersion. 

This is not a photographers monitor. It has solid 3440×1440 QHD resolution, which is more than enough for most games. The titles we tested, from Apex Legends to Valorant to Civ VI, performed well on the monitor. Valorant didn’t support widescreen in our configuration but the rest of the games adapted well to the format.

Solid Graphics and Color

The resolution and refresh rate make the EX3415R a beast when it comes to general visual clarity and performance, however, these graphics can be a great burden to the performance of your computer. With higher-end specs, the EX3415R will likely be able to be stretched to its maximum limits, but my computer has trouble keeping up with max settings with this monitor. You’ll need a high-end graphics card to make the most of this monitor, which is a blessing and curse. As you can see, there is some definite pixelation in the text and images but not enough to warrant, say, replacing this with a standard 4K monitor. If your goal is good looks, good graphics, and solid performance, this $1,000 beast is great.

What We Don’t Like

If you are looking for a stunning, extremely high-end primary monitor, the EX3415R can run circles around the competition in immersion and graphics, but for lower-power PCs or photography/video/design applications, I cannot recommend it over other 4k, non-widescreen monitors. The response time and refresh rate are excellent for gaming and the resolution is fine for most gaming. However, as a pixel-perfect screen falls a little flat. If you need something super-high-res, especially from a BenQ, you could add something like their 2020 Photographer Monitor to your shopping cart.

Further, remember that this thing is big. It may be 34 inches but the 21:9 aspect ratio takes up a lot of desk space and it can definitely get warm. I’ve been using this alongside another smaller 4K monitor and it’s turned my desktop into a true battle station. Adding one of these monitors in a smaller room, however, or on a smaller desk could leave less room for a keyboard and mouse combo.

What We Love

Well, first off it’s a glorious monitor. It’s gigantic, offers great performance, and gives you enough resolution to make any game look great. It’s not a 4K monitor, to be clear, but again you’re not going to get a true 4K monitor in any sane price range. BenQ has taken a solid screen and put it into an impressive package and it’s great for gamers who want a self-contained solution for gaming on PC or console. At $1,000 you’re going to have to spend a lot of money for performance and style, but this is definitely in the pantheon of great monitors if you’re in the market.

Specs

  • 34″ 3440×1440 QHD 21:9 HDR IPS Gaming Monitor
  • HDRi and true sound audio by treVolo deliver immersion
  • 1ms MPRT and AMD FreeSync Premium for smooth gameplay

Screen Size 34inch

Aspect Ratio 21:9

Display Colors 1.07 billion colors

Display Screen Coating Anti-Glare

Curvature 1900R

Panel Type IPS

Backlight Technology LED backlight

Resolution (max.) 3440x1440Viewing Angle (L/R) (CR>=10)178/178

Response Times (GtG) 1ms (MPRT) / 2ms (GtG) ms

Refresh Rate (Hz) 144HDCP2.2AMAYesPPI110

Color Temperature Bluish;Normal;Reddish;User Define

Gamma 1.8 – 2.6OSD

HDR HDR10; VESA Display HDR 400

Native Contrast 1000:1

Brightness (typ.) 200nit

Brightness (peak)(HDR) 400nit

Color Gamut 98% P3

Color Mode Cinema HDRi;Custom;DisplayHDR;ePaper;FPS;Game HDRi;HDR;M-Book;Racing game;RPG;sRGB


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By John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.