At first, when Apple launched a laptop with only Thunderbolt ports, we all assumed the company engineers and marketing specialists went completely bonkers. The dongle-life haters had a field day while memes and critiques flew straight in Apple’s face. But now, more than a couple years later, we’re living in a world where Thunderbolt 3 is not such an exotic quirk any more.
And to such an ample diffusion of TB ports, BenQ recently rolled out a monitor aimed specifically at pro creatives. Now, Miles Somerville of 9to5Mac has got a chance for a first hand-on with the gorgeous 32″ display, so let’s see what he made of it.
As a rule, the monitor is one of the often overlooked items in every content creators’ setup. Most professionals tend to spend their budget mainly on CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and a plethora of other acronyms, and when it’s time to get to the essential peripherals, the cash is over and they are left with the cheapest option on the market.
But if you think about it for a moment, in a digital world the only way we can interact and evaluate our work is through sight, so it’s actually wise to shell out a little more cash on a decent monitor providing all the bells and whistles one will need on a daily basis.
But how about this particular BenQ offering, then? Well, at a first look, it immediately gives away that it’s a premium device.
BenQ PD3220U 32″ 4K HDR Monitor Highlights
Screen Size: 31.5″
Resolution (max.): 3840×2160 @60Hz
16:9 Aspect Ratio
In-Plane Switching (IPS) Panel
10-bit support for 1.07 billion colors
100% of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color gamuts, 95% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and HDR10
Brightness rating – 300 cd/m2
Pixel Density: 140ppi
5ms Response Time
1000:1 Static Contrast Ratio
3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz Native Resolution
Thunderbolt 3 | HDMI | DisplayPort
In pure 2020 style, the bezels of the BenQ PD3220U have shrunk to a bearable minimum as part of the modern and sleek design. That does not mean that the thing is light, though.
A lot of metal has been thrown in the chassis of the PD3220U, plus the power brick is actually inside the frame while a single power cable goes to the wall.
Furthermore, the PD3220U delivers impressive color performance, with its 10-bit display that provides support for 100% of the sRGB and Rec. 709 color gamuts, 95% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and HDR10. Other noteworthy specs include a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio, a static contrast ratio of 1000:1, a dynamic contrast ratio of 20M:1, a 300 cd/m2 brightness rating, 140 ppi, and a 5 ms (GtG) response time.
Another welcome feature on the BenQ PD3220U is the ability to swivel 90° to move to a portrait aspect ratio instead of the classical landscape – a useful real estate option for many professionals.
The port selection on this monitor is also more than impressive – Display port, HDMI, USB-A, USB-C, speakers, you name it. Surely, no one will complain about the missing inputs or outputs.
And in case you may feel there’s something absent, you should remember that sporting a Thunderbolt 3 allows you to get more I/O easily by simply using a dongle.
Other than that, the BenQ monitor comes with a small circular dial that sits on the base but can be moved if you need, that can quickly switch between different profiles. On top of that, being a monitor targeted to creative professionals, there’s a ton of color and image options in the menu – P3, RGB, whatever profile you need, it’s there.
Additionally, a handy option we’ve not seen much around is the possibility to split the screen into two windows with different color temperatures. That is straight-up amazing and offers a great chance to all of those who work with color-critical applications.
Overall, once compared to the other similar rivals in this price range, we can’t do anything else but confirm that the BenQ PD3220U is an excellent choice for creative professionals who need a serious upgrade to their workstation. A multitude of options, good quality, and a premium feel are always welcome assets, no to mention the true 10-bit support, native 4K resolution, and the top-notch color performance.