Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R review: A solid if unadventurous ultrawide gaming monitor

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
900
inc VAT, RRP

There’s nothing disastrously wrong with the EX3415R – it simply struggles to stand out in a competitive market

Pros 
Colourful wide gamut panel
Responsive and blur-free
Decent speakers
Cons 
Low contrast and luminance
Iffy backlight uniformity
Too expensive
Advertisement

The BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is hoping to capitalise on a growing fascination in the PC gaming community with ultrawide gaming monitors. Yes, 2,560 x 1,440 at 144Hz might still be king, but the extra screen real estate and immersive curvature is proving increasingly popular among PC gamers with a bit of cash to blow. 

On paper, at least, the EX3415R has what it takes to make you consider parting with that cash. This 34in curved monitor is armed with the kinds of specifications most gamers are obsessed with; the only trouble is, so are the various other ultrawide gaming monitors on the market. The EX3415R is going to have to pull out all the stops to avoid being swallowed up by a tidal wave of similar products.

BenQ EX3415R review: What do you get for the money?

The BenQ EX3415R is a 34in ultrawide IPS gaming monitor with a gentle 1900R curve, a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440, a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz and a quoted response time of 2ms G2G.

You’ll notice the HDRi button in the right-hand corner of the screen: the EX3415R has two emulated HDR modes plus HDR10 decoding and an entry-level DisplayHDR 400 certification. In terms of adaptive sync, it officially supports AMD FreeSync Premium but I had no trouble setting up Nvidia G-Sync as well. 

In terms of connectivity, the BenQ EX3415R has the usual two HDMI 2 ports, one DisplayPort 1.4 port, two downstream USB-A 3 ports, a single upstream USB-B 3 port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Similarly bog-standard is the stand, which offers 100mm of height adjustment, 15 degrees of swivel left and right and 15 degrees of backwards tilt. 

Decidedly less bog-standard, however, is the large grille on the rear of the panel that hides two 2W speakers plus a 5W woofer. The EX3415R also comes with a remote control that not only lets you adjust volume, switch sources and turn the monitor on and off, it also gives access to the full OSD controls.

READ NEXT: Get the edge with these top gaming mice

BenQ EX3415R review: What do we like about it?

The monitor’s speaker arrangement looks impressive on paper and it certainly pays off. I’d go as far as to say that the EX3415R’s audio output is good enough for casual movie viewing: it’s loud and weighty and, although the bass isn’t mind-blowing, the lack of it isn’t offputting. Incidentally, the 21:9 aspect ratio is great for movies. 

I’m also fond of the remote. It makes navigating the onscreen display and even the simple job of switching the monitor off much easier than stabbing blindly at the buttons and joystick mounted below the panel.

As for the panel itself, it’s a complicated story, but there are definitely clear positives. The first is the wide gamut. Out of the box, in the default “Racing game” mode, the EX3415R produced 133.7% of the sRGB colour space, 94.7% of the DCI-P3 space and 92.1% of the Adobe RGB space. You can see the effects of this wide gamut panel as soon as you switch the thing on; your desktop will look noticeably more vibrant, although as I'll discuss later the effect is a little bit muted for a panel with upwards of 90% DCI-P3 coverage.

If you’d rather browse the web in the way most website developers intended, the EX3415R has a dedicated sRGB mode, among several other colour presets. In this mode, the EX3415R performed very well indeed, producing 92.4% of the sRGB space with an average Delta E colour variance score of just 0.82. This means any variation in colours is imperceptible. I found little use for any of the other presets, but if you prefer soft, muted colours to the overblown fare offered by many gaming monitors, the EX3415R’s sRGB mode delivers the goods.

While the other aspects of this monitor’s test results are less inspiring (more of which anon), it will reassure you to know that where actual gaming is concerned, the EX3415R performs well. I noticed virtually zero evidence of ghosting or motion blur, both anecdotally and when I tested the panel. Higher overdrive settings eventually produce a small amount of inverse ghosting but enabling Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB) helps mitigate this – I settled on the second of three levels of overdrive with ELMB active for the clearest possible image.

This means the EX3415R is a great choice if you’re into your shooters or other fast-paced games. Obviously, the 144Hz refresh rate helps here: my PC couldn’t quite push the limits at the monitor’s native 3,440 x 1,440 resolution but, nevertheless, the wide aspect ratio and fluid panel definitely aided my performance in FPS titles such as Star Wars Battlefront II and Borderlands 3. And, of course, a gentle curve on an ultrawide screen such as this never goes amiss.

BenQ EX3415R review: What could be better?

As I’ve already implied, the EX3415R falls flat in a few key areas. Brightness and contrast in both SDR and HDR modes leave a lot to be desired. In SDR, I measured a peak luminance of 200cd/m² and a contrast ratio of around 933:1. Both aren’t far from BenQ’s listed figures, but the low peak brightness in particular leaves SDR content looking distinctly dim.

The same is true of HDR content. Luminance topped out for me at 389cd/m² with a black point of 0.42cd/m² for a contrast ratio of 934:1 (identical to SDR, incidentally), so you can expect dark corners to look rather grey in HDR. There is one small upside to note: due to the poor peak brightness results in both SDR and HDR mode, you can comfortably leave this monitor in HDR for most of the time. Non-HDR content doesn't look awful – if anything, it feels as though you've simply turned the brightness of the backlight up. But that in itself is hardly something to be shouting about.

There’s also a bit of an issue here with colour accuracy outside of the monitor’s sRGB mode. Yes, the EX3415R’s wide gamut is capable of reproducing a large proportion of the DCI-P3 gamut (and Adobe RGB) but I was unable to find a colour preset that did so with an average colour variance (Delta E) score of less than two. Indeed, for many of the presets, the Delta E exceeded three when tested against sRGB, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB. This isn’t the end of the world, per se – unless you happen to be a professional video editor – but I’d expect a bit more from a £900 monitor. The £500 Huawei MateView GT, a 3,440 x 1,440 34in monitor with a higher 165Hz refresh rate, is on the whole more accurate. 

I should also note that backlight uniformity (of the model I was sent) isn’t great, by which I mean that the top-right corner of the panel doesn’t go quite as bright as the rest of the panel. You may not notice any deviation, but it’s worth mentioning because this monitor is soundly beaten again here by the MateView GT.

This brings me neatly to my final point: the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is simply too expensive at its list price of £900. MSI’s popular MPG Artymis 343CQR costs £900 and offers more for your money with a 1000R VA panel that has a higher refresh rate, peak luminance and peak contrast. Then there’s the aforementioned MateView GT, which crams a similar spec plus USB-C and a built-in soundbar into a product that costs £400 less than the EX3415R.

READ NEXT: Our favourite budget gaming monitors available now

BenQ EX3415R review: Should you buy it?

Fortunately, there’s already evidence that BenQ has reached the same conclusion about the price tag, since the EX3415R now dips as low as £840 at some retailers. This is a real saving grace: I don’t dislike the EX3415R, but I wouldn’t spend £900 on it. 

Even with a discount, however, I’m not certain the EX3415R does quite enough to stand out. It launched not long after Huawei’s impressive and miraculously cheap MateView GT, a product that it simply cannot compete with in many areas. Indeed, I’d urge you to buy the MateView GT over the EX3415R if you value high contrast, high refresh rates and low price tags. 

That said, the EX3415R doesn’t do anything so poorly as to warrant a negative verdict. Yes, it doesn’t stand out, but it’s certainly not a bad monitor. Its responsive IPS panel and better-than-average speaker arrangement work in its favour against the MateView GT, and we mustn’t forget that it still manages to pack in a lovely ultrawide resolution and a high refresh rate alongside some nice quality-of-life features. So I’ll simply say this: if you must buy it, be sure to do so at a discount.

BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R – Specifications
Panel size34in
Panel resolution3,440 x 1,440
Panel refresh rate144Hz
Panel response time2ms (G2G)
Panel typeIPS
Adaptive sync supportAMD FreeSync Premium, Nvidia G-Sync compatible
HDR supportHDR10, HDR400
Ports2 x HDMI 2, 1 x DP 1.4, 2 x USB-A 3, 1 x USB-B 3, 1 x 3.5mm
Other featuresBuilt-in speakers, remote control
Stand ergonomics15° swivel, 15° tilt, 100mm height adjustment
Dimensions (with stand)425 x 815 x 270mm (HWD)
Weight (with stand)8.5kg