BenQ XR3501; An In-Depth Review


BenQ is one of the most recognized names in display technology, especially when it comes to gaming. They have pretty much covered the whole spectrum of display choices, from budget-friendly, mid-range to high-end monitors. Now, they took another big step to meet the growing demands of gamers as they introduce their curved gaming monitor. Curved monitor has been in the market for a couple of years now, but it’s only until recently that display manufacturers are able to incorporate this screen technology to the specs required in gaming. Their BenQ XR3501 is a curved screen monitor designed to give gamers a brand new and more immersive gaming experience. What makes this monitor unique? Check out in Dual Monitors Guide’s in-depth review.

BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)


Who is it for?

BenQ XR3501 is designed for gamers looking to experience the new curved screen technology. It promises to provide more immersive gaming experience, along with its massive 35-inch screen. It is also well-equipped to handle the most demanding big title games there is.

 

Benefits

Competitively Fast and Smooth Gaming Performance

With Pixel Response time of 4ms, the BenQ XR3501 definitely falls short in terms of having the fastest and smoothest response compared to the 1ms speed we can find in ultra-fast gaming monitors. It is however, generally good enough to deliver smooth gaming performance. No noticeable motion blur or ghosting. Combine that with 144Hz Refresh Rate and you get competitive gaming performance even for the most demanding and big title games.

The Input Lag of 26.4 ms (time it takes for the screen to recognize and react to controller’s command is a little higher than what we can normally expect from a gaming display. Its competitors LG 34UM67 and Acer Predator X34 scored 10.1 and 10.3 respectively.

 

More Pronounced Curvature for More Immersive Viewing and Gaming Experience

BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)


Aside from its massive size, the first thing you will notice in this BenQ monitor is its pronounced curvature. Unlike its closest rivals Acer XR341CK and Predator X34 which sports 3,800R curve, the BenQ XR3501 sports 2000R curve which is a little more pronounced. This means putting together a bunch of this display side-by-side would make a complete circle with a radius of 2000mm.

It definitely improves field of vision, most especially in FPS games; the screen is easier to see and it’s easier to track every action happening. However, it’s not a very good design for documents and spreadsheets, as they appear slightly distorted around the edges when shown on a curved screen.

 

Acceptable Color Accuracy with Good Grayscale Performance

As a gaming monitor, we don’t expect excellent and on-point colour accuracy in BenQ XR3501. As a matter of fact, it is less than ideal. Based on chromaticity test, colors red, green and blue are a little off from their ideal coordinates. This shortcoming however, doesn’t result to oversaturation of colors.

For its grayscale performance, this BenQ gaming monitor showed solid performance. Its VA (Vertical Alignment) panel had no problem displaying each shade of gray, making excellent shadow details and helping colors pop out more from the screen.

 

Decently Good Viewing Angle Performance

Viewing Angle performance is also decently good, there are no noticeable color shifting or fluctuation in luminance in any angle. It’s something we can expect from a VA-panel, especially for a curved screen.

 

Typical Power Consumption for a Behemoth Screen

Power consumption is at 50 Watts at Standard mode, which means it’s definitely not a power saver. Also, unfortunately, it doesn’t come with Eco mode to bring the power consumption down.

 

Dual Monitor and Multiple Monitor Setups

BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)


This monitor comes with VESA mounting holes, making it convenient to use third party mounting solutions for better ergonomics. Unfortunately though, there aren't a lot of mounting options out there for a monitor this size, let along for dual monitor or multiple monitor setup. You can of course, put two or three of these screens side-by-side.

 

However, should you want to mount this massive screen to a better stand with wider range of adjustability flexibility options, then there are a couple of good choices out there for single monitor stand.

Ergotron LX HD Sit-Stand Wall Mount LCD Arm (image from Amazon)


The LX HD Sit-Stand Wall Mount LCD Arm from Ergotron is one of the best options in the market, and there are very few options out there. It may look similar to many Ergotron LX LCD arms and mounts, but it can support larger and heavier displays. The arm is conducive for both working and for entertainment.  Ergotron Mounting Arm for Flat Panel Display is solidly built and has all the components and features you need for optimum viewing and working experience.

 

Design and Features

BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)


As said earlier, the BenQ XR3501 is a massive 35-inch monitor fully equipped with all the gaming features every hardcore gamer need for big title games. But the most intriguing aspect of its design is on the screen itself – the curved screen which is said to deliver better viewing and gaming experience by improving field of vision, making it easier for users, particularly gamers, to keep track of all the movements taking place on screen, even on its far edges.

The curved screen is housed in a matte-black cabinet with silver trim band through its edges and framed in a 0.5-inch bezel.

 

Buttons and Controls

Underneath the bottom bezel are the six (6) buttons, plus a Power Switch. These buttons provide access to the Menu settings of the display and can also work as hotkeys to choose an Input Source, change Preset modes and activate some of the display’s features such as Black eQualizer (improves dark shades for better shadow details and make colours pop up more). These keys can also be set to work as hotkeys for different settings.

There are nine (9) Picture Preset options, including the basics and of course, the gaming presets, namely Standard, sRGB, Movie, Photo, FPS 1 (First Person Shooter), FPS 2, Racing, and two (2) user-defined Custom Settings.

For the basic Picture Settings, there is Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, Sharpness, Colour Temperature, and advanced settings, including Black eQualizer, Low Blue Light (to avoid eye strain), Super Resolution (improves standard definition images), and Color Vibrance (adjusts colour saturation levels). There is also the PiP (Picture-in-Picture) and PBP (Picture-By-Picture) settings, Aspect Ratio and Dynamic Contrast.

 

Full Range of Connectivity Options

The back side of the cabinet houses a full spectrum of connectivity options, including 2 HDMI inputs, 1 full size DisplayPort input, 1 mini-DisplayPort, an audio-out jack and a headphone jack. There are no USB ports though, which is unfortunate, as its rival Acer XR341CK and Predator X34 comes with generous set of USB ports.

 

Beautiful V-Shaped Stand with Limited Adjustability

BenQ XR3501 (image from Amazon)


The huge 24 lbs. cabinet is nicely supported by a V-shaped stand which is polished nicely with a shiny chrome finish and a red cutout where users can route their cables and keep their desk clean and organized. The stand offers tilt adjustability, but that’s pretty much it. No tilt, height adjustment or pivot.

 

Cabinet with VESA Mounting Holes Though

The stand’s limited adjustability is compensated with the VESA-compliant mounting holes though. This means you can easily attach this massive display to a fully-adjustable and more ergonomic monitor stand or mount it on your wall through a wall mount product.

 

Tech Specs

Bottom Line

This BenQ monitor is easily one of the best monitors out there when it comes to 21:9 aspect ratio, especially for gaming. As expected, the BenQ XR3501 has no problem delivering sharp picture with vibrant colors and inky dark blacks, though it falls short to its closest rivals Acer Predator X34 and the Dell UltraSharp U3415W, as both runs in 3,440-by-1,440 resolution. What this monitor offers is immersive gaming experience in a massive 35-inch curved screen, with a Refresh Rate of 144Hz. It also comes equipped with Nvidia G-Sync technology which eliminates screen tearing for action-packed games.

Its VA panel may fall short in delivering the best color accuracy and maxes out at 2560 x 1080p resolution, but it’s more than capable of displaying accurate shades of gray, good viewing angle and smooth gaming experience. Though the resolution is a step back considering its massive size, it’s still a great choice for anyone looking for a low lag 21:9 gaming screen. Also, design wise, it maintains a solid build that can stand the test of time.

For more in-depth reviews like this, check out Dual Monitors Guide today!



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