There are buttons and a joystick discreetly placed on the underside of the panel, and these can be used to adjust various settings on the display. Handily, though, BenQ has also included a small remote control, which is a little unusual for monitors of this type, but gives easy access to various presets and our preferred option is to fiddle with the menus. If you don’t feel like dealing with another plastic item on your desk, the built-in inputs mentioned above work just fine and feel solid and tactile.
In terms of ports, you get the mandatory DisplayPort for your PC, as well as two HDMI 2.1 ports for 120fps output, four USB ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Everything is neatly organized and easily accessible, so you shouldn’t have too much of a headache swapping cables if you’re the type of person who switches through different tech devices on a regular basis. It’s worth noting at this point that you can adjust the DisplayPort and HDMI settings independently, which is useful if you plan on using this monitor for both PC use and PS5 gaming. We personally prefer a darker, more subtle image when browsing spreadsheets, and a brighter, more vibrant image when playing console games, and the EX3210U can deliver.
Image quality: true color
As we mentioned at the beginning of this review, picture quality is paramount when it comes to choosing a display, and in our opinion, BenQ has delivered on its lofty promises. The IPS panel used by the EX3210U is rich and vibrant, thanks to a truly impressive color palette. There are a ton of presets to play around with, although we personally liked playing around with all available parameters in the Custom setting the best. The key here is the flexibility the monitor allows, and it really does offer a plethora of options if you want to experiment – as well as some useful “out-of-the-box” configurations if you don’t want to potter around.
One thing to note, though, is that in SDR you’ll experience a peak brightness of around 250 nits on this monitor, which is low compared to other options on the market. While you can force HDR on all content – which ultimately results in a much brighter image, as you’d expect – it might not always be accurate if it’s not natively supported. Therefore, if you intend to use this in a relatively bright environment, the SDR output may look dull and dull. It’s definitely worth considering where you’ll be placing the monitor and how it will be affected by daylight; we didn’t have too many problems with our setup, but skylights and large windows could end up obstructing the view, we suspect.
Light bleeding can also be a problem, although your mileage can vary a lot on this front. We saw some blooming and spilling in the corners of the panel, but nothing overly aggressive; this can unfortunately amount to a manufacturing monopoly, so if you pick up one of these you’ll want to test it thoroughly in the dark to see if your unit is affected. While this can be an unfortunate issue, we have to say that the viewing angles on the monitor, along with the overall clarity at 4K resolution, are excellent.