We’ve seen immoderate monolithic PC monitors motorboat successful the past fewer years, but the BenQ EW3880R, with its 21:9 facet ratio, is 1 of the widest and astir absorbing presently connected offer. Its 38-inch (37.5-inch viewable) surface has large beingness (before you adjacent crook it on) with its subtle brownish talker grille and stand. It looks similar thing that would astir acceptable into a surviving room.
Sporting a 3,840 x 1,600 resolution, it’s susceptible of displaying a crisp and elaborate Windows desktop and allows for 4 (count ’em) full-sized A4 windows to beryllium placed adjacent to 1 another. This tin beryllium a large productivity boon for those moving with aggregate documents, browsers and, especially, spreadsheets. However, we recovered that turning our caput to look from 1 extremity of the surface to different could get a spot tiring connected our neck. Still, there’s a subtle curve to the surface that reduces the magnitude your eyeballs request to refocus arsenic they cookware from broadside to side, and this helps with viewing comfort. There’s besides BenQ’s TÜV Rheinland-certified anti-flicker and blue-light filter exertion that's claimed to further forestall ocular fatigue. Ultimately, we loved moving connected this display, but it is 1 that's much designed for multimedia and productivity than gaming.
Our archetypal thought, erstwhile looking astatine a surface this signifier and size, is that it indispensable beryllium large for that second use. However, portion we were impressed with however the UHD graphics and textures of Far Cry 6 looked connected the screen, the debased 60Hz refresh complaint rapidly reminded america that this isn’t suitable for fast-paced enactment games and racers – if you're utilized to 1 of the newer high-refresh gaming displays, your eyes volition precise rapidly kick astir question blur, representation tearing and skipped frames.
Nonetheless, BenQ is keen to beforehand the video show of the EW3880R and we were surely impressed. The 10-bit IPS sheet is large for watching movies, TV and video contented mostly – particularly demo reels tailored for the panel's autochthonal resolution. Colors are agleam and vibrant, portion gradients (both chromatic and monochromatic) are creaseless with nary evident stepping.
The 1,000:1 opposition ratio and 300-nit brightness standing are somewhat mediocre, however. Detail tin get mislaid successful peculiarly acheronian and agleam areas. BenQ attempts to code this with its HDRi (simulated HDR) exertion but, frankly, we recovered it much miss than deed – it could easy marque images worse, and seldom improved matters. We’re being picky though, arsenic astir movie contented mostly looked great. Just enactment that you’ll usually person immoderate signifier of letterbox bars adjacent the sides of the surface arsenic adjacent supposedly autochthonal 21:9 contented (of which there’s plentifulness connected streaming sites similar Netflix) doesn’t ever capable the full panel.
Also peculiarly noteworthy are the screen's built-in speakers. The ample grille astatine the bottommost helps fell 2 3W speakers and an 8W sub. These are substantially superior specs compared to different multimedia monitors, and it shows – dependable gets large and punchy, vocal fidelity is great, bass is beardown and treble stays clear. Very impressive.
The accustomed array of show adjustments (and connections) are disposable to tinker with, but we seldom strayed acold from defaults. A distant is included too.
If it had a higher refresh complaint for amended gaming capabilities the EW3880R would frankly beryllium brilliant, but adjacent without it’s fantastic for enactment and play regardless. It’s expensive, but reasonably priced successful this 38-inch ultrawide space, and galore cashed-up casual machine users volition emotion it.
Price and availability
The BenQ EW3880R show is disposable present successful astir large markets and costs $1,050 / £1,030 / AU$1,799. While that's not cheap, it is 1 of the much affordable 38-inch ultrawides, and erstwhile compared to the likes of LG's akin 38WN95C (which costs importantly much astatine $1,750 / £1,350 / AU$2,199) oregon the Alienware AW3821DW ($1,950 / £1,565 / AU$2,499) the worth proposition seems enhanced. Just enactment that the LG and Alienware are 144Hz displays, with faster pixel effect clip (1ms) and FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility, which marque them much charismatic for gaming.
Other alternatives see Dell's 21:9 monitors. While the U3821DW ($1,549 / £1,399 / AU$1,899) offers akin specs astatine a higher price, there's besides an even-larger, 40-inch sibling (the U4021QW) astatine $2,099 / £2,049 / AU$2,639 for those who privation the aforesaid facet ratio and show connected an even-larger screen.
The EW3880R’s sheet is conscionable astir thing that would acceptable successful a modern, compact surviving room, acknowledgment to the brownish tinge connected the talker grille beneath the surface and connected the stand. However, the basal does thin to shriek that it’s inactive a machine show astatine heart, meaning it’s not rather suited to being the centerpiece of a household surviving room. However, having a machine show basal has its benefits. It comes with immoderate generous adjustments including –5º to 15º tilt, –15º to 15º swivel and a 120mm tallness adjustment.
Accessing the input ports is comparatively elemental acknowledgment to the ample cutaway astatine the basal of the show astatine the backmost (this tin beryllium covered with a removable panel). Just enactment that the powerfulness cord connects connected the left-hand side, which whitethorn origin issues connected your peculiar setup if each of your powerfulness sockets are connected your right.
Setting it up is elemental acknowledgment to the three-piece design: stand, stem and panel. You’ll request the included hex cardinal screwdriver and 4 screws to hole the sheet to the stem though, arsenic there’s nary quick-release system.
BenQ makes a large fuss implicit its simulated HDR diagnostic called HDRi. This tin beryllium activated via OSD controls, a fastener connected the bottommost close of the talker grille oregon the included mini remote. It switches betwixt 3 modes: Cinema HDRi, Game HDRi and HDR. With Windows HDR turned on, Cinema HDRi seems to delight by removing large, important details and objects from the surface – particularly successful agleam areas. Game HDRi aims to halt enemies hiding successful shadows and highlights by reducing localized acheronian and brightness done the compression of opposition scope and it conscionable astir makes a difference.
The main HDR mounting sits determination successful between. Using HDRi with Windows HDR disconnected leaves you with a blown-out messiness successful agleam areas wherever it’s hard to spot thing astatine all. In acheronian content, it could conscionable arsenic easy envelope everything successful darkness. Individual experiences volition alteration with antithetic content, but mostly we felt it was a spot of a gimmick.
The distant itself is tiny and black, meaning you tin easy suffer it successful a acheronian room. It operates responsively truthful agelong arsenic you purpose it straight astatine the IR receiver successful the mediate of the talker grille. It has a directional fastener that emulates the mini directional power fastener astatine the right-rear of the screen, positive idiosyncratic buttons for power, input, HDRi, night-mode measurement (to support from unexpected, late-night explosions and screams), measurement controls and audio mode.
There’s besides KVM functionality that allows you to plug your keyboard and rodent into the show and stock their functionality – and surface input – via the USB-C connection. We’re large fans of this arsenic lockdown has seen america regularly power betwixt location machine and enactment laptop, and simply swapping a USB-C cablegram tin marque switching much efficient.
BenQ besides likes to item its oculus comfortableness features. These see the subtle 2600R curve to assistance alleviate the strain caused by your eyeballs refocusing erstwhile looking astatine antithetic parts of the monitor. There’s besides TÜV Rheinland-certified anti-flicker exertion and bluish airy filtering that, we acknowledge, helped guarantee the surface was comfy to look astatine for extended periods of work.
It tin beryllium a small tricky to scope the down-facing cables successful the halfway of the rear of the show if your table is acceptable up successful mode that makes it hard to scope the backmost of the panel. Nonetheless, determination are 2 HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort 1.4, 2 downstream USB-A 3.0 ports and a USB-C larboard that supports DisplayPort and 60W powerfulness delivery.
HDMI and USB-C cables are included. Just retrieve that the second is alternatively abbreviated truthful your PC oregon laptop indispensable beryllium adjacent to the monitor.
We loved moving connected the BenQ EW3880R. Its quality to show four, full-sized A4 documents (and past some), immense spreadsheets and ample graphical moving areas was a productivity imagination – you seldom request to discarded clip and effort switching betwixt windows, nary substance what you’re doing. The Ultra HD 3,840 x 1,600 solution kept everything crisp and successful crisp relief. It’s evenly lit and each the oculus comfortableness features, joined with the matte screen, truly meant that our eyes didn’t get fatigued aft prolonged periods of work. Just enactment that if you’ve got immoderate benignant of cervix injury, you whitethorn acquisition soreness by looking near and close much than you ordinarily would.
We were mostly impressed with its multimedia prowess too. The IPS sheet supports 95% of the challenging DCI-P3 colour abstraction for enhanced accuracy and we felt multimedia contented looked supra mean successful presumption of question smoothness and contrast. However, enthusiasts whitethorn lament the less-than-top-tier colour vibrancy and brightness. Playing with the HDR settings successful Windows and connected the show tin amended definite contented types, but the results tin rapidly get distant from you if there’s excessively overmuch airy oregon acheronian connected screen, with it easy becoming hard to spot anything. Still, we’re nitpicking a spot – video mostly looked truly bully and determination were creaseless colour (and monochromatic) transitions with minimal banding.
Naturally, you’re going to often spot pillarboxing (aka reverse letterboxing) with video, arsenic astir TV shows and movies are not natively 21:9 formatted. We earnestly appreciated the 21:9 contented disposable connected Netflix and Amazon, arsenic it could instrumentality up the full screen. However, you’ll find that galore videos permission achromatic bars to the sides of the screen, arsenic they don’t agelong beyond a emblematic 16:9 widescreen resolution. Still, we were impressed astatine however the pillarbox bars, for the astir part, stayed astir existent achromatic and weren’t excessively distracting.
We truly wanted the EW3880R to enactment good for gaming, arsenic the outlook isn’t acold removed from a real-life cockpit successful a contention car. We didn’t caput that menus successful games don’t enactment 21:9, though they tin look a spot weird with pillarbox bars to the side. Cutscenes with existent letterbox bars astatine the apical and bottommost of the surface got a spot annoying, but they are comparatively uncommon occurrences. Most importantly, utilizing the full surface for existent gameplay tin beryllium precise immersive… particularly erstwhile walking done the jungles of Far Cry 6.
The problems manifest erstwhile you get into gunfights oregon scenes with fast-and-frantic motion, arsenic the 60Hz refresh complaint and humble 4ms grey-to-grey pixel effect clip rapidly amusement their limits – question blur is rife, portion dropping frames and representation tearing hap successful a mode that galore gamers person evolved past coping with. While we were mostly blessed with Far Cry 6's show owed to its wide dilatory pace, if you’re readying connected playing competitory shooters oregon racing games, you whitethorn privation to measurement up to a show with gaming-grade refresh rates. That each said, formation sim players and strategy gamers who payment from other UHD existent property mightiness conscionable emotion it.
A peculiar notation indispensable beryllium made of the speakers. There are 2 3W units positive an 8W sub. These harvester to nutrient immoderate of the champion audio we’ve heard from immoderate show we've tested. Fidelity and clarity is bully each the mode from bass to treble, and they get impressively large and punchy. There are a scope of fairly-standard audio modes disposable for tinkering with, but everyone’s preferences volition alteration connected those.
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[First reviewed January 2022]