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Lifewire / Matthew S. Smith
Attractive, sturdy design
Excellent image quality
Great motion clarity
Best monitor audio, ever
Includes a remote control
Mediocre performance in dark scenes
HDR is good, but could be better
Gamers who crave immersion will love the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R for its attractive image quality and class-leading audio.
BenQ provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for their full take.
BenQ, once best known for professional monitors, has entrenched itself in eSports through its Zowie line. With that battle won, the company has fired a broadside into high-end gaming monitors with the Mobiuz sub-brand.
The ultrawide BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is the flagship of this fleet. Packing a 34-inch, 3,440 x 1,440 screen, 144Hz refresh rate, and wide color gamut, it’s ready to throw down with favorites like the Alienware AW3420DW and LG Ultragear 34GP83A-B. Can BenQ defeat the defending champs?
The Mobiuz sub-brand, a new addition to the company’s lineup, focuses on high-end gaming monitors. Mobiuz monitors have an angular, rugged look reminiscent of a stealth fighter or modern warship. That’s combined with silver, gunmetal, and orange panels to add flair.
I like the result. It’s distinctive and muscular, but not overbearing or gaudy. It notably lacks customizable RGB lighting, a feature found on many competitors. I don’t miss it, but gamers craving that Twitch streamer look will be disappointed.
This is a sturdy monitor. It’s as attractive and robust as Alienware’s monitors, beats out LG and Samsung monitors on build quality, and delivers a huge upgrade over budget ultrawides from Spectre and Viotek. The large stand adjusts for height, tilt, and swivel. You can add a VESA monitor stand or arm if desired.
Though rugged, the stand is a bit too deep; the monitor’s depth with the stand attached, from front to rear of the stand legs, is about 10 inches. This places the monitor too close if you have a desk that’s around 24 to 30 inches deep. Many ultrawide monitors share this problem. This is a curved monitor, but the curve is tame and doesn't distract outside of games.
Connectivity is typical, with two HDMI 2.0 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 for video. There’s also a USB 3 upstream port that enables connecting two additional USB 3 peripherals, enough for a wired keyboard and mouse.
BenQ’s Mobiuz brand is unique for its focus on the full gameplay experience. While competitors tout fast refresh rates and low motion blur, Mobiuz pitches itself on “total immersion” through vivid color and sharp contrast.
Color stands out most in real-world gaming. Many gaming monitors have solid color accuracy, but the Mobiuz EX3415R nears the front of the pack. It beats out the Alienware AW3821DW but falls behind the Samsung Odyssey G9. This monitor is a great choice for bright, vibrant games like Rocket League, Final Fantasy XIV, or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Colorful characters seem to leap off the screen, and scenic vistas have a real sense of depth.
The EX3415R can display the entire sRGB color gamut, so you’ll see all the colors game artists intended. It also displays up to 95 percent of the broader DCI-P3 color gamut and 90 percent of AdobeRGB. These values are good enough for many video editors, digital artists, and other content creators.
Resolution comes in at 3,440 x 1,440, which is typical for a 34-inch ultrawide. LG’s 5K Ultrafine monitors are the only monitors of this size that deliver a higher resolution of 5,120 x 2,160. The BenQ’s resolution translates to a pixel density of 110 pixels per inch, roughly the same as a 27-inch 1440p monitor. Jagged edges can be noticeable in tiny in-game details, like a power line or the pattern on a character's shirt, but usually aren’t an issue.
Colorful characters seem to leap off the screen and scenic vistas have a real sense of depth.
Contrast is the monitor’s weakest point. The EX3415R has an IPS display panel that produces a maximum contrast ratio of 840:1. This is just average for a modern ultrawide monitor. You won’t notice the lack of contrast in bright games, but darker scenes reveal this flaw. A midnight landing in Microsoft Flight Simulator made this obvious as the starlight sky was a hazy gray instead of pitch black. I also noticed bright spots in the corners, a problem that remains common even among top-notch ultrawides.
Still, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R looks beautiful in most games. Its color performance is at the top of the class, and its weaknesses are typical for the category. More importantly, this monitor’s strengths lend it to precisely the games that look best on an ultrawide: expansive open-world games with scenic worlds and wonderful art.
The BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is VESA DisplayHDR 400 certified. This makes for a nice badge to put on the box, but it’s the lowest level of certification offered.
HDR games double down on the monitor’s existing strengths. Bright scenes look brighter and have more detail in highlights, like a streetlight or sunrise. There’s also a difference in color, with small reductions in banding and a more realistic, lifelike look. Still, I find the improvements hard to notice outside a direct, A-to-B comparison.
Here’s the thing: You can’t buy a good HDR monitor for anything close to a reasonable price. The EX3415R’s limitations are disappointing but typical for a modern gaming monitor. In fact, the Mobiuz is ahead of the pack in its sustained brightness and overall color performance.
Gaming monitors won’t offer great HDR until they switch to more modern display technology, like OLED or Mini LED.
Competitive gamers will love the EX3415R’s 144Hz refresh rate, which updates the display up to 144 times each second. This isn’t the highest available in an ultrawide, but it’s close. Samsung’s massive Odyssey G9 stands out with its 240Hz refresh rate but is far more expensive.
The BenQ Mobiuz EX3415 looks smooth and crisp in motion. It delivers great clarity to objects in motion and doesn’t suffer bright trails or artifacts behind fast-moving objects. I appreciated the extra detail in games like Final Fantasy XIV and Dyson Sphere Program. Better motion clarity makes games that are busy and packed with on-screen information easier to play at a rapid pace.
AMD FreeSync Premium is officially supported to provide a tear-free gaming experience. I tested Nvidia G-Sync and found it also works, which is unsurprising: Many FreeSync displays also work with G-Sync.
Surprisingly, audio is the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R’s stand-out feature. BenQ believes “total immersion” should include great visuals and great audio, so the monitor packs a pair of 2W speakers and a 5W subwoofer.
This is the best audio I’ve ever heard from a monitor.
It sounds lovely. No, this monitor won’t unseat a quality pair of bookshelf speakers, but it’s the best audio I’ve experienced from a monitor and makes cheap, standalone PC speakers obsolete.
How much this matters depends on how you play. Gamers who always wear a headset may not care. Personally, as someone who plays cooperative or single-player games far more than competitive titles, I love it. The EX3415R gives me the option to take off my headset and relax.
As with most monitors, the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R is plug and play. There’s no additional drivers or software to install and, in nearly all cases, it just works once attached to your PC. Ultrawide monitors like the EX3415R are best suited to Windows, which has great ultrawide support, but it will work with modern Macs or Linux systems.
I do have to nitpick the power supply. BenQ ships the EX3415R with an external power brick rather than an internal power supply. You’ll have to find space for the brick below your desk.
The BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R has an extensive and complex on-screen menu packed with options.
BenQ ships the monitor with an awesome extra: a remote control. The remote can adjust all monitor features and options. It’s far more convenient than hunching over and pecking at buttons hidden beneath the screen. You can also control the monitor with a tiny joystick and several buttons hidden on the monitor's lower right flank, should you lose the remote.
The menus are logically arranged and offer extensive customization. You can tweak the monitor’s brightness, contrast, color saturation, gamma, and color temperature. BenQ unfortunately doesn’t provide calibrated gamma or color temperature presets, which may disappoint professional content creators.
There’s several features that target gamers such as Black eQualizer, which brightens shadows to make foes easier to see in dark games, and Light Tuner, which is helpful in adjusting dark or bright highlights to bring out more detail.
Another key feature is HDRi, which uses an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the monitor’s quality in HDRi modes. It can change brightness and color temperature as you use the monitor, leading to less strain and better visuals. This is useful when it works well, but the sensor can become confused and rapidly switch between modes. I like the idea, but it needs polish.
You’ll pay $999.99 for the BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R, which is a lot, but typical for a high-end ultrawide monitor. This puts it alongside other premium 34-inch ultrawides like the Alienware AW3420DW and LG Ultragear 34GP83A-B.
These monitors are the leading edge of 34-inch ultrawides. Both offer sturdy, attractive designs and highly adjustable stands that keep the monitor firmly planted and eliminate wobble.
The EX3415R has an advantage in refresh rate with a maximum of 144Hz against the Alienware AW3420DW’s maximum of 120Hz. This gap is small, so it’s unlikely to be noticeable in most situations, but BenQ has a lead in overall motion clarity.
Alienware’s monitor is Nvidia G-Sync certified, while the BenQ is certified for AMD FreeSync Premium. The EX3415R worked with G-Sync in my testing, but its lack of certification could lean Nvidia gamers towards the Alienware. On the other hand, AMD fans will want to go with the BenQ.
The BenQ is DisplayHDR 400 certified, while the Alienware isn’t. BenQ also has a lead in overall image quality thanks to a higher sustained brightness and better overall color accuracy. Don’t forget audio. The BenQ’s built-in sound system is fantastic, while the Alienware doesn’t include speakers.
The BenQ’s Mobiuz EX3415R takes the win with a small but definitive lead over the Alienware AW3420DW. The BenQ is brighter, more responsive, can handle HDR gaming, and includes an enjoyable sound system with a subwoofer.
An immersive ultrawide experience.
BenQ’s Mobiuz EX3415R is an excellent ultrawide that stands out with accurate, vivid color, class-leading audio, and sturdy build quality. Gamers craving an immersive yet responsive experience will love this monitor.
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