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September 17, 2015

BenQ XR3501 UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor Review


Large displays is just one of the criteria when it comes to picking an ideal display monitor for immersive entertainment experience. What if, there's more feature you can have aside of just a plain flat large display? 

Arrived at Tech Critter Lab this time is, the UltraWide, curved and large monitor from BenQ Malaysia, the BenQ XR3501 UltraWide Curved Gaming Monitor! Special thanks to BenQ Malaysia in provision of the review unit itself and ultra thanks to our friend at www.goldfries.com for sending over the huge review unit in person.

While the BenQ XR3501 comes with a jaw dropping SRP of RM 3999, let us check out on what kind of feature and experience we can expect from this baby!

Specifications


Overview

The BenQ XR3501 comes in a colossal packaging which we've decided not to include it on screen, but here's what you'll get in the box; the BenQ XR3501 monitor of course, a plastic cover for the back (we'll feature this later), User's Guide, Driver CD, Warranty Card, power cord and adapter, mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, Audio cable. 


It looks great to be honest, something which we would definitely include in our 'Must-Have' list if given the financial power. One of the best looking 35" inch curved UltraWide display we've seen this year.


Check out the curve, it's nearly impossible for a tech enthusiasts to not fall in love with its view on first hands on experience. It's definitely a love at first sight.


The power button and buttons for configuration can be found at the bottom right of the monitor. 


The base of the monitor isn't the usual rectangular piece of plastic / metal that we've seen on most monitor, but the shiny metal leg that not only looks great but also strong enough to prevents any possible wobble and keep the monitor still on your desk.


The monitor stand is pre-installed so you don't have to go through the trouble of mounting a 35" inch UltraWide curved monitor on it. Not a fan of glossy finish are we? Looks classy but you're screwed if you land a scratch on it.


Thing might looks unsafe here but here's what we'd say - it's a whole lot sturdier and stronger that it looks! 


A Kensington security slot can be found at the back of the monitor to prevent someone from stealing it from you.


You'll be familiar with this cutout on the monitor stand if you've checked out our review on the BenQ XL2430T Gaming Monitor. It helps to keep cable management easier for a tidier work space by routing all the necessary cables through the hole. Just in case if you don't have a mouse bungee, the height seems to be just right for that!


Front the left, DC power adapter port, 2 x HDMI port, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort, Audio Jacks..


These hook shaped things here helps to holds cables for each port in place, for the sake of better cable mangement.


The plastic cover making its debut! Once you're done with your cables and hopefully there's nothing else you want to add or remove, you can hide away the cables with the plastic cover included for a cleaner look. We recommend to just forget about it because first, personally we find it annoying to install and remove it whenever there's any chances; second, it's a thin piece of plastic and it's supported by clip-on mechanism which has high tendency of breaking if not handled with care.

Product Demo Video


Service Menu Highlights

So here's a bunch of feature from BenQ that you could probably find only on BenQ monitor - We're not covering the common feature that you could probably find on every monitor available on the market in this section. 


Picture mode, contains a list of display profiles for you to pick according to what you're currently working on. 


The very same Black eQualizer that we've seen on the BenQ XL2430T, raising the gauge slowly reveals what's hidden in the low light area. Pretty handy we'd say, especially when you're playing an FPS where enemies blends into the shadows. If you're dealing with an opponent who uses a monitor with this feature, don't ever think of hiding in the dark!

User Experience

Things does looks a whole lot impressive in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare when we get to see things in a larger field of view with aspect ratio of 21:9 compared to monitors with aspect ratio of 16:9. This gives the advantage of having a larger field of view without having to actually tweak on the field of view settings. 


Well of course, large field of view benefits not just only the first person shooter games like Battlefield, Call of Duty, Counter Strike. Role playing games like The Witcher, The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age will also benefit from the large field of view, being able to see more of what's around you or what's coming at you where you don't normally get to see on most monitor with the aspect ratio of 16:9.


If you've been playing rhythm games on PC for all these while with a 4:3 or 16:9 monitor, what you're about to experience with the BenQ XR3501 will definitely blown your mind. We gave the DJMax Trilogy a try and wasn't disappointed at all. Paired with a pair of nice and powerful speakers, the proper gaming equipment, that's a near arcade like experience you'll be getting at home.

Final Thoughts
The overall experience with the BenQ XR3501 were good but the SRP of RM 3,999 will causes quite a lot of damage to your wallet, even though the features i.e ultra wide and curved display, very high refresh rate of 144Hz, Black eQualizer, Low Blue Light, Color Vibrance etc appears to be quite appealing for a monitor. 

While most 35" inch curved monitor we've seen falls in the near range of price, we've noticed something in common among these monitors - most of these monitor doesn't comes with NVIDIA's G-SYNC / AMD's FreeSync. Still, personally we don't find it a miss as adding G-SYNC or FreeSync support would definitely increase its cost in the first place.

Pros

  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Very high refresh rate of 144Hz
  • More immersive gaming experience with ultra wide 2000R curved screen
  • Lots of picture mode for various occasions
  • Black eQualizer allows you to reveal hidden details in dark area without having too much impact to the overall quality

Cons

  • Costly

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