The differences between a top gaming monitor and a quality TV are getting smaller and smaller these days, as most TVs now have high frequencies, high resolutions and low response times. But BenQ offers the MOBIUZ EX3210U to prove that there’s still a reason why gaming monitors still have a place in the market, as it’s equipped with everything you could need from a premium gaming monitor.
The MOBIUZ EX3210U comes with a premium design rarely found on gaming monitors
The MOBIUZ EX3210U differs from other models on the market primarily through a less traditional design. Although it’s a 32″ diagonal monitor, which is as large as some TVs, it comes with a flat panel, not the curved one we’ve seen in recent years on the market at this size. Then, the back of the monitor is white, not black as we usually see on competing products, while the back corners are decorated with subtle RGB lights. These probably don’t add anything to the design, as most of the time the monitor will be facing a wall.
However, we can see something we don’t usually see on gaming monitors at the top of the back cover: a grille that at first glance might look like a vent slot. In fact, there’s a subwoofer there, which completes a 2.1 audio system made by BenQ’s treVolo brand, along with two other speakers, located at the front and also protected by a grille.
The monitor sits on a very sturdy V-shaped metal stand, which provides very good stability. It doesn’t pick up much vibration in use, and the monitor is very stable, even when you move the table it’s sitting on. The stand allows you to tilt the monitor as well as rotate it sideways by a few degrees, and to raise or lower it.
Centrally, on the front of the monitor we have an infrared sensor, as it can be controlled by a remote control, included in the package. This gives access to all the settings available in the TV’s menu, and is equipped with a D-Pad and quick access to HDR and sound settings.
Also included in the box are all the cables you need, from HDMI, DisplayPort and USB-B to a VGA cable. Incidentally, the monitor includes two HDMI 2.1 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, a headphone jack, as well as four USBs. I didn’t understand the inclusion of the VGA cable in the package, given that there is no such port on the TV.
BenQ’s menus are still quite complicated to navigate
BenQ has never been a company known for its well-organized monitor menus, and even now I can’t say I’m totally happy with them. The monitor includes several buttons at the bottom: one for Power, one directional button for menu navigation, and two buttons for quick, configurable settings. The problem is that they’re not marked anywhere on the front of the monitor, so you have to “fumble” with your hand underneath and try each one until you hit the one you want.
The power button has a rather bright LED that stays on permanently and projects a white circle on the stand or desk. It’s annoying even in the daytime, but it’s especially annoying at night if you play with the light off. Fortunately, the LED can be turned off in the settings. Then, the menu button never takes you to the settings menu directly, but first gives you access to quick settings for the colour profile, brightness and volume.
However, the organisation of the menus is quite complicated, with each individual colour profile offering its own settings for colour, brightness and other extras such as Black Equalizer or sharpness. There’s also a button on the front of the monitor dedicated to HDR display modes, with standard profiles for games, movies or VESA’s DisplayHDR standard. Of all, I preferred the latter display mode for the best calibrated colours and richest image. The gaming mode felt a bit “washed out” to me in comparison, even after changing the brightness to a level that offered more contrast.
The audio menu offers a couple of profiles for gaming, one for movies and one for live music, with the one for movies being the best balanced for my preference for strong bass and well-rendered high frequencies.
The audio system in the BenQ MOBIUS EX3210U completes the top visual experience
I have to admit that BenQ’s MOBIUS EX3210U is one of the best-equipped monitors I’ve tested so far, and its price of around 6,000 lei is right on the money. It comes with a 32″ panel with 4K resolution at 144 Hz, something I haven’t tested before. This resolution is accessible via DisplayPort, but it can also connect via HDMI 2.1 to game consoles such as the PS5 or Xbox Series X that operate in 4K up to 120 Hz. Incidentally, this monitor has enough ports to ensure that both consoles and a high-end gaming PC can be connected simultaneously via DisplayPort.
The monitor is compatible with VESA’s DisplayHDR 600 standard, so it has a maximum brightness in HDR mode of 600 nits, almost double that of other gaming monitors on the market. The HDR effect is thus much more impactful, even if we’re still talking about an IPS panel without local dimming. This means that in dark sequences, details will be visible, but will be too light in colour, as the lighting system will apply full brightness across the entire surface. However, as long as you’re playing games where bright light sequences are predominant, you won’t have a problem with this.
Titles like Elden Ring, Forza Horizon 5 and God of War looked flawless on this model in HDR, using the DisplayHDR profile and full brightness. You’ll have bigger problems, though, if you don’t have a proper system that can take these games to full resolution on high settings. Being a 4K monitor, an RTX 3070 would be the minimum needed to play new titles at high detail on it. The test here was done on an RTX 3080 system on high detail, not ultra, and in some sequences it couldn’t keep up with the 144 Hz of the monitor, even with DLSS.
In terms of the colors displayed, those who need as natural a profile as possible in SDR can turn to the included sRGB. Gaming profiles are either too blue or have too saturated colours.
However, what makes this monitor very special is the treVolo sound system, which, surprisingly, actually manages to make a difference. The subwoofer really comes into its own, providing strong low frequencies, but the volume of the entire audio system isn’t very loud. It’s only at 40 out of 50 that an impactful sound starts to come through, and at 50, the volume is high, but not as high as a dedicated 2.1 system at half. It’s ok for gaming in front of the monitor, but for listening to music in a large room, it might not be enough. It is, however, better put together than many of the speakers we find on TVs, which generally only offer two stereo speakers with sound cam “anemic”.
Unlike a modern 4K TV, this one comes with a smaller diagonal, so it’s easier to keep on a desk, while it doesn’t include all the features that some might consider unnecessary on a monitor, like the cable connectivity part, or the SmartTV features with apps and internet connectivity. Instead, the MOBIUZ EX3210U comes with many settings dedicated especially to gamers, such as special color profiles, overdrive function for lower response time, the ability to change the brightness level of shadows via black equaliser and other such advantages. Also, very few TVs can display 4K at 144 Hz, with most limited to 120 Hz.
The MOBIUZ EX3210U is a model I’d most recommend to gamers who already have high-performance PCs or who have a PlayStation 5 console, or Xbox Series X, or even all of them at once. For PC gaming on average systems that can’t handle high resolution at framerates above 100 Hz, there are other models in this range that may be more suitable, with smaller diagonals, or Full HD or QHD resolution.