The majority of the time I’ve spent gaming from a young age has been done on one console or another. It wasn’t until about two years ago I took on the challenge of building a gaming computer that I started to consider myself a casual PC gamer. Fast forward a couple of years and I primarily game on my PC, slowly upgrading various aspects of my setup as time (and money) allows.
One piece of my build that I haven’t spent any money on is the display. I’ve been using a 27-inch 2K display made by Dell, and while it’s been good enoughI’ve passively shopped for a larger, faster and higher resolution display — and built-in speakers.
When BenQ announced the EX3410R, a $630 ultrawide curved display with a refresh rate of 144Hz, HDR support with a resolution of 3440×1440, built-in speakers, and RGB lights, I jumped at the chance to test it out. It checks a lot of boxes on what I was looking for. If nothing else, I figured I’d leave the review period with a better idea of what I want in a gaming monitor. And I was right.
What I want is, well, I’m not going to spoil it. But I will say this: The EX3410R is a fantastic monitor ,for gaming or for everyday use.
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A Simple Design
The first thing I noticed about the EX3410R after opening the box is how aggressive the curve of the display is. BenQ has a great graphic on its website that explains the differences between the various curvatures, starting at 1000R, which is the same design as the EX3410R. Basically, the lower the radius, the more curve there is in the display. The more curved, the more it feels like you’re immersed in the content that’s on the screen.
Inside the box you’ll find a stand that allows for slight adjustments in swivel and tilt, and height. The height adjustment is one of my biggest frustrations with the design — I can’t move the display as high as I would normally, especially when I have a laptop connected to it and want to have it below the screen.
Also included is a power adapter and a remote control for adjusting volume, switching inputs, and changing viewing modes. There’s also a USB cable, a DisplayPort cable, and an HDMI cable. So basically all you need.
The stand isn’t attached to the monitor out of the box, but it takes just a couple of minutes to put together and connect it to the screen. The entire setup weighs 21.7 pounds with the stand on, or if you opt to use the screen with a VESA mount, the weight drops down to a slim 15.3 pounds.
On the back of the display is where you’ll find all of the connections: two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, a USB Type B port, and 2 USB-A 3.0 ports. The Type B is used to connect to your computer, which can then use the two USB ports on the back of the display, acting as a USB hub. There’s a small cover that clips into place on the back of the housing, keeping everything neat and tidy as well.
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Also on the back of the display is a series of RGB lights that you can set to pulse, or even light up in morse code to spell things like “win.” There are a handful of colors and patterns to pick from, but one thing you can’t adjust in the display’s settings is how bright the lights are. When I have my overhead lights on, I can’t even tell that the back of the monitor has lights. It’s only in a nearly pitch-black room that it’s noticeable.
On the front of the display is the 34-inch VA LED backlight panel, with a peak brightness of 400 nits for HDR mode. The typical max brightness is 350 nits and I’ll unpack more on how this performs below. Below the screen is a speaker grill, with a 5W woofer and two 2W speakers with 2.1 channel sound.
Looks great, sounds good
The EX3410R checks a lot of performance boxes when you look at the spec sheet. As a quick recap, it has a resolution of 3440 x 1440 (which is technically 2K), an aspect ratio of 21:9, a 178-degree viewing angle, 1000R curvature, 144Hz refresh rate over DisplayPort, or 120Hz refresh rate when connected through HDMI. It also supports AMD FreeSync Premium.
Not only does the EX3410R check the boxes on a spec sheet, but it delivers on that promise. The aggressive curvature combined with various viewing modes designed for specific games — like FPS, RPG, and Racing — make for an immersive experience.
During testing, I played a lot of Call of Duty: Warzone, some Fall Guys, and even a bit of Dirt 5. Each game looked great, but where the EX3410R really shined was in Warzone and Dirt 5. Because the display has such an aggressive curve to it, you feel like the world you’re looking at is wrapped around your face. Or even better, when you’re racing a car, you feel the world rush past your peripheral. Granted, this is all an illusion and depends on how close you’re sitting to the monitor.
That effect is only amplified by the speakers built into the display. But to be clear, the sound quality from those speakers is just okay, not great. It’s good enough for casual gaming, listening to music and watching videos. However, if you want to hear every footstep and gunshot, then you’ll want to put on a pair of gaming headphones.
I don’t know if it was the specific games I played, but the various HDR settings in Windows 11 or MacOS at times felt too aggressive. The colors looked too saturated and unnatural. For the most part, I used the Display HDR preset and found it to be the most accurate of the group.
The remote makes it easy to dive into the menu and make quick adjustments without having to mess with weirdly placed buttons on the bottom of the display. Switching inputs, color options, and even activating a split-screen mode that shows two different sources at the same time on the display is possible with the remote.
I am afraid, however, that I’ll eventually misplace it like I do every other remote I own. If that happens, I have no clue how I’m going to adjust the volume of the display’s speakers or make any other changes for that matter.
Bottom Line: An Immersive Gaming Monitor
Between a clear picture, a mostly pleasing HDR option, built-in speakers and the 1000R curve, there’s a lot to like about the EX3410R. The speakers aren’t going to blow you away, but they’re good enough for most activities and, besides, it frees up some desk space. The RGB lights were a disappointment, but that’s a secondary feature that doesn’t impact the display’s main feature.
If you’re looking for a gaming monitor and the EX3410R checks all of the boxes to meet your criteria, it’s a fantastic option. BenQ’s EX3410R monitor is available now for $629.99 on Amazon.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.