The 32”, 4K 60Hz EW3280U entertainment monitor from BenQ works great as a host for the Xbox Series X alongside your PC. It’s got great IPS, HDR, FreeSync, good sound, and all the ports you need.
The new Xbox Series X releases worldwide on November 10, 2020 and it’s time to think of a good monitor to hook the console up to right alongside your gaming PC. We’re here to illustrate an excellent option in the form of the BenQ EW3280U, which ticks all the right boxes for this next generation gaming platform from Microsoft. The core tenet of this article is the assumption that you’re primarily a PC gamer/user and also want to have the latest in console gaming in the same space as your PC. That’s a scenario the EW3280U was basically designed for, and we’ll illustrate why.
The Xbox Series X was built from the ground up to aim for consistent 3840 x 2160 at 60 frames per second in as many games as possible. The EW3280U features native 3840 x 2160, or 4K, clocked at 60Hz. What about 120Hz you ask? Yes, the Xbox Series X does support 120 frames per second, but the number of games that’ll do that in 4K is expected to be very small. Launch title Dirt 5, for example, will have a 120Hz mode but with the resolution at 1080p-1440p, not 2160p. Considering the Xbox Series X’s specs, we anticipate most games will look and run best at 4K 60Hz or 4K 30Hz, which the EW3280U handles with aplomb.
The EW3280U has a beautiful IPS screen with 95% DCI-P3. You get gorgeous, accurate colors plus 178/178 degree viewing angles for those times friends come over to admire the latest open world epic and need to sit off to the side. No more faded image quality for guests, the EW3280U looks so good, it’s practically lovely even if you look at it from behind. OK, that was a slight exaggeration, but you get the…picture.
At 32” and considering desktop viewing distances, the EW3280U presents the ideal form factor and pixel density for the vast majority of people. We believe a 27” would be too small for 4K and won’t do justice to the impact of new generation graphics. Similarly, a bigger 43” display may overwhelm many users and even have the so-called screen door effect, where certain sensitive users actually see individual pixels. All in all, we maintain that 32” is the best size for a 4K monitor.
At 400 candelas or nits, the EW3280U has enough brightness for solid HDR performance in desktop viewing distances. Sure, you have monitors with twice the brightness if you want to melt your eyeballs during long gaming and computing sessions, but 400 with proven HDR10 support works superbly. The Xbox Series X’s primary HDR format is HDR10. Also, the EW3280U has smart BenQ HDRi technology with different high dynamic range modes and auto adjustments if you wish to use those for optimized viewing.
Of course, the EW3280U offers native 10-bit color depth with 1.07 billion colors, but please don’t try to count them all, the time is better spent on gaming.
The EW3280U isn’t the fastest monitor, as we think of it as an entertainment display, not strictly a gaming monitor. But it consistently does 5ms or faster in terms of response, which is perfectly fine for the Xbox Series X. Honestly, anything under 40ms in real time response is OK, and the EW3280U leaves that in the pixelated dust.
The Xbox Series X, much like the Xbox One X and Xbox One S, supports AMD FreeSync. Guess who also has FreeSync? The EW3280U. Together, the console and the monitor work to eliminate unsightly screen tearing while not having to rely on the slight latency that software-based v-sync adds. This may not be the most glamorous feature, but it’s arguably one of the most important.
While we advise against disturbing others and in favor of relying on headphones while gaming, we do have to point out the EW3280U’s excellent 2.1-channel audio. Using BenQ treVolo technology, the EW3280U deploys two high quality 2W speakers plus a powerful 5W subwoofer. This isn’t some afterthought monitor sound, we’re talking audio that’s sure to impress those friends gathered around the screen.
We recommend the EW3280U for PC gamers who also want an Xbox Series X because the monitor has the connections to make that happen. We don’t mean the EW3280U has friends that can help you with the Xbox Series X pre-order, rather that it features DisplayPort 1.4 for your PC and two HDMI 2.0 ports for the Xbox Series X and perhaps another next gen gaming console? You can hook them all up at the same time in a very neat and easy to manage setup. There’s also USB-C to charge controllers, headphones, and other accessories.
We wish everyone a happy holiday season full of merriment and lots of fun with the new consoles. You now have a great option for a monitor to go with them, so get ready for good times.
Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and the new graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD all feature HDMI 2.1. As the latest HDMI protocol (first adopted in 2017 but only now mainstreaming), HDMI 2.1 takes the interface’s bandwidth from 18Gbps to 48Gbps, which is a massive leap. That allows for 4K 120Hz and even 8K 60Hz. Additional highlights of HDMI 2.1 include native support for variable refresh rates, so that even without FreeSync or G-Sync, gaming devices avoid screen tearing. Auto low latency mode (ALLM) is another big gaming-friendly feature of HDMI 2.1, offering the fastest possible response time without users having to negotiate complex menus and figure out how game mode works.
HDMI 2.1 also has enhanced audio return channel technology, or eARC, an improvement on previous HDMI ARC. This is only really useful for users that have hi-fi sound systems, not so much for TVs and monitors.
Overall, HDMI 2.1 is a very welcome advancement. However, it’s not a must for enjoying the new generation of consoles, as they’re not expected to do much 4K 120Hz, and certainly not 8K gaming. Do note that for 8K non-gaming content, HDMI 2.0 handles performance at up to 30Hz, so everything from streaming apps to Blu-rays (should Blu-ray adopt 8K) is already covered.
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Current MOBIUZ gaming monitors include the EX2710 and EX2510, or 27” and 25” respectively. For view-changing curved displays, look at the EX3415R and EX3501R. With every MOBIUZ screen you get up to 144Hz with 1ms MPRT and FreeSync Premium for super responsive gameplay and sharp visuals. All on IPS panels that let colors come to life from wide angles as you get close to the action and see every detail, helped along by real HDR. To deliver superb gaming audio, MOBIUZ offers the power of treVolo sound with a 2.1-channel, twin speaker and subwoofer design.
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