Review: BenQ PD3420Q 34″ Ultrawide Monitor

Let me get right to the point. The BenQ PD3420Q ultra wide monitor is aimed at anyone who needs a colour critical monitor for image or video editing. Ideally if you’re a Mac user as it has a lot of features that are Mac friendly. That’s it. The review is done. Have a nice day.

Seriously this is a great monitor with very few things for me to gripe about. Let’s start with the monitor itself. It’s a 34″ monitor that is 21:9 which means that you get a resolution of 3440 x 1440 with a pixel density of 109 ppi. It’s also a 10-bit IPS panel that has a 60Hz refresh rate.

The PD3420Q has 100% sRGB and 98% DCI-P3 color space coverage. It also comes factory calibrated (the documentation is in the box) to an accuracy of Delta-E <3 which is okay as many monitors have a Delta-E of <2. But I think that might be on the conservative side as I will point out later. I didn’t see Adobe RGB percentage coverage mentioned anywhere in the specs, so if someone reading this needs that, you might have to look at another option.

Now let’s look at connectivity which is the first reason why I like this monitor:

From left to right you get a Mini-USB port for BenQ’s Hotkey Puck to control the monitor, two HDMI 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, a USB-C port that supports 65W power delivery and DisplayPort, A USB-A upstream port, two USB-A downstream ports.

On the side you get a USB-C port and a USB-A port along with a headphone jack.

What all of that means is that if you have a modern MacBook, you can do a one cable setup where a single USB-C cable delivers video, power and anything else that you need as seen in the picture above. And you have additional connection needs, you can leverage the monitor for that.

The PD3420Q includes BenQ’s Hotkey Puck remote control dial. This plugs into the monitor via the mini USB port that I referenced earlier and is used to control monitor settings like brightness, colour modes and the volume of the built-in dual 2.5W speakers. Though I should mention that there are buttons on the back of the monitor if that’s your preference. As for the stand, it’s made of metal, features tool free assembly, and is solid. The monitor doesn’t shake at all which is great and has some basic cable management. The stand is height adjustable as well as having the ability to tilt and swivel. Though in terms of height, it may not go high enough for those who are on the taller side. For those people, a good quality VESA mount may be your best option. I should point out that before getting this monitor, you should look at your setup so that you can ensure that it enough depth for the monitor. Otherwise you might find it difficult to look at if it is too close to you.

I should also mention that the PD3420Q incorporates a built-in KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch, allowing you to control two computers from a single keyboard and mouse, with the Hotkey Puck able to switch between the two computers.

Now all of that is nice, but how does the monitor perform? I’ll get the negative out of the way. The speakers will not impress you. However, in the default Display P3 colour mode, the PD3420Q will impress you. It has vibrant colours and excellent colour and contrast consistency. And the fact that BenQ has software called Display Pilot for the Mac that will help to make sure that my MacBook Pro Display matches the PD3420Q as closely as possible is an excellent touch. More on that in a moment. But what this means if you depend on your monitor for colour critical work, this is a very good option for you. I will also say once you tweak things using Display Pilot, text was pretty sharp.

One feature I really appreciated was the low blue light filter, which helps reduce the amount of harmful blue light emitted by the display. This is especially useful for those who work long hours in front of a screen, as it can help to reduce the risk of eye fatigue and other related issues.

The PD3420Q also has several additional features that make it a versatile and powerful monitor. For example, it has a Picture-by-Picture feature that allows you to connect two different sources (a PC and Mac for example) to the monitor as mentioned above and display them side by side.

The monitor also has a Picture-in-Picture feature, which allows you to display a smaller window within the main display. This can be useful for tasks such as video conferencing or keeping an eye on your email while working on something else.

Another feature worth mentioning is the Display Pilot software, which allows you to customize and optimize the display settings to suit your specific needs. The software includes various features such as split-screen options, colour temperature adjustments, and more. This software was a very nice touch during my testing.

The PD3420Q does Display HDR400 and HDR10. And I will say that HDR performance is better than most IPS displays that I have seen lately. However as is usually the case, the Mini LED XDR display in my MacBook Pro blows it away. Largely because of of the fact that the MacBook Pro’s display can get way brighter than the 400 nits that this monitor is capable of, and because it comes with local dimming which the PD3420Q does not have.

Finally, in the bonus points department, all cables are included in the box which makes life easy for anyone who buys this monitor as everything is there for you to set it up and use it.

Overall, I was impressed with the BenQ PD3420Q. It’s a powerful and feature packed monitor that is well suited for professionals who need a high quality display for their work. Its price point is pretty good as I found it on Amazon for about $1200. Take a look at it if you have a colour critical workflow.

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