It is also normal to evolve because – and I am sure you understand me – if you have lived in the world of computing for more than twenty years, you will remember how gigantic your first monitor of more than 15” seemed to you. I had a 19″ model that when I took it out of the box looked like a monstrosity. And today we have monitors giants because technology has managed to improve image quality in such a way that it seems to us that we are looking a blank canvas.
Isn’t that the best definition of a creative space? Precisely aware that the canvases have different shapes and sizes, the brands put on the table (never better said) some models that perhaps a few years ago would seem like science fiction, but are now very fashionable: monitors “ultrawide”. This all started using two side-by-side monitors, but surely these ultra-wide monitors with an excellent option for an “all in one” without having more screens.
BenQ extends the canvas from side to side
Last year we reviewed the BenQ PD2725U, an excellent monitor with which the brand wanted to satisfy any technology enthusiast, from designers to gamers. With the model we are reviewing today, we widen the window we have to access our digital world at home (or in the office): it is the model PD3420Q, a 34” ultra-widescreen monitor with WQHD resolutionP3 color space and HDR compatible.
Appearance follow the design language of the brand, maintaining materials and physical image. It is a robust, sober trend, it does not seek to attract attention and allows us to lose ourselves in the true protagonist of the device, which is the screen. Even so, it is a solid construction, with finishes at a good level, maintaining good ideas such as the generous vents that surround the top rear perimeter of the monitor.
Despite the fact that when we take it out of the box it seems enormous to us, for its size and what it actually offers, the size is very contained: it is 82.6cm wide and 44.5cm high. In diagonal, we have 34” that will almost force us to shake our heads the first few times we use it, but that adjust very well to all types of content.
The base is what the brand uses in these upper-middle-range models, a large flat surface that will allow us to continue using that space under the monitor and a very stable base that is firmly anchored in the central axis of the monitor. It can be raised on itself by about 15 cm, without the need for any additional accessory to raise the screen in height.
It is also capable of tilting between 5 and 20º, and it is possible to rotate it 30º to the left or right. However, with this type of monitor I wanted to try something different: usually for win workspace With these large screens, an articulating arm is used to prop the monitor up on the desk. For this, VESA anchors are used (This monitor is perfectly compatible with the 100×100 mm standard), so I set out to try it.
Installing such an articulated arm is very simple in the BenQ design: the base is removed (You don’t even need a screwdriver to remove it.), we remove the screws from the four holes in VESA positions that remain free and adjust the arm to that hole (resting it under the small bottom flap). We screwed it to the monitor and that’s it.
The truth is that the anchor, and stability is outstanding – despite being an ultra-panoramic model. On the table I can type perfectly and in no case does the monitor shake or move. If we want to move it on top of it, holding it by the sides, the fit is firm and offers us a lot of confidence when moving it. It is undoubtedly a very good option and that in this monitor, in addition to being useful, it feels great to clear our work table.
The connections are also generous with inputs for two HDMI 2.0, a DisplayPort 1.4, a USB-C (Thunderbolt-compatible), a USB-B (to share the accessories connected to this display between two computers), and two USB 3.1. We also have a ticket for the Hotkey Puckthe rotary controller from BenQ that on the table offers us quick control over the features that we use the most on a day-to-day basis: switch between input ports, lower the volume, brightness, navigate through the options menu… It’s the same as it has other monitor models, and is still just as useful.
In connections, this model meets a good mark (all cables for each connection type are also included – including USB-C Thunderbolt 40Gb/s), although one more USB-C port is missing. Includes a kvm switcher of the HDMI and USB-C Thunderbolt inputs, keeping the devices connected to it (like mouse or keyboard) between two computers. This makes it possible, for example, to connect a PC (via HDMI) and a Mac (via USB-C Thunderbolt) and use the same keyboard and mouse connected to the monitor (don’t connect them by cable, use a USB-A Bluetooth adapter).
The thing is, it would be a great idea to have a KVM between two USB-C Thunderbolt ports. The advantage of this port is that not only does video and audio pass through the cable, it also charges the laptop at the same time. In the case of the PC, you have to connect the HDMI, a USB-B cable (Where does the info of the accessories connected to the keyboard go?) and also the PC laptop charger itself. Still, the Screen and device sharing is instant in this model, working comfortably with two computers at the same time – if you need it.
On the left side (if we are looking at the front monitor) we have an extra connection panel. This is very convenient, BenQ did not offer it, for example, in the 27” model. In this device, given its size, it is especially comfortable because we have at hand what we usually need to connect and disconnect from the Mac we are using: an extra USB-C port, an extra USB-A port and a 3.5mm audio mini-jack port for wired headphones.
The power button is on the back, marked by a white or orange led (depending on if it is on/or in sleep). Next to it, a stick to control navigation through the control menu – practically identical to that of the other models of the brand – and two customizable shortcut buttons Also here. It is appreciated that practically all the buttons on the monitor can be customized and adapted to our taste and use.
A large display panel
The 34″ panel of this PD3420Q is of the IPS type with LED backlighting, and a recommended maximum resolution of 3440 x 1440. I have to say that you won’t need any special hardware to use this monitor – I’ve used it myself on my 2016 MacBook Pro with absolutely no issues (and on an HP PC, where it has also worked without slowdowns). Hopefully macOS one day allows us to use only the external screen as it happens in Windows 11, something that would save us even more power. So far, I have used this monitor with my Mac from 6 years ago as an extended monitor: the native screen of the Mac at 2880×1800 and on the BenQ at 3440×1440, working perfectly with Lightroom, Photoshop, Office, etc…
Typical brightness goes up to 350 nits, with a contrast ratio of 1000:1 and excellent 178º viewing angle. It has a 5 ms response time and 60 Hz, even so, the quality of the panel makes it attractive to use it for both work and games. It comes with an anti-reflective coating (in case you are in an office with a lot of artificial light) – me at home, using it next to a window, I have not had any problems with it.
Like other BenQ models in this segment, it comes re-calibrated and factory certified (with detailed report included)- with a good balance of contrast and color that, of course, we can customize to our liking at any time. The depth of color, intensity and everything in all the images is excellent, both for simply browsing the internet, and for watching movies or playing a game.
Compared to other models, the quality of the built-in speakers: comes with two on each side (2.5W) that are still below the sound of any MacBook Pro, but have gained in intensity and quality. They fulfill the task of allowing us to consume some specific content, but if you work with audio, you will surely want to connect external speakers or use headphones.
Thought to seize our day
In general, it is a spectacular monitor, not only physically, but also in terms of performance and how easy it is to work with it on a daily basis: ultra configurable, with a very good quality and discreet and sober panel on the table so that we can focus on what really matters: what we can create with it. The greater width of the format avoids having to share between two monitors something that we can do with this single model, and allows us to work with several applications at the same time to further optimize our workflow.
BenQ PD3420Q Monitor 34″ 21:9 WQHD IPS HDR400 100% sRGB 98% P3 USB-C PD 65W
We can find it at around €894.99, an adjusted price taking into account what it offers us in terms of quality, facilities to work with it and connection capacity – especially in the panel quality and color calibration that the brand usually offers – oriented more to creative professionals than to gaming – although it does not give up anything.
If you have never worked with a widescreen monitor, I recommend that you give it a try: it’s not about working with the whole panel at the same time, but about distributing your work across it to be able to interact better with your favorite tools – much better than using two monitors. And if you can, bet on using a good articulated VESA support to clear the table: you will not want to go back.