By now the Benq XR3501 is a veteran. In January 2016 we rewarded it with an Ultimate Product award because of its combination of performance and image quality which was unique at the time. As stated before it cost a lot back then. A year later this has fortunately changed, which means that the XR3501 can stay with the competition when it comes to its price: the only stores that have in in stock are asking 448 pounds / 499 euros for it.
At the moment this monitor is slightly behind in terms of specifications, because it does not have G-Sync or FreeSync, and the maximum refresh rate is 'only' 144 Hz. The latter is not that much of a problem, the added value of an even higher frequency is relatively limited for most users in our opinion. With two times hdmi and two times displayport we believe this monitor has the necessary connectors. Worth mentioning is the possibility of picture by as well as in picture. We do not find a usb hub or speakers. The base is not height adjustable, which is somewhat lacking when compared with the other monitors in this test.
The AUO AMVA-panel might be slightly older, it still sets some impressive speeds. Worth mentioning is that the overshoot is limited, considering the fast response times. Benq manages to strike a perfect balance here. Furthermore the monitor shines in terms of its very high contrast, excellent black values and high maximum brightness. Aside from that it has the smallest colour fault in this test; unfortunately the gamma is way too high, which results in detail loss in shadows. It is no longer our first recommendation, but if you find this monitor in a sale - it cost 445 pounds / 499 euros earlier this year - you could definitely consider it.