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BenQ’s new 4K miniLED gaming monitor helps you see in the dark

The BenQ Mobiuz EX321UX uses AI to track your game and boost contrast on the fly, while its 31.5-inch 4K panel has a 144Hz refresh rate.

We might be heartily sick of tech companies shoehorning “AI” into the description of practically everything right now, but this new BenQ gaming monitor appears to actually warrant it. The new BenQ Mobiuz EX321UX has a clever trick up its sleeve in the form of a dynamic contrast system for gaming, which uses AI to boost the contrast in different zones of the screen on the fly.

Even if it weren’t for this new gaming tech, this new miniLED display already looks like a prime candidate for our best gaming monitor guide. BenQ has gone all out on the physical design, and ventured well beyond the standard black frame on a stand.

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With its curved white shell on the rear contrasting with the black front, and its classy-looking white and copper stand, the Mobiuz EX321UX looks like it should be on a spaceship, with an android crewmate peering at its panel.

That miniLED backlight sits behind an IPS panel with a quantum dot film, and should enable the Mobiuz EX321UX to produce some dazzling HDR imagery. Indeed, BenQ claims it can hit a peak brightness of 1,000 nits in HDR mode (700 nits in typical use), which is enough for it to meet the VESA DisplayHDR 1000 standard.

BenQ Mobiuz EX321UX gaming monitor back and ports

It’s also that huge grid of mini LEDs that enables BenQ to perform its clever dynamic contrast trick, which it calls Shadow Phage. The Mobiuz EX321UX has 1,152 local dimming zones, which already enables the monitor to boost or dim the contrast in different areas of the screen on the fly.

What’s different about BenQ’s approach is that the contrast in these zones is driven by an algorithm that tracks what’s going on in your game in real time. BenQ gives the example of a dark scene where details that are usually hidden can be detected by the algorithm, and then adjust the contrast and brightness to enable those details to be seen.

Meanwhile, the 31.5-inch panel offers a 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) resolution, with a 144Hz refresh rate. That’s going to result in a wonderfully sharp-looking image when you’re gaming, and 144Hz is a great match for this high resolution. If you’re a competitive gamer who’s really looking for the last word in response times, it’s not going to be your first choice of screen, and instead we’d recommend seeking out the latest OLED gaming monitors, such as the 360Hz MSI MPG 271QRX.

This miniLED tech doesn’t come cheap, though. The BenQ Mobiuz EX321UX price is $1,199.99, so you’ll have to really want a miniLED monitor with a fancy design if you’re going to buy it. If you’re looking for a cheaper 4K gaming monitor that’s still fast and responsive for gaming, check out our Sony Inzone M9 review, where we take this more affordable 144Hz screen for a spin.