Gigabyte M32U 4K 144Hz IPS Monitor Review

Gigabyte M32U 4K 144Hz IPS Monitor Review


The Gigabyte M32U is great all-rounder. Be in no doubt about that. The nature of the little things about it that we find irritating is such that more of this conclusion will be spent pointing out flaws than praising the good things, so it’s important to note at the outset that if you have never seen a display with outstanding image quality, or you’ve never used such a large panel, or you really need a one-stop-shop for all your gaming exploits, this does all those things at a good price.

Additionally we all want different things from a display. Some people don’t care about blowing out their detail if the blacks and whites are deep/bright. Some people have blacked out rooms whilst others are in bright environments. A lot of websites use many thousands of pounds of calibration equipment to fine tune things but, like all our testing, we review things on how the end user will experience them and so we restrict ourselves to eyes and experience. After all, most of you get a new display, load up your favourite game or film and adjust as necessary. Thankfully the Gigabyte M32U comes out of the box in a very usable fashion, with little need to adjust anything much. The software and OSD are flexible enough that you can easily do so if necessary.

The picture quality is best described as neutral. By which we mean the image isn’t overly bright, or dark, or saturated, or .. anything really. It’s very neutral. Certainly compared to our “daily driver” displays the blacks border slightly towards dark grey, the whites are very light grey and the colours are muted. You do have all the tools available to adjust them to your liking, but we found that the contrast adjustment in particular had very little wiggle room before becoming unusable. You’d imagine on a 0-100 scale you’d have more than just 48-52 to play with before the image totally blew out, but here we are. Thankfully we could eventually fine tune the settings to get an image that we liked, and the default one is okay. Just be prepared for a fair bit of fiddling, sometimes fruitlessly, if you’re used to a higher quality panel. As we must emphasise, your mileage will vary and it will vary very much dependent upon what you’re currently using. If you’re going from a 1080P £140 monitor you’ll be blown away. Be in no doubt.

The stand fits easily and is a simple, toolless installation. It is, however, made entirely of plastic and doesn’t support portrait orientation. Neither of these things in and of themselves are a negative, but our review sample had a slight – two or three degrees – tilt down on the right hand side, which was impossible to fix because the stand doesn’t do rotation. We’re sure it’s just the fact ours has been around the houses, but if we’d have brought it with our own money then this tilt is annoying enough that we’d have sent it back. Something to be aware of. We’re big fans of portrait mode too for Pinball FX, vertical shooters and certain productivity tasks, so to not have that ability is annoying.

The speakers are everything you would expect 3W, built in speakers to be. Perfect if you want to have some audio, but not a patch on even a cheap set of speakers or headphones. Strange how TV audio has got so good in recent years but monitors still sound like a drive-through. Whilst we’re on the subject of things that you can best ignore the HDR400 is not really worth bothering with. We’ve seen many monitors that do HDR brilliantly to know it’s possible, but we’ve not seen a single HDR400 monitor that can. The M32U just hasn’t got the brightness scale to be able to really make it noticeable. The same goes for the incredibly limited local area dimming. It’s local area dimming in the same way that shutting one eye can be. It isn’t remotely granular enough and, in fact, can be detrimental to your image quality as the gradient steps between the limited dimming areas is just too extreme. You know what they say about a jack of all trades…

Unquestionably the best thing about the M32U is how flexible it is. Able to support both the PS5 and XBOX Series X highest modes (4K @ 120Hz) and also letting you play your PC games at 4K without being limited by the 60Hz refresh rate common on many displays under £1000 is a joy. The elements of the image quality that might be a minor negative if you just game or just watch films are a positive if you use your system for creativity tasks and need a neutral image to ensure your efforts look at their best on the largest variety of systems. If money is tight and you want a 4K display with a lot to offer that will work with all your devices and hasn’t got the ‘gamer’ focused extras like a curved display or RGB then there are very limited options, so it is good that the M32U is capable enough. Your mileage will vary regarding the lack of contrast, lack of portrait mode and relatively muted colours. Given how much extra you have to pay to get these specs in a form that hasn’t got those small issues, or having to go down to 1440P at the same price, then in terms of value for money the Gigabyte M32U has you covered.

Gigabyte M32U 4K 144Hz IPS Monitor Review  

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