Acer Predator XB321HK 32″ 4K G-SYNC Monitor Review


Viewing Angles

Unlike CRT displays, the manner in which LCD panels create an image can result in one large weakness: the image can lose contrast when viewed off angle. While we do not recommend viewing an LCD at anything besides perfectly straight on, the reality is this cannot always be done.

To help give you a glimpse of what a panel will look like when seen from either above the horizontal or vertical plane we have taken pictures at fairly extreme angles.

Superior viewing angles has always been one of the biggest selling points for IPS panels. It really just comes down to how In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels are created that allows them to be viewed at rather extreme angles without a lot of degradation in colour or contrast fidelity. The viewing angles on the XB271HK were great, and if anything the XB321HK is better than that model. Some of this improvement is simply because the panel is larger and thus the pixels are bigger, but it’s mostly because this is a more expensive model and as such it has been subjected to tighter quality control testing. In either case, this monitor can be viewed at nearly all angles without much loss of image quality. By the same token, viewers will still want to sit as close to as perfectly square to the XB321HK as possible in order to capture the full impact of its Ultra-High Definition glory.

Maximum Contrast Ratio

While manufacturers love to throw around maximum contrast ratios in the millions, the fact of the matter is that to get these high numbers they have to use “dynamic contrast” which – at best – results in overblown specs. With DC turned off, the number of shades between the purest white and the blackest black that a given monitor can display is usually in the low hundreds rather than in the thousands.

The higher the contrast ratio, the better the monitor will display shades of dark and light. For IPS monitors, anything below 450:1 is unacceptable, with 500:1 or above considered optimal. For TN panels, anything above 120:1 will be considered “good enough” for most consumers.

While the XB321HK is better than the XB271HK, consumers will have a hard time justifying the higher price tag based solely on these results. Basically, this is a gorgeous monitor with a great contrast ratio, but the same can be said of the XB271HK. These results just underscore how great of a time it is to be a consumer looking for a high quality monitor.

Power Consumption

To obtain the maximum power consumption number, we set the monitors brightness to 100% and the contrast to 100%. The calibrated results are taken at 120 cd/m2, with the contrast set to the default level.

Yes, it is big, and yes, it is power hungry… but really is anyone surprised by these numbers? Though to be fair, these figures are still very reasonable and not that long ago would have been down right astonishing. It is just that we all have come to expect modern monitors to be veritable power misers. Put another way, this level of power usage is more than acceptable given the size and specs of this display, but it is easy to get sidetracked by the increasing arrival of ultra-low power consumption monitors.

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