Acer Predator XB321HK 32″ 4K G-SYNC Monitor Review
Non-Colorimeter Tweaking and Results
In a perfect world, either every monitor would come factory calibrated to perfection or every single consumer would own a decent colorimeter. We don’t live in such a world, and as such most consumers simply use their untrained eyeballs to fix any imperfections with the stock colours of their new monitor.
In order to gauge how easy this is to do for a given monitor, we have included a new set of tests. These tests will be carried out before any of our standard tests and will consist of us using a combination of the free online LCD Monitor Test Images (found here LCD monitor test images), and then if necessary the free Hex2Bit Monitor Calibration Wizard (found here Hex2Bit – Software by Mike Walters). The goal of these tests is to not only gauge how easy it is to accurately calibrate a given monitor using only the monitor’s built-in tools, but to see how closely we can come to what a Spyder3 Elite can do.
To obtain these results we did the following:
used “User” mode
adjusted the brightness to 27% (which resulted in a 119.7 cd/m2)
All other settings left to default levels
As with nearly every Acer Predator monitor tested to date, there is very little owners will need to adjust during the setup and installation phase. In this regard, the XB321HK is actually superior to the XB271HK, as the only major issue that needs correcting is the brightness setting. Since this monitor is freaking huge, and at its default brightness levels the effect is pretty much like looking into a spotlight.
As such, unless you like looking into a white hot sun, owners will want to squint and immediately pull up the On Screen Display (OSD) and adjust the brightness setting ASAP. Thankfully, also like every Acer in recent memory, doing so takes mere moments to accomplish. The combination of an excellent – if somewhat limited – OSD with competent physical buttons is a winning one.
Once this simple, but crucial, task is complete it really will comes down to personal preferences. While the XB271HK’s gamma and color profile were arguably ‘good enough’, we honestly doubt many will find the XB321HK’s output anything but excellent. The only users who should really worry about a Gamma of 2.21 instead of 2.20 and 99/100/100 default color profile are professionals whose jobs demand perfection. Those professionals will most likely already own a colorimeter, but if they do not the physical buttons combined with the very good OSD packed with 6-color axis correction is a winning one for perfecting the colour profile. Once again though, most will be more than happy with the default settings.
Unfortunately, users will have to opt for off-screen correction to obtain a perfect image as the built-in gamma correction is best described as lacking. Having said that, 2.21 is so close that only professionals will be concerned with this minor shortcoming. All-in-all, we would easily classify the manual adjustment of this monitor to be the equal of the X34. This is not an inexpensive monitor and it should come with plug-and-play ease, which it largely does.