Acer ProDesigner PE320QK - Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Image Quality and Verdict Review

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Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Image quality

The moment you turn on the PE320QK, it’s obvious this is a fantastic quality screen. Colours are rich and vivid, contrast is deep, it looks great from any angle and, of course, there’s that pin-sharp 4K resolution.

However, what’s also immediately obvious is that colours are too rich for normal use. If you’re working in a normal sRGB environment – for instance, doing anything normal in Windows – you’ll want to switch to the sRGB mode.

This immediately makes the display look more natural. And, sure enough, according to our tests it pulls the sRGB colour space coverage down from over 100% to just under, where it should be.

Related: Best gaming monitors

However, despite the display shipping with factory calibration, in our tests the colour balance in sRGB mode was slightly off. Its colour temperature should be 6500K but it was down at 6139K, giving the entire display a noticeable warm colour tinge.

This is the reason it’s something of a problem that the display locks down all the other controls when the sRGB mode is activated. You can calibrate attributes only in software – but, generally, it’s desirable to manually tune things through the monitor’s settings too.

Switch over to the manual mode and the colour gamut jumps back up again, but we’re able to manually adjust the colour balance, making it easy to get a near-perfect colour temperature reading of 6441K.

Colour balance and colour temperature aside, this display performs perfectly right across the board.

Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Non-calibrated image quality (HDR)

  • Max Brightness: 318 nits
  • Contrast: 1453:1
  • Gamma: 2.25
  • Colour temperature: 6592K
  • Delta E average: 0.09
  • Delta E maximum: 1.06
  • sRGB coverage: 99.4%

Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Non-calibrated image quality (Standard)

  • Max Brightness: 286 nits
  • Contrast: 1430:1
  • Gamma: 2.2
  • Colour temperature: 6441K
  • Delta E average: 0.15
  • Delta E maximum: 1.01
  • sRGB coverage: 99.4%

Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Non-calibrated image quality (sRGB)

  • Max Brightness: 148 nits
  • Contrast: 1297:1
  • Gamma: 2.17
  • Colour temperature: 6139K
  • Delta E average: 0.16
  • Delta E maximum: 1.13
  • sRGB coverage: 95.9%

For instance, it offers five different gamma settings – the measure of how dark or light an image appears – and every one is exactly right in every colour mode.

A native contrast of 1453:1 is also impressive, making for a deep, rich-looking image that really enhances the punchiness of those already bright colours.

Acer ProDesigner PE320QK – Calibrated image quality (sRGB)

  • Max Brightness: 150 nits
  • Contrast: 1309:1
  • Gamma: 2.19
  • Colour temperature: 6176K
  • Delta E average: 0.12
  • Delta E maximum: 1.09
  • sRGB coverage: 96%

Viewing angles are also very good, with the image looking the same as you view it from various positions. The only caveat here is IPS glow, which is where the backlight can start to bleed through, making for a greyer-looking image if you view the screen from an acute angle. However, it’s no worse here than on any other IPS display.

The only slight slip-up is that the uniformity of the display isn’t quite as good as you might hope for a professional-grade display. Around the edges it can be as much as 16% darker than in the middle, while average variance across the screen is 9.4%. Colours can also vary by as much as 6.2% with an average of 2.8%. These figures aren’t disastrous – and certainly they weren’t bad enough to be obvious to the naked eye – but we’d hope for a little better.

Gaming

Gaming on this display is as spectacular as you’d image given the screen size, resolution, colour definition, high contrast and – of course – FreeSync.

It’s an eye-popping experience that brings single-player games to life. The likes of Rise of the Tomb Raider or the latest Doom game are visceral and engaging in a way few displays can manage.

When it comes to eSports gaming, the 4ms response time of the IPS panel isn’t bad. However, the 60Hz refresh rate is as limiting as you’d expect.

Why buy the Acer ProDesigner PE320QK?

This monitor delivers truly fantastic image quality, making it a joy to use in many ways. Add in the huge screen size and 4K resolution and you have a display that has plenty going for it.

However, it isn’t entirely clear who this display is for. Those simply seeking a good-quality 32-inch, 4K, IPS gaming screen should consider the Acer XB321HK for half the price, especially since it also includes G-Sync.

Meanwhile, for professionals working in high colour gamuts, there are cheaper options that also stretch all the way to full 100% Adobe RGB colour space coverage.

As such, the PE320QK ends up appealing to a very narrow niche of people who require HDR-level colour space coverage but not HDR-capable backlight performance, and who might want to do a bit of gaming.

If that’s you then go right ahead, but for most other people it would seem there are better, cheaper options out there.

Verdict

A superb-quality monitor, but it’s of niche appeal.

 

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