Acer Predator XB323QK review: A top-notch 4K gaming monitor

The Acer Predator XB323QK is an intriguing 4K gaming monitor and never fairly the bombastic next-gen-ready show I used to be anticipating. Acer has sacrificed one or two top-end options in favour of practicality and a (very barely) cheaper price tag. It’s a high-end gaming monitor, make no mistake but it surely undoubtedly has a severe aspect and it caters extra evenly for each PC and console players than lots of its rivals.

This would possibly sound like a dangerous factor to do – jack-of-all-trades displays hardly ever work properly in apply – however this Acer treads the road adeptly. It may not be the final phrase in HDR gaming, however with a beautiful panel and a raft of helpful options the XB323QK continues to be a cracking monitor for nearly anybody with the money to blow and a PC or next-gen console that may deal with it.

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Acer Predator XB323QK evaluation: What do you get for the cash?

The Acer Predator XB323QK prices £700 on the time of writing, though it has been costlier previously. This makes it the second least expensive “next-gen” gaming monitor I’ve examined to date (Samsung’s Odyssey G70A is £643). For the money, you’re getting a 32in IPS monitor with a decision of three,840 x 2,160, a refresh charge of 144Hz, a quoted response time of 2ms G2G (and 1ms MPRT), a DisplayHDR 400 certification and help for each Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync.

The panel is considered one of Acer’s “Agile-Splendor” IPS items, which supposedly have response instances between 1ms and 2ms and have DCI-P3 gamut protection at 90% or extra as properly. In different phrases, these panels are constructed to be extremely responsive and vivid.

The ports will be discovered on the rear and alongside the aspect of the show. You’ll discover two HDMI 2.1 ports and one DisplayPort 1.4 port for video duties, plus a complete of 4 USB-C 3.0 ports on your peripherals and a USB-B 3.0 port to allow them. There’s additionally a USB-C port able to delivering 65W of energy to a related machine and a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

The stand can’t rotate into portrait mode but it surely does have 130mm of peak adjustment, 45 levels of swivel left and proper and 25 levels of backwards tilt. You’ll discover HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-B to USB-A and USB-C cables within the field.

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Acer Predator XB323QK evaluation: What does it do properly?

Surprisingly for a gaming monitor, the Acer Predator XB323QK is filled with sensible touches. The stand affords better adjustability than the £850 Asus ROG Swift PG32UQ – I’m notably proud of the 130mm of peak adjustment. You gained’t have to prop this monitor as much as preserve good posture. 

The abundance of ports is equally considerate. Sure, you’ll be able to’t use the USB-C port to hold a video sign however having the choice to fast-charge a related machine is nice and I’m happy it doesn’t come on the expense of a full-blown USB-A hub and suite of video ports. Side-mounting two USB-A ports, as Acer has accomplished right here, is an efficient approach to rating some further factors, too.

On a considerably much less sensible notice, I really feel the urge to say the RGB lighting on this monitor. The rectangular strip on the rear panelling is eye-catchingly shiny and absolutely customisable through the OSD. If RGB is your bag, this monitor delivers with extra influence than many I’ve examined. It helps that this it’s already a hanging product: the assorted design selections are a bit bit jarring (the spindly legs look a bit odd hooked up to the thick stand) however there’s no mistaking the XB323QK for something apart from a gaming monitor. 

The panel is an important side of any monitor and the XB323QK carried out properly within the sweeping majority of our checks, delivering vibrancy and color accuracy out of the field. The monitor produced 120% of the sRGB color gamut (round 85% of the DCI-P3 gamut, which is a bit underneath Acer’s claims however nothing to fret about) in its default mode with a median Delta E of 1.44 when put next towards DCI-P3. A Delta E of beneath 3 tells us that any discrepancies in color replica are barely seen to the human eye.

Better but, the XB323QK has a devoted sRGB mode that produces 97% of the sRGB color gamut with a median Delta E of simply 0.51 – an exceptional outcome. In quick, it is a cracking panel that’s equally comfy delivering vibrant colors for gaming as it’s extra muted tones for workplace work and picture enhancing.

Elsewhere the XB323QK’s Agile-Splendor IPS panel continues to impress. Viewing angles are glorious, as you’d anticipate, and I’m happy to report that this monitor additionally has excellent movement dealing with. Even with overdrive set to stage two (of three) I seen remarkably little movement blur, which bodes properly for console or PC players with a penchant for shooters. 

The XB323QK can be shiny, producing a peak luminance of 417cd/m² on take a look at. That’s sufficient to earn its DisplayHDR 400 certification, though sadly it’s not sufficient to assist this monitor ship something resembling respectable HDR.

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Acer Predator XB323QK evaluation: What may very well be higher?

There are two causes for this. The first is that the XB323QK produces a low distinction ratio: I measured 912:1, which merely isn’t excessive sufficient for HDR. This is sadly a attribute of the IPS panel expertise. The second is that the XB323QK lacks native dimming, which suggests it could actually’t ship the sort of deep, darkish shadows you’d anticipate from a HDR-compatible monitor – though it’s at the least shiny and vibrant.

I’ve one different criticism concerning the panel itself: it doesn’t presently help variable refresh charge (VRR) expertise. It has adaptive sync help through AMD and Nvidia’s expertise, sure, however PS5 house owners will miss out on the prospect to take pleasure in various body charges and easy, tear-free gaming. I’m hopeful this can be rectified in a future software program replace.

My remaining niggles are pretty trivial. For instance, I ought to notice the XB323QK may be very massive and really heavy (it weighs 13.5kg), which suggests you will want room and manpower to get it arrange. It doesn’t have an enormous footprint, fortunately, however its wingspan is appreciable and the chunky stand makes it fairly deep.

The on-screen show controls are equally unwieldy, though not fairly as unhealthy as some (Asus particularly makes some significantly questionable selections right here). I’ve by no means been keen on jabbing at buttons and the sheer quantity required to navigate the OSD here’s a little complicated at first. It’s one thing you get used to however, as at all times, I might have most well-liked a joystick.

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Acer Predator XB323QK evaluation: Should you purchase it?

If you worth native dimming and VRR and don’t need to spend greater than £700, contemplate the Samsung Odyssey G70A. You can be sacrificing display actual property and sensible options (comparable to USB-C) however the G70A handles colors and movement with comparable aplomb and would possibly swimsuit discerning players higher.

The backside line, nonetheless, is that the Acer Predator XB323QK is a completely spectacular gaming monitor. It’s massive, impactful and pleasingly sensible, and it delivers a stunning quantity on your cash in contrast with rival 32in 4K gaming displays. I’ve no reservations about recommending this monitor to anybody who maybe isn’t fussed about HDR and simply needs a top-notch panel for his or her PC and console.

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