Brightness & Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
We found enough DCI-P3-capable monitors in our review database to make that the theme for today’s comparison group. Some of the screens also support HDR10. Those are Dell’s UP2718Q, LG’s 32UD99, and BenQ’s EW277HDR. The remaining monitors only feature extended color gamuts, AOC’s U3277PWQU and the 40” C4008VU8.
Brightness and contrast is what HDR is all about, and these screens provide it in varying degrees. The PE320QK has an edge-array backlight and can top 530 nits in HDR mode when measuring a full field pattern. Interestingly, the UP2718Q only displays 1100 nits when rendering a 10% window pattern. This is a function of its 384-zone backlight, which affords much higher contrast than the edge-lit models. They must rely on software to increase dynamic range. The Acer manages excellent numbers in SDR mode, over 1300:1, and almost double that with HDR10 signals. Then, it just manages to squeak past the VA panels. Our benchmark is still Dell’s superb monitor, which rocks over 17,000:1 contrast in HDR mode. Another impressive stat here is the C4008VU8’s black level. It takes top honors thanks to VA technology.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
We like to see monitors throttle down to around 50cd/m2 at minimum; the PE320QK is slightly above that level at 68.8266cd/m2. This is a tad bright for completely darkened work environments, but still tolerable. With the hood in place, it’s even easier to see a quality image when the lights are low. Contrast remains consistent throughout the backlight’s range of operation.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
The PE320QK is one of the rare monitors that boasts higher contrast when calibrated. At 1434.4:1, it just edges out the impressive LG32UD99 we recently reviewed. This is excellent performance for an IPS panel but still pales in comparison with the average VA part. We look forward to the day when VA becomes a more prominent standard on the desktop. Coupling 3000:1 native contrast with a full-array backlight and HDR would be a dream come true. The tech is already there in consumer televisions. It just needs to come down to computer monitor sizes.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
Measuring intra-image contrast in HDR mode is still a bit difficult. The numbers do not fully reflect the difference in dynamic range when measuring a checkerboard pattern. We’re still glad to see consistency between the sequential and ANSI tests, though. The PE320QK is a high-quality display with excellent engineering and quality control behind it. We feel it’s well worth the premium price tag.
MORE: Best Gaming Monitors
MORE: How We Test Monitors
MORE: How To Choose A Monitor
MORE: All Monitor Content