Acer ProDesigner BM320 4K Monitor Review

OSD Setup & Calibration

The BM320’s OSD is well organized and free of extraneous features that only serve to confuse. Everything you need is there, but most users will simply choose one of the factory-calibrated color modes and set brightness to taste. There isn’t much else that needs adjusting.

Pressing any key, or the joystick, brings up a quick menu. Two buttons below the power toggle are programmable to a variety of monitor functions. Pressing the joystick opens the full OSD. If you’re looking for the preset color modes, simply open the OSD with two presses of the joystick, then press the second control button. There are eight options including Adobe RGB, sRGB, Rec.709, User, and other app-specific modes.

Unlike many monitors, you can adjust brightness in the otherwise fixed color modes, but Contrast and Blue Light are grayed out. You can access them in User though. ACM is a dynamic contrast feature that we recommend avoiding, since it clips highlight and shadow detail. Super Sharpness is another one that is best left off. It adds edge enhancement, which spoils an otherwise clear image.

In the User mode, all controls in the color menu are accessible, but there’s a caveat. Once you change Color Mode to anything but Native, the gamma and color temp options are disabled. It’s a quirk that means no real gains can be had from calibration. As you’ll see later, the Native gamut is not suitable for color-critical applications due to an over-saturated red primary. Gamma is fixed at 2.2 for Adobe RGB and sRGB, and 2.4 for the Rec.709 mode.

The audio menu contains but a single option, volume, which adjusts both the speakers and the headphone output.

The OSD is available in 15 languages, can stay on-screen for up to 120 seconds, and has variable transparency. There's also the overdrive, which works fine on its Extreme setting.

The system menu has an input selector, an auto-source option which locks on to the first available signal, DisplayPort Format (version 1.1 or 1.2), aspect ratio options, PIP and PBP for two sources, DDC/CI, and a Quick Start Mode that powers up the monitor faster at the expense of greater current draw in standby mode. The Hot Key Assignment option lets you program two of the control buttons for one-touch access to things like Brightness, Input, Volume, and other functions.

Calibration

The best way to use the BM320 is to select one of its three preset color modes, Adobe RGB, sRGB, or Rec.709. Each comes pretty close to standard and allows independent adjustments to the brightness control. In User, you can perform a full calibration, but there’s a twist. You have to start in the Native color gamut, which has a very over-saturated red primary. Grayscale controls and gamma presets are available along with six-axis saturate and hue sliders, but we couldn’t improve upon the fixed modes in our tests. Of note are the sRGB and Rec.709 presets. They match in terms of color and grayscale, but Rec.709 has a gamma of 2.4 rather than sRGB’s 2.2. It won’t quite track BT.1886, but it is more suitable for video editing in the HD color space. Below are our recommended brightness settings for commonly-used output levels.

Acer BM320 Brightness Settings
200cd/m2
46
120cd/m2
21
100cd/m2
14
80cd/m2
9
50cd/m2
0

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This thread is closed for comments
21 comments
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  • kenop
    Sorry to be an idiot, but I can't figure this out. I use X-Rite's i1 Display Pro, but it requires what I think of as manually calibrating the monitor. So for me, the statements "No gains from manual calibration" and "most users will employ software solutions like CalMAN or X-Rite to get their color spot-on" are contradictory. Can I or can I not use i1 Display Pro to calibrate the BM320? Thank you for another great review!
  • kenop
    And an observation on Acer's warranty: It allows up to THIRTY ONE defective pixels on this monitor (though only one defective pixel is allowed in the central 1/9th portion). Seems like a lot to me, but admittedly I haven't been comparing warranties yet.
  • AnimeMania
    2542469 said:
    And an observation on Acer's warranty: It allows up to THIRTY ONE defective pixels on this monitor (though only one defective pixel is allowed in the central 1/9th portion). Seems like a lot to me, but admittedly I haven't been comparing warranties yet.


    You have to remember there are 8,294,400 pixels on the screen. It is probably hard to produce a 4K monitor with no dead pixels at an affordable price.
  • zodiacfml
    Pretty nice, considering all the specs but could be better with a more sophisticated backlight, thus, improve contrast ratio too.
  • Lasselundberg
    OMG i HATE the autoplay video's, why are you wasting bandwidth on this ?
  • ceberle
    2542469 said:
    Sorry to be an idiot, but I can't figure this out. I use X-Rite's i1 Display Pro, but it requires what I think of as manually calibrating the monitor. So for me, the statements "No gains from manual calibration" and "most users will employ software solutions like CalMAN or X-Rite to get their color spot-on" are contradictory. Can I or can I not use i1 Display Pro to calibrate the BM320? Thank you for another great review!


    You can use an i1 Display Pro to create a lookup table with CalMAN or X-Rite software. Manual calibration refers to adjustments made in the OSD which aren't effective with this monitor.

    -Christian-
  • kenop
    1025177 said:
    You can use an i1 Display Pro to create a lookup table with CalMAN or X-Rite software. Manual calibration refers to adjustments made in the OSD which aren't effective with this monitor. -Christian-

    Thank you, Christian, for the clarification. I came to the i1 Display Pro from an earlier model, and I guess I didn't RTFM since I had no idea it could do that. That's exactly what I needed to know. Thanks again!
  • derekullo
    61160 said:
    OMG i HATE the autoplay video's, why are you wasting bandwidth on this ?


    You can use a hosts file from:
    http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm
    to get rid of ads on most sites.

    You can also use a free ad blocking dns, Adguard
    https://adguard.com/en/adguard-dns/overview.html
    176.103.130.130
    176.103.130.131

    Personally I use Noscript + AdBlock + Hosts file, which allows me to see 0 ads on Tom's.
    No videos, no audio playing, no ads boxing the content with super small X's.

    I call this the Destiny 2 approach to ads
    https://www.bungie.net/en/Help/Article/46101

    I still use google's dns since its faster than all the others.

    But for the class I teach on online security the Adguard dns works nearly as well for those unwilling or unable to install a hosts file and or manually configure Noscript.

    Does Toms still box you in with ads on all sides?

    Is it the same Logitech rgb keyboard video that used to follow you around earlier this year?
  • Novell SysOp fire phasers 5 time
    Lies. Acer nor Asus have 10-bit panels. All of their monitors are 8+FRC. They are GAME monitor companies, they are not going to give you a pro monitor. Do not trust either company, they are scamming you and you can read it in their forums. False marketing and lying. They can't even be bothered to list the specs on their scam HDR monitors that have been delayed until next year. They refuse to list Adobe, DCI-P3, and rec2020 coverage. And if you cannot get 100% sRGB, you're pathetic.

    And the most glaring omission is they fail to tell you you need a Quadro to edit 10-bit. And STFU with contradicting me. I'm in the industry and know more than all of you, and NVIDIA even tell you themselves on their own site.
  • slicedtoad
    2224280 said:
    Lies. Acer nor Asus have 10-bit panels. All of their monitors are 8+FRC. They are GAME monitor companies, they are not going to give you a pro monitor. Do not trust either company, they are scamming you and you can read it in their forums. False marketing and lying. They can't even be bothered to list the specs on their scam HDR monitors that have been delayed until next year. They refuse to list Adobe, DCI-P3, and rec2020 coverage. And if you cannot get 100% sRGB, you're pathetic. And the most glaring omission is they fail to tell you you need a Quadro to edit 10-bit. And STFU with contradicting me. I'm in the industry and know more than all of you, and NVIDIA even tell you themselves on their own site.


    I'm not an expert by any means when it comes to workstation displays, so these are just questions:

    If a 8+FRC panel performs the same as a true 10-bit panel (as in, they achieve the same color accuracy, color depth, etc) is it worse? Or are you listing that as the reason why the color accuracy on this monitor doesn't achieve perfect sRGB?

    As for needing Quadro, I thought all 10-bit displays needed workstation GPUs to do 10-bit? And wouldn't that be Nvidia's fault for disabling that on their consumer cards?
  • rhysiam
    61160 said:
    OMG i HATE the autoplay video's, why are you wasting bandwidth on this ?

    Totally agree. Tomshardware, I've had you whitelisted in adblock for a good while now, but this page hit me with an autoplay video ad with audio and no option to stop, pause or mute. I like this site, I have no problem with some ads and am keen to give you ad revenue, but that's too much for me. Adblock is back on again now I'm afraid. I'll happily whitelist TH again if this practice changes, but for now I'm ad-blocking.
  • Tanquen
    The price seems to be $300 higher.
  • shpankey
    Tom's is the worst for ads, and i mean the absolute WORST
  • zthomas
    Talk about pricey.. geez sure its 32 so what.. and not a gaming monitor.. I don't see the plugging to your card.. ACER has gotten to big or just a big head..
  • zthomas
    ACER has gotten beyond expensive. all there monitors are hitting high plate-toes.. the prices were going up and down.. I guess with xmass and school starting.. they figure hell we just jack up the pricing for the next few months..
  • cats_Paw
    To quote Shannia Twain:
    That dont impress me much, oh oh oh, you got the 4K but have got the Hz?
    Now dont get me wrong, I think your Color delta is al right, but that wont make me spend over 1K.
  • kookykrazee
    61160 said:
    OMG i HATE the autoplay video's, why are you wasting bandwidth on this ?


    I don't get why the same exact video ad, autoplays, when supposedly, Tom's has said they are against autoplaying video ads! Remove these or your sight will go the way that WSJ and others have with forced ADB barriers.
  • AndyWiryaPeaceful
    What is WSJ?
  • AnimeMania
    2241589 said:
    What is WSJ?


    I was guessing it was Wall Street Journal.
  • kookykrazee
    2241589 said:
    What is WSJ?


    Wall Street Journal, one of many many sites that make it impossible to view their sites or links with an adblocker on. Even Bicycling.com has an adblocker, which they will gladly unblock if you give your email address to get their newsletter which gives links that...you guessed it...do not let you access with an adblocker on.
  • derekullo
    Tvtropes is another.

    You can view those kinds of sites without ads if you disable javascript.

    Easy to find the setting in chrome but in firefox it does take some digging.

    Lets see them script a redirect when they can't use javascript.

    Muhahaha (Evil Laugh)