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 had to reach back in time a bit to come up with five wide-gamut monitors for the comparison group. They are Dell’s UP2715K and UP3017, BenQ’s SW2700PT, Asus’ PA329Q, and NEC’s PA302W. All support Adobe RGB and sRGB color modes and range in resolution from QHD to 5K.
The BM320 beats its 350cd/m2 claim by a few percent, which is more than enough output for any task. The monitor would also work outdoors under cover or with a hood. Thanks to a high black level, contrast is below-average at 728.1:1. You can use the ACM feature to raise this number, but some detail loss will result. All the monitors here use IPS parts, so around 1000:1 is typical, but Acer has missed out on a bit of image depth.
Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level
Dropping the brightness slider to zero produces a perfect 50cd/m2 output level. This is ideal for darkened editing suites where there is no light but what’s produced by the other monitors in the room. This is important when matching content to the large wall-mounted screens commonly seen in professional workspaces. You can’t adjust color properly without first equalizing brightness between all displays. The BM320 makes that easy to accomplish. Contrast remains perfectly consistent at 724.7:1.
After Calibration to 200cd/m2
We calibrated the User mode for this test, but we suggest sticking with the factory-calibrated Adobe RGB, sRGB, or Rec.709 presets. Our adjustments lowered contrast a bit to 707.8:1. We’re also showing you the effects of the BM320’s uniformity compensation. Like other monitors with the feature, it reduces contrast. In Acer’s case, black levels aren’t affected much, but peak output drops by 32%. That translates to 27% lower contrast. White field uniformity is improved, but we don’t think it’s worth using when that much dynamic range is lost.
ANSI Contrast Ratio
ANSI contrast is nearly identical to the sequential result, which is a good thing. We just wish there were more dynamic range in general. Uniformity compensation has a similar effect here, reducing the value by 29%. While we are pleased with the BM320’s color accuracy and overall picture quality, greater contrast would be welcome.
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