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Acer ProDesigner BM320 4K Monitor Review

Conclusion

Considering the industry’s move to larger color spaces like Rec.2020 and DCI-P3, it’s surprising that we haven’t seen more wide gamut monitors coming to market. That is likely to change however, as more Ultra HD Blu-ray titles are released and users expect higher quality from streamed content. After all, most UHD consumer televisions these days have more color available. Many mid-priced sets will cover P3, and we’ve seen a couple of projectors that will also render larger gamuts.

The BM320 is particularly relevant for that reason. It displays the Adobe RGB gamut to near perfection and has equally accurate presets for sRGB and Rec.709. Acer has taken the further step of locking in a more suitable 2.4 gamma for 709, which should be of interest to video editors and post-production professionals. The only thing missing is DCI, which this display should be capable of since it has a smaller volume than Adobe RGB.

In terms of the BM320’s factory-calibrated accuracy, we have no complaints. The carton advertises a DeltaE of less than one, which it comes quite close to. Our measured results of 1.57 for Adobe, 1.70 for sRGB, and 1.92 for Rec.709 more than qualify it for use in a commercial system. We just wish there were more flexible calibration options available, if only to get it down a few more points where it would better compete with other, more expensive products.

When attempting to calibrate the User mode, we found an oversaturated red primary in the native color gamut that prevented further gains. Of course, most users will employ software solutions like CalMAN or X-Rite to get their color spot-on. OSD calibration is something we look for in high-end screens, but it isn’t a deal-breaker.

Our only other complaint is the BM320’s relatively low contrast. Granted, IPS has the smallest dynamic range of the currently-available LCD technologies but a 728.1:1 score puts it at a disadvantage to several other pro displays. And its uniformity compensation won’t help matters. Although it generates a near-perfect result in our white field test, it has to reduce output, and therefore contrast, to achieve that.

Despite a few flaws, we think the BM320 is a decent monitor. Its factory-calibrated modes are more than adequate and it’s super-easy to set up. We also like that brightness remains adjustable in those modes. Equalizing output among multiple panels in an editing bay is a real asset when working on graphics or video post-production. We also like its rugged build and solid chassis. This monitor isn’t cheap but it should last through multiple system upgrades. Ultra HD resolution should future-proof it for a while as well.

It's not easy to find a bargain in this category, especially when one requires a wide gamut. For the price, the BM320 offers good performance and accuracy. There are better displays out there but you’ll likely pay a higher premium for them. Unless you need that final 1% of performance and accuracy, Acer offers a good choice here.


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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!
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • AnimeMania
    20128953 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.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    Pretty nice, considering all the specs but could be better with a more sophisticated backlight, thus, improve contrast ratio too.
    Reply
  • Lasselundberg
    OMG i HATE the autoplay video's, why are you wasting bandwidth on this ?
    Reply
  • ceberle
    20128914 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-
    Reply
  • kenop
    20129650 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!

    Reply
  • derekullo
    20129327 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?

    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • slicedtoad
    20129873 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?
    Reply