Grayscale, Gamma and Color
Making any change to the XFA240’s image controls puts the monitor in User mode, so that’s where we took our measurements both before and after calibration. It corresponds to the Standard preset, which delivers a correct sRGB gamut with a 6500K color temp and gamma a hair below 2.2.
Grayscale and Gamma Tracking
We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.
As you can see from the default chart, the XFA240 doesn’t need calibration. It delivers great grayscale tracking right out of the box, and there are no visible errors at any point. Ideally, the yellow and white lines would be the same. This isn’t a huge error but certainly one worth addressing.
The second graph shows results after adjusting RGB gain and bias sliders. That decreased the grayscale tracking error from a Delta E (dE) of 1.12 to 0.64dE, an imperceptible amount. This is pro-level accuracy, folks. By changing the gamma preset to 2.4, we achieved a marginal gain. There is still a dip at 90% that we’d like to see go away, and shadow areas are slightly dark. But the image is better with greater depth and better color saturation.
Our calibrations took the grayscale error down from 1.12dE to 0.64dE, which is a small victory that you won’t be able to see. Our gamma adjustment made a more visible impact, with the image definitely looking better. The average is only a shade off the 2.2 mark, so the gamma preset change is worth making. T
Color Gamut Accuracy
For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.
The XFA240 impresses again with the color gamut test. It hit every sRGB target for both saturation and hue with a super-low out-of-box error of 1.51dE. It doesn’t get much better; the Acer beat many professional displays in this test.
Changing the gamma preset pushed the color saturations a bit. While red, green and blue are now on the edge of their target boxes, green, yellow and cyan are unchanged. The error is a bit lower at just 1.19dE, and we could see the extra punch afforded by that bump in saturation. Changing the gamma preset is clearly worthwhile.
The XFA240’s 1.19dE color gamut error puts it ahead of the other monitors here. Clearly, money doesn’t necessarily buy accuracy. The most expensive screen finished last in this case. While a 2.39dE gamut error isn’t a bad thing, the Acer does better for a quarter of the price. Again, this is pro-level performance.
The XFA240 hits 100% sRGB volume almost perfectly. It’s interesting to note that the other inexpensive choice, ViewSonic’s XG240R, is also right on the mark. You could use either screen for color critical work without a calibration or custom profile, they’re that good. What this means for gamers is that you’ll always see natural and accurate color as intended by the games’ creators. Acer has created a reference-level display here.
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