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When considering which gaming monitor to buy, one thing is clear: Size matters. Though 27-inch flat panels are one of the most common desktop display formats, there is no doubt that games are more fun on a big screen.
If you don’t have the space or budget for something extreme, like a 49-inch mega-wide or 55-inch screen, a 32-inch curved monitor can provide a lot of that excitement for less money. Pixio’s PXC327 provides everything a gaming enthusiast needs for a very low price, just $310 at present. To get greater performance, you’d have to spend quite a bit more, and you’d likely wind up with a smaller screen.
The PXC327 concentrates on the fundamental elements of what makes a gaming monitor a gaming monitor. It has class-leading contrast, enough pixel density for a sharp picture without the need for a super-expensive graphics card, and video processing prowess where it counts with a 165 Hz refresh rate and Adaptive-Sync.
Image quality in SDR mode is exemplary once you calibrate. Out-of-box accuracy is a bit wanting but with our recommended settings (page 1), you’ll see a significant improvement in both color and contrast. HDR, however, isn’t quite there with undersaturated color that we were not able to correct.
The only video processing flaw we found was a faulty backlight strobe. Gamers looking for that form of blur reduction will want to shop a different display. But if we just used Adaptive-Sync at the overdrive’s High setting, there were no issues.
When considering what’s most important in a gaming monitor, the Pixio PXC327 checks the right boxes. It includes a couple of things (HDR and blur reduction) that aren’t well-implemented, but missing those features doesn’t detract from the gaming experience. So if you can also do without luxuries, like USB ports, a variety of stand adjustments and internal speakers, the PXC327 is a terrific value that’s definitely worth checking out.
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.