Packaging, Physical Layout And Accessories
The XB321HK is a large, heavy monitor and comes in a carton to match. The panel with attached upright is well-protected by molded foam blocks while the base and other accessories are in a tray on top. You’ll have to lay the box down and slide everything out before unwrapping.
Every cable that can be connected to the Predator is included. You get USB 3.0, HDMI, DisplayPort and an IEC cord for the internal power supply. There's a printed quick start guide. We found no CD with our sample so the manual came from Acer’s website. Assembly consists of attaching the base with a captive bolt.
The XB321HK has one of the best anti-glare coatings we’ve seen to-date. It’s almost impossible to wash out the image unless you aim the screen at a sun-filled window. Yet the picture is razor sharp with no trace of grain. You’d almost think Acer had eliminated the air gap between the front two layers. It appears to be very small and this results in greater clarity, a good thing when the screen sports 138 pixels-per-inch.
The base is typical of Predator monitors. The red parts are solid anodized aluminum, while the black pieces are hard plastic with a lightly textured matte finish. The stand is extremely solid and heavy with a stamped steel core underneath its shell. Surprisingly there are only tilt and height adjustments. No swivel or portrait mode is provided.
Despite some serious heft, the XB321HK looks pretty trim from the side. Acer packs internal components neatly into a bulge that occupies about half the vertical space around back. On the left side (not seen in the photo) are two USB 3.0 ports. These can be left active when the monitor is powered down to facilitate mobile device charging.
The bulge extends from side to side with a smooth taper. At the right you can see the USB ports. The upright is bolted on, but you can remove it to reveal a 100mm VESA mount. The built-in speakers fire backwards so their sound is affected by whatever is behind the screen. They feature a DTS mode which improves tonal balance but doesn’t make them any louder, nor does it extend the frequency range. The sound is fairly tinny and even at max volume there isn’t a lot of noise.
The XB321HK features the latest G-Sync module that includes an HDMI port. For adaptive refresh and 60Hz you’ll have to use DisplayPort. HDMI signals are supported up to 30Hz at the monitor’s native resolution. Also there is a 3.5mm headphone output. The USB upstream and two of the downstream connectors are on the panel as well.