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Acer Predator XB321HK 32-inch Ultra HD G-Sync Monitor Review

Today we’re looking at Acer’s latest flagship gaming monitor, the Predator XB321HK. Sporting a 32-inch IPS screen, G-Sync and premium build quality; it looks like just the thing for a cost-no-object gaming rig.

Viewing Angles, Uniformity, Response And Lag

To learn how we measure screen uniformity, please click here.

The XB321HK’s tight TFT layer gap not only enhances image clarity, it also improves off-axis quality. These are some of the best viewing angles we’ve seen outside of an AHVA panel. Light falloff is obvious to the sides, but there is only a minimal color shift to blue. From above, detail holds up well and color shifts to warmer tones.

Screen Uniformity: Luminance

Our sample suffered from a minor hotspot in the lower right corner of the screen. It doesn’t qualify as light bleed but we could see it in our test patterns. It doesn’t have much effect on real-world content though.

Here’s the white field measurement.

The white field test returns a solid result of 8.89%. There are no visible issues here and our measurements don’t even indicate the usual center hotspot. This is a well-made panel and though each sample will vary, we don’t expect quality control to be a problem.

Screen Uniformity: Color

Color uniformity is extremely good at only 1.36dE. It’s one of the best scores we’ve recorded, and here it’s only bested by the other Acer Predator display. We are impressed but only as far as to say that one should expect this level of quality from a premium-priced product.

Pixel Response And Input Lag

Please click here to read up on our pixel response and input lag testing procedures.

The PG279Q has a major advantage stemming from its 165Hz refresh rate. The other screens make do with 60Hz, and it seems the XB280HK makes the most of that with its TN screen. The remaining monitors are so close to one another it’s unlikely anyone would perceive a difference. The XB321HK has an excellent overdrive feature that visibly reduces motion blur while introducing only slight ghosting artifacts.

Here are the lag results.

In our test, 63ms is a great score for a 60Hz display. We don’t think input lag will be a problem with any of the top five screens, even for skilled players. Of course the lowest latency still comes from the higher refresh rates offered by QHD- and FHD-resolution monitors.

Gaming With G-Sync

While we haven’t noted significant differences in the gaming experiences between various high-end monitors, the XB321HK provided us a stunning example of just how good a game can look. Even before we talk about things like G-Sync and motion blur, the beautiful bright color and rich detail possible with this monitor is something that has to be seen to be appreciated. Trust us, when you load up eye-candy like Far Cry 4 or Tomb Raider, you won’t care how much it costs.

The demands of Far Cry 4 required us to play in Very High detail mode with our usual GTX Titan X-equipped system. We certainly didn’t notice any lack of clarity or fine textures. Not only was motion completely free of artifacts, we were able to run the overdrive on Extreme without any visible ghosting. Just standing still while trees moved with the wind provided a fantastic suspension of disbelief. Framerates stayed in the 40-50fps range, and that provided sufficient smoothness for us to play the game well, even when the action got fast and furious.

Battlefield 4, being somewhat less-demanding, could be played on Ultra Detail with framerates just below 60fps. Its high-contrast outdoor areas managed to survive the overdrive’s Extreme setting without ghosting. And G-Sync made sure that vertical edges like buildings and light poles remained in one piece.

Tomb Raider looked awesome played on High detail with no loss of quality and a framerate locked on 60fps. This is about as smooth as an Ultra HD monitor is going to get until DisplayPort 1.3 with its 120Hz capability becomes more common. There was no ghosting here either. We’re happy to see that the XB321HK has one of the best overdrive implementations we’ve experienced. Action stays smooth and solid with barely any blur and of course, no tearing. The big Predator’s price tag may be high but with this display, you truly get what you pay for.

Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.