Overkill for most gamers but ideal for competitive gamers seeking a big panel.
With its 270Hz refresh rate and massive 32″ panel, the Acer Predator XB323U is potentially ideal for those seeking a gaming monitor with blistering performance without compromising on screen size. You can get similar specs on 27in panels for a lot less but the extra screen size bumps up the price of this gaming monitor.
Once extricated from its enormous box, the XB323U strikes a stylish figure with its very slim bezels and large but slim V-shaped foot. The stand, which is in large part made from solid metal with a metallic grey paint finish, offers height, rotation and tilt adjustment, but the panel can’t be pivoted into portrait orientation.
For features, the Acer includes a typical input selection of one DisplayPort connector and two HDMI ports, plus there’s a four-port USB 3 hub with two ports on the rear and two on the left edge. A headphone jack and some weak-sounding speakers are also present. There’s no USB Type-C input for connecting laptops and tablets, though.
Meanwhile, a mini D-pad and four buttons sit on the right rear of the panel. The top button is for power while the other three interact with the onscreen menus, as does the mini D-pad. The menu system is speedy and the control system is also largely intuitive.
The Acer XB3232U resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 is relatively low on a large 32″ panel, making for a pixel density of 92ppi. As a result, it doesn’t produce a very sharp image when you’re sat up close. However, this isn’t an issue for competitive gaming and it’s a level of sharpness on par with 24in 1080p displays.
Otherwise, the XB3232U image quality is decent. Its measured contrast ratio of 1,051:1 is typical for an IPS panel, while its default color temperature of 6,705K is reasonably close to the desired level of 6,500K. With a massive 170 percent coverage of the sRGB color space (120 percent DCI-P3), this monitor also has very vivid colors with good Delta E color accuracy (0.28 average).
The extended color range works wonders for HDR content and its performance is bolstered by a high 655cd/m² (measured) maximum brightness in HDR mode. However, contrast doesn’t rise beyond 1,000:1, so HDR ultimately lacks its titular dynamic range.
The three slight flies in the ointment are noticeable IPS glow in the corners, which can create a slightly grey look when watching dark images. The uniformity of the panel is a bit ropey too, with the left edge dropping an average 7.4 percent in brightness. Also, while the sRGB mode reins in that wide color gamut, it has poor color balance (7,529K) and also locks out color adjustments.
Acer Predator XB323U uniformity and response time tests:
Thankfully, it gets back on track when it comes to gaming. Its speedy 270Hz refresh rate (which requires overclocking the panel from its default 240Hz) provides a fantastically responsive experience. Its average initial response time of 6.1ms, using its Normal overdrive mode, isn’t all that fast (it’s nearly double the 3.7ms frame time of a panel running at 270Hz), but cranking the overdrive up to Extreme results in a much nippier 4.1ms response time while only introducing minimal color overshoot.
It’s a shame there’s no backlight strobing blur reduction mode for further sharpening up the display’s response.
Acer Predator XB323U pros and cons
- Fantastic gaming performance
- Decent overall image quality
- Useful feature set
- No USB Type-C input
- Lackluster HDR
- No blur reduction mode
Acer Predator XB323U specs
The Acer Predator XB323U specs list is:
|2,560 x 1,440
|Maximum refresh rate
|Stated response time
|Stated contrast ratio
|FreeSync Premium, G-Sync compatible
|1 x DisplayPort 1.4, 2 x HDMI 2
|2 x 2W speakers, Headphone out
|Height, rotation, tilt
|100 x 100mm VESA mount, HDMI, DisplayPort, HDMI and USB 3 cables, four-port USB 3 hub
Acer Predator XB323U price
With a price tag of $700, the XB323U is an expensive monitor, especially considering its mid-range 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. However, its large 32″ screen size, 270Hz refresh rate, and premium build go a long way to balancing its value.
Price: Expect to pay $700 (£700)
Acer Predator XB323U review conclusion
You pay a premium for the extra fast refresh rate of this panel, with several rivals offering a 165Hz refresh rate for half the price. However, if you simply must have the fastest possible response for a 32″ IPS panel, the XB323U delivers the goods.