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Acer ET322QK Review: 4K HDR FreeSync Console Gaming Monitor

Acer ET322QK Review 2018

Introduction

Looking for an affordable 4K monitor with HDR for console gaming? The Acer ET322QK may be just what you need.

Although the HDR (High Dynamic Range) support is software-enabled only, the monitor offers amazing image quality and smooth performance considering its price.

Additionally, the Acer ET322QK offers AMD FreeSync technology, advanced color adjustments, and a modern design.

Image Quality

Based on a VA panel with 3,000:1 static contrast ratio, the Acer ET322QK display is capable of delivering deep and true black shades. While the maximum brightness is limited to only 300-nits, enabling HDR for the compatible content makes the details in shadows and highlights more vivid.

The panel sports 10-bit color depth support with 100% sRGB color gamut and versatile 6-axis color adjustments available including RGB and CMYK as well as hue and saturation tuning. You can also swap between sRGB, Rec709, and HDR color modes and save your own custom profiles.

The 4K Ultra HD resolution provides a rich pixel density of ~140 PPI (Pixels Per Inch) which provides plenty of screen real estate as well as maximum detail without any scaling necessary. Alternatively, you can set the resolution to 2560×1440 and 75Hz if you’re short on framerates.

Overall, the picture quality is stunning and although the Acer ET322QK doesn’t offer the true HDR viewing experience, it’s more than satisfactory for the money paid considering that other similar HDR monitors cost at least $200 more.

Performance

The Acer ET322QK monitor specifies 178-degree viewing angles but there’s some slight shift in color and contrast when the image is viewed from certain off-angles. It’s rather negligible and not even closely as noticeable as it is on TN panels, but still worth mentioning.

The input lag performance could be better with just a bit over 20ms delay. For a casual gamer, the lag will definitely not be noticeable, however, if you’re a professional competitive player, you should look for a faster screen.

The 4ms (GtG) response time speed eliminates most of the ghosting in fast-paced games, however, motion blur and trailing is apparent, particularly with scenes where a lot of dark pixels are involved.

In the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu, you can set the OverDrive setting to Off, Normal, and Extreme. We recommend leaving it at Normal as Extreme introduces overshoot.

Features

The Acer ET322QK offers AMD FreeSync technology which eliminates screen tearing and stuttering if you have either a compatible AMD GPU or the Xbox One X/S console. The FreeSync range is 40-75Hz at 1440p or 40-60Hz at 4K. Using CRU, it’s possible to increase the range to ~32-60Hz without flickering or to overclock the monitor to ~65Hz at 4K.

Alas, FreeSync cannot be active at the same time as HDR since the Acer ET322QK doesn’t have FreeSync 2. Moreover, when HDR is enabled, all picture adjustments excluding brightness are grayed out.

The OSD menu is nothing fancy and rather outdated but it gets the job done. There are plenty of settings available including the Picture In Picture and Picture By Picture modes for watching content from different sources at the same time.

Design & Connectivity

Acer ET322QK Amazon

The design of the Acer ET322QK is simple yet modern with thin bezels for a cinematic viewing experience. The stand is rather basic but sturdy; you can tilt the screen by -4, 12 degrees and VESA mount the monitor via 100 x 100mm holes.

As far as connectivity is concerned, there are two HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2, a DisplayPort 1.2, two 4W integrated speakers, and the headphones jack. Note that the DisplayPort 1.2 doesn’t support HDR.

The screen is coated with a matte anti-glare protection which eliminates light reflections. At the back of the monitor, you’ll find the OSD navigation joystick/buttons and the headphones hook; there are no USB ports.

Price & Similar Monitors

The Acer ET322QK price is $480 MSRP which makes it the most affordable 32″ 4K HDR FreeSync gaming monitor.

If the Acer ET322QK doesn’t satisfy your demands, head over to our guide on the best monitors for Xbox One X and PS 4 Pro.

Conclusion

Granted, the monitor has some downsides and issues, but for the price, they are forgivable. It costs as much as any regular 32-inch 4K monitor yet it offers AMD FreeSync, HDR, and plenty of useful features. In short, it’s the best 4K HDR FreeSync monitor for Xbox One X and S as well as PS 4 and PS 4 Pro under $500.


Acer ET322QK Specifications
Screen Size31.5-inch
Resolution3840x2160 (UHD)
Panel TypeVA
Aspect Ratio16:9 (Widescreen)
Refresh Rate60Hz
Response Time4ms (GtG)
Adaptive SyncFreeSync (40Hz-60Hz)
Speakers2x4W
PortsDisplayPort 1.2, 2x HDMI 2.0
Other PortsHeadphone Jack
Brightness300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio3000:1 (static)
Colors1.07 billion (true 10-bit)
VESAYes (100x100mm)
HDRSoftware-enabled Only

What We Loved

  • 32″ 4K HDR for an affordable price
  • Sleek design with thin bezels
  • AMD FreeSync
  • Customizable color profiles

What We Didn’t Like

  • Software-enabled HDR only
  • Cannot have FreeSync and HDR at the same time
  • Input lag could be lower
  • Visible ghosting, but tolerable
Acer ET322QK Review
  • 8/10
    Design - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Display - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Performance - 8/10
  • 9.5/10
    Price/Value - 9.5/10
8.5/10

Summary

The Acer ET322QK is the most affordable 4K HDR FreeSync monitor which makes it ideal for console gaming, especially for Xbox One X and S due to the FreeSync support. Thanks to its wide color gamut, high resolution, and the plethora of features, it’s also great for general PC use including gaming, content creation, and everything in between.

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