Acer EB321HQU Awidpx Review
Most people still use a 1080p monitor, and there’s absolutely nothing with that. But now that the prices of 1440p and 4K are closer to affordable, it is recommendable than ever to grab some extra pixels.
We checked out the Acer EB321HQU Awidpx to see if it meets the threshold for a solid, entry-level WQHD monitor. Outside of the high screen resolution, this 32-inch monitor also includes some great features like an IPS panel with numerous connection options and robust connectivity options.
The EB321HQU isn’t the flashiest monitor we’ve reviewed – but at it’s price it does offers 1440p on a budget. Does that sound like a bargain?
Editors’ Choice Monitor: Sceptre C328B-144KN Review
Acer EB321HQU Awidpx – Design
Thinning display bezels has ensured that monitor design have minimalist looks, and EB321HQU is no exception. It uses the same elegant design as the Acer EB321HQ Awi, dressed in a silver cabinet with a black trim on the bezels. The 15.2-pound cabinet is supported a silver trapezoid-shaped base that provides -5/15 degrees of tilt, but lacks height, swivel and pivot adjustability.
The 32-inch IPS panel has a maximum resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 and uses a non-reflective coating to reduce glare and eyestrain. There’s an OD (Overdrive) setting for the response time in the On-Screen Display (OSD) menu, but left in ‘Normal’ mode is just fine. All five function buttons are located on the lower-right edge of the cabinet. They provide access, and let you navigate, the settings menus for all picture adjustments.
Connectivity comes via DL-DVI-D, an HDMI, a DisplayPort, and a headphones jack, all on the left, while the power jack is located on the left side. Included in the package is a Display Port cable, but it lacks USB ports, which is quite common at this price point.
Acer EB321HQU Awidpx – Performance
Acer offers strong performance in a monitor that doesn’t cost so much. It displays excellent highlights and shadow detail, with colors appearing rich against the panel’s dark blacks. As with any good IPS panel, viewing angles are wide, and free of any noticeable color shifting. The panel’s 4-millisecond (gray-to-gray) response does a relatively good job preventing motion blur in modern games like Grand Theft Auto V, but it doesn’t eliminate it completely.
Input lag (the time it takes for the monitor to react to a controller command) was negligible at 9.9 milliseconds. In this category, the Benq SW2700PT and the Benq XL2430T remain the fastest monitors we’ve reviewed (9.5 milliseconds). It consumes 34 watts of power in standard mode, and 26 watts when set in ECO mode. This is more efficient that the Acer Predator XB271HK gaming monitor and Benq SW2700PT (52 watts and 43 watts, respectively).
If you’re looking for a great widescreen monitor for the office, this one looks lie a good candidate. It has native 1440p support, meaning you can as well use it comfortably with the Xbox One S and Xbox One X. However, it lacks AMD FreeSync support and HDR, meaning it won’t be perfect for Xbox One. Movies and any games that don’t support HDR look brilliant, but you’d immediately notice a difference between having HDR and not having it. If you’re buying it for gaming, you’re better off with alternatives like the Sceptre C328B-144KN and AOC C32G1, in the same price point.
The Acer EB321HQU Awidpx is a beautiful, multimedia display with many strengths including vibrant colors, sharp picture and great overall design. However, its let down by lack of HDR support that most competitors are offering, albeit at lower 1080p resolutions.
Is there a better alternative?
The Acer EB321HQU undercuts the price of top-tier 32-inch displays like the Samsung LS32D85KTSR/ZA and the Pixio PX329. On the other hand, it’s much more expensive than the Dell S3219D with AMD FreeSync. If the extra support for AMD FreeSync excites, the S3219D is a great alternative.
On the other hand, the BenQ EW3270U is a beautiful 4K HDR monitor with AMD FreeSync and an excellent DCI-P3 95% Color Gamut as well as a height adjustable stand. That’s quite a kill for a few dollars more. Its versatile design makes for a great office or gaming monitor.
Should I buy it?
No. There are cheaper 4K monitors available (like the BenQ EW3270U) recommended above, as well as ones with better image quality and HDR support.