With all the hoopla surround gaming monitors and their adaptive-sync, fast refresh, super speedy panels, it’s easy to forget that we sometimes need a solid tool with accurate color and features more befitting a professional workstation. One of the criteria we look for in such products is an Adobe RGB gamut. Photographers and graphic artists need the extra volume provided by that large color space. With Rec.2020 still in the prototype stage, video editors need something that can cover DCI-P3 when they’re working on Ultra HD Blu-ray releases.
We haven’t seen a new wide-gamut display in a while, but Acer just sent us its BM320 for evaluation. It’s a 32” IPS screen with Ultra HD resolution, 10-bit native color depth, an Adobe RGB gamut, factory calibration, and a heavily-built chassis that should keep it in operation for the long haul. Let’s take a look.
The BM320 checks all the boxes for a professional workspace. The 32” IPS panel sports Ultra HD (3840x2160) resolution for a pixel density of 137ppi. The backlight is flicker-free and has a low blue-light feature to tone down the color temp for a fatigue-free workday. The color depth is 10-bits native, which is supported by both DisplayPorts and the single HDMI 2.0 input. You also get DVI for compatibility with nearly any video card.
Calibration is taken care of in advance and certified with an enclosed data sheet. You also get uniformity compensation and three color modes corresponding to Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Rec.709. The only thing missing is a DCI-P3 preset. The chassis offers modern styling with a relatively slim profile and thin 10mm bezels around the top and sides. It’s not quite frameless, but it’s about as narrow as any similar monitor can boast.
If you’re in the market for a large proofing monitor and don’t want to deal with calibration, the BM320 might be a good choice. Let’s dive into the tests and see how it stacks up.
Packaging, Physical Layout & Accessories
The carton is well-armored against shipping abuse and protects the contents with rigid foam blocks. The base is the only thing you must assemble when unpacking. The box also includes HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB cables, along with an IEC cord for the internal power supply. If you need an analog audio connection, that cable is included too.
For a 32” monitor, the BM320 is relatively compact with a slim panel, just-right-sized base, and a heavy, telescoping upright. There is plenty of heft, though. At nearly 25 pounds, Acer has provided a solidly-built display with a rugged chassis to match. The bezel is just 10mm around the top and sides and 24mm at the bottom. The image shows a thin frame, so it’s not truly borderless. The anti-glare layer (3H hardness) fits flush for a completely unblemished look when the screen is off. Clarity is top-shelf with no signs of grain or artifacts. With a high 137ppi density, the image is always sharp and clear.
Controls are around back at the lower right and consist of four buttons and a joystick. OSD navigation can be accomplished with said stick, while two of the keys are programmable. The top one toggles power. The LED is blue and stands out from the bottom in a neat geometric shape. It’s a small detail but one we haven’t seen before.
The side profile is a tad thinner than most monitors this size and includes two of the four USB ports. The monolithic stand supports a full array of adjustments, including nearly six inches of height, 5° forward/25° backward tilt, 45° swivel in each direction, and a portrait mode. Movement is both firm and smooth with no play whatsoever. This is one beefy monitor.
Around back is a component bulge that offers plenty of ventilation and two small speakers that fire back at the wall. Power consumption is spec’d at 50W average, but our Kill-A-Watt measured just 40W when the backlight was set to 200nits. That keeps the BM320 running cool all day.
The input panel faces downwards and includes one HDMI 2.0, two v1.2 DisplayPorts (one mini), and a DVI input. The remaining USB ports are here too (v3.0) along with analog audio jacks, one in and one out.
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