Ultra-wide screens are becoming more and more popular every year. However, not everyone has enough cinematic 21: 9, and it is for them that huge “monsters” are released in the format 32: 9… One of the manufacturers of such devices is the company Acer, which has several models of the series in its portfolio Nitro in this format.
Last year we got acquainted with the monitor Acer Nitro EI491CRP in the format 32: 9 and diagonal 49 inches (there is also a model on 43 inches), and the other day to the editor Gamemag.ru a fresh model arrived Acer Nitro XV431CP, which came to replace solutions from last year’s line. The minimum cost for this monitor at the time of writing the review was fixed at the mark in 67 380 rubles…
PACKAGING, APPEARANCE AND CONNECTORS
The monitor is packed in a very long box made of thick flesh-colored cardboard with black and white printing, and there are cutouts on the sides for easy transportation. True, it is not very convenient to drag such a box alone, since it is 120 cm long, and grabbing both cutouts is quite problematic. As my colleague noted, it is more convenient to wrap her arms in an upright position and carry it like a dakimakura pillow.
The box, in the manner of packaging a TV, opens from above, and inside you are waiting for large pieces of foam, which store not only a long display, but also much more. First, the leg, which consists of a large boomerang-shaped base and a cylindrical vertical post. Also included is a special round metal bracket, which you will need if you decide to hang the monitor on the wall.
There are two sets of screws (4 short and 4 thin) included for mounting the stand or wall mounting. From wires, the manufacturer has equipped the Acer Nitro XV431CP with HDMI and DisplayPort cables, as well as a standard IEC C13 power cable for connecting the power supply built into the monitor. We did not forget to put in the box the remote control, which we saw in last year’s model, as well as detailed instructions and a warranty card in dozens of languages.
Unlike last year’s model, this time Acer has paid more attention to design. Externally, the Acer Nitro XV431CP looks futuristic. The monitor is now available in white instead of the standard black. In addition, the body of the screen is made of smooth plastic, which is pleasant to the touch, which is complemented by various channels along the ends and lines at the back. The two large LED lines on either side of the leg or bracket attachment glows blue and draws attention to themselves.
At the same time, the manufacturer removed the backlight from the rack, and the upper crown is now made simply of glossy black plastic. They decided to use the same material for the external decoration of the mechanism for attaching the stand to the screen. The Acer Nitro XV431CP is removed from the box in its original packaging. It is covered with a protective film, and if the monitor will stand on the table near the wall, then it is better not to remove it, as the surface will quickly collect dust and then scratches.
The stand mechanism makes it easy to mount the leg in one motion using a snap-on mechanism. It is also easy to remove by sliding the dedicated switch. The inside of the rack is made of metal, and the outside is covered with smooth white plastic. There is a special hole for organizing cable management. An elevator built into the rack allows you to adjust the monitor height within 9.5 cm. At its lowest height, the screen has a distance of about 88 mm to the table surface. Also, the leg allows you to rotate the display horizontally 15 degrees to the right or left. The screen can be tilted 5 degrees backward and 15 degrees forward. Portrait orientation is not provided here.
The massive boomerang-shaped base is attached to the post using the three short screws provided, so you need a Phillips screwdriver to mount it on the leg. The leg is completely metal, and there are several rubberized pads on the bottom that do not allow it to slide over the surface. According to the impressions, the design is very reliable, and with sharp and inaccurate movements to adjust the position of the screen, the leg confidently holds the heavy display – it will definitely not fall over or even move.
Let’s go back directly to the screen. As stated earlier, the display is notable for its 32: 9 aspect ratio. This year, the manufacturer decided to ditch the curved VA matrix in favor of a straight IPS. With a diagonal of 43.8 inches at a distance of 60-70 cm from the monitor, it was convenient to work behind it and did not cause discomfort, and the lack of curvature solved the problem with uneven lines in the photo editor. The surface of the screen is matte and has an anti-reflective coating, which does its job well when in the evening at sunset the sun begins to shine from the window towards the workplace.
The bezels of the monitor are only 3 mm wide, on the sides and top, if we count only the outer plastic frame, and 9 mm, if we take into account the black frames of the display itself and the millimeter gap between the display and the plastic frame. The lower part of the frame is the thickest and measures 20 mm. The thickness of the screen at the edges is fixed at 22 mm, and due to the rounded shape of the case at the back, its thickness to the place where the leg is attached in the middle increases to about 70 mm. With a stand, the model has a maximum dimensions of 1089 x 419 x 280 mm, weight – 9.45 kg.
Below the display are the perforations of the built-in speakers and cooling. The built-in two speakers are rated at 2W. They don’t sound very loud like standard built-in speakers.
What the manufacturer did not change in the new model is the control unit in the middle under the Acer logo, which protrudes from the monitor by 10 mm, and its length is about 12 cm.Not only buttons from the bottom are built into it to control the OSD menu and monitor power, but and an infrared sensor, which is hidden behind a tinted glossy window on the front side. As a result, configuration and control of the Acer Nitro XV431CP can still be conveniently performed using the remote control. The built-in LED on the side of this unit glows blue when the monitor is working and blinks when the monitor is in standby mode, so it is worth turning off the device so that it does not interfere with sleep at night with its bright glow.
The connectors, unlike the Nitro El491СRP model, now do not look down and are not hidden behind a plug, but are directed towards the wall and are in the public domain. The manufacturer placed the power connector on the left side of the rack, and all other interfaces on the right. True, there have been no changes here, and for image output there is still one DisplayPort version 1.2 connector, one HDMI 2.0 input, one HDMI 1.4. To output sound to headphones or external acoustics, an audio jack for a 3.5 mm plug is provided.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS, CONTROL AND SETTINGS
As we said above, this gaming monitor has a diagonal of 43.8 inches (124.46 cm), and is based on a 10-bit (8-bit + FRC) IPS panel with a non-standard DFHD resolution (3840 by 1080 pixels), which essentially combines two Full HD screens in one body.
The matrix has a typical brightness value of 350 cd / m2, and a peak brightness of 400 cd / m2, due to which the display has received the DisplayHDR40 standard certification. Static contrast is 1000: 1 and dynamic is 10M: 1. 93% DCI-P3 color gamut. The viewing angles, according to the manufacturer’s data, are 178 by 178 degrees.
In addition, the monitor supports AMD FreeSync Premium and Flicker-Less technologies. The first helps prevent screen tearing and distortion in dynamic scenes on PC as well as Xbox consoles. The second reduces screen flickering. In addition, there is also a Low Blue Light function, which allows you to reduce the emission level of the harmful blue light spectrum.
The monitor is controlled both using standard buttons on the bottom of the control unit, and using the remote control. The manufacturer did not change the remote, and it is still a compact and light device in the style of remote controllers from set-top boxes, such as Apple TV, or expensive TVs from Samsung. For a year, Bluetooth was never delivered, so you still need to aim at the IR sensor under the screen to control it. Using the remote control, you can turn the monitor on and off, switch between video inputs, open the main menu and conveniently navigate through it using the arrows on the remote control and the “OK” and “back” buttons to select and return to the previous menu, respectively. In addition, you can adjust the volume and also quickly open a menu with picture modes. The HDR mode can be conveniently and quickly turned on using the remote control thanks to the provided separate button. All that is missing is the button to mute the sound, since the volume control is quite slow, and if you need to quickly turn off the sound, you will have to go into the settings.
If you suddenly lost the remote control, the battery ran out in it, or you just like to dig into the settings using the buttons on the monitor, then you can go to the on-screen menu by double-clicking the second button on the right. Opening the menu, you will immediately find yourself in the “Images” settings section, where, in addition to brightness and contrast, you can adjust the level of black enhancement and sharpness of the picture, turn on the blue light spectrum filter and activate HDR. The latter, when activated, locks out many image settings.
Next comes the “Colors” section, where you can choose different color schemes, adjust gamma, saturation, and the like. In the “Sound” section, they suggest adjusting the volume or simply turning on / off the speakers. The next item on the menu is various game features such as displaying frame rate, on-screen sight and FreeSync Premium. In the OSD tab, you can customize the OSD itself.
In the “System” section, you can switch between video inputs, adjust the aspect ratio, control the backlight, configure hotkeys, enable the DDC / CI function, and the image is displayed from several outputs using the PIP (picture in picture) and PBP (picture by picture) functions … The latter feature is very useful as it allows you to turn a 32: 9 monitor into two with a 16: 9 aspect ratio. So you can connect a PC via DisplayPort, and Xbox Series X – via HDMI, and with this feature, it is possible to chat with friends in the messenger or watch a guide on any achievement without interrupting the game. However, it is worth remembering that for correct display in the same format, it is necessary that the resolution and scan rate on the console and PC be set to the same.
The Acer Display Widget application is also designed to partially facilitate the setup of the Acer Nitro XV431CP, which works in conjunction with the monitor when DDC / CI is activated, so that the PC and monitor can transmit commands between themselves via the connected video cable. With the help of the application, you can get quick access to preset game modes and fine-tune their settings, as well as bind the ones you need to specific applications and games. The most useful feature is hidden in the Split Screen section, which allows you to split the screen in many different ways, and is a great alternative to Snap Assist in Windows 10, which either splits the screen in half or into four equal windows. An irreplaceable piece for organizing a comfortable workspace.
TESTS AND GAMES
We were able to test the display on PC, Xbox Series X and PS5 in projects such as Forza Horizon 4 (PC), Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC), Doom Eternal (PC), Nier Replicant (Xbox Series X), Microsoft Flight Simulator (Xbox Series X) and Control (PS5).
The PS5 was able to deliver a maximum resolution of 4K 60Hz and offered to tweak HDR and adjust the edges of the screen. The Xbox Series X could be set to both 4K @ 60Hz and 1080p @ 120Hz. Also, when the FreeSync option was enabled on the Xbox, the function to eliminate interruptions and breaks was active, but it is worth noting that it is available only when the entire working surface is filled in the screen format settings on the monitor. In the case of consoles that do not support the ultra-wide 32: 9 format, this caused a lot of image stretching, and it was unpleasant to play in this form.
The monitor showed excellent results on a PC, showing a very smooth and immersive picture both in Doom Eternal, where, thanks to the expansion of the field of view, it is faster to respond to situations, and in cockpit mode in Forza Horizon 4 – the mirrors on the sides are finally perfectly visible, so no need to turn your head in the game to look at them during the race.
In terms of performance, this monitor is capable of 120Hz refresh rates over DisplayPort and HDMI, but only 2.0. HDMI 1.4 connector is limited to 60Hz. The matrix has a minimum response time of 1 ms. Everything is in order with the viewing angles here, and the color rendition at different angles remains at a fairly high level. The backlighting is uneven – there are several precepts of various sizes in the area of the screen bezels, which can be seen on static black. While playing games in 32: 9 format on a PC, they are not visible, but when watching movies in 21: 9 format, they will not go anywhere along the edges, unless, of course, you do not stretch the movie to full screen in the player.
As stated earlier, the Acer Nitro XV431CP has passed DisplayHDR400 certification, which requires an 8-bit matrix with at least 400 cd / m2 brightness and general backlight brightness control. HDR is displayed in 8-bit anti-aliasing (FRC) mode with a maximum available frequency of 120 Hz. In the DisplayHDR Test program, we were able to see the maximum effective value at 667 (399.106598 nits), and the minimum at 55 (0.071634 nits). HDR performance was tested not only on PC, but also on PS5 with Xbox Series X. On all platforms, an increase in contrast and image detail was noticed.
The general impressions of using the Acer Nitro XV431CP are positive. Fundamental changes compared to last year’s model include the replacement of a curved VA matrix in favor of a flat IPS, as well as an improved design. The first innovation will appeal to fans of graphic editors, since last year’s model was poorly suited for this, and the second made the monitor more solid, since the design of the Nitro EI was simpler.
In addition, the appearance of a lift in the leg makes it even more convenient to adjust this big guy for yourself. Overall, we have a solid device that allows you to get an even more engaging experience from the gaming worlds thanks to an incredible immersive effect, as well as the ability to organize a huge and multi-window workspace on one screen.
Author: Sergey Dyakonenko (Madnfs)
Read also: Giant 32: 9 Gaming Monitor: Acer Nitro EI491CRP Review…