The Acer CM3271K is designed for design professionals who want a monitor with excellent color quality that accommodates today’s imaging standards. It’s a refined monitor, but its price isn’t absurdly high like some of the other prosumer options in the market. Let’s check out if the Acer CM3271K can be regarded as a fantastic editing and creation monitor under $700 like the aging Acer PE320QK.
Acer CM3271K Specifications
- Screen Size: 27 Inches
- Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Panel Technology: In-Plane Switching (IPS)
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 4ms
- Contrast Ratio: 1000:1 (Static)
- Brightness: 350 cd/m²
- Speakers: Yes (2 x 4 Watts)
- Stand: Height – Yes
- Stand: Tilt – Yes
- Stand: Swivel – Yes
- Stand: Pivot – Yes
- VESA Compatibility: Yes
- Connectivity: DisplayPort 1.2a x 1, HDMI 2.0 x 2, USB-C 15w x 1, USB 3.0 x 4, 3.5mm Jack x1
- Dimensions with Stand (WxHxD): 24.7” x 23.7” x 10.5″
- Weight: 14.4 lbs
Design and Features
The Acer CM3271K has the unique ConceptD aesthetic which sets it apart from many monitors, including its competitors. The chassis still has a matte black finish, but it is accented by a satin finish stand with a faux wood textured base. The display isn’t bezel-free, but the plastic borders are within acceptable limits so they aren’t too distracting.
The proportions for the Acer CM3271K is just right, but the device does take up more than ten inches of depth when fully assembled. That and its round base can be conflicting if you have several peripherals on deck, but it should easy to rearrange. The device weighs in at 14.4 pounds so it isn’t too heavy, although be mindful of its total height when fully extended if you have something mounted at the top of your setup.
The Acer CM3271K is a premium monitor, so it’s not surprising that it has excellent build quality. The materials feel nice to the touch and are durable, plus there are no cosmetic defects on any of the monitor’s parts. The stand does a good job of keeping the monitor upright and there is no wobbling issue that can be dizzying while using it.
The Acer CM3271K even has a light sensor included that checks out your ambient light so it can automatically adjust the brightness. It’s useful for eye comfort and safety, but if those who manually calibrated their displays might find it troublesome since it can change the way the screen looks. Again, it’s a nice addition to have which expands how you can maximize the product.
You also get a calibration or shading hood with the Acer CM3271K that is intended to fight off glare. Frankly, its usefulness is on a case to case basis, but its always nice to have extra accessories with a pricey monitor. It is notable that the hood is lined with a light-absorbent material so it doesn’t reflect light which can be irritating especially when your eyes are already tired.
You also get a uni-directional joystick with the Acer CM3271K so accessing its various settings, presets, and options should be painless. It’s located at the lower corner of the rear panel, so it is very accessible even if you can’t see it directly. Some manufacturers even include remotes with their top of the line offerings, but it isn’t necessary for desktop monitors.
The stand on the Acer CM3271K is what makes it look different which we kind of like since it is refreshing. The base has a faux wood texture while the pillar is made of metal with a matte or satin grey finish that oozes elegance. It’s fully adjustable with tilt, swivel, pivot, and height adjustments, but it’s also replaceable with a VESA mount that has a 100 x 100 adapter.
The Acer CM3271K has an excellent I/O layout which includes everything you will need in a workstation setup. The panel includes DisplayPort 1.2a and two HDMI 2.0 slots, along with 4 USB 3.0 ports and a 3.5mm jack for peripherals. There is also a USB-C slot that supports DP Alt Mode, but it’s limited to 15watts so it can’t charge a laptop sufficiently while docked.
The Acer CM3271K even includes a pair of 4-watt speakers which can get decently loud for entertainment purposes. It is great for conference calls, movies, and background music, but it doesn’t have the thump necessary for an immersive experience.
Display and Performance
The boasts a 27-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and a 4ms response time. The backlight is limited to 400 cd/m2 while the contrast ratio is rated at 1000:1 like most IPS panels. This model is the stripped-down version of the CP7271K since it is only certified for HDR 400 without a FALD backlight, but it-s also pre-calibrated and Pantone-validated for excellent color accuracy.
4K in a 27-inch display is incredibly sharp with plenty of details, so it is great for viewing images and videos. However, other tasks such as reading can be straining on your eyes since the pixel density is too tight. Some users might need to use scaling but editing and even games won’t be much of a problem.
Unfortunately, the Acer CM3271K isn’t as impressive as its 4K 144Hz sibling when it comes to color quality. The IPS panel produces 99% sRGB and around 90% DCI-P3 which are decent, but they did miss the brand’s claims for vibrancy. Default accuracy has a deltaE average of 2.91 which isn’t great for a prosumer display, but acceptable for daily use.
You need a colorimeter to bring out the Acer CM3271K’s potential since tweaking it with the device can net a considerably lower 1.12 dE average. Doing so will also help with the screen’s gamma issues which are mostly to blame for the errors in the measurements. Take note that results will vary, so there are units with better accuracy scores out there.
The Acer CM3271K can manage a 460 cd/m2 maximum brightness, but its contrast at 50% backlight is limited to 1020:1. The latter is within the company’s specs, but we’re slowly getting used to IPS variants with higher ratios. This also means that the screen will make some images look washed out or blacks will look grayish when it’s used in the dark.
Panel uniformity for the Acer CM3271K is great since there are no visible backlight leaks or massive clouding issues. There is a loss of contrast on the upper edges of the display, but they are barely noticeable during regular use. This aspect will also vary between every unit due to the nature of IPS panels, so make sure you can apply for an exchange if yours exhibits worse symptoms.
The Acer CM3271K isn’t a gaming display, so it is understandable that it doesn’t have a very good pixel response time. It does have an overdrive feature, but it is locked out when Adaptive Sync is running. Fast-paced games will reveal trailing and ghosting, so we can only recommend this for casual or slow-paced games like RPGs.
The Acer CM3271K is a FreeSync gaming monitor, but it also worked with Nvidia’s G-Sync Compatible mode when tested. This duality is nice to have if you change GPUs often since you don’t have to rebuy the monitor if in case you switch to another brand. Input lag sits at 19ms which is slightly too high for gaming, but it doesn’t affect regular use as much as most would think.
Thoughts on the Acer CM3271K
The Acer CM3271K is a very promising 4K monitor for those who want a high-quality screen for editing or content creation. It is well-designed with plenty of features, plus we like the unique aesthetic that will surely fit in a creative or studio environment. Its USB-C connector is also nice to have for its intended audience who will most probably have a USB-C laptop like the MacBook Pro.
However, the glaring fault of the Acer CM3271K is its poor image quality out of the box which pales in comparison to the CP7271K. it’s a cheaper model, but $650 and all the certifications that it missed isn’t a joke. It performs great if calibrated, but there are other options in the market like the Acer PE320QK with better accuracy.
- Great Image Quality When Calibrated
- Zen Aesthetic
- Excellent Build Quality
- FreeSync/G-Sync Compatible
- Default Accuracy Could be Better
- Limited Contrast
- Slow Pixel Response Time and Average Input Lag
About the Author:
Paolo is a gaming veteran since the golden days of Doom and Warcraft and has been building gaming systems for family, friends, and colleagues since his junior high years. High-performance monitors are one of his fixations and he believes that it’s every citizen’s right to enjoy one. He has gone through several pieces of hardware in pursuit of every bit of performance gain, much to the dismay of his wallet. He now works with Monitornerds to scrutinize the latest gear to create reviews that accentuate the seldom explained aspects of a PC monitor.