Acer Predator 17 (G9-791) with Full HD panel – detailed display tests, analysis and comparison

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Ever since we reviewed the Acer Predator 17 with UHD display, users have started asking about the Full HD variant as well and that’s understandable. No matter how powerful the GPU of the notebook is, the GTX 980M just can’t keep up with the 2160p resolution on most of the games so some users want to rely on the standard 1080p display without breaking the bank as well.

But while the FHD version is probably the better choice for gaming, the UHD version appeals more to users looking for a powerful laptop for some designing, video editing or in other words – color sensitive work. That’s due to the exceptional image quality that the 4K panel provides and it also has the much-needed equipment for this type of work – powerful quad-core CPU, high-performance GPU and compelling storage options including two M.2 NVMe SSD slots and a 2.5-inch HDD.

Anyway, we are here to talk about screens and here’s our comprehensive analysis on the screen comparing the UHD version of the panel with the current FHD display and also a few words on how the Predator 17’s 1080p IPS panel stands against its competition.

You can look up the Acer Predator 17 at Amazon.com for more information about prices, configurations and availability.

Display tests

So for the Full HD version, Acer relies on LG panels in contrary to the AU Optronics displays used for the 4K UHD variant. The model number here is LP173WF4-SPF1 with 16:9 aspect ratio, 127 ppi (pixel density) and 0.199 x 0.199 pixel pitch. It can be considered as “Retina” if viewed from a distance equal or greater than 69 cm.

Micr-Acer Predator 17

The predator 17 offers excellent viewing angles due to the IPS panel used for the display. The image below represents a 45-degree incline.

Angles-Acer Predator 17

The maximum brightness isn’t too far away from the UHD’s panel – 335 cd/m2. Also, the deviation is just 10%, while the color temperature is 7040K. It means that colors may appear a bit colder than usual since the optimal white point is 6500K(D65).

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Color reproduction

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. Starting with the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy. Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that has been used by millions of people in HDTV and the Web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used by professional cameras, monitors and etc. used for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy.

Here’s the point where you might actually want to opt for the UHD version if you are looking for more accurate colors or better sRGB coverage for color sensitive work. While the UHD version boasts 100% sRGB and 100% Adobe RGB coverage, the Full HD variant has only 89% sRGB coverage. Still, the notebook will provide punchy and vivid colors enough for excellent gaming or multimedia experience.

GAMUT-Bef-Acer Predator 17

Below you will see practically the same image, but we’ve adjusted the screen brightness to 140 cd/m2. Color circles represent the reference colors and white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 100% and 50% saturation inside the sRGB gamut.

Colors-Bef-Acer Predator 17

We also had the chance to measure the gamma curve after calibration and the good news is that it aligns almost perfectly with the optimal one. Also, the contrast ratio is pretty good – 970:1 before and 915:1 after calibration.

Gamma-Acer Predator 17

We tuned the display at 140 cd/m2 and 6500K color temperature.

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We used X-Rite i1Display Pro for our calibration.

xRite-Bef-Acer Predator 17

We measured the color accuracy thanks to 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass etc. You will see what’s the color accuracy of the display before and after calibration.

ColorChecker-Bef-Acer Predator 17

ColorChecker-Aft-Acer Predator 17

Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)

We are happy to see that the display doesn’t use PWM for adjusting screen brightness, just like its UHD sibling. Nonetheless, we were able to detect light pulsations with extremely high frequencies that won’t affect users, even if they are highly sensitive.

PWM-Acer Predator 17

Bottom line

So aside from the considerably lower pixel count on the Full HD version compared to the Ultra HD display, the current LG panel falls short in some aspects. For example, the sRGB coverage of the FHD display is 89% while the UHD version boasts not only full sRGB coverage but also 100% Adobe RGB. This also reflects the accuracy of the colors as well. Other properties like native color temperature, contrast ratio, and maximum brightness aren’t considerably worse than the ones on the UHD panel, in fact, the native contrast ratio of the FHD variant is slightly higher, but not so much to be noticed. That being said, the Full HD variant might be a more reasonable choice if you are aiming only at gaming, since the GTX 980M is still struggling with the extra pixels on most of the modern games, but if you are looking for a powerful working station that’s suitable for design work, video editing, photo editing etc., the UHD version is the way to go. Oh, and the 1080p display draws considerably less amount of energy so you battery life will be much better.

Acer Predator 17 (UHD) (AUO B173ZAN01_0)
Resolution 3840 x 2160
Pixel density 255 ppi
Brightness 359 cd/m2
Native color temperature 6830K
sRGB coverage 100% sRGB and 100% Adobe RGB
Contrast ratio 922:1
PWM NO
Refresh rate 60 Hz
Native G-Sync support NO

Acer Predator 17 (FHD) (LG Display LP173WF4-SPF1)
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Pixel density 127 ppi
Brightness 335 cd/m2
Native color temperature 7040K
sRGB coverage 89% sRGB
Contrast ratio 970:1
PWM NO
Refresh rate 60 Hz
Native G-Sync support NO

Since we answered the question which Predator 17 configuration is better for your needs, there’s still one thing we haven’t covered in this article. How the 1080p display of the Predator 17 stacks against ASUS’ ROG G752 – one of its direct competitors. To be fair, both displays are almost identical with a few notable differences that could be a deal-breaker for some. Aside from the maximum brightness, color temperature, contrast ratio, resolution, viewing angles and the absence of PWM in both panels, the ROG G752 takes an edge over the Predator 17 with the G-Sync support and higher refresh rate, which is 75 Hz compared to the 60 Hz on the Predator. The latter may not seem much, but animations and gaming feel much smoother. And the absence of native G-Sync support on the integrated display (the Predator still supports G-Sync via DisplayPort, though) may steer away some customers.

You can look up the Acer Predator 17 at Amazon.com for more information about prices, configurations and availability.

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