Over the past year or so gamers that cant quite justify the jump to 4K essentially have a chocie between two 27inch monitors, the Acer Predator XB271HU and its counterpart from ASUS, the ROG Swift PG279Q. Both models offer very similar specs and are both based on a 27 inch IPS panel at WQHD or 1440P and offer a 144hz refresh rate that can be pushed to 165hz with a quick shange of settings.
Dropping in at £499.99 on Amazon, the XB271HU is not the cheapest 27 inch monitor around and we will get to why it justifies the price later on. Arriving at our office, the packaging comes blazened with gaming branding and get straight to the point, this is for the serious gamers out there.
Spec wise there is not a lot missing from the list with G-Sync support, 4x USB 3.0 ports (2 side mounted and 2 to the rear), headphone jack, intergrated speakers, Display Port 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 adding to the aforementioned display and refresh rate. The design and price is what seperates the Acer from the ASUS though and whilst there have been various revisions since launch, those looking for build quality and high refresh rates wont be disapointed.
There is no questioning who the monitor is aimed at, if the packaging didnt give it away then the stand design certainly will, sharp lines and angles of the metal red feet help keep the monitor stable when in use. The monitor comes without the stand attached but is very simple to lock into place, its worth noting there is also VESA compatibility for wall mounting if requried.
With the stand attached you have both swivel and tilt adjustment, 120mm in height and -5 to 35 degrees of tilt. 90- degrees of pivoting also allows for portrait mode. Its more than we need but in some use cases users will take full advantage. From the front, a tiny bezel surrounds the IPS panel but in use there is actually around a 5mm black bar when turned on.
Sitting at 110ppi its not the highest pixel density but at this size, offers a fantastic balance for most consumers. Paired with the IPS panel, it offers superb viewing angles.
Setting up the monitor after unboxing really doesnt take too much effort, the OSD buttons are placed on the bottom of the panel rather than to the rear like the ASUS does so well with a mini joystick for control. Its the more instinctive interface and about the only place where we feel the Acer falls behind.
The Acer Predator XB271HU is equipped with Nvidia G-Sync technology to really offer a butery smooth experience and take advantage of all those frames available. The key at driving this panel will be down to your system spec, we recommend at least a GTX 1070 for high refresh rate gaming at 1440P.
Firing up the panel to look at image quality and we are immediately impressed with the out of the box settings, not needing to make any adjustments. We dont have any colur calibration equipment to hand but fine tuning this display wouldnt take much effort.
In the sound department, whilst not the worst we have ever heard, the inbuilt speakers are not great. That said we dont expect anyone payingh this much for a monitor to be using them, settling for a decent headphone or surround set up instead.
Should you buy the Acer Predator XB271HU? That depends on a number of factors. If you have the hardware to drive this beast at its full capacity of 165hz at ultra settings at 1440P, have a Nvidia based GPU to take advantage of G-Sync and enough cash in the bank to splash out. For AMD users there is a FreeSync option also available that brings down the cost. For team green though, there simply isnt a better option out there.