Acer Predator XB272 gaming monitor
"Hardcore gamers will love the silky smooth refresh rate of the Acer Predator XB272."
240Hz refresh rate
Good contrast ratio
Spot color accuracy
Welcome to the future where high-end gaming monitors are so fast we can't show you how fast they are. Seriously. During our Acer Predator XB272 test, we had constant problems expressing the incredibly fast refresh rate of 240 Hz.
The monitor you are reading may be reading the caps at 60 Hz, which means that it is updated 60 times per second. That's more than enough for everyday use and most games. But the further you climb the ladder at the refresh rate – up to 75 Hz, 144 Hz, 200 Hz and now with the Predator XB272, 240 Hz – the smoother the gameplay looks.
Games with a high refresh rate, however, pose their own challenges. To get the most out of a 240 Hz monitor like the XB272, which is available for $ 680, you need a monster gaming rig.
The characteristic Predator design from Acer – red accents, sharp angles – is missing from the Predator XB272. Without the chrome “Predator” logo at the bottom of the display, the XB272 would hardly be distinguishable from more ordinary monitors.
The stand is mostly made of plastic, and although it keeps the monitor stable, it's not very attractive. It's just a black pillar with black plastic feet. However, this could be a stroke of luck if you are looking for a display that fits your home decor.
With displays similar to the BenQ EX3200R, it is clear that gaming monitors can occasionally benefit from an elegant design. The EX3200R with its wide, curved display is located on a chrome metal stand. It's modern and stylish, like a faucet in a fancy hotel – one of those noses.
It's modern and stylish, like a faucet in a fancy hotel – one of those noses.
Then BenQ looks good, but maybe it's not for everyone. Design decisions are always a risk, so it is difficult to blame Acer for making bets secure here and choosing something boring and functional.
The Acer Predator XB272 may not be the fairest in the country, but it is definitely robust. Every inch of the display feels solid, there's no creaking or settling if you press it well, and once you've adjusted its position, it usually stops. The stand also provides excellent insulation so the display doesn't wobble when the desk it's sitting on bumps into it.
The monitor is VESA compatible and with its super slim bezels it is not a bad choice for a wall mount. The bezels also make this monitor ideal for multi-monitor setups.
Never in the history of this earth has anyone looked at a device and thought "it has too many ports". The Acer Predator XB272 embodies this philosophy, at least in a way, by including four USB ports of type A 3.0 and one USB port of type B. The last one is a strange recording, but a welcome one.
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends
The ports DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4 are located directly behind the front lip of the display. They can be reached from the front by tilting the display backwards, which is a nice touch.
An additional DisplayPort or HDMI connection would have been welcome, but gaming displays have been quite stingy lately, so this goes without saying. The Acer Predator Z35 also has a single HDMI and DisplayPort.
Buttons within the buttons
Monitors are usually available in two versions, the one with buttons and the one with jog buttons – a small joystick, which is also a button. We rarely have a choice, it's a binary file that monitor manufacturers impose on us. In the footsteps of Prometheus, who set fire to humanity, the Acer Predator XB272 offers us the gift of choice.
Welcome to the future where high-end gaming monitors are so fast we can't show you how fast they are.
It is a monitor with a jog button and normal buttons.
Okay, that may not be the most exciting thing about this monitor, but it does help because the Predator XB272 is very customizable. Pressing the jog key calls up the main menu, in which you can navigate to several submenus to adjust brightness, contrast, color settings and the integrated crosshair "Target point" – a crosshair that the Predator XB272 can overlay on your display to aim in To facilitate game.
An additional quick menu is displayed above the "normal" buttons, in which you can adjust the brightness, optimize the contrast and switch between presets for games, films or graphics.
Silky fast and lightning fast
In a way, high refresh rate gaming is on its own parallel path alongside other graphical innovations like 4K gaming. It is currently not possible to offer 4K games at 240 Hz, even for high-end gaming PCs. For this reason, gaming monitors will often support either 4K or an extremely high refresh rate, but we rarely see the two together.
This is also the reason why so many monitors with a high refresh rate at 1080p are maximum. Consistently running games at 240 frames per second is difficult, but reducing the resolution to 1080p makes the job a lot easier. The picture is not that sharp, but you can make the most of your detailed settings – depending on the strength of your hardware.
The Acer Predator XB272 is one such monitor, whose resolution is set to 1080p and the refresh rate to 240 Hz. If your hardware can handle it, reaching 240 FPS and turning on G-Sync makes every game a visual symphony. A game like Overwatch becomes hyper-realistic on this display. Flowing animations, fast gameplay and killer visuals run across the entire screen, filled with an unprecedented sense of movement and dynamism.
This fast refresh rate is achieved thanks to the twisted nematic or TN display of the Acer Predator XB272. These types of displays are usually very fast, but often suffer from poor viewing angles, and the XB272 is no exception. If you move too far to the left or right, the display will appear discolored. Fortunately, the stand is very easy to adjust, so this disadvantage can be easily mitigated.
Let's see how it can compete against competitors in some other areas.
While it's tempting to compare the Acer Predator XB272 to its larger cousin, the 35-inch ultra-wide Acer Predator Z35, it faces strong competition from the BenQ EX3200R.
With a contrast ratio of 2,060: 1, the BenQ EX3200R takes the lead, and the Acer Predator Z35 takes second place with a contrast ratio of 1,190: 1. Both are excellent results, which shows that both monitors can render lights and shadows side by side without losing quality, if any. Images, videos, and games all have a sense of depth that you won't see at lower contrast ratios.
The Acer Predator XB272 with a contrast ratio of 740: 1 looks good, but compared to the BenQ EX3200R there is an amazing difference between them. The BenQ is wasteful in comparison. Even flat pictures have a sense of life and details that you won't see on the Predator XB272.
The XB272 looks good. Images won't wash out and videos don't show any visible streaks due to the low contrast – but for almost $ 700, it's not a bad thing to expect more than good.
If your hardware can handle it, reaching 240 FPS makes every game a visual symphony.
In terms of color space, the XB272 achieves 75 percent of the AdobeRGB color space, while the Predator Z35 was able to render 79 percent. It doesn't make much of a difference, and none of these monitors are top performers when it comes to color gamut. Even the Z35, with its slightly above-average score, would be a poor choice for color-sensitive work in Photoshop.
The color accuracy is a slightly different story. The Acer Predator XB272 and the BenQ EX3200R are leaders in this category. The average color error values - 1.74 and 1.29 – are close enough that none of the monitors shows any noticeable distortion.
In the case of color errors, a lower score is better, and everything below is difficult for the human eye to notice. So these results are very good and are in line with the low-end monitors that demand professional performance.
The Acer Predator Z35 and the Dell S2417DG were only a few centimeters apart with a value of 2.45 and 2.4 respectively. These values are low enough so that nothing ever looks badly discolored on both displays, but high enough that you may not want to use them for photo or video editing – especially if you are doing color correction.
No calibration required
Calibrating a display does not always reveal hidden potential, but sometimes the undesirable properties of a monitor can be reduced. The Acer Predator XB272 is ready for use immediately after calibration with a professional colorimeter, which is a mixed blessing.
On the one hand, this means that you don't have to mess around with the XB272 to get a good performance. It will do it from day one. On the other hand, this means that there's not much you can do about the painful average gamut or contrast ratio of the XB272.
The color accuracy has improved slightly, but the XB272 is already good in this regard. So it's not really worth the time it takes to calibrate the display to switch from 1.74 to 1.58.
The Acer Predator XB272 comes with a three-year limited warranty that covers parts and labor in the event of manufacturing defects. This is quite long for a gaming monitor, as we usually see a one or two year warranty on monitors in this price range.
The Acer Predator XB272 is a good gaming monitor. It's held back because it only offers 1080p resolution at $ 680, but with the extremely high refresh rate, it's far ahead of its closest rivals in terms of speed. However, this is a separate problem. Do you really need 240 Hz to get a smooth gaming experience? Can your PC handle it at all?
Is there a better alternative?
Yes, there is a better alternative: the BenQ EX3200R. It's a curved 31.5-inch monitor with extremely wide picture quality and a lightning-fast refresh rate of 144 Hz. It's not as fast as the Acer Predator XB272, but put it side by side and you might not notice the difference . The BenQ is also a 1080p display, but its cheaper price of $ 400 helps to excuse this potential disadvantage.
In general, yields will decrease the further you move past 60 Hz. At 75 Hz the movement assumes this glassy-smooth quality, while at 144 Hz games become beyond. The Acer Predator XB272 looks great at 240 Hz, but the difference between 144 Hz and 240 Hz is minimal … and barely noticeable to the naked eye.
A 1440p display with a 120 Hz or 144 Hz panel is another possible alternative. Acer and Asus offer panels with this combination of resolution and functions, such as B. the Asus ROG Swift PG279Q, and most sell at about the same price. They offer a good compromise between image sharpness and refresh rate. You can always search our list of the best computer monitors for more options.
How long it will take?
The Acer Predator XB272 benefits from a long three-year warranty and is a well-built small monitor, so it is likely to last long enough to benefit from this warranty. At 240 Hz, it can keep up with your gaming rig for the foreseeable future or last long enough for your hardware to achieve this refresh rate.
Should you buy it
If you may not be able to set a refresh rate of less than 240 Hz, you should buy the Acer Predator XB272. It offers a slightly above average picture quality, even if it is a bit expensive. If you get along with 144 Hz, you should better choose the BenQ EX3200R or another 144 Hz competitor.