A few weeks ago you might have seen our review of the Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ, the first 4K 144 Hz monitor on the market with DisplayHDR 1000 certification and of course G-Sync HDR. It's a very impressive monitor, certainly one of the best you can get, although we didn't give it a full recommendation due to its $ 2,000 price tag and some issues with early users.
Well, the Asus isn't the only such monitor on the market. The new Acer Predator X27 uses the same AU Optronics panel, so both have the same specifications. However, this does not mean that they perform the same as I will explain later.
In terms of design, it is an easy win for Acer here. The Predator X27 is simply a far more attractive and well-built product compared to the PG27UQ, which is certainly better suited to its monstrous price.
The front of the display itself is not significantly different from the Asus model, with a similar bezel size and a similar simple design. But it is the booth where the X27 begins to differentiate itself through a much more elegant and less open player design.
Up to the column, the stand uses a unique and completely metal construction that fits a premium display, with ridiculous light projection features or colored highlights. The chunky pillar on the back, which, in addition to the usual tilt support, provides height and pan adjustment, ruins the elegant design a bit, but you can't see it from the front, which is great.
The rest of the tail looks reasonable, although it falls a bit in the player category, but it's nowhere near as bad as Asus' ridiculous "tech" pattern on the PG27UQ. In comparison, the X27 is basically the most beautiful monitor ever built.
The X27 uses plastic everywhere, except on the legs, with two different surfaces on the back, and it feels a little cheap. The monitor is still a bit chunky, though I suspect this is mainly due to the FALD backlight
There are also two RGB LED strips integrated into the design, one in the V-shaped vent upwards and the other along the bottom edge. Certainly a cleaner way to incorporate RGB than just sticking it into a solid logo on the back, though I would still personally disable it.
The inputs you get are no different from other G-Sync monitors: a single DisplayPort and a single HDMI port, as well as an audio jack and a USB 3.0 hub with some convenient quick access ports on the left.
The OSD is controlled by a direction switch that is easy to see, and navigating the menu with Acer's numerous functions is easy and quick. Most of the settings you'll find here relate to color and backlight controls, but there are still favorites like cheat crosshairs and dark boost options, although there is no extremely blurred motion blur.
The other thing you'll be interested in is the active fan. I criticized the Asus PG27UQ for having an audible fan for the G-Sync HDR monitor, and I'm sorry to say that the Acer Predator X27 also needs a fan to cool the internals. However, Acer uses a significantly different controller for this fan, with which the fan speed can be varied.
The Asus version of this monitor keeps the fan running at the same speed all the time, while the Acer model slowly starts the fan up from idle. This is a more comfortable and gentle way to introduce the noise caused by the monitor. The X27 also appears quieter in SDR mode, while when running HDR content, the fan is raised to approximately the same noise level as the PG27UQ.
Still, the fan is still audible during SDR operation, which can be a bit annoying depending on the ambient noise in your room. Ideally, this type of monitor would not need a fan, and if it did, the fan would be larger, slower, and almost noiseless. But as I mentioned in the PG27UQ test, this is one of the problems that occur with early adopter products.