It just dawned on me that throughout the monitor rush that occurred over the past 4 months or so, I never did manage to get my hands on a proper “gaming” monitor. Sure I had monitors which are big, small, bezel-less and all other sorts, I’ve never managed to get one that states that it is built for gaming on the box. Well, that all changes today as I’ve received the Acer Predator XB1 gaming monitor, and man, is this thing enticing.
The Predator XB1 reminds me of another monitor that I’ve reviewed not too long ago, that monitor being the ASUS Designo series. Why do I say that? Because the screen design is almost identical. Firstly, the top and sides of the monitor has little to almost no bezel, allowing the monitor to maximise display output. The monitor’s menu buttons are placed at the right hand corner of the bottom band, allowing you to access it easily.
That said, the monitor’s menus are not as clear as the one on the ASUS, making navigating the menu a bit confusing at the beginning. Aside from that, the general monitor design is something black, red, and full of rough angles, the design signifying a hardcore, no-nonsense gaming monitor. Basically, it doesn’t have the classy design of the Designo, but that isn’t all that important to me.
Now that we have the first look out of the way, let’s move on to the performance of the monitor. As expected of a gaming monitor, the Acer comes with quite a few neat features. The XB271HU features a 27” IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, a standard resolution for monitors with an aspect ratio of 21:9. The presence of the IPS panel means that this monitor will is able to display vivid and bright colours regardless of the angle you’re viewing the monitor from. It also helps that the XB271HU is capable of producing up to 16.7 million colours and has a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Response time on the XB271HU clocks in at 4ms grey-to-grey, impressive for a monitor that uses an IPS panel, known for their slower response times.
One thing that gamers usually demand when it comes to a monitor is a high refresh rate. In that department, the XB271HU will not disappoint you. By itself, the monitor has a refresh rate of 144Hz maximum. However, that can be further improved upon with a little something from Nvidia called G-Sync. If you have an Nvidia graphics card in your rig, the monitor will be able to take advantage of the G-Sync technology, boosting the refresh rate all the way up to 165Hz.
With all the big numbers and specs plastered on the box, it all comes down to whether or not the XB271HU can perform. In that regard, the monitor managed to deliver on almost all its selling points. The output on the screen is bright, vivid and input lag is a non-factor thanks to its low response time. Thanks to the combination of a beastly base refresh rate and Nvidia G-Sync, I’ve yet to see any screen tearing happen during my 2 weeks of usage. Another thing I like about the XB271HU has to do with the stand it came with. You can easily shift the height of the monitor by sliding the monitor up and down on the stand. Furthermore, the monitor can be easily rotated to portrait mode without needing to disassemble it.
MENUS AND SPEAKERS
Overall, the XB271HU’s performance managed to impress me, but there are just two minor aspects that I feel is underwhelming. The first problem I have with the monitor is the on-screen menu it comes with. After going through a number of monitors over the months, I can say that the menus on the XB271HU are not exactly the most intuitive ones that I’ve seen.
Sure, you won’t be touching the menu that frequently, but I still notice that it isn’t exactly a joy to navigate when I wanted to change the monitor’s settings. The speakers on the XB271HU are much like the speakers that were built into other monitors, mediocre and not worth mentioning about at length. Simply put, if you have the money to afford this monitor, you would have the money to get yourself a proper sound system.
Simply put, the Acer Predator XB271HU is a great gaming monitor to own. While the pricing of this beast isn’t exactly in the “affordable” category, if you’re looking for a monitor that can meet your gaming demands, then the XB271HU will make you very happy. Sure it doesn’t have fancy things like 4K or a curved screen, but then again, it doesn’t need those.
Verdict : Pricey, but oh so worth it.
Total Score 8.8
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