Acer Predator XB273K 4K 144Hz Monitor Review: The Next Best Thing

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If the thought of spending $1,800 on the Acer Predator X27 or Asus ROG Swift PG27UQ is unappealing, the Acer Predator XB273K is the solution to those wishing to maximize gaming performance while adding HDR support. It's one of very few 4K monitors that runs at 144Hz. When paired with a stout graphics card, it’s hard to look away from a gaming environment rendered with such high pixel density moving at impressively smooth 100 fps plus.

The unexpected bonus comes in the form of that professional-level color accuracy. We don’t expect gaming monitors to deliver such precise color, but the XB273K comes ready for critical applications right out of the box. There was no point in even attempting a calibration pass. Coupled with near-perfect gamma, the Predator XB273K ’s image quality stuns in both SDR and HDR modes.

It’s nice to see choices for SDR material as well, where one can dial up contrast with an effective variable backlight and engage extended color with a DCI-P3 gamut mode that covers nearly 85 percent of the specification. The XB273K also switches seamlessly between HDR and SDR, so your content is always displayed correctly.

Some will still find the price on the high side, given the cost of a typical 27-inch gaming monitor. But where can you find HDR coupled with 4K resolution, a 144Hz refresh rate and G-Sync for less? We agree that $1,300 (£1,200) is a premium price point, but at this moment, the XB273K has no peers. That said, if money were no option we'd splurge on a full-array backlight display (like the ROG Swift PG27UQ or Predator X27), but the Predator XB273K is an impressively supreme, competent alternative.

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Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.