To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test PC Monitors. We cover brightness and contrast testing on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Acer’s two 27-inch screens here limit brightness in SDR mode. The XB273U tops out at 206 nits, which is enough light for most indoor environments, but if you have a very sunny window, it might be a little underpowered. The advantage is that you have very fine control of brightness with less than 2 nits per click of the slider. You can set brightness to 6 for 50 nits, and it’ll bottom out at 44 nits.
The XB273U’s black levels are mid-pack, as is contrast, which measures 972.3:1, a tad under our preferred value of 1,000:1.
After Calibration to 200 nits
Our calibration settings from page 1 result in a slight bump to the XB273U’s contrast ratio. It’s now up to 1,004.5:1. The difference is small, but we made a visible improvement in picture depth by changing the gamma preset from 2.2. to 2.4.
ANSI contrast is a bit lower, due to some slight screen uniformity issues in our sample, which were more apparent in test patterns than actual content. The XB273 still competes well with the other screens here, but obviously, the VA-based MSI has a distinct advantage.