There are plenty of inexpensive 27-inch gaming monitors available for less than $300 that include refresh rates over 60Hz and FreeSync. But the bulk of them use old-school twisted-nematic (TN) panels. While advances have been made to that technology, most users prefer the improved viewing angles of in-plane switching (IPS) or the higher contrast of vertical alignment (VA). Those screens come with higher prices, but some progress is being made on that front. Today, we’re checking out Acer’s RG270, which brings IPS to the low price point of $250 (£189.99).
A few years ago, you couldn’t find a 27-inch IPS monitor for less than $500. Now that the technology is more common, prices have dropped to approachable levels; $250 is on par with many TN panels with similar features.The RG270 is a good fit for gamers with its 75Hz refresh rate and FreeSync from 48-75Hz. FHD resolution ensures snappy performance with modestly equipped systems. You won’t need to back it up with expensive graphics hardware to enjoy 60 frames per second (fps) or more.
|Brand & Model||Acer RG270|
|Panel Type / Backlight||IPS / WLED, edge array|
|Screen Size / Aspect Ratio||27 inches / 16:9|
|Max Resolution & Refresh||1920x1080 @ 75Hz|
|Native Color Depth / Gamut||8-bit (6-bit+FRC) / sRGB|
|Response Time (GTG)||4ms|
|Video Inputs||1x DisplayPort 1.2|
1x HDMI 1.4
|Audio||3.5mm headphone output|
|Power Consumption||16.5w, brightness @ 190 nits|
|24.1 x 17.7 x 7.8 inches|
612 x 450 x 198mm
|Panel Thickness||Upper part: 0.3 inch / 7mm|
Lower part: 1.4 inches / 37mm
|Bezel Width||Top/sides: 0.3 inch / 7mm|
Bottom: 0.8 inch / 21mm
|Weight||8.4lbs / 3.8kg|
Its most unique feature is Visual Response Boost (VRB), an answer to the ULMB option found in many G-Sync monitors. It’s a backlight strobe that seeks to reduce motion blur by inserting black frames, effectively turning the panel into a scanning display like a CRT or plasma screen. However, we found it brought more negatives than positives.
Overall, this is a strong display for gamers on a budget. Let’s check it out.
Unpacking & Accessories
The monitor comes with analog audio, DisplayPort and VGA cables. The power supply is a tiny brick with very thin wiring. The stand is in two pieces and assembles with a single captive bolt. It then snaps in place at the bottom of the panel. Documentation lives on Acer’s website.
Acer opted for elegance over the mundane with the RG270. The panel’s upper portion is razor-thin at only 7mm. A bulge at the bottom is a slightly thicker 37mm. That slimness follows around front, where the bezel is also only 7mm wide at the top and sides and 21mm wide on the bottom. The anti-glare layer is flush-mounted and disappears when there is no image. The frame is so thin that you’ll barely notice it during use. We’re not at the bezel-free point just yet, but the RG270 comes pretty darn close.
Controls consist of small buttons along the bottom right of the panel. They click firmly with good feedback. Small icons appear on the screen to indicate their functions. There, however, we discovered an annoying flaw. The symbols don’t line up with the buttons, making it difficult to press the correct one.
The first four keys access picture modes, brightness, audio volume and input selection. The fifth opens the full on-screen display (OSD), which is a comprehensive menu that includes calibration and gaming options.
The back is mostly smooth and has a grill for venting heat and letting the 2w speakers output sound. Audio is tinny and polite at best, but you can take it to max volume without significant distortion.
The stand’s attachment point is small but solid and only allows tilt adjustments. The fulcrum is at the bottom, so you’ll have to adjust distance after you find your preferred angle. There are 100mm VESA mount lugs included if you want to use your own bracket or monitor arm.
The input panel faces backwards, making connections easy to find. You get one each of HDMI 1.4 and DisplayPort 1.2, along with a VGA port. Analog audio is supported by a 3.5mm jack. There are no USB ports. The power supply also connects here via a right-angle plug.
The RG270 has eight picture modes, accessed by a hotkey. Standard is the default and provides a high level of color accuracy. Calibration is unnecessary. If you change any image parameter, User is selected automatically.
The full OSD offers the same options seen in Acer’s more expensive gaming monitors. There’s a Black Boost slider to help increase shadow detail, along with a Low Blue Light adjustment to reduce eye fatigue. Dynamic Contrast and Super Sharpness round out the image enhancements. We found the best picture when leaving these controls alone.
The Color menu offers three gamma presets, ranging from 1.8 to 2.4, and four color temp options, plus a user mode with both gain and bias sliders. We don’t see two-point white balance on many monitors, so this is a plus. You also get six-axis color sliders for saturation and hue, which is unusual on a budget display.
A Gaming menu accesses the FreeSync and VRB options. You can’t use the VRB blur reduction in concert with FreeSync, and the refresh rate must be locked at 75Hz for it to work. When we tried VRB, it cut brightness by 30 percent and introduced a visible flicker to the image. While it reduced motion blur, the downsides outweighed that advantage. We much preferred using FreeSync and the RG270’s full light output.
The Gaming menu also offers three different gaming reticles which appear at the center of the screen. To turn on the frame counter, visit the OSD menu and turn on Refresh Rate Num. When adjusting the User mode, you can save your settings to one of three memories. To reset the RG270 to its factory defaults, choose Reset All Settings in the Information menu.
Setup & Calibration
The RG270 delivers excellent color accuracy out of the box and doesn’t require calibration. We tweaked it anyway and managed some small performance gains. Gamma presets are accurately labeled, so 2.2 is the right choice there. Normal color temp delivers good tracking of the D65 standard, but we tweaked the User mode for even better results. We noticed hue errors in green but could not fix them with the six-axis sliders.
Feel free to try our recommended settings to dial in your RG270:
Brightness 200 nits
Brightness 120 nits
Brightness 100 nits
Brightness 80 nits
Color Temp User
Gain – Red 48, Green 48, Blue 51
Bias – Red 50, Green 50, Blue 50
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