Acer XB270HU 27-Inch IPS 144Hz G-Sync Monitor Review

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OSD Setup And Calibration

The menu system in the XB270HU is identical to the one we encountered in the XB280HK; which is a little different than the OSD from the XG270HU FreeSync display. The XB screens omit the color management system and low blue light controls but otherwise offer the same features, except this one includes motion blur-reduction, which for us is a first in an IPS screen.

OSD Tour

Pressing any key brings up a quick menu. From the left we have picture modes, brightness, overdrive, ULMB (blur-reduction) and main OSD. ULMB is an on/off feature with no slider for pulse width. You'll take a 71 percent hit to light output when using it plus you have to turn off G-Sync and run at 120, 100 or 85Hz.

The picture modes, from left, include User, Eco, Standard (default), Gaming and Movie. If you make any changes, even if it's just Brightness, the mode automatically changes to User.

Acer eColor Management is just another way to access the picture modes. Brightness modulates the flicker-free backlight without changing the contrast ratio. The Contrast control must be reduced two clicks to achieve optimal grayscale accuracy. Gamma works perfectly at the 2.2 preset. And Color Temp has three settings plus an adjustable User mode.

We had to make a few tweaks to the RGB sliders for best grayscale tracking but since they start in the center of their ranges, there's very little effect on contrast.

The OSD is available in 15 languages and its timeout can be as long as 2 minutes, which is very convenient during calibration.

The input selector and DDC/CI options are grayed out since there's only a single DisplayPort connector. Overdrive has three settings, Off, Normal and Extreme; we used Extreme for the best panel response. ULMB is grayed out here because G-Sync and 144Hz are engaged. To use the blur-reduction, turn off G-Sync and set the refresh rate to 120, 100 or 85Hz. The refresh rate bar appears in the lower left corner and slides up and down to show the changing frame rate during G-Sync use. There are no numbers to tell you what's happening but once you use it awhile, you'll get a feel for what your current rate is. It's less intrusive than FRAPS.

Reset will return all settings to the factory defaults. And the Power-off USB Charge option leaves the USB ports on when the monitor is in standby so you can charge mobile devices.

Here is the resolution and refresh rate info. You also get an indicator when a G-Sync card is installed and enabled. Otherwise the Mode field says Normal.


The Standard picture mode measures reasonably well out of the box but a calibration will get the XB270HU to perform its best. Changing any setting will switch the monitor to its User mode. The Warm color temp preset is a little cooler than D65 so we engaged the User setting and tweaked the RGB sliders. Once done, grayscale tracking and color gamut accuracy compete well with other similarly-priced gaming monitors while gamma is among the best we've seen of late. Using the ULMB option reduces light output by 71.5 percent but does not affect contrast. There is no adjustable pulse-width slider so the max brightness available with ULMB on is around 102cd/m2.

Please try our settings below to optimize your XB270HU.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Acer XB270HU Calibration Settings
Brightness 200 cd/m249
Brightness 120 cd/m225
Brightness 100 cd/m220
Brightness 80 cd/m216
Brightness 50 cd/m29
Color Temp UserRed 53, Green 49, Blue 47
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.

  • Bartendalot
    I was nervous after hearing all the QC issues but either they fixed whatever issues people were reporting And I got a perfect one out of the box on the first try (was ready to RMA once or twice because I really wanted this monitor to work as advertised).

    Have others been getting XB270HU out of the box with no dead pixels or noticible light bleed?

    Yes... It was expensive but this is hands down, the best monitor I've ever owned.
  • Bartendalot
    "*either they fixed the QC issues or I got lucky"

    Is what I meant to say. First comments get me a little overenthused sometimes!
  • envy14tpe
    When Acer announced this and after I saw the tftcentral review I had my heart set on this. But then as people started to get them I heard about the issues. The QC issues seem way above average. Unless there is proof of a real fix I'm staying away from this monitor. Sad. Cuz it has/had so much potential. The specs are what us fps gamers want.
  • razvanc
    I'd like more reviews to inform people about IPS glow. IPS panels are gerat for image and viewing angles but become completely useless in the dark. To me, they look like the first generation of LCDs with no ambient light. So, people who play games or who watch movies in the dark should stay away. TN panels don't have this issue. And this is why I don't really understand Tom's for recommending IPS for gaming with such conviction. It should come with an asterisk at the end saying: "If you don't play in the dark".
  • spagalicious
    Great review, and an even better panel. I have seen some photos of some pretty questionable panels as far as backlight bleed and 'IPS Glow' go. Purchased this panel near the end of July and at 45% (a bit too high even) brightness, there is no noticable backlight bleed or orange glow present. I like to think they've probably improved their process in manufacturing these panels over the last 6 months, but I could be wrong.

    Not to mention Acer is pretty good about the RMA process and replacement panels. Favorable to ASUS's "Under ten dead pixels is normal and not covered under warranty" policy...
  • cknobman
    $800 for an Acer?

    It may be a nice monitor but that is still a hard sell given it is an Acer.
  • ubercake
    I feel like I need to do a side-by-side with my PG278Q. The contrast on this Acer is amazing for an IPS in that price range I did love my Acer HN274H from the pre-G-sync days...
  • ToineF
    if it was 1ms, I think it would be worth it.
  • ubercake
    16450327 said:
    if it was 1ms, I think it would be worth it.

    I was thinking the same thing but the difference between that and the ROG Swift is only 2ms black to white. This is more where the rubber meets the road.
  • Eggz
    Wuuuut?! Where did the days go where we used to have to drop a lot of money on our favorite set of monitor compromises? I really want to see this in person to feel whether it's as good as it seems :)