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

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Grayscale Tracking And Gamma Response

Our grayscale and gamma tests are described in detail here.

The default Warm color temp preset on the XB270HU is still a bit cooler than D65, especially at the higher brightness levels. The errors become visible at 60 percent and above. The only way to improve upon it is to adjust the RGB sliders as we've done below.

With a few tweaks and a change in the contrast control, grayscale tracking is now very flat with all errors below two Delta E. It's not quite in the realm of a professional screen but it's close. This is excellent performance.

Here is our comparison group.

Out of the box, the XB270HU comes in just below the three Delta E threshold. While it's a decent average error level, it's mainly supported by greater accuracy at lower light levels. The brighter steps have a visible blue/green tint.

Calibration drops the average error to a very low 1.18dE. Now all brightness levels show a perfect neutral gray tone. The Overlord wins the day here because it requires a software LUT calibration. All the other screens are calibrated with their OSDs.

Gamma Response

This is one of the best gamma results we've seen in a while. In looking over all our past data, we can see that IPS has a distinct advantage over TN in gamma tracking. It's not a universal constant; some TN screens show excellent gamma. But nearly all the IPS panels we've measured track extremely well. Not only does it improve the viewer's perception of dynamic range, it helps with color gamut accuracy as well.

Here is our comparison group again.

Gamma doesn't get much tighter than this. A .09 variance is about as close to perfect as we've seen. Even the Overlord Tempest with its LUT calibration can't quite match the XB270HU.

We calculate gamma deviation by simply expressing the difference from 2.2 as a percentage.

The average gamma value is 2.15; a little below the line, which means it's a tiny bit too bright. Will you see the difference? We can't and we doubt anyone will. What you're seeing here is gamma tracking with no peaks or dips at all.

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 :)