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Like a vast majority of gaming displays, the XB280HK employs a TN panel. What is unique here is the Ultra HD resolution. Playing graphics-intensive titles while pushing more than eight million pixels still requires a fairly expensive video card. But the addition of G-Sync means choosing between stuttering/input latency and frame tearing is no longer necessary.
This is a good thing because, thanks to its high resolution, the XB280HK is limited to a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. There aren't many rigs able to operate above that frame rate at 3840x2160 anyway. With the variable refresh available from G-Sync, there is no stuttering until the action drops below 30 FPS. Then, the GPU simply doubles frames to keep input lag from increasing.
If you’re wondering about the panel part used, it’s the same Innolux piece found in every other 28-inch UHD/TN screen. Acer specs an 8-bit color depth, which suggests the frame-rate conversion to 10-bit has been eliminated to speed up video processing. We also recorded faster panel response times in our tests thanks to Acer’s more aggressive overdrive feature.
Like the XG280HU we reviewed recently, this is a no-frills design. Aside from Ultra HD and G-Sync, you don’t get much else. The build is solid and our tests show good picture quality as well. But if you’re looking for gaming modes, blur reduction or higher refresh rates, you’ll have to look elsewhere and take a hit to resolution in the process.
Contrast ratio, brightness, chromacity & gamma tracing is where XB280HK looses the ground, but to be fair, most of the gamers won't be noticing much difference at all. But it is kind of disappointing to see Planar do better in these fields than Acer utilizing the same panel. I don't know, maybe the overdrive somehow worsen the results?
But ofcourse, it does well on uniformity and response time. Makes me wonder why XB280HK doesn't have ULMB if it's supposed to be a bundled feature with G-Sync. That should've helped in 60Hz panels more, rather than 144Hz ones.
But anyway, XB280HK looks promising, although I don't think 4K is what I prefer for gaming+life (although I do for gaming only).
It's 1.2a I presume. Since that's what is capable of 4K@60Hz other than HDMI 2.0
People that like to play games also like to play games in ultra HD resolutions.
ULMB uses flickering to lower persistence, which reduces the motion blur. If you've ever used 60hz CRT monitors, you'll know that flickering is painful on the eyes. This is why ULMB mode is not offered on 60hz monitors, and likely won't be offered on anything less than 75-85hz.
Top end GPU's can handle 4K just fine. You just don't play it at max settings. What is better, medium to high settings and 4K, or maxed at 1080p? That is a subjective question, and will vary from person to person.
That said, I prefer higher refresh rates than 60hz, so I'll be going 1440p before 4K.