Brightness And Contrast
To read about our monitor tests in-depth, please check out Display Testing Explained: How We Test Monitors and TVs. Brightness and Contrast testing is covered on page two.
Uncalibrated – Maximum Backlight Level
Today’s comparison group has a little of everything. G-Sync is represented by the BenQ XL2420G and AOC G2460PG. FreeSync-capable panels include the BenQ XL2730Z and Acer XG270HU. Rounding out the line-up is Planar’s IX2850, which is a comparable Ultra HD screen with good performance and a relatively low price.
If the XB280HK offered blur reduction, we’d be concerned by its low max output. It doesn't though, so we aren’t. A result of 270.8707cd/m2 isn’t as high as the others, but unless you’re playing outside on your deck in Florida, it’s high enough.
A lower backlight level translates to better blacks than the rest of the group. Unfortunately, it doesn't signal better contrast.
A 777.2:1 contrast ratio isn’t terrible. However, it does lag behind the norm a bit. Planar uses the same panel part in its IX2850 and manages to coax a little more from it. This is, however, pretty close to what we’ve recorded from all of the 28-inch UHD/TN panels reviewed on Tom's Hardware. Given a choice, we’d choose the higher contrast offered by the top two screens (even though the extra pixels are nice).