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Acer XG270HU 27-inch FreeSync Monitor Review

We’ve had G-Sync monitors for many months now, but AMD fans had to wait for FreeSync screens. Today we’re looking at Acer’s 27-inch QHD XG270HU.

OSD Setup And Calibration

OSD Tour

Pressing any control key brings up a small set of icons.

The e symbol represents the XG270HU’s five picture modes: User, ECO, Standard, Graphic and Movie. Standard is the default, but if you change any color option, the monitor switches automatically to User.

The second icon adjusts brightness, the third is Acer’s two-level overdrive control, the fourth adjusts speaker and headphone volume, and the last icon brings up the full OSD.

Acer eColor Management is another term for the five picture modes mentioned above. BlueLight gradually warms the color temp until the image is quite reddish. It also takes over the brightness setting. We suggest selecting the Warm color temp preset if you don’t plan to calibrate. It measures pretty close to D65.

Unusual in a gaming monitor are the six-axis color saturation and hue controls. Saturation can be used to adjust color luminance, while hue works well for tweaking the secondary colors, magenta, cyan and yellow.

Gamma presets are offered only at the 2.2 and 1.8 levels. The 2.2 option is quite accurate so we left it alone.

Super Sharpness adds in a slight amount of edge enhancement. While it might make graphic and video content appear sharper, the feature creates white outlines around black text in most applications.

When you choose the User color temp, another click of the Select key brings up the RGB sliders. They work well, but we'd prefer a two-point control. Only a slight improvement in overall grayscale tracking is possible because you can’t manipulate the high and low end of the brightness scale separately. We’ll explain that in more detail on page five.

Here is the six-axis color control for saturation. Hue has a similar screen. Each color can be raised or lowered in value; a nice touch. Saturation actually does a better job dialing in color luminance and again, we had to compromise a bit when adjusting the CMS. The hue controls work nicely for bringing the secondary colors in line.

The only OSD control is timeout, which can be extended to 120 seconds. There is no need to move the menu around the screen since it defaults to the lower right-hand corner.

The third submenu, Tools, contains aspect ratio options, DDC/CI (leave this one), an input selector, overdrive, DisplayPort version and language. If you’re wondering about ACM, well, we weren’t sure either since it’s not explained in the manual. It stands for Adaptive Contrast Management though, also known as dynamic contrast. Use it sparingly since it crushes highlight and shadow detail. Speaking of the input selector, the XG270HU has an auto-sense feature that locks onto the first active signal.

Finally, you have access to signal information including resolution and horizontal/vertical refresh rates. The current input and serial number are also displayed.

Calibration

The XG270HU offers good accuracy at its default presets--Standard mode, Warm Color Temp and Gamma 2.2. We tweaked the RGB sliders and the Six-Axis Saturate and Hue controls just a bit to try improving things. You’ll see in the test results that we made some small gains, though ultimately the visual difference was slight. Please feel free to try our settings below.

Acer XG270HU Calibration Settings
Picture ModeUser
Brightness56
Contrast50
Color Temp UserRed 100, Green 97, Blue 98
Gamma2.2
Super SharpnessOff
Red Saturation53Red Hue50
Green Saturation50Green Hue50
Blue Saturation50Blue Hue50
Yellow Saturation50Yellow Hue47
Magenta Saturation50Magenta Hue50
Cyan Saturation52Cyan Hue50
Christian Eberle
Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors.