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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
  • rdc85
    Look goods,

    hope they can make 144hz IPS "Freesync" monitor...
    24" preferred.. 27" just to big for me..
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful
    Reply
  • ubercake
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful
    The first freesync monitor with such a range. This is great for competition!!!

    I also like the fact these freesync monitors are not limited to a single DP input.

    Now I feel like I have a choice again. AMD corrected their FCAT issues I had been complaining about for years and now freesync? I may head back to team red with the next gen. This is good stuff. How are the drivers lately?
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    Very sexy monitor. That IPS version is also supposed to be QHD... That's going to be pricey for sure, but at least it's the start of good things to come
    Reply
  • wtfxxxgp
    Look goods,

    hope they can make 144hz IPS "Freesync" monitor...
    24" preferred.. 27" just to big for me..

    Seriously? 27" 1440p is the SWEET SPOT.
    Reply
  • UncleVesper
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful

    It figures Tom's Hardware does not actually do a full review of their products. The FreeSync range they just took for granted in what they were told. According to GURU3D, they experienced tearing this monitor < 40 FPS, so the minimum range is NOT 30 but 40 HZ.

    http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_freesync_review_with_the_acer_xb270hu_monitor,12.html
    Reply
  • UncleVesper
    Link cut off, this was the conclusion: "We did noticed on the ACER screen that at low sub 35 FPS screen tearing was back, which was disappointing. From what we learned, the ACER dynamic range starts at 40Hz, and thus so will FreeSync. If you cannot achieve such a framerate then you need to tweak image quality in such a manner that it stays above the minimum dynamic range. But FreeSync at 40+ FPS is as good as it is at 60 FPS, that is a fact."
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    16039451 said:
    "In the case of the XG270HU, its frame rate range is 30-144Hz, which means you can benefit from FreeSync down to 30 FPS."

    my god that is wonderful

    Yup.

    The first OEMs to seriously target entry-level and 'mainstream' 30Hz+ at a respectable size and resolution are sitting on gold mines. Hopefully, it will happen sooner rather than later.

    If Intel gets behind it, it's a done deal. Being the big dog with DX12 on the immediate horizon, and with their investment made into integrated graphics, it is a natural extension to bring DP to great, inexpensive motherboards.

    I'd love to see some gaming reviews at the lower-end. Let us see the experience with a $130 APU.



    Reply
  • singemagique
    Very sexy monitor. That IPS version is also supposed to be QHD... That's going to be pricey for sure, but at least it's the start of good things to come

    Yep, the XB270HU is 1440p, IPS, 144hz, 4ms, GSync. I picked up two last month from Amazon at $738. They are excellent panels and the best monitors I have used outside of professional monitors.
    Reply
  • quilciri
    Why, oh why, oh why doesn't it have a VESA mount? You were so close to the perfect monitor, Acer.
    Reply