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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.

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

All of the monitors in today’s comparison group are capable of 144Hz operation. Two have G-Sync (AOC G2460PG and BenQ XL2420G), two support FreeSync (BenQ XL2730Z and our review subject) and the remaining samples do not employ frame rate matching (LG 24GM77 and BenQ XL2430T).

We’re always concerned that gaming monitors have enough available brightness to cover blur-reduction, which reduces output. The XG270HU is the only screen in our field without that feature, so its 367.4346cd/m2 of brightness is more than enough.

The max black level places Acer squarely in third place. That bodes well for on/off contrast, which as you’ll see below is pretty good.

The XG doesn’t quite crack 1000:1 but it comes close. We like the look of this particular TN panel. Not only does it offer a nice, punchy image, it seems to have better off-angle quality than most. You’ll see more evidence of that on page seven.

Uncalibrated – Minimum Backlight Level

We like 50cd/m2 as a minimum value, though many users prefer 80. Acer caters to those in the latter group with an 87.9393cd/m2 result. When the lights are out, dropping the brightness bottom produces an ideal image for playing games or watching movies with no eye fatigue.

The XG270HU loses a bit of ground with a fifth-place minimum black level score. Minimum contrast is slightly lower as a result.

Minimum contrast declines only barely, and Acer retains its third-place ranking in our on/off contrast tests. This level of performance shows good consistency at all brightness levels. There’s no need to adjust anything but the backlight to your own preference. All other parameters remain stable and accurate.

After Calibration to 200cd/m2

Calibration drops the Acer from third to fifth place in the black level standings. These are extremely minor variations that you'd struggle to distinguish with the naked eye. And the XG is pretty accurate without calibration. So, if you want every bit of available contrast, leave the monitor at its factory settings.

There is an eight-percent drop in contrast when you calibrate. It’s a small compromise, but then again what you gain in color accuracy is equally minor. Thus, leaving the monitor unadjusted still results in an excellent image. We’re making the changes to show the XG270HU’s full potential. In the real world, though, they’re not necessary.

ANSI Contrast Ratio

To our eyes, this is one of the best TN panels we’ve seen, and the ANSI contrast result backs our observation. Only the highest-quality parts can maintain a ratio close to the on/off number. It’s fortunate that the top three screens represent 144Hz (LG), G-Sync (BenQ) and FreeSync (Acer). That means you only have to choose the technology you want to support. All three offer superb contrast performance.

  • 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