For now, gamers looking to add frame rate-matching to their rigs have limited choices. That narrow spectrum results in higher prices. The first-generation G-Sync- and FreeSync-capable displays all cost more than their contemporaries without those technologies. As with any other attractive capability, the early adopters pay more. As follow-up solutions become available, adding to the number of options out there, prices inevitably come down. Acer's XG270HU is a decent example of that.
If you look at the G-Sync-equipped monitors, they’re all fairly expensive. In the 24-inch form factor (the smallest at present), you’ll still pay around $400. And 27-inch screens cost $600 or more. Acer is making a bold statement with the XG270HU by adding in AMD's version of this technology in a $500 display. This is not only a nice option for Radeon users, but it undercuts any 27-inch G-Sync monitor by a tidy sum.
It’s obvious that Acer isn't cutting corners with regards to image quality or the features that matter most to gamers: speed and frame rate-matching. You get stable 144Hz operation, and thanks to HDMI 2.0, that input is now available for native QHD signals. But the main reason to buy the XG270HU is, of course, FreeSync.
We’ll say it again--once you’ve eliminated tearing from your favorite games, there is no going back. The option to dial in a 144Hz refresh rate is great, but FreeSync and G-Sync are better for creating a smooth realistic look to motion rendered on-screen.
Though color accuracy and contrast may be a lower priority for some users, the XG270HU doesn’t skimp on either. Contrast ratios, both on/off and ANSI, are quite high at almost 1000:1. Until VA panels make their way into this market, that’s about as good as it gets.
We’re glad to see Acer joining the list of companies providing displays that are very color-accurate without calibration. Even though most products benefit from an instrumented adjustment, users of the XG270HU can enjoy excellent image quality right out of the box. Just power up and set brightness to taste.
The only thing still missing is that IPS panel. Acer heard our cries long before this article was written with the XB270HU, which we are still waiting to receive. Rest assured, that review will happen shortly. Not only is it the only 144Hz IPS panel from a mainstream company, it adds G-Sync to the mix as well.
If, however, you are committed to your Radeon graphics board, Acer's XG270HU is your best choice at the moment. With stable 144Hz operation, excellent image quality, FreeSync and a reasonably low price, it easily earns our Tom’s Hardware Editor Recommended award.
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