OSD Setup And Calibration
Pressing any bezel key brings up a quick menu. The big G stands for Game Mode which has three memory settings. The user can easily change presets. The second icon controls overdrive, the third volume, the fourth input, and the last brings up the full OSD.
Acer eColor Management refers to the five picture modes. All are fixed except the User preset. If you attempt to make changes in another mode, the XB271HK automatically switches to User. Brightness throttles the backlight through a large range of over 235cd/m2. The Contrast control comes set to 50 but we found that to be too high. Check out our calibration notes below for more detail.
Blue Light comes in four levels that warm the white point in an effort to reduce eye fatigue. Dark Boost will increase low-end gamma to make shadow detail more visible. Finally, Adaptive Contrast will increase perceived dynamic range based on actual content. It can crush detail in highlight and shadow areas, but used sparingly it does improve image depth. It has 100 steps to allow very fine control.
There are two gamma presets, 1.8 and 2.2. Although 2.2 is the default, we found better accuracy using 1.8. Color Temp has Cool, Warm and Blue Light settings plus a User mode. sRGB mode is an on/off toggle that does little to affect color that’s already pretty good out of the box. The Saturate slider will increase or decrease saturation of all six colors at once.
The RGB gain sliders begin at their maximums so you’ll give up just a bit of contrast when making adjustments. Fortunately only a tiny change was needed on our sample.
The 6-axis controls affect only the luminance of each color. Once we dialed in grayscale and set contrast correctly, we found no need to adjust these.
The OSD is available in 15 languages and can be kept on-screen for as long as two minutes. Refresh Rate Num is a handy fps counter that sits in the upper-right corner. Transparency refers to the OSD itself. Game Mode offers three memory slots that can be saved by using the Settings 1-3 options directly beneath. Lastly, you can place an aiming reticule in the center of the screen; just the thing for FPS newbies.
Here we have an input selector, a toggle for the DTS audio (leave it on for best results) and three overdrive settings (Off, Normal, Extreme). Normal provides the best image quality with no ghosting and a visible reduction in motion blur.
Wide Mode will either stretch signals to fit the screen or map them 1:1. Lower-res images will then be windowed. The Power LED can be dimmed or turned off. Deep Sleep will turn the XB271HK off after a 12-minute no-signal condition. To continue charging devices when the monitor is off, set Power-off USB Charge to on.
The info screen shows input, resolution and the refresh rate plus G-Sync status. If you’re using the Game Mode presets, it’ll also indicate which slot is currently active.
The XB271HK doesn’t require calibration in its default Standard mode, although there are a couple of settings we recommend changing for optimal picture quality. Adjusting anything, including brightness, kicks you over to the User mode. Once you dial in your preferred output level, change gamma to 1.8 and lower the contrast slider to 42. This will level out gamma tracking and cure a small color over-saturation issue. We’ll tell you about both of these during the tests. Here are the settings we used for this review.
|Acer Predator XB271HK Calibration Settings|
|Color Temp User||Red 98, Green 100, Blue 100|