I’m all for impressive visuals, whether we’re talking about games, movies or just looking at pretty pictures and in order to really do that, you have to get yourself a display larger than HD. And a PC, because consoles just can’t match up to the promise of a 4K or even QHD screen. Not yet, at any rate.
We’re not here to talk about the PC though, we’re wondering about the display. But that’s mostly because we got a new one from Acer, their XG270HU 27-inch QHD gaming display. And this is a definite option when it comes to your high-res gaming needs.
Looks The Part
Acer’s actually known for their good-looking gaming gear – take a look at the Acer Aspire Predator gaming setup. If they ever start selling that case as a standalone… anyway. The XG279HU is in line with their gaming kit as well, angled edges on the cross-shaped stand, that distinctive orange-ish colour (seriously, what is that? Bronze?) and then the seemingly bezel-less design for the panel all shout ‘gaming’. It’d help if you had your hands on a matching case and set of peripherals, of course.
There is a bezel on this screen, but you can’t really see it when the display is powered down. When it’s active, the black edging is visible but most of what you’re looking at is screen space. Acer’s borderless design… works, though it gives the false impression that this screen is kinda flimsy. In spite of its thin profile, it’s pretty sturdy. Shame the wobbly stand makes a joke of the panel strength. Looks nice though.
Set Up For Great Justice
Even though the XG270HU has a wobbly stand, said stand – and the whole screen setup – is extremely easy to put together. There are just three components: the stand, the support and the screen. It’s just a matter of screwing the support into the stand, the result just clips to the panel. It’s a big frightening, to be honest, as that clip doesn’t seem strong at all.
The down-side to having something this simple is that you have very little adjustment leeway. You can angle the display (on the vertical axis, anyway) but setting height is out of the question, meaning you need to move your desk to accommodate a preferred screen elevation. Not ideal.
And your input options are also pretty limited. There’s one HDMI, DisplayPort and DVI port at the rear, along with a headphone jack so you can dispense with speakers and just plug in your battle-communicator directly. I’ve seen similar screens that offer a greater number of each port but at least the XG ticks all the major boxes. Unless you’re using still VGA but then, that would make a QHD monitor pointless.
Get Your Head In The Game
It’ll do for high-end gaming, certainly, provided you’re secure enough in your setup to just leave it where it is. The 27-inch screen features a 2,560 x 1,440 native resolution and a blistering 1ms response time, both of which are a dream for gamers looking to test out their GPU’s chops. Unfortunately this Acer uses a TN panel, not exactly known for its stellar view angles. Sitting head-on presents no issues but if you’re going to have spectators, those sitting on the edges will have some colour distortions to contend with.
27 inches is round about the sweet spot for a PC gaming display – you could go bigger but you might as well drop a TV behind your keyboard at that point. Acer’s XG-series desktop adornment is big enough to render everything in brilliant detail – even standard HD and 720p content looks good on Acer’s display – but it isn’t so large that you’re going to get whiplash trying to see all the action going on onscreen.
The XG270HU is packaged with AMD’s FreeSync tech as well. This is something I was sadly unable to test correctly due to having a non-compatible GPU (i.e Nvidia) but reports for this monitor at the moment veer from having adaptive sync working just fine to having issues with screen blur due to FreeSync messing incorrectly with the monitor’s response times. A driver update from AMD should sort this out.
The Acer XG270HU QHD gaming monitor setup isn’t without its flaws but that doesn’t mean you should write it off. You’re still getting a FreeSync-capable QHD screen for your trouble, even if you’re going to have to make a few concessions to own one. At the time of writing I don’t have a local price for this screen but that’s what you’re going to want to watch out for. A similar screen from ASUS will set you back around R12,000 but the US pricing for Acer’s hardware has been given as $500 (before tax). That works out to R6,300 in a direct conversion, so Acer should knock off at least a few grand from competing products’ pricing. How much lower they’re able to go is going to be the decider here. QHD on a budget? This could be your way to go.